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Dolly wheels and tracks


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#1 Adam Paul

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 04:45 AM

I have had a tire dolly for a while now and I want to convert it to a track dolly. I have found some U grooved steel wheels covered in polyurethane inside the groove for silence. I have also found the track that goes with it. It?s not purposed to be dolly tracks but it seems it could work. My only concern is that the wheels and tracks are pretty slim. The wheels are 120mm in diameter and only 30mm wide. The groove itself is only 21mm and the round track is 20mm diameter. The weight is not the problem. They support up to 470lbs. But do you think it will run smooth even being so slim or it doesn't matter? Would flanged wheels on a square track be better than the U grooved wheels on round tracks? Thanks.

Edited by Adam Paul, 30 January 2007 - 04:46 AM.

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#2 Adam Paul

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 07:43 PM

36 views and no reply? Comon guys, help me out here :)
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#3 Adam Paul

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:56 AM

Should I post the question in the 35mm forums? :(
Maybe I will have better chances to get a reply there as there are more people visiting.
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#4 Hal Smith

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 08:47 AM

Should I post the question in the 35mm forums? :(
Maybe I will have better chances to get a reply there as there are more people visiting.

I suggest being much more specific with details: make and model of dolly, post a couple of pictures, etc.
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#5 Adam Paul

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:09 AM

No make and model. It's a self made tire dolly. It's about 34"x64" and made of plywood, steel and aluminum. It has four 8" tires on right now. The go-kart looking type of tires. I would like to convert it to a track dolly. I have two options for that:

Option 1: 125mm diameter (flange is 150mm dia.) x45mm wide flanged wheels over 30x30mm square tracks

Option 2: 120mm (100mm inside U) x 30mm wide U grooved wheels over 20mm diameter round tracks.

The bonus of option 2 is that the tracks are already ready and in option 1 I would have to build the tracks. Option 1 would also be cheaper.
Both options are polyurethane covered steel wheels with double ball bearings for smoothness and silence.
I'm wondering what's the best option and what's best, square or round tracks? Are the wheels in option 2 too thin? Will they be unstable or not smooth enough?
If both options would be the same I would rather go with option 2 because the tracks are already ready to use. But if a flanged wheel would give extra precision and smoothness over a U grooved wheel and if 30mm wheels or 20mm diameter tracks are too narrow to be stable and or smooth, I would go through the extra work of building the square tracks and just go with the flanged wheels.
Thanks.
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:31 PM

No make and model. It's a self made tire dolly. It's about 34"x64" and made of plywood, steel and aluminum. It has four 8" tires on right now.

Axle diameter? If you're lucky, and your axle diameter is standard, you can probably use standard dolly wheels.
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#7 Adam Paul

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:51 PM

Axle diameter is 20mm. Both wheel models come in 20mm center hole.
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#8 Alain J Francois

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:28 PM

I have had a tire dolly for a while now and I want to convert it to a track dolly. I have found some U grooved steel wheels covered in polyurethane inside the groove for silence. I have also found the track that goes with it.

HI, the system you describe has been used out in the field by ABC camera operators for years. It seems to work perfectly for short dolly distances. If you required longer tracks it becomes a problem where you have to join the tracks. Also, I have seen operators place old mats under the tracks if the ground is uneven.
Cheers, Alain.
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#9 Adam Paul

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:36 PM

HI, the system you describe has been used out in the field by ABC camera operators for years. It seems to work perfectly for short dolly distances. If you required longer tracks it becomes a problem where you have to join the tracks. Also, I have seen operators place old mats under the tracks if the ground is uneven.
Cheers, Alain.


Hey Alain, thanks for the reply. Finally some input :)

Why is joining tracks a problem? If the joints are smooth I can't see a problem, or is it related to something else?
By the way, the system you say ABC uses is the U grooved wheels? With the particular ones I found I'm just afraid they may be too narrow at 30mm and the tracks at 20mm diameter.
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#10 Mitch Gross

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:40 PM

Check willyswidgets.com to see what other setups are like.
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#11 Adam Paul

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 09:10 PM

Check willyswidgets.com to see what other setups are like.


Thanks for the link. I checked their site and they only have the small skate wheels. A very different set up to what I have in mind. What's your opinion on my option 1 vs. my option 2 and the stability and smoothness questions?
Thanks.
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#12 Adam Paul

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 05:36 AM

I decided for the U grooved ones. Looking at some high end dollies in some big budget movie making ofs they seem to have pretty small single wheels and be smooth enough to carry even big jibs so should be fine for me. I think 120mm is more than big enough.

Thanks for "all" the input.
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#13 David Auner aac

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:37 AM

I decided for the U grooved ones. Looking at some high end dollies in some big budget movie making ofs they seem to have pretty small single wheels and be smooth enough to carry even big jibs so should be fine for me. I think 120mm is more than big enough.


Hi Adam!

I'd be interested in your experience with your selfmade dolly. Can I see some pictures/drawings?

Thanks in advance, Dave
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#14 Adam Paul

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 10:40 AM

Sure thing. Once I'm done with the project I will post pictures here.
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#15 David Auner aac

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 10:59 AM

Sure thing. Once I'm done with the project I will post pictures here.


Do you have any pictures of it in tire config?

Cheers, Dave
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#16 Adam Paul

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 11:29 AM

Do you have any pictures of it in tire config?


Unfortunately no, sorry. But it doesn't look much different than the Western dolly.
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#17 Adam Paul

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 12:25 PM

Just got off the phone with an old friend who was trying to stir me towards going for skate wheel trucks. He mentioned people are putting even Fishers on skate wheels those days. :blink: (although I wonder why)


Just when I was finally set on single U grooved wheels. :(
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#18 Adam Paul

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 02:03 PM

Isn't there any pro grips with experience in the field who could atually give some insight? I have given enough details but I still didn't get any solid input. I'm now having seconds thought between going with them little skate wheels or going with the U grooved wheels set up I mentioned above. I wonder what advantage is there with skate wheels because people seem to be putting Fishers on skate trucks even though Fisher is a track dolly and has it's own track wheels.
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#19 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 02:57 PM

Hello all,

There is a lot to comment on this topic, nearly to much to start doing it. here is a try
First the advantage and disadvantage of U-grooved wheels: The andvantage is the shape wich will prevent de dolly from sliding of the track. T
The disadavantage is hard to explain for not being native-english: If you'd take a slice-cut (cross-cut?) of the wheel on the track you will see that a U-wheel touches the round-track nearly everywhere. (if this is not the case please neglet this post). The rotation speed of the wheel is everywhere the same, (say 12 rounds per minute) wheater you are on point A or B. The surface-speed however is different, since in one rotation of the wheel, point A needs to clear a distance of say 18 cm, point B needs to clear 12 cm and point C is nearly in the centre of the wheel and does need to clear les the 1 cm. This difference in surface-speed creates internal-forces in the material (rubber, nylon, ...) of the wheel. If the material is not soft enough it will be torqued (split). To prevent the outher side of the will from having this surface-speed people tend to use WD40 or teflon or other kinds of lubrifications. This will let the wheel glide instead of roll.
So for U-wheels you will need very soft material or loads of WD40 or silicone-spray on the tracks. Soft wheels tend to flatten on a heavy payload. The lubrifications gives a dirty track.

Concerning the heavy dollies on scateboard wheels:
The scate wheels are flat on the track so no difference on surface-speed.
The more wheels to carry the payload, the less resitance on the track.
The more bearings to run each wheels, the less resistance. Although with a long line of scate wheels on a row it is hard to push the dolly through a (narrow) curve.
With a line of scate wheels the weight of the dolly is evenly distibuted on the track, so if you have a track-joint the dolly will have just two wheels at the same time hitting the joint. The other wheels are still running smoothly and carrying the weight.

Hopefully this helps.

Onno Perdijk
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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#20 Adam Paul

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 10:40 AM

Hi Onno,

Thanks for the explanation. So it seems four trucks of 2 wheels or even four trucks of 4 wheels would be better than 4 bigger U-groved wheels? I was always wondering what's the point in putting a Fisher dolly on cheap/homemade looking skate trucks.
How about flanged wheels(the type similar to the ones used in trains). They don't seem to have difference on surface-speed either.
By the way, the U-grooved wheels are polyurathane covered, so I think they should be soft enough(?)
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