Photo Table

A little background on me… I spent my thirties obsessed with woodworking. I liked making things as I’m creative person trapped in a job where they fire you if you have an original thought…

Here are a few of my projects I managed to find photos of:

 

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batman-clock-night

 

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batman-night

 

megadesk

For over a decade I made project after project, I never had a proper bench for holding stock, the kind of thing every woodworker should have. I finally got around to making one last spring, promptly lost interest in woodworking and haven’t used it once.

I put the bench away and have been using a 2’X8′ piece of plywood on two sawhorses for my photography projects. 8′ is too long and 2′ is to short.

Ive been looking around the net to find a good photography setup that’s expandable, scale-able as well as being easy to stow away when I eventually loose interest. Plus it had to be cheap, because so am I.

 

lab-stands

 

I liked the idea of using lab equipment stands as they are infinitely adjustable. They are expensive to buy so I decided to just make my own. All they are is 90 degree clamps and metal rods. I found the clamps for $1 each on eBay, and I found the rods at a local metal store for 50 cents a foot. My kind of DIY!

 

lab-clamps

 

You can get and make an infinite amount of connectors and holders for lab setups and lot of flash equipment can be connected to the rods as well.

November 20, 2016

First I tried to find a cheap table to use for this, but was quickly turned away by the sizes and prices available. I did find that you can just buy the fold-able legs for tables for $20 and I found a 4’X8′ of melamine for another $20.

 

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I cut the sheet into a 4’X3′ square and cut out a spot for a tripod. Then added the legs.

 

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I thought it could use some supports underneath to prevent the top from warping, and I thought it would be a good place to drill some holes for the metal supports.

 

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I drilled holes in the top to add the supports and made a shelf for macro stuff, and for height convenience.

 

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Hopefully the hole for the tripod is adequate, but the supports can be moved closer to bring everything closer to the camera.

 

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The rods can be used at any angle which should be convenient for flashes.

The 90 degree clamps were adequate, but I thought it would be nice to have beefier supports for some rods, and I also needed a way to attach flash brackets and any other accessories I will use.

I found some 1″X1″ aluminum for $6/foot.

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I picked up a couple of feet, and made a prototype connector.

 

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Two holes 90 degrees from each other which are the same diameter of the rod and then a tapped setscrew hole to keep it from slipping.

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This worked out well. I thought I should make some longer ones for attaching stuff to.

 

November 24, 2016

 

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I wanted to make 6 that were the same for the table’s top rods to help with stability.

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Two of the six ended up being mirror-opposites of the other so I just made sure I used them for the same rod.

 

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I had enough left over to make two accessory holders. I added two 1/4″ holes for bolts to go threw for tripod type screws and one threaded hole on each for bolting things directly to the connector. I can always drill more holes later.

 

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All this so I can have a good way to position flashes.

 

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I can also add camera supports.

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December 3, 2016

 

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In the Version 3 aluminum connector I had them cut 8″ X 4″ peaces, so I could not only use them as corners, but as a third support for a third rod.

 

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I also added a 1/4″ hole for bolting accessories on as well as a 1/4″ threaded hole for adding anything that has a thread. I could also use these with two rods to support a heavier load.

 

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I was noticing that the tighter the screws were, the better they held, but that could scratch the posts, making sliding the supports up and down harder. To remedy this I bought a stick of 3/16″ brass and cut them into little cookie slices. I then put them in the holes before the screws. Being softer metal then the supports, they are more likely to deform then scratch anything. This is what they do in drill presses.

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Here is the setup as of these upgrades… The machined supports did a much better job with anything heavy, so I am relegating the old lab clamps to lighter components. The clamps are easier to get on and off without having to take anything apart.

 

Now I have places to attach my flash controller.

 

And a good place for my sound trigger and radio transceiver.

 

December 12, 2016

 

I was having problems with the table getting wet at times, so I made a funnel to catch most of the water from splashes.

 

To attach the tarp I added bolts that slip into the holes in the aluminum supports…

 

I also made a small paint booth box with the left over tarp.

 

 

This has ended up catching 80-90% of the water from shooting balloons, or smashing glasses.

 

 

December 16, 2016

Today I made a stand for eye droppers, as I was sick of them falling over and making a mess.

I just cut a few inches of rod, cut and taped it for a screw then after attaching it to the aluminum strip it could be slid into any of the holes in any support.

I could have used angle iron for stability, but the eye droppers are quite light.

 

December 28, 2016

 

 

This week I made a mount for my laser trigger and eye dropper photos…

 

I made it super customizable as you really have to align everything right to get it to work.

 

 

 

 

 

More upgrades to come!