Introduction: DSLR Cowboy Holster
Second Prize in the
PVC Contest 2017
I love #insectPhotography and I spend a lot of time in the garden looking for bugs and flowers. Investigating the crime scene (sometimes I need to pull blocking grass to get clear shots), I need to put my camera down for a while. It is okay to put it on the grass, but when there is only dirt and no grass? No way. Once I hung it on my shoulder and put the camera on my back while setting up the scene, it swung to the front and I caught it reflexively. I saved the camera but had back pain for a week because of that reflex-movement.
Then I make this cowboy holster out of 3.5" PVC pipe for my Nikon D3300, an 11" length pipe left over in my garage. You should do some research before starting this project such as the diameter of your lens and pick the ideal diameter and length of pipe for your camera. This project works for long lenses but I am not responsible for your breaking the expensive gears.
Step 1: Sketch
This is the rough sketch of the pipe cutting. Measurement may vary according to your camera. What I used in this project are :
- 3.5" PVC, 11" length.
- Sparkfun Heaterizer XL-3000 (or any heater/hair dryer).
- Some synthetic leather sheet.
- Multipurpose glue for synthetic leather.
Step 2: Cutting the Pipe
Use a Clamping Mitre Box if you have one. It will help you cut straight line on the pipe.
- Divide the pipe into 5" and 6" but do not cut it off. Leave 2" to 3" of the circumference uncut.
- Split open the 6" side lengthwise with the uncut section on the back.
Step 3: Flatten the Sheet
After splitting the 6" side, now we are flattening it. I owned this Sparkfun Heaterizer XL-3000 heater gun last year at USD10 and this was the first time I used it. It comes with 110 VAC while we have universal 220-240VAC here in Indonesia. That's why I put it near my old stabilizer which has 110VAC output and this was the first time it showed its usefulness in my project.
Blowing the PVC for 10 seconds will make it soft and deformable. Hold it for seconds it will get hardened into its new form. Do it slowly to flatten the whole 6" area. I bent both ends a little. Then I used a clamp to push flatten the round part while blowing the heater gun on it. What an awkward way of mine. You can do it your way. You don't have to use heater gun. Any hair dryer will do, even a candle will do, I have tested it.
Step 4: Trim the Clips
Now we trim the clips according to the sketch. The horizontal 2" was initially for the belt. I was about making holes at both ends to let my belt through to secure the holster. Later I cut them off because I felt that the clips themselves are doing good securing the holster.
To remove the center piece I used drill, then use a file to clean the cut and round all the corners.
Step 5: Shape the Clips
Again we use a heat gun to bend the belt and clips according to your waists.
Then I cut a curve on the pipe where the popup flash hooks. This way, we give a little more mass get down inside the holster and let less probability for the camera to pop out.
Step 6: Cover the Holster
You surely don't want the hard sharp edges of PVC scratch your camera, then cover it with soft synthetic leather all over the holster, inside and outside. I left the clips uncovered so that it is easier to slide in and out of my waist. The four inch clips are deep enough to avoid accidental slide out from my waist.
I am not good in finishing, but this one satify me. This is my first time working with synthetic leather and it ends pretty well for a beginner ^_^ Beep... beep... I have another crime scene to investigate.
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