Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Make a Cheap and Easy Ikea Time Lapse Panning Unit Part 3

Ikea Ordning Timelapse Panning Unit

Ikea Stam Timelapse Panning Unit

Two years ago I put together the original How To Make An Egg Timer Timelapse Panning Unit.
I made the original timers for work back in 2008, to provide panning timelapses for extra b-roll
for projects I was shooting.  I had no idea the how popular these cheap little gadgets would
become, go figure.  I guess I'm not the only timelapse photo geek out here.
One of the constant comments I get is that they are too hard to build and they are ugly.
Frankly, I find them easy to build and I don't care how they look.  I care how well they work,
and that they are cheap enough to throw away when they break.  The original looked a little
steampunk, and that's cool right?  Well I have been listening and here are my two new designs.


Ikea Stam Timer

Ikea Ordning timer

1/4 20 set screw

3/8 to 1/4 20 bushing

One of the great things about these Ikea timers is that they are cheap.  Right now the Ordning is $5.99
here in the states.  The Stam is a crazy $1.99.   After you add a metal bushing to the Ordning you've got a tough piece of gear.  The Stam is so cheap why not try to convert it?  You do not need to take these timers apart for the conversion.  In my video I use a drill press, you do not need a drill press, you can do both of these conversions with a hand drill.
Both of these units will sit on a flat surface and spin.
Now for reality, the timers in all of these units have cheap plastic components so they will break.
That is why I build them as cheap as possible and keep a couple on hand.
When they break, I unscrew the bushing and the set screw and toss them.
You can get the set screws at any hardware store, the bushings are harder to find but most camera
stores will have them.
Finally, looks.  My original timer may have looked like junk but its product speaks for itself.
But for those of you (and we know who you are) who are fashion conscious, these new models
are stylish and functional at a bargain price.


  1. I see we share the same fondness for IKEA. Of course, I am in the Food Court siphoning the coffee with reckless abandon.

    Nice product pictures. I am looking forward to underwater timelapses with your new panning devices.

  2. Yeah, I guess I should comment on your page... I've linked it all over creation. Fantastic idea!! Great job!

  3. Hi... quick question - Do you think that the Ordning timer would be sturdy enough to mount a Canon T2i or T3i on? Thanks!

  4. Thanks Patric and Bruce.
    Link and embed all you want.

    Al, short answer .... maybe.
    You definitely would need to have a 1/4 20 bushing on the bottom and a 1/4 20 post on the top. There is enough plastic "meat" under the top to tap a 1/4 20 set screw into, then a small ball head tripod head.
    Check out this video,
    He made his from my original timer, beefed it up. If you do it just stay close until you can trust it, too many plastic parts.
    Send me a link if you pull it off.
    My original videos are here:

  5. Hi there

    Yesterday I saw your Ordning post on IKEA Hackers and simply fell in love with your videos. The first thing I did was drive halfway across Sydney to the only store that sells GoPro equipment and bought myself the Hero. What I have done today is learn how the camera works, driven around the local streets shooting 2 second frames from the windscreen, googled how on earth I put a movie together, played with iPhoto and iMovie, and created a very short film. Here is my handiwork:

    Tomorrow in my lunch break I'm off to IKEA to pick up the Ordning ($14.99 here by the way) and will start taking some panning shots.

    So thank you ... my digital photography journey continues.


  6. WOW, Thanks for the note, I have a great time playing with the gopros, you never know how they will get used next. Send me a link when you do your first panning lapse.

  7. Hi.
    What model video camera are you using? The video quality is fantastic!

  8. It looks like it is a GoPro helmet camera. This is an example, if not the exact model:
    GoPro CHD96-001 HD Helmet Hero 960

  9. This blog post was shot with a Canon 7D. I use two GoPro cameras, an HD Hero and a standard def. version.

  10. Thanks for coming up with such an ingenious solution. Now if only IKEA would put everything on their website as being able to be shipped. I am not sure it is cost effective having to drive 12hrs (round trip) and waste 2hrs coming back across the border. Then again it might get exciting when the border guards discover a box of timers in the back...

  11. I would not make that drive, my original timer is based on a walmart timer, everyone on the planet has a walmart near-by right? The great thing about these timers is that any cheap kitchen timer will work, some just need more tweaking then others.

  12. So easy... but great :-)
    I'll try it, I love DIY-ing with my D40x

  13. I thought it was really nice and simple, but how I'm able to drill such a hard piece without a big driller machine? :/

    Still a really nice/cheap work!

  14. With a steady hand you can do it with a power hand drill. Check out my first DIY and you can see me do it. Also, there are plenty of small drill presses around, just ask your friends, someone has one you can use for five minutes.

  15. Following up - DSLR is way too heavy for the Ordning timer... weight of the camera weighs down on the timer and stops the spin. Oh well.

  16. Put the DSLR on an axial bearing and a shaft between timer and camera would not be too expensive. Try LEGO as construction material!

  17. Has anybody successfully taken apart the Ordning timer to see if it's possible to drill into the center of the top? I'm trying to figure out how to attach a 1/4-20 post to it to attach a compact camera. The only other thing I can think of would be to epoxy a nut to the top and then screw one of the setscrews into it. But I'm not sure it'd hold long-term.

  18. Hey Alan, Yes! You can pop off the top of the ordning and drill from the inside out, a pilot hole, then drill a 15/34" hole 1/2 inch deep, don't go too deep or the top will not go back on the timer ... screw in the mounting screw. Then I would suggest putting a small ball mount on top of the set screw. Or just epoxy a small ball mount onto the top of the ordning.

  19. Hi again,

    I'm still obsessed with your work....I've finally made the Ordning timer. I've decided to make a 5 minute spinning time lapse movie "A Summer Day in Sydney". It will take me a few weekends to gather all the footage and then make the movie, and I will send you the link. This is very exciting.


  20. Cool, I look forward to it, Sydney is on my list, so do your best to temp me :)=

  21. I wish you sold these hacked as I'm rubbish at do it yourself

  22. That's really a great solution! Thanks for sharing. Any way to remove the alarm sound ?

  23. Yes, on some of the cheap timers the hammer is on the outside and you can cut it out. To see that check out Part 4 of my Egg timer time-lapse series
    its called "GoLapse: How to Make a DIY GoPro Panning Unit Part 4"

  24. Hello

    I wonder how I can do time-lapse with the Go Pro. Is it Better to use video or photo mode? I mean: one hour video recording or use one photo every 0.5 Sec? or rather one photo every 1 second?

    Thank you very much

  25. Stills make better time-lapses. The still files are larger and sharper. When video is turned
    into a time-lapse its compressed so it looses information. Video generally starts off at lower resolution them stills. Try it and you will see.

  26. just made mine.
    a few tests here
    thanks so much!

  27. Usually, I'd rather buy something ready than doing it myself (part of the reason being I have almost no tools at home), but after watching your video, I ordered the parts... and a drill, so the final cost is a bit higher (about £60).

    Because of your great guide and because the Ordning looks so good, you made me take the first step to getting back to DIY stuff. Thank you so much!

  28. No problem! Send me a link when you post some cool lapses.
    I'm sure the drill will come in handy for some other projects.
    Nothing is more satisfying then building and growing you own stuff.

  29. Hi. I was just at IKEA and the STAM is now digital! Darn.

    I did buy the ORDNING timer and I bought a bushing and a set screw. But after watching your video carefully (well, I watched the STAM part carefully before I went to IKEA) I see for the ORDNING I need a GoPro Shoe? Eek! I went to the GoPro site but I'm not sure what to buy...? I have a Lumix PS camera. (And now I think that the cost is going to be higher than $8 total, right?) I saw the post about driilling the ORDNING and using the set screw, why put a ball mount? Can I just glue the screw in?

  30. Thanks for the info about the Stam. Any cheap timer will work. If you have the Ordning and your not going to use a GoPro on it, I would suggest gluing or screwing a small ball head on the top. The GoPro has a built in hinge for tilt up, If your using another camera you will want to be able to adjust your shot, hence the need for the ball head.

  31. Loads of sites say you can't (must not) try to modify these ordning timers, but there are three great improvements you can make with them in a few seconds. DO NOT try to take the actual ticking mechanism apart, it explodes and you will never fix it!

    1- remove the entire bottom half, making it much smaller and lighter (eg if you want to mount it on a quadcopter or stack them etc). DO NOT TRY TO DO THIS FROM THE TOP! Remove the three screws that are under the foam on the metal base, then slide the metal off. The hole in the plastic base has a screw inside it, take that out and the timer metal box comes out. You can just use the top half of the metal, and mount the puck sized unit on whatever you want

    2 - remove the bell. There are two ways to do this, you can do the first or do both (both stops the annoying rattling when its in your pocket). Either pull the top off the timer (it just slides off) and you can remove the smaller, off centre of the two cogs which is the bell rattler by prying off the metal clip on the top of it (its tougher than you think so beware of bendy knives) and the cog just drops off, or if you really want to remove it you can get to the metal rattler by removing the whole timer FROM THE BOTTOM - follow point one to remove the metal timer box then take the three screws ALSO FROM THE BOTTOM and the timer comes out, and you can snap the bell metal off easily.

    3 - remove the 60 minute limit. To do this you need to remove the bell (point 2) and remove the little L shaped piece of plastic screwed onto the top. Mine runs for 2 hours with no issues, but don't complain if you spring snaps at some point!

    By the way Ikea have changed Stam now so it is digital, and so doesnt rotate quite so well :( So its just Ordning now.

  32. Interesting, I have not used an Ordning in years. If you check my blog and YouTube channel
    you will see part five of my series. I find it easiest to strip any timer down to the clock and
    make modifications form there.
    Check out the newest version.

  33. Will this work?

    1. Yes! Check my Youtube channel for updates to this project.
      Part 4 and 5 are easy to build and much smaller.


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