Jump to content



Photo

Gimbal lubrication


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 Stefan von Bjorn

Stefan von Bjorn

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 39 posts
  • South Pasadena, CA.

Posted 14 July 2005 - 05:13 PM

Hello out there,
I am looking for some guidence from anyone who has ever lubricated a IIIA gimbal. First off I'm sure many of you will say " buy a new Pro gimbal", but I must qualify that I love my IIIA gimbal, I'd like to continue flying it on my Pro. I've noticed that it is sounding a little dry.
I want to get some advice before removing the screws and putting in the wrong lube. I've been concidering Molly as a lubricant or Kroil, even TSI-301 synthetic compound.
Molly coating is a ballistics technology that applies to tumbling the actual bullet in Molly before the slug is necked into the brass casing. The Molly increases the velocity of the round.
Anyway I'd appreciate any advise you all can share. I would like to find a guy here in LA that rebuilds gimbals, and save any self inflicted lubricant disasters. Thanks.

Regards to all out there,
Stefan von Bjorn
  • 0

#2 PeterAbraham

PeterAbraham

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 902 posts
  • New York City

Posted 14 July 2005 - 09:33 PM

Greetings, Stephan. I have cleaned and serviced my gimbals for quite a few years now. You will want to have a plastic tub, not overly big. Some denatured alcohol. My personal fave lube is teflon oil.

Dissemble the gimbal, taking care to note the order of items as you remove them from the outer gimbal housing.

Take a cloth and clean off the inside of the gimbal housing with denatured alcohol, so that all lube and bits of goo are gone.

Soak the two bearing races in the plastic tub. I mean, like a small Chinese food soup container. Small ! ( just make sure it's totally clean first :D ).

Wipe off the bearings, soak again. Use goggles to protect your eyes and blow out the bearing races as you soak and move them around. The lube should disintegrate in the denatured alcohol and the canned air will blow out bits of lube and whatnot from the races.

Check their spin. Do this by putting two fingers inside the bearing race. Spread those fingers out tautly, holding the inner ring. Give the outer ring a spin with your other hand. It should really scream, spinning freely for a few seconds at least before slowing down. This is where you find out if you have damaged bearing races. If any hard particulate matter, be it sand, dirt, bits of metal or whatnot have ground away at your bearing races, you will immediately feel and see it in how the race ring spins. If it grinds to a halt or sounds funky, you will need to purchase new bearing races. Tiffen does sell brand new bearing races for the III-A gimbal.

If they spin freely, then drop TWO drops of teflon oil into each race, and slowly move it around and around to distribute the lubricant along the ball bearings. Then, I usually take a very little few drops of teflon oil, dribble them onto a rag corner and wipe them around the inside of the gimbal housing.

Replace all elements as you took them out. ** Big Note** The bearing races and other elements are precision cut and fitted. They only will go in when inserted dead vertically. If you go to put in any element and it binds, please do not try to push it in the rest of the way. If you force it hard, you can bend one of the bearing races and your gimbal will not spin true.

Replace outer cap with spanner wrench. Voila!

Goodl luck with it. As a side note, I wholeheartedly recommend that anyone who can, should buy a spare set of bearing races from Tiffen. Bearings tend to fail suddenly after work near sand or salty air, or high blowing winds. I don't mean to say that they will fail ALL the time in those situations, but those exposures tend to put your Steadicam in the way of a lot of irritating particulate matter. Having a spare set of bearing races can make you a serious hero when you're out there in the wilds and your gimbal goes wonky.

In 18 years, and 5 Steadicam Sleds I have had a gimbal go wonky on me exactly twice. Once it was an older used rig I had bought a few months before, and man it was just it's time to die. The other time was right after a shoot on the beach on Long Island. Very breezy, quite a few hours out shooting a music video. -shrug- it doesn't happen very often, considering the hours my rigs have been exposed to dirty or sandy air it feels about right that I've only had one or two issues. The gimbal assemblies on the CP/Tiffen gimbals tend to be extremely tightly designed. I don't know a thing about other manufacturers and so would not dare to recommend a method or lube to working with their gimbals.

However, you asked about a III-A. There ya go !

Best,

Peter Abraham
New York
  • 0

#3 PeterAbraham

PeterAbraham

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 902 posts
  • New York City

Posted 14 July 2005 - 09:35 PM

I kinda hope it goes without saying that if you are in Los Angeles or travelling through Los Angeles, take it to Tiffen in Glendale and let them do it. They've been doing it for a loooooooooooooooong time.


My suggestions are for being deep in the field, and solving the problem when the alternatives are grim.
  • 0

#4 Stefan von Bjorn

Stefan von Bjorn

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 39 posts
  • South Pasadena, CA.

Posted 14 July 2005 - 10:33 PM

I kinda hope it goes without saying that if you are in Los Angeles or travelling through Los Angeles, take it to Tiffen in Glendale and let them do it. They've been doing it for a loooooooooooooooong time.


My suggestions are for being deep in the field, and solving the problem when the alternatives are grim.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thank you Peter, as always, you are very helpful to me. I will take it over to Tiffen since I live here in LA.

Regards,
Stefan von Bjorn SOC.
  • 0




Teradek

Boland Communications

PLC - Bartech

Omnishot Systems

IDX

Paralinx LLC

BOXX

GPI Pro Systems

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

SkyDreams

Engineered Cinema Solutions

PLC Electronics Solutions

Varizoom Follow Focus

rebotnix Technologies

Wireless Video Systems

Ritter Battery

Betz Tools for Stabilizers