Build Your Own DIY Tripod from Scratch


Are you the type of person who enjoys using things built using your own two hands? 20-year-old Croatian tinkerer CroBuilder is like that too. He recently spent 10 hours in his workshop building a camera tripod from scratch.

He writes that the project stated when he built himself a panorama head but found that he had nothing to mount it to — so he built a tripod as well.

The costs of the project are quite low: you’ll need a set of metal pipes (most of them square ones), some bolts, some nuts, some screws, a chain, and a metal sheet.

Rather than having the legs telescope with progressively smaller pipes, he designed them in triplets to allow them to extend by pulling out each middle pipe:



A larger hexagonal pipe is used for the center column and central hub for the legs:



The lens feature a clamping mechanism that allow you to lock the middle pipe in place when you extend the leg. A chain is used to keep the legs from opening too far:


Once everything was assembled, he polished the legs to make them shiny, and then applied black paint to certain areas to make the tripod look nicer:



CroBuilder says that his finished tripod looks and works great, and that it saved him from having to purchase an actual expensive tripod.

Want to follow in his footsteps and make one of these DIY tripods for yourself? CroBuilder has published a detailed step-by-step tutorial to the build process over on Instructables.

DIY Camera Tripod [Instructables via Hack A Day]

  • Stewart Doyle

    That’s impressive as hell, really, but, I really wouldn’t like to have to carry it more than a few yards.

  • Gulfport

    Not exactly carbon fiber, steel tends to be heavy. Oak might have been a better choice.

  • Jake

    It’s awesome that he made this, don’t get me wrong. But I think that tripods are one of those areas where if you’re going to use any, you gotta use the best, and it’s best left to the professionals to make them. I’d take the weight, ease of use, and vibration reduction of carbon fiber with a good ball head any day.

  • zeptom

    He said the weight is only 1.1 kg or 2.4 lbs. That’s not that much that I first also thought.

  • radiancedeluxe

    seems more like a vibration collection device. kudos for the creativity though.

  • dhbanes

    That spider weighs more than 2.4 lbs.

  • ian jackson

    “CroBuilder says that his finished tripod looks and works great, and that it saved him from having to purchase an actual expensive tripod.”

    Maybe he couldn’t afford one, everyone in the world isnt as well off as you are.

  • Jake

    Yes, it’s entirely possible that everyone in the world isn’t as well off as I am. That’s why the first tripod I bought cost $35 from Target and I used it happily until I decided to invest in a DSLR, which is expensive, with interchangeable lenses, which are expensive, and I factored the cost of a nice tripod into the budget as well, which is expensive. I figured if I’m spending all that money on a nice camera, I’d rather have a good tripod to support it. Otherwise, I’d have kept my compact camera and been just as well off with the ultra-light, portable, and labor-free $35 one. But like I said in the original post, this is what I’d do.

  • D

    And now I find myself wanting to do the same basic thing with oak and brass…

  • zeptom

    It’s not that big, each leg part is only 20 cm. Guess with those extra legs it’s maybe shorter then 80 cm at max height.

  • Bill Binns

    I dunno, this seems like DIY for the sake of DIY. A $15.00 aluminum tripod from Walmart would likely function better and be cheaper. Maybe you can’t get cheap chinese tripods in Croatia? The guy certainly has some skill though. Not sure I could build a functional tripod from scratch.

  • Bart Willems

    For those in the US it’s hard to guess what the alternative–buying–in Croatia would cost. However, if funds are /that/ tight, why not look at a surveying tripod first? Those can usually be bought at a better assorted DIY store for not too much, be just as rugged and not that much more than the parts for this tripod. But again, pricing in Croatia might make this project very worthwhile.

    And I’m sure it was fun to do.

  • Bill

    I had thought about making a versatile tripod, but the weight was always a factor.
    I could use aluminum, but did not have the means to weld it. Carbon fiber would be nice but very expensive to toy with.
    I give this guy props for making his own, I’m sure it was a lot of work. As long as it does the job, who cares if it is DIY or bought.

  • Whyy

    This is exactly what most of the old time tripods look llike. I have a version of this in wood that worked great for my grandfather.

  • northtech

    This is actually a good design for outdoors use. I have aluminum and carbon fiber tripods and the wind plays havoc with them, especially the aluminum one that starts resonating in the wind.