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What do you pour into your gimbal?


Benjamin Treplin
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Alec,

I was searching the forum about gimbal service and stuck on yours and Will?s posts.

Time passes quickly.

So Will what do you pour into your gimbal?

What about leaving the gimbal bearings with out any lube? The bearings turn a amazingly long time when dry.

IMHO the forces inside the bearings don?t get close to there design specs. Cooling down is not needed. The parts don?t move very much except for switches and whip pans.

An advantage could be that sand or dust could fall off the bearing easily.

Thoughts, suggestions?

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Benjamin,

 

Greg told me that some have chosen to use his gimbal without lubrication. To each their own, but I should add that most of us are talking about VERY small amounts of lubricant here. I literally use one to two drops of the Arri high speed oil (this is the same lube George Paddock recommends as well). ACF-50 as wonderful as it is, is heavier. Will it ruin your gimbal? No, so you could try it. Again, to some degree it is preference.

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Quick question from a noob.

 

I have a recently purchased EFP. I was having problems with the losing horizon after a pan, and after getting some help, was shown how to adjust it.

 

My question is where can I get some good info on maintenance of gimbals? Hunting around on the interweb, there don't appear to be any good sources for preventative maintenance. or even an exploded diagram of a complete rig, so it can be stripped down and put back together.

 

So, back to my point, I have no idea how to take my gimble apart for maintenance, what's normal, and what to do if it isn't. Could anyone point me in the right direction?

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Imran,

you are standing right on top of it.

You should start with the Forum archives. It's in bits and pieces but I think it gives you a good overview about gimbal maintenance.

Hope this helps.

 

Alec, Peter, Jamie and Eric thanks for the input.

 

Best

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Gents--

 

I have serviced Steadicam® gimbals for about ten years now and have found that less lube goes further to protect and maintain than more does. I prefer the Arri lube, but in the smallest amount possible.

 

If you have trouble holding horizon with a CP-manufactured gimbal, we can help as this unit now needs to be shimmed to correct for bearing wear and manufacturing issues.

 

The cost for an overhaul and new better than stock replacement bearings is US$700. plus shipping. Ask anyone in the Steadicam community, our workmanship is well known and we stand behind it.

 

Drop me a line at firebrand@fmis.net if you have any questions.

 

Best,

 

Brant S. Fagan, SOC

Steadicam/Camera Operator

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Here in California I pour six quarts of Quaker 10-40 synthetic.

Ari :)

Here at Tiffen I try and use 90w hypoid. Even though the gimble might act like its rotating under water, just think of the really bad odor it will put out. Just kidding people. Ever since I use to work on racing motorcycles way back when there has always been a debate over which oil is the best and provides the least friction while providing proper lubricity. I know one thing that you should never run a bearing dry. Oil provides a protective film and keeps contaminants in suspension so they don't inbed themselves in the race which causes premature wear. I have found a viscosity anything 10w or below works well. Teflon or silicon have a wide temperature operating range which is good. Mitchell or Arri camera oil work really good also. I agree you should use it sparingly. Too much oil creates a dirt magnet. So to each his own.

Marty Joseph

Tiffen Co.

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Before you add any lubricant, you need to get rid of any contaminants first. Spray in some non residue contact cleaner and then work in a drop of fine viscosity machine oil, panavision oil has a VI similar to sewing machine oil. Many people do not know that the biggest threat to lubrication in any system (engines for example) is contamination, not breakdown in viscosity. Since heat is not a big factor, dirt is the big captured bearing killer. The Pro Gimbal disassembles easily and I inspect and clean mine after every outdoor shoot thoroughly. $$$$$$

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WD-40? *grin* Quiz: Anyone know what the WD stands for, WITHOUT looking it up on the Internet?

 

water displacing and it was formula #40

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Before you add any lubricant, you need to get rid of any contaminants first.  Spray in some non residue contact cleaner and then work in a drop of fine viscosity machine oil, panavision oil has a VI similar to sewing machine oil.  Many people do not know that the biggest threat to lubrication in any system (engines for example) is contamination, not breakdown in viscosity.  Since heat is not a big factor, dirt is the big captured bearing killer. 

 

I respectfully disagree with a bit of this, Bob. Do not spray in anything.

 

The only way to successfully clean out a gimbal, at least a real Steadicam Gimbal, is to remove it from the centerpost and dissemble it. Have canned air ready. Have a small container with denatured alcohol ready.

 

Soak the gimbal bearing races in the alcohol, until the orignal lube dissolves away. Agitate gently to facilitate same. Remove, blow off vigorously with canned air. Immediately replace into freshly cleaned out gimbal housing. A drop or two of the lube of your choice will finish off the job.

 

In my experience, blowing air into a closed area guarantees forcing particulate matter farther into the area. It may work with loose ball bearings, but not with captured bearing races. Blowing air into a fairly open work area ( a camera body and movement with lens removed, for example ) is a great way to clean it out. Crucial difference there, of course.

 

Peter Abraham

New York

 

p.s Unless you are the original owner, buy new bearing races when you buy a used rig. Usually an excellent investment and preventative measure, considering the cost of a set of bearing races compared to the cost of your used gimbal slogging down one day suddenly.

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