Back to the MOUNTS page

Special thanks to Steve (CaliberWest) from the board who provided the photos of the complete traversing dial assembly and for his help in sorting all this out. FYI - Steve has a great Web site at

Many of the 1928 (M35) tripods have frozen dials, leading to the belief by some that they have been glued in place. I cannot say for certain that none have been glued, but I have seen no evidence of this. Regardless, the dial can be freed, and if necessary, parts replaced.

The notch in the stop screw allows the stop to pass while preventing it from being withdrawn at the cutout. The small notch at the top the ring keeps the screw from interfering with ring movement.
Above is a complete traversing dial assembly with the scaled ring (blue arrow), traversing stops (green arrows), and stop screw (red arrow). The stop screw prevents the removal and loss of the traversing stops.

The head of the original screw is numbered to match the tripod.

An original screw.

Cutaway showing the relationship between the parts.
Note position of spring wire that hold dial in place.

The three components of the traversing dial: the ring, screw, and spring wire. The wire is 14 3/4" long by .03" thick.

First give the dial a liberal dose of WD40 and then using a brass rod or similar, tap against one of the four small knobs on the traversing dial until the dial begins to rotate. Continue to add oil and rotate the dial until it moves somewhat freely. It probably won't turn smoothly until you remove it and clean off the hardened grease.

If the screw is missing it's easy to remove the dial by prying up at the slot. If the screw is present, first move the stops to the rear, then rotate the dial so that one of the four little knobs is positioned at the slot. Grasp the knob with a small wire cutter and and pull straight up. The spring wire may pop out, and although it's thin and not under a lot of tension, it would be a good idea to wear eye protection.

These dimensions are very close, but it's good to check the
location of the cutouts by installing the screw and marking them.
If the screw is missing you can make one from a 5/16"-24 hex nut, unless you can lay your hands of a 5/16"-24 machine screw. I didn't have a machine screw on hand and couldn't justify ordering just one from a supplier and paying $8 postage. The original threaded hole is close to, but not exactly, 5/16"-24. The thread pitch is probably 23 or 25. If someone gives me the exact thread pitch I will update this information. In any case, it's unlikely you will find something that is an exact fit. I ran a 5/16"-24 tap through the threaded hole and it was so close almost no shavings were produced. NOTE: before cutting the notches in the screw, install it and screw it in snugly. Mark the location of the notches with a sharpi and draw a line on the tip of the screw in line with the dial. The notches must line up when the screw is finally installed and tightened.
This is what my dial assembly looked like before I started.
My stops were easily removed without the screw.
Here's a shot after the dial and spring have been removed.

Everything back in place. One question still remains - Can the traversing dial be locked in place like the 1917A1 dial can, and if so, how?

The order of assembly is:
1. Wrap the spring wire around the dial and install it.
2. Install the stops and move them around to the back.
3. Pry out the dial at the front.
4. Insert the screw.
5. Reset the dial and spring wire

The traversing dial lock on the 1917A1 tripod.
If you have any information to add
to this please contact me.