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My $30 Dollie


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#1 John Allen

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 03:37 PM

Here's a dolly I made using skateboard wheels and a ladder. It cost me about $30 to make and it runs really smooth.
Any comments or suggestions about it would be great! Thanks.

John

Edited by John Allen, 16 May 2008 - 03:40 PM.

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#2 Billy Furnett

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 07:46 AM

I like the design, it looks simple and effective. I just completed phase one of a new dolly myself.

:)
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#3 John Allen

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 01:08 PM

Thank you. Yea I already have plans on making a new dolly using 10' pvc pipes so I can get a 50' shot.
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 04:55 PM

Thank you. Yea I already have plans on making a new dolly using 10' pvc pipes so I can get a 50' shot.


I like the inside-pressure wheel design.

PVC is wobbly and it makes noise, though. Try using steel or aluminum pipe instead.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 17 May 2008 - 04:56 PM.

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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 09:15 PM

I would also suggest using larger diameter wheels designed for longboards. They will be softer and smoother.
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#6 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 09:36 PM

Thank you. Yea I already have plans on making a new dolly using 10' pvc pipes so I can get a 50' shot.



What will be different about the new dolly? Are you revising this design? You did a nice job
plus it looks a bit like the tunnel dolly in "The Great Escape" which is kind of cool.
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#7 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 09:45 PM

I like the inside-pressure wheel design.

PVC is wobbly and it makes noise, though. Try using steel or aluminum pipe instead.



Unless somebody has access to having some of the pipe ends extruded, which would be pretty
costly, what would you recommend for connecting lengths of pipe? I've seen some people use connectors that you can expand by adjusting them with an Allen wrench through a hole drilled in the side of the pipe.

How about seeing if you could scrounge up or get a deal on some stainless steel? It would be lighter than regular black steel pipe and yet stronger than aluminum I think. You'd have to TIG the crossbars but it would be nice to have all that gear. I've seen aluminum about the size of dolly track used in soccer goals and it's nice and light (relatively) but I think that if you want to carry a couple hundred pounds, even just an operator, tripod and camera, steel would be sturdier.
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#8 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 10:05 PM

Unless somebody has access to having some of the pipe ends extruded, which would be pretty
costly, what would you recommend for connecting lengths of pipe? I've seen some people use connectors that you can expand by adjusting them with an Allen wrench through a hole drilled in the side of the pipe.

How about seeing if you could scrounge up or get a deal on some stainless steel? It would be lighter than regular black steel pipe and yet stronger than aluminum I think. You'd have to TIG the crossbars but it would be nice to have all that gear. I've seen aluminum about the size of dolly track used in soccer goals and it's nice and light (relatively) but I think that if you want to carry a couple hundred pounds, even just an operator, tripod and camera, steel would be sturdier.

There are inside pipe connectors, and there are brackets that hold both pipes together, sort of like a "c" shape. You only need a few inches of the pipe for the wheels to roll on, so you can connect the pipe underneath, or 90 degrees to where the wheels touch...understand?
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#9 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 10:10 PM

There are inside pipe connectors, and there are brackets that hold both pipes together, sort of like a "c" shape. You only need a few inches of the pipe for the wheels to roll on, so you can connect the pipe underneath, or 90 degrees to where the wheels touch...understand?


I have used the inside pipe connectors joints. They were made of wood and they just fit snuggly in the ends of the pipe. It was smooth as butter on the joints. The pipe lenghts were 20 feet. Stainless steel was what they were made of.
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#10 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 12:16 AM

I have used the inside pipe connectors joints. They were made of wood and they just fit snuggly in the ends of the pipe. It was smooth as butter on the joints. The pipe lenghts were 20 feet. Stainless steel was what they were made of.



Thank you Jaimie and Saul.

Where could somebody get these connectors? Where could I get the "c" shape like brackets?

The connectors that I saw were wood too but didn't ask their origin at the time and don't have the opportunity to ask that person now. I haven't seen any type of track connectors in grip equipment catalogs (probably because they're already selling track with the extruded nipples.)
I haven't seen any connectors at pipe supply places that would allow a dolly to clear them.

That's cool that you used the 20' lengths. A bunch of them and you could have one heck of a dolly shot. I'd probably have to chop them into 8' or 10'
lengths because if they were for my own projects I'd probably be using something smaller than a truck that could accommodate 20' lengths.

Thanks.
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#11 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 12:01 PM

Tim:
I have no clue where to find those connecctors, except a a carpentry shop. Any carpenter worth their salt cound make them in a jiffy provided with the dimensions of the pipe. They have to fit a little tight, of course, otherwise it wouldn't work.

And I don't know how far you would want to go in terms of connected-pipe length. Since it lacks the perpendicular cross ties, it becomes unstable in the long run. I wouldn't want to run it more than 40' myself. Also, speed is also a concern. The last thing you want is for the dolly to jump the tracks as you are flying down the rails, throwing you and the camera all over the landscape. Testing will yield better results, of course.

Have fun!
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#12 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 09:03 PM

Tim:
I have no clue where to find those connecctors, except a a carpentry shop. Any carpenter worth their salt cound make them in a jiffy provided with the dimensions of the pipe. They have to fit a little tight, of course, otherwise it wouldn't work.

And I don't know how far you would want to go in terms of connected-pipe length. Since it lacks the perpendicular cross ties, it becomes unstable in the long run. I wouldn't want to run it more than 40' myself. Also, speed is also a concern. The last thing you want is for the dolly to jump the tracks as you are flying down the rails, throwing you and the camera all over the landscape. Testing will yield better results, of course.

Have fun!



Cool, thanks!
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#13 Billy Furnett

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 03:21 AM

As was stated: A lightly tapered dow rod or banister type wood ?plug? can be fashioned and inserted to join two rails.

You can drill holes through each end of each plug that when inserted line up with holes drilled in the rails to allow for a bolt, or a bolt size pin to pass through the rail and wood, then be held in place by a large cotter pin, ring or nut.

Inserting the plugs, joining the rails, snapping a chalk line along the entire length of both rails, then drilling the holes through the rails and the plugs at the same time (on the chalk line) takes some fight out the process.

Aluminum, galvanized or copper pipe can be used in place of the wood to provide something less giving over time, and which handles set up and tear down abuse better.

Hollow punch expandable inserts can be tapped into the holes drilled through wood plugs to better accept a connecting pin.

Two narrow straight bracket pieces can be used with plugs and bolts as well, think of a bike chain master link joining two rails.

Two longer narrow straight brackets can also be used to join the rails and support the joint in 4 places: Two (One on each side) of and near the joint, and two (one on each rail) several inches behind the joint, like a bigger master link.

-
On my latest contraption, (a 24 wheeled doorway number) I?m working on a mounted post that my tripod?s center column simply drops into and its legs fold closed against allowing the camera?s weight to rest on it?s center post AND its 3 legs in a narrow column, kind of like a riser.

The post will also accept a drop in jib attachment.

I have 20 ft fence rail lenghts for outside and tapered at one end connectig galvanized pipe lenghts
for indoors.
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#14 Billy Furnett

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 09:17 PM

Here is my latest still in progress:

With a modular post idea to quickly hold the tripod, or soon to be replaced jib.

:)

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#15 John Allen

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 10:57 AM

Very cool dude!!!
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#16 Billy Furnett

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 12:04 PM

Thanks John.

I still have to do a shorter post, two additional post support arms, the push bar assembly, seat configuration, two all surface casters on the back edge so it can be rolled for transport, then the new jib, but it?s getting there. I should be like 87 or so when it?s finally done.

:)
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#17 John Allen

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 08:51 PM

haha.....nice. Well best of luck then. :)

Edited by John Allen, 21 May 2008 - 08:51 PM.

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