Ever needed lab stands and been unable to nick them from a convenient lab? Well, I need some for propping up photography backdrops, holding hot stuff while it cools, and keeping the bits of the good ol' moonshine still in place. Plus it makes the place look more like Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory and boosts geek cred.
Anyhow, simple solution: Take a 700mm length of 12mm aluminium tube, roughen up one end with a hacksaw, and stick it in a takeaway curry tub full of concrete. It helps to wave a spirit level next to the pole to keep it straight, and if you haven't got a handy lab stand to keep the pole in place with, just tape it to the edge of a table temporarily and put the tub under it on the floor.
For the clamps, I bend 25mmx2mm (1" x 3/32" in old money) aluminium strip into a "U" around a bolt in the vise, pack the arms of the "U" with scrap wood, and drill an 8mm hole through the lot. Remove "U", slide a piece of M8 threaded rod through the holes and add 2x M8 butterfly nuts and 2x M8 washers to make an adjustable arm. Wire your favourite clamp or wooden clothes peg to the free end of it, or just use tape for non-heated jobs.
Geek away. Ⓥ