July 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

How to make a movable mounting bracket


Want to mount something to the wall with the flexibility of moving it easily? In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley shows how to make a movable mounting bracket. He attaches an Impact 7' wall-mounted boom arm to a movable base and installs it in the photography studio. While this technique is shown with an overhead boom arm, it could be used with any type of wall mounted bracket.

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For a written transcript, go to How to make a movable mounting bracket.

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: Hot Swing
Incidental music: Airport Lounge, George Street Shuffle, Quasi Motion


Today at the House of Hacks we're going to be installing this light bracket.

Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers.

Harley here. Today I'm at Studio o2o and we're installing the overhead boom arm that we unboxed last video.

In this video we're going to look at making the mounting bracket for it and installing it.

Let's get to it.

The base is five and a half by 12 inches so we need to make something that this
will fit on. The idea is to mount this perforated tube to the wall and make a
bracket that will hang from the holes.

I'm going to use some scrap plywood and two-by-fours.

First, I'll trim off the edge of the two-by-four get rid of the rounded edges. Then I adjust the saw to rip the wood to the same width as the metal tube. Next I cut two pieces five and half inches long.

Now the plywood gets machined. I start by cutting off a smaller piece than what I really need. Then I true up an edge and cut it to 12 inches long. Finally it gets ripped to five and half inches wide.

OK, now that the wood's cut, we can kind of see how things are going to fit into place. This metal will be mounted on the wall in the studio and the bracket will be mounted to the top of this wood. And of course all this will be connected together.

And the idea is that we can just put this over and drop it into place. There will be a couple pins on this wood that will fit in the holes on the top of perforated metal and keep it from sliding around but also then we can move it to do different holes to give us some adjustability.

The challenge is to make those pins the right size. I'm going to use an old bolt out of the scrap bin. It's too big to go in the holes right now, which is good because if it was too small... if it did fit in the holes, it'd probably be too small and be kind of wobbly and I want to have a fairly tight fit on these. So I'm going to mill this bolt down hopefully and we'll see how that goes.

OK. Here I am at the metal lathe. I am no expert at this whatsoever. I've put PVC through this and a small amount of brass. So this is the first time I'm going to be doing anything hard like, this is probably steel. And so I figured I just give it a try. I need to cut the head off first.

I thought about hack sawing and I thought "hey I have a cut off tool why not use that?" Let's give it a try.

OK. That was an epic fail. I don't know if you could tell from the overhead video but the tool caught underneath the bolt after it got in a little ways and caused the bolt to bend.

So I think I have two problems. One: the cutoff tool was a little bit too low. It wasn't at center, or slightly above center, I think that's where it's supposed to go, and so when it got in far enough the bolt grabbed it and just pulled the tool underneath it. And in the process, that caused the bolt to bend. And, like I said I think there's two problems. One was the alignment on the cutoff tool and the second was I had the bolt so far out from the chuck that it had a lot of leverage when it did grab to bend the bolt really easily. So I'm going to go back to the hacksaw, the tried-and-true way. It's a little bit more work but I know it'll get done.

OK. Got those pins made. It was a little bit more work than I expected. I had more problems than I thought I would. I tried using the cutoff tool again and had the same problems I had the first time. So I just need a lot more practice on getting things set up right, doing the right feed rate, that kind of thing. But in the end, you just use a hacksaw again and got the pins made that I needed to get made.

I have had this lathe now for a couple years and I just need to get down here, do more projects on it, have more fun. But in the end I did get this, a bolt that looked like this into a couple pins that we can use on this project.

OK. I drilled two holes and put the pins in it to test fit everything and the second time I got it right. First time I got the holes off by an eighth of an inch somehow. Not quite sure how I did that maybe a sixteenth of an inch twice just in sloppy measurement or something I'm not sure but it didn't fit. The second time it fits just fine.

So now let's go put all the wood together.

OK. I drilled some pilot holes so the screws hopefully won't split out the wood and I realized that the screws that are used to mount this can be also the screws that are used to hold the wood together. So it should be a fairly easy operation if I can get everything to line up just right. So here it goes.

You know what? I don't think I have these pilot holes quite big enough. This is pretty tight. I think I'm going to redrill these with a bigger hole. I really don't want to split this wood out.

OK. I'm going to have to get some new screws. These heads are just rounding off. Something... something's not right. They're just taking way too much effort to get put in. So I'm going to have to go figure that out and I'll get back to it.

OK. So I went to the home improvement store, picked up some more screws and they went in without a problem. I think what happened with these the original screws is they've got some sort of really cheap plating on them and the plating was coming off as I was driving it in. As I pulled them out the plating was kind of flaking out all over the place and I think it was just cheap screws. The plating was coming off which probably increased friction and taking a close look at it the screws themselves, I don't know if it's the plating or the material under the plating, there's just a lot of rough spots on them and I think they just weren't really designed for driving into wood. They did come with drywall anchors in the original packaging. I'm sure it probably would have worked just fine with the plastic for those anchors but going directly into wood there was just too much friction and they weren't designed for that.

By getting regular screws from the home improvement store, they went in without a hitch. So now the next step is to put the pins in permanently.

OK. The pins are going to go on like that and we can see how it'll kind of sit against the wall, the wall being back here.

As I've been working on this I've realized that there's a little bit of a critical design flaw. As long as it's coming out this way as the forces on it are such that it's going to pull it, pull it this way and everything will work fine. But as it pivots sideways like so it's going to have a tendency to twist this around and pull it off, pull it off the mounting bracket.

So I've thought about a couple different ways to pin this in place to keep it stable as it moves around and I think I've settled on one design and now I'm
going to go cut out materials in and put it on.

I'm going to use a screw like this as a pivot point.

OK. This piece that we've cut out, now we want to just want to kind of tighten it down in here. Make it tight enough for it has just a little bit of friction but not so much you can't easily turn it.

OK. You should be able to see kind of how those coming together now. The cam action bar just has a pivot point right there that when this gets pushed down should be locking the bar in place.

Let's give it a quick test fit here. Get the bar... bar in. Now of course this is upside down but we should be able to get the idea. And this should lock in place like so and now it's not going to go anywhere I don't think. We'll see an actual practice so we get some weight on it but I hope that should work.

Let's go install this in the studio now.

Now we're ready for the first test fitting.

So far so good.

Let's put a light on it. We first put a White Lightning with strip softbox on it. Total weight was around 10 pounds. The bracket held OK as it's rated for 12 pounds but it did have a bit of a bend in it. So we replaced the White Lightning with an Alien Bee at about 5 pounds.

We hooked up power and did some test shots.

The light we had didn't have quite enough power so we replaced it with a different model.

Some more test shots look better.

Next, we mounted another piece of metal to the wall to allow using the mounting bracket for front shots too.

And one of the members showed up to see what was going on.

We moved it to the other bracket, added a beauty dish and an eye lighter reflector and more test shots.

And now that it's up, we're going to leave it to the members to use. I'll have a follow-up video soon to see how it's working in practice.

If this is your first time here at the House of Hacks, welcome! I'm glad you're here and would love to have you subscribe.

I believe everyone has a God-given creative spark. Sometimes this manifests through making things with a mechanical or technical bent to them.

Through this channel I hope to inspire, educate and encourage these types of makers in their creative endeavors. Usually this involves various physical media like metal, wood, electronics, photography or other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, go ahead and subscribe and I'll see you again in the next video.

Thanks for joining me on our creative journey. Now go make something! Perfection's not required. Fun is!