Friday 26 November 2010

DIY camera Dolly - How to

Now I have been busy ever since I started making films making little toys and tools to help get slightly differant shots and to improve what I am doing.

I have made a few things in the past, Jibs, shoulder mount rigs , steering wheel thingys , etc but its the simple camera dolly I have tried to make on I think its 4 or 5 differant projects now.

Now they seem very simple in theory, but to make one thats easy to use, easy to transport, quick to use, smooth, and versitile is quite tricky.

MK1- I made where full size and took a full size tripod on, it was in essence a MTBoard with a cross strut on it and some tracks for the wheels to run on... To Heavy

MK2- Was that same rib but chopped down so just the camera sat on had to be level or horrizons where wonky

MK3- A new rig from scratch using scooter wheels on a small wooden truck with an old bodged tripod head on it...Not smooth enough and tripod head kept hitting the ground when using it in the woods

MK4 - This is my new one. I looked at what the best ones online where, and rather than looking at them and working out how to cut corners, I just copied them...and unsupprisingly it worked out well...DUH!?

O well its the journey not the destination right ?

Anyway First Have a few photos of my new one... I will then list all the componont parts and a few links on where to get them...

Right first off you need the strip of Alu angle- I got mine from Focus but you can get it in any old B&Q etc

Then the steel rods - again same places

the nuts, bolts and washers - again same places

Then the wheels, now I used 8 skateboard wheels I got 4 from a mate off an old board he has which I brought for £5 , and the other 4 my mate gave me as they where his old ones... But you would be best ideally getting new ones so they are the exact same size.

Then the bit of ply wood the camera sits on, and a few zip ties to get it on to the steel rod axels...

Now the tripod head is what makes this dolly so much better than all my earlier attempts, Just a simple ball head with QR lever- I got this one but any simalar one will do...

Thats about it really, Any more questions add them in the comments and I will answer them.

If people want I can do ones for the other bits and bobs I have made, but will see if theres the interest.

Thanks Jacob


  1. Very help full, might have to try it as i have just got into film and photography... Will keep reading your blog!

  2. Good stuff Jacob, think I'm gonna give one a go.

  3. Cool idea. Have you got some footage of it in action?

  4. Yeh check out the goon ride video from a few weeks back, the last two shots on that where with this... but litteraly the first shots I had done with it so a bit sub par...

  5. what kind of head is that?? like the name? and how did you mount it?


  7. how did you mount the ball head onto the wood??

  8. in the photo of the bolt poking through the wood thats the underside of the trolly...

    theres a bolt that goes through the wood, into the tripod socket on the bottom of the head, then i have put a nut and somw washers and done it all up

  9. did you have to cut the tip off the bolt off to get the nut on?? and i finished the dolly, almost exact replica, just differnt base metal. it looks pretty good, ill send you a pic of what it turned out like