It is currently Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:23 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
 My homebuilt dolly (I love it!) 
Author Message

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:24 am
Posts: 160
Post My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
So, like many, I needed a dolly but I was seriously light on coin. Did a little web surfing and found this:

http://www.cheesycam.com/diy-spidertrax-video-dolly-on-diy-rails/

The link above references this video:



I loved the idea of the using super-struts for the rails as they are cheap, sturdy and can be had at any Home Depot. Plus, I can go to Home Depot and, for $30, have two 10 foot rails should the need arise. Sweet!

I used some mending plates to tie the rails together and I used these as spacers inside the rails so I could put bakelite knobs (trimmed) on top for tightening the rails to the mending plate, allowing a quick turn of the knob to loosen the rails and fold for quick transport. I added 4 rubber leveler feet and some paint and BOOM, done with the rails.

For the cart, I went to Wal*Mart and bought their cheapest skateboard ($20 us), took the wheel trucks and mounted them to two of these, stacked, again using bakelite knobs. The front and rear trucks steer independently, so the cart makes for a nice dolly on any smooth surface.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

For the motion part of the dolly, I really got in the dirt. I went to a local thrift store and bought one of these for...wait for it...$3! It had the motor, and a 6 volt battery, but no charger. Well worth a $3 risk, even if I bought a bad motor, bad battery, and good gearbox. Then I went to a local pawn shop and bought one of these for $10 (variable speed). Again, a good buy even if the battery and charger were useless; the planetary gearbox and the built in pulse width modulator were worth the price. Luckily, everything worked: batteries, gearboxes, pwm, and both motors. Now to assemble...

Image

I used an old tv mounting plate, a couple of L brackets, the hubs, battery and axel from the little scooter, both motors, and the pwm, trigger and heat sink from the drill.


Image

I'm using the drill motor to turn the scooter motor, the keyless chuck is locked on to the little bit of shaft sticking out of the unpowered scooter motor. The scooter motor couples perfectly with the scooter gearbox. With the planetary gearbox of the drill in play with the scooter gearbox, the shaft is turning at less than 1 rpm at the lowest setting. The shaft is off set drilled, and I'm using 50lb test braided fishing line as the string to pull the cart, NO stretch. Once I install quick connects for each motor, I'll be able to turn the chuck to disengage the drill motor, connect the power to the scooter motor, and have 30+ rpm to the axel.


Image

Image

I'm using the C-clamp seen by the battery in picture 6 above to gradually squeeze the drill trigger. I plan to build a pulse width modulator and install a POT, so I can have more control and repeatability of the RPMs.

Here is my first test with the powered dolly. The smooth move near the end is a result of using a piece of wood to level the dolly. The camera/cart combo overbalanced the dolly, causing it to tip. Live and learn...

(waiting on Vimeo to crunch the video, I'll post it when available)


Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:38 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:24 am
Posts: 160
Post Video
Here is the test video:


Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:33 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:00 pm
Posts: 253
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
I like your style.


Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:56 am
Profile

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:28 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Sweden
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Nice build! The motor solution might be a little overkill but i like it :)

I would really love to have home depot in Sweden, we have similar stores but with mostly useless stuff if you want to do these kinds of stuff.


Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:52 am
Profile

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:24 am
Posts: 160
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Image


DerekMellott wrote:
I like your style.


Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:04 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:00 am
Posts: 242
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Good work, old boy. Looks like a great, cheap rail system.

_________________
Steven M. Bumgardner
Film Video Photography
www.yosemitesteve.com
@YosemiteSteve

Canon 5D Mark II, 24mm f1.4, 16-35mm f2.8, 24-105mm f4, Sony EX1R, CamBLOCK Motion Control, KesslerCrane, CineSlider and some cold beer.


Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:28 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:24 am
Posts: 160
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Thanks, uncuffed, and yeah, you might be right about the overkill, but knowing zero about electric motors and gearboxes, I just decided to put everything I had in one kit, just to be safe. ;-)

I am lucky in that where I live, it's 5 minutes to Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, and a couple of great scrapyards. If I can visualize it, I can usually lay hands on it within an hour.


uncuffed wrote:
Nice build! The motor solution might be a little overkill but i like it :)

I would really love to have home depot in Sweden, we have similar stores but with mostly useless stuff if you want to do these kinds of stuff.


Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:00 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:24 am
Posts: 160
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Thanks, Steve, it's enough to get me outside shooting (when it warms a bit). That's the key thing. If I find a way to incorporate time lapse into my photography business, I'll spring for some better tools, like that sweet Camblock system (and a little bramper, milapse head, FCP, AE, quad-core mac...this video/time lapse stuff is pricey!)

Steven M. Bumgardner wrote:
Good work, old boy. Looks like a great, cheap rail system.


Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:14 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:58 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Good job! The dolly looks pro! Did you have to drill a hole to accommodate the the tripod head or did it fit through the steel tie plate? Have you created anything for tripod mounting or have any ideas how one would mount it on a tripod?
Good work.


Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:03 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:24 am
Posts: 160
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Thanks, Torben!

Yes, I had to drill the tie plates, 1/4 inch standard. I've included some photos showing how I mount the dolly to a tripod head, using a wing nut. I intend to make a 9"x9" steel plate that mounts to the bottom of the dolly, for use with a single tripod. The plate will be able to mount anywhere along the rails, so I can extend the dolly into space, for those "flying out the window" shots.

I took the dolly out yesterday, with the intent of shooting a time lapse of melting icicles. There were some on the eve of my house, and they were about 8 feet up from the ground. So, I mounted the dolly to a couple of 10ft. heavy duty light stands, using some old ball heads I had in a box of spare parts. Unfortunately, once everything was set up and ready to go, the icicles succumbed to gravity and smashed into the ground. :-(

So, I shot the neighbors house instead. Here is the set up:

Image

Image

And here is the result, boring in color but somewhat interesting in B&W HDR:





torben wrote:
Good job! The dolly looks pro! Did you have to drill a hole to accommodate the the tripod head or did it fit through the steel tie plate? Have you created anything for tripod mounting or have any ideas how one would mount it on a tripod?
Good work.


Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:33 am
Profile

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:58 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Great shots! Thanks for your reply. I`m definitely going to have to try this out.


Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:09 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:45 pm
Posts: 20
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Found this thread just before dinner, now its 2am and I just finished uploading my test footage http://vimeo.com/19424863from my version of this build. I really liked the idea of using the superstrut and simpson ties, so I went to the depot and picked up the parts. Also went to the local walmart at 12am looking for rollerblade wheels to no avail, but found a cheapo skateboard for 9.50 (?!?!)

Doing some research I noticed most saying the cart should be as low as possible, so I mounted the plate under the trucks, using a 3/8' elevator bolt, a wingnut, and the bushings and washers from the skateboard. The whole thing came together in less than 25minutes, and 20dollars, including measuring and drilling the plate. (not including the head) Overall I'm pretty pleased so far. The rails will be assembled tomorrow.

Thanks to the OP for the inspiration, and the timescapes.org community for the knowledge base.


Attachments:
clearance.jpg [446.59 KiB]
Downloaded 2136 times
bottom.jpg [575.58 KiB]
Downloaded 2136 times
bench.jpg [576.32 KiB]
Downloaded 2136 times
Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:47 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:45 pm
Posts: 20
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
sorry for the mega-photos lol. its late, and really dont feel like resizing them..z.zz.zzzzzzzz


Attachments:
wholerig2.jpg [607.41 KiB]
Downloaded 2136 times
wholerig.jpg [587.87 KiB]
Downloaded 2136 times
Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:49 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:24 am
Posts: 160
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
Avenfoto, looks like you have the garage ingenuity to make it work! Careful when buying the strut, I placed several struts on the floor before finding one that would lay flat, the struts tend to have a bow shape.

JB


Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:08 am
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:45 pm
Posts: 20
Post Re: My homebuilt dolly (I love it!)
update: http://vimeo.com/19691067


Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:22 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore. pozycjonowanie