Picture of Pocket Tripod
A useful tripod that's easy to make and fits in your pocket. It uses stiff wire wrapped in electrical tape as legs, and taped to a bolt. I have like 4 now so i'll give one to my friend that wanted one.

Step 1: Get Supplies

Picture of Get Supplies
you need 4 things:

3 Stiff pieces of wire, 10+ inches long (old coat hangers, copper house wiring)

a 1/4" bolt that fits camera mounts, they're pretty common

electrical tape

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I wonder how thick the stiff wire is... I don't think the wire I have will be able to take the weight of my camera
What about using duct tape instead of electrical tape? Wouldn't that hold up better or at least improve the grip of the legs when they are wrapping aroudn something?
theRIAA (author)  Sean Et Cetera7 years ago
it would not improve the grip, but it might be more durable
theRIAA (author)  spork9697 years ago
only on the legs, but you have to use electrical tape to hold the legs together. You will never get the duct tape tight enough.
shakna theRIAA5 years ago
I've actually made a tripod using only duct tape, no etape, and it's worked fine for me for a while... You just need to be patient while applying the duct tape so you get it straight, it can be plenty tight enough.
the point is etape stretches, allowing for a very tight grip, whereas ductape can't stretch well b/c of its internal fabric - what duct-tape DOES have is a stronger adhesive

@theRIAA: very nice, i've been looking at those "gorillapods" and my girlfriend actually has one - this is that and for cheap! i'm getting up as soon as i press post to make one! i can hardly believe i never thought of this, i'm personally a strong proponent of stiff wire and tape
vikarious8 years ago
I've made mine like this :
Uh... hey, Vikarious... why the heck don't you post your "how to" project in making your redesign of the tripod? I think yours looks amazing.
I'm curious to know: what type of wire did you use for the legs? Those don't look like wire coat hangers to me and appear to be covered with a coating?
scoatw5 years ago
I wonder if one could solder the coat hanger to the bolt ?
theRIAA (author)  scoatw5 years ago
With a propane torch possibly, but it might not hold.
I use this method quite alot I was looking at gorilla pods But the slr one is about 20£ in my county so i needed to make my own and came across something like this
arikyeo6 years ago
For those of you who live in Singapore, I got it from my usual hardware store(in Singapore, that is). It's called Chong Brother Hardware Supply. There's one in CCK and 1 in Teck Whye. The CCK one (CCK is Choa Chu Kang, Google it) cos' it has more things in it... but... it's more dusty...
_soapy_8 years ago
What size & thread is the bolt? They aren't common outside the US as far as I know, because it is an old imperial size and pitch. Neat idea, regardless.
arikyeo _soapy_6 years ago
where do u live?
Myself _soapy_8 years ago
1/4"-20, which means quarter inch, twenty threads per inch. The most common thread in the US, if not the rest of the world. It's on cameras no matter where you go, so nyah nyah! ;)
_soapy_ Myself8 years ago
Thanks. I'll be able to either track one down, or get one made. I have no objection to special cases, as long as they are consistent and available.
theRIAA (author)  _soapy_8 years ago
get one made? lol, im sure you can buy a pack online for like $10 total
The 1/4"-20 is obsolete nowadays and only used for tripods. (To the most of my knowledge.) I would love to be corrected however.
My source: "The de facto standard threading for the screw that attaches the camera to the tripod is Whitworth 1/4"-20 for small cameras or Whitworth 3/8"-16 for larger cameras. (This otherwise obsolete thread system is similar to the Unified Thread Standard still used in the USA, but with a different thread angle.)" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripod_(photography)
theRIAA (author)  spork9697 years ago
i see what you mean, but it the bolt worked fine for me. "different thread angle" meaning heftier or skinnier threads, but the same 20 TPI, so not much difference, i think... 1/4"-20 are still standard bolts.
Well I tried using a "standard" bolt, and it won't go in. However, when using a real tripod, it works fine. So I'm thinking the "different thread angle" means a different number of threads per inch. I'll take a picture in a few next to a ruler and find out.
Ok. I feel stupid. Turns out it does fit perfectly and I'm just an idiot. Great instructable and idea.
theRIAA (author)  spork9697 years ago
np :P
dafastlife7 years ago
my first use of the website thanx works great!
Bit late but welcome
Sorry i ment i'm a bit late My bad.. Just read
Lance Mt.6 years ago
I love it, seriously. Cheap, easy and looks heap durable
scoatw6 years ago
Another vote for a Great idea. I was thinking of purchasing a gorilla pod until I saw this. I just made one. Total cost $4. I stopped off at the Dry Cleaners and picked up some wire hangers. I added a wingnut with a 1/4" fender washer to snug up against the camera. I also added some little rubber thingys that I took off of a bungee cord I had and made little feet for it. Thanks for the idea.
shilohjim7 years ago
I was thinking about making something like this and you beat me to it. Cheap and simple,I like it.
unjust8 years ago
great idea. i'd make the following changes: -use romex type solid core insulated wires. (free scrap!) -bend the non-bolt end into a tight loop. -cover with heat shrink, with the free end tucked back in before shrinking for a clean end look (depends on how good you are with bending the loop pretty. -use 2 heavy duty zip ties and cover in a few wraps of self adherent silicione tape --no adhesive to squish out, no stretch, not going to come apart in a hot car -use a wing head bolt. -maybe mount the wires to a bushing around the bolt. -2 thin nuts or 1 nut with locktite to hold the bushing on and prevent over penetration into camera guts. think i'm gonna have to make me one of these.
What are romex type solid core insulated wires, and where can I get them?
typical new construction household electrical wire. small bits you can probably scrounge from housing construction dumpsters.
unjust unjust8 years ago
i should add that e tape is great stuff -for it's designed purpose- which is insulating wires, however it is not heat stable over ~140F and does not do well under shear or abrasive forces. while more $$ self adhering silicone tape is comperable for this purpose, and won't get glue on everything. some zip/wire ties do come with a strength rating, while e tape does not, and while laminated tape is pretty damn strong, it's not going to be as stable.
This is a very nice tripod it holds my Cannon dslr and it almost holds my xlh1. very pprotable and easy good instructable
Bicyclette8 years ago
Do you think this would hold an SLR?
theRIAA (author)  Bicyclette8 years ago
if you used copper house wiring, than yes, it would hold an SLR, if you use something else and it wobbles, then just add more legs (4-6). post how it turns out. i'm curious
Whatnot8 years ago
That bolt might be common in the US but in areas where they use ISO metric bolts (ie much of the EU), you have a hard time finding these lying around. In fact the quickest way of finding one is.. a cheap tripod :)
oldbogus8 years ago
I think you mean "nuts" in this sentence: you can screw on a bolt to snug up your camera, or 2 bolts screwed together as a stop. I gotta make one (or two) of these!
evy-wevy8 years ago
awww man? i just bought a gorillapod!
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