HOWTO make a camera stabilizer out of string, a screw and a washer

Here's a quick and clever HOWTO for making a camera-stabilizer out of some twine, a screw and a washer. Tie the string around the screw, screw it into the tripod mount on your camera, drop the other end of the twine (with the washer attached) onto the ground and stamp on it. Pull up on the camera until the twine is taut and vertical shake is a thing of the past, along with significant dampening of horizontal shake. Link (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)


  1. It’s great that this info is available, but as the author says, people have been doing this for years and years and years. It’s also a _total_ pain in the ass when you get tangled up and fall on your face. :)

  2. Shouldn’t that be a bolt, not a screw? Common usage uses “screw” for tapered threaded fasteners, which could damage the tripod mount threads.

  3. I think this design could actually even be further simplified. Use an Eye bolt (1/4-20 machine threading) to connect to the camera, then a piece of string which you loop around your foot, then through one of those slide lock thingies used to tighten the cables between tents and tent pegs.

  4. Yes it should be a bolt rather than a screw, but the important thing is to get one with the same thread as your camera’s tripod mount. Instead of using a washer at the bottom, I made mine with a stirrup that I could slip my foot through which made it easier to move around and reposition without having to find the washer to step on each time.

  5. A little fastener nomenclature trivia:
    Having worked in the hardware industry for years, I can tell you that both are screws. The tapered/pointy type are either wood- or sheetmetal-screws, and the non-tapered/non-pointy type are called machine screws. Typically what people call a “bolt” is a machine screw with a hexagonally shaped head. The odd thing is, an “eye bolt” always has machine threads, and an “eye screw” is always tapered/pointy. Another odd thing is that the tripod mount hole has always been 1/4-20 size, even though I’d bet that everything else on a camera (and most other new stuff) has changed to metric sizes.
    Sorry if I put everyone to sleep…

  6. I can’t believe I was about to comment on the bolt/screw thing as well.

    Bobkat is right i realise though, he reminded me that a grub screw is the little headless bolts that you tighten with an alen key that completely go within the threaded hole.


    shortfatsteve: why not use a clip like on a bag to attach it to your shoelaces?

  7. A screw is held in place by threads located on the thing being screwed into, whereas a bolt is held in place by a nut on the other end.

    So unless your camera has a hole through it that you are trying to secure string to, you would be using a screw.

  8. I think it was here on BB where I learned to punch a bolt through the cap of a soda bottle. and nut it in place. Then you can use a full or empty 1 or 2 liter bottle as a “tripod.” I used to keep a bolted-cap in my bag with my camera. There’s always a bottle around.

  9. I tried this out yesterday and found it useful. I modified the rig this morning using two nuts on the end positioned about 8 inches apart to give me two lengths to work with. One for straight ahead and the longer one for looking up. I’ve also experimented with inertia based stabilizing for video with a fair amount of success.

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