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Skate Wheels and dollies...


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#1 Albert Smith

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:30 PM

this is just something I have been curious about. I've used dollies on a couple shoots. once a fisher 10 and once and once a elmrack cricket and in both occasions it was recommended to us to put the dolly onto a set of skateboard wheels rather then using its wheels. Is it just me or does it seem somewhat crazy that a dolly worth well...a LOT of money would be better off on a cheap...or well comparatively cheap... set of skateboard wheels effectively turning it into a giant weight....of course this is disregarding hydraulic features. I don't doubt the skateboard wheels are good...because they are and gave us no problems...but why arn't the standard wheels better?
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#2 Alexa Mignon Harris

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 12:09 AM

this is just something I have been curious about. I've used dollies on a couple shoots. once a fisher 10 and once and once a elmrack cricket and in both occasions it was recommended to us to put the dolly onto a set of skateboard wheels rather then using its wheels. Is it just me or does it seem somewhat crazy that a dolly worth well...a LOT of money would be better off on a cheap...or well comparatively cheap... set of skateboard wheels effectively turning it into a giant weight....of course this is disregarding hydraulic features. I don't doubt the skateboard wheels are good...because they are and gave us no problems...but why arn't the standard wheels better?

Hi Jake,
I think either way is good depending on what your situation is and what dolly your working with.
With Fishers I like to go directly onto the track when Im doing a straight move or if I have a jib on the dolly (if I have a jib on I use the Fisher track wheels). It makes my moves smoother and I can use the breaks. When I'm dealing with curved track I prefer the skateboards because they give less resistance on the turns. What I'm not crazy about is that they do warp when there is a lot of weight on them. So you constantly have to roll them out the softer they are. If I need to give the DP as much height as possible though the channel wheels give me at least 5 inches of extra height to play with. If Im dealing with low mode of course I really try to avoid them.
In a nutshell I guess it really depends on the dolly grips preference.
Cheers!
-Alexa Harris
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#3 Matthew Rogers

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:44 PM

All the dolly grips I know use one form or another of skater wheels if they are running on track. Why? Because it makes your move much smoother. Basically, if you have more wheels carrying the load, then if there is a dip/bump or when you go over a track connection, there is less chance that the dolly will shake when you hit one of those. Not to mention that skater wheels seem to be more quiet when it comes to running on track. I've never had a shoot where we've tried to run a fisher 11 straight on the track without major squeaking from the wheels. Certain sprays help that (they help when skater wheels squeak also), but it seems to be less of an issue with the harder plastic on SW's. Although, Alexa was right in the fact that it's harder to stop when you don't have access to breaks!

Matthew
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#4 Albert Smith

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 04:14 PM

So if I'm getting this right, basically the skate wheels concept is new and was adopted from all of the small and DIY dollies as it has been found to be somewhat better, or at the very least better in some instances. thats kinda interesting, is it thought that fisher or any of these companies will start building dollies with skate wheel systems on them.
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#5 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 04:34 PM

Skate wheels aren't new. They've been around for years They came about when dolly grips realised that square track isn't as good as round track and needed to adapt fishers to round track. They discovered that they really smoothed out long lens shots as well. Most dolly grips have them in their kit

So if I'm getting this right, basically the skate wheels concept is new and was adopted from all of the small and DIY dollies as it has been found to be somewhat better, or at the very least better in some instances. thats kinda interesting, is it thought that fisher or any of these companies will start building dollies with skate wheel systems on them.


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#6 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 10:25 PM

More discussion of skate wheels can be found at "dollygrippery.com"

Skate wheels aren't new. They've been around for years They came about when dolly grips realised that square track isn't as good as round track and needed to adapt fishers to round track. They discovered that they really smoothed out long lens shots as well. Most dolly grips have them in their kit


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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:54 AM

So if I'm getting this right, basically the skate wheels concept is new and was adopted from all of the small and DIY dollies

No, not at all. It's the other way around.
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#8 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:24 AM

Although, Alexa was right in the fact that it's harder to stop when you don't have access to breaks!

Matthew


I doubt Alexa would use the brakes to stop the dolly. The brakes are used only to hold a static dolly in place.
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#9 Alexa Mignon Harris

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:29 PM

I doubt Alexa would use the brakes to stop the dolly. The brakes are used only to hold a static dolly in place.

Hi guys,

I apologize for not being clear. lol! I just had a really funny visual of what would happen if I was tracking full speed and than pulled the brake lever. Oh lordy!

In all honesty though I haven't seen it done very much but I had a shoot where one side of one of my channel wheels got damaged so I went onto the straight precision track directly. Once I lubed up the track and wheels I didn't hear anything. I liked it because it felt very smooth and once I stopped my move I could brake and not worry about the AC and DP shifting too much...and believe me I know some heavy shifters! lol! Later I tested going onto the curved track directly but I def felt that the dolly gave resistance. I like the channel wheels but sometimes I have a lot of weight on the dolly and they start warping so I keep rolling them out. So going on or off them is a choice I make depending on my situation. By situations I mean type of dolly, type of track, terrain, height specs, lens, weight on the dolly, what equipment's available, blah blah blah.

Anyway, have a happy shooting week! We are having a snow day in NYC today and I got the day off! Whoo Hoo!
Cheers!

Alexa
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