Being on a budget, we got two things for our business: the smallest conference room we could reasonably get away with, and the cheapest decent projector we could find.
This means that the projector is pretty big, and takes up an entire end of the conference table. I needed a way to mount it to the ceiling, but projector mounts run between $100-$200. They typically come in two types: Spidery-Articulated-Aluminum-Dealie and Pole-With-A-Mounting-Plate. One of the Pole-With-A-Mounting-Plate products I found on the net claimed, “mates with any 1½ inch pipe” in its description. That sent me to Home Depot, and I came up with this rig for about $40.
Read on for a rough how-to.
DISCLAIMER: I cannot be held responsible if your expensive projector takes up skydiving, and meets with negative results.
I probably overbuilt it a tad, but since I’m hanging a pretty expensive piece of hardware pretty high in the air, I wanted to make sure everything was solid. Overall, it was pretty easy to build, and it will even rotate.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cordless Drill, or, if you hate yourself, a screwdriver
Stuff you might already have in the garage
- Nuts, bolts and lock washers of sturdyish diameter (I used 5/16”), around ¾” to 1” long.
- A length of 1 ½” PVC Pipe, enough to reach from the ceiling to where you want the projector to hang.
Stuff you’ll be picking up at the hardware store
- Long screws that fit the mounting holes in your projector. This was the toughest thing to find.
- A 4” closet flange. These come in different varieties, but I liked the ones with the rotatable metal ring.
- One of these things. Sorry, I don’t know the right name, but I think it’s a 4 x 1 ½ reducer bushing. Looks like a funnel thingy to me.
- A shower drain. The one I used had a big, wide lip that I could drill holes in to match the mount points on the projector.
- A can of plastic spray paint (regular spray paint won’t stick to PVC)
The first thing to do is measure how far down you need the projector to hang. If you have to buy the PVC, you probably had to get at least 8 feet, so you get a few extra chances if you mess up the length.
Fit the reducer bushing (funnel thingy) to the closet flange (metal-ring thingy). I glued these two together, but this probably wasn’t neccesary. PVC glue is extremely strong, but it wasn’t neccesarily designed to hold weight, so I decided not to trust it. Beat on it a bit to make sure it completely seats.
Drill a hole through in the wide end of the bushing through both the bushing and the end of the flange, using a drill bit slightly wider than the shaft of your bolt. Cap the bolt on the inside of the fitting with a lock washer and a nut. Put at least two of these into opposite sides to firmly join the bushing to the flange.
The piece you’ve just built is the bit you’ll be fastening to the ceiling. The shower drain will hook to the projector, and the pipe will connect them.
Take a look at the projector. Most of them have screw holes designed to mount the projector to something. Measure the positions of the holes. I laid a piece of paper on the bottom of projector, then poked through the paper into the mounting holes to make a template of the mounting positions. Drill holes in the lip of the shower drain to match up with your projector
Once you’ve got the screw holes drilled, you’re ready to put it all together. Cut the pipe to the length you need. Make sure you take into account the length of the fittings, as well as how far the pipe will need to push in to each fitting. Beat the fittings on to either end of the pipe. Drill 3 holes equidistant around the fitting where it overlaps the pipe, put in the bolts, and cap them inside the pipe with lock washers and nuts. Spray a little paint on the whole thing so that it won’t look like an unfinished bathroom gone wrong.
Using the predrilled screw holes in the ring of the closet flange, attach your new projector mount to the ceiling. Put two or three small washers on each screw between your projector mount and the ceiling, so that the plastic part can still turn in the metal ring (This lets you rotate the projector).
Once you’re satisfied that your mount will hold weight, screw the projector to the holes you drilled earlier in the shower drain. If you bought long enough screws, you can back out the ones in the front or back slightly in order to aim the projector. Don’t get too carried away with this, of course, since these screws are all that’s standing between an expensive piece of equipment and a demonstration of Newton’s laws.