I don't have any budget to buy a nice new sturdy tripod, but am up for trying all sorts of whacky DIY ideas! Anyone have any thoughts?

This is essentially the same as mine: http://www.amazon.com/Vista-Explorer-60-Inch-Lightweight-Tripod/dp/...

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Does yours have the nifty hook for hanging weights from? I'd fill a milk carton with water and hang it there. Maybe 2 of them. 

I'd also rig up something to separate the legs and form a sturdy triangle - probably the best idea I've seen for that is cutting a big triangular shape out of plywood and then laying it on the floor and attaching the feet to it. If you don't have a big enough chunk of plywood you could use bars, like 1 x 3s or something. You could probably secure it all together with duct tape. 

Then once you've got a nice sturdy base that won't let the legs wobble or slide around, pile weights on it. Concrete blocks, bricks, sand bags, whatever. 

It's also not a bad idea to use some tape to mark exactly where the corners are sitting on the floor so if you trip over it and move it you can get it right back. Or heck - tape it down too! 

or start scouring craigslist, ebay, thrift stores for a better tripod. the truth is, you end up employing strider's techniques and suggestions anyway.

also- hot glue is your best friend.

Even a heavy tripod can move if you bump it. I use a Spreader, which is made of aluminium - 3 radiating legs that lie flat on the floor, with a hole to put each tripod foot into - but a triangular piece of plywood does the job just as well. Or it can be square, or circular, as long as the three holes are in a triangular shape. Then you can put a sandbag or anything heavy in the middle. The 3 legs of my spreader are telescoping to adjust the distance, so it works with the tripod legs lengthened or shortened, but making a row of holes in the ply for each leg would work just as well.
If you can rig something that holds each tripod foot down, that would be ideal, but otherwise a weight hanging off the tripod centre would help to stabilise it.
But I have managed to bump and move a heavy tripod, no matter how it is fixed down, so working out a clear path from the puppet to the computer is still essential. Also I take off my shoes to animate, since my bare feet don't hot the tripod as hard, or as often, as klunky work boots. Sometimes I'm well clear of the tripod, and a lightweight one works fine on its own. Other times there is barely enough room to squeeze past, and it's worth using the spreader and weights. Also I might place a heavy object like a vice on the floor near the tripod leg, so when I've been going a few hours and am getting sloppy, I kick that instead of the tripod.

thanks all, i will definitely try the spreader idea. and yeah, mine has a hook in the middle which i had been hanging weights, but obviously not enough weight!!

if you're not bothered about the floor, hot glue the legs to it in addition to weights etc,

all good advice... I am looking for solutions to this myself... anyone got any opinions on Manfrotto Junior.. I want some kind of tripod where I can turn the head like this one...  but where would I get a really REALLY really heavy tripod from.. vintage, obviously, I been looking on eBay but nothing so far, comes even close... ??? 

thanks,

James.

Get a thick piece of wood, find out the diameter of the tripod legs, find the angle of the legs, and drill. If needed, add some weights or clamp the board onto your desk. 

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