For several years I had two borrowed photographic light stands in my shop. I used them for taking photos, holding up backdrops, and sometimes as task lighting for things like sanding or finishing where a raking light at just the right angle is necessary for the best results. Then last month I had to return the borrowed stands, and realized I didn't want to shell out the money for this. Which is just for the stand, mind you, not this too.
So, until I can afford to splurge on that kind of gear, I decided to jury rig something out of stuff I had on hand. My “jury rigs” have a way of lasting for years, so whatever I made needed to be fairly durable and it had to work well. With a bit of head scratching and a couple of false starts, I came up with this, which I'm pretty pleased with:
Keep reading to see about the process of building it. If you don't want to click through and read, here's one key nugget of information buried back in there: the screw on a standard tripod head, and the corresponding threaded hole on the bottom of your camera, is just plain old 1/4-20. (At least, here in the U.S. I can't speak for Europe or Asia)