Has anyone ever used Never Seez (anti-seize lubricant) on a tripod head joint?

Holoholo55

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I have a ballhead that I screwed hand tight onto a tripod that now doesn't want to come off. Even if I tighten the panorama lock all the way, it won't budge. I'll probably have to use some rubber grip pad and a water pump pliers to unscrew it. I want it to be able to come off when I need to remove it for packing up in carry-on luggage. Has anyone tried using Never Seez (Loctite or similar) on the tripod screw threads to keep stuff from getting stuck? Jus' wondering if anyone has before I try it myself.

Thanks in advance.
 

junkyardsparkle

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I haven't, although I've considered trying something. I'm just not sure if those kinds of treatments are the solution, since the cases I've seen aren't really due to corrosion. Maybe I'll play around with this some today... I've been meaning to try making a copper foil shim to go over the large surface area surrounding the 3/8" threads, since this seems to be where the binding happens... hopefully this will keep things firmly in place with less torque when tightening. Meanwhile, looking forward to whatever other insights people have... 🍿
 

ac12

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Check the tripod.
I think my Bogen/Manfrotto tripod have a set screw that comes up from the bottom to secure against the bottom of the head, to prevent the head from accidentally backing out.
 

Holoholo55

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Check the tripod.
I think my Bogen/Manfrotto tripod have a set screw that comes up from the bottom to secure against the bottom of the head, to prevent the head from accidentally backing out.
Yes, the Manfrotto has those set screws. My old Bogen did. My newer tripods don't have set screws. The ballhead is just stuck and since it and the tripod are new, it's not likely to be corrosion. Either I was too strong, or there's some binding somewhere. :)
 

junkyardsparkle

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Either I was too strong, or there's some binding somewhere. :)
I see the problem in my case as being that the nice hard-anodized surfaces on my most recent stuff have fairly low surface energy, which means that they tend to (very abruptly) un-grab during use unless you crank them down really hard. I'm hoping the copper shim might solve this... fabricating one right now...
 

Holoholo55

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Yes, the Manfrotto has those set screws. My old Bogen did. My newer tripods don't have set screws. The ballhead is just stuck and since it and the tripod are new, it's not likely to be corrosion. Either I was too strong, or there's some binding somewhere. :)
Update: I was able to use a silicone hot pad and a water pump pliers to crack loose the head without damaging anything. Whew, but there was no way I could have gotten it off by hand alone. I didn't see any signs of corrosion on the threads or anodized surfaces, so I dunno. Interaction between aluminum threads and steel screw? Maybe. I saw a shiny spot on part of the aluminum threads inside the head. I think I'll get some Never Seez for the threads.
 

Holoholo55

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I see the problem in my case as being that the nice hard-anodized surfaces on my most recent stuff have fairly low surface energy, which means that they tend to (very abruptly) un-grab during use unless you crank them down really hard. I'm hoping the copper shim might solve this... fabricating one right now...
Hope the copper shim works for you. Look out for electrolytic corrosion (unlike metals).
 

junkyardsparkle

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Interaction between aluminum threads and steel screw?
Yeah, I think this is where most of the "locking" is happening under these conditions... which I don't really love the idea of. Initial results with the copper shim are promising; the head seems to want to stay in place with just a moderate hand-tightening, and releases in a more "normal" gradual manner when unthreaded. I'll try to remember to update after some field use. :D

EDIT: I don't think there will be any electrolytic issues in this case, given the other materials involved (and the fact that I live in a dry climate), but my use case should allow for frequent inspection.
 
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Bushboy

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Any grease will do it.
Even a drop of oil off ya dipstick. That’s free.
 
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