Introduction: IKEA Hack: DIY Flexible Arm Tripod!
You might know that my Youtube channel, Yonatan24, started out as a place to post quick videos of my Instructables in action, but it has quickly evolved into more way more than that, and I want to improve the quality of my videos, and make it easier for me to film them.
The tripod that I use to hold my phone while filming is probably close to a hundred years old, and I think it's about time to make a better one. The first thing that came to my mind was to mount a cheap ball head mount onto an old music stand, but I then I had the idea of mounting the flexible arm of an IKEA lamp onto the music stand, extending the reach, un-limit-ify-ing the angles and positions that I could film in, allowing me to get closer to the object I'm filming without using the digital zoom on my phone.
Not only will the tripod be taller by almost 30% than my 100 year-old one, I won't keep bumping into it because the legs don't extend up high, and the flexible arm will allow me to hold the camera at angles that I wouldn't have been able before and film my workbench easily - no annoying screws to mess with! Oh, and I don't have to mess with each individual leg that doesn't lock properly!
HEY! You think I'd let you get past the first step without getting a link to www.youtube.com/Yonatan24!?
Let's get started!
(Watch the YouTube video: LINK FOR MOBILE VIEWERS!)
Step 1: What You'll Need:
Want to make this project? Here's what you'll need, or at least what I used!
For those who aren't able to salvage parts for free, I've added some links to eBay below. Keep in mind that these parts can be acquired at a hardware store, or anywhere else online. If you don't see something that you think should be here, or would like to know more about a specific tool/part that I used, feel free to ask in the comments.
I made it for FREE since I already had everything that was needed on hand.
Hardware, Materials & Consumables:
- An old music stand (I got mine for free, but I found the exact one I used on Amazon - On Stage SM7222B)
- Phone tripod mount (A good use for a partially broken one that I had)
- A metal shelf bracket (salvaged from something unknown 'course!)
- Flexible arm IKEA lamp (You think I paid for it? More on that later)
- A few washers
- A few zip-ties
- CA glue
- Cordless Drill
- Stepped drill bit
Subjects: Basic Metalworking & Photography
Approximate Time: About one hour
Difficulty: Fairly Easy
ALWAYS USE PROPER PPE.
Step 2: The IKEA Lamp
I remember melting wax on the top of this lamp while learning to read... Like 10 years ago!
I took this lamp apart and removed head/reflector/wires almost two years ago trying to turn this IKEA lamp into a helping hands device , but ended up never using it, so I scrapped it and kept the lamp and the clamp.
Keep in mind not all lamps are the same, but if this lamp is still being sold at IKEA, pretty much all you have to do is remove the light bulb after you've unplugged the lamp, unscrew the "head", cut the cord, and unscrew the clamp.
Then you should be left with the flexible hose thingy. I actually have a few so it was even harder for me to choose which one to use!
Step 3: The Music Stand
A few months ago I wanted to save on space, so I removed the folding part of the music stand that actually holds the book/paper, cut it up with my Dremel and kept the flat bar. I thought the music stand would be one out the other million things that I keep "just because", but if I knew I was going to make an instructable that included the music stand I would have waited to take a few nice pictures of the sparks!
The only evidence that I have is a few pieces that I kept. But you can look at it through the Amazon link that I posted in the "What You'll Need" step.
These. Steps. Are. A. Mess!
Step 4: Mounting the Phone Mount Onto the Flexible Arm
I decided to mount the phone mount permanently onto the flexible arm since I didn't want it to become undone accidentally, and because the design of these <$1 phone mounts is well, what I paid for it.
I rummaged around in my collection of shelf brackets until I found that I thought I could glue onto the phone mount easily. I glued the shelf bracket to the mount with CA glue, but I wasn't sure how well it bonds galvanized steel to ABS plastic, so I reinforced it with four zip ties.
I removed the nut from one side of the flexible arm and slid a metal washer, a silicone washer, the shelf bracket, another washer, and tightened the nut. The silicone washer probably isn't needed, but I thought it might help a teeny-tiny bit with the vibrations.
Step 5: Mounting the Flexible Mount Onto the Music Stand
I started enlarging the square hole that was already on the top of the music stand, but once I started to use the bigger twist bits, they kept getting stuck. I moved on to using a stepped bit which worked faster and better. I bought mine on eBay and am quite pleased with how easily it drills through steel!
I added a few unnecessary washers (I think!) and bolted the flexible arm through the hole that was previously drilled and tightened it as much as I could. I also reinforced the part that connects the flexible arm to the rod of the music stand, but after doing it if I feel as if it was unnecessary... Although it doesn't hurt.
And it's officially a tripod!
Step 6: DONE! | More Thoughts | Video!
See it in action, on Youtube!
Some more thoughts:
- The video that I made of my 100 year old tripod (second channel)
- The video that I made on how to fix tripod legs that don't lock properly (on my second channel too)
- Oh, and since it weighs more, I think the tripod can act as a passive stabilizer to reduce vibrations when being used handheld.
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I read ALL comments, and reply to as many as I can, so make sure to leave your questions, suggestions, tips, tricks, and any other ideas in the comments below! - Thanks!
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