See the  index page for other related projects.

 

Soil anchor and "plamp" for macrophotography

Introduction
In my search for useful parts for my macro flash bracket project, I also came across some plastic clamps which reminded me of what Wimberley uses for their Plamp and McClamp uses for their Clamp and Stick.  Both are basically just clamps on a gooseneck, used to fasten plants (or whatever you are photographing), reflectors, or whatever you need to stay put while you are working. These products do all use the flexible Loc-line water hose which I used for my flash bracket.  The anchor is very simple to make and if you have the parts anyway it takes you no more than 30-60 minutes depending on how fancy you want it to be.

Please note
Before I go any further guess this is necessary: I can not be held responsible for any injury caused to you or anyone trying to follow my guidelines, or for any damage caused to your equipment.  Also, all original ideas in this design are mine, you are free to copy this or modify for your own private use only - and if you find this helpful I would really love to hear from you.  Commercial reproduction based on my original design is not permitted. 

Material:
Two plastic clamps (found them at Target)
1/4" x 1/4" x 2' aluminum square (MetalsDepot.com)
2' of Loc-line (can be found at Modular Hose or just buy the Wimberley 1" extension for about the same price at B&H)
two 1/4"-20 x 2" threaded rods (hardware stores)
1/4"-20 x 1" coupling nuts (hardware stores)
epoxy glue
some foam (for the clamp)

The making was very easy and took perhaps 30 minutes and the total cost was somewhere between $10-$15.  I cut the aluminum in two approx 1' pieces, made one end pointed so it would be easier to drive it into the ground, and cut 1/4"-20 threads on the other three ends.  I then cut one threaded rod into two 1" parts and bent them about 30.  They were insetred in to the clamp handles through a 3/16 hole and glued with epoxy.  Finally I made the gooseneck attachment by bending the other threaded rod 90 and put a coupling nut on it.  The two aluminum rod parts are connected with a coupling nut.
Please refer to my macro bracket page for instructions and expanations on how to make the goosenecks, painting and other things.


 

The aluminum rods with a 1/4" coupling nut.
Both ends of the Loc-line gooseneck.
The Loc-line gooseneck is fastened to the aluminum rod with a 1/4" threaded rod bent 90 and a coupling nut.  The nut to the left (inside the Loc-line bead) is then screwed to the bent rod on the right.

Images showing how the clamps are fastened to the Loc-line gooseneck.  A bent 1/4" threaded rod is glued with epoxy and then a 1/4" coupling nut is used to fasten it to the gooseneck.
 
The Loc-line gooseneck with clamps at both ends.
The soil anchor in use, here with both aluminum rods and 1' Loc-line.  The Loc-line is rigid enough to support more weight than you would think at first sight.
A closeup to show how the clamp is designed to not damage e.g. vegetation.

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2007 Johann Thorsson