Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Tin snips
- power drill
- pop rivet gun
- box cutter/exacto knife
- foam padding (some extra firm, some soft)
- fabric for upholstering the pad (I used a faux sheepskin)
- plastic sheeting (I used a 2mm ABS, but it doesn't matter as long as its reasonably stiff)
- nylon webbing & buckles
- contact cement
- industrial strength velcro
- mounting piece for Go Pro camera (comes standard with your camera)
- dog harness
Step 2: Overview
The padded component consists of a plastic plate which is upholstered with foam and fabric, and a second plastic plate that finishes the upholstering and provides mounting points for webbing. The camera mount plate then has receiving points for the same webbing.
Step 3: Creating Your Template
- The shoulder harness being used
- The size of your dog
The harness I used cost me about $35 and has a Y-configuration across the shoulder blades, acting as an excellent point on which to build. I built this platform for a medium to large sized dog (the airedale pictured on the front page).
The platform should be big enough that it provides some measure of stability, but not so big that it doesn't have good contact with the dog's back. Remember, you are building a flat platform that needs to be stable against a curved surface.
The template should also take into consideration the configuration of the straps on the harness, so that the webbing that joins the padded plate to the camera mount plate effectively anchors around the dog harness. When designing the template you must also take into consideration the mounting piece for the camera, so that the webbing straps do not interfere with its function.
As you can appreciate below, my template is set up so that there will be webbing going around each of the arms of the "Y" of the harness. These are the straight slits in the template. The holes are the points at which I will rivet the two components of the padded plate together.
Step 4: Building the Plates
Step 5: Upholstering the Base Plate
The foam can first be cut into the basic shape, then contoured with scissors once when in place. This process is repeated when applying the second layer of softer foam.
When applying the fabric, tack it in place using contact cement. It will be further secured in the next step. In addition, if the fabric you use has a thick furriness to it you may want to trim this back on the side that will be sandwiched in the next step.
Step 6: Attaching the Middle Plate
Step 7: Applying the Top Plate
Now the top plate can be put in place. I also applied some heavy duty velcro between the middle and top plates to further secure them (not shown). Once when the straps have been secured with the buckles, the stick-on mounting plate for the camera can be adhered to the middle of the top plate. Excess nylon webbing can be cut off and the ends finished with a torch.
Now you're ready to go! Feel free to share your footage!