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Thread: wood tripod repair

  1. #1

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    wood tripod repair

    I have an old Ansco mahogany tripod. The mounting plate is 7"x 9"... also mahogany. I would like to replace the old felt that is glued to the mounting plate. Does anyone have any suggestions on how best to remove the old felt without doing to much damage to the old mahogany wood? Thanks in advance, Robert

  2. #2
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    wood tripod repair

    Assuming the felt material is glued to the underlying mahogany mounting plate, my suggestion would be to use a stiff putty knife to remove the old felt. Although water or a solvent might be used to soften the glue, it might also warp the wood. Once the old material is removed, you may need to carefully sand the surface to finish the clean-up..

  3. #3
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    wood tripod repair

    Depends on what kind of glue is used, but try heat. Not so much that will damage the wood, so part of this is guesswork and trial & error, but a heat gun, used sparingly, might soften the glue enough you can scrape it clean with a putty knife.

    "Safest Stripper" paint remover from 3M *sometimes* works on some old glue. You scrape off as much as the felt as possible, then apply the product on top, let sit, it might loosen up enough for removal.

    lastly, you will need some sanding, try a fine grit to begin with - around 220 for example, but you may have to go up to a 120 grit. Agian, this is more of a judgement at the time, and also dependant on what you eventyally decide to do. Lay down new glue on a smooth surface, or sand to the point you restain and finish.

    You may get down to the wood finish, and decide against replacing the felt because th elook of the wood is so nice. You might like to leave the wood refinished, with maybe some small, flat rubber disks, or although it isn't always pretty, rubberized cork gasket seal - the type used in car engines, from a strickly practical point of view, not esthetic, is a wonderful replacement for the felt.

    good luck

    joe

    PS - if refinishing the legs or any other part of the wood on the tripod, use an oil based, NOT water based stain, and get marine grade varnish or polyurithane (spelling) for the final coating.
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

  4. #4

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    wood tripod repair

    Thanks Joe and Ralph. You know I have never been a big fan of the felt. It always seems to slip. Cork sounds like a great alternative. I'm not going to attempt to refinish the legs. The old finish actually isn't that bad. What do you recommend to clean up the old finish? What type of glue should I use to glue on the cork? I do have pliobond contact cement. But I'm not sure that would be ok for this application. Thanks, Robert

  5. #5
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    wood tripod repair

    Steam iron. The steam isn't hot enough to damage the wood, but will soften the glue (most likely casein, gelatin, or PVA white glue, all of which soften with damp heat). The steam will also help "swell" away any dents in the wood surface under the felt, though it won't help with gouges where wood has actually been torn or cut away...
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  6. #6
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    wood tripod repair

    >" I'm not going to attempt to refinish the legs. The old finish actually isn't that bad. What do you recommend to clean up the old finish? What type of glue should I use to glue on the cork? I do have pliobond contact cement. But I'm not sure that would be ok for this application. Thanks, Robert<"

    I fyou use contact cement, make sure you re-finish the wood under the felt first. even if than means a bit of sanding, restaining and a couple coats of varnish. Alow a good 24 hours between coats of stain and the 2 to 3 coats of varnish,a nd allow the varnish a full 48 hours to dry and cure before you use the contact cement on it. I fyou put contact cement on the raw wood, you'll ahve a horrible mess if you ever need to redo it for any reason.

    To clean up the old finish - nothing more than you woudl clean up any decent furniture normally. hard to say, as i am not aware of exactly what finish is already used.

    You see, the big problem with wood tripods, if you ever want ot refinish or repaint th elegs in any way, is that it si really easy to make your laters of varnish and/or paint too thick, and then you cannot open or collapse the legs easily or properly.

    If hte varnish or laquer ever goes on wood legs, how I fix it is I first clean it normally - dirt, dust, etc, all gone. Then I dis-assemble one leg only, at a time. Real easy if you take all three legs apart to either loose small aprts, or forget exactly how ti all goes back together.

    I then "wash" the wood parts with very fine steel wool dipped in pure turpentine. Not too wet, and of course, wear gloves, good ventalation, etc, etc.

    Again, the big issue is what kind fo varnish was orignally used. How was it put on too - sprayed, hand rubbed, etc. If all else fails, I'll restain bare wood as closely as possible, then I find most varnishes right out of a can (and get varnish, not polyurathane) are too thick for tripod legs so you may have to "water down" before applying.

    My favourite finish - and one I used when I built my Bender kit, is to make my own varnish - 50% tung oil, 50% linseed oil (double boiled). I add pure turpentine to a watery mix - forget how much, i tend to "cook by observation". then onc ei have my varnish ready, I'll oour jsut what I need for the job into a small cup, and add a wee bit of cobalt or Japan driers, but not too much - a little bit of the stuff goes a long ways.

    Apply thin, and rub well in with a cloth. Allow to dry 24 hours, then do the same. I think i put about ten coats on my Bender camera this way, and it works good without beeing to thick for moving parts. Allowa good 72 hours to dry before final assembly.

    So you see, be it a wood tripod, old camera, Bender Kit, etc, the "secrect" to it all is just simply taking time, and saying to yourself, okay, refinishing this thing is going to take a coupel fo weeks - if you need ot go that far.

    good luck
    joe
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

  7. #7

    wood tripod repair

    Taking a completely different tack, I'd be tempted to try to find access to a big belt sander, and sand the felt away. Any chemicals that might soften the adhesive might also mar the finish of the wood mounting plate.

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