Introduction: DIY Camera Tripod

Picture of DIY Camera Tripod

Few weeks ago I was thrilled when I seen 360 panorama and I started to search about panoramas and how to make one. I found out that i need panorama head which I made (it was not so good but it did it's work).
So i made myself panorama head but I had no where to put it and I decided to make tripod.
I didn't won't to buy one because they are expensive and because I love to work in my workshop.
The building process was very easy and amusing and it took me about 10 hours to build.
It's low cost project and can look great once it's done, like mine :)

So let's say something about tripods. Basically they are made out of three legs which can be extended to adjust the height of camera and to take still photos. They also come in various sizes and shapes, mine is about 50 cm tall without the additional legs and about 80 cm with the additional legs.

I apologize if I misspelled something, my english is not so good.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Maybe i forgot to mention some of tools but I think it's common workshop tools.


-Angle grinder
-Drill press (just to make it more accurate)
-8 mm drill bit
-5 mm drill bit
-Welding machine (I use arc welding machine)
-Wrenches, screwdrivers etc.


-square pipe (10x10 mm)
-piece of hexagon pipe
-9x bolt (5 mm)
-6x wing nut (5 mm)
-6x nut (5 mm)
-3x bolt (8 mm)
-3x nut (8 mm)
-metal sheet
-6x metal screw

Step 2: Cutting Materials

Picture of Cutting Materials

Remember to wear glasses, gloves, appropriate clothes and shoes and other protection

I started by cutting nine 20 cm long pipes (10x10 mm square pipe) and cut three 2 cm long pieces (also 10x10mm, I used square rod to make the whole tripod firmer).
Then I cut 4 cm long hexagonal pipe that will be the base as shown in next step

Step 3: Legs and Base

Picture of Legs and Base

I drill 5 mm holes on one end of nine pipes and in three pieces and weld that three pieces on the hexagonal pipe.
Next I cut hexagonal piece of metal sheet and weld it on the hexagonal pipe and drill a hole in the middle (it is your own choice what size the hole will be depending on your equipment - I used 8 mm drill bit).
Finally assemble the legs and tighten them with wing nut to see how it looks like and to test if it's made good.

Step 4: Leg Clamps

Picture of Leg Clamps

Cut three 8 cm long metal and three 3 cm long pieces. The width is about 1.2 cm to make it a bit firmer and to look better but cut what ever width you like :)

Bend longer pieces in to U shape to make leg clamps and drill holes as shown on photos (also it is necessary to drill a hole in the leg, all holes are 5 mm).
I welded nut on the leg clamps to make it easier to tighten legs.

Tip: (I used a screw just to hold the nut in the center).

Then I made wing screws because I could not find them anywhere to buy and assemble everything on the legs.

Don't forget to screw shorter pieces of metal sheet on the legs to prevent the legs spreading out (I used "metal screw" because it's easier)

And finally I screw leg clamps and add one end of chain to the bolt I used for leg clamp.

The chain has 8 rings.

Step 5: Feet

Picture of Feet

For the feet i use 8 mm  bolts.
I screw them in the legs so that I can replace them (maybe rubber ones).
I also thought that would be nice to screw additional legs, made with the same pipe, to make it taller, see next step.

Ok, so first I cut off bolt head and sharpen the bolt.
Then I welded three 8 mm nut to the legs.
I drill the pipe with the 8 mm drill so that the bolt can fit in.
Tips: -I screw nut on the bolt and weld nut on the leg, bolt is to keep the nut in the center.
          -You could also make thread in the pipe, so you don't have to weld nut.
And all you need to do is to screw the feet.

If you want to make additional legs simply weld the nut one end and the bolt on the other.

Step 6: Final Assembly and Paint Job

Picture of Final Assembly and Paint Job

I took few photos to show you how it looks like when it's fully assembled with the feet, additional legs and the chain.

Last but not least there is a paint job.
I decided to clean legs with very fine cleaning wire and paint only the base with hexagonal pipe, leg clamps, feet and other connection parts.

And that's it. If you have any questions comment or send email, I'll try to help as much as I can.

I wish you all good luck!!!


DJBeelen (author)2016-01-07

This is a very cheap tripod out of pvc!

spike02 (author)2015-02-28

How much did this cost overall (minus the cost of the tools)

CroBuilder (author)spike022015-03-31

I can't tell you exactly how much but i think less than 10$ :)

indra saputra (author)2014-12-31

I want to make it! Give me a spirit to do that

CroBuilder (author)indra saputra2015-01-01

If you love metalworking it's a good project and if you are interested in taking panoramic photos it would be great and also it would save you a lot of money. That's why i made it and i'm thrilled(it's a little bit rusty, needs some protection ;)), it was exciting and fun to make it. :D

indra saputra (author)2014-12-31

I want to make it! Give me a spirit to do that

Tangski (author)2014-12-11

I think this is just great!! Good job and nice welding. Liked the use of those bolts too. You could get fancy later and high polish the aluminum and powder coat the other metal parts. Really a wow factor but hey this is very practical project! Keep it up! Cheers!!

mercidee (author)2013-07-27

great idea but where is the head unit?

CroBuilder (author)mercidee2013-07-27

I plan to make it, I will make another instructable.
I saw a video somewhere where a man made very simple head unit :)

mandersen (author)2013-07-26

I love the steam punk look of it, but WOW how much does it weigh?
You know you can pick up second hand aluminium tripods pretty cheaply!

CroBuilder (author)mandersen2013-07-26

The weight is only 1.1 kg or 2.4 lbs.

vincent7520 (author)2013-07-25

Nice job ! …
But I wonder if one could do without one of the 19 power tool you mentioned and with the money thus saved buy a regular light aluminum tripod ?
You would gain a lot of weight as I don't see myself using such a heavy contraption except at home where I don't need it !…

CroBuilder (author)vincent75202013-07-26

I'm sorry but I did not quite understand you.
I didn't mention 19 power tools only 3 and I think that aluminum tripod would be more expensive.
Also as I mention in comment below it's not heavy !!

vincent7520 (author)CroBuilder2013-07-26

Ah ! But you showed a pic with 19 power tools and three dots indicating there could be more. As an image is worth one zillion words I took the liberty of not reading the attached paragraph.
However I still do believe that steel is too heavy for a tripod.
But this is my problem and I truly hope that my remark which was posted with some humor will not deter others from being inspired by you.
Have a nice week end.
Best wishes.

CroBuilder (author)vincent75202013-07-26

I'm sorry :(
I didn't express myself very well, please do not hold it against me because I don't know english well :/

vincent7520 (author)CroBuilder2013-07-26

Naah ! Don't worry.
I cannot hold anything against you : my mother tongue is not english either !…
So we both have our flaws.
But both of us have qualities too !…
; D ; D

tcop (author)2013-07-26

Your welding skills are above average. Are you doing welding professionaly?

CroBuilder (author)tcop2013-07-26

Thanks :)
Is really so good looking, because to me is moderately?
I'm self-taught welder, I "learned" to weld couple years ago.

The Lightning Stalker (author)2013-07-25

Although this one can't hold the weight of the one I did, it certainly does look nicer.

clazman (author)2013-07-25

Very nice!

I only have a couple of suggestions.

One, it looks like the wall thickness could be cut in half reducing the weight by 50%.

Two, I would add tabs to the top end of the telescoping tubing to stop the irritating wobble and help with possible self locking due to the shortness of the present short guide/lock. L/D needs to be as large as possible in a linear bearing/guide.

Again, great work!!.

clazman (author)2013-07-25

Very nice!

I only have a couple of suggestions.

One, it looks like the wall thickness could be cut in half reducing the weight by 50%.

Two, I would add tabs to the top end of the telescoping tubing to stop the irritating wobble and help with possible self locking due to the shortness of the present short guide/lock. L/D needs to be as great as possible in a linear bearing/guide.

Again, great work!!.

Tangski (author)2013-07-25

Hey, what a great job!! Since I don't weld, but, I do know how, just don't have one, this is not a project for me...yet!LOL I would suggest perhaps since you are a good welder, to use aluminuim for the legs, thus making it much lighter and also won't rust! Also, for the tips, you can also get what is called "DIP IT"...a liquid rubber that air cures. Very cool stuff like what is found on the ends of pliers etc. Also protects against rust very very well!
Anyway, a great project and I think you did a wonderful job of fabrication. Don't worry about your will get better as you go along, and you did just fine!


CroBuilder (author)Tangski2013-07-25

Hi Tangski
Too bad you do not have a welding machine. That aluminum legs are a great idea, unfortunately I see rust on the legs. The "DIP IT" sounds great. I thought there might be some kind of coating preferably from home items to protect legs, because I would like to retain the look of what is now and because paint can easily fall off, at least in my case (I really don't know how to properly paint). I would be grateful if you could put some instructions ;)

3.1415 (author)2013-07-25

Awesome photo documentation of a great project! I could build this tripod just by using your pictures!

CroBuilder (author)3.14152013-07-25

haha thanks, glad you like it :D I was thinking to do photo instructable but I made step by step to share some tips, dimensions etc. :)

maitkaa (author)2013-07-23

you could also add a quick release, look them up at ebay or amazon for like 8$. And some kind of rubber covers for the bolt heads. It would be awesome if you can remove the rubber heads for outdoors so the sharp bolt heads would sink in the ground. Awesome build.

CroBuilder (author)maitkaa2013-07-25

At first I was thinking to make it with quick release but my plan was to make it as cheaper as possible, rubber heads are great idea. Anyway thanks for sharing ideas :)

CroBuilder (author)2013-07-20

Yes aluminium would be great because tripod would be lighter (the one I made is not heavy at all) and it would not corrode. The problem is that I could not find anywhere aluminium pipes and I did not want to spend a lot of money for that project ;)

kondzio29 (author)2013-07-20

Really neat idea! But it might be quite heavy. Don't you think that aluminium would be better for that kind of project? Tripod should be portable ports and easy to carry around. but idea itself is really clever ;) keep on doing good work !

CroBuilder (author)2013-07-19

Thanks! I'm glad you like it.
It's fully portable, the weight is 1.1 kg or 2.4 lbs.

rokclmb (author)2013-07-19

That's awesome! That looks great.
Out of curiosity, how heavy/portable is it?

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