How To Make a Camcorder Stabilizer

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How To Make a Camcorder Stabilizer

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Film Production

You Will Need

  • PVC pipe 1 1/2 to 2 1/2″ in diameter
  • 6 6-inch pieces
  • 2 3-inch pieces
  • 4 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • And 3 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 45-degree elbow connectors
  • 2 PVC T-connectors
  • A four-way cross connector
  • A can of PVC cement
  • A PVC end cap
  • A drill with a 1/4-inch bit
  • A 1/4-inch carriage bolt, about 4″ long
  • A 1/4-inch nut
  • A 1/4-inch wing nut
  • A 1/4-inch fender washer
  • A camcorder
  • Black spray paint
  • Grip tape

47_medium Step 1: Begin building bottom

Attach two 45-degree elbow connectors to either end of a 6-inch PVC pipe. This will be the bottom of your camcorder stabilizer.

55_medium Step 2: Attach T-connector

Add a piece of 2½-inch PVC pipe to each connector’s open end and then attach a T-connector to both.

65_medium Step 3: Connect PVC to cross

Separately, affix the two 3-inch pieces of PVC to opposite ends of the four-way cross connector. Attach an elbow to the open end of each 3-inch piece. This assembly will serve as your camera’s base.

78_medium Step 4: Link Ts to elbows

Attach the two assemblies you’ve built so far by attaching the elbows to two 1½-inch PVC pieces, and those pieces to the inward-facing holes in the T-connectors.

89_medium Step 5: Add remaining PVC pipe pieces

Add the remaining two 2½-inch PVC pipe pieces to the open holes on each T-connector, and attach elbow connectors to the pipes.

100_medium Step 6: Connect side pipes

Attach a pair of 6-inch PVC pipes to the open ends of the elbow connectors. Attach elbow connectors to their open ends.

109_medium Step 7: Build top

Now build the top of the stabilizer. Attach a pair of elbow connectors to either end of a 6-inch PVC pipe. Then, attach the two remaining unused 6-inch pieces to the other ends of the elbow connectors.

122_medium Step 8: Attach top piece

Connect the elbow connectors on the top pieces of your stabilizer to both 6-inch side pieces, forming an octagon and completing your basic frame.

132_medium Step 9: Seal with cement

Seal all the connections on your stabilizer by brushing on PVC cement, and let dry.

Spray-paint your stabilizer black to make it look sleeker.

141_medium Step 10: Drill hole in end cap

Create the camera mount. To begin, drill a hole the size of the bolt through the center of a PVC end cap.

148_medium Step 11: Thread bolt in cap

Thread the carriage bolt through the underside of the cap so it pokes through the top of the cap. Screw the nut down the bolt until it meets the cap, holding the bolt in place.

160_medium Step 12: Connect PVC to cap

Attach the underside of the cap to the remaining 1½-inch piece of PVC and cement them together. Let them dry.

168_medium Step 13: Attach wing nut and washer

Screw the wing nut onto the top of the bolt and add the washer.

173_medium Step 14: Screw in camcorder

Screw the bolt into the camcorder’s bottom tripod hole and tighten the wing nut.

For easier handling, apply grip tape to the two side bars of your stabilizer.

184_medium Step 15: Attach camera mount to rig

Once your camera is secured to the bolt, attach the assembled mount to the top of the cross connector in the center of your rig and cement the connecting PVC. You’re ready to start recording, one steady shot at a time!

The first movie to use a handheld stabilized camera rig – or Steadicam – was the 1976 David Carradine film Bound for Glory.

Source by howcastmedia

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