Things you'll need:
~ Evergreen scale model styrene
~ One length of 4.8mm diameter tube and one length of 1.5 x 3.2mm strip. I buy these from a model train shop who sell them individually instead of in packs. They're around 20 pence each.
~ One length each of 1mm, 2mm and 3mm aluminium tubing from Albion Alloys.
Again, the model shops sell them individually and they cost pennies. All of the metal tubes are telescopic in that each piece fits exactly into the next size up. This is perfect for making legs for tripods/telescopes etc.
~ Some matt black spray paint, superglue, a flat jewelers file and a selection of heat shrink tube.
The sizes I'll give you are based on a full scale tripod standing 4 feet from the ground with the capability of extending the camera support a further 1 foot. I gauged this on how I normally set up my own tripod for landscape photography. Please adjust to your preferred height. An easy way to work out how tall your mini tripod will be is utilizing a simple mathematical equation. Yeah, I just about remember math too (o_O)
So if I wanted the height of the tripod (A) to be four feet (4 inches) and the width that the leg stands from the centre (B) as one foot (1 inch), it would make the angle (?), which is the length of the leg ~ 4.12 inches. Here's an online pythagoras calculator if you need help.
Okay so cut the - 1mm aluminium tube at 103mm long, the 2mm aluminium tube at 83mm long and the 3mm tube at 43mm long. Do this three times for each leg. There are a couple of ways to cut metal tube. Either use an electric saw with a suitable blade, hand saw or use side cutters (which flattens the tube and you need to file it back)
I always cut metal tube with a craft saw. Metal will blunt the teeth in a saw over time so don't use the best you have. I draw the saw blade backwards (towards you) over the tube until it's broken the surface. I then gently bend the tube which will 'snap' at the saw mark. Use a fine sandpaper to clean up the edge.
Use the tiniest, and I mean TINIEST amount of superglue to glue each section of the legs together. Less is definitely more when it comes to superglue. If you use too much, as you slide the sections of the leg down, the glue will pool at one end and inevitably find your fingers. Take the 1mm tube first, dot a tiny amount of glue near one end and slide the 2mm section down over it until there is 20mm of tube sticking out. Next, dot a tiny amount near the end of the 2mm tube and slide the 3mm tube over it until you have 43mm sticking out. This is what you should end up with.
You will notice that at the 'fattest' end, the smaller tubes do not go right to the end.
This is on purpose because we will be filing a bracket into the end to hold the camera mount.
I used slices of heat shrink to mimic the brackets at each leg section of the tripod. Alternatively, you can use paint (if you have a steady hand), or coloured tape.
Use the edge of a flat jewelers file to cut a channel down into the end of the 3mm aluminium tube, until you reach the smaller tubes inside. Take your time with it. The tendency is to file away in both directions and you end up with wobbly edges.
Nearly there =0)
Now we need to make the bracket for the camera mount. This caused me the most problems because I couldn't find an existing piece of plastic to do the job. So...
Cut 3mm from the end of the 4.8mm diameter plastic tube. Use fine sand paper to clean up the edges. Cut three pieces from the 1.5mm x 3.2mm plastic strip. Make this slightly longer than 3mm so you have something to hold onto.
You'll need to clean the top and bottom of the bracket with sandpaper so that everything is flush.
If you want to paint the bracket, do it before you glue the legs in place.
and as if by magic or design, the bracket fits exactly into the grooves you filed into the legs. They can now be glued into place.
Now Neen had this really cool idea to use the tripod as a lamp base or similar so the last part of the tutorial depends on what you'll use it for. For me, it is a camera tripod. So I cut a further 1 inch piece of 3mm aluminium tubing for a camera mount. The aluminium slots nice and snug into the bracket.
I cut another slice of 4.8mm diameter plastic to sit on the top and some heat shrink at the bottom so the camera mount can slide up and down and not fall out.
There you go.
Hope this tutorial was helpful.
Have fun and enjoy the rest of your weekend