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Eric S. Filsonfilmmaker & cinematographer
DIY Jony Jib Grommet Repair
Sat, Sep 22 2012 06:12
| Jony Jib
As with any equipment, there are times when you need to make repairs. I own a Jony Jib Pro and one of the most common problems I have encountered is the plastic grommets that protect and provide spacing for the pass through assembly bolts tend to pop out. The factory adhesive for these grommets on my unit seems to be pretty weak. I've tried several methods of gluing these grommets back on with varying degrees of success.
I'd like to provide a brief DIY tutorial on the best method for repairing these that I've found.
1. WorkspaceFind a flat area on which you can work. I am using a work table that I made out of a discarded pair of folding table legs and a closet door. Choose an area suitable for metal/plastic dust and possible glue drips – your kitchen counter probably isn't the best place for this repair.
2. Hole Surface Prep Part 1Use a Dremel or other rotary tool with a small medium grit sanding drum to remove the black powder coating around the grommet hole as well as inside the hole. Be careful to only remove the powder coating underneath where the grommet will sit. You don't want to see bare metal when you glue the grommet back onto the jib section. You could do this with sandpaper, but the rotary tool makes it much easier to get a clean surface for which epoxy to adhere.
When you are finished sanding the hole should look something like what is pictured above. Most of the time you can see the outline of the old glue to use as a guide when sanding down to the metal. I had over 10 grommets to fix on various jib sections and I sanded all the holes before moving to the next step.
3. Hole Surface Prep Part 2Use isopropyl alcohol and some paper towels to further clean the metal shavings and any other residue from around the holes.
Isopropyl alcohol works wonderfully because it evaporates leaving clean surface for which the epoxy to strongly bond. After cleaning your hole should look something like what is pictured above.
4. Grommet Surface Prep Part 1If you haven't lost any of the grommets that fell out and still have the originals, they may look like the one pictured on the left. Or you might have some new grommets like the one pictured on the right. John Huffman at Jony Jib has been very helpful in providing me with spare and replacement parts for my jib. Either way, the grommets will still need surface preparation just like the holes we just completed.
Use the same methods as were used for the hole surface preparation. Make sure to move your clean jib sections away from your work area so you won't get plastic dust all over what you just cleaned, or just wait to clean everything at once. Use the same rotary tool and small medium grit sanding drum to "rough up" the plastic surface.
Be sure to sand the flat underside of the grommet as well as the inside edge. You want the strongest possible bond.
Once finished your grommet should look like what is pictured above. Observe how the surface is roughened up.
5. Grommet Surface Prep Part 2Clean all grommets with isopropyl alcohol same as the jib section holes. Pay attention to cleaning all surfaces.
6. GlueI chose to use epoxy because of its superior bonding power. There are many different types of epoxy however, I chose to use a clear, quick setting, flexible epoxy.
I had tried different types of glue in the past, but I have found that the flexible type works best for this application.
Use a piece of cardboard to protect your table and use as a mixing surface for the epoxy. Follow the directions for mixing that came with the epoxy.
I used toothpicks to apply the epoxy to a grommet. I found that placing the grommet on my little finger was the easiest way to keep my hands out of the glue and to place the grommet in the hole on the jib section. Work with only one grommet at a time. Make sure to apply the epoxy evenly as possible to all plastic surfaces that come in contact with the metal on the jib section.
It is important to apply just the right amount of epoxy to the grommet so that when the grommet is placed in the hole the epoxy "squishes out" just a little, but not too much.
7. Finishing & CleaningAfter the grommet is set you may want to wait a minuet or two until the epoxy is starting to set – sometimes it makes cleaning easier.
Use a paper towel and isopropyl alcohol to smooth the "squished out" epoxy and clean the surrounding area for a nice finish. Use clean paper towels and be careful not to smear the epoxy over the surrounding area of the jib section.
If you have quick setting epoxy you will need to work quickly and only mix small amounts of epoxy that can be used before hardening.
The final result should look something like what is pictured above. To date I have not had any of my grommets that were fixed using this method fall out.
As always you are responsible for your actions, equipment, and the care thereof. I hope this was helpful to all you Jonny Jib owners. Please leave a comment if this was helpful!