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I have 'inherited' a Bilora tripod that's about 30-40 years old, at a guess. It's in decent nick but some of the head motion feels a bit 'sticky'.

Is it possible to 'service' tripods, or should I just consign it to the recycling?

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The key question is, I think: Is the stickiness caused by dirt/grime or corrosion/breakage? In either case, I believe the answer is yes, it can be serviced, but in the former you just need disassembly and cleaning while the latter may require replacement parts, which are perhaps tricky to find (but check eBay).

If it's just the head that's not working, you can probably replace that part and keep the legs.

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    I guess it's just dirt and grime. I'm concerned there are bits that may need lubricating, and others (friction brakes, leg clamps) that absolutely must NOT be? – Roddy Aug 25 '10 at 12:43
  • Hmm, that I don't know. Certainly friction things should not be lubed (I learned this the hard way). I would be surprised if anything on a tripod needs lube, but I'm not terribly confident. You could keep a sample of the grime and have someone run it through a mass spectrometer to see if there are hydrocarbons in it. :) – Reid Aug 25 '10 at 19:39

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