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Screws without being screwed !!


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#1 Robert Starling SOC

Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 07:29 PM

Maybe this is new news for me and old news for the rest of you but I want to share a resource.

For the last 28 years I've paid out the wazzoo for the little 1/4 20 and 3/18 16 stainless steel screws used for camera and tripod mounting plates. As in I just paid $16 EACH for some from a leading manufacturer of "camera stabilization systems". Ouch!!!

The biggest ouch was when a friend pointed me to a local industrial hardware store and they sell them for .40 CENT each...stainless just like the $16 versions. You can even get them with an allen head instead of flathead.

And those nice little $14 winged thumb screws we use to adjust the arm to the socket blocks: Buy another .40 cent screw and add the same plastic winged tightener for another .10 cent plus a dollop of epoxy.

McFadden / Dale Hardware - Las Vegas 702 251-8059

There's likely a local industrial hardware store in your area as well.

Robert Starling
Las Vegas
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#2 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 08:24 PM

Gents--

Before you go and get the low head allen cap screw in 3/8-16 size, which incidently is only available in a 1/2" length, keep in mind that the thread depth on most film cameras is LESS than 1/2" and will bottom out inside the threaded insert in the camera body.

Yes, you can buy the much cheaper and commonly available size for the video camera baseplate use, but you must cut down the 1/2" version to be compatible with film cameras.

I know this because I custom cut a batch some time ago and found out how much time and effort is involved in re-inventing the wheel here.

You must setup your lathe to cut off the "excess" threads and clean the end after by chasing the threads with a die. By the time you have completed your batch, the cost to you is almost the $16 you were charged by that major manufacturer. They probably didn't make anything on that sale even if they ran a large batch of screws through the shop.

Trust me on this, you were not screwed on the screws.

One more thing, stainless steel screws will fail LONG before a high carbon steel one. It's just the nature of the material.

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Steadicam/Camera Operator
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#3 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 11:35 PM

Gents--

Before you go and get the low head allen cap screw in 3/8-16 size, which incidently is only available in a 1/2" length, keep in mind that the thread depth on most film cameras is LESS than 1/2" and will bottom out inside the threaded insert in the camera body.


Thanks Brant, your point and previous experience is appreciated and well taken. If you've gone through the trouble and time to cut and size your own screws then you've obviously spent more time than I have thinking about their high price and the alternatives.

Rather than risk someone reading my post and damaging a camera with a screw that is too long, it might be best that the moderators delete my post altogether.

Thanks!

Robert Starling
Las Vegas
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#4 Erwin Landau

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 04:09 AM

Hi Robert,

It was with good intention... every couple of months someone tries to reinvent the wheel. I won't delete this post, it's very educational and it will warn future operators. I used to buy my camera screws from GPI. Since I changed to the XCS plate, I use Greg's slotted ones as they have to be able to move in the slots of the camera plate. My memory was $12.- a screw, but that was a while back...

Also the thought of a quarter million bucks in Camera, being held in place by 80 cents in screws, scares the crap out of me...


Erwin"No problem to spend some money on his equipment... even on a carbon fiber cart?"Landau
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