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-   -   My shadowgirlproject.com dolly (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/dolly-track-cable/9563-my-shadowgirlproject-com-dolly.html)

Zac Stein May 15th, 2003 03:10 AM

Rob, can you draw me next heheheh


Steven-Marc Couchouron May 15th, 2003 12:38 PM

Sorry, I haven't had the time to check the forum lately, been very busy... but it was a surprise seeing our website mentionned in a discussion title! ;-)

Anyways, I've posted a lot of pictures of the dolly because it served us really well, but it is something (dolly with skateboard wheels) which has existed for quite some time, even in big rental houses. But since they are so easy to build yourself... and the PVC rails are cheap... why rent?

It actually works even better with metal tubes for the rails, although they are of course less practical.

I think the photos are pretty straightforward so that no translation or explanation is really necessary, but if you have specific questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

BTW: For those interested, the film is currently doing the festival circuit and getting good reviews. We even got the Platinum award for best "low budget" feature at the Houston WorldFest, which was the first festival we submitted it to ! :-)

Charles Papert May 15th, 2003 04:41 PM

Yup, that picture you linked says it all. Thanks Rob.

Brad Herbert May 18th, 2003 12:43 AM

PVC sizes
If you purchase Schedule 40 1" PVC pipe to use for your track, and 1/2" Schedule 40 1/2" PVC pipe for the connecting "dowels" those you will find have an extrememly tight fit.

I need to upload pics of my dolly that I built. The 4 "trucks" that I built work on a double hinge system.. allowing them to turn 360 (on an axis perpindicular to the ground) and also rotate on a axle that is on a axis parallel to the ground. So essentially you could run a cuved track over the top of a hill, and the 4 corners of the dolly would not ever leave the track.

Lemme know if any are interested in seeing pics of the dolly.. I'll try to get them uploaded.. I need to convert my track to the pipe sizes I mentioned above... I used 3/4" pipes, and connected with a woden dowel (but the connections are loose) definitely not as good as the 1/2" PVC connectors. I also have developed plans on how to make fixed curved track out of PVC and some 2x4 wooden ties.. have all the inner and outer radiuses computed (and tested - as I have curved track as well).


Rob Lohman May 20th, 2003 03:09 PM

I would really really be interested to see (detailed) pictures
of your dolly. I'm currently thinking of constructing my own!

Steven, why would metal pipes be more "difficult". Because
of more weight or something?

John Locke May 20th, 2003 05:50 PM

Congratulations on your win in Houston, Steven-Marc! What a thrill to pull a Platinum on your first festival submission!

Robert Poulton May 21st, 2003 12:48 AM

Brad post some pictures. I would be very interested in seeing your dolly.


Kevin Burnfield May 21st, 2003 02:17 PM

One thing I did with my dolly set-up was to take my PVC sections (each about 5 feet) and I used some spray insulation, like what you would use to spray around the frame of a window, and sprayed it down into the pipe for each section.

This stuff drys hard and gives the tubes a good solid structure. Doesn't add a lot to the weight but that's what sandbags are for.

To connect the tubes I took a shorter piece (about a foot or so) of the same size PVC and cut one side the entire length so it was sort of a circle with a break in it. I trimmed a bit of the edge so there was a larger gap (so it's more of C ) and basically just squeeze it to shove it in section of PVC and then do the same for the next section.

I've found this works really well and keeps them together and tight.

(hope that made sense)

Rob Lohman May 21st, 2003 04:39 PM

That are some fabalous suggestions, Kevin. Thanks a bunch!

Paul Bettner May 21st, 2003 07:26 PM

What a great idea for the connectors Kevin! I'll give that a try!

Next up, a crane/jib. I'll let you guys know how it goes :-)


Zac Stein May 21st, 2003 09:22 PM


That is a great idea, i did something similar once, but i cut the ends on each so they were cut diagnol, kind of like a point came out on each end, then used cork to wedge in there, as it gives a bit, you idea sounds cheaper and easier, but the diagnal cut is worth it because we found it dampens a bump even more.


Kevin Nardelle May 29th, 2003 12:22 PM

There is an alternative..

You need to get the PVC pipe you plan on using and bring it to a plumbing supply house, a small piece will do. See if they have another grade that will fit snug inside the one you will use for the track. PVC Cement will work on the inside being careful not to get any outside. Be really careful when cutting the sections of track, use a squared true mitre box to make the cuts with a very fine tooth blade. You will get a good straight even cut that you can finish with a light sand paper. Any gap will result in a thump when the wheels roll over it. You can also use steel brackets that will bolt out of the way of your wheels to hold the track sections together. The machining of the inside pieces should be done at a machine shop if you plan on using the original design. Just keep this in mind, wood will swell and wear. I personally would have my inside plugs machined from ACETRON on a lathe, this would make the perfect fit and never wear or swell.

Kevin Nardelle

Martin Munthe June 9th, 2003 12:38 PM

Small sugestion when operating lightweight tubepipe dollys: Sit down when operating. Since there is no heavy metal base on the dolly you want to keep your weight distributed as low as possible. This way you will be able to move, pan and tilt with better result.

Kevin Nardelle June 9th, 2003 03:04 PM

Oh but wait
The base of the jib IS very heavy, quarter inch steel plate with three quarter inch thick steel pipes for legs. They are threaded for adjustability should you be wondering. I am appreciative of any advice you have to offer though!

Martin Munthe June 10th, 2003 03:51 PM

That doesn't sound heavy enough. The only dolly I would feel secure to operate standing would be the SuperPanther or something like it. PVC pipes would get squashed under the weight of it. Otherwise I really like the dolly you built. Seems solid. Good work!

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