Introduction: Tripod Mount for an IPad

Picture of Tripod Mount for an IPad

Taking photos for Instructables is quick and easy with an iPad, but I sometimes feel like I might drop it, or I need both hands in the photo. For those times a tripod (and the self-timer built into the software) would be very helpful. This Instructable will show a simple tripod mount for a full-size iPad.

Materials

  • Plywood -- 1/4 or 3/8 inch
  • Pine -- 1 x 1 inch
  • Angle iron -- 1 1/4 inch
  • Sheet metal or wood screws 3/4 inch minimum
  • Machine screws -- #10 x 32 3/4 inch long with locking washers and nuts
  • Wing nut -- 1/4 x 20
  • Glue

Tools

  • Saw
  • Measuring and marking tools
  • Drill
  • Countersink
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Clamps

Step 1: Angle Iron

Picture of Angle Iron

Cut a piece of angle iron 4 inches long. Grind away rough edges. Mark for drilling. On one face drill two holes just large enough to pass #10 machine screws (about 3/16 inch). On the other face drill a hole a bit larger than 1/4 inch. Space the holes equally from the ends of the angle iron as shown.

Step 2: Make Cleats

Picture of Make Cleats

The iPad will slip into three cleats made from 1 x 1 inch pine. The end in the photo has defects and I cut the bad end away before using it. But, I also ripped kerfs on a table saw to remove the small square strip seen in the lower right corner of the 1 x 1 inch pine. The resulting void fits nicely around the edge of the iPad to hold it in place, but also allow it to be pulled from the tripod mount with ease.

Step 3: Cut Plywood and Drill

Picture of Cut Plywood and Drill

I placed the iPad onto a piece of plywood I had squared at one corner. After cutting three cleats to length for the sides and bottom edge of the iPad, I placed the iPad on the plywood. I placed the cleats around around the iPad, beginning with the square corner in the plywood. Leave the fit a little loose. I marked the plywood for cutting a rectangle for the mount.

Be sure to keep the plywood a bit shorter than the short side of the iPad so the lens opening can "see" over the top of the plywood.

I marked the two smaller holes in the angle iron on the plywood and drilled. Countersink the holes for beveled head screws. See the photo.

Step 4: Attach the Plywood to the Angle Iron

Picture of Attach the Plywood to the Angle Iron

Insert the beveled head machine screws through the holes, add the locking washers and nuts, tighten the nuts on the screws. Be certain the heads of the screws are below the surface of the plywood so they do not scratch the back of the iPad.

Step 5: Add the Cleats

Picture of Add the Cleats

The iPad and the cleats will be on the side of the plywood opposite the angle iron. Add a bit of glue to the cleats where they will contact the plywood. Clamp each cleat to the plywood one by one. Drill and screw the cleats to the plywood. Double check the fit of the iPad before screwing the last side cleat in place.

Step 6: Secure to the Tripod

Picture of Secure to the Tripod

I wanted this to be a "no weld" project, so I used a wing nut on the tripod screw to hold the mount in place. If you are able to weld it, you can weld a 1/4 x 20 hex nut to the angle iron. Chase the threads with a tap, if necessary.

In the photo you can see how the cleats work, although the photo in the Introduction gives a pretty good visual description, too.

Comments

BJH3 (author)2016-01-15

Neat little design, I think I'll try it for my own use. One little quibble though, you forgot the hole for the camera to see through.

BJH3 (author)BJH32016-01-15

But then I just noticed the frame doesn't support the whole iPad so the camera peeks out from above the plywood. Nicely done.

Phil B (author)BJH32016-01-15

Thank you. In Step 3 I did mention the plywood is cut short enough for the camera lens to see over the plywood. (I often glance through Instructables without reading every line. When questions arise in my mind, I need to go back and read very carefully to see if the author mentioned what is bothering me.) Your comment made me think I could/should drill a hole around one inch in diameter so the camera lens can see no matter how the iPad is inserted into my holder. As it is now, I need to turn the iPad upside down so the lens can see over the top edge.

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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