Introduction: How to Make a Universal Flash Bracket
Photography is an expensive hobby, and I don't have a lot of money. When I bought my first lighting stands I found it impossible to use my flashes, triggers and an umbrella at the same time without buying an expensive bracket to fit them all on. This is my attempt at solving this problem using cheap materials and a standard bracket from eBay.
The main goal for this project was to create a fully adjustable bracket for a flashgun that left me with plenty of room for accessories
This project cost me less then £5
Step 1: Materials Needed
Heres a rundown of what materials and tools you will need
1x Flash bracket - www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Flash-hot-Shoe-Umbrella-Holder-Swivel-Light-Stand-Bracket-B-For-Nikon-Canon-DSLR-/330713337171?pt=UK_Photography_Flash_Brackets&hash=item4d000d0d53- or just search for a 'Flash bracket' on Ebay or Amazon and buy a similar looking one
1x 5mm Plywood - at least 10cmx15cm
4x Nuts and Bolts - 3mm wide x 20mm long
1x Sheet of Non-Slip Material - Anything will do, I used what I had available
1x Ball Bungee Cord or a large, thick elastic band - Search on Ebay for 'Ball Bungee Cord'
Tools Needed -
Saw - Something with a fine tooth so it wont damage the wood too much
Drill Bits (3mm and 8mm)
Safety Goggles - Always important!
Pen or pencil
Sandpaper - Nothing too fancy, just to smooth the edges
Glue - Something that will not damage the non-slip material, I would use a latex or spray adhesive
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Wood
Using a set square or a ruler, mark an area of 10cm x 15cm with a pen or pencil. Then using a saw, cut it out.
Step 3: Mark the Holes
Mark the wood to drill four holes.
Length-ways, mark the wood 5cm in from one end and 4.5cm from the other.
Width-ways, mark the wood 1cm in.
Step 4: Drill the Holes
Drill all four holes on the marks you just made using an 8mm drill bit.
Tip - Make sure you sandwich some wood underneath to keep the holes neat when drilling!
Pro tip - Wear goggles when using power tools!
Step 5: Mark and Cut the Notches
Connect the holes to the edges of the wood. Angle the lines a little so that the notches will accept the elastic cord a little easier.
Tip - I found that cutting the notches with a slight angle made the process of taking the bungee cord on and off quicker while still keeping the flashgun securely in place when needed.
Step 6: Disassemble the Bracket Assembly
Taking the bracket, you want to flip it over and remove the four screws connecting the plastic part to the metal part.
You can discard the metal top piece and the screws or keep them for another project.
Step 7: Measure and Drill the Bracket Holes
Taking the disassembled bracket assembly, you need to measure the distance between the four mounting holes. Once you have these measurements, mark the wood accordingly and drill them using a 3mm drill bit.
Tip - I placed the holes towards the 4.5cm notches, about 3cm away from the edge, this is so when it is finished and the flash and umbrella are mounted, it will help to balance out the weight of the entire apparatus.
Step 8: Sand the Edges Smooth
Give the wood a quick sanding in preparation for the paint, make sure to round off all the corners.
Step 9: Paint It All
Give the wood a few coats of paint, this will help to make it look more professional.
Tip - Do not paint in an enclosed space
Step 10: Bolt It All Together
Once the paint had dried, bolt the bracket to the wood. Then cut the excess bolt sticking out to give a cleaner look if you like.
Do not worry too much about leaving the bolt heads exposed as this will be covered in the next step.
Step 11: Cut and Attach the Non-Stick Material
Take your non-slip material and cut it into a rectangle that will fit the wood, spread the glue onto the material and then stick it in place. Put something heavy onto it so that the glue will adhere better. Make sure that the material covers the heads of the bolts so that they do not damage any equipment you place on the bracket.
Tip -The only non-slip material I had at hand was this checkerboard material so I used that. If you are doing this project, I would recommend trying to find some self adhesive rubber material to make it look more professional.
Pro Tip - When gluing the material to the wood, make sure the glue will not melt the rubber! Otherwise you will have a horrible mess on your hands! If in doubt use a latex or adhesive craft spray mount!
Step 12: How to Attach the Flashgun
It is easy to attach the flashgun to your newly made bracket.
- Place the flashgun on top of the non-slip material
- Take the elastic cord and hook it through the notches you cut
- Wrap it over the top of the flashgun
- And finally hook it onto the notches on the other side, simple!
Step 13: All Finished!
Congratulations! You now have a universal flash bracket with plenty of rooms for accessories and will allow you to happily attach any umbrellas you would like to it!