Looking for step-by-step instructions on how to make your own smartphone tripod mount, like the one shown in the 2 pictures below?
Well, look no further!
On this page you will find instructions for my version of a smartphone mount. I cannot/will not claim to be the first person who came up with the idea for this mount, and whilst I would certainly like to “give credit, where credit is due” I certainly cannot remember where I came across this idea. That being said, I will be more than happy to provide a link to the website of the person who first developed/published this idea, as long as s(he) can prove that.
Okay, let’s move on with the items required, and the instructions for making this baby.
- 1 Nos. ¼ inch Wing Nut (optional – only required if you cannot find/make a compression spring)
- 1 Nos. ¼ Acorn Nut
- 1 Nos. ¼ Coupling Nut
- 1 Nos. ¼ Regular Nut
- 1 Nos. ¼ Washer-attached regular Nut
- 2 Nos. Metal Washers (with inner diameter suitable to accommodate a ¼ bolt)
- Compression Spring (with inner diameter suitable to accommodate a ¼ bolt)
- 1 Nos. Paint Stir-stick (or a similar piece of wood)
- Piece of PVC tubing
- 1 Nos. All-thread Rod
- Strong Glue/Epoxy
You will also require (or have access to) the following:
- Pliers (Nose or regular, doesn’t really matter)
- Wire-cutting Pliers
- Hacksaw & Blade (to cut metal)
- Metal File
- Drill (with at least a ¼ drill bit)
- Safety Glasses (Don’t forget to wear these – I suggest you wear them at all times)
If you were only able to find a regular spring (and not a compression spring), the first thing you may want to do is to convert that (regular) spring into a compression spring.
“How do you do that?”, I hear you ask!
Well, it’s quite simple really. Take one end of the regular spring and clamp it tightly into your vice. Then firmly grip the other end with a pair of pliers and gently pull in the opposite direction, so as to stretch out the spring. You should try and stretch out the coiled portion so that it almost doubles in length. With that you can then make two mounts, by cutting the spring into half. If included, you would also need to cut off the hooked ends.
The next 2 pictures illustrate how my spring looked originally, and how I stretched it out to convert it into a compression spring:
The next thing you will want to do is to cut 2 small pieces out of your paint stir-stick and then drill two quarter inch holes towards the top-center position of one of the longer sides, as shown below:
Now it’s time to cut 2 pieces of the PVC pipe. You may certainly use the metal hacksaw to cut these as well, and ensure that you cut them as shown in the picture below – not more, not less. Once you’re done cutting them to size, you will want to drill two quarter inch holes towards one of the ends, as shown in the picture below. Once that’s done, you may go ahead and glue a PVC pipe each to each of the two pieces of paint stir-sticks. To ensure that the holes are all lined up correctly, you may want to install them on the all-thread rod and then do the gluing.
The last thing you want to do (before putting all the parts together) is to cut the all-thread rod to size. This can be the most tricky part, so please think well and hard before cutting (remember, measure twice, cut once). What works best is if you do a mock-installation of all the parts onto the all-thread rod (before it’s cut), and then mark out the place where you will be making the cut.
Bear in mind that the distance of the two flat pieces of wood should be slightly less (perhaps by an inch) than the top-to-bottom measurement of your phone (when your phone is in landscape mode, and held vertical to the ground).
That being said, it should not be so much less, that your phone will not fit in between the two pieces of wood whilst the compression spring is fully compressed/flattened.
Once you’ve marked the spot for cutting, put your all-thread rod into your vice and use your metal hacksaw to cut the rod to size.
Okay, now it’s time to put everything together.
On one end, start off by installing one of the joined pieces of PVC pipe and wood, ensuring that the wood side goes inside. Follow that up with one of the metal washers, the compression spring, the other metal washer, the washered-nut, and finally the coupling nut. Tighten the coupling nut and washwered-nut in opposite directions to each other.
Moving to the other end of the all-thread rod, first up is the joined pieces of PVC pipe and wood, with the flat side of the wood facing inwards, and then you can finish it off with the acorn nut at the very top.
If the above description is a bit confusing, you may certainly check the picture below to see how (and where) things are placed. Hopefully the picture helps a bit more.
The next few pictures below show you different views of the 2 mounts I made, one for my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and the other for my Samsung Galaxy S II.
I can now place the 2 phones on either side of my talent (whoever/whatever it may be) and then at the editing stage I choose to alternate cameras, in order to make the end-result less boring.
Whilst recording a training video, I keep on my person a third smartphone, the main purpose of which is to record the audio via a DIY lavalier mic plugged in to the third smartphone. Needless to say, I use the audio from this phone to replace (at the editing stage) the audio that’s recorded on the other two phones.
End-result: great video with stunningly clear audio.
Note that the clamping mechanism of this mount is so strong that once clamped into place, the phone will not budge, even when shaken rather aggressively. This is all due to the strength of the compression spring being used. A lighter strength spring may not hold the phone in place too well.
Pictures of parts required for this project: