To help walk you through the process, cinematographer Tom Antos has created and shared this little seven-minute tutorial video. In the video, Antos shows how a $25 kit, available for purchase on Amazon, can be used to get your gear back up and running in a matter of minutes.
First and foremost, you need to figure out how to remove the damaged thread. If the thread comes out clean with a pair of pliers, the solution is as simple as using the included tools to screw into place a new set of threads, which essentially amounts to a heavy duty spring coil. Once the new threads are set into place, you use an included tap to remove the bottom piece and you’re ready to roll.
If you are unable to remove the old thread, or are attempting to add a tripod mount to something that doesn’t currently have one, you will need to use the included drill bit to drill another hole.
Once that hole is drilled, you use the included bit to essentially carve out a new set of threads to place the new spring coil into. This part can be a little tricky, so remember to go slow and let the shavings fall out of the way as you’re setting the initial threads. Once those threads are good to go, follow the same steps as above to get your gear back in action.
It might not be for everyone, but if hand tools and elbow grease aren’t something you’re afraid of, this little DIY fix could save you hundreds of dollars. Thread replacement kits come in all shapes and sizes, so you should be covered whether it’s a standard 1/4-20 tripod thread or a more obscure 3/8-24 thread.