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After failing to find a standup 1919A4 tripod on the market with the features I wanted, I set out to build my own. To say that it turned into massively labor intensive project would be a gross understatement. The tripod I built has one feature (a single adjustable leg for uneven terrain) which, while handy, is unnecessary and nearly doubled the work involved.
   I was heavily influenced by the Jeep pedestal mount in my design.

WEIGHT (less gun & ammo can) -27 lbs 

I have provided enough information so that you can build any number of variations on my original design.

       The one thing common to all of my projects (no, not the crummy welding) is that this tripod was built with a welder, grinder, table top drill press, 10" fiber metal cutting blade mounted on a table saw, files, and emery cloth sand paper. I am not a machinist and have mostly basic tools.

      I have provided several photos and comments about the fabrication process. The drawings page contains plans, cutaways, blow-ups and more information.

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

THE TUBING


I used the plate the screw is running through as the top tube plate. I had to spring for a couple of expensive drill bits. This required a 1" bit to drill out the threads, or most of the threads. There were still a few shallow groves. Grease grooves! Ya, that's it.

    This floor jack is called Extend-O-Post Adjustable Support Jack. On the bottom of the box it says, Marshall #79 4'5" to 7'9". It cost about $31.00.   
   The unit is rated for an 8,000 lb. load, so it more than qualifies for holding up a 40 lb. gun plus ammo. I had to order mine from a local building supply as the adjustable jacks are not widely used - at least in this area.
     It comes with two sections of tube - one 2 1/2" OD, the smaller one 2 1/4" OD. Its a loose fit, but shims can be welded in place to tighten it up. It was perfect for what I needed. It also comes with two plates and a screw assembly. The tubes have large holes for setting the height of the jack, but there are long sections of both tubes that have no holes.
THE TRIPOD


PARTS.
The elevation mechanism is inside the lower tube. You
can refer to this photo to check parts against drawing.


The bottom showing the adjustment
screw for the one leg.

Fine elevation mechanism shown next to an M2 T&E.


Fine elevation mechanism made from an old table saw arbor.


Underside of carriage. (Before semi conversion)

I later added some 1/4" rod to give
a better grip on the knob

There are thin bushings connecting the carriage and the pintle, so when the trunnion bolt is removed, the assemblies stay together. In the enlarged photo you can see the bushings.
     Upper carriage showing ammo box bracket. Tightening screw draws lipped plate down tight against top of ammo box. Bottom of box rests against bicycle tire inner tube cemented to bottom angle iron. This design only works for the current design ammo box. If you want to use a WWII style box you will need to make appropriate changes.

This later improvement is a more complicated arraignment, but it allows for both new and old cans, held by either end. I added a bit to the bottom shelf, and cut the lip off of the clamping plate, added two small blocks, tapped for 1/4" x 20. I then made two adjustable jaws, as illustrated in drawing below. These can be screwed in or out as needed.

    The adjustments. In the photo, above, right, the left leaning one catches the groove in the pintle shaft and keeps the riser assembly from coming out. It can also act as a traverse lock. Another feature you can eliminate. Probably something more useful in a bouncing Jeep.
     The adjustment on the right side of the photo is the height adjustment. It's kind of an odd setup, but it works great. The bottom band is tightened on the lower, outside tube and the smaller upper band is for adjusting the height by grabbing the inside tube. You can see some fabric between the bands. The tubes are not a great fit, so I took some OD canvas and slid it, like a shim, between the tubes, then folded it over the outside tube and put the lower band over it. The bottom end of the inside tube has a shim welded to it (see photo, below), but I didn't want anything that would take the paint off of the upper tube so I used fabric.

The pintle shaft. You can see the groove. I used a section of the bigger tube to make the skirt that fits over the upper tube.

Shim on bottom of smaller upper tube.
Shim is 1/16" sheet stock.

     A MAJOR NOTE HERE: The thing that made me the craziest with this project was getting the upper assembly to rotate smoothly. I can't stress enough the importance of aligning the shaft holes properly. At one point the thick upper plate, the one in the upper tube, came off and got stuck up inside the skirt. It was hell getting it back out.
     Make certain all your holes are centered in their respective plates and that each plate is 90 degrees perpendicular to its shaft/tube. If a hole off center, you're screwed. Install the 2 plates in the upper tube and fasten them so they can't come out (but do NOT weld, you may need to remove these plates. I took mine out a dozen times at least) Then, slide the skirt over the upper tube, then pass the pintle shaft through the pintle plate and into the upper tube. Slide the skirt solid against the upper plate and shim it to keep it centered. Then weld the skirt to the plate.
    You may think of a better way to do this, just take care that the pintle rotates on the same axis as the tube's centerline.


Another view of the upper assembly. I made the trunnion bolt from a hex bolt - just rounded it. I bought a really long one so it would have a long, unthreaded shoulder.

The back side of the ammo box holder. Bolt welded in movable plate draws plate down tight onto top of ammo box.

Back view showing bend in carriage legs.

    Left is a front shot showing the bend in the risers and some details of the ammo box holder. You can see the top 1" hex bolt I used for the pintle shaft. I made the upper plate and the risers from 1/4" plate.

   Just below the trunnion bolt you can see the two notches (red arrows) I had to cut into the cross brace to give the receiver room to move up and down.


Right side showing elevation locking knob in forward/upper position. This locks the carriage level so it cannot move when loading or removing gun from carriage.
NOTE: This is a handy feature. Length of bottom course elevation adjustment bracket may vary, depending on your actual configuration. You might want to wait and cut this piece to length last.


The end of the legs have 1/4" plate feet. They are wide enough to give stability on hard surface, yet will dig into soft ground. They project below the 1" square stock a bit.


I used shrouds to hide my crummy welding and to give it a bit of the military look. The bolts are Allen and the handles I used allow me to really tighten them down. I welded a band around the base of the lower tube to beef it up for the internal leg adjustment assembly.

Unfinished and sitting in my little shop. The shop is about 10' X 15'. The little room in the back is my silversmithing shop, about 5' X 10'

Another shot of the unfinished tripod. At this stage it still had the traverse adjustment I spent two days making, only to discover it had too much play to use. It's mounted on the skirt.

     An attempt at a fine traversing adjustment. Turning knob "A" locks skirt to tube. "B" rotates skirt. It worked, but there was too much collective play in all the parts to make it a sensible feature. I used the "A" knob and block to make a device for compressing the mainspring in the backstrap of a Colt .45 Govt. 1911, so it didn't go entirely to waste.


A box to keep it in.


My next project will be a motorized
mount for my steel hip.

Questions or suggestions?
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