My camera to be mounted is a ContourHD and only weighs five ounces with the tripod mount, so I figure there won't be a problem with the weight. Not shown in any of the photos is a safety lanyard, to "rescue" the camera should the mount lose grip. I will most certainly be using one.
This instructable could be easily scaled up for larger suction cup sizes, although the material weight may get out of hand.
Step 1: Materials, Tools Used
1/8" thick by 2" wide aluminum flat, slightly less than six inches per unit, ordinary hardware store item
#8-32 bolts, #8 rivnuts (had them in my parts bin, could have used any bolts and nuts of similar size) approx 1/2" grip length
1/4x20 thumbscrews, about 1" long. Again, I had some 1 1/2" in the pile, so they got used.
threadlock adhesive, aka Locktite or Permatex (medium strength)
drill bits, 1/8", 3/16",1/4"
hacksaw, band saw, center punch, file, tabletop belt sander
scrap cardboard from a frozen dinner box, pencil
Step 2: Make a Pattern
Clamp the cardboard in the handle and trace around the curve and around the pins.
Step 3: Transfer to the Aluminum
The inner outline of the handle was of no real value and I had started to cut out the cardboard before I realized that. The inner portion of the cardboard is useful to locate the screw holes used to secure the two pieces of aluminum together.
Cut out the aluminum at the outline, file and sand to remove burrs and improve the appearance.
Step 4: Drill for Pins, Bolts, Rivnuts
After making a rough guess for the "clamping" screws, I drilled to 3/16" the holes show in the photo. The rivnuts are visible on photo three of this group and pressed into place in photo four.
I was doing half the work in the garage and half out on the trash receptacle, in the sun. The aluminum and the rivnuts heated up to the point where I was not able to push the rivnuts into the holes. After letting them cool in the shade, they slid right into place.
If you are using screws and nuts, you won't have this concern, obviously.
Step 5: Convenient Rivnuts
The rivnut is threaded onto the tool, then pushed into the hole. The handles are squeezed, deforming and locking the rivnut into place. The tool is then removed. This particular tool has enough leverage to pull the threads right out of the rivnut. I've done this more than once, and simply drill out the damaged one and try again.
Step 6: Camera Mount Plate
Eyeball a hole for the screw, drill and attach with a screw.
On the flip side, I used a smaller diameter drill bit to clear the threads of the rivnut, to make a mark showing me where to drill the second hole. In the first clamp, seen in the background, the holes were perfectly positioned and the plates attached just fine. In my second attempt, the holes were about one one-sixteenth off, and I had to enlarge them to get the screws to engage.
Because the rivnuts were attached to a thick piece of material, the length of the rivnut prevented the opposite flat stock from sitting flush on the handle. After getting the holes drilled and confirming proper positioning, I then used a larger drill bit to "counter-sink" the back side of the main mounting plate, which allowed the rivnuts to recess into the plate and give me the clamping force I wanted.
Using bolts and nuts will allow for greater latitude for error in the drilling of the holes.
After final assembly, drill 1/4" holes for the thumbscrews and wing nut lock nuts.
I applied Permatex thread-lock adhesive, also known as Loctite to the threads. Nuts and bolts users could purchase nylon locking nuts as a suitable replacement.
Step 7: Locked and Loaded
The other instructable, which I could not find, used larger suction cups and simply drilled and bolted through the handle. This little dinky suction cup would too easily fracture if I had drilled. I can also easily remove the mount and the suction cup is as-new. It means I can also buy a replacement and bolt it on should the rubber dry out on this one.