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Tripod - Remove/Change Arca Swiss Clamp

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by dangie, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I have a Benro Slim tripod with a small Arca Swiss Ball Head. I wish to remove the tripod clamp to fit a larger one such as in the link below. Unfortunately no matter how I try it won't unscrew. Apparently this is not unusual as manufacturers often Loctite the screw to prevent it becoming loose. Google says Loctite can be loosening by applying heat from a blowtorch but obviously this is a step to far for my tripod. Has anyone else encountered the same problem?

    Andoer 70mm Quick Release Clamp and Plate compatible: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics
  2. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

  3. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Loctite isn’t supposed to weld things shut, just reduce the risk of threads loosening due to vibration. Truly jammed threads can often be undone with an impact driver. Is it an Allen key bolt that needs undoing?
  5. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Yes it is.
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Then put the allen key in and be sure it is properly located and tight in position. With a hammer or weight tap the allen key one way then the other. It doesn’t have to be a great big whack. The idea is to shock the joint. Allen keys bend a bit so you might need to tape another key alongside to double the thickness in the direction you are hitting it.

    Alternatively you could splurge out on an impact screwdriver and the appropriate allen key bit.

    Edit: whatever you do, don’t let the allen key slip and round the internal corners.then you’d have to drill it and use an “easy-out” or whatever they are called these days. Near forty years since I used one.
  7. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Thanks Pete, will try tomorrow.
    Spent 40 years in heavy industry so hopefully I won't break it.
    Having said that a 4 lb lump hammer often fixed things, one way or the other.....:)
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I was introduced to an original impact screwdriver in the long days passed when I did car maintenance. You held it tight on the then slotted screw and thumped it with the above mentioned lump hammer. As the hammer hit the head of the impact driver the driver turned a tiny amount. I keep meaning to buy a modern electric variant. You can choose a torque setting on a drill driver, lean on the drill and let the clutch slip - this works on fairly “stiff” pozidrive screws but the odds are you’ve already ruined the screw head because you couldn’t hold the drill tightly enough onto the screw. The impact driver does the “push and twist” for you with less chance of the screw head getting rounded off. The safety gate, which needs repairing, on the decking for our caravan is held on by 6 screws that I can’t shift. Just don’t tighten screws with one.
  9. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Sorted it.
    Removed ball head and stood in boiling water for a few minutes (that's the ball head not me).
    Gave it a few taps then tried the allen key again. Was just about to give up when the screw began to move.
    Luckily it seems it was glue and not Loctite.
    DaveM399 likes this.
  10. DaveM399

    DaveM399 Well-Known Member

    I’ve got the same tripod and head and I’ve just tried to undo the screw on mine. It didn’t budge! You could be right about glue, as I reckon the force I used would probably have “broken” most types of Loctite.
  11. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I replaced the original ball head with this one below. It's quite good. Allows movement for panoramic images. However the length of the clamp jaws is only about 25mm. This is ok for most use, but I have an 'L' bracket made for articulating screens and the clamp jaws are too small for when I use portrait mode.

    koolehaoda E3 mini Tripod Head Ballhead with Quick: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

    OM-D E-M1 Mark II L Plate Hand Grip EM1 II Quick: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo
  12. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I’m pleased to hear you got it done OK.
    I have the smaller 35XC Uniqball head. When I bought it, they offered an X-Cross clamp as an option with the larger 45XC, and I was disappointed that I could only get mine with a conventional clamp. In practice that has worked OK, because if I use if for my long, heavy Sigma 150-500mm I support that with a plate on the lens’s tripod collar that’s aligned with the lens axis, and with the other lenses, when I mount the camera body on the tripod, I use a nodal rail in the same orientation to balance weight over the ball head. But late last year I noticed an X-Cross clamp to fit either ball was available as an accessory. I thought I might be glad of one in future, and it would be better to get it (from Continental Europe) before the end of our transition period. But when I tried to change clamps, the screw was extremely hard to shift, and using a hex bit in a screwdriver-type handle it chewed its way up out of the socket, damaging and almost ruining it. For my last chance attempt I held the clamp in the plywood jaws of my B&D Workmate, and mounted the hex bit on the large “T” bar of a socket set, so that I was able to put a lot of my weight on the bit to stop it riding up. Fortunately this was successful; I don’t know whether the screw had been secured by the appropriate Locktite adhesive, or just done up very tightly.

    I’ve only screwed on the X-Cross clamp fairly gently; if it does come loose I can tighten it more or glue the screw in.

  13. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Going back to my initial post, I’m guessing they used strong glue and not Loctite. From what I’ve read Loctite requires high temperatures such as a blow torch to soften it. So from that if I need to use something on the new clamp screw I’ll probably use a general household glue. At least with that boiling water will soften it if I ever need to remove it.

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