Blog Archive

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to Mount a Projector to Almost Anything

I just wrote this up. It will be an Instructable soon, but for now it can live here. This system for mounting projectors was taught to me by Chris Jordan. His website has several other great how to's for media artists. When getting the gear check out the B&H used section for better deals.

A Quasi Instructables for Mounting a Projector onto Almost Anything

You will need:

3/4inch Pipe Clamp - $10 to $15

3/4inch aluminum conduit pipe - $10 for 11 feet.
The length will depend on what you plan on mounting your projector too.

Manfrotto Super Clamp with Stud - 27.50

Slik - Adjustable Tripod Head holds 9.9lbs - 29.95

Plus hardware:
1 steel plate
2-4 rubber spacers
2-4 special flat panel mounting screws - These are metric, just used for mounting flat panel TVs and very expensive ($1.oo per screw) Can be found at GOOD hardware stores.
1 locking washer
2 fender washers
1 tripod size screw - All tripods use the same exact size screw - 1/4" diameter, 20 threads per inch
1 tripod screw size hex nut barrel thing (sorry I dont know the proper name for this. It looks like a hex nut just 3/4 inch long and should fit on the tripod screw)

1 $20 pipe cutter. You can get this at any hardware store, just ask to make sure it can cut 3/4 in aluminum conduit.
Dremel - metal sanding/grinding
2 sizes of metal/steel dril bit
wrench and pliers
A Stationary vice is very helpful

Safety goggles/glasses

A General Explanation of Materials and Gear Used:

A pipe clamp is wonderful device that can be attached to any length of 3/4in pipe and turn it into a clamp/vice. Changing the length of pipe used allows it to clamp to anything from 1 inch table tops to rafters 1 ft thick or to columns 6 feet wide. The Manfrotto Super Clamp gets attached to the aluminum conduit in the pipe clamp.

A Manfrotto Super Clamp is a versitile piece of grip equipment that can attach to pipes or smaller square beams. I have been told by several people this is one of the best and more versitile pieces of grip gear out there and that Manfrotto is the best quality. You can probably get a cheaper brand but do you want to trust your projector with that? These are built to be interfaced with a wide range of photo, video, and lighting gear. In our case it connects to an Adjustable Tripod Head.

An Adjustable Tripod Head is just that. Its a tripod head that can be adjusted without the tripod part. After this is attached to the Super Clamp it allows you to position and adjust your projector for best results.

The tripod screw of the Adjustable Tripod Head gets screwed into the tripod size hex nut barrel thing that is mounted into a steel plate. The steel plate is mounted to the projector.

The How To:

Take the steel plate and use the dremel to sand and grind any sharp or rough edges so you dont cut yourself. WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!!! This makes lots of sparks. Next measure out 4 holes of the right size and alignment to fit on the bottom of the projector (all projectors have 4 screw holes for mounting). Use the drill and metal drill bit to drill the 4 holes. Using a little bit of mineral spirits (Baby Oil) helps keep the bit from becoming dull or too hot. Also be very careful and clean up all metal shards with a vacuum as soon as you are done.

In the middle of plate with a tripod screw size metal drill bit drill a hole. Clean up when you are done.

Use the dremel or a steel brush get rid of any sharp bits or shards. Clean the plate with a damp paper towel and dry.

Take the tripod screw, put on a washer, and feed it through the middle hole in the steel plate. Then put a locking washer, a washer, and the 3/4inch long hex nut. Use the pliers and wrench or whatever else you have to lock that on there really really really tight. Get 4 rubber spacers and 4 mounting screws. On the bottom of the projector put the spacers down over the screw holes, then the steel plate (with the tripod screw in it), and then screw it in with the mounting screws to secure the plate.

Thats it for the projector. Now to explain the rest of the system.

The adjustable tripod head is attached to the projector using the tripod hex nut barrel thing. Just screw it in as tightly as you can.

The adjustable tripod head is then attached to the Manfrotto Super Clamp using the bolt that came with it.

The Manfrotto Super Clamp is them attached to the 3/4 inch aluminum conduit pipe of the pipe clamp.

Clamp the pipe clamp onto anything that can take the weight and you are done.

Good things to clamp to:
architectural elements

Bad things to clamp to:
Non secured book shelves
flimsy lighting fixtures

Good luck!


  1. this will save my ( and a lot of other peoples butts ) thank you!

  2. and also, i tried the puppies out, it was totally fine.