I have a vintage camera tripod from my father which I recently pulled it out to use for mounting my video camera and found that the vinyl textured pad on the mounting plate was missing. This wouldn't have been a problem except for the fact that the seat was recessed and therefore the mounting screw would draw the camera down onto the sharp edges of the plate. This was no good as it was going to damage the camera base.
Then I had a brainwave! Why not craft a replacement pad for the mounting plate from a piece of upholstery leather? It turned out to be the perfect solution. As always, I enjoyed the challenge associated with detailed work; in this case it was cutting and shaping the leather to fit inside the recessed plate with no gaps. The thickness of the leather was perfect, and the finished result looks very satisfying. I wonder now whether this might be the only vintage tripod in the world with a genuine handcrafted leather pad on its mounting plate!