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Modify a Cheap Macro Rail?

 
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 731
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: Modify a Cheap Macro Rail? Reply with quote

I've got a cheap Chinese macro rail that I'd like to modify with a vernier dial.

Does anybody know how to take the adjustment knob off?

It looks like it should pry off, but I don't want to break something I can't afford to replace.
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 765
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you post a photo or link to a description of the rail? Many rails are made in China.

Keith
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 731
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugEZ wrote:
Can you post a photo or link to a description of the rail? Many rails are made in China.

Keith

Sorry, I missed this until just now, getting ready for a job interview.

I'll try to post a picture of the actual item today.

In the meantime, here's a picture of a completely identical rail from Amazon:

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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 765
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't own one, but prying would my best guess if there is no set screw at the base of the knob.

K
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 731
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugEZ wrote:
I don't own one, but prying would my best guess if there is no set screw at the base of the knob.

K

Here's the real item:

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Grahame



Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 60
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that a pin in the center of the narrow collar in the bottom pic.
If so it should tap out with a small punch or fine nail etc.
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 765
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A web search on "remove knob from macro rail" produces much interesting advice. Worth a try!

K
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 731
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grahame wrote:
Is that a pin in the center of the narrow collar in the bottom pic.
If so it should tap out with a small punch or fine nail etc.

I didn't notice that at first. I'll have to take a look.

I just wanted to take the plastic knob off so that I could glue the dial to the side of the body around the nut, and put the knob back on.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 731
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugEZ wrote:
A web search on "remove knob from macro rail" produces much interesting advice. Worth a try!

K

I actually looked for that, not necessarily with exactly that verbiage. Long experience has shown me that a trivial change in terms can RADICALLY change search results. I'll give it a try.

Thanks.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 731
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used a piece of modeling clay to fix a cut off paperclip to the frame so that I'd have something to measure against the marked scale.

Manual stack of 33.

Canon T4i
Tokina 100mm macro on full set of ProMaster extension tubes
AV
f/8
ISO 100
300w equivalent CFLs

Still, a dial would be easier.
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1372

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you haven't been able to remove the knob, then try this:

Make the dial in two layers. Split each layer in half and fit around the knob. Fasten the layers together with some small screws.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 731
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

elf wrote:
If you haven't been able to remove the knob, then try this:

Make the dial in two layers. Split each layer in half and fit around the knob. Fasten the layers together with some small screws.

What I had considered is printing the dial markings on card stock, gluing them to a sheet aluminum (or brass) disk. I would then cut the composite disk so that it could be twisted and fit over the shaft and glued in place.

So far, the paper clip has been an acceptable stopgap, but I do intend to come up with a better, solution.
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