I recently got around to making some accessories for my tripod (a phone mount/clamp and a boom arm for said clamp) to make life easier when shooting video in the shop.  I’ve wanted to do this for about a year now, but only just got around to it.  After sharing some pictures via Instagram I got several requests for selling or sharing plans for these two accessories, but we’re not in the phone/camera business so we don’t plan on selling them.  We are in the hope-this-makes-your-life-better-for-free business, however, so enjoy.  This first post will cover the phone holder (a.k.a. clamp) that mounts the phone to the tripod.  The next entry will cover the boom arm attachment.

Disclaimer:  If you make a phone holder/clamp like ours be aware there’s nothing to stop you from cranking down on the nut and cracking your screen… use common sense because we won’t be replacing any phones.

The holder is based on our Drawer Slip Clamps and uses one standard set of stainless steel hardware.  The jaws are 4″ long and 3/4″ thick just like our clamps, but to hold the phone they were made wider at 2″ (this was to hold an iPhone 6s, your phone may be different so size the width accordingly).  Brass inserts were installed in the bottom and end of the clamp for the tripod attachment plate and a 3/4″ notch was cut out of the sliding jaw to provide access to the Home and Photo button on the phone.  Finally, some thick leather was glued (I used contact cement) on the ends of the jaws to provide some extra grip and cushion.

The fixed jaw gets drilled and tapped to receive the threaded rods. The tap table keeps everything perfectly perpendicular.

The fixed jaw gets drilled and tapped to receive the threaded rods. The tap table keeps everything perfectly perpendicular.

With the sliding jaw roughed out, to clearance holes were drilled for the threaded rod to pass through, then a 3/4" was bored out for access to the Home button. After drilling the hole, cut through to the end to form the U-shaped notch.

With the sliding jaw roughed out, two clearance holes were drilled for the threaded rod to pass through, then a 3/4″ hole was bored out for access to the Home button. After drilling the hole, cut through to the end to form the U-shaped notch.

I don't love brass inserts and avoid them when possible, but this application was well suited for them. To install them accurately, I threaded a 1/4-20 post into the insert, then jammed a nut against the insert to lock everything in place...

I don’t love brass inserts and avoid them when possible, but this application was well suited for them. To install the inserts accurately, I threaded a 1/4-20 post into the insert, then jammed a nut against the insert to lock everything in place…

Next, I chucked this assembly into the drill and applied downward pressure while turning the chuck by hand. This kept the insert from threading in crooked.

Next, I chucked this assembly into the drill and applied downward pressure while turning the chuck by hand. This kept the insert from threading in crooked.

The inserts installed cleanly, but I left the split portion proud of the jaw so I could grind it flush. FYI- if you try to use a flathead screwdriver to install the insert you will likely snap it.

The inserts installed cleanly, but I left the split portion proud of the jaw so I could grind it flush. FYI- if you try to use a flathead screwdriver to install the insert you will likely snap it.

The completed clamp, inserts ground flush.

The completed clamp, inserts ground flush.

The U-notch allows access to the Home button and Picture button.

The U-notch allows access to the Home button and Photo button.

Final product, made from Sapele and finished with Watco danish oil.

Final product, made from Sapele and finished with Watco danish oil.

Close up of the leather padding.

Close up of the leather padding.

This is the standard camera attachment piece that comes with most tripods. The 1/4x20 screw normally gets threaded directly into the bottom of the camera, but phone's don't include that feature... hence the reason for this build.

This is the standard camera attachment piece that comes with most tripods. The 1/4×20 screw normally gets threaded directly into the bottom of the camera, but phone’s don’t include that feature… hence the reason for this build.

Here's the basic setup. The tripod's attachment piece screws into the clamp via the brass inserts. The clamp holds the phone (vertically or horizontally), and this entire assembly gets mounted to the tripod.

Here’s the basic setup. The tripod’s attachment piece screws into the clamp via the brass inserts. The clamp holds the phone, and this entire assembly gets mounted to the tripod.

 

There you have it, the phone mounted to the tripod.

There you have it, the phone mounted to the tripod.

Put out a camera, my daughters instantly strike a pose.

Put out a camera, my daughters instantly strike a pose.

The 1/4x20 inserts can also mount directly into desk-top tripods, double bonus.

The 1/4×20 inserts can also mount directly into desk-top tripods, double bonus.

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1 comment

  1. Jolly says: May 26, 2016