Back in January, I made myself a wooden tripod with a boom arm so I could cantilever my camera out over a workbench or tool. This has since proven to be one of the best improvements I could make to make my videos easier to shoot. Then in August, I made a wall mounted arm so my camera could be cantilevered off the wall. The arm was much more user-friendly than the tripod, but of course it was confined to the wall. I always wished there was a way to combine the most convenient features from each and make one extra-convenient camera holding solution, but there was an issue with that. When you put a 3 foot long horizontal arm on a tripod, it has to have a counterweight to keep the tripod from falling over. It would be very difficult to counterweight the wall mounted camera arm, as it has two linkages that allow it to extend and collapse, so the counterweight would have to be dynamic; moving based on the position of the camera. And that’s not to mention how I really disliked the counterweight on my tripod, because it added so much to the footprint and constantly got in my way. After plenty of contemplation, I realized that I could eliminate the counterweight simply by making the “tripod” super heavy (I know, it’s still a counterweight of sorts). So I made a rolling base, filled it with concrete, and added a pipe that holds the camera arm. Now that I have it, I am very impressed with how easy it is to move around and get literally any camera angle I could possibly want! To see how I made it, take a look at the video below.
As you can see, the footprint is very small, at only 19″x19″. But even that doesn’t really count because the 19″ part is only 4″ tall, so I can easily step over it (or on it), and it can fit under several things in the shop that have a “toe kick”. So you could really say the footprint is just the size of the pipe. This is also the reason why I didn’t put any kind of bracing on the pipe (it is rigid anyway; it doesn’t need it).
If you’re interested in making one yourself, you can get a detailed Sketchup model below. Note that this Sketchup model contains a different design for the camera arm; I am not aware that this design has any advantage or disadvantage over the one shown in the video (you can get that one here) but it’s just something different that I drew up for the fun of it. Click the link below to download the Sketchup model for this rolling camera stand.
Download: Camera arm dolly.zip
Note: The .zip file above contains a Sketchup (.skp) file, so you will need to un-zip and extract the .skp file before opening it. You will need the latest version of Sketchup in order to view this model.
I do not ask for any payment in return for my Sketchup models. However, if you would like to help out, you can make a one-time donation using the PayPal donate button below, or support me on a monthly basis on my Patreon page.