Aloha! Underwater camera mounts (or trays as they are technically called) cost an average of $100, they are very useful for someone interested in underwater photography because they add stability to your camera, leave you with a free hand and will lower the chances of dropping your camera to the depths of the ocean. I will show you how to make one of these trays simply and effectively for around $5-10 dollars.
Step 1: Materials and tools
typically when you buy a camera tray you will not get the camera and flashlight with it, so assuming you have a waterproof flashlight and camera lets begin:
You will need:
a few tools like a sander, saw and drill
a cheap screwdriver ($1 at walmart, for the handle)
an off-cut piece of wood
machine bolts that fit into the tripod hole on the camera or a gopro mount (for me the are hex head 1/4 in-20x1in)
a work surface (like my old and tired workbench)
Step 2: Mark and cut the board
first mark the board and make sure to give enough room for both the flashlight and camera, (I used wood but you can also use a piece of metal with some improvisation), then cut the board to size.
Step 3: Sand the tray
sand the board to desired smoothness, I didn't have to do much more than round off the edges
Step 4: Cut the screwdriver
this is where a little elbow grease comes into play, cut through that screwdriver so that it becomes flush with the wooden board, make sure there are no sharp edges sticking out of the cut
Step 5: Attach handle
drill a hole (slightly smaller than the metal part of the screwdriver) into the centre of the board, then apply some superglue to the metal on the handle and twist it into the wood
Step 6: Tripod mount
next all you need to do is drill a hole into the wood (once again slightly smaller than the bolt) and screw in the bolt, if necessary use a nut as a spacer like i did, test the camera on it and make sure not to over tighten or you will break your camera, it should be firm and secure but not over tight.
Step 7: Final touches
in this photo you can see that I painted the wood with a coat of waterproof sealant and then some acrylic green paint for looks, also my flashlight just needed some cable-ties to become secure. (there are many possible alternations, i improvised here and there. I'm sure there are better ways to attach a flashlight for example)
Step 8: Finished product ready for the next adventure!
I used a Fujifilm XP60 camera for this project, i use it more than my gopro for underwater applications, here are some photos I have taken with the setup but the flashlight was not turned on in any of them :D hope some of you benefit from this. Mahalo