My goal was to build a camera boom for may Super 8 film project. I looked at what others have done in order to get a a good idea of how they worked. I build a model out of 1/4" dowel just so I could see the mechanics that keep a camera in one position throughout its range of motion.
I started building this project without the idea of making it an Instructable so I guess I'll try to reverse engineer my boom construction and present it to you guys as my first Instructable.
Stuff I bought-
1 8" x 5' cardboard form from Home Depot (building supplies)
2 1-1/8" x 10' conduit pipe from Home Depot
1 3" x 3' ABS section from Home Depot- they have a rack of them in the plumbing dept.
4 1" x 2" PVC pipe connectors from Home Depot
1 1-1/4"x1-1/4 aluminum angle from Home Depot
2 5/16" x 3' threaded rod from Home Depot
1 5/16" turnbuckle
1 2part epoxy kit
1 used camera pan head won on eBay ($10.50 + ship)
Total cost: $55 approx
Stuff I had on the shelf-
8 inline skate bearings (from my skate box)
1 large iron plate from patio umbrella stand
1 Celestron telescope base (I can reuse as telescope base if I choose)
1 piece 8"x8" x1-1/4 clear pine
Picture frame saw
Assorted hand tools- File, drill bits, wrenches, etc.
Step 1: Base Column Construction
As the amount of weight that a camera boom supports is not huge, maybe 30-40 lbs. max, I was looking for a way to mount the boom without using a tripod as I only have two and they are slated for other uses for my film project.
I started by guesstimating how high the base should be. This is determined by the max height of the boom would need to rise. As this is a garage project, it turned out to be 36". So, I cut 24" off the cardboard concrete form by carefully using my picture frame saw. It has a special saw edge that was gentle on the cardboard form.
Next, I needed a platform to mount the boom system. The easiest way was to cut a circle that matched the ID of the cardboard form, about 7-3/4". I inserted this at one end and epoxied it. The epoxy would probably be strong enough but I added 4 dry wall screws with flat washers anyway.
I also drilled a 5/16" hole in the center to receive the 5/16" threaded rod.
Item next was to create an access hole so I could get my hand inside to assemble the steel plate base. I cut 2 holes about 6" from the top with a 2-1/2" hole drill. Cleaned it up a bit with a shop knife. I can get my hand inside to assemble the parts that hold base together.
And, while I had the big 2-1/2" hole drill set up I drilled a single hole in the opposite side to make it easier to drag this beast from place to place.
So, what we have now is a 3 foot high cardboard form with a wood top epoxied and screwed in place with some screws for extra strength. On to next step...