Make a Flexible Camera Mount in 10 Minutes

December 10, 2013 in Tips and Techniques

When I first started doing photo and video tutorials for crochet I was stymied on how to position the camera.  After a quick internet search I concluded that people were filming  with the tripod in between them and their hands.  I made my magic ring tutorial this way and it worked even if it was a bit awkward because I couldn’t see what I was doing and my arms were outstretched.  Then I stumbled on a DIY where someone disassembled a task lamp and turned it into a suspended camera mount. Brilliant!

The tutorial involved making several pieces with some sawing and drilling involved.  I live in an apartment and  don’t have many tools or access to a place to make tiny cut up pieces of wood with precisely drilled holes.  So I came up with this 10 minute hack using a table top tripod that I bought for around $10 and a flexible task lamp purchased from the thrift store for $5.  So here’s my tutorial on how to make a flexible camera mount in 10 minutes using less than $20 in parts and a handful of tools.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

  • A flexible neck task lamp. This one at Amazon is exactly like the one I bought at the thrift store.
  • A table top tripod like this or maybe this.
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters (not pictured because I wasn’t sure I’d get that far)

The camera that I use for filming YouTube videos is this Logitech C920 HD web cam.  This mount will also hold up a little point-and-shoot camera but it probably would droop under a heavy DSLR so if you’ve got one of those you might want to look for a swing arm task lamp that can clamp to a table.

 Step 2: Disassemble the Lamp

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

First, I removed the front bezel by twisting and pulling firmly.  If your lamp is all one piece you might not have anything to remove here.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

Next, I grabbed the knob on the back and pulled to reveal the switch underneath.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.comUsing the pliers, I removed the nut from around the switch.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

If you turn it over, it will now look like this with the light assembly almost ready to remove.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

Next I unscrewed the plate from the bottom of the lamp.
Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

This is a weight to keep the lamp from falling over and some carboard to keep the weight in place.  I saved both of these because I wanted to put the weight back.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

Next I cut the wire where it entered the neck of the lamp.Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

Then I trimmed it closely on both sides where it went through the base of the lamp. The plastic plug used to hold the cord in isn’t removable without destroying it and I didn’t really care if it was there after the fact so I saved myself a headache by not trying to remove it fully.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

I grabbed the white ceramic insulator and pulled the light assembly out through the head of the lamp.  I then replaced the weight and cardboard in the base and screwed it back on.

Step 3: Disassemble the tripod

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

I moved onto the tripod dis assembly

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

Turning it over, I saw that there was just one screw in the plate holding the legs in place so I just unscrewed the screw.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

 

The parts I used were the mount assembly, the plate and the screw.  I kept the legs because I can always quickly reassembly this into a tripod if I wanted it.

Step 4: Flexible mount assembly

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

Looking down in the cup for the head of the lamp, there are a bunch of vent holes around the central hole where the switch came through.  If you buy a lamp that is switched in some other way (either at the base or on the cord)it might not have these holes so be careful.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

I inserted the screw into the plate and then placed the plate and screw over the center hole in the lamp head.

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com
I used the screwdriver to hold the screw in place and gently screwed the mount assembly onto the screw from the outside.  And that’s it!

Make a Flexible Camera Mount | RiotofDaisies.com

What do you think?  Will you be making one for yourself?