DIY: A quick and dirty $20 projector ceiling mount

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I had a problem. I was getting in a couple home theater projectors for review, but I didn’t want to just sit them on a table in the middle of my office. It’s already cluttered enough. The obvious solution was to mount them on my ceiling. However, I’m cheap and didn’t want to spend any money on a mount. I also wanted some truly universal, allowing me to review projectors of all sizes and shapes without worrying about their weight. It would also need to come down when not in use.

So I took a trip to the hardware store.

I had a couple of ideas in mind, but they all revolved around hanging a board from the ceiling where the projector would sit. This way I didn’t have to worry about the projector’s size, weight or if they needed a particular mounting bracket. I also needed the mount to be somewhat shock-proof and not rigid as it would hang only 6.5 feet from the ground. This way it wouldn’t break if something accidentally bumped it.

I ended up with this concoction: 1/2 eye bolt connected to a small eye screw by an open-ended lap link along with a random board from my scrap pile.

The eye screw is sunk into the floor joists (my office is in the basement) and the projector board rests on eye bolt’s nut. It’s really quite simple in design and construction.The mount is also very adjustable thanks to the eye bolt located in each corner that allows for quick and simple height adjustments.

Parts list:

  • A pack of 4 eye screws rated for 95 lbs – $1.59
  • Four lap link connectors rated for 225 lbs – $0.89 each
  • Four 1/2″ x 8″ eye bolts rated for 300 lbs – $3.49 each
  • Total cost $19.11

Tools list:

  • Tape measure
  • Drill press and hand held drill

Construction

Start with the board. You’re going to want to make sure that it’s a few inches longer and wider than the span between the floor joists and the projector. Drill holes the size of your eye bolts in each corner the exact distance between joists. Simple math and a tape measure helps. Use a drill press if you can to ensure the holes are perfectly vertical.

Once the holes are drilled, hold the board up to the floor joists and mark through the holes where the eye screws need to be sunk. Pre-drill holes in the joists and sink the small eye screws.

Then open up the lap links with two needle-nose pliers and join the eye bolt to the eye screw sunk in the wood. Insert the board up through the eye bolts and thread on the nut. Fun stuff, eh?

Yes, I know Monoprice and others sell mounts for around $15. But I constructed this solution in about two hours and it’s more versatile for temporary use. I would opt for one of those if I owned a projector and wanted a more permanent installation.

Oh, and the projector pictured is the InFocus SP8602. It’s nice.

UPDATE: Just a quick thought. You could easily do this on a drywall ceiling, too. Consult your hardware store’s resident old man if you need a little education about drywall anchors.

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