Introduction: Simple Tablet/Smartphone Tripod Mount

The cameras in the tablets and smartphones that many people carry in their pocket every day pack a lot of picture-taking power that was unheard of for cell phones only a few years ago!  However, smartphones and tablets aren't typically equipped with a tripod mount.  This Instructable will show an easy method to create a tripod mount for your tablet of smartphone!  This is great for taking video or steady pictures to make Instructables!

Step 1: Tools/Materials!

This project was made entirely of parts I had lying around from other projects.
I attempted to list prices for things based on my memory to be helpful.  All tools and materials can be altered or improvised based on what is available to you!

Tools:
  1. Heat Gun - mine is from Harbor Freight and was about $8 after a coupon if memory serves.
  2. Oscillating cutter - Harbor Freight about $40 after coupon
  3. Dremel Rotary tool - 4000 series, $140 Amazon
  4. Tap and Die set - Harbor Freight, on sale with a coupon for around $15
  5. Hot Glue Gun - $5 from the craft store
  6. Ratcheting Bar Clamp - Harbor Freight, $3 with coupon
Materials:
  1. 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC Pipe - $2-3 for 10 feet at a home improvement store.  We will only use about 6 inches, and mine was left over from another project.
  2. Foam rubber sheet - This is from my local craft store.  It was about $0.50 for an entire sheet.
  3. 1/4" threaded rod segment - $3-4 from the hardware store.  Again, this was left over from another project.
  4. Optional: Two-Part Epoxy, and 1/4" nuts - both of these range in price.  Nuts will be no more than $1-3.  Epoxy is usually around $6 when I buy it but it will last a long time.

Step 2: PVC Brackets Pt 1.

We will use PVC to make two brackets to hold the tablet.  The superscript references pictures, with the numbers running top to bottom, left to right in correlation with the pictures presented. 
  1. Cut two small sections of 1/2" PVC pipe, and cut one end of each section lengthwise(1).  Both of my sections were about 3" in length, and I made the cuts using the oscillating cutter.
  2. Heat the sections of PVC until they are each soft and fairly bendable.  On this small of a skill it's very easy to tell when this point is reached(2).  You may want to wear some sort of protective gloves during this process, as the plastic can get hot.
  3. Bend the PVC into the bracket shape.  I did this by using scrap wood to form the flat part of the bracket, and used the ratcheting bar clamp to clamp it to my work table(3).  A small scrap piece of tubing sat under the curved part of the bracket, and the plastic naturally formed around it(4).  The shape we're going for is Picture 5.
  4. Cut two small pieces of the foam rubber sheet and use the hot glue gun to affix them to the inside of the brackets(6).  These will cushion the tablet and provide friction to hold it securely(7).

Step 3: PVC Brackets Pt. 2

This step mainly requires drilling and tapping holes.
  1. Two holes need to be drilled on the flat parts of each bracket.  These should both be slightly wider than the diameter of the threaded rod.(1-2)
  2. Another hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the threaded rod needs to be drilled on the middle of the curved part of the bottom bracket(3).  I used my a tap to thread this hold, and then glued a nut in place over it to give the mount more space to attach to a tripod(4).
It is important to note that the nut that was glued in place wasn't nearly as effective as anticipated.  Even using strong glue, the nut broke off multiple times.  This could easily be due to my inability to use a tripod appropriately.  More experienced photographers may have no issues.

Step 4: Assembly and Conclusion

Assembly:
  1. Slide the threaded rod through the holes in both the top and bottom bracket.
  2. Place the tablet/smartphone in between the two brackets, pushing them together.
  3. Use nuts on either side of the threaded rod to hold the brackets securely on each side of the tablet.
  4. Thread the hole/nut on the bottom bracket onto the threaded bolt on your tripod.
This tripod mount allows me to shoot video with my tablet when I don't have someone available to film for me, which is quite often.  The camera on my tablet happen to be the only HD video recorder I have available as well, so this project was a necessity for me.

Go forth, build your own, and take awesome videos and pictures!
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Also, I really like when people comment/subscribe/rate on my Instructables!  It helps keep me motivated to publish the thing that I make!  Thank you for reading!

Comments

author
jbomb0826 made it! (author)2015-05-12

I made this but I added a coupler to attach more elbows or to PVC mounts

temp_1982060905.jpgtemp_702182553.jpg
author
fozzy13 (author)jbomb08262015-05-12

That's a great idea! It would give you a lot of options for building up a tripod to get different angles! Thanks for sharing and commenting!

author
seamster (author)2015-03-08

Excellent work! I love clever projects like this. Very well done!

author
fozzy13 (author)seamster2015-03-08

Thank you! I wrote this a long time ago, and went through my drafts wondering why I didn't publish it. I think I was waiting on a photo contest. Thanks for the comment!

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Bio: I am currently a mechanical engineering student at the University of Toledo, and the founder of the University of Toledo Maker Society. I have a ... More »
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