Introduction: Dual Tripod With Ball-head

There are a lot of tripods out there that don't cost much. However a handy person will make his own and tweak it for its own needs.

In my case I wanted a tripod that would  give me the flexibility of taking (steady) pictures standing straight or just above the ground, and with the freedom of positioning the camera in almost any given angle.

The total cost of this project is less than 30 dollars.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials needed:

  • 4 wing screws
  • 4 pronged T-nuts
  • 15 hex bolts
  • 12 hex nuts
  • 3 threaded knobs
  • Wooden beams 18 mm: 18 mm; 7,10 m in total
  • Wooden board
  • Iron ball 35 mm
  • Piece of aluminum 60 cm: 5 cm
  • 6 rubber feet
  • 3 small chains 22 cm each
  • Key ring
  • 3 hinges
  • 3 screw hooks

Tools needed:

  • Wood clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill bit (6 mm, 7 mm, 35 mm, 25 mm)
  • Hole saw (40 mm)

Step 2: Saw

Saw six pieces of 80 cm off the wooden beams

Saw three pieces of 70 cm off the wooden beams

Saw three pieces of 15 cm off the wooden beams

Saw three pieces of 5,4 cm off the wooden beams

Saw three pieces of 2 cm off the wooden beams

I made drawings of the tripods base plates in Sketch Up, which you can download below. Glue these drawings on a wooden board (2.7 mm thick) and saw the markings out.

Saw three circles out of the wooden board using a 40 mm hole saw.

 Sand all the pieces.

Step 3: Gluing and Drilling

Drill a 6 mm hole in the top of the 15 cm pieces.

Drill two holes in the 80 cm pieces: the first hole measuring 4 cm from the top and the second hole 14 cm from the top.

Drill a 7 mm hole in three of the 80 cm pieces measuring 9 cm from the top. Lets say the previous drilled holes are on the top of the beam, then this hole has to be on the side (see picture).

Drill a 35 mm hole through one of the circles.

Drill a 25 mm hole 5 mm deep in another circle.

Take two 80 cm pieces, measure 12 cm from the top and glue a 2 cm piece between them.
 

Now measure 25 cm from the bottom and glue a 5,4 cm piece on top of them. Repeat this process twice.

   

Step 4: Connecting

Saw six plates of aluminum, each 10 cm long. Drill holes in every corner of the plate corresponding to the holes in the wooden beams.

Take two aluminum plates and connect them to the wooden beams with hex bolts and hex nuts.

Put a pronged T-nut in the side and bolt a wing screw in it.

Take the 70 cm pieces and put them between the 80 cm wooden beams which you just connected.

Take the rubber feet and put them on the endings.

Repeat this twice.

Screw the hinges on the top of the finished legs. Next screw the legs on the hexagon tripod base plate.

Screw the screw hooks on the 5,4 cm pieces of the legs.

Connect the three chains to the key ring and to the screw hooks.

Step 5: The Ball Head + Connecting Small Tripod

Drill a 6 mm hole in the steel ball 10 mm deep. Glue a threaded rod in this hole.

Take the left over tripod base plate and glue the two circles on top. Drill a 7 mm hole in the side of the top circle and put a pronged T-nut in it. Next screw the wing screw in place. Glue the last circle on the bottom.

Putt the metal ball in the top.

It is a tight fit, but once in place the ball moves freely

Take the 15 cm pieces. These are the legs of the small tripod. Put rubber feet on the legs.

Take three black knobs and three hex bolts to connect the legs to the base.

Step 6: Finishing

Now you can put the small tripod on the big tripod. Or you can just use the small one.

Slide the legs to make the tripod smaller or taller.

The ball head gives a lot of freedom while photographing.

Comments

author
necdetgizem made it! (author)2016-07-27

I really love that tripod! Thank you for sharing it with us!

As you realize, I made it bigger, because the aim of making tripod is not for camera shooting. The aim is making Kino Lights for video making and photo shooting.

I add wood plane in middle, because I want to it stay stable. Kino Light Panels a little bit heavy for chains. Also with chains, controlling the tripod is a little bit difficult.

Thanks again!

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author
uniquo (author)2012-12-18

is there a pdf avaliable for this project?

author
kerec6 (author)2011-10-13

Just a few questions- Isn't the iron ball a little too small? Or is 35mm the radius? And where did you get the iron ball? Thanks

author
Marker1024 (author)2011-09-25

Really cool tripod man! I love that you made it out of wood to it looks great. You should maybe consider putting some type of polyurethane finish or stain it to make the grain pop. Keep up the good work!
Mark

author
arpruss (author)2011-09-08

Would adding some PTFE pads to where the ball is mounted make movement smoother? Or would it slip too much?

author
HHarry (author)arpruss2011-09-18

I think it will work fine with the pads, but i don't know how to mount them.

author
arpruss (author)HHarry2011-09-18

Amazon sells bondable PTFE. It has a beige and a white side, and both epoxy and superglue sticks to the beige side. I use it heavily for astronomy projects where I want smooth movement.

One can also buy PTFE tape (people use it for the feet of computer mice).

author
RedBinary (author)2011-09-08

Very nice! I fave'd so hopefully I'll get around to making one in ammonia vapor stained oak soon! Also voted for ya! Very nice work!

author
HHarry (author)RedBinary2011-09-18

Thank you very much!

author
wsecomp (author)2011-09-09

SketchUp is a great tool. I learned about it while working for a university and use it for most of my wood projects now. The company is based in Boulder and was bought by Google to help fund the continuation of it and get the word out about it to more people.

GREAT 'IBLE!

author
HHarry (author)wsecomp2011-09-18

And it is very user friendly.

author
Lorddrake (author)2011-09-04

i love the fact that the table top tripod nests into the standing tripod. great concept.

author
HHarry (author)Lorddrake2011-09-18

thanks, that's also my favorite thing about this tripod.

author
ChrysN (author)2011-09-04

Gorgeous tripod, great design!

author
HHarry (author)ChrysN2011-09-18

Thanks!

author
rimar2000 (author)2011-09-04

Good design, and well worked!

author
HHarry (author)rimar20002011-09-18

Thanks!

author
-chase- (author)2011-09-08

Real nice job HHarry!

Only one thing i would add... though you many have it already on the side we can't see in your photos.

Most Ball heads have a grove on one side ever so slightly wider than the camera screw mount to allow the ball to swing to a 90° angle.

This should be fairly easy to accomplish. Even a slot on both sides might be nice. as well as the design pictured which a larger drill with the conecting slot should be very easy to add to your design.

One would just want to make sure it stops at 90° at least on one side and maybe goes a little past 90° on the other side.

and i'd finish the wood just to keep it in good condition and protect the wood from the elements.

Though as is - as stated it's a real nice job for sure.

@ Monkey98 - just ask your school shop class instructor for a little help - usually through the shop class the materials will be less expesive and this doesn't seem to take a lot of materials at all from what i'm seeing.

As well - you can find various parts possibly from broken items. A screw here - a washer there

and then there always is the alternative like when i was your age... mow a lawn or two - get a paper route. Sweep a local store - wash some cars....
Sell some seeds... grow a garden and sell the veggies you grow and on an on.

At 11 i was washing Pots at a resturant. The pots were as big as i was almost... but i did it. As it was the only way i could get what i wanted...

And in the end - You'll have more than enough money for this small project than you need in no time at all.
And possibly enough for some tools - a new camera - maybe a bike even... a computor... an X-box.... ;0)

ball-head.jpg
author
HHarry (author)-chase-2011-09-18

Great idea! I will try this next weekend.

author
snoopindaweb (author)2011-09-10

=////=======> And a great reminder of "Hardware Possibilities"..! Thank You. G-G

author
Hubiewan (author)2011-09-08

I gather that a small trailer hitch ball can be used for this kind of think plus, it is drilled and hardened for wear resistance..

author
Jo-dan (author)2011-09-04

brilliant i wish that i could make this for use in my movies but im 13 so dont have supplys

author
scicior (author)Jo-dan2011-09-08

Can't do it because you are 13?!? Nonsense! Don't think that age or ability should keep you from trying. When I was younger I use to think that way and now I wish I had not. My biggest suggestion on finding a mentor is don't try to find someone to help over the internet! Does your school have a shop class? If not, try the local high school. Ask the teachers if they can refer you to someone. Science teachers are usually hands-on types, maybe they can help. Or finding a local boy scout troop and ask the Scout Master. One thing I tried to teach my kids was, if there is a will, there is a way. Figure out what you want to do, and then find someone who can help you figure out how to accomplish this goal. Good luck!

author
Kiteman (author)2011-09-04

Just a thought - the threaded rod to screw your camera on to, it seems a bit too long?

author
HHarry (author)Kiteman2011-09-04

yes, it was a bit too long, i already sawed it off. However it was purely aesthetic.

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