Shooting photos underwater with the Olympus Tough camera in a housing is fun, but the housing is a bit difficult to hold steady while shooting video or when fingering the controls. Also, the housing only has one cold shoe, not really suitable to mount a focus light plus another light. To provide a firmer grip and two ball mounts, I built a simple tray for the Olympus Tough PT-056 Housing; the design is suitable for a similar housing.
The tray top and bottom are two strips of 5 mm thick ABS plastic, 220 mm long, the top strip is 30 mm wide and the bottom is 45 mm wide. The left end of the upper strip is reinforced with two short lengths of ABS strip, drilled with a hole to accept the pipe, glued in place, and with a horizontal hole for a #8 through bolt to further secure the left hand pipe.
The left hand grip is PVC pipe, 142 x 24 mm, with a bicycle grip on it. Duct tape is wrapped on the PVC pipe so that the bicycle grip fits tightly. (Aluminum pipe is also suitable). Each end of the PVC pipe is further secured to the ABS strips with a horizontal through bolt. The housing is mounted to the right of the grip with enough space, about 25 mm, for the left hand to fit comfortably.
The right side is two aluminum rods, 145 x 6mm ea., threaded for a length 6 mm at each end; the threads provide a grip for the ABS glue.
The housing is mounted on the tray just a mm or two from the aluminum rods to give the right hand easy access to the housing's controls. Two 1/4 20 SS screws and washers secure the housing to the tray.
Ball mounts for external lights can be two 1" RAM ball mounts. The tray shown here has two ball mounts made of two hex head bolts protruding 3/4" up from the upper strip and secured with a washer and lock nut, 25 mm hard plastic balls are screwed onto these bolts and secured with ABS glue. A hole is drilled into each ball and tapped for an Allen set screw. The side of the bolt where the set screw will lock is first filed flat; I used ABS glue liberally. Should you desire to use three lamp mounts, with one at the top right end, cut the upper strip a bit longer.
I used ABS to glue everything together, as it bonds metal to plastic. All the nuts and bolts are stainless. Measurements are in mm; if you prefer inches: 25 mm = 1".
ABS plastic sheet, 5 mm thick - local plastic materials store
PVC (or thin wall aluminum) pipe, ABS glue, SS bolts, nuts, #8 set screws, aluminum rod - local hardware store
Ball mount - eBay is the best source: Black Plastic Round Handle Ball Knob M5 Threaded 25mm Dia Machine Tools
or "Ram-B-238U Diamond Base mount Flat with 1 inch Ball"
Supplies: 5mm ABS sheet, PVC pipe, 1 bicycle grip, 6 mm aluminum rod, two 1/4-20 round head bolts with washers,
two hex head bolts with washers and lock nuts, two 25 mm ball mounts as above, ABS glue. Acetone for clean up.
Tools: Electric hand drill, Forstner and standard drill bits, saw, file, screwdrivers, Allen hex wrench.