Introduction: Versatile Plywood Camera Rig
While trying to take videos, we found it very hard to take good pictures from unique angles. We decided to design and build our own overhead camera rig that we could configure to multiple heights and configurations. When we saw the plywood instructables contest, we thought why not make it from plywood and enter the contest. The entire project was made from a single 2 x 4 foot 1/2 inch sheet of plywood with a total cost under $25!
Step 1: The Legs
8 - 2 x 24 inch pieces of plywood make up the legs. Make a 23 inch by 3/8 inch center cut and round the ends.
Step 2: The Leg Clamp Back
Step 1 - trace a 2 inch circle on a 2 x 2 inch piece of plywood.
Step 2 - rough cut circle on band saw (if you don't have a band saw go to step 3).
Step 3 - finish sanding the circle on a sander.
Step 4 - drill a 3/8 inch hole in the center of the circle.
Step 5 - hammer in a 3/8 inch - 16 x 7/16 inch insert nut (shown above).
Step 6 - test fit 3/8 inch - 16 x 2 inch bolt into the insert nut*.
* you can use a 3/8 inch - 16 x 2 inch bolt by making 4 more round pieces and using them for leg clamp front.
We 3-D printed our leg clamp front and assembled it with a hot glue gun. This design will be available on Thingiverse soon!
Step 3: The Leg Hub
Step 1 - rough cut 4 pieces of plywood to 3 1/2 x 4 inches (cut slightly larger to allow for trimming later).
Step 2 - glue two pieces together and clamp and trim to 3 1/2 x 4 inches.
Step 3 - use leg hub dimensions to finish block.
Step 4 - use scrap aluminum/metal to make a bracket to hold main rail inside to the hub (see pictures).
Step 4: Main Rail Inside
Step 1 - rough cut 3 pieces (slightly larger) 1 1/2 x 30 inches.
Step 2 - rough cut 3 pieces (slightly larger) 1 1/2 x 5 inches.
Step 3 - glue and clamp three pieces together and trim to 1 1/2 x 30 (you should only need to trim two sides that show the plies in the plywood).
Step 4 - glue and clamp three pieces together and trim to 1 1/2 x 5 (you should only need to trim two sides that show the plies in the plywood).
Step 5: Main Rail Outside
Step 1 - cut 2 pieces 1.625 x 30 inches and cut 2 pieces 3.25 x 30 inches (cut slightly larger to trim later).
Step 2 - glue and clamp the two wider pieces on the outside of the shorter pieces creating a 1.625 x 1.625 inch inside box (see picture).
Step 6: Final Assembly
Once you have all pieces put together, all you need to do is connect the legs to the leg-hub and then connect the outer legs to those legs.
Step 7: Camera "Car"
The camera car should be designed to a specific camera. The most critical part is the 1/2 inch gap between the camera mounting plate and the "hook" plate. See pictures for references.