Easy Nerf Camera Tripod

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Intro: Easy Nerf Camera Tripod

Imagine you're 12 years old and have just came out of "imaginary gunfights with nerf guns because I think it's cool" stage. You now have all these Nerf guns and accessories on your hands and you don't know what to do. Sell them? How about Up-Cycle them into usable things. So, If you're an aspiring teen, a photographer on a budget, someone who wants to take great photos for their instructable, or just and Average Joe who wants to save the planet by recycling, this project is for you. In this Instructable, I hope to teach you how to take an old Nerf tripod and convert it for camera use. Lets get to work.

Step 1: Parts

Here is what you'll need:

- Nerf Vulcan Tripod
-1/4" Bolt
-1/4" Nut
-1/4" Wing nut
-1/4" Flange Washer
- (Opt.) 1/4" Lock Washer

Tools

-Drill
-1/4" Drill bit
-Pliers
-Philips Screwdriver
-(Opt.) File

You may be wondering, "Hey, What's with all the Quarter Inch Stuff? Can't I trade them for stuff I have in my parts bin or garage?"
Sorry, truth is, it has to be 1/4" because that is the size of the threads on almost all cameras and camcorders. Trust me, the bolt, nuts, and washers combined are going to only be about a dollar give or take at the hardware store. But if you have them in your parts bin, good for you.







Step 2: Take Off the Lid

I've already done this to my tripod but I took it apart for pictures so if you see things I haven't explained yet, I will in later steps. 
Our first objective is to remove the four screws on the top. After this is done, the lid should come off easily.

Step 3: Prepare for Drilling!

 Now, on the underside of the lid, there will be this "ridge". Remove it by peeling it off with pliers or filing it down. Honestly though, just use pliers, the plastic is soft enough.

Step 4: Drill!

 Now you can drill through the center of the lid with a 1/4" bit.

Step 5: Install the Bolt

 Put the 1/4" bolt through the lid (yes it must be 1/4"), like in the picture. When this is done (it takes like a second), thread the nut on and tighten with pliers. I do suggest using a lock washer but if you don't have one, just tighten down really good so that your camera won't spin.

Step 6: Replace the Lid

 Place the lid back on and screw it in.

Step 7: Camera Stability

 If you have a larger camera, to increase the stability, add a wing nut and a flange washer like so. It gives your camera a surface upon which to sit on

Step 8: Done!

 Now go and take great pictures! Here is an Instructable I published on how to take great photos. Kinda like in this instructable. It's pretty easy and cheap too!

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    14 Discussions

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    erana_reborn

    6 weeks ago

    Congrats. You just turned a rare and valuable Vulcan tripod that would fetch quite a sum in ebay into a basic camera tripod that you could have bought for a buck at the dollar store.

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    GeekTinker

    8 years ago on Step 7

     Be cautious with using an extra long 1/4 bolt without support for your camera.  Especially if it is a heavy camera.  You can damage the tripod mount for your camera.  If this happens it is either not able to fixed or will have a high cost to fix.

    8 replies
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    fruitkid101GeekTinker

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    I agree however my camera is relatively light and a 2" bolt is all I had at the time. I do suggest using a one inch, its better.

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    GeekTinkerfruitkid101

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    That makes good sense.  I was posting from experience.  The one that I broke is by today's average weight moderately heavy pro-sumer video camera.  I had to send it in to Canon to be fixed along with some internal issues that kept it from working.  I'm not sure what portion of the cost went towards fixing the tripod mount, but the total bill was $300.  Taught me a valuable lesson about using DIY steady cam rigs.  Of course, it has been used to film paintball tournaments, held backpack and attached to a helmet cam, and survived a 10 day trip to Zambia and back.  ;)

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    mg0930mgGeekTinker

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, I'm looking into videoing paintball tourneys. What'd you do for your camera to protect it from hits, or were you filming from the sidelines?

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    GeekTinkermg0930mg

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I realize this is 5 months late. I usually keep up with the discussions, but this one slipped past my radar.

    Most of the time I film paintball within the netting from the sidelines as players do not like it when the camera operator gets in their way. However, most of the time to get the best shot of one player shooting another you have to get into a position where one of them can hit you with paintballs while you are filming. Other times, you get hit by stray paintballs from players who really aren't aiming, players that think you are on the other team, players that are shooting down a lane that you just happen to be in, and shots that ricochet off of inflatable bunkers and into you.

    I use my body to protect my camera when I can. Since I'm already wearing a paintball helmet while filming, I can turn my body and tuck in the camera to take the hits anywhere but on the camera. I also installed a UV filter onto my lens as a last resort.

    Currently, I record with a GoPro Hero Helmet Cam, that has a very strong protective outer body shell. I also have a Canon GL2. I took a thick neoprene laptop bag and cut two holes into it. One into the bottom corner and a second one on the side lined up where the video display screen flips out. I place the video camera into the laptop bag with the lens sticking out the hole in one corner and film with my hand inside zippered opening of the sleeve with the camera. This sounds like a good topic for an instructable with pictures for me to type out. ;)

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    mg0930mgGeekTinker

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Better late than never. How well does the laptop case idea work, I have a fairly small camera, would a uv lens, and maybe just a case work. It's the canon vixia hf10, if that helps.

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    GeekTinkerfruitkid101

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

     Hah!  I wish!  I am a true "hobbyist" of the art.  I don't think I've ever made a dime over the cost of all of the camera gear.  However, I have come close to finding temporary satisfaction for my creative impulses every now and then.  It is one good reason for coming to Instructables.com and reading the thoughtful lessons like the ones you have posted!

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    origamic12

    8 years ago on Introduction

    "Imagine you're 12 years old and have just came out of "imaginary gunfights with nerf guns because I think it's cool" stage."

    lol Has'nt happened to me yet.

    and if (formsome reason) you dont want to be seen with a nerf object you can sand of the logos and paint it flat black or to  mactch your camera (but people familar with nerf could still reconize it)

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    Kaiven

    8 years ago on Introduction

     I never left that phase of Nerf... I still buy the guns and mod them. I have some good fun with friends just shooting at each other and stuff.