DIY Seated Video Track Dolly

Portable camera sliders are great, but they can't replace very long tracked dolly movements. Here's a recent DIY Seated Video Track Dolly project from Vimeo member TLA Productions. If you're planning on tackling one of these projects, here's a video with some tips to make your platform more stable, and some considerations about working on uneven surfaces.

I've actually built one of these before, and the most critical part is assembling a good wheel set. The wheels really have to be drilled perfectly to sit on the track exactly the same. Not an easy thing to do when you have a 16 wheels. If you drill just a few millimeters off, you'll notice it once you're going down the track.

For DIY projects, you'll most likely be using off the shelf pipes instead of professionally laid out tracks. For this, the swiveling design wheel set is the best because it can move and correct for misaligned tracks or imperfect alignment of your wheel mounts. A good set of swivel assemblies can also be used on curved tracks. Keep in mind you'll have to dish out more for a decent set of wheels and high quality bearings. There's a few good looking assemblies on eBay (Click Here).

Swivel Dolly Track Wheel Caster Set AssembliesDIY Wheel Dolly Track Swivel Set
find-price-button DIY Track Dolly Swivel Wheel Assemblies

4 thoughts on “DIY Seated Video Track Dolly

  1. seenematic

    too bad that none of his shots were noteworthy and that his movement was restricted to the range of a slider. kind of defeats the purpose of his video.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @DavidN4 - All good options, but part of the video talked having a dolly that is easy to transport, and that the pneumatic tires are great in a pinch, but didn't always produce best results.

  3. DavidN4

    Just use a 50cc 4-wheeler or riding lawnmower as a base. You can always borrow one from someone if you aren't in the city.

    If you are on a smooth surface, there are a lot of options. If you are on a rough surface, you need large air-filled tires. Ideally, you would have a 1970's 3-wheeler on giant balloon tires, that you could make a platform quickly for to bolt on and replace the stock seat.

  4. Steven

    Would you mind showing us how your dolly turned out?

    Any Idea how much weight this could support?

    What's the ideal track to use?

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