So, sometimes the fates don’t smile on you. Today, I discovered that while hiking around town with my tripod last week one of the knobs, specifically the one that handles horizontal panning, had worked itself off and was/is somewhere around Mérida. Knowing the odds of locating it are slim to none I decided it was easiest to just plan on replacing it. This proved to be the case, but certainly not the easiest thing to do.
Fortunately, one of the other knobs on the tripod was the same thread pattern and (apparent) length. In other words, I was able to switch the knob I had to the location where I had no knob. Anyhow, the first place I thought I could get a knob was the music store up the street. They sell lots of stands and such that all have little adjustment things…surely they’ll have something that will work. Nope. One, they didn’t sell replacement knobs/screws for any of their stuff (a curious oversight if you ask me, but maybe musicians are less prone to losing doodads than I am). Two, all of the screws were much larger than the fine machine screw threading on my little knob.
The next stop was the camera repair shop. I know, should have been my first stop right? Well, I’d been there a week or so ago and knew he had a very small inventory and that the likelihood he would have anything was pretty slim. Extremely nice and very helpful but it’s one of those tiny shops that are practically closet sized. He looked but as I had suspected didn’t have anything. What he did have, was knowledge. He knew of a shop that sold nothing but screws, bolts, nuts and washers! Now, this was awesome and quite the lead. He drew me a map when I was having a bit of a hard time knowing where he was talking about. The pronunciation of some street names leave me baffled. I think part of this is because I don’t know a lot of the “named” streets, so I’m not familiar enough to be able to puzzle it out. Did I mention this guy speaks english? Thankfully! Anyhow, he drew me a map. After a “short” stop at home, I was on my way again with a handful of other errands to complete.
I made it to the screw store and after waiting a few minutes for my turn managed to convey to the guy that I wanted a screw that was threaded like this, but probably a bit longer so I can make a knob. I thank the stars that he was patient with me and that my pantomiming skills are amazing…since my Spanish is decidedly not amazing. He came back with a screw that was probably longer than I needed but I thought would work. Then, I decided I should get 2…just in case.
I finished up my other errands, primarily grocery shopping since we were out of salsa ingredients and headed home…and immediately began cooking dinner. After dinner was finished I finally had time to figure out how to turn my new screw into a knob for the less used adjustment (I moved the knob I hadn’t lost to the horizontal pan control…since I use that a lot). I’m not sure what this particular adjustment does…I can’t figure it out and hardly use it so that’s where the replacement will go.
Initially I had thought to use air dry clay to fashion a new knob but I was worried it would take too long to dry and I would like to have immediate use of my tripod, since I have places to go and things to shoot. I was able to think of a half dozen things I have at home in Washington that I would be able to use to fashion a knob…but they’re not here. Then, it hit me. We’ve been saving the caps off the Cholula (hot sauce) because the little wooden caps are cute and we think there’s craft potential there. It’s knob sized and with a little hot glue (okay a lot of hot glue) it should work until I can fashion something more permanent.
A few minutes later and I had a new knob that is at least functional, although not the prettiest bit in the world.
Ta da! A regular Tim Gunn, make it work moment for photography!