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Thread: Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

  1. #1

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    I have an ultimate beginner's/really silly but presently really pertinent question.
    Tomorrow I'm traveling for the first time with my 4x5. Consequently, I am trying to fit my tripod and tripod head in my suitcase---consequently I need to detach this behemoth 3047 Manfrotto head from my 3221W tripod. I remember attaching them (I bought them separately) by gently screwing the 3047 onto the top of the 3221W. Now, however, no matter how insanely hard I turn and twist, I cannot detach the head from the tripod mount.

    The most helpful piece of information at this point would be for someone to take a look at these pictures:

    And tell me if you know where the tripod ends and the head begins (I don't want to waste effort trying to unscrew part of the tripod from the tripod or head from the head, etc.).

    Open to suggestions and humiliating teasing alike . . . =)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    Somehow the link to the pictures didn't work, but here is an idea for you:

    Could it be that the head is secured with screws from the bottom of the tripod head? I know that with my Manfrotto that's the case. Turn your tripod upside down and see if there aren't three screws securing it.


  3. #3

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod


    The tripod ends at the top of the unfinished aluminum cylinder. The head starts there with the grey painted cylinder and goes up.

    You may have to remove the center colum from the tripod, and unscrew the set screws from the tripod plate. Sometimes, the set screws will tighten up on their own, and make it impossible to remove the head.

    The set screws are located in the top plate of the tripod center column (the unfinished aluminum plate that is touching the head). You will see three screw heads 120 degrees apart countersunk into three holes on the bottom of the plate.

    If the set screws are loose, they can still catch on the head, so if the head seems to loosen a little but then binds, loosen the set screws a bit more.

    Beyond that, it's a matter of elbow grease...


  4. #4

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    just looked at my 3047. Instaed of removing the tripod column just raise it so you can get at those set screws inderneath the silver collar


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Frisco, Texas

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    Hi Matthew,

    Raise the center column up about 10 inches. Lock it securely in that position. Look underneath the round silver colored disk at the top of the tripod column , where it meets the tripod head. You will see three slotted- head screws that face upwards, slightly recessed into the round plate on the top of the tripod column. They are there to lock the head so it cannot un-screw from the tripod leg set. Using a screwdriver that properly fits these screws, loosen them, but don't remove them all the way (you don't want to loose them) You should now be able to un-screw the 3047 tripod head from the top of the tripod column.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    O.K., so you've read the messages here, removed the screws, and you still can't unscrew the head. I've had the same difficulty you're having with this tripod/head combination and it was pure living hell getting the head off the tripod even after the screws were removed. I even resorted to calling Bogen to see if they had any suggestions and they didn't. I ended up saturating the base of the head with some lubricant a neighbor had that he said was the mother of all lubricants, then putting the tripod in a vise, removing the rubber handles, and banging away at the metal arms with a hammer. When that didn't work I put the handles back on since it was easier to hit them with the hammer and banged away some more. The rubber handles now have some splits in them and the arms are a little bent but the head is off the tripod (I was doing all this to replace the 3047 head with a geared head). I don't know what causes this, you'd think unscrewing the head would be a simple task once the screws are removed but unfortunately that isn't always the case.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  7. #7

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    There is a process for situations like this rather than just resorting to simply pounding the hell out of it to get ot apart. Try a little heat from a propane torch to see if you can get it to expand a bit and hit the joint with a hard rubber hammer. The next step would be to try to get some Liquid Wrench into the head/tripod union.

    On the bottom of my 3021 head, there is an ingenious set of quasi "teeth" in the form of slight downward V's to hold the head onto the tripod. When excessive force is applied, she works as intended and holds like hell.

    Lastly, I would take it to a woodworking store or a hardware store and see if they can carefully put the tripod in a vise and get one of those strap wrenches or a pipe wrench over a thick rag and that will surely bust it apart.

    Once you get it apart, remember that only a modest amount of pressure will keep it together. Good Luck.

  8. #8

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    Brian (and the rest),

    You're right; I have removed the screws, but the beast still holds. I will look in to applying some heat to get a little expansion as Michael suggests, and whatever else seems logical without destroying my investment.

    For now, I'm opting for a larger suitcase and hauling as is.

    On a slightly different note, should I be concerned about the airport x-rays damaging my sheet film?

    Thanks for the advice all. This forum impresses me more every time I use it.


    who is off to Oregon tomorrow morning.

  9. #9

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    Do not put your film in your luggage as it will be smoked with the x ray intensity. Be very professional and look your screened directly in the eyes and say "I am a photographer and would greatly appreciate an opportunity to have my large format sheet film hand checked to minimize adverse effects on the final image". Try your best to get it hand checked through security and if worse case scenario comes into play and they give you a hard time, go ahead and let them run it through the security machine and it should be fine. Modern screening at major airports have done a good job of improving their technology and you might have some minor fogging to deal with but that is manageable. Next time plan ahead and have your film Fed Exed to and from your destination as that is the best situation and well worth the cost IMHO.

  10. #10

    Trying to detach 3047 head from 3221w tripod

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the input. Fortunately most of my film is incidentally being FedEx'd to my destination, since I was late in ordering and am just having the store send it to my point of arrival rather than carrying it with me. So that's good. The film I'm carrying with me is less in number and 'more expendable' relatively speaking, fortunately; but I'll remember your advice for future reference.

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