Simple Tripod Bill of Materials: 7 1” x 2” x 4’ Pine 1 12” x 16” x ½” plywood 1 12” x 12” x ¼” plywood 1 2” x 2” x 12” Pine 3 Small door hinges with mounting screws 3 4” ¼-20 bolts with lock nuts 3 3” ¼-20 bolts with lock nuts 6 Washers 3 Rubber chair feet Carpenter’s Glue Wood screws Legs + Tray Brackets Table Top + Tray Base Tray Leg Brackets Think about how each piece fits together before making final cuts. I didn’t include every dimension and adjustment. The Tabletop is cut from the 12” x 16 “ x ½” plywood – cut near one end to leave leftover material. The legs are each formed with 2 - 1”x2” 4’ lengths if pine. I used 2 screws near the bottom end to fasten them together. Be sure the other end can spread apart at least 2”. The holes near the top end of the leg must be exactly ¼” to match the ¼-20 bolts and must be exactly perpendicular to the surface. The Leg Brackets, which fasten to the bottom of the Tabletop, are a simple 2”x2” block about 4” long. The other key to the solidity of the tripod is the holes again must be exactly ¼” to match the ¼-20 bolts and must be exactly perpendicular to the surface. The Leg Brace is what supports the accessory tray. The accessory tray is completely optional. If you don’t plan to add the tray, you may disregard all reference to it and its components Looking at the tabletop upside-down, we see the leg brackets attached. Attach each block with 2 screws through the tabletop, and be sure to glue the blocks to the tabletop. This connection must be absolutely rock-solid. Now the moment of truth… If the holes are exactly the same size as the bolts, and the holes are drilled completely straight, this will work. Use the 4” bolts here Spreading the legs at the top will cause a small angle in the alignment of the holes in the legs. You will have to force the bolts through the holes with a wrench. Use washer’s to allow lots of pressure squeezing the legs together. This connection must be perfect so the legs can open, and will be rocksolid. If a tray is to be added, use this as a guide. All of the tripod’s strength comes from the table’s connection to the legs. Since the tray is optional, no precision parts are needed here. I used 3 small hinges to attach the tray in this fashion. This basic tray can be made from most anything. I used the one from my first tripod – sort of a poetic thing I guess. Here, the bottom of the tray bracket stops the hinge from over-extending, so the tray doesn’t ‘hang’ from the legs The tray attaches to the legs with the leg braces. This connection doesn’t need to be tight. Tightening here will add friction, making it harder to open and close the legs. Use the 3” bolts here. And this is basically it. I added chair feet to the bottom of the legs to protect the ends. (And to protect my floor when storing it) This gets your mount off the ground. And that’s all it does. It’s up to you, now, to come up with a mount that will sit on this table. The hole in the center of the table is optional. A DOB-type mount can easily be added. An equatorial can also be added.
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