What are the most commonly used tools to repair a Manfrotto?

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat are the most common tools to repair a Manfrotto product?

There will be several different sets of tools depending upon what you arerepairing.

The most common tools used are: flat blade screw driver, Phillips head (cross shaped) screw driver, Allen wrenches in 3mm, 4mm and 5mm (most common), TORX (looks like an Allen wrench with a star shaped head, 8mm socket.  Very rarely we use a wrench, or pair of pliers, but the jaws are coated with a “gripper” so they jaws don’t scratch and scar the item being repaired.

We OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAalso have a few custom made tools since some of the heads cannot be repaired easily without them.  Occasionally a wooden dowel or a wooden tapping block.  We used a wooden tapping block instead of a hammer, since a hammer will distort and deface the metal.  Too much with a metal hammer will actually bend and distort the metal and change the extremely tight tolerances that many heads and tripod require.  For a short time there were 5.5mm sockets.

DO NOT USE any sort of “locking” fluids like Loc Tite, finger nail polish or Super Glue to hold, or lock a screw or nut in place.  First, some of these will not adhere to the paint or aluminum.  The grease that is used often will react to the glue and will not allow it to adhere or soften it and cause it to fail.  But more likely, it will foul the screw threads or block the movement of the parts, and be very difficult to remove.  Some of these products have solvents that will help remove them, others don’t and either the adhesive will have to be chipped away (very time consuming) or the part will have to be replaced since the threads of the fine screws cannot be easily cleaned.

Oiling is not required.  There are some lubricants and greases that are used.  The most common grease is a silicon based gel.  This lubricant does not flow like oil, it stays where it is put.  Flowing oil gets all over, can degrade the lubricants that are there, destroy the rubber bumpers and grips and generally make everything sticky.  There is a sticky grease-like goo that is used in between the fluid disks in video heads.  The super sticky goo is what gives you the super smooth, fluid movement in the video head.

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