This Instructable describes the creation of a camera dolly from re-purposed parts.
The dolly was created to film our Instructables Creative Reuse Hackerspace Challenge Night Stop Motion Video
Our final video can be seen below:

In the theme of creative reuse, the dolly was mostly created out of old Roller Blades and leftovers from other projects.  This dolly was used to support the camera and allow smooth horizontal movements of the camera in a straight line. To accomplish this the dolly uses 3 wheels on top of the table, supporting the camera and 2 more wheels along the edge of the table to keep the dolly square to the table. 

Step 1: Supplies and Tools

For my dolly I decided to use steel for the frame since I had some bar stock left over from another project. 
This is not a requirement the frame could easily be made out of wood as well if you update the dimensions to match your lumber. 

  • 5 Roller Blade wheels. I used official "Roller Blades", but any kind should work. You may need to update some of the dimensions based on the diameter and thickness of your wheels. Also verify the inner diameter of the bearings in the wheels and update the bolts and washers to match.
  • 5 6mm washers to space the wheel bearings off the frame and give proper clearance. 6mm washers were used over normal 1/4" washers due to the closer fit around the mounting bolts. The 1/4" washers would not press on the hub of the bearing and caused a lot of drag on the wheels.
  • 5 1/4"-20 x 1.5" long bolts
  • 2 1/4"-20 x 3/4" long bolts
  • 2 1/4"-20  nuts
  • 1 1/4" lock washer
  • 1 1/4" flat washer
  • Optional, but highly recommended, camera ball head like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/111208533754?lpid=82 I got my ball mount off a broken security camera. Make sure the ball mount had a 1/4"-20 threaded hole on the bottom and a 1/4"-20 bolt on the top (standard camera tripod mount)  
  • 35" of 3/4" steel square tubing 
  • 25" of 3/4" steel angle iron
  • 29" of 3/4" steel flat bar stock

  • Chop saw or hack saw to cut steel bar stock
  • Welder and supplies (wire feed / MIG works better than stick see notes later)
  • Optional, but highly recommended welding magnets like these http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?q=welding magnets
  • 1/4"-20 tap and handle 
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • 7/32" drill bit
  • pilot drill ~1/8" or less exact size not important
  • automatic center punch or punch and hammer. 
  • 1/4" end mill and milling machine -or- Dremel  tool with fiberglass cut off wheels
  • 7/16" socket and ratchet -or- 7/16" wrench -or- crescent wrench
  • flat screwdriver

About This Instructable




More by wireb:How to reassemble a Wicked lasers EVO IR remote control multidrop extender  Dremel tool post grinder  
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