This is a little repair project my daughter gave me. It is a ball head for a camera (photography) mount. The bottom of this device screws down on a tripod or studio steady mount.
There is a quick release on the top that is attached to the camera.
The handle bolt is loosened to adjust the angle of the camera and that is where the problem was. There are internal splines in the original handle that were stripped out. It would no longer turn the locking bolt to secure the ball from moving.
I learned all about these spring loaded handles and also how the ball mount itself works in this little project. There are two main types of these handles. Most of us know the “pull the handle to adjust position” type. I have a lot of them on my machine tools. There is a second type called the “Safety” handle where the user must push in against the spring load to engage the handle. That is what I have here. The handle pops back out and drops to a safe position when not engaged.
So the project was mostly selecting the correct replacement handle. However there was a catch. There is always a catch, right? The end of the original bolt was drilled out and a pin with a tapered cone inserted. It is this cone against an internal ramped surface that pushes up and locks the ball movement.
The machining chore was to drill out the end of the new handle bolt to fit this tapered cone pin. The challenge was to hold the bolt for drilling (without disassembling the handle) and drilling the hard end of the bolt deep enough for the pin to insert.… Continue reading
My daughter is a professional photographer working for a large commercial corporation. Some of the studio cameras use lenses that mount on a lens board as you see here. That is not a real piece of board, but rather a cast aluminum plate. I think the idea is to make lens changes and adjustments easier.
On this one someone bought the lens board with a hole that was too small. Maybe they got a deal? You can always make a hole bigger right? Problem is most people do not know how to make the hole bigger. If they know, they probably don’t have the proper tool.
I was given another lens board with the hole being much larger than necessary. “Just make the small hole half way bigger than the large hole.” I was told. I love those accurate working dimensions. Ha!
It was dang close to being a 2 inch hole I suspected I needed. I bored the small one out to about 1.995 inches. I was actually thinking 2 inch but short is better than taking too much.
My daughter took the lens board to work and sure enough the hole was still too small. “It needs just a hair more, Dad!” was her request. Uh… “What color hair, kinky, curly or straight?” I went for red, curly.
In the pix I went out to 2.010, so I’ll see if I got the color right…
I just had a minor epiphany thanks to a comment in an email from my friend Ed. He said, “…I focus on my project and not on the tools unless they impact the project.” What a profound statement. I have been preaching that concept since day one on my web sites.
I often get asked, “What machine should I buy to get started in the hobby.” My stock reply has always been, “First decide what you want to build.” “Second, how much can you spend?”
Ed is an outstanding builder of small scale live steam locomotives and has a wonderfully equipped home machine shop, all top notch machines and tools. His comment hit me so true I could hear the angles singing. Well, almost.
I have read most of Kozo’s books and have seen photos of his modest workshop. He shows his shop in at least the A3 book and several others. I know THAT master builder has a very modest workshop.
Wonderful works are not judged by the machines used to create them. It is the skill of the operator that makes it art, not the chisel and hammer. Are the workshop and tools of Michelangelo famous and on display? No, just what was produced by their use. It is the work that is remembered, not the tools in the shop.
Yes, yes, someday there may be a special on TV about the tools of Michelangelo because some people will be interested, but it is not the tools that have made him and his work immortal.
We all have to decide for ourselves, what is my hobby? Is it making miniature live steam locomotives or owning fabulous machine tools? Neither answer is wrong. Doing both is fine if there is the space and the money. But if my primary… Continue reading
I had an inquiry about how the Taig Spindle could be taken apart and the cartridge used elsewhere. I had to be honest and admit I had never taken one apart to investigate. Taig products are so well built there was never a need to disassemble the spindle.
The new spindles are different than the older versions. The new ones have the cartridge insert from the end. It slides into a machined bore. The old heads have a split case. The pictures here are the old head. Both hold the cartridge in place with a recessed screw into the center portion of the cartridge.
I wasn’t and still not interested in pushing apart one of my ER spindles to view the cartridge. There may be no harm, but if it isn’t broke now, why look for a problem? The old split case is no problem. The side will almost fall off when the bolts are loose. Probably the reason for the change to the new style.
At first look it appears to be four bearings. The center section is not bearings (as far as I can tell). The end bearings are compressed against the center core providing proper bearing pre-load. The pre-load nuts are on the outside against the bearing case. The center section is under compression.
To me it looks like a very elegant design and has been trouble free. First class machining, not like the cheap imports. It HAS to be to run at 10,000 rpm. That doesn’t imply all imports are cheap but few are rated for that kind of speed.
So I suppose you could make your own spindle case if required. I run the spindle at 10,000+ rpm all day with no heat buildup (after… Continue reading
I was exploring some computer programming software information and I discovered this analogy. Is so good, I have to share:
…Simply stated, object-oriented design is a technique that focuses design on the data (=objects) and on the interfaces to it. To make an analogy with carpentry, an “object-oriented” carpenter would be mostly concerned with the chair he was building, and secondarily with the tools used to make it; a “non-object-oriented” carpenter would think primarily of his tools. Object-oriented design is also the mechanism for defining how modules “plug and play.”
I know what I am. What kind of hobby machinist are you?