DIY, the $3.00 dual flash bracket

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jstuedle, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A while back, I spotted a little tid-bit on Al Jacobs Black Box web site. He came up with a common piece of hardware to use as a dual speedlight bracket. He used a common stair tread bracket, etched away the galvanizing and powder coated it black. He charges for his effort of coarse, but I thought I'd try it out without the acid and paint.

    I found the bracket for $2.39 at Lowe's hardware. Al got his at Home Depot. These brackets have very sharp edges, so I first used a Dremil and 1/2" sanding drum to break all the sharp edges and remove burr's. I mounted a few pieces of hardware I had in my parts drawer including:

    2 Smith-Victor cold flash shoes (about $7 ea. at B&H)
    3 1/4"-20 hex head bolts
    5-6 1/4" flat washers
    1 brass light stand stud with 1/4"-20 hole
    1 Light swivle w/umbrella mount

    It looks something like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you are like me, all the small parts were already available. If not, then your milage may vary. In other words your cost may be in the $25-$30 range. Still, that beats $200.00 plus price of many dual brackets out there.
     
  2. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BTW, these work very well, even if they are a little shiny. I made up 2. The only change I made from what is pictured, the sticker was removed and I added a Wein optical slave to one flash shoe and now only need a single pocket wizard if not using Nikon's CLS system.
     
  3. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    How about a quick spray of black paint?
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nice idea :thumbup:

    Probably end up doing the same thing...
     
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Neat idea.

    I'm curious in what situations a dual flash will be used.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Strobist love the flexibility, cost, and portability of using regular dedicated flashes on stands and umbrellas. The biggest con is the amount of light produced. More flashes helps in this arena.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In situations that you are not getting enough light... lol.

    Kidding aside, one situation would be to use a 2 umbrella setup instead of needing 4 strobes and 4 umbrellas to light about the same sized area. Battery powered strobes are not known for their very high W/s levels of performance. Also, by using 2 strobes in a single umbrella, you can lower the power levels in each strobe, further lowering battery consumption and recycle times.
     
  8. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The typical output from most high end shoe mounted flashes is around 70 watt seconds. Dual brackets bring up the power to almost 150, enough for most location work using umbrellas. As Jerry mentioned, the extra power can be used to reduce battery drain in your flashes for more shots per charge, or help you get down to f/8 or smaller and get that perfect portrait on location, or fill a larger area with just a couple of stands instead of a half dozen. I don't need to use these brackets often, but when I do the difference is quite noticeable.

    As for spray painting the brackets black, I have yet to find a decent paint that sticks well to galvanizing. One answer might be to sand blast the tin from the steel base metal and let your local high school body class paint them. Other than the hardware store look, I don't find the brite color objectionable.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Nice work. It does double your light output...but that's only one stop more than one flash alone.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Want a good idea? Just sandpaper your bracket to roughen it up to the point that the galvinization is mostly removed (maybe a 5-10 min job at most... do it during a few commercials and you won't even notice and use high temp BBQ paint. Not only does it have a nice texture and look to it that would be more professional looking than straight flat black, it should also stick very well and be durable as hell. :)
     
  11. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    +1 on this idea. I have used grill paint for lots of projects in the past. That stuff is awesome.
     
  12. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cool idea, I'll give it a try. Thanks!
     

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