Step 1: Justification?
1. It must be cheap (the mounts I've seen for sale online were insanely pricy)
2. It must be able to support the kinds of backdrops we had in mind, such as rolls of seamless professional studio backdrop paper
3. It must be unobtrusive, so we can walk through that part of the house without having to smash through paper like a football team at the superbowl.
Step 2: Supplies!
(1) 10' length of 1.25" PVC pipe. $4
(1) 1.25" PVC coupling. $0.50
(2) 1.25" PVC endcaps (optional). $0.67 ea
(4-6) links of smallish chain. I used #12 jackchain which I had lying around so this was free, or you can buy a package of it for around $5
(2) 1/8" S-hooks. $1.99 for a pack of 6
(2) small eyescrews (the eyes of the ones I used are around 0.5"). $0.99 for a box of 6
(2) large eyescrews (the eyes of the ones I used are around 1"). $0.99 for a box of 2
For tools you'll just need a pair of needlenose pliers, a tape measure and a drill with assorted bits.
Step 3: Case the Joint
Once you've found your spot, locate a ceiling beam near one of the outside ends of your area. You can tap a hammer gently on the ceiling, drive a small test-nail, or use an electronic studfinder to locate the nearest ceiling beam.
Measure 6" from the wall and mark the beam with a pencil. From that point, make a second mark 112" over (still 6" from the wall)and test that spot to verify that it will also be driving into a beam (ceiling beams are generally 16" apart...what you want to mark is a beam that is just over 9' away from the other mark, so 7 beams over will be 112").
Step 4: Drill 'em
On your PVC pipe, make a mark 4" from each end and drill a hole into each mark, using a bit slightly smaller than the shaft of the SMALL eyescrew. Don't worry about having the holes line up with each other; it doesnt matter at this point.
Hand-tighten the small eyescrews into the two holes in the PVC pipe, and the large eyescrews into the two holes in your ceiling. The needlenose pliers will come in handy here, especially for the ceiling screws.
Step 5: Saw, See?
The reason for this is so if you are using rolls of seamless photography backdrop paper you will be able to break the shaft in twain easily to change out the rolls.
Step 6: Hang 'em High!
- I was worried initially that the small eyehooks in the PVC wouldn't be able to support the weight of a full roll of paper, but it worked out great. If it had been a problem I planned to put a small length of wooden dowel into each end of the PVC to give the eyehooks something to screw into once the thread got past the plastic.
- Smallish plastic-padded clips are perfect for holding the roll of paper up and out of the way when not shooting (see photo). I got two of em for a buck at the dollar store.
- Comments or suggestions are more than welcome!