Introduction: BMX Camera Grip

Picture of BMX Camera Grip
When using a small camera to shoot some video it's easy to fumble with it as you try and move the camera around. With a solid grip that screws in to the bottom of the camera it's easier to hold and you get better footage. And if you're going to be making a grip for a camera you might as well make it look cool and go for a colorful BMX 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

Materials
  1. BMX grip. There are plenty to choose from. Mine are made by All-City
  2. 3/4" dowel
  3. 1 screw with 1/4-20 threading. Commonly available at hardware stores.
  4. Glue
Tools
  1. Drill press
  2. Dremel with metal cut-off wheel
  3. Saw
  4. Sandpaper
Budget
$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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.

http://steadycam.org/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-PVC-Fig-Rig/

Comments

cinnamonwelland made it! (author)2015-12-13

This is an excellent tool for the preschool classroom or for any person with limited fine motor skills. I substituted a cylindrical unit block for classroom use and painted the push-to-take-picture button with red nail polish to make it more evident. This enables children as young as 2 years to take meaningful pictures of other than the palm of the hand!

funnycyanide64 (author)2011-01-03

I actually thought it was going to be a bike cam. oh well

Head cams are best for that stuff. Lets you use your whole body as a shock absorber.

izzyinsf (author)2010-06-01

Very nice! Simple, useful and looks super clean. Just getting into video myself and this will be a perfect accessory. Thanks!

Cp (author)2010-05-28

 Would be awesome if you put the camera on the other end - simple attachment to film while actually riding the bmx!

futurebird (author)2010-05-27

I'm going to make this for my husband. I was going to buy him a steady-cam-- but it seemed like overkill for home video-- this is a nice  "in between" level of "professionalism"

Though, I might use a curved bike bar to make it a little more like a steady cam.

hmmm... or will the bar be too heavy...?

This solution is meant for those who want something small that they can toss in their backpack. One hand on the grip and one on the camera is pretty steady.

If you really want something to keep it steady and don't mind a bulkier solution, there are plenty of plans here on instructables or elsewhere on the internet. There are also plans for a fig rig, which is a PVC circle that goes all around the camera.

Check these out:
http://steadycam.org/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-PVC-Fig-Rig/

bertus52x11 (author)2010-05-27

Nice! 
If you rotate the grip, you can use it as a microphone AND film yourself while singing!  Any chance of posting a video?

Marsh (author)2010-05-26

 Applying some of that epoxy putty to the screw before you run it in to the wood would be helpful too.

nickodemus (author)2010-05-26

Four to go! Can't wait to see what's next!

I'm kinda curious myself. :)

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Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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