DIY: Add a tripod mount to anything!

I'm not sure when the 1/4-20" tripod mount became a standard, but there is no shortage of filmmaking accessories that use it. Whether you actually mount the thing (whatever it is) on a tripod, a camera rig or some other gizmo, that thread opens up a world of mounting possibilities.

Then there are the things that were not made to be attached anywhere, except for maybe a tabletop, where they just sit. How boring! What if I want to mount that widget on the Frugal Cage?

Of course, just because Thing X wasn't made to have a 1/4-20" thread, doesn't mean we can't give it one. There are lots of ways to affix that thread onto most objects (filmmaking or no), we just need how to figure out how.

While the video goes into more detail, here are five ways I've learned how to add this thread where there is none:

1. Knurled nuts from camera cold shoe adapter. The two nuts found on this adapter are perfect for lots of things, but their wide, flat nature makes them great for attaching to flat surfaces (in the video I stick one of these on a small remote). Secure them with epoxy or 3M VHB double stick tape.

2. Spring loaded cell phone mount. Found at the end of the selfie stick, these little grabbers (with a thread on the end) not only hold cell phones, but anything small with flat sides. This can include monitors, battery cradles, and a goPro camera. For larger items, try a tablet mount.

3. Pipe ground clamp. I first used these on my Eventpod Monopod, which gave me 1/4-20" mounting points up and down the tube. These can also be used on boom poles and painter's poles (just use padding when attaching). For the end of these poles (monopod excluded), use a 5/8" to 1/4" or my DIY painter's pole adapter.

4. Spring clamp with mini ball head. Found at any hardware store, these clamps usually have 1/4" holes underneath their insulated handles. Once removed, you can easily attach a mini ball head, giving you mounting options anywhere you can attach that clamp (table, shelf, door).

5. Drill and tap. The best way to add a 1/4-20" thread is to literally add a 1/4-20" thread! Drill the proper size hole in your target object, and cut the threads into it with a 1/4-20" tapping tool. These are also great for adding these threads into holes that don't have any.

I've used these techniques many times in the past when I really wanted to mount something to a tripod or rig. It gives me a sort of perverse satisfaction to repurpose something for mounting when the original intent was nothing of the sort. I'll stay out of that box, thank you.


XSportSeeker said…
It falls into the Tap Dancing category, but for those trying to mount something that has a hard plastic or acrylic shell, not squeamish in working those out, you can find some interesting little metalic convert screw adapters.
Search for "1/4" to 3/8" screw for camera" on eBay, they are pretty cheap, and also come in kits with adapters that can also be used.

I used those on my old Triggertrap acrylic case, and a wireless mic receiver, pictured below: