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skateboard dolly tracks

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clyde villegasskateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 24, 2008 at 6:36:29 am

I'm going to try to build a skateboard dolly and use PVC pipes for the track. What's the best way to connect the ends of the pipes so that there won't be any bumps? I need to be able to disassemble the pipes for travel, of course. Thanks.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Steve WargoRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 24, 2008 at 7:06:36 am

Almost impossible

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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clyde villegasRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 24, 2008 at 10:27:46 am

Oh, sorry. I wasn't aware of that. So what shall I do to have the "least" bumps as possible?

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Todd TerryRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 24, 2008 at 1:22:01 pm

Actually... it's painfully easy...

You can easily make connectors out of PVC... this is the way I've done it (although there are several steps to it).

1) Buy a piece of the NEXT smaller pipe than your track.

2) Cut about 6"-8" lengths of it, however many connectors you need

3) Split the connectors lengthwise, so they will "open up"... there are a variety of ways to make this split, but I use a Dremel tool with a little cutting wheel.

4) Drive a wooden dowel through one of the connectors to enlarge its diameter. You'll have to pick a dowel the right size to make the connector just a little bit bigger than will fit into the pipe that you use for track.

5) Heat the connector (still on the dowel) with a heat gun for a couple of minutes. You don't want it to melt, just get soft.

That's it. When the PVC cools, it will be permanently enlarged into the new shape.... and now you have a connector that will squeeze together and fit into the pipes. We've made a whole bunch of these that we carry in a grip bag. If we travel to a distant location, we just take the connectors, buy the cheap pipe wherever we are, and ditch it when we are done.

This actually will give a smooth-as-silk dolly... if your skateboard dolly has 16 wheels. If it has 8, not so much.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Steve WargoRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 25, 2008 at 8:11:46 am

Well, next to impossible unless you're willing to do some work as Todd provided.

And take a look at the wheels at the bottom of this page. http://www.willyswidgets.com/pr_wheels.html

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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clyde villegasRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 25, 2008 at 9:02:56 am

Thanks guys!

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Todd TerryRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 25, 2008 at 1:43:15 pm

Now, now, Steve... I'm surprised at you, as someone who knows how to build stuff.

Honestly, it really really truly is painfully easy. The first one I made took only about half an hour, and that includes the time spent figuring out how to do it. Another hour later and I had a whole bucket full of the things.

I've made a bunch of budget film equipment, most of it back in leaner days... and I must stay these connectors are among the very easiest things I've ever churned out.

I looked at those wheels from Willys... nice, but pretty expensive (and then you have to fabricate how to mount them). If you want a decent skateboard dolly on a budget you can't beat the units from Glideshot. VERY well make, super sturdy trucks, nice wheels, smooth-as-silk action. You can get a set of four (with four wheels each) in the $200 neighborhood.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Eric CannonRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 25, 2008 at 5:47:55 pm

Alright... I built a dolly a little while back, and there are 2 easy ways to connect the PVC pipes... First is the fast method(when you dont have much building time and need to shoot). Get a dowel with a smaller diameter than the inside diameter of your pvc pipe. Cut it to a about a 4" length for each connection, then gaff tape the edge, and MORE IMPORTANTLY the middle right where the connection will be. Add little bits more gaff until it fits nice and snug. The only problem with this is you have to basically fresh gaff it every time. The best method is to make a set of connector. The method of making them is best found at this link a little down the page:


http://www.jorenclark.com/whitepapers/dolly.html

"None but ourselves can free our minds"


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clyde villegasRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 26, 2008 at 4:27:05 am

Thanks! I saw the site and it's a great source of info. I'm starting to make everything DIY. Around here in Manila, clients think a $1,000 project is too much and a $2,000 a joke. And the only thing I can do to lower cost is to either give my labor costs for free or make DIY equipment. I chose the 2nd option. Clients think they can do great videos by simply buying a cheap camcorder and putting together everything in Movie Maker. I want to do great videos for clients but I also want to be able to put food on the table. I probably should post this at the business forum. Thanks and God bless.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Steve WargoWell actually...
by on Sep 26, 2008 at 5:21:43 am

Well actually... What I said was that it's hard to overcome the joint in plastic so you use numerous wheels to spread the joint out over a wider space. Also, if the wheels are different sizes and the axles are positioned out of line the wheels will all hit at different times with a lot less impact.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Mark SuszkoRe: Well actually...
by on Sep 28, 2008 at 9:35:40 pm

How I always did this task, I learned as a kid, splicing together longer tubing in my model rockets. Just buy more of the SAME tubing, you don't need anything else. Cut off a piece at least the length of a dollar bill, then slit that piece so that from the side it looks like the letter "c". Squeeze it to compress it, jam it in halfway into a piece of the track tubing, release, done. Well, hit it with cyanoacrylate (super glue) or plumber's PVC cement if you want to keep the connector trapped in one end.

The other trick that goes along with this is that you must stagger the joints so the wheels don't hit a joint on both sides at the same time.

The slit connectors also can be used as clamps, for example, you can make a butterfly frame out of PVC tubing or pipe and use the clamps to trap the diffusion or chroma cloth or what-have-you onto the pipe framework.

I am luck that thanks to my RC mode plane hobby, I have a cutting bow made with nickel-chromium "nichrome" wire or stainless steel fishing leader wire, stretched on a non-conductive "bow", powered by a variac. With this I can carve and sculpt foam or slice thru PVC like butter. You can also cut the PVC with saber saws, a drill with a router or zip cutter bit, and other things. Once you make a jig to hold the piece safely, many power tools can be adapted to use.


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clyde villegasRe: Well actually...
by on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:35:53 pm

Thanks Mark! Your connector looks like the easiest to make.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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grinner hesterRe: skateboard dolly tracks
by on Sep 28, 2008 at 9:54:15 pm

outside of internal adapters, you are gonna head toward a real dolly track or steadycam.
I have to admit I no longer mess with such things. Fram cameras getting better to my NLE's stabilization, man I don't have time to waiste laying a bunch of track and missing a shot.



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