Introduction: How to Build a Glidetrack Camera Mount

Picture of How to Build a Glidetrack Camera Mount

A friend of mine asked me a short time ago if it could be possible to build a glide track camera mount like this one:
for cheap

I came up with this build:

Step 1:

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The glide track camera mount is just made out of two full-extension drawer slides, some bolts, nuts and a wooden board I found in my room.

Step 2:

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Last things first I installed the bolt holding the camera in place and ground its head down to fit through a gap in the drawer slider.
It migt not be necessary with your slider or maybe you find a
low-profile bot that fits. I had to grind mine down to about 2mm thickness in order to fit.

The tripod mount needs a 1/4-20 bolt or M5*20 if you are in metric Europe

Step 3:

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Then I added the second slider to the first one to double the movement capacity. Conveniently drawer sliders are sold in pairs. The angle brackets were part of the sliders and were bolted together with two 1/4-10 boltsand fitting nuts (M5 *10)

Step 4:

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Finally the sliders where mounted to a simple board with two screws.

Step 5:

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The final product in comparison to the professional alternative and a test film made with the first (one slider) prototype.

The movement capacity you reach with the two sliders, is about 50 cm.

A heavy camera will probably bend the slider down, with the Panasonic-DV-Camcorder which will be in use in the film making project this effect is barly noticable.


lovetobuild (author)2014-10-10

I use my camera phone and the app lapseit pro to make time lapse videos. I have made a panning stand out of a clockwork kitchen timer. I'd like to use your idea to make a track so I can pan a long sideways. has anyone any ideas how this track could be motorised to make it extend over say a 30 min to an hour period better still have it track at any rate I set. thanks folks

kelseymh (author)2010-05-13

On Step 5, I'm not sure what you mean by "test film"?  Should there be a video attached?  Or was the third picture taken by stitching together images taken using a second slide-mounted camera?

Asrael (author)kelseymh2010-05-13

There should be a video, let me fix this...

kelseymh (author)Asrael2010-05-13

Very cool video.  Of course, any YouTube video is better if it has a cat in it ;->

I'm impressed with how smooth the motion is, and how easy it is to do both pan and dolly with the same simple piece of equipment.  I wonder if a smaller board would make it stable enough to use with a neck strap and belly pad....

Asrael (author)kelseymh2010-05-15

Might be possible. But as I gave the build to the friend who asked for it I have no idea how mouch evolution will happen to it.
As said above it will be used in a film making project very soon so I might be asked to do some changes. We will see

Yes cats are great :)

Kryptonite (author)Asrael2010-05-18

I'd love to see the end result.

Asrael (author)Kryptonite2010-05-18

Until the final result is to be seen it will take quite a while, at least a year and a half.
But to shorten the time you can whatch the sequel to the yet to come prequel at youtube
There great movie "Xoro the Eifelarean"! It is a tribute to the famous barbarian movies, it even comes with german accnet *GG*

Kryptonite (author)Asrael2010-05-18

Sorry, Flash is down and out on my computer at the moment.


coxrox123 (author)2010-05-14

 What batteries do you use for your camera??

Swishercutter (author)coxrox1232010-05-18

I use the Lithium AA's in mine...Energizer I believe...they last much longer than anything else I have used.  I have an A540 and a A570 both CHDK hacked powershots and they last quite a while without new batteries.  Although, I am planning an external power pack mod using the DC in so I can run extremely long intervals without having to move the camera.

Asrael (author)coxrox1232010-05-15

My camera is a Fujifilm an has some special batterie.
The canon camera mounted on the slider is powerd, if I remember well, with AA batteries.

coxrox123 (author)Asrael2010-05-15

 I know it uses AA..i have a canon powershot and it always says my batteries are low when fully charged....have any comments?

fritsl (author)coxrox1232010-05-17

I had the same problem. I hacked it, by adding a battery clip with 3 rechargables. Works great, though my wife thinks it's really ugly ;) Keeps battery for looong time, and is rechargable.

memyselfand1 (author)coxrox1232010-05-15

Ours is that model pictured above and we have never had that problem. Have you checked for a software update for your camera?

coxrox123 (author)memyselfand12010-05-16

 no i havent do i do that??

aklesh3 (author)2010-05-18

This would be perfect to make 3D photos. I think you could put in a "stop" of some kind to get the 2" slide you would need. Thanks!

kelseymh (author)2010-05-13
This is a great project (and I'm a big fan of alternative uses for drawer glides :-)! 

The last picture in Step 5 makes it look like there's a fair amount of sag when you have the glides at full extension.  Am I seeing that correctly?  Would it make sense to attach a support pin (e.g., a dowel with a rubber tip) to the far end?

On Step 2, you ground down the bolt-head on the 1/4-20.  It would also be possible to buy a low-profile bolt (I used very shallow round-heads for my project).

This is worthy of a top-level feature, but it needs a few tweaks: 
  • You have a few typos on the steps, missing commas between items in a list ("two drawer slides, some bolts, nuts and a wooden board"),
  • "Than" should be "Then". 
  • It would be good to specify the sizes and types of the screws and bolts you used (the tripod mount needs a 1/4-20, for example), and also what kind of drawer slides (3/4-extension, full-extension, length). 
  • Did the angle brackets come with the drawer slides?  If not, you should list them as separate items.
For now, it's featured within Technology:Photography; if you can fix the items above, let us know.
Asrael (author)kelseymh2010-05-17

With the camera mounted in the last picture, there is no sagging. It is just an illusion produced by the lense. A heavy camere would definety bend the slider, but for the film making projekt it is intended for this will not be a problem.

I hope everything is well written and explained, now. Let me now if the instructable still needs work.

kelseymh (author)Asrael2010-05-17

Thank you very much for the explanation of the apparent "sagging."

This is an excellent project, and it's now top-level featured.

Asrael (author)2010-05-17

I corrected some typos and added some missing information (and I hope I did not add any typos doing this ;) )

project dude (author)2010-05-16


evan_124 (author)2010-05-14

i love the simplicity of it, but the real reason im writing this is due to how much i laughed during the video. the music makes it sound so dramatic. Oscar worthy

Asrael (author)evan_1242010-05-15

Yes it is a fine piece of art :P
My friend sent it to me after I gave him the prototype of the slider and a shot I made with it in my room (the one with all the stuff on the table). He added the main, feline, caracter and some dramatic music ;o)

The reason for the build is that he and a bunch of people will shoot the sequel  (or is it a prequel?) to there great movie "Xoro the Eifelarean" Which you can watch at youtube
or get on DVD
It is a tribute to the famous barbarian movies, it even comes with german accnet *GG*

rimar2000 (author)2010-05-14

Very good idea!

iadina (author)2010-05-14

Wow! nice instructable :) thanks.

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