Homemade tripod leg brackets
There comes a time when you'd like something stuck to the leg of your tripod and Velcro just won't do. I ran into this problem recently when I purchased a GPS unit on Astromart. It came with a Celestron bracket for their AS-GT mounts which did me no good at all as I own a CGE. So I needed a bracket.

What evolved was a part made from 1/8" aluminum sheet which was cut out on the band-saw to my desired length. Then the metal was bent so that it would clamp to the leg easily. So far so good. It worked fine, almost. It would clamp on and hold the GPS but when the metal 'wings' spread around the tripod leg the center flat would flex and make it very tight to get the GPS into and out of the slot cut in for it.

Back to the shop for a modification. A piece of 1/4" aluminum stock was cut on the bandsaw to fit between the wings of the bracket JUST behind the flat. I needed slightly better than 1/8" clearance for the dovetail on the GPS unit so the 1/4" bar was fit about 3/16 behind the flat. Then 4 holes were drilled through both parts, the bracket was countersunk and the bar was tapped for 6-32 screws. Now the bar keeps the flat flat, and everything is working great.

The bracket's flat should be just a bit narrower than the leg of the tripod and you bend the wings so that they flare out from the supporting bar then back in with a couple of outward flares at the ends of the wings so that you can push it over the tripod leg. Make the thing deep enough so that you have lots of metal clamping on the tripod legs to keep it sort of square.

My flat had a cutout for the GPS as in the CN16 bracket above, but you can put any bolt pattern you want or need on the flat to hold whatever you want to ride the leg.

If you don't have a sheet metal bender but you have a vise here is a trick. Find two lengths of 1" square tubing. Place them on either side of the metal you want to bend and clamp them tightly with Vise-grips. Then fit the material into your vise and bend away. You can get lots of leverage and this will make nice bends.

I painted it up nice with flat black but the paint just rubs off. I also put a layer of black tape around the tripod legs to keep things from scratching.

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