Part three of my series on abusing camera tripods is a simple mount for my digital projector. This instructable requires welding, and, potentially a lathe if you make the same mistakes I did. It's probably a good idea to use a heavy duty tripod for this project because this is adding about ten pounds to the top of your tripod.
Step 1: Safety
I use an angle grinder pretty often because I haven't gotten around to getting a bandsaw yet and I'd rather not use a hacksaw. The problem is that cut off discs get worn out quickly and can get dangerous fast. If your discs even start to look like the one shown here, DO NOT USE! It's not worth the grief if one of these explode on you.
Please be safe with power tools people.
Step 2: Layout and Measuring
The first step in this project is to measure your particular projector. Because this mount is a tray, the height of the sides is less important. You have to remember to leave any vents uncovered. For materials, i used some bits of scrap angle iron, and some steel strapping. You probably want to use mild steel for the strapping, I used spring steel because I had some lying around, but this turned out to be a mistake.
Step 3: Test Fit
Some c-clamps are useful for weld prep. Make sure you remember your projector dimensions properly. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that my smaller rack dimension here is 1/4" smaller than it should be. Don't do that, because it wastes your scrap. It also helps to align the angles perpendicularly to the crosspiece.
Step 4: Tripod Interface
This step involves drilling and tapping a 1/4" - 20 threaded hole in the center of the tray you just welded. This is the step where using spring steel is disadvantageous. If you don't have a drill that you can set the proper speed on, it's easy to work harden and break bits on. I ended up turning a plug on a lathe because it was simpler than annealing the steel after it hardens.
Step 5: Tie Down Points
A requirement for my mount is to have tie downs for the projector. I had a couple of these steel chunks with nice holes lying around. A couple of quick welds to the side of the tray and I have some tie down points.
Step 6: Paint!
The final step is to make the stand pretty. I was too lazy in the beginning to grind off the surface rust on my mount so I used rust converting paint first. You do probably want to use a wire brush or something on the parts that will be inaccessible after welding.
Step 7: Finish
Now you're ready to go watch your movies anywhere. (or video games, or web browse) It's much more adjustable that the upturned plastic bucket I was using previously.