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Thread: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

  1. #1
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    If you are following my giant Levy Process camera conversion to bigger and heavier things, you know my current Semi-Centennial and Table-Top stands can't carry it.

    I happen to have 2 Arkay Monopole studio stands and I keep pushing them around, but one of them is not strong enough either. Suffice to say, they are made of cast iron base, a thin steel pipe and as I found out, an aluminum arm. Why old makers of good shit, save weight there? I cracked the aluminum at the pinch clamp, but I can work around it and return it to full function. I was not happy, I dislike breaking anything, especially with a short wrench.

    I can babble on, but the picture shows the story. I pushed them together and consider the geometry is not that different than the Semi-Centennial right next to it.

    I propose to take off 2 wheels and tightly bolt those parallel leg arms together with 2 beefy through bolts, what could go wrong...

    I checked parallel at base and 6 feet and just as they sit, it's very good, my floor is flat and level.

    Anyone seen this before? Any advise?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    Seems fine as long as the posts are completely, totally, 100% parallel. I'm sure you know that the tiniest bit off will make the arm bind when you change height and it will be annoying.
    Chris

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawlowski6132 View Post
    Grow a pair and go shoot.

  3. #3
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    Yes I agree, I plan to put some slop in the 2 arms so they don't bind. I saw a Deardorff double post that had some serious rubbing marks on the posts.

    I haven't worked out the details for the upper arms yet, but that's the way I Hack, one problem at a time. I was a fabricator in another life and made some large steel objects, all with casters. If I still had that shop I could do much better from scratch.

    These things are just sitting around and I really like how a Semi-Centennial works.

    I even plan to make it fully reversible into 2 standard Monopoles. In case it turns out to be a bad idea...


    Quote Originally Posted by C. D. Keth View Post
    Seems fine as long as the posts are completely, totally, 100% parallel. I'm sure you know that the tiniest bit off will make the arm bind when you change height and it will be annoying.

  4. #4
    lenser's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    If this camera is a heavy as you describe, how in the world do you plan to elevate or lower it with any control? I too own a pair of these stands and everything relies on dead lift and friction. The only way I can see this working for what you want is to increase the counter wight by a huge amount and having two strong people, one each side of the camera to perform a "one, two three, NOW!" kind of a heave. Without a heavy duty geared rise and fall, you simply have no way to control the position in any meaningful way.

    The starting theory seems good with bolting the stands together, but unless you know a damned good machinist who can create a mechanical lifting system for you, I don't see this being possible.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  5. #5
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    I'm gonna sleep on it, I do my best work half asleep, not kidding.

    Maybe I will let it fall easily and add something like a heavy duty tool spring balance. I used one to make a 50 pound single spindle rotor torque to angle wrench manageable. Rube it was, but it worked on big diesel engines.

    Or a long movement ram jack, or a boat winch, or more balance weight that makes it rise easily.

    I have used the stands a lot so I am familiar on how they handle.

    My camera will be about 60 to 65 pounds.

    Since it is a studio only portrait camera used on sitting adults, I don't need a lot of movement.

    I would like a geared movement like some stands, not impossible, just a pita.

    I am not in a hurry, I have the camera now mounted on stable wheeled bench at the right height for most people. Perhaps I just need an adjustable stool.

    First I make the 14x17 extension back, I have a holder coming Monday.


    Quote Originally Posted by lenser View Post
    If this camera is a heavy as you describe, how in the world do you plan to elevate or lower it with any control? I too own a pair of these stands and everything relies on dead lift and friction. The only way I can see this working for what you want is to increase the counter wight by a huge amount and having two strong people, one each side of the camera to perform a "one, two three, NOW!" kind of a heave. Without a heavy duty geared rise and fall, you simply have no way to control the position in any meaningful way.

    The starting theory seems good with bolting the stands together, but unless you know a damned good machinist who can create a mechanical lifting system for you, I don't see this being possible.

  6. #6
    lenser's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    Wait a minute, Randy.

    I'm just now thinking that if you can lay hands on some slow torque electric motors like those used for heavy canvas backgrounds. You could rig an attachment at the top of each pole or better yet, separating both poles at the exact spacing you need and mounting the motors, use a simple spool of heavy wire rope from each and attached to each camera arm which would be synced via combining the the wiring to each motor so that they activate as a unified team. Those are often found in kit form with a remote control drive switch.

    On my background set, one motor easily raises a 12x 18 heavy canvas which must weigh thirty pounds or better, so the two together may well be able to do the lift you need and with precise stopping points. Doing this, you would need to rig a common lift bar to disengage the arm handles, or even remove them as the motors and wire rope would act as a brake on their own.

    I even know of a photographer here in Srpingfield, Mo. who was about to give away an entire motorized background set two weeks ago. If this method sounds doable to you, let me know and I'll check with her to see if it's still available.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  7. #7
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    Please check, that's a good idea, if the price is right.

    I also need a bigger set for a 30 foot movie screen!

    Quote Originally Posted by lenser View Post
    Wait a minute, Randy.

    I'm just now thinking that if you can lay hands on some slow torque electric motors like those used for heavy canvas backgrounds. You could rig an attachment at the top of each pole or better yet, separating both poles at the exact spacing you need and mounting the motors, use a simple spool of heavy wire rope from each and attached to each camera arm which would be synced via combining the the wiring to each motor so that they activate as a unified team. Those are often found in kit form with a remote control drive switch.

    On my background set, one motor easily raises a 12x 18 heavy canvas which must weigh thirty pounds or better, so the two together may well be able to do the lift you need and with precise stopping points. Doing this, you would need to rig a common lift bar to disengage the arm handles, or even remove them as the motors and wire rope would act as a brake on their own.

    I even know of a photographer here in Srpingfield, Mo. who was about to give away an entire motorized background set two weeks ago. If this method sounds doable to you, let me know and I'll check with her to see if it's still available.

  8. #8
    lenser's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    I'll try to contact her this morning, Randy.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  9. #9
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    Thanks!

    I had some thoughts in the night. It will work. Separate arms will support front and rear, with a sliding bed, eliminating binding. Spreading the load and even allowing screw tilt. I already have some very good 2" clamps for the arms, that were made for Ham Radio antennas.

    I had 45 lbs of sand bags on one stand and yes I had to pull it up, but even my weak old man body could do it.

    With 2 stands working together, it will work much easier. I still may need 3 hands to lift and control the existing friction locks.

    Quote Originally Posted by lenser View Post
    I'll try to contact her this morning, Randy.

  10. #10
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Making a double post studio stand from 2 single post Arkay. Crazy or not?

    New plan, not very DIY, but I located a Deardorff BiPost stand, that should solve my problem.

    Still in negotiation, but I think it is fait accompli.

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