Commentary: How I made my iPhone camera mount (for YouTube videos)

February 28, 2012
Filed under: Commentary 

SFFaudio Commentary

SFFaudio MetaA few months ago I designed and built an iPhone camera mount for making YouTube videos for SFFaudio.

I actually started off wanting a tripod, but I couldn’t find a reasonably priced adaptor for my iPhone. As I tried to find one I realized that a tripod wasn’t exactly the best way to film the objects on my desktop anyway. So I thought about it for a bit, took some measurements, and went down to Rona (a local hardware store) to buy the parts.

Here’s what it looks like:

iPhone Desk Mount

I really like showing it off!

HERE is the kind of vid I make with it.

To make it cost me just over fifty dollars and the build time was about an hour. Now that I have it I find that the assembly time is less than a minute.

If you have access to tools and a workshop you can make one for yourself for less than I did. I bought too much PVC piping, and I had to invest in a hacksaw. The hacksaw cost about $10. The other tool that I bought was the spring-loaded hand clamp with a range up to two inches – this is essential for making my mount portable and preventing the whole thing from falling over.

A friend* gave me the wooden base.

Here’s how it all fits together. Permanently attached to the wooden base (7 x 10 x 0.75 inches) with four Robertson screws, is an iron floor flange with a 1 inch female pipe receiver with four countersunk screw holes.

This is the only part that I don’t regularly disassemble.

I then screw into the flange a 1 inch diameter pipe measuring 3 inches long (see images below). Atop that fits the rest of the assembly which is all PVC plastic tubing measuring 1.25 inches in diameter. The first PVC piece is the biggest, a straight tube that fits over the 3″ long X 1″ diameter iron pipe. It rises up about 12 inches from the base (though I suggest you add another 7 inches to that if you’re planning to attach it to a table as I have done in the image above). Atop that I fit one of two 90° PVC fittings of the same 1.25 inch diameter. That attaches to another straight pipe of the same diameter running horizontally about 11 inches. I then pop in the other 90° fitting. To which I attach a 4.5 inch long tube running vertically downward. This last pipe has had a notch cut into it approximately three quarters of an inch from the bottom. The notch is about half an inch thick (as that’s how thick my iPhone 3GS is).

I mentioned earlier that you probably want to add about 7 inches to the first vertical tube. This is because when showing objects on my desk I actually have my mount atop the monitor riser, pictured at the back at the back of my desk, and it is 7 inches higher than the desktop itself.

All the pieces are held together by friction which allows me to swap in and out different pieces of differing lengths. It also makes it portable. I took the mount to my classroom and showed it to my students the other day.

Assembly pictures:
iPhone Desk Mount Base
3 inch iron pipe
3 inch iron pipe
iPhone Desk Mount with flange and iron pipe
PVC piping
PVC piping
PVC piping atop the iron pipe
two 90 degree fittings
90 degree fitting attached
nearing full assembly
The final peice

[*thanks Andy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

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