How to Make a Telescopic Stabilizer

Because of the large amount of magnification that devices with telescopic lenses use, images viewed through such equipment are frequently affected by shaking and movement. Whether using telescopic lenses with binoculars to view wildlife, or using a telescopic lens for photography, you can create your own telescopic stabilizer at home using bits of plywood and screws. Once you have designed the stabilizer to accommodate your device and your physical height, it can be assembled and used in the field for multiple devices.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch plywood boards
  • Measuring tape
  • Electric saw
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Rubber bands or string
  • Camera mount (optional)
  • Bungee cord


    • 1

      Design your telescopic stabilizing device. This device should consist of a frame with two long planks that can sit easily on your shoulders. The front and back of the frame should be weighted with other planks. Design also a mount for the telescopic device. The side frame should be at least 5 feet long. The width of the frame should be just slightly smaller than your shoulder width, and the mount should be high enough so that you can comfortably look through the viewfinder of your telescopic lens device.

    • 2

      Measure and cut the parts out of plywood. You should have the two sides of the frame cut to approximately 5-feet long and 2-inches wide. The front portion of the frame should be cut to approximately 2 inches by 8 inches (or slightly less than the width of your shoulders), and the back portion should be slightly wider -- approximately 6 inches by 8 inches. The height of the mount should be cut to be the distance from the base of where the frame sits on your shoulders to your eyes by 8 inches wide.

    • 3

      Lay out the pieces of the stabilizer as they will be assembled, with the frame sides about eight-inches apart and the top and bottom holding them in place. Assemble the body of the frame by attaching the pieces together with two screws at each connection point -- one on the top and one on the bottom.

    • 4

      Place your telescopic lens viewing device on the mount part and temporarily secure it in place with string or rubber bands.

    • 5

      Place the frame over your shoulders, with longer back piece of wood in back, as if you were using it in the field. Insert the mounting piece with your telescopic device on it into the frame, and slide it back and forth until you have found the place on the frame where the device is balanced and you can easily looking through the eye piece. Mark this spot.

    • 6

      Remove the stabilizer from you shoulders and take the telescopic lens device off the mount. Place the mount at the place you marked and secure it in place using two screws at each point of attachment -- one at the top and one at the bottom.

    • 7

      Attach a camera or screw mount to the top of the mounting plank, if this is what you intend to use the device for. Find the center of the mount, and then screw the mount in place with the screws provided by the manufacturer. This will help stabilize and secure the device, but if not totally necessary. If you are not using a camera mount, place your device on the center of the mounting plank and secure it by wrapping bungee cords around it until it is tightly attached to the stabilizer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a frame longer than 5 feet to have a more stable image. Choose a length that equals what you are physically able to handle carrying that matches your need from the stability.
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  • Photo Credit Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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