For a while now, I’ve been wanting to use an adjustable arm to build a mic stand. It wasn’t until Lifehacker posted a build from Ikea Hackers that I decided to go full bore. The clincher was the fact that Lifehacker also posted a link to Instructables on how to build a suspension mount. The mounting is the reason I had not built one sooner, I just couldn’t figure out what to use to hold my Rock Band microphone in place.
After some quick perusing at a local Goodwill, I was able to find a nice lamp for $5 ready for me to modify. It’s not quite the same as what the article shows. There are no springs holding this in place, only clamps at the joints to limit movement. However the price was right and it was coming home with me. Once in the car I started to pull the lamp off the mounting to see what I would need to put the shockmount in place. The lamp had a basic plastic shaft clamped in place.
My next stop was my local hardware store, after all I would need to at least get a pvc coupler. I chose a basic white 3″ pvc coupler for $1.69. Moving towards the Hillman section (Nuts and bolts for those with different suppliers, but Hillman is the best!) I set about trying to find a piece of threaded rod that was about the same size as the plastic shaft. Bingo, 5/16″ threaded rod at 2″ in length is a perfect fit. Added to this I purchased: 1 wing nut, 1 stop nut, 1 washer, and 1 lock washer. My idea was to simply drill a hole in the pvc, put a stop nut on the inside along with a washer and then use a lock washer and wing nut on the outside to hold it in place.
Following the instructable, I cut four notches across the top and bottom of the pvc, and then following my own steps, I drilled a hold slightly off to the back of the pvc in between where two notches would be. This way I could account for the weight of the microphone and for the path of the binders. After the notches were set, I raided my fiancee’s drawer to steal 4 black hair binders and put them in place to make sure the depth of the notches was enough to hold them in place. Success! Nobody likes the white color of pvc, so I took the piece outside (now free of burrs and sitckers) and coated it with a nice black coat of H20 spray paint. (I find the product best for spraying on plastics.) This was probably the longest part of the build as the paint takes about an hour until it can be handled.
Now for the results, the arm looks and works great. I’ve placed it on a cheap riser I use for my monitors, and it seems to hold in place nicely. I’m able to lower it and pull it out far enough to be able to sit comfortably while talking into the mic. Now all I need is a mic cover to dampen breathing noises (I was told an athletic sock works perfectly and have tested it during the 20 Sides of Nerd podcast I was on.) so I might have to make something that fits in with the arm, both space wise and color wise.
So what do you think? This is a sub $8 adjustable mic stand fit for podcasters everywhere. Also, it just happens to be Ikea free, but if you need to; Ikea has an adjustable lamp for $8 and Walmart Online has one for $14. Best of all, I no longer need to lean really far in speak into the mic while it is taped to my desk lamp!