Introduction: BMX Camera Grip
This is a pretty quick and easy build and can be made in under an hour with all the tools available.
Note: While the BMX grip helps, it is by no means a steadicam or a fig rig. It is something that can easily be tossed into a backpack and makes shooting video easier. Below is a quick test of footage shot with and without the grip.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- BMX grip. There are plenty to choose from. Mine are made by All-City
- 3/4" dowel
- 1 screw with 1/4-20 threading. Commonly available at hardware stores.
- Drill press
- Dremel with metal cut-off wheel
$20 or less for the pair. The factor in your total price here will be what grips you get. The All-City grips I used are a little pricier than most and you can definitely find cheaper ones. if you look around.
Step 2: Chop Wood
Insert the dowel into the grip and mark a line at the top of the grip. This is where you'll want to cut the dowel with a saw.
Step 3: Drill Into the Dowel
Clamp the dowel in the drill press and drill out a hole for the screw to go into. At least an inch should be good. Just make sure that there is still enough wood for the threads to have a good grip.
Step 4: Insert the Screw
Screw the screw into the dowel as far as you can. When there's a decent amount of resistance, stop. You don't want to split the dowel.
Step 5: Cut the Screw
With a Dremel and a metal cut-off wheel you're going to get rid of most of the rest of the screw. Cut the screw about three threads above the wood.
Step 6: Glue It In
Put the threaded dowel into the grip and check to see where the top of the dowel is now in relation to the top of the grip. If the top of the dowel is even or above the grip, use some coarse sandpaper and sand off the bottom of the dowel. The goal is to have the top of the dowel be just slightly lower than the top of the grip, just a millimeter or so.
This way the grip will slightly compress when the grip is screwed in. This gives a bigger connection between the camera and the grip.
Once you're happy with the size, apply some glue to the inside of the grip and push it in. I used Epoxy Putty, but anything else that can bond rubber and wood will work just fine.
Let it set and you're done!
Step 7: Shoot Some Footage
With the grip ready to go, put it on a small camera and try it out.
When I've shot with this, I typically hold the grip with one hand and the camera with the other. It helps, but of course it's no Steadicam. I wanted something that would help, but also easily fit into my backpack.
If you want a more serious solution for steady footage there are plenty of resources online for making your own steadicam or fig rig.