Tripod Cam-Lock Repair
by frubino, published
The Cam-Locks on the Manfrotto tripod model 728B are prone to cracking due to a thin wall thickness. The body of the cam-lock sees a tremendous amount of stress which over time leads to a catastrophic failure (hopefully not when you have a $2000 DSLR mounted on it). In my opinion, a high-end tripod shouldn't have a $0.25 molded part that is prone to cracking and costs $15ea to replace.
The model I generated has a wall thickness of almost 4mm at its thinnest compared to the factory's 2mm. I haven't put it through temperature cycling and aging, but I am confident it will hold up better than the original.
- Start from the smallest tube and replace one section at a time.
- Remove the rubber foot.
- Remove the old Cam-Locks by pushing out the brass pins with a hammer and drift (any punch or small screwdriver smaller than the pin diameter will work). Save the pins, the cam levers and the rectangular pressure block that falls out.
- Pull off the old Cam Lock body.
- Slip on the newly printed body. A rubber mallet helps, but it shouldn't be necessary. There is a rectangular hole in the tube....The opening in the cam-lock body should line up with the hole.
- Drop in the pressure block into the hole of the cam-lock body. The pressure block is slightly curved on one face....This should face the cam lever.
- Position the cam lever in the body with the lever in the open position. Press in the brass pin with a rubber mallet.
- Repeat for the remaining sections.