If you've seen any of my previous project videos, you might have noticed that I mostly rely on a camera suspended over my work bench to give a top-down perspective. This works just fine for some projects, but it isn't ideal for more complex projects that require a different point of view. Rather than purchase a camera tripod or something, I decided to make something a little smaller out of PVC and whatever I found lying around the workshop. This is what I came up with.
Step 1: Supplies
I made this out of whatever I had lying around, and I recommend that you try to do the same. But here is a list of the things I used:
- two long 1/4 in. screws (though you could use any size screw so long as you have a set of matching nuts)
- one short 1/4 in. screw (for mounting the camera)
- three or four 1/4 in. nuts (will be fastened to the screws)
- a small plank of scrap wood. I used one that happened to be 2.5 in. x 7 in. and about 1/4 in. thick
- about 6 or 7 in. of 1 in. diameter PVC pipe
- a PVC coupling
- a large paint stir stick - you can usually get these for free or very little cost at hardware and paint stores
- a drill
- JB Weld or other adhesive that can handle metal and wood
- an afternoon
- a hacksaw (although a massive pair of scissors could probably cut the paint stick too)
Step 2: Build the Base
Start by drilling two holes in the piece of wood about 2 in. apart. The exact distance doesn't matter, but it should be a nice round number because you'll need to drill another set of identical holes later. When you have finished that, put the wood aside and get the paint stick. Were going to chop 4 small pieces off of this to use as feet for the base. I measured out four sections (each were 2in. long) and cut them with a hacksaw.
Hot glue each foot to a corner of the base. You could get fancy with a hexagonal piece of wood and six feet, but I didn't feel like getting creative so I just stuck with four feet and rectangles. Though I did put them at 45 degree angles for extra stability.
When the glue has cooled, flip the base upside down and get the two long screws. Mix up so JB Weld (equal portions of black and white goop) to glue the screws onto the bottom of the base. The pointy ends of the screws should stick out the top (see the picture). Allow the glue to set and cure before we attach the next part.
Step 3: Build the Top Half
Now that the base is finished we can begin working on the part that actually holds the camera.
Drill two holes in one side of the PVC so that the long ends of the screws can pass through it. Make sure the holes are equally spaced with the screws.
Next, drill one 1/4 in. hole in one side of the PVC coupling and a 1/2 in. hole in the other side. This will allow us to put the short screw all the way through the coupling (see the picture above).
We're almost done!
Step 4: Put It Together
Put a corresponding nut on each of the long screws and then place the PVC over the holes. Use an extra nut or two to secure the PVC firmly in place. Screw the camera onto the short screw attached to the coupling. And finally, press the coupling onto the PVC pipe. If it flops around, push it further onto the PVC. If it is too tight to adjust, try sliding it off a little. You can use this to control the pitch angle of the camera.
Another user brought it to my attention that an extra nut should be added directly below the camera, as screwing the camera all the way onto the screw can cause irreparable damage to the sensitive insides.
And we're done! Now I can start filming my real projects. Ones that involve fire and electricity.
If you enjoyed this project, let me know in the comments below and check out some of my other projects on Instructables and of course, YouTube.