Photo Studio Compression Pole
usefulguy from DIYPhotography's Instructables group has posted a pretty neat Instructable explaining how to make a photo studio compression pole. It kinda reminds me of the hardware store light-backdrop stand, but it is even easier to use.
The good news is the cost: all the parts cost 9.43 at Home Depot. Real cheap for an all purpose studio stand.
To make a good thing better, he even has a video showing how one can use the pole in a studio:
I guess you'd be running to Home Depot now. While you are in the Home Depot check out all those cool things the strobist found there.
And to make a better thing the best there is another video explaining how to build the pole. A real treasure if you don't know a wing nut from a long spring (yep - it's double feature night)