Intro: Fixing a Velbon VGB-36 Tripod Grip Leg
I have a nice Velbon VGB-36 tripod for a long time already. It's a very well designed and affordable tripod for most uses if you are a casual or first days professional on photography or video. It has many adjustments and ways to put your camera and stands very well on many surfaces.
However it's not perfect nor standing well when it receive hits at some parts like adjusting grips at its legs. So that's what happen to one. It resulted broken and then it was not possible for that leg to stands fine when shooting.
I contacted with Velbon and some resellers but all say this tripod is too old and they don't have spare parts, oh!
I also searched in Internet for another case similar to my case, and so far I found this good solution: "reparing plastic parts". It looks a very good way to solve it, but it implies some more spare parts and melting the plastic with the cable at high current rates. It also implies more time and modifications. I wanted to try other fixing ways before and check if they work...
So I started to think different on ways to solve this issue, and I had these ones:
- disassemble this part, measure, design on 3D and order a new piece on 3D printed ABS plastic.
- disassemble this part, measure, create a mold and create a new piece on resin.
- create a new piece on wood or other material.
As you can imagine all of them look perfect but they requires loads of time, money or both of them. So I thought another way to solve it. Soon I realized that it's possible to fix it with cable zip plastic ties. And it worked!
Step 1: Fitting Main Zip Ties
First I had to put two zips around the pressing parts of the grip axis, in order to keep them at their position I had to use some of sticky tape.
Step 2: Fixing Tip Ties With More Zip Ties
Then I had to put other zip ties fixing the first ones perpendicular, and some more to adjust the main ones at the right place.
Step 3: Fitting All Zip Ties and Finishing the Fix
Finally I put some more zip ties more at the broken place, in order to resist the pressure when the grip is working.
Maybe there are too many zip ties around the grip, but it works again. It's not perfect, but it's strong enough again to keep my camera and lens.
Some improvements can be fixing the whole plastic ties group with glue or even melting them so they become a set.