Introduction: The Multi-Axis Camera Mount

About: I build drums, make costumes, work on house projects/repairs, dabble in Genealogy, eat tacos, and sometimes work in IT.

I recently made a camera track system for my workshop. However, the camera mount only had one axis of movement and as soon as I had it assembled, I knew I could improve on the design.

I wanted two axes!! (I know that looks weird, but I looked it up, and that turns out to be the plural of axis). Using what I liked about Version 1.0 and a pile of scrap, I got to work.

Step 1: Fabricating the Camera Mount

The camera mount base is made from plywood, cut on the table saw. Two 3/4" dadoes, with a separation of 1 1/2", are cut off of center into the bottom of this board. 3/4" away from the more central dado, and centered between the other two sides a mark is made for the threaded camera mount location. From the top side of the board, a forstner bit is used to drill a hole large enough in diameter for a lock nut and just deep enough so that it sits just below the surface. The hole is then drilled through with a 1/4" bit.

The support rails are ripped to width on the table saw and cut to length on the miter saw. Any exposed corners are nipped at 45 degrees to eliminate the sharpness.

Lastly, a spacer block is cut to fit between the support rails on the squared end. a 5/16" hole is drilled 3/4" down from the "top" and centered between the sides.

Camera Mount Base: 6 5/8" x 7 1/2"
Rails: 7 1/2" x 2 1/2"

Step 2: Fabricating the Threaded Camera Mount Handle

For the threaded camera mount, I cut the head off of a 1/4-20 bolt (threaded rod is another option) and used a lock nut to set the depth for my camera's insert. That will keep me from cranking it too tight, but also makes me comfortable hanging my camera from the ceiling because I know I have a solid connection. The handle is a section of 1 1/4" dowel with a hole drilled down the center for gluing in the bolt, which is done with epoxy.

Step 3: Fabricating the Rotating Hub

If you think more steps ahead than I did (since i was designing on the fly), you'll drill all the necessary holes prior to assembly. I didn't do this, but it still worked out.

The center point is found on the base plate. Using a forstner bit, a hole is drilled just wide and deep enough to recess the flange of a 5/16" T-Nut. The hole is then drilled through with a 5/16" bit.

On the side with the recess, two sides supports, which will accept the boom arm, are attached. As you can see, I over-thought the positioning (my OCD). The critical measurement is to leave 1 1/2" between the sides ... I used the actual rail as a spacer while I glued and pin nailed the sides in place. Once the glue set up, I pre-drilled for 4 screws and made this part solid.

The handle for this axis is very simple. A desired length of dowel drilled down the center for a cut off 5/16" bolt and a fender washer ... assembled using epoxy. The critical measurement here is the length of the exposed bolt. It needs to be long enough to bypass the 3/4" spacer block and into the layer of 3/4" plywood, which has the recessed T-Nut. However, if it extends past the backside of the T-Nut, it will interfere with the boom arm. Cutting it longer and grinding it down is the better option.

Base: 3 1/2" x 4"
Side Mounts: 2 1/2" x 2 3/8"

Step 4: Fabricating the Axis

Since I didn't plan accordingly, I need to drill 1 1/4" holes post assembly for the dowel bushing/axis. Using the existing holes and going slow, I enlarged the existing 5/16" holes to into 1 1/4" holes with a forstner bit. I only had to drill to a depth of 1/4 on each part, so this was terribly difficult.

A section of dowel is cut and a 5/16" hole drilled through the center. Don't worry if it's too long ... you can always reduce the length with a sander.

Step 5: Assembly Glamour Shots

All of the parts were hand sanded to break all the sharp edges and a coat of boiled linseed oil was applied. You can see from several angles how the parts fit together.

Step 6: Multi-axis Camera Mount Glamour Shots

This mount attaches to the boom arm using a 5/16" x 3 1/2" carriage bolt and star knob (just like Version 1.0). The camera can be tilted for overhead shots without having to change the orientation of the actual camera to the mount base.

This is my main mount and I plan to make another. Version 1.0 is ok, but this one is way better.

Step 7: The Build Video

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