Build a PVC Fig Rig


Introduction: Build a PVC Fig Rig

A Fig Rig is a circular camera mount designed to simulate the look of a steadicam. Manfrotto sells them for about $400. Make an even better one for under $10.

Step 1: Look at a Real Fig Rig

A Fig Rig works by spreading out the center of gravity across the rig. Instead of the camera capturing all your hand movement, your hands are away from the camera, but at the same level so you not only get smoother movement, but more control as well.

Step 2: PVC

So, how to make one? Go down to your local hardware store and buy some PVC, connectors, and some red hot blue glue. For the tripod connector, get a long 1/4" machine bolt and some washers and nuts that fit. PVC caps work really well, you just need to drill a couple holes. When using the PVC glue, be sure to do it outside or somewhere where there's a lot of air (it gives off a lot of fumes, you'll see).

Good luck! If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Step 3: Extended Steps

some more suggestions:

buy a 10' length of pvc and cut it later, cut all pieces before any glueing (the glue dries fast) and lay out pieces. to cut pvc, use a pvc cutter (pump handle tool).

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    35 Discussions

    I live in Italy, so I know they are not easy to find, you should look at big electric suppliers stores, they sell rigid pvc tubes of various diameters, I think they use it to protect the wires, the only downside is that they don't have any T connections, only 90 degrees, end caps, and 180 degrees connections.
    I made my fig rig from only one piece of 25mm pipe, about 1,6m long, I bent it with heat to a circular shape, with a reversed V on the base, to make directly the camera support with only one piece of pipe, and connected the ends with a 180 connection. It's a hybrid between a fig rig and a halo rig, it has a diameter of 0,5m, so a little bigger than a fig rig, but I'm not that much impressed with it stabilisation capabilities, it gives decent results only if I'm standing still, and it reduces only "rotational" shakiness.

    Well we do have PVC tubing just not the plumbing kind you yanks have. and the kind we got is kinda flimsy and weight aslong as its not to much a good thing in a steadycammish project.

    In Sweden you have PE-Xa (cross linked polyethylene) which is usually used for underfloor heating (nice and springy, but maybe too flexible for this project) If you want something which will keep the shape you bend it to, try PAL pipe (as above with an aluminium layer which makes it form-stable). You can get both of these from plumbing suppliers.

    I'm thinking that'll be to flimsy. I would rather make it from half hard rigid copper tubing instead and solder it together.

    I've just made mine with a 24in hula hoop with a wood bar in the middle, its strong, sure i can bend it, but its not easy, the wood bar in the middle help a lot to give it strength. I tie-wrapped some gray copper tubing insulation to it and, i'm considering bicycle cork tape it'll be more comfortable. The only thing is the 24in rim is too big for my small Canon Elura 100 (it's like 4x3x2.5 inche).

    I would think you could try using a bicycle rim, if you can find a used one in decent condition. Take out the spokes and mod it.

    ​so, riffing off of your project, and a couple others I have seen here... I built this... Phot was taken after building the main piece, what's not seen is the screw adapter for mounting the camera and the microphone clip up top. You can see the screw for it at 12:00 on the bike wheel.
    For the cross piece, I used 3/4 inch PVC, and stuck a piece of dowel in each end and secured through the bike wheel with drywall screws and then ran 1/4 bolts through the pipe and dowel to keep the mount upright and serve as accessory attachments, if needed. Hope you guys like it.

    14, 12:35 PM.jpg

    Excellent Rig!

    I set up a Rig with the Atomos Ninja-2 on the Nikon D4.

    From my blog:
    Once set up all I have to do is start Live View (in video mode) and start the Ninja-2 recording. When I cycle the Live View button on the D4, the Ninja-2 starts recording when Live View is on and stops when I shut it off. Each time the Ninja-2 creates a new file for the next take. I turn on the Focus Peaking to ensure perfect focus and it stays on the whole time (does not reset when Live View is cycled). Perfection!

    Check out my rig

    Dan at Vigorotaku

    If you are handy with wood, you could make one just like a picture frame with a cross bar. And maybe with a few hinges and bolts to make it fold up. Or even cut out a circle of plywood, and cut out the center piece. A few bits and pieces and maybe a bracket for the bolt to hold the camera.

    Looks like a good way to use up some old aluminium bike rims....

    I made mine with a direction wheel of an old car and a piece of wood

    this is really cool i was about to go buy one for around 300 bucks but now im not!!

    Here's an idea, why not go to a junkyard, get a decent looking steering wheel for next to nothing and use that. It would already have grips etc.

    Nice Job! Also, many of the consumer camcorders come with small remotes... mounting it to one of the grip areas would allow you to control the zoom feature, record, etc... Thanks for Sharing!