DIY Microphone Stand





Introduction: DIY Microphone Stand

If you're here, it means you're trying to build your own mic stand. The collective wisdom of the internet will simply tell you to duct tape your mic to a broom and lean it up against a chair. DON'T LISTEN TO THEM. There's a million better ways to do this - here's mine.

Step 1: Parts

All the components for this mic stand can be found at the hardware store. I had to go to Home Depot for some of the joints, but most of it was at the local store.

see the parts list in the image above, and read on to see how they're used.

Step 2: The Boom Arm

What's difficult about making a boom mic stand is that a professional boom stand is riddled with pivot joints - these allow you to adjust the angle of the mic in almost infinite ways. Hardware stores don't carry these kinds of joints (to my knowledge) - so we'll be using the union tee fittings to achieve a similar effect.

These fittings allow you to slip a piece of PVC pipe (we'll use 1/2 inch) right through the top of the tee. On either end, there's a sort of cap that screws on and off, and inside that cap is a little rubber ring. As you screw the cap tighter, it compresses the rubber ring around the pipe and holds it in place. We'll be using these to adjust our boom arm.

Ready for step one, now?
First you'll want to remove the rubber ring from one end of each tee - this way, you'll only need to tighten and loosen one cap in order to make adjustments. So remove the ring at one end, loosen up the other end, and slip your PVC segments into each tee.

move on to step 3 to see how we finish the arm.

Step 3: The Boom Continues

now you've got two of these adjustable tee assemblies. And we're going to connect the longer 2' tee to the shorter one, using the 1/2 inch threaded adapter. The threaded end will screw into the base of the tee, and the slip end will fit over the end of the shorter PVC pipe (for extra power, you can glue the adapter to the pipe) See the pictures for a more complete explanation of how this works.

NEXT (ready?) is the mic clip. I'm positive that you can buy actual mic clips, but whilst I was at the Home Depot, I found a PVC fitting called a 'slip-snap' fitting. It's like a threaded tee joint, but the top of the tee is open (the 'snap' end?) this baby works like a charm for mics - if you can't find one, try a simple 1/2 inch tee fitting - the mic won't 'snap' in, but it should slide in all the same. See picture for assembly instructions.

Don't forget to connect your mic clip assembly to your boom arm with the 1/2 inch elbow fitting.

Step 4: The Base

Here's where it's tricky - Your PVC boom arm is awfully light, and your mic is probably not. You need a base that is sturdy and heavy, so that your stand won't tip. since the tee joint on my boom arm was threaded, I went ahead and got a 1/2 inch metal threaded pipe. It doesn't bend, and it weighs enough not to tip over.

To make it stand up, I screwed a 1/2 inch threaded adapter plate to a board. The pipe screws into the plate on the board, and the boom arm assembly screws onto the top of the pipe. 

Step 5: Complete Success and Tips

There's a lot of room for tweaks and adjustments here, but it does what it's supposed to do!

I went through some trial and error with this stand, so here's some tips:

whatever you do for the base, make sure it's sturdy and heavy. I started out using a PVC pipe for the base (cheaper) - but the weight of the mic made it bend and tip. 

Make sure all your fittings are the right diameter! Take your mic to the hardware store to measure the clips- make sure it fits. If any of your fittings are larger than 1/2 inch, make sure your pipes and connectors are also larger - everything has to be the right diameter to fit together!

Actual boom mic stands go for as cheap as $25 - I will attest that this DIY stand is rugged and fun to make, but don't spend much more on supplies than you would on an actual mic stand! 

Finally, I may have gotten the names of some of these pieces wrong - please correct me if so. Have fun!



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    24 Discussions

    where did you get the "1/2 threaded union Tee?" I went to home depot and they did not have anything like that. and when I look online for 1/2 threaded union Tee I cannot find that exact part.

    Hiya. Pretty amazing and your insights have already saved me over a dozen hours!

    I've found a union T but it's certainly not intended for the pipe to slide through it ... that ring is like a 1/2" long and high friction. Was there something you did to it? ... perhaps a thin sheet of plastic on it's inside to allow slide?

    - Randy

    Is a 'threaded union tee' the same as 'PVC Compression Tee"?

    great work

    Oh, guys - don't forget to use metallic, black spray on every parts and to put some random, clean metal elements here and there to make it look soo pro ;)

    Blue snowball compatible?

    I wasn't sure if the flange would serve my purpose. I remembered I had some old speaker stands so I placed the threaded pipe on the base and the telescopic pole of the stand on top. Luckily enough the pipe screwed into the base and I used a PVC coupling to attach the telescopic pole. I needed something to serve as a boom when shooting by myself and I think this is going to do the trick. Thanks for the project info!

    what a great idea, i was trying to figure out a solution for a joint!

    1 reply

    right? After trying to explain pivot joints to about three different hardware store employees, I stumbled on this - it was as close as I could get, but it works very well.

    Nice idea, BUT, just like so many of the instructables, the only location for the parts list is in the little picture boxes and when I download the instructable as a pdf on my Mac no list is visible :-/ Any list available? Thanks.

    1 reply

    ah, that sounds inconvenient -
    (2) 1/2" threaded union tees
    (2) 1/2" slip-threaded adapters
    (1) 1/2" slip-snap tee (threaded)
    (1) 1/2" elbow joint
    about 3-5 feet 1/2" PVC pipe
    (1)1/2" threaded pipe and (1) 1/2" threaded pipe flange [these parts are for the base - if they're hard to find, you can make a wooden stand with a 7/8" wood dowel]

    make sure you have the pictures too, though! Sometimes it's easier to identify parts by pictures than by names, and if I or the hardware store have mislabeled anything, you'll have to keep your wits sharp.

    This is a great concept for an upload mount /stand i have in mind :-)

    Very nice!

    May I make a suggestion?

    From sad experience (my age and tender hands) I know I would have difficulty in hand tightening those nuts. I think others may have a similar problem.

    I would suggest a piece of rubber hose of the appropriate diameter be applied over the nuts and held with glue if necessary.

    This would reduce the the shear force at the skin because of the larger diameter while increasing friction for the hand. In addition, I would suggest a grease on the threads although for obvious reasons the grease cannot contaminate the the clamping area.

    .Again, very nice design!

    1 reply

    This is true. I've had some trouble unscrewing these fittings myself - putting a rubber hose around those parts would definitely give you more grip!

    Could i attach a clamp to the pipe on the side if i wanted to put it on my desk you save room. :D. (The area around me is never organized)

    1 reply

    once you've assembled the boom arm, you could use any method you want to keep it upright! PVC fittings are kind of like tinkertoys - I'm sure you can figure out a clever way to attach a clamp to it. That's a good idea.

    I like this idea and will probably make my own, so thank you, but R U sure it wouldn't be better to keep the original rubber washers in the T that connects to the metal pipe? There is a lot of stress (weight is increased by the length of the arm) on that joint due to it being the worst kind of 3rd class lever - fulcrum and effort are located in the exact same position. That part was the first part of the ones I purchased from Radio Shack to give out.

    1 reply

    yikes! I'm sorry it gave out on you! You have a great point. Definitely leaving both washers in will make it more secure - I just thought it might be a bother to have to loosen both ends of the tee to make adjustments.