Build a Mobile Picture Post
by Paul Alaback
by Paul Alaback
Consider purchasing a plastic lumber post top - it will last for many years with no maintenance! The plastic top can be drilled just like wood, or attached to an existing structure. Click here for purchasing information.
- Any thin pieces of wood, 3/8" plywood would be ideal: I used 5" x 1/2" scrap cedar lumber that I had on hand.
- Screws: 2 each, 1/4" lag bolts with a hex head, or other bolts that can be securely tightened such as phillips or regular screws. (Sheet metal screws with a nut and lock may work well, too.)
- Small bubble level to attach to post top (see picture at right); compass, GPS, or smartphone with compass and GPS.
- Octagon template (you can download it here) or Plastic lumber post top (you can order one here).
Step 1: Tips on Building the Mobile Post Head
- I made a 6"x6" box out of extra cedar I had with 4- 1 1/2" long 1/4" carriage bolts that serve as "set screws" so that the box can be leveled even on a leaning post and still be secure enough to take good photographs.
- I then made the octagonal template out of some hard pressed board which was secured with a single screw and nut in the center so that it could be rotated to true north (for maximum flexibility).
- This should work for quite a wide variety of potential posts. This one can attach to either round or square posts from around 6" to less than 4" in diameter.
Step 2: Level Your Mobile Picture Post Top
- Use attached bubble level to level post top.
- Tighten set screws to make secure.
- First time - Take and record a GPS reading from the top of the post to find the latitude and longitude.
Step 3: Align Your Post Top to True North
- Use compass or smartphone to rotate north side of template to true north for your location.