A tripod can be handy for taking pictures of projects, but good ones are too expensive to leave laying around for casual use, and cheap ones can be difficult to use, due to their cheap telescoping legs. The one shown here cost almost nothing to make, and is sturdy enough for my purposes. The triangular hubs were cut from scrap 1/2“ plywood on the CNC router, and the “1x2s” (actually .75”x1.5“) were ripped from a 2×4 that cost less than $3.
The legs don't telescope, but they can be shortened by drilling extra holes in the lower legs. They're 5/16 holes on 1.5” centers.
The sturdy ballhead is made by Panavise for surveillance cameras (they call it a “knuckle”). It costs about $14. NOTE: don't insert the screw all the way into the camera– a lot of cameras have plastic threads, and you can damage them. Use the locking ring at the bottom of the screw.