Picture of DIY Camera Crane - The Wooster Sherlock 1.0
Building your own camera crane is not as hard as you think. I scoured the internet for examples and came up with a solution based on the materials I had at my disposal. There are many different styles of crane to make and many different materials to choose from. My steps are meant to show you the basics of this build. I have not gone into extreme detail because, you're not likely to build an identical model. Please use this instructable as inspiration for your own model.

Before you start your own build, decide on your budget and the type of shots you would like to achieve. When you do your research, you'll notice that some models feature different pan and tilt options which is sometimes based on the number of poles you decide to use for your build. 

Here are some quick links for some of the ideas I sourced.
Check out the Wooster Sherlock 2.0 with manual tilt.

Step 1: Material Selection

I typically plan out my builds with a few rough sketches before I start. This time around I don't have any to share because I wasn't exactly sure what materials I was going to use. The construction of this first model took a little longer to build because I didn't have a clear laid out plan. When you're trying to build within a budget, sometimes your plan is controlled invariably by the materials you can find, and not the materials you can buy. My search started in the scrap metal bin in the auto shop.

Materials I Had
  1. An old broken tripod
  2. flash mount (found on an old tripod)
  3. scooter brackets (salvaged from the scrap bin)
  4. 'L' shaped aluminum extrusion
  5. Various nuts, bolts and washers (from the miscellaneous bin)
  6. K'nex gears and chain (left over from project coaster)
  7. Tripod handle (removed from a broken tripod)
  8. Various bearings ( removed from scooter wheels and rollerblades)
  9. Barbell handle and weights
  10. fence pole end cap (for bottom pole pivot point)
  11. double-sided mounting tape ( to attach barbell to paint pole)
Materials I Bought
  1. 7" TFT monitor with battery and charger (purchased online through amazon for $250)
  2. Wooster Sherlock Paint Poles ( 6'-12' and 4'-8' poles purchased at lowes for a combined $60)
  3. 10' HDMI to Mini HDMI cable ( purchased online through amazon for $12)

eGadgetGuy8 hours ago

so... if I am seeing right, the tilt of the head changes the tilt of the camera, right? but then the shot wouldn't be level?

Maineiac1 year ago
Another source for extendable poles is pool cleaner tools. I got a 16' pole at Pinch-a-Penny Pools for about $17. Cheaper than painter's poles, if you can use them.
tomsmac2 years ago
Very helpful.Thanks alot..I am the Football camera "director" for school
wilgubeast2 years ago
Love those paint poles. They're sturdy enough to firmly hold a paint-filled roller even when fully extended. And apparently they're sturdy enough to act as cranes. Great adaptation.
Mr. Noack (author)  wilgubeast2 years ago
Thanks! And...... I'd much rather be shooting a movie than painting hard to reach places.
You chose... wisely.
ajay3602 years ago
love the test shots, looks great.