Fig. A: The clock mechanism with the aluminum spacer
screwed onto the die-cut hour-hand sleeve.
Fig. B: The completed single-shaft clock-based panning
camera mount, with rubber feet for tabletop use.
At my local camera store I found the perfect
clock-sleeve connector: a ¼" male (standard tripod mount) to 2" female screw adapter that had
MATERIALS: 2-AXIS CLOCK DRIVE MOUNT
Sturdy old electric clock
Aluminum spacer, 7" OD, 10× 32 female threaded
or other size to screw onto clock’s hour sleeve
Screw adapter, 2" female threaded with rubber
bumper to ¼" #20 male threaded or other size to
connect the aluminum spacer with a standard ¼"
tripod mount. Get it from a camera store.
Tripod mount receiver, ¼" #20 female threaded
from a camera store
Small rubber feet ( 4)
Flanged ball bearing, 11" OD, 2" ID
Threaded rod 10× 32, 2" wide, at least 5½"
Nylon washers, 11" OD × 1" thick ( 2)
Steel washers, 1¼" OD ( 4)
Locknuts for 2" threaded rod ( 6)
Rubber O-ring, 21"
Tap and die set
Small hacksaw or Dremel tool
Drill and drill bits
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a rubber bumper inside to prevent slippage. I also
picked up a tripod receiver to mount to the bottom
of the clock. With all these pieces, I could screw the
clock onto the tripod, screw the camera onto the
clock, and go. I also stuck 4 rubber feet to the clock
bottom, for tabletop use (Figure B).
A Second Shaft
The device produced a smooth pan at 15 seconds
between exposures, but the camera could only turn
clockwise, and slight play in the hour shaft added an
occasional wobble. I solved both problems by adding
a second shaft to support the camera, which turned
via a belt drive that I could cross for reverse rotation.
For the camera shaft, I drilled a 11" hole in the
clock face, about 1½" from the dial cluster, in which
I mounted a flanged ball bearing. Then I seated a 4¼"
length of threaded rod in the bearing with a locknut
on each side. For the drive shaft, I screwed a 1"
length of the same rod into my aluminum spacer.
For pulleys, I sandwiched nylon washers between
steel washers, lined them up, and secured them
with locknuts. A 21" O-ring served as a drive belt,
and could be twisted into a figure 8 for counterclockwise rotation (Figures C and D).
The 2-shaft setup turned a camera smoothly in