Frozen FOOMI

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by mukul_dube, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. My small Leitz ball head, which is named FOOMI or 14105, is jammed. Nothing moves. It has not been used for a couple of years and has sat on the dining table all along. Attached is a photo (found on the Net) which shows a unit identical to the one I have. Any ideas on getting it free? All I can think of is acetone.

    Foomi 14105.JPG
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    These are all metal - WD 40 or another penetrating oil should do the trick. Gentle tapping will help move the liquid into the joint. I have a similar, but I suspect newer version which lacks what appears to be a screw head opposite the locking handle - you might try (gently) to remove that if possible to get more lubricant / solvent in. Great little heads - good luck with it!
  3. SCL


    Before acetone I'd try in the following order: propyl alcohol, lighter fluid (naptha). If neither work I'd try acetone and if that doesn't work I'd try WD40. One of the above should do the job.
  4. Yep, agree with all the preceding advice. If all else fails (and I've done this a couple of times), just take it your local GP and have them hit it with some nitrogen. They have supplies (at least here, and yours should) for 'burning off' keratoses, early stage BCC's, blah, blah. If you've been in the sun, you know the routine. It's worked for me with frozen battery covers, locked screws, etc. Or you can get some liquid nitrogen from a motor parts supplier. It's an idea - as said, if all else fails, try it. By the way, all else said, it's an elegant piece. Arthur (apiarist1)
  5. SCL


    Arthur reminded me of another idea I've periodically tried...using an electric hair dryer aiming the heat to expand the exterior of pieces joined together...soetimes it works, sometimes not.
  6. Personally I think that I would avoid using WD40. It is not really a lubricant and can leave a sticky mess. Get some real "penetrating oil" and use it sparingly. A few drops and let it sit overnight. I have used it successfully on several old tripods that were stuck.
  7. Thank you, all. I shall try those which I can try. I do not know if WD40 is to be had in India. I have no hair dryer. The biggest problem is that I can no longer go about to look for things like liquid nitrogen. Sandy, I did remove the screw on the other side from the locking control; but I couldn't see where it led.
  8. SCL


    Instead of a hair dryer you could use a lens and solar power....just be careful as it can get hot very fast.
  9. I just cringe when I hear WD-40 or any rust inhibitor/cleaner witches' brew being suggested.

    However, since FOOM was brought up, some may be interested in the old telegraph codes (Bestellwörter) used by Leitz:

    Bestellwörter – Leica Wiki (deutsch)

    My personal favorite is NOOKY, of which I have several.
  10. I found that WD-40 is now made in India, presumably under licence. This means that I have something in addition to acetone.
  11. Some greases turn into near epoxy over the years. Heat will free them and not much else.
  12. The ball and socket may have galled together. Try placing it in a freezer for 24 hours, then take it out and carefully pour boiling water on just the socket. Wearing gloves you may be able to get it to release. I can't recommend WD 40, but there is a solvent used by the aircraft industry called "Kroil" that is a superior penetrating solvent used to take apart frozen components. It takes time with soaking and vibrations, but it does work. Smithsonian NASM uses it for restoration projects.
    robert_bowring likes this.
  13. Thank you, Conrad and Christopher. I should be able to get someone to do the heating. If that does not work, I can manage the freezing and the boiling water. I shall search for Kroil but in all probability shall not find it in my country.
  14. I don't know about international shipping but I just did a google search for kroil oil and two US sporting goods mail order stores sell it for gun cleaning. They are Midway and Brownells. Other firms also list it.
  15. Thank you. I shall keep that as my last alternative.
  16. mukul_dube, as an aside, where in India are you? What's the weather like there? Good luck with your efforts on the FOOMI. My partner and I have been to India (now three times; the second time was disastrous, with my rescue by the Ram Mohan Lohia Memorial Hospital in Dehli a Godsend). Good luck with the repair. Look forward to photos of its use. Regards, Arthur (apiarist1)
  17. Arthur, I have been in Delhi since I came here in 1970 to earn a master's degree.
  18. Thank you mukul_dube. I intrude. I suspect, though could be disabused, that you have a story to tell, and of course, like many stories, they may not be told. Masters?. What was your area? I will look forward to your photos. I've attended to your posts. Impressed. My spouse, and I, and her 45 year old disabled son (he has a significant cognitive disability) go to Canberra in the next week for my graduation 'ceremony'. LOL, a post grad degree in theology. I have asked people to refer to me as 'your eminence', knowing that it taints, implicates, me in the tragic story of church abuse. There you go. Keep safe. As a throwaway, an image, which I'm sure I've posted before, a real person, where I live. Again, keep safe. Hail an well met, mukul_dube


Share This Page