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Jac@stafford.net
6-Aug-2016, 09:44
I have a Berlebach wooden tripod that is very weather-worn. I do not mind the bleached-out and gray stained wood. The issue is that it has become too difficult to slide the legs in and out.

I hope there is a wax I can use on the inside surface of the legs where they slide against each other. Any recommendations? Or would an acrylic spray finish be better?

This is new ground for me and I don’t want to make the situation worse.

Thank you,
Jac

153614

Bob Mann
6-Aug-2016, 09:47
I have used regular paste wax on my wood tripod legs, seems to work fine.

lecarp
6-Aug-2016, 10:16
Looking at your image I would suggest a lite sanding or going over with fine stainless steel wool and then applying a proper oil. I would then wax after the oil has dried sufficiently. This approach will protect the wood and be easily serviceable in the future.

Jim Jones
6-Aug-2016, 11:34
Long ago we used talcum powder to make slide rules work smoother.

aclark
6-Aug-2016, 12:06
If the finish on the wood is ok, just rub the moveing parts with an old candle. This should get things moving.
If the finish or the wood itself is a bit roughI would definitely not use sandpaper to smooth it. The grit from it will keep grinding away at the wood every time you adjust the legs. You could try scraping it. A flat bladed knife should work.
Then you would need to treat the bare wood before candle waxing it, with whatever finish, oil or varnish, is already on the wood.

Alan

Will Whitaker
6-Aug-2016, 12:27
As Bob suggested, common paste wax works well. Johnson's Paste Wax, found in most any grocery store, is what I use for my Ries tripods. They are older models with worn finish. Humidity causes the leg extensions to swell and jam, which is very frustrating when I'm trying to set up a shot. The wax helps to protect the wood as well.

lenser
6-Aug-2016, 13:04
totally agreed. I had to do the same with my Berlbach although it was no where near this weathered. Anyway a very fine grit sandpaper followed by a refinish and furniture oil worked beautifully.

LabRat
6-Aug-2016, 19:41
+1 on a total refinishing job... It looks like it might be swelling slightly, and no amount of just wax will solve it at this point...

Since it's hardwood, even starting with a medium coarse grit should be OK, and going down to a very fine grit, followed by a non-sticky hard finish would be good, and would protect the wood it the future, make it more weather resistant, and be easier on your hands when using and carrying... And be MUCH prettier!!!

Don't worry about taking off too much wood surface while light sanding, as most wooden leg locks can usually over-tighten enough to make up for the loss of surface (but check beforehand)... And most hardwoods sand fairly slowly once you get past the dry surface...

Steve K

Jim Noel
7-Aug-2016, 12:51
I clean mine with naptha, then follow with very light coating of paste wax.

Bob Salomon
7-Aug-2016, 13:17
Have you sent a note with this picture and your question to the contact address found at www.berlebach.de?

Two23
7-Aug-2016, 14:33
Looks like it was used outside for years as a stand for a bird feeder, LOL. I would have it refinished and sealed. The lower leg seems to be starting to delaminate.


Kent in SD

Jac@stafford.net
7-Aug-2016, 15:51
Have you sent a note with this picture and your question to the contact address found at www.berlebach.de?

Bob, I have not because I got this tripod well over 20 years ago and use it in any weather. Sometimes it is bound to my SUV roof-rack, and regardless of its appearance, and finally tight legs, it performs very well. Oh, back then the Berlebach was an economy tripod! Berlebach hung in and won. It's a good thing.
.

Jac@stafford.net
7-Aug-2016, 15:58
Looks like it was used outside for years as a stand for a bird feeder, LOL. I would have it refinished and sealed. The lower leg seems to be starting to delaminate.

Bird Feeder! Funny for sure. Thanks for the visual. :) I don't see delamination. What's to delaminate? It is all natural wood, Ash. Which ash, I do not know, but it's all wood. I like the tripod. How can I not? I know it could last me the rest of my life.

Regarding the remedy, according to the responses paste wax is in order. Thanks to all! I will disassemble one leg at a time, work it properly. LabRat - points well taken. I have started with a straight-edge refinishing blade (https://static.grainger.com/rp/s/is/image/Grainger/5C938_AS01?$mdmain$) where appropriate - on straight flat and flat mating surfaces. Good point, thanks.

'one leg at a time' reminds me of a good joke, but I will spare y'all. :)

Bob Salomon
7-Aug-2016, 16:27
Bob, I have not because I got this tripod well over 20 years ago and use it in any weather. Sometimes it is bound to my SUV roof-rack, and regardless of its appearance, and finally tight legs, it performs very well. Oh, back then the Berlebach was an economy tripod! Berlebach hung in and won. It's a good thing.
.
They can still advise you on the best way to refinish it. And, should parts be needed after you start fixing it they can also help. They can not fix ones that are more then 30 years old so you are well within their capability to help. In fact, if you bought it new it came with a 10 year warranty so you are not really that far out of warranty. Lastly, they can probably tell you exactly why it is in this condition so you don't run into this again.

Jac@stafford.net
7-Aug-2016, 17:01
They can still advise you on the best way to refinish it. [... snip ...] Lastly, they can probably tell you exactly why it is in this condition so you don't run into this again.

Bob, in twenty years I'll not likely be making photos. At seventy years-old, it is difficult enough to get about with wrecked hands and legs. :)

However, for other Berlebach owners it is good advice.
.

maxotics
7-Aug-2016, 19:07
You might get some wax paper at the grocers and keep that with you, that's a way to get wax onto something too; rub it against the wood. Also, any bar soap can be used in a pinch. I have a little one from a hotel.

jk0592
8-Aug-2016, 19:09
What about beeswax ? It should help quite a bit.

Barry Kirsten
8-Aug-2016, 23:54
I have a Berlebach wooden tripod. I think they use a lacquer spray coating. By the look of yours I'd suggest a light rub with fine steel wool to remove the old coating and wood fibres, then a wax polish to seal and allow easy sliding. As someone else observed, candle wax is also good, but I think beeswax is possibly better.

Jac@stafford.net
9-Aug-2016, 14:11
THANK YOU ALL! oops. Shouting.

Through the combined recommendations and a push from a non-member I found DOOR-EASE (https://www.performanceonline.com/image.php?type=T&id=18019) stick lubricant which seems very much like bees-wax as jk0592 suggested. It is a fat stick of yellow wax-like lubricant. I applied it to the contact surfaces of the tripod legs (in 90F weather) and worked it in. All is good.

Thanks to everyone again,
Jac Stafford

LabRat
9-Aug-2016, 19:50
One last consideration is by using a wax on them, if one decides to refinish the legs, the new finish will be rejected by the waxed area, and is very hard to remove all traces of the wax...

Steve K

Jac@stafford.net
10-Aug-2016, 10:00
One last consideration is by using a wax on them, if one decides to refinish the legs, the new finish will be rejected by the waxed area, and is very hard to remove all traces of the wax...

Steve K

I'm glad you mentioned that, although it's too late for me. Perhaps that information will help someone else. I'll just wax the whole tripod now, and refresh it as necessary.

jriosa
24-Aug-2016, 19:09
THANK YOU ALL! oops. Shouting.

Through the combined recommendations and a push from a non-member I found DOOR-EASE (https://www.performanceonline.com/image.php?type=T&id=18019) stick lubricant which seems very much like bees-wax as jk0592 suggested. It is a fat stick of yellow wax-like lubricant. I applied it to the contact surfaces of the tripod legs (in 90F weather) and worked it in. All is good.

Thanks to everyone again,
Jac Stafford
If you ever want it properly restored, get in touch. I do period furniture reproductions along with some restoration. The wax will work for a while, but the tripod will continue to degrade unless sealed properly, especially given the west in the photos.

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