Giving a Camera Mount a Little (Magnetic) Attractiveness

It’s probably safe to say that most hackers and makers don’t really want to fuss around with the details of making video documentation of their work. They would rather spend their time and energy on the actual project at hand…you know — the fun stuff.

[Daniel Reetz] has been wanting more mounting options for his camera mount to make it easier and quicker to set up.  One end of his existing camera mount is a clamp. This has been working for [Daniel] so far, but he wanted more options. Realizing that he has plenty of ferrous metal surfaces around his shop, he had an idea — make a magnetic base add-on for his camera mount.

In the video, [Daniel] walks us through the process of creating this magnetic camera mount add-on, starting with the actual base. It is called a switchable magnetic base (or mag-base as he calls it) and looks like a handy little device. This was surely the most expensive part of the build, but looks like it should last a very long time. Basically, it’s a metal box with magnets on the inside and a rotating switch on the outside. When the switch is in one position, the box’s bottom is magnetic. Rotate the switch to the other position, and the bottom is no longer magnetic. These switchable magnetic bases come with a stud on top for attaching other things to it, which it looks like [Daniel] has already done. From there on out though, he explains and shows the rest of the build.

Some mild steel rod was cut and modified to slip into the pipe. The rod is held in place by a set screw which allows for easy adjustment of the mount’s height. Then he welds the rod to a washer which is, in turn, welded to a tube. After the welding, he takes the whole thing to a deburring wheel to clean it up. After that, the final touches are made with some spray paint and a custom 3D printed cap.

Sprinkled throughout the video are some useful tips, one of them being how he strips the zinc off of the washer with acid prior to welding. The reason for this is that you don’t want to weld over zinc because it produces neurotoxins.

Now [Daniel] can attach his camera mount quickly just about anywhere in his shop with the help of his new magnetic base.

There’s no shortage of camera mount hacks that we’ve covered. Here’s another one involving a magnet, but also has an automatic panning feature. Do you need a sliding camera mount? How about a motorized sliding camera mount — enjoy.

8 thoughts on “Giving a Camera Mount a Little (Magnetic) Attractiveness

  1. Where is the hack, or more precise: Where are the promised magnets in this not-a-hack / how-to-increase-diameter-of-rod-thing?

    I usually refrain from calling sth. on HaD not a hack but I had to make an exception here because this so called hack misses the promised magnets and just increases the diameter of a rod.
    Specifically watching / skimming through the video to find the self made magnetic mount with the “on/off”-switch I was quite disappointed to find the ‘hack’ just uses a bought one…

    So @jamienavarrohackaday please remove any indication that this ‘hack’ is in any way a magnetic camera mount or just remove the complete article. Thanks.

    1. He made a thing that makes his store bought mag base (a tool not intended to be used as a camera mount) more useful for him. He also made a video that I thought was nice to watch. I also learned about how to avoid having neurotoxins enter my brain. I got some a good measure of value out of that video.

      But you were just offended. Would you be less offended if he’d dug up his own ore and forged his own rare earth magnets instead?

      Suggesting @jamienavarrohackaday take it down because it doesn’t meet *your* standards seems a lot more egregious then HaD choosing to publish what it publishes in spite of your demanding editorial requirements. No one forced you to read what you read, skim what you skimmed, or write what you wrote. You made those choices.

  2. The most expensive part of this “hack” is the fully fitted out machine shop.

    You can get a magnetic base with dial holder for under $20 online and it comes with a segmented attachment arm that will hold a light camera with few or no further modifications.

    Also, FWIW welding galvanized metals doesn’t generate neurotoxins, but produces a cytokine response.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_fume_fever

  3. Wanted to emphasize it’s a myth that welding zinc is a danger. OSHA doesn’t have rules against it and only recommends decent ventilation. Symptoms of zinc exposure are flu like and temporary. There are even protocols for re-depositing zinc to cover areas where it is removed by welding. https://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_277000.html

    While it can be very unpleasant, it can be avoided with a fan.

    It takes a lot of zinc to cause a problem. A hobby scale project won’t do it. Personally, I found that zinc keeps the steel clean until it’s brazed. Their is more risk from the acid.

  4. My name is Daniel Reetz, this is my video.

    Shop technique is one of my favorite topics. I created this video to share some techniques and tools as well as a simple idea to mag-mount cameras. I’m going to keep doing that, no matter how simple. Simple things have saved me a lot of trouble over the years.

    Ten years ago, I was stuck in the frozen, flooding Midwest and didn’t have a bucket to piss in, much less nice tools or cool job opportunities. Over time, through my “maker skills” and my DIY Book Scanner project, I started learning real engineering and fabrication skills. Those skills landed me in some pretty amazing jobs that I’m very grateful to have had, and in those environments I learned more than ever. The inflection point for me was getting a laser cutter (thank you, Instructables!), which accelerated me in ways I didn’t know were possible. Access to equipment is life-changing.

    After years of R&D prototyping and fabrication for megacorps and boutique R&D companies, I’ve learned much about the gap between the “maker world”, the hacker/startup approach, and the professional engineering world. Each one has strengths and weaknesses, aims and goals. I recently left the corporate world (on my own terms) and I want to give back and help some of the maker types cross the bridge to better workshops and more interesting work. I feel like YouTube is the perfect place to do this, because I learned so much from people who share there, like Tom Lipton (also because the blog world has gone so quiet). The bar is already set high, and I like a challenge.

    It’s easy to hate on people with nice tools, I know because I felt that way once. It took me ten years to collect and pay for all these machines — and to learn how to use them. I haven’t forgotten what it was like to be *without* them. But I also wouldn’t want to be without them ever again. So many of my projects would be really different if I even knew about the existence of certain tools and techniques. Personally, I’m interested in way more than just hacks – in fact most of the time, I’m reading about hacks to see what kinds of tools they used.

    There was a time when I didn’t know about things like the 1/2% lead in most galvanized metal, which is definitely neurotoxic. Information can save you a lot of pain and frustration.

    I just started this YT channel a month ago. Give me some time to get some more significant work and cooler ideas up there. Or post some videos of your own – I’ll be your first subscriber.

    Best – Daniel

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