Dual Tripod With Ball-head




There are a lot of tripods out there that don't cost much. However a handy person will make his own and tweak it for its own needs.

In my case I wanted a tripod that would  give me the flexibility of taking (steady) pictures standing straight or just above the ground, and with the freedom of positioning the camera in almost any given angle.

The total cost of this project is less than 30 dollars.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials needed:

  • 4 wing screws
  • 4 pronged T-nuts
  • 15 hex bolts
  • 12 hex nuts
  • 3 threaded knobs
  • Wooden beams 18 mm: 18 mm; 7,10 m in total
  • Wooden board
  • Iron ball 35 mm
  • Piece of aluminum 60 cm: 5 cm
  • 6 rubber feet
  • 3 small chains 22 cm each
  • Key ring
  • 3 hinges
  • 3 screw hooks

Tools needed:

  • Wood clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill bit (6 mm, 7 mm, 35 mm, 25 mm)
  • Hole saw (40 mm)

Step 2: Saw

Saw six pieces of 80 cm off the wooden beams

Saw three pieces of 70 cm off the wooden beams

Saw three pieces of 15 cm off the wooden beams

Saw three pieces of 5,4 cm off the wooden beams

Saw three pieces of 2 cm off the wooden beams

I made drawings of the tripods base plates in Sketch Up, which you can download below. Glue these drawings on a wooden board (2.7 mm thick) and saw the markings out.

Saw three circles out of the wooden board using a 40 mm hole saw.

 Sand all the pieces.

Step 3: Gluing and Drilling

Drill a 6 mm hole in the top of the 15 cm pieces.

Drill two holes in the 80 cm pieces: the first hole measuring 4 cm from the top and the second hole 14 cm from the top.

Drill a 7 mm hole in three of the 80 cm pieces measuring 9 cm from the top. Lets say the previous drilled holes are on the top of the beam, then this hole has to be on the side (see picture).

Drill a 35 mm hole through one of the circles.

Drill a 25 mm hole 5 mm deep in another circle.

Take two 80 cm pieces, measure 12 cm from the top and glue a 2 cm piece between them.

Now measure 25 cm from the bottom and glue a 5,4 cm piece on top of them. Repeat this process twice.


Step 4: Connecting

Saw six plates of aluminum, each 10 cm long. Drill holes in every corner of the plate corresponding to the holes in the wooden beams.

Take two aluminum plates and connect them to the wooden beams with hex bolts and hex nuts.

Put a pronged T-nut in the side and bolt a wing screw in it.

Take the 70 cm pieces and put them between the 80 cm wooden beams which you just connected.

Take the rubber feet and put them on the endings.

Repeat this twice.

Screw the hinges on the top of the finished legs. Next screw the legs on the hexagon tripod base plate.

Screw the screw hooks on the 5,4 cm pieces of the legs.

Connect the three chains to the key ring and to the screw hooks.

Step 5: The Ball Head + Connecting Small Tripod

Drill a 6 mm hole in the steel ball 10 mm deep. Glue a threaded rod in this hole.

Take the left over tripod base plate and glue the two circles on top. Drill a 7 mm hole in the side of the top circle and put a pronged T-nut in it. Next screw the wing screw in place. Glue the last circle on the bottom.

Putt the metal ball in the top.

It is a tight fit, but once in place the ball moves freely

Take the 15 cm pieces. These are the legs of the small tripod. Put rubber feet on the legs.

Take three black knobs and three hex bolts to connect the legs to the base.

Step 6: Finishing

Now you can put the small tripod on the big tripod. Or you can just use the small one.

Slide the legs to make the tripod smaller or taller.

The ball head gives a lot of freedom while photographing.

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24 Discussions


7 years ago on Introduction

Just a few questions- Isn't the iron ball a little too small? Or is 35mm the radius? And where did you get the iron ball? Thanks


7 years ago on Introduction

Really cool tripod man! I love that you made it out of wood to it looks great. You should maybe consider putting some type of polyurethane finish or stain it to make the grain pop. Keep up the good work!


7 years ago on Introduction

Would adding some PTFE pads to where the ball is mounted make movement smoother? Or would it slip too much?

2 replies

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I think it will work fine with the pads, but i don't know how to mount them.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Amazon sells bondable PTFE. It has a beige and a white side, and both epoxy and superglue sticks to the beige side. I use it heavily for astronomy projects where I want smooth movement.

One can also buy PTFE tape (people use it for the feet of computer mice).


7 years ago on Introduction

Very nice! I fave'd so hopefully I'll get around to making one in ammonia vapor stained oak soon! Also voted for ya! Very nice work!

1 reply

7 years ago on Step 2

SketchUp is a great tool. I learned about it while working for a university and use it for most of my wood projects now. The company is based in Boulder and was bought by Google to help fund the continuation of it and get the word out about it to more people.


1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

Real nice job HHarry!

Only one thing i would add... though you many have it already on the side we can't see in your photos.

Most Ball heads have a grove on one side ever so slightly wider than the camera screw mount to allow the ball to swing to a 90° angle.

This should be fairly easy to accomplish. Even a slot on both sides might be nice. as well as the design pictured which a larger drill with the conecting slot should be very easy to add to your design.

One would just want to make sure it stops at 90° at least on one side and maybe goes a little past 90° on the other side.

and i'd finish the wood just to keep it in good condition and protect the wood from the elements.

Though as is - as stated it's a real nice job for sure.

@ Monkey98 - just ask your school shop class instructor for a little help - usually through the shop class the materials will be less expesive and this doesn't seem to take a lot of materials at all from what i'm seeing.

As well - you can find various parts possibly from broken items. A screw here - a washer there

and then there always is the alternative like when i was your age... mow a lawn or two - get a paper route. Sweep a local store - wash some cars....
Sell some seeds... grow a garden and sell the veggies you grow and on an on.

At 11 i was washing Pots at a resturant. The pots were as big as i was almost... but i did it. As it was the only way i could get what i wanted...

And in the end - You'll have more than enough money for this small project than you need in no time at all.
And possibly enough for some tools - a new camera - maybe a bike even... a computor... an X-box.... ;0)

1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

=////=======> And a great reminder of "Hardware Possibilities"..! Thank You. G-G


7 years ago on Step 5

I gather that a small trailer hitch ball can be used for this kind of think plus, it is drilled and hardened for wear resistance..