Instructables

Make a Camera Table Dolly for Under $20

Nothing quite duplicates a camera on wheels.  I've always wanted to build a dolly, but didn't want to hassle with track and a large platform (which doesn't fit into the back of my small car).  This table dolly works well on any smooth surface.  If you don't have a smooth surface, look around!  You might be surprised what this little contraption will roll on.

Note that this dolly is for suitable for smaller cameras and camcorders (I use a Canon HFS100) rather than larger DSLRs or prosumer models.  You may, however, be able to adapt this design for any size camera.  It's all up to you!

See the final step for a link to some test footage.
 
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Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts List
- Cheap tripod
- 2 3" sections of 3/4" PVC pipe
- 7 1 1/2" sections of 3/4" PVC pipe
- 3 3/4" PVC tee joints
- 2 3/4" PVC elbow joints
- 3/4" PVC coupler
- 1/2" to 3/4" PVC bushing (adapter)
- 1 1/2" section of 1/2" PVC pipe
 
wheel assembly (x4)
- rollerblade wheel
- 2" length of 1/4" bolt
- 2 1/4" nuts
- 3/4" PVC plug
- 3/4" PVC coupler

Step 3: Prepare tripod segment


Step 4: Build the wheels


Step 8: The video version (with test footage)

Watch Episode 9 of The Frugal Filmmaker, "PVC Table Dolly"



If you like this project, come visit The Frugal Filmmaker for more!
ppsailor1 year ago
Hi!
Thank you very much for the tutorial, I finally did one motor.
Annex photo and video link

ppsailor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AXgLSGh-4Q
PA260034.JPG
razor71772 years ago
Awesome instructable....i woud like to know...could this model be made motorized...usin' a rc rig..?
if u want to like strap it on an rc car, u would have many difficulties :P with sound, shakyness etc.. but if u want to put it on a track and just moterize the wheels, it could work!
i ment like make the dolly motorized, do u think its possible..?
like attachin' some servos or brushless motors..?
Yeah, you could just mount some motors on the wheels and use like a 9V battery or something.
deephidden3 years ago
How much does the final product weigh?
mg0930mg3 years ago
I went to the hardware store to get clamp lights and remembered this. Got all of the parts, except for the tripod head, and picked up a pair of rollerblades for 4 dollars at goodwill. P.s. look at the kids they're cheaper. One problem, I got caps instead of plugs, so I didn't use 4 couplers. :P works the same though.
I went back to the hardware store, and am fixing my mistake of using caps, by putting the plugs on.
sonne43214 years ago
Can this be made taller so that its at person-height level?
retrofilms (author)  sonne43214 years ago
The best way to make it taller, is to put the dolly on a higher platform. If you add length between the dolly and the camera mount, you will introduce all kinds of wobble to your shot.
Finis334 years ago
You need (4) 3/4couplers! You have the coupler in the non-wheel section so I only bought one.
retrofilms (author)  Finis334 years ago
You're absolutely right! I apologize for the mistake and have amended the "wheel assembly" section of the parts list.
Great idea, and the shoots look pretty smooth too. I'm gunna build one for my DSLR, see how well it works.
frollard4 years ago
Great instructable...not sure I need one, but I would build one just for the fun of it!
theRIAA4 years ago
sweet! and you can turn the tripod into a flash/laptop holder.
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