iPhone Tripod Mount

iPhone Tripod Mount

The other day my friend and I were filming. We were using two cameras, a proper point-and-shoot camera that also had the ability to record in 720P, as well as an iPhone 5S. Mounting the regular camera on a tripod was no problem, as it has a mounting socket built in. But the iPhone required cumbersome rubber bands to set up on a tripod. Before our next shoot I decided to take some time to visit the hardware store and see what I could put together to alleviate the problem.

The first step was to check out the male stud on the tripod, and find what screw type it was compatible with. It turns out to be 1/4 inch with 20 threads per inch, or “1/4 20”. At the hardware store I picked out a 1/4 20 coupling, which fit nicely on the tripod.

Tripod with 1/4 20 coupling before and after

The design I had in mind was to use two semi-circle pieces of PVC pipe to sandwich and kind of clamp the phone in place. I found this handy bit of PVC and drilled a hole to match the diameter of the coupling. I then mounted the coupling inside – it was a snug fit which is exactly what I wanted.

The coupling mounted inside the PVC.

In order to keep the coupling firmly in place, a few more steps were required. First I drilled three perpendicular holes, and used screws to clamp it in place from three angles. I actually had to use bolt cutters to get the screws to be the correct length, but it all worked out.

Three screws hold the 1/4 20 coupling in place.

Next, I filled the cavity with hot glue, which really cemented the screws and the coupling in place. It’s not going anywhere. As a final touch, (and for OCD’s sake), I traced and cut a circle of card-stock to cap the bottom. I cut a smaller circle to only allow the mounting threads to show.

Hot glued the internals in, and placed a nice card-stock cap on the bottom.

Next I removed some excess material from the PCV fitting using a hacksaw and a razor blade. Mainly so I could have the back-bone (see next step) exit the pipe vertically, instead of at an angle.

Excess plastic removed with a hacksaw and razor blade.

For the back-bone of the device, I decided to use plumbers tape to hold the two pieces together. It’s pretty sturdy and tough to bend, so it works well. I picked out a 1/4 20 mini bolt and used the coupling to hold it down.

The back-bone of the device is held in with a 1/4 20 coupling, the same one used for mounting.

I didn’t want to make something that would scratch an iPhone, so I bought some super squishy, smooth weather stripping. It comes in a roll, and has adhesive already on one side.

Weather stripping.

The adhesive is surprisingly sticky so it had no problem being set once.

Weather stripping applied to base of mount.

I cut about 1/3 of a PVC tube off, and used it for the top piece, which holds the phone snugly in place. I found a tiny scrap nut and bolt pair that I had in my collection of randoms. I didn’t measure the size, but it’s pretty small. It holds the top piece on nicely. Because the plumbers tape is stiff, and curved to match the PVC, only one bolt was needed to hold the top in place. It cannot rotate.

The top piece was made out of about 1/3 of PVC, and a small nut/bolt.

After a little more weather stripping was applied, we have the final product!

A little more weather stripping, and she's done!

And a close up:

Close up of finished project!

November 25, 2013 at 8:50 am | Other Projects


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