DIY Camera Crane - the Wooster Sherlock 2.0 With Manual Tilt




Introduction: DIY Camera Crane - the Wooster Sherlock 2.0 With Manual Tilt

About: I'm a High School Technology teacher with Creativitis, a disease that doesn't let my brain sleep. I spend my days trying to infect my student's minds with a desire to learn. I lead by example and hope that my …

The second Wooster Sherlock camera crane was built on the cheap for sure. Using only one pole cuts down the cost. Instead of having one crane that does it all, I decided to build this model specifically for manual tilt shots. The other great feature of this version is the ability to set up the camera for extreme high angle shots. Although, there is no monitor on this version yet.....I'm still searching for a cheaper alternative to the monitor featured on the Wooster Sherlock 1.0 manual pan model.

Step 1: Materials

Materials I Had
  1. An old broken tripod
  2. flash mount (found on an old tripod)
  3. Various nuts, bolts and washers (from the miscellaneous bin)
  4. Tripod handle (removed from a broken tripod)
  5. Various bearings ( removed from scooter wheels and rollerblades)
  6. Barbell handle and weights
  7. double-sided mounting tape ( to attach barbell to paint pole)
  8. Plastic block
  9. K'nex gears and chain (left over from project coaster)
Materials I Bought
  1. Wooster Sherlock Paint Pole (4'-8' pole purchased at Lowes for $30)

Step 2: Tripod Pole Mount

The first thing I tackled with this build was finding a way to easily mount the pole to the tripod. Since the head of the tripod already had tilt capability, I decided to use this plastic block to mount the pole directly to the quick-release plate.
  1. I first marked the position of the hole I wanted to drill, making sure to leave enough material around the edge for strength.
  2. Luckily the pole has an exact diameter of 1-1/4" which matches my 1-1/4" forstner bit perfectly. I drilled the block all the way through and ended up with a very nice fit.
  3. I think drilled from the top of the block with a 1/4" drill bit so that I could put a bolt through the bottom of the quick-release plate, through the block, through the pole and out the top of the block.
  4. I capped it all with a washer and a lock nut.

Step 3: Camera Mount

To mount the camera, I used the same bracket that I used for the Wooster Sherlock 1.0. I'm lucky that I was able to find two of these kicking around the shop.
  1. I had to file down the center of the gear ever so slightly to fit it into the existing hole on the bracket. Again, it was just meant to be.
  2. I then used an assortment of spacers, washers and bearings to attach the gears and brackets to the end of the aluminum pole. You have to make sure that your pole is mounted so that the a flat face of the hexagonal aluminum is perpendicular to the ground.
  3. I would have used red gears for the top section, but I didn't have any left. The red gears when placed together proved the correct spacing for the chain. If you use yellow gears, you'll have play around with the spacing until it is correct.
  4. I took the orginal camera mounting screw from the quick-release plate, and attached it to the flash bracket using an additional washer.

Step 4: Chain Handle and Support

I used two of the read knex gears at the bottom of the pole to drive the chain.
  1. First I bent the handle to the appropriate angle for driving the chain.
  2. I drilled the center of the outside gear so that I could get a nice friction fit on the shaft of the handle.
  3. I was able to re-tap the inside threads of the handle to 1/4"-20 which matched the inside diameter of all the bearing spacers I was using.
  4. I drilled a 1/4 hole through the plastic block in order to attach the gears and handle to the main assembly.
  5. Make sure you have enough clearance for the chain.
  6. I added a bracket to the top of the plastic block so that I can eventually add a monitor.
  7. I used a second plastic block to attach a support gear in the middle of the pole. The nice thing about, the support is that it can be slid up and down the pole and tightened with a machine bolt for fine weight adjustment.

Step 5: FInished Product - Sample Shots

This model of camera crane is quite versatile and easy to use. With a little bit of practice and planning you can shoot some interesting shots while maintaining smooth and steady motion.
  • the pole can extend straight up to allow for high angle shots
  • the length of the pole can be adjusted quickly along with the lengthening or shortening the chain
  • the tilt angle of the camera can be adjusted manually while panning
  • the position of the camera on the bracket can be changed for some more radical shots

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    How did you put the weight on the bottom of the pole?

    Mr. Noack
    Mr. Noack

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    That's a great question. This is something I had around the shop. It's some type of phenolic plastic. You could possibly get a small scrap from a plastic supplier or just simply use a block of wood.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    cool man! always wanted one of these, so maybe I'll be building one soon :) thanks !

    Mr. Noack
    Mr. Noack

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Stay tuned.....there may be a Wooster Sherlock 3.0 in the works.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I love making new iterations of projects, it's so satisfying to see the design refined progressively