Keeping it clean
It is really important to clean your Feisol Carbon Fiber Shooting Tripod because Long range precision shooters are a lot rougher on their tripods than photographers. It could be the mentality, or just that most of the carbon fiber shooting tripods are being used in true field conditions all the time, and not in a photography studio. Regardless of the reason, it means more wear and tear on the tripod, and consequently it means maintenance.
Think about it like a gun, you have field stripping, and then you have bench cleaning. To field strip your Feisol Carbon Fiber shooting tripod, you simply wipe down the exposed surfaces of the legs (with them all extended with a silicon cloth). You just want to pick up any dust, sand or grit and take it off the surfaces, without leaving a residue to attract more grit.
For a bench cleaning, you need to do a bit more. Allocate 1-2 hours for your first time, and I would recommend this procedure after any super excessively dirty match. Think lots of blowing sand and grit etc.
First, we are going to disassemble everything. I would suggest taking the head off, and just dealing with the tripod.
Twist the twist locks to loosen the locks until they spin off. Then remove the leg section from the tripod.
Here are some close up pictures of what your tripod might look like if you have been shooting with it in extremely dusty conditions.
Then I would take all the bushings and twist locks off the legs
You can remove the upper leg from the tripod if you really want to clean out the pivot area.
The leg angle lock (pivot area) is constructed from a housed pin, spring lever and ball bearing detent. Don’t lose these parts, and notice they are greased. Having the bearing greased makes it much more easy to put back into place, since it sits on top of a small depression, and needs to be put under spring tension when reassembling.
Here are our main cleaning tools, 12 Gauge shotgun bore snake, Silicon Rod and Gun cloth, regular shop towels and a nylon or plastic rod.
Take all the small parts (leg bushings and the twist locks) and dump them in some warm soapy water.
You will need to do a really good job here of cleaning the bushings. They are a softer plastic and will get sand embedded in them which will cause continued scratching on the tripod legs if you don’t. It will be obvious if there is grit on them, just get it all off with scrubbing, maybe use a scotch bright sponge if needed.
When they are done, they will look like this
Next, take the leg sections and run our bore snake through the inside. It won’t fit perfectly, but you can used it with a long swiping motion to clean the interior of the leg sections. Use the rod to cram it down inside the upper leg sections which are capped on the pivot end, then twist it to get it so move around and hopefully pick up any dirt, grit inside the upper leg.
A compressor with a lot of high pressure air also works well to blow out the upper leg.
Finally, wipe down the outside of each of the leg sections with the Silicon cloth. This will get rid of a lot of the cosmetic surface scratches. This is also a perfect time to inspect each leg section for any cracks, or damage caused by major impacts.
Here are some before and after shots of clean vs dirty legs
Dirty in the middle, clean legs on both sides
First you will need to lay out all the small parts in the correct order for assembly, as the bushings have a particular order that should be used.
Here is a better shot showing the differences in the bushings
You can see how some bushings have a bevel on the inside, while others are on the outside. The above pictures show the correct order to use with the bushings. The correct order is outside, inside, outside, inside, then finally outside again (5 bushings).
You will of course need to first put the twist lock on the leg, before putting on the bushings, and the one leg that needs it gets the snap lock that snaps into the two holes in the top of the leg.
This is what the assembled leg looks like, the alignment is also very important for this particular leg, as the slots in the C-Shaped retainer piece and the bushings need to all align and will allow a protrusion on the inside of the upper leg to slide through. This is what stops the leg from rotating when you twist the twist lock.
NOTE* Please add a small amount of Marine grease to the thread when assembling the twist locks, then spin them onto the leg.
And finally some pictures of the assembled tripod after cleaning