I am an avid reader of Make magazine, one of the fine publications of O’Reilly Media Inc. Each issue brings a wealth of do it yourself projects ranging a USB charger inside a gum canister to the construction of your own steam generator. Most of the projects are well beyond my humble skills. I’ve built the USB charger but the generator is out of the question. What keeps me reading the magazine, however, is the maker philosophy: why spend tons of money buying something that, with a little effort and time, you can make for yourself. Making something, it turns out, is also a great way to learn about the product and yourself.
Several months ago, I came across some films on Vimeo that had wonderfully smooth camera movements as a result of using a dolly to move the camera. A quick search of the web revealed two things: a professionally made dolly is terrifically expensive and there are tons of plans for DIY dollies. I haven’t built anything in awhile so my maker juices were flowing. I found plans and a video tutorial at Digital Juice and set about building the dolly. It took about 1 full afternoon of work to build it after acquiring the materials. I’m very pleased with my creation. It’s not as nice as a commercially made dolly, of course, but I made it with my own hands.
You can, too. The film above runs just over 9 minutes and offers some tips and advice on building your own dolly.