Introduction: Adjustable PVC Monopod for Around $10
Monopods are handy for when you're on the go, but still want to have a measure of stability with your camera or video camera. But a real good one can run you over $100. So let's make one instead! I'm going to show you how to make an adjustable PVC monopod for around $10 or less.
A word of caution though. You build this, you take your camera's health into your own hands. I am not responsible should your camera fall and break or should this design slip causing your camera to plummet to the ground. In short, you are on your own!
And by all means, if you have a better idea for the design, please share it. This is a great community and we learn a lot. Now, let's get to work.
Step 1: Parts List ...
* 1 - 3/4" PVC pipe approx. 30" long. Note - Schedule 40 will NOT work for this. You need the thinner one - known as "eggshell." It's Schedule 20, IIRC. You need this one because the gray sprinkler pipe nipple will slide right inside it with little wiggle room.
* 1 - 36" x 1/2" PVC sprinkler riser pipe. These are the gray ones which you put the sprinkler head on.
* 1 - 1/4" by 3/4" hex bolt
* 2 - 1/4" flat washers
* 1 - 1/2" end caps
* 1 - 3/4" end cap - preferably a flat one
* 1 - 34" schedule 4 plug
* 1 - Handle replacement spring clip for pool skimmer head
* 1 - 3/4" foam pipe insulation
* 1 - Duct tape
Step 2: Preparing the Pipes
Cut your Eggshell PVC to 30". Drill holes with a 1/4" drill bit every 6" to lay out the adjustment holes.
You'll also be cutting off one of the nipples on the 36" riser and drilling a 1/4" hole about a 1/2" down from the end. Router out a channel down to the hole and slip in the spring clip.
Wrap duct tape around the middle of the riser for about 10-12" long. This will serve to create friction as you slide the monopod up and down to adjust.
Step 3: Drill the Cap
Drill a 1/4" hole in the middle of the 3/4" end cap which will serve as the monopod mount.
Step 4: Paint Your Plastic
Paint your plastic ends and white eggshell pipe to give it a more professional appearance. The riser is already dark gray, so you don't need to pain tthat unless you want to.
I used plastic primer white and then gloss black for this step. Note - I had these already in the garage so did not include this in the total. If you have to purchase these, then it'll push your total cost to $15 or more. YMMV.
Step 5: Putting It Together
Start putting it together. Attach the end cap to the riser and then place the slip onto the riser, screw side down. Slide this into the Eggshell pipe and attah to the slip. You can also adjust the spring clip to a hole. I left the barcode on the pipe and it was near the spring clip so I have an easy reference to pick up in the holes. Attach the foam insulation onto the eggshell just below where the camera mount will go.
Then, place the hex bolt and flat washer into the endcap hole and secure with a nut. Slip over the end of the monopod and you are done!
UPDATE: Did an adjustment to the monopod design. The V Clip just wasn't taking as much weight as I'd like, especially over time as the nub wears. So I replaced it with a home made PVC Clip designed and printed on a 3D printer by my friends at Mechanical Mashup. It's an ideal design and works perfectly.