Being the owner of a van I sometimes get asked by friends to move things, the odd sofa, a few dining chairs, oil drilling rig etc etc!. I don't mind, after all if you can't ask a friend who can you ask? Besides over the years friends have done plenty of favors for me, so I'm just giving back a little.
One of my dear friends Jai asked me to move a few things for her a couple of weeks ago, part of this involved a trip to the local rubbish tip, although in practice we never actually needed to go there. In the rubbish she was throwing out was a theodolite tripod, one of those things used in surveying, a big solid tripod! Now being a canny photographer I thought this might come in useful. my first thought being maybe a lighting stand, or background support.
After scrounging it I remembered I had a spare tripod head laying around, I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to mate the two together and bingo! a photography tripod..... well not quite that simple I'm afraid.
You see to fit the tripod head to the base I needed the right size thread bolt, in this case a 3/8 th whitworth bolt about 2.5 inches long, and that proved to be the flaw in my otherwise brilliant plan, you see we went metric a while back and could I find a whitworth bolt? could I heck as like!
Thankfully another good friend Andrew came through for me, last night I came home to find the bolt from hell posted through my letterbox, a bit of work with a hacksaw to make a spacer plate for the tripod head out of polycarbonate, and job done.
Total cost, the bolt (I still owe Andrew for that) a cut finger, and a bloody shirt, all in all not badfor a really solid tripod. Thanks to both of you! Wayne