Articulated Arm Camera Mount

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Project by Rick_M posted 05-13-2014 04:04 PM 3933 views 8 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made from birch plywood and carriage bolts.



14 comments so far

View oldnovice's profile


6543 posts in 3272 days

#1 posted 05-13-2014 07:24 PM

Nice work Rick!
Now I suppose you are going into photography too or are you going to use this for your project photos?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View doubleDD's profile


7104 posts in 1948 days

#2 posted 05-13-2014 07:24 PM

That’s very good work and thinking Rick. Would work great for lighting too.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View JoeinGa's profile


7733 posts in 1912 days

#3 posted 05-13-2014 07:53 PM

Nice! I especially like that high dollar, super dooper, fancy schmancy CAMERA you got mounted in it! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Rick_M's profile


11103 posts in 2285 days

#4 posted 05-13-2014 07:53 PM

Project photos and videos, I can’t hold a camera still to save my life.

I have a version for lighting planned, will be posted in the next week or so.


View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2444 days

#5 posted 05-14-2014 01:18 AM

Very nice!

-- I never finish anyth

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3391 days

#6 posted 05-14-2014 04:09 AM

Great build and timing. I was looking for inspiration to build an articulated arm for an old lamp I want to repurpose. Your build fits the bill. My luck!

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Rick_M's profile


11103 posts in 2285 days

#7 posted 05-14-2014 05:18 AM

I stopped by a thrift store awhile back and they had a whole box of desk lamps, clip lamps, etc. for $1 each so I grabbed 3. Two are metal flexible clamp lights, one for my desk and one for my lathe. Third is plastic and hangs on the wall, that one is getting a new arm which I started today. It will be lighter weight than the camera arm and will swing back and forth between the bandsaw and grinder.


View RandyinFlorida's profile


229 posts in 1972 days

#8 posted 05-14-2014 02:27 PM

Me likee! I was thinking about something like this for my laptop. I’m sure the wood would [That’s funny] hold the weight of a laptop computer, but when the knobs are all snugged up do you think the joints would?

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View Rick_M's profile


11103 posts in 2285 days

#9 posted 05-14-2014 04:04 PM

I believe they will hold. These are 3 > 2 > 3 (#strips in each arm) and it takes nothing to hold. Worst case you might have to go 4 > 3 > 4 and make the strips wider (mine are only 1-1/8” wide). I would make the strips wider either way. Solid wood will be stronger for the arms but I was a little concerned about the grain breaking out, a bushing should cure that. I wasn’t concerned about weight so ply was fine.


View MattObjects's profile


24 posts in 2282 days

#10 posted 05-16-2014 04:34 PM

Is the friction of the wood on wood enough to keep the joints in position when you tighten the bolts?

View Rick_M's profile


11103 posts in 2285 days

#11 posted 05-16-2014 07:26 PM

Definitely, no slippage at all.

Finished the swinging lamp arm today, slightly different design, works great. I’ll post it this weekend.


View Roger's profile


20904 posts in 2709 days

#12 posted 05-21-2014 02:59 AM

I’d still ad a little bit of sandpaper on them to be sure they didn’t slip

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Rick_M's profile


11103 posts in 2285 days

#13 posted 05-21-2014 03:13 AM

I did some testing. Arms 1-1/8” wide will not hold a laptop, you’ll need to go wider. How much wider I can’t say.

After making the second articulated arm I learned it is very important to keep the inside arms exactly the same width so that all the joints are exactly parallel. The slightest bit out of parallel and they will not hold, not even with sandpaper. Wasn’t a problem on the first arm because it was all plywood but the second arm I made from solid wood and used a different design to make it swing.

The downside of sandpaper is that it will gradually loosen the joint making it impossible to keep tight. Only use sandpaper as a last resort or on joints that will rarely move. The wood alone will generate a lot of friction to keep itself in place.


View Rick_M's profile


11103 posts in 2285 days

#14 posted 05-21-2014 07:09 AM

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