Making an overhead camera rig from scrap

I made an attempt at running a YouTube channel and posted a few videos, then ran out of steam and have not done anything for some time. Having recently moved and many ideas for projects I was thinking of making videos again, I decided to do a review on a tool I bought recently. I wanted a setup where I could film facing down so that I could display the tool on a table and work with it there.

I ended up with the following jerry-rigged setup, I have you to film anything but almost there…

But let’s start closer the beginning. Over the past weekend I brought my table from our previous place and set it up in the corner yesterday.

It is quite a bit bigger than the table I was working on, but I was managing so I started out trying to get something assembled over this table.

Being someone who firmly believes in using what you have, I used old poles from a gazebo that I found when cleaning up the yard. The previous owner left quite a few bits and pieces outside which had been overgrown with grass, weeds and brambles.

I had something up pretty quickly, then test it with my phone and decided the table top was too dark and would make it too hard to see something if it was not a bright colour. So I swapped out the other table, which has a much lighter coloured top.

I went through a few iterations of combinations of the poles, one of the most whacky is below.

My aim was to have none of the poles touch the table, so that I could move stuff or bump the table without affecting the camera.

Eventually I settled on this solution, poles on the ground to keep the footprint stable, and a pole at mid level to add more stability. Unfortunately the top poles where too long meaning the vertical poles were not symmetrical.

I did not want to, but ended up cutting the poles. They are very thin walled and I don’t have a way to clamp them properly so it is a PITA to cut. Here you can see the mid height pole now fits as the uprights are now parallel.

The top poles are also now a bit more parallel with the floor and there is just much less tension in the structure.

The three short sections cut off of each of the top poles. Judged by eye how much to cut off, the joints are quite loose so the margin for error is quite high.

Some of the other bits I found and put away in an outside room.Yes, it’s garbage, but I found a use for some of it, it’s not costing me anything to store so it’s all good.

I have started cutting up branches and so on in preparation for winter. This won’t be the main fuel, just the bits we use to start a fire. There is a lot more wood available, right next to my house, so I could probably fill those racks to the roof by winter.

Well, bit of a random post, but maybe you are inspired to up-cycle something as well before going to the store to buy more stuff?

Consumerism is a bug bear of mine, the ease with which we toss out old stuff, to buy new stuff makes me really really sad some days.