Introduction: How to Make a Snorricam
ALSO: I am NOT responsible for dropped or broken cameras as a result of using this rig. This Instructable is merely a guide to building a Snorricam, and should be adapted for your particular setup. I suggest that if you build this rig, you test it with more weight than you'll be using before putting your precious camera on it.
For an adaptation on my design, check out HipHopSuperman's snorricam
Heres a video of me and the Snorricam in action.
And Heres a "behind the scenes" video of the setup we used for the above video.
Lastly, about 40 seconds into the video below, You can see the snorricam in action in our submission to the 48 hour film project in Portland, OR.
And here's a recent video of me building a snorricam for a friend.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Drill with basic set of drill bits,
- Router with 1/4" roundover bit (optional),
- Circular saw,
- Hack saw with metal blade,
- Sandpaper. I actually used drywall sandpaper cloth stuff, but use what you have around,
- Compass with pencil attachment,
- Small framing square (the kind with the lip and a 45 degree angle),
- Tape measurer
- One 1"x3" @ 8' long,
- 3/4" plywood (You'll need 3 pieces no larger than 12" x 8" each),
- 1/2" plywood (a piece no larger than 8" x 6"),
- Matching nuts, bolts, and washers(Use what you have, I didnt have to buy any new hardware when building mine),
- 1.5" angle iron or angle aluminum,
- Wood screws
- Two 2-packs of Tiedown straps from Home Depot(~$7 each)
Step 2: Building the Chest and Back Boards
First cut twos 8" x 12" pieces of 3/4" plywood. You could also probably get away with using 1/2" plywood here, but i went with 3/4" because the chest piece will be supporting weight, and i didnt have enough 1/2" plywood. Scribe lines 1 inch in on the two long sides and one short side. From the unmarked edge, measure and mark at 1 1/2" and 2 1/4"(Picture 2). Measure and mark at 1" and 1.75" across the top line(Picture 3). Lastly, measure and mark at 2" and 2.75" down the side lines (Picture 4). Take the other board and clamp the two together one on top of the other. Next, drill out the holes with a 3/8 diameter drill bit and cut the pieces in between them with the jigsaw. If all goes well, it should look like picture 5. Route all edges with a 1/4" roundover bit.
Step 3: Building the Shoulder
Scribe a line 1.5" into a piece of 3/4" ply. Take your compass and make a 4" radius semicircle starting from the line (Picture 2). Draw a 3" radius semicircle (Picture 3). Next, draw lines coming out of the center of the semicircle. I had my lines be 22.5 degrees apart, meaning there are lines at 90 degrees, 45 degrees in both directions, lines in between those, and lines 22.5 degrees further than 45 (Picture 4). I decided not to put lines at 0 and 180 degrees.
This next portion i did slightly in reverse. I built the lower arm first, then used the hole in that to drill the holes in the shoulder, ensuring that the holes would line up perfectly. If you feel confident in your precision drilling, continue reading. If you want to go the way i did, drill the center hole and go onto the next step, then return to this step to finish the shoulder.
Drill holes at the intersections of the rays and the 3" radius, as well as the center (Picture 5). Use whatever size bit you want to fit the hardware you're using. I used 5/16" for the radial holes and 1/4" for the center. Now cut along the 4" radius line and cut straight out of the board (Picture 6). Next, cut out 2 right triangles from 3/4" ply. The short sides should be 3" long. screw them into the piece you just cut out 2" from each end of it (Picture 7). Next, screw the triangles and the shoulder piece into the chest plate 1 inch from the top with the shoulder piece centered (Picture 8).
Step 4: Building the Lower Arm and Elbow
To build the lower arm, start with a 1"x3" that is 17 1/4" long. Mark 1 1/4" inches down both ends, and make a semicircle radius 1 1/4" at one end of the piece (Picture 2). At the center of that semicircle, drill the same size hole as the center of the shoulder piece you made in the previous step. 3 inches further down the board (at 4 1/4"), mark a center point on the board. Drill a hole the size of the holes in the shoulder piece. Now cut the semicircle out of the end of the board (Picture 3). If you skipped drilling the holes in the last step, now is the time to put a bolt through the center hole and use the lower arm as a guide for drilling the holes in the shoulder. Drill another hole (the same size as the center of the shoulder) centered on the 1 1/4" line at the other end of the arm.
To build the elbow, start with a piece of 1/2" plywood that's 8" by 5 1/2". Draw a line 1 1/4" from the 8" side, and make 2 semicircles coming out from the center of that line. The radii should be 4" and 3" (Picture 4). Make marks every 22.5 degrees (Just like the shoulder piece) (Picture 5). If you want to use the upper arm as a guide for drilling the holes, Drill the center hole and skip to the next step now. If not, go ahead and drill the holes on the intersection of the lines and the 3" radius (Picture 6). Cut along the 4" semicircle line and line up the hole in the center with the hole at the end of the lower arm (Picture 7). Use a bolt to keep the center hole aligned and use screws to attach the 2 pieces. make sure your screws are flush with the semicircular piece.
Step 5: Building Upper Arm and Camera Mount
To build the upper arm, take a piece of 1"x 3" thats 13 1/4" long, and draw a line 1 1/4" up the board. Draw a semicircle( Just like the lower arm) and draw another line 3" further up the board (Picture 2). Cut out the semicircle at the end of the board (just like the lower arm). Drill a hole at the mark closest to the end of the board the same size as the center hole for the elbow. Drill another hole at the mark 3" further down the same size of the radial holes in the elbow piece(Picture 3).
If you skipped drilling the holes in the last step, now is the time to put a bolt through the center hole and use the upper arm as a guide for drilling the holes in the elbow.
Lastly, take your angle iron or aluminum and cut a 2.5" piece. Drill a hole for your camera; either 1/4" 20 thread for a direct mount or 3/8" 16 thread for mounting a small tripod head like I did (Picture 4). Depending on how you want to mount your camera, you might need to make this mounting plate adjustable. I would suggest finding some kind of small tripod head to put on the end of the snorricam. Without one, its difficult to fine-tune the shot once the snorricam is set up.
Step 6: Final Adjustments and Improvements
And that's it! Here are some possible improvements I've thought about since I finished building it.
- Make the upper arm longer, as the camera is pretty close.
- Make more holes in the shoulder and elbow for more adjustments.
- make this rig out of aluminum for durability and weight.
- Make an adjustable camera mount on the end, using a similar style as the shoulder and elbow.
- add some kind of counterweight system to the back plate to help counter the weight of the camera.
If you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment below!