Introduction: Building a Threaded Pipe Steadi-cam
I found this idea on the internet of course. There are quite literally hundreds of these designs floating around. I thought I might add my version to the pile since I'm a bit fussy about what the final design looks like. This one does not look totally professional, but it's not bad for a cheap project.
1. 3 - 12" lengths of threaded pipe
2. 2 - End caps
3. 1 - Tee
4. 1 - Flange
5. 4 - 1/4" - 20 machine screws
6. 1 - Cast iron weight - I used 5lbs. You may want a few different weights depending on your camera
7. 1 - 1/4"-20 bolt for the camera mount (should be at least 1-1/2" long)
8. Some washers
9. 2 - Bicycle grips
10. Black spray paint
1. Drill or Drill Press
2. 1/4"-20 Tap
4. Screw Driver
Step 1: Drilling and Tapping the 5lb Weight
1. Trace out the holes from the flange on to the weight.
2. Drill out the holes on the drill press if you have one. Your tap and die set will tell you what size of bit to use for each tap. I'll be honest, I just eye-balled this one by grabbing a bit a little smaller than the diameter of the machine screws. Anyway, a drill will work, but you want to make sure your drilling straight down. You might also like to center punch your holes first so that your drill bit does not stray on you. These holes need to be fairly accurate so that they line of with the flange holes.
3. Once the holes have been drilled, you can thread them with a 1/4"-20 tap. 1/4" is the diameter of the hole. 20 is the number of threads per inch.
4. If you don't have a tap and die set, you should get one, or at least the most common sizes. I use 1/4-20" for a million different things. It's my favourite.
5. If you still don't have a tap and die set, you could drill these holes larger, and put bolts all the way through, with nuts on the bottom side of the weight.
Step 2: Drilling and Tapping the Top Cap
Next you'll have to drill the hole in the top of the cap. This is where the camera will mount. Because this is a small piece and hard to hold, I highly recommend clamping it in some way. Drill press is the best, but a drill will also suffice, as long as the piece is clamped in a vice.
I decided to tap this as well, but you could also drill it to size so that the bolt slides through. Then you just have to use a lock washer on the inside and a nut on the top.
Step 3: Paint
I suggest using quick dry paint here, to save you some time. While this stuff is drying you can move on to the making of the camera mount.
I drilled a couple quick holes in a piece of scrap wood to help hold the pipe in place for paint.
Don't forget to hold your spray can upside down and spray for approximately 5 seconds to clean out the nozzle.
Step 4: Camera Connector - Stories From the Scrap Bin
Most of us have a 'junk drawer', or scrap bin in our shops. This is a picture of my 'go to' container. I was actually looking for a wing-nut, when I found this random piece of metal that I figured would make a perfect tightener for my camera mount.
I drilled a hole in it on the drill press, and then tapped it with the same 1/4"-20 tap. Again, make sure to clamp small pieces so that they don't take off on your while you're drilling. Even if you can hold it down securely with your hand, you'll find that the small piece of metal gets pretty darn hot. BE SAFE!!!
My next step was to find an appropriate washer. I found an over sized one that is perfect because it gives more support to the base of the camera. I had some scrap craft foam from the dollar store laying around, so I traced a circle a little smaller in diameter than the washer itself. I then cut it out, punched a hole in it with a hole punch, and taped it on using double-sided tape.
Step 5: Assembly
The final step is to put everything together. It's pretty straight forward. The only thing worth mentioning here is that you'll have an easier time putting the bicycle grips on the pipe if you spray a tiny bit of WD-40 on the inside of the grips.