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Does anyone know where to buy "safety stop screws" used for Arca plates?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by ohaya, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Mar 1, 2016
    USA
    Hi,

    I was wondering if anyone knows where I can purchase some of the "safety stop screws" that are used at the end of Arca plates to prevent the plate from accidentally sliding out of the Arca clamp?

    What I'm talking about is I think the "M3 x 6mm Socket Head Cap Screw" that is mentioned in this PDF:

    https://www.tripodhead.com/products/instructions-ap-609.pdf

    I can find "M3 x 6mm" socket head cap screws on Ebay, e.g.:

    M3 x 6mm (0.5mm), Socket Head Cap Screw Bolt, A2 18-8 Stainless Steel | eBay

    but those look a little different from the ones that I took off of some separate Arca plates.

    The ones on Ebay have lines around the head and also, it looks like the head may not be as "thick" as the ones on the Arca plates that I have (i'm assuming the 0.50 means the heads are 0.50mm thick).

    I am located in the U.S. so am looking for somewhere in the U.S.

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Legend

    Mar 21, 2014
    0.5mm is the thread pitch, whereas M3 is the thread diameter. 6mm is the length. M3x0.5mm is a standard thread size, so don't worry about that.

    Cosmetics aside, I don't see any reason why those eBay screws shouldn't work. Those lines, called knurles, are just to give a bit of grip so that you can more easily thread the screw in the hole until it's finger tight.
     
  3. ToxicTabasco

    ToxicTabasco Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 2, 2018
    South West USA
    Depends where you live, there are specialty hardware stores that are know by the automotive and industrial workers. Those specialty hardware stores sell all the unique and hard to find stuff that's not available at the common hardware store. To find the one near you, call your local foreign automotive repair shop, talk to the parts department, or one of the mechanics, and they could fill you in on where to go.

    I had the same problem finding unique metric parts for my musical instruments. All the music stores and online music supply dealers didn't have the part. A automotive mechanic that works on BMWs told me of a place where the specialize.

    Perhaps there's a specialty hardware store in your area.
     
  4. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Mar 1, 2016
    USA
    Thanks! I just could NOT remember that they were called "knurls"/knurling :) !!

    I guess I am worried that if the head is not thick/deep enough, the head won't "catch" in the event the plate slides out.

    I will try to buy a set (usually look like 10) later tonight and report back unless someone posts that otherwise.

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  5. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Mar 1, 2016
    USA

    Yeah, I was surprised that it wasn't a common/easily found thing. I was able to use a pair from a spare Arca plate, but I guess I am a bit weird... I hate having that other plate with the screws missing :( !!
     
  6. masayoshi

    masayoshi Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    807
    Dec 5, 2016
    Salt Lake City
    Masaaki
    How many do you need? I bought 3 or 4 from RRS directly. I know it's expensive for what it is, but $2 for 4 is cheap enough. Probably shipping will be more expensive if you buy online anyway.
    HCh188SsM3F5 M3-0.5 x 5; safety stop screw

    Otherwise, I just go to Ace hardware for this kind of stuff.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  7. Stringer

    Stringer Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Apr 17, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Try Fastenal they have them should be place need you

    M3-0.5 x 6mm ISO 4762/DIN 912 Hex Drive A4-70 Stainless Steel Socket Cap Screw | Fastenal
     
  8. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Most big US hardware stores (real hardware stores, that is) have a large section of compartmented cardboard or plastic boxes that have all kinds of oddball bits, like grommets, cup washers, stainless and brass hardware, etc. and will also have boxes with metric hardware. As was said, M3 x 0.5 is a standard thread. You can probably find them in both black and stainless. At the hardware store you can check the fits that you are worried about. No need to buy a bag of 100 on eBay and guess about the fit.

    916yThxhBAL.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    It may be that the threaded section of the screws you find will be too long. (longer than 6mm) Just use a fine-toothed hacksaw blade to cut off what you don't need and clean up the threads with a small triangular file. If you don't want the knurling for some reason, thread a couple of nuts onto the screw and chuck the nuts into a drill motor. Spin the screw and use a small flat file to cut the head diameter to below the knurl marks or at least smooth them down.
     
  9. Mike Wingate

    Mike Wingate Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 21, 2017
    Altrincham
    Mike Wingate
    Rather than refile the threads. Screw on a matching nut, cut off surplus, file and smooth. Then by unscrewing the nut, that will clean up the thread.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Mar 1, 2016
    USA
    Well, the ones I ordered from Ebay finally arrived after taking like 5 days go to the last 5 miles (I am not kidding). They fit the Arca plates ok, BUT, they are too long. I guess I am going to have to cut them as suggested (I don't have any matching nuts).
     
  11. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Mar 1, 2016
    USA
    I tried reducing the lengths using a dremel, but they wouldn't thread into the holes on the plate, so I am giving up on that for now.

    Also, I think the thickness of the heads from the Ebay ones is slightly thinner then the ones that come with the Arca plates, so I think they wouldn't be as secure as the Arca ones.

    Meanwhile, I found a place that supposedly has the 4mm ones and at least from the drawings, no knurling. The problem is they only come in 50 packs, but the packs are cheap (<$3 + shipping about $4) so I ordered a pack. I will post back after I get them.
     
  12. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
  13. Mack

    Mack Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Jan 14, 2018
    Some hobby shops stock them, e.g. RC stuff and nitro-gas engines made in Japan. The owner may have a jar full of them from sundry junk stuff too where I've dug through the mess looking for something.
     
  14. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Mar 1, 2016
    USA
    The ones that I got (which are too long) are M3-0.50 x 6mm.
     
  15. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    A good quality set of combination wire strippers/bolt cutters is worth having in your arsenal. Spend the money for Proto, Channellock, Irwin or similar. There are NC/NF and metric versions available.
     
  16. Mike Wingate

    Mike Wingate Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 21, 2017
    Altrincham
    Mike Wingate
    Read my method of shortening threaded bolts.
     
  17. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    They also have them in 3, 4, & 5mm lengths.
     
  18. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    On a couple of the Arca Swis plates I have the heads are also thin. What the makers have done is loctite the screws in with the heads not screwed all the way down.

    Just as a side note I find it not worth the effort to cut down small screws unless you really have to. I have a fine pedistol grinder but holding the small screws is hard even with vise grips. I grind the cutting burs off with the end of the screw pointing down so any burr caused by the grinder will be pointing towards the end of the screw not the screw threads and that makes it easier to polish off with a needle file.
     
  19. MetilHed

    MetilHed Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    159
    Aug 30, 2015
    Jeff
    Put the proper sized Allen wrench in the head of the screw, hold it, and keep pressure on the screw with the other hand. Easy to control and rotate.
     
  20. Try using a cordless drill to hold the screw, also makes it easy to be rotated. Wear your safety glasses of course.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 1
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