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04-05-2021, 09:36 AM   #1
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Any ink marker safe to use on CF tripod legs?

Fully extended the Feisol CT3342 tripod is a little tall for me. Would like to mark each tripod leg so they can be extended to the same length. One mark per leg will do. Is there any permanent ink marker that is safe to use on carbon fiber?

Thanks,
barondla

04-05-2021, 09:58 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I donít know what would be unsafe. Also most will be hard to see. Maybe paint or a paint marker? Or use very thin modelers tape?
04-05-2021, 10:01 AM - 1 Like   #3
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This may help
04-05-2021, 10:04 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I stole borrowed a paint marker from my wife to mark mine. The marks have been on for 4 years now and are starting to fade. Might be time to renew them.

The marker says:ZIG Memory systems, Opaque Writer, MS-20 by Kuretake Co, Japan. I think the important part is that it is an acid free, archival paint marker designed for marking fine art where any acid would over time cause issues on the print. I think any acid free marker would be fine. I'm not even sure if the acid free part matters to carbon fiber, but its worked well for me.

04-05-2021, 12:52 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Fully extended the Feisol CT3342 tripod is a little tall for me. Would like to mark each tripod leg so they can be extended to the same length. One mark per leg will do. Is there any permanent ink marker that is safe to use on carbon fiber?
I use a silver Sharpie, but I only shorten the lower/thinner section of each leg. It's more stable that way. Sharpie is easy to remove with alcohol.
04-05-2021, 03:29 PM - 1 Like   #6
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As @rogerstg suggests, only the lowest section need be shortened. What I did with on my Manfrotto was to carefully undo the clamp for the relevant section, having measured the amount by which I wished to truncate it, then put a single layer of electrician's tape around the leg portion so that it would still slide within the next section, yet was prevented from extending too far when the tape met the inside of the clamp (if you try this, do not over-tighten the clamp). That way, I can extend the legs without having to check for marks to tell me when to stop, as each leg automatically stops at the correct place. A little trial and error may be needed for a perfect result. This method also provides a certain amount of sealing against liquid ingress.
04-05-2021, 05:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
put a single layer of electrician's tape around the leg portion so that it would still slide within the next section, yet was prevented from extending too far when the tape met the inside of the clamp
Clever, but the downside is that you're out of luck when shooting where the land slopes downward and need a leg to be "extra" long.
04-05-2021, 06:11 PM   #8
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I use a black Sharpie on my Feisol. It fades away after a while, 6 months or so of steady use.

04-05-2021, 06:21 PM   #9
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04-05-2021, 08:56 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I don’t know what would be unsafe.
Some pens can contain solvents such as Xylene* that can adversely affect the resin that hold the carbon fibers together. Although the resin is formulated to be as inert as possible each manufacturer uses slightly different formulations and additives for Ultraviolet resistance, these variations make using solvent based markers a bit of a minefield. Using tape is by far the safest solution. I use paper medical tape, as it can be written on and is easy to cleanly remove without leaving residue.

* Xylene smells overpoweringly of overripe bananas to me, I get headaches working with the stuff in the lab.

Last edited by Digitalis; 04-06-2021 at 01:05 AM.
04-05-2021, 09:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Some pens can contain solvents such as Xylene* that can adversely affect the resin that hold the carbon fibers together. Although the resin is formulated to be as inert as possible each manufacturer uses slightly different formulations and additives for Ultraviolet resistance, these variations make using solvent based markers a bit of a minefield. Using tape is by far the safest solution. I use paper medical tape, as it can be written on and is easy to cleanly remove without leaving residue when.

* Xylene smells overpoweringly of overripe bananas to me, I get headaches working with the stuff in the lab.
I use both carbon fiber and fiberglass in rocketry but Iíve never encountered this info before - thank you.
04-06-2021, 09:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rogerstg Quote
Clever, but the downside is that you're out of luck when shooting where the land slopes downward and need a leg to be "extra" long.
Agreed, but is this a regular or frequent occurrence ? Surely shortening the other two by an inch or two would have the same effect (depending on the degree of slope, obviously) ?
04-06-2021, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
Agreed, but is this a regular or frequent occurrence ? Surely shortening the other two by an inch or two would have the same effect (depending on the degree of slope, obviously) ?
An inch or two? Things must be pretty flat in your part of the world.
I've had the leg extended 12 inches past the mark from time to time. Roadway edges can be a bigger issue with drop off. It's nice to be able to stand straight up when shooting.
04-06-2021, 02:19 PM   #14
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I've used a black marker on both my Carbon fibre tripods for exactly this over the last 10years. I didn't notice any issues.

I normally do purchase Artline brand markers, and I must admit, I had not noticed until today they have a sign on them that says "Xylene Free" , so there you go.
04-06-2021, 03:17 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rogerstg Quote
An inch or two? Things must be pretty flat in your part of the world.
I've had the leg extended 12 inches past the mark from time to time. Roadway edges can be a bigger issue with drop off. It's nice to be able to stand straight up when shooting.
Yes, indeed - Norfolk, UK is extremely flat for the most part (ask Noel Coward), and alongside 90% of our roads we have hedges, which we have to peer through or over. Stick a tripod leg out there, and some motorised tulip will run over it.
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