Completed DIY Crane Project at DVinfo.net

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Old May 31st, 2005, 10:53 PM   #1
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Completed DIY Crane Project

I figured you folks might get a kick out of my little crane project. I've posted a bunch of pics and a quick test vid. Cost for materials was about $125 US.

http://www.pana3ccduser.com/showthread.php?p=16253

In retrospect, not too hard to build, but a lot of time was spent looking for appropriate materials and bearings.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:17 AM   #2
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Nice job, Dennis! (though I think mine are much easier to build!). I'm wondering why you needed to weld the piece on the weight end to keep it flat? Seems an unnecessary step. I like the way you've attached the monitor. Does that part come off for easy storage? Again, nice job.

Dan Selakovich
www.DVcameraRigs.com
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 10:07 PM   #3
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Dan, thanks for your reply. I actually have looked several times at (and was inspired by) your demo footage. I'd be interested in seeing a pic of the crane from your book. I must add that your other demo footage was very whimsical and quite entertaining...love the dalmation. From the feedback on your site, it looks like folks love your book.

And you're absolutely right, the extra piece on the end was welded on after because I felt the counter weight could be reduced by adding a foot or so to the leverage equation (and I'd already cut main arm). The angle is just to give a little extra room when the crane is mounted to a low tripod.

The crane is to an extent over engineered...there's no less than 16 bearings in it. It is far stronger than required for a MiniDv cam. The trade off I think is in the fact that it will take a heavy camera when I upgrade, and it's super quiet and smooth to operate. I could have used lighter stock but in my testing, there was too much flex in lighter materials for my liking. The crane was also a little experiment to see if I could weld aluminum with my 110V MIG.

The monitor "arm" folds in to the crane, and the platorm is threaded on to a stud..so it can be twisted off to remove. Thanks for your feedback :-)
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 08:57 AM   #4
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Hi Dennis,

No such thing as over-engineered! I think better to have over-done it than under! I'm glad my little demos could be of some inspiration. I love the fact that people are building this stuff themselves (whether they use my book or not!) You can save so much money this way--enough to make a movie--and that's what it's all about, right? Actually the dog, Monk, is half great dane half bit bull. He makes a great subject! I've been wanting to learn to weld for years. One of these days...

Dan
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 11:32 AM   #5
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My apologies to Monk...evidently my breed identification prowess is not commensurate with my welding aptitude. (not much better actually)

The $1500 or so I spent on my little MIG welder (with shielding gas) was the best tool investment made in a long time. It's very easy to use, with a little help setting up from my machinist neighbour, I was off to the races.

In my mind, a very helpful tool for the camera rigger. With all the links floating around for dolly designs...that's next.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 11:23 PM   #6
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I made a few changes to the crane design.

http://www.pana3ccduser.com/showthre...4&page=2&pp=16

I'm looking at doing a "production run" of these and am looking for feedback/interest. Here's a summary

1. Reach is 10 ft, but 12 should be no problem. On the bogen 028 legs, the crane has a max height of about 16 feet.
2. Max load will be somewhere around 20lbs
3. Crane locks in head tilt, and/or altitude if required.
4. All joints use ball bearings (16 in total)
5. Construction is aluminum.

Cost should be somewhere around $600 US.

Last edited by Dennis Wood; June 7th, 2005 at 11:41 PM.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #7
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Whew, deluged with the requests. No one with even a nasty critique? I was hoping my prototype would have an opportunity to propagate.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #8
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Hey dennis, when you're done send in some pic to HBS.
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