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
- 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
- Wood clamps
- Wood glue
- 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.