Making A Camera Studio Stand

I have been using a tripod in the workshop to film and take pictures of my projects for years now.  This has always got in the way and taken too long to setup different shots, but a studio camera stand is extremely expensive. I thought I could have a go at making one for a fraction of the price….

I started by gathering the parts I needed:

Some scraps of wood (which I already had)

Scaffold pole and basket

4 casters

Manfrotto magic arm

Manfrotto super clamp

Manfrotto stud

Camera ball head

(A lot of the tools and materials I use can be found on my Amazon page.)

magic arm
cutting wood for camera stand
cutting wood for studio camera stand

The first thing I did was trim the pieces of wood to all the same length on the mitre saw.

marking wood
overlapping wood
finding centre of wood

I wanted to join the two pieces of wood together in a cross, so I marked out the point where they overlapped. I then marked out the centre point on the wood.

raising the table saw blade
setting blade hight

I raised the blade on the table saw until it reached the centre mark, then used the mitre gauge to push the wood through the saw, and nibble away the waste material on both pieces of wood.

nibbling away waste wood
testing the fit
cutting away waste wood
tapping into place

With both the slots cut, I was able to conduct a test fit. I was happy with the fit, so I moved on to fitting some casters.

fitting casters

The casters could simply be fitted to the bottom of the wood, but I wanted them to be recessed.  I marked out where I wanted the recess to be, then took the wood back to the table saw to cut away the waste material.

making camera stand
table saw cut
glueing camera stand
fitting camera stand
clamping camera stand

With the cuts made, I was able to use some PVA wood glue to attach the pieces together and get them clamped up.

fitting pole for camera stand

I wanted the scaffold pole to fit into the centre of the cross, so I marked out the centre point, and purchased a Forstner drill bit the same size as the pole. I used this to drill a hole 40mm deep.

making centre of studio stand
using drill press
forstner drill bit
drill shavings

I gave the cross a quick sand down, then positioned the bracket for the pole over the drilled hole, and marked out where the screws needed to go.  I then drilled a couple of pilot holes to accept the screws.

sanding camera studio stand
marking hole
drilling camera stand
staining with india ink
india ink on pine

To offer some protection (and to make it look cool) I stained the wood black using India ink then applied some Danish oil.

pouring danish oil
washer on wood screw
applying danish oil
screwing on casters

The craters come with holes larger than the heads of my screws, so I slipped a washer over them. I was then able to drive them into the wood, fixing the casters into place.

scaffold braket

The bracket I had for the scaffold pole won’t allow the pole to slide all the way through it – I needed it to go all the way through, slipping into the hole I drilled in the wood. I used a step drill to widen the base, allowing the pole to slide through.

step drill
tape on pole
drilling scaffold bracket
fitting pole into camera studio stand

When I test-fitted the pole in the hole, it was a little looser than I wanted.   I wrapped some tape around the base, which made it fit snugly in the hole.

fitting bracket to camera stand

I slid the bracket down the hole and screwed it into the base. I then tightened up the grub screws, locking the pole into place.

installing the camera studio stand
making studio camera stand
ball head on magic arm
fitting super clamp
fitting magic arm into super clamp

I fit the stud onto the end of the magic arm and screwed the ball head into place. The super clamp was fitted to the pole, and the arm locked into the clamp.

camera on studio stand
studio stand homemade

That’s it! This should make life much easier. The arm has one big lever that – when loosened – makes all three joints on the arm go loose. The camera can then be moved into the desired position and locked into place by tightening the lever.

For more information, please watch the video below and subscribe to me on YouTube for a new project every week. 

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