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View Full Version : Majestic Tripod Head 1/4"to 3/8" Make Up Screw Fix



Michael Kadillak
20-Jul-2017, 07:06
A couple of years ago I found myself acquiring a Majestic tripod with a series 1200 head that was perfect for my Deardorff V11 and my Canham 8x20 camera. Unfortunately, the head (like so many in the used market) came with a 1/4x20 make up screw which was inadequate for my needs and the perpetual optimist in me assumed that acquiring a stronger 3/8" make up screw would be quick and easy. Calls to the manufacturer let me know that they stopped making that part some time prior. I missed a small number of replacement screws on B&H and was starting to be concerned where the fix was to be found.

On a shot in the dark I called the owner of Becher that made the tripod and the head and asked him if he had the engineering schematic for the 3/8" screw and he told me he did and he would send it to me. Fortunately I had a good friend here in Denver that is a master photographer and master machinist who was able to take the spec sheet and produced the 3/8" make up screw and assembled it on my tripod head and I was all smiles and in business.

I read a recent post where Luis Sosa was similarly looking for the same 3/8" Majestic make up screw. Fortunately, the good friend kept the spec sheet on the 3/8" make up screw and was able to fix the problem for Luis at a reasonable price and he was good to go. I would be remise if I did not at least make a concerted effort to reach out to the LF community to see if any other LF photographers are similarly in need of the 3/8" Majestic spring loaded make up screw for their tripod heads. Please PM me if you are interested and I will pass along the proper details.

Cheers!

Luis-F-S
20-Jul-2017, 19:26
Yes Michael put me in touch with his machinist friend, George who did a terrific job for me. I had bought a mint Majestic tripod head but without a camera mounting screw. Then I bought a junker head at auction but with a 1/4-20 mounting screw. I sent George the good head and the mounting screw and asked if he could make me a 3/8-16 camera screw and to use whatever parts he needed from the 1/4-20 screw to make the screw for my 810 & 11x14 Deardorffs. He re-packed the grease in the head and made the new mounting screw which came out just like the original, all at a very reasonable price.

I would take Michael up on his offer to put you in tough with his friend if you need a camera screw for a Majestic tripod head, or some other custom photography machine work. You won't find too many machinists who can do such excellent quality work in this day and age! Thank you Michael and George!

Luis

Luis-F-S
26-Jul-2017, 21:37
Showing the custom 3/8-16 screw George made for me-just like the original one! He re-used some parts from a 1/4-20 Majestic screw I had, but I suspect could make the entire assembly.

167567 l167568 167569

Luis-F-S
27-Jul-2017, 09:29
I thought I'd post some specs for those who may be interested in Majestic Tripods/Gearheads.

167587

167588

As you can see, the Series 1000 Gearheads were for screw mount and have a 3/8 screw on the bottom, Models 1200 and 1900 fit directly on a post, either a Majestic or Davis & Sanford tripod. They also made a tripod adaptor for the tube end ones which had a 3/8" screw hole. I suspect George could easily make one of those if needed. I'll post some photos later.

Michael Clark
27-Jul-2017, 14:47
My understanding is George makes them for scratch, and does not need any parts. I have sent him a money order for the cost of a new bolt and shipping cost only.

Mike

Luis-F-S
27-Jul-2017, 20:03
Here are two Majestic tripod heads. The older black one on the left is a Model 1200 made to fit a Majestic post. The one on the right is a Model 1000-E with a female 3/8-16 threads.

167601

Another shot of the Model 1200 showing the size of the opening.

167602

Michael Clark
27-Jul-2017, 20:12
Luis, can't get your down loads to work.

Luis-F-S
28-Jul-2017, 09:52
should be fixed now.

Luis-F-S
5-Sep-2017, 19:08
Two base adapters for the Series 1200 gearheads. On left is an older aluminum adapter that inserts into the bottom of the gearhead. It has a lip roughly the outside diameter of the base. Loose is a Model 800 adapter made out of Stainless Steel, that also inserts into the bottom of the gearhead. These adapters would be screwed onto the tripod base, and then gearhead then fitted over it. Since the Model 800 doesn't have a lip, it can go too far into the head and hit the wormgear. On the right is a very elegant solution that George made for me. Made out of aluminum with a threaded SS insert for the threads, it is solidly attached to the gearhead and does not fall out. Essentially turns the Model 1200 into a Model 1000 gearhead. Well worth the cost.

169361

AtlantaTerry
5-Sep-2017, 21:59
Two base adapters for the Series 1200 gearheads. On left is an older aluminum adapter that inserts into the bottom of the gearhead. It has a lip roughly the outside diameter of the base. Loose is a Model 800 adapter made out of Stainless Steel, that also inserts into the bottom of the gearhead. These adapters would be screwed onto the tripod base, and then gearhead then fitted over it. Since the Model 800 doesn't have a lip, it can go too far into the head and hit the wormgear. On the right is a very elegant solution that George made for me. Made out of aluminum with a threaded SS insert for the threads, it is solidly attached to the gearhead and does not fall out. Essentially turns the Model 1200 into a Model 1000 gearhead. Well worth the cost.

169361

What cost??

It is very irritating to read this thread without one price being mentioned.

Bchapeton
13-May-2018, 08:53
I bought a majestic tripod and the 3/8 mounting screw and realize too that the top plate where it goes thru will not let the 3/8 screw pass thru. Do you have a work around so I do not need to buy a new tripod head? Thss from ny

Luis-F-S
13-May-2018, 15:39
What cost??

It is very irritating to read this thread without one price being mentioned.

Sorry but I’m not going to state a price for custom work that someone else may not honor for whatever reason. You want a price ask George for your particular situation. I’ll just say the price was fair and he did excellent work!

Bob Salomon
13-May-2018, 15:52
A couple of years ago I found myself acquiring a Majestic tripod with a series 1200 head that was perfect for my Deardorff V11 and my Canham 8x20 camera. Unfortunately, the head (like so many in the used market) came with a 1/4x20 make up screw which was inadequate for my needs and the perpetual optimist in me assumed that acquiring a stronger 3/8" make up screw would be quick and easy. Calls to the manufacturer let me know that they stopped making that part some time prior. I missed a small number of replacement screws on B&H and was starting to be concerned where the fix was to be found.

On a shot in the dark I called the owner of Becher that made the tripod and the head and asked him if he had the engineering schematic for the 3/8" screw and he told me he did and he would send it to me. Fortunately I had a good friend here in Denver that is a master photographer and master machinist who was able to take the spec sheet and produced the 3/8" make up screw and assembled it on my tripod head and I was all smiles and in business.

I read a recent post where Luis Sosa was similarly looking for the same 3/8" Majestic make up screw. Fortunately, the good friend kept the spec sheet on the 3/8" make up screw and was able to fix the problem for Luis at a reasonable price and he was good to go. I would be remise if I did not at least make a concerted effort to reach out to the LF community to see if any other LF photographers are similarly in need of the 3/8" Majestic spring loaded make up screw for their tripod heads. Please PM me if you are interested and I will pass along the proper details.

Cheers!

Bencher, not Becher!

Jac@stafford.net
13-May-2018, 18:21
I have a Linhof round base plate that converts from 1/4" to 3/8" and obverse.
Maybe Bob S can give us the details.

Bob Salomon
13-May-2018, 18:35
I have a Linhof round base plate that converts from 1/4" to 3/8" and obverse.
Maybe Bob S can give us the details.

77mm or 46mm Dual Thread Top Plate for Linhof Rekord, 46mm, and Light Weight tripods, 77mm.

DrTang
14-May-2018, 08:14
no one uses those 3/8 to 1/4 adapter deals that are about a buck?

Luis-F-S
14-May-2018, 10:10
no one uses those 3/8 to 1/4 adapter deals that are about a buck?

You get what you pay for

Bob Salomon
14-May-2018, 10:48
no one uses those 3/8 to 1/4 adapter deals that are about a buck?

Those adapters are made with either one turn of thread, maybe two, for the cheap ones, frequently soft metals. Good ones, like the Linhof are made from brass and have about 5 turns of ⅜ thread. They are far from $1.00 but will correctly do the job for you!

Jac@stafford.net
14-May-2018, 12:39
Thanks, Bob!

Michael Kadillak
27-May-2018, 20:28
Bencher, not Becher!

They are out of business Bob and further more what difference does it make? We are photographers not historians. I am confident that the forum participants understood the proper context of the post and that is all I was striving for.

Bob Salomon
28-May-2018, 04:56
They are out of business Bob and further more what difference does it make? We are photographers not historians. I am confident that the forum participants understood the proper context of the post and that is all I was striving for.

Someone that does not understand the proper context might go searching for the wrong name and never find the right name!

Randy Moe
28-May-2018, 09:15
Agree with Bob whose name I have misspelled often. Sorry, Bob Salomon.

In many ways, this whole forum is a historical document.


I believe I bought the last NOS 3/8" Majestic tripod screws and base plugs directly from Bencher which had slowed in size to a husband and wife team in Northern Illinois. I think the last warehouse was their garage. I may be wrong. The listings in B&H and Adorama were never in stock the last years. Parts were drop shipped. The owners diclosed that. I had several long telephone conversations with both husband and wife. They were happy to tell their tale.

Many Majestic tripods and heads were made. Plenty available for anyone who wants them still. They are out there. I have found 3. I mount both a 1/4" and a 3/8" on the prefered large platform.

The Head bottom plug is child's play for any machinist. The tripod screw is more complex, but again anybody that can run a lathe can make one.

Without machining anything, as I don't own a big lathe, I made a plug adapter for Majestic head to Linhof Heavy-Duty Pro Tripod. Perhaps the best of both worlds. I posted pics of it in DIY.

History.

Bob Salomon
28-May-2018, 10:16
Agree with Bob whose name I have misspelled often. Sorry, Bob Salomon.

In many ways, this whole forum is a historical document.


I believe I bought the last NOS 3/8" Majestic tripod screws and base plugs directly from Bencher which had slowed in size to a husband and wife team in Northern Illinois. I think the last warehouse was their garage. I may be wrong. The listings in B&H and Adorama were never in stock the last years. Parts were drop shipped. The owners diclosed that. I had several long telephone conversations with both husband and wife. They were happy to tell their tale.

Many Majestic tripods and heads were made. Plenty available for anyone who wants them still. They are out there. I have found 3. I mount both a 1/4" and a 3/8" on the prefered large platform.

The Head bottom plug is child's play for any machinist. The tripod screw is more complex, but again anybody that can run a lathe can make one.

Without machining anything, as I don't own a big lathe, I made a plug adapter for Majestic head to Linhof Heavy-Duty Pro Tripod. Perhaps the best of both worlds. I posted pics of it in DIY.

History.

As the Kaiser copy stand distributor for decades Bencher was our main competitor, while it was a friendly competition, they were never really successful in the retail market. But we did have fun in those days!

Luis-F-S
28-May-2018, 12:02
Majestic gearheads are readily available on the auction site. Some in much better shape than others. I think I'm up to 6-7 NOS or mint gearheads. Occasionally, there will be an NOS head under the majestictripods name on the site. They were made from leftover parts when Bencher closed it's doors. I've bought a couple and asked that they be supplied with 3/8 screws. They've been great to work with. Search Ebay under majestictripods and PM them.

The gearhead on the left has the adapter plug, the one on the right had a permanent base machined by Michael's friend to act like a Series 1000 head. Not cheap since it took a lot of machining, but it came out great! Also listed some Majestic literature which is elsewhere on this thread, but so many folks don't look at the entire thread! L

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