The goal of this ible is to show you how to make an extension for any tripod. I made this when I was trying to get a better top view for my video camera for a youtube series I am making where I needed to move the tripod out of my way while keeping a first person point of view.
I also added a second version. It's a bit more finicky, but much more sturdy.
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Step 1: Materials
Optional (if you can't get a rod of the exact size you need to start with)
- hacksaw (4$!) or bolt cutter
- thread tapper to clean up the cut side; if you don't have any, do consider getting a kit; each one costs 4-10$ but a decent starter kit for 20-40$ if you think you will ever need more than 2 pieces. I made my kit pay for itself after I re-tapped a poorly made flat-packed piece of furniture that cost over 600$. After tearing out the first nut from in the particle board, I re-tapped the rest and my issues went away.
- To build the sturdier but more difficult version, you will need a second rod (the first one cut in half could be enough), 2 pieces of plywood, 2 more t-nuts and 4 more nuts.
Step 2: Cut to Size and Clean
The first step is to cut the rod to the length you need. Once this is done, it will be difficult or impossible to use it, so you need to clean the threads.
Step 3: Insert the Nuts
This will have a male end (goes into the camera) and a female end (goes on the tripod mount).
Put two nuts on each side and move them in a few inches, once you have the t-nuts at the right depth, use the regular nuts to lock the t-nut in place. The first one should do the job, the second one is a guarantee.
Here is a diagram of the assembly (t-nut)(nut)(nut)(rod)(nut)(nut)(t-nut); on both ends the flat-side of the t-nut is facing outwards.
The female side is less finicky, if you make it too long or too shallow, it won't change all that much, but you are best off making sure you have enough space by assembling it all directly on the mount. The t-nut has the added advantage that it has a very deep threading area, and a large flat end to prevent too much force being applied on a very small area.
For the male side, you want no more than 3 threads showing, otherwise you could damage your mount. If you want to be sure you can use a similar method as above. Insert the rod and make sure you don't tighten. Once it bottoms out, turn it back a quarter turn, and you now have a very safe depth.
Step 4: Version 2
The alternative build is to use a second rod as a tension rod.
Take two small pieces of plywood and drill holes while they are clamped together, then hammer the t-nuts in deep enough for the t-nuts to be flush with the wood.
Once the 2 nuts have been inserted at both ends for the two rods, the first step is to insert the rod that will go in the camera. This is the first step because you have to make sure that the camera is aligned in a way that makes sense when you use the rig.
After that, its a matter of inserting the bottom plate, with the face of the t-nut going out as with the simpler version.
Lastly, insert the second rod, and use the 8 nuts to lock everything up.