Steadicam Merlin Vest - Missing Bolt top chest at
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Old November 13th, 2012, 06:54 AM   #1
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Location: Sydney Australia
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Steadicam Merlin Vest - Missing Bolt top chest

Guess either I'm too fat for the vest, or I just work it too hard...
Has anyone else's vest's top bolts on the front chest piece fallen off?
I've lost 2 already.
Measuring the remaining bolt, it looks to be a 3mm x 8mm hex bolt.
Can anyone confirm this? Been looking all across the internet and this forum for an answer for the past hour...

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Old November 13th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Re: Steadicam Merlin Vest - Missing Bolt top chest

Nope - not a metric bolt. Everything on a Steadicam rig will be SAE (Imperial), since they're made in the US. I believe that bolt could be a 6-32, which would measure out to 3.50mm in diameter, if you've got a pair of calipers handy. Or, if you've got a set of SAE allen wrenches, it should be a 5/64th inch wrench. 8mm would be 3/8" long.

If you call Steadicam (or a local dealer), I'd wager they can put a bag of them in the mail to you, especially if you're still under warranty. Otherwise, you can order them online in many a place, if your local stores don't carry them - I just found a box of 100 of them for a little over $10 at my usual hardware place.

Those bolts really shouldn't be coming loose, and you do risk damage if they do, especially since the top of the vest is plastic. In my 4 or so years of owning and operating with that same vest, I never had them come loose. However, I make it a habit of checking all important bolts (especially those holding the socket block) whenever I do maintenance of the rig. You might also want to get some Loctite or similar non-permenant threadlocker to hold the bolts in, once you've got them replaced.
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