I made a little video today in the shop while I was shrink-wrapping my new Benro TMA48CXL Tripod legs. I am VERY hard on tripods and after United Airlines bent and I chipped the heck out of my old Slik Professional 4 tripod legs, I decided to figure a way to cover up the scratches. Now this is my go-to hack for all my tripod legs. I have even added padding underneath the shrink tubing so I can hold the tripod on my shoulder while walking as you can see from the photo with the yellow leg on the small Manfrotto tripod. To quote Arnold Schwartzeneger, "It's naht a toomor, Itsnaht."

Here are photos of my pod and a link to the shrink-tube application on Vimeo. This is one you can watch on 2X speed... pretty long winded. VIDEO LINK: https://vimeo.com/user21532443/tripod-hack

Schafphoto tripod hack shrink tubing

Schafphoto tripod hack samples

Schafphoto tripod hack Manfrotto and SLIK

Beware not to melt your carbon tripod! This trick is for those careful souls that want to cover up dinged tripod legs or protect their new tripods from nicks a scratches (or change the color of the legs). This is not really recommended for carbon fiber but works a charm for revitalizing old scratched aluminum tripods.

Heat Shrink Tubing can be found at electronics stores and using a very-hot hair dryer or heat gun (hair dryer is safer, heat gun is quicker) you can shrink a protective, colored, plastic tube over your old tripod legs and give them new life. On aluminum tripods it's not so critical to beware of the heat, but Carbon Fiber tripods are made by heat and you don't want to delaminate the fibers or cause glued pieces to come unglued because the heat has liquified the glue. So this is not a trick for everyone, don't try it if you are unsure if your tripod legs will melt. (Inexpensive carbon legs are thinner and so this hack is riskier) but it may be just the hack for you. I tried this first on my old dinged aluminum tripod before I risked it with my new Benro CF tripod. Keep the heat gun moving CONSTANTLY over the tubing and don't let it melt one spot. My tripod legs are really beefy and took the 1.5 inch size tube, but my small tripod took a 1 inch size. You want the tube size you choose to just fit over the top leg. If you have turn-knobs, no problem to just unscrew, but the snap lock clips need to be removed with tools to get to the bare leg. Measure the exact length of the section you want to cover, the tubing does not shrink in length, only in diameter.

Good Luck! And be careful.

PS: and you'll notice a carpenter's nail pouch on every tripod I own.

Schafphoto tripod hack on Slik Pro Tripod