DIY Steadicam – Ladder Bracket

Starting with a basic Ladder Hanging Bracket found at Home Depot, Vimeo member StudioAmarelo was able to create this DIY Steadicam. The Gimbal is based on WSClater's Traxxas U-joint design. From there it's a matter of placing weights in the right spot. You can find some additional information at the video link (here). [Thanks Garrick]

11 thoughts on “DIY Steadicam – Ladder Bracket

  1. michael

    me and a friend are building one and i can say so far the parts arent as expensive as $100 and spacing pieces out does help if you are on a super budget like me. my problem though is locating those universal brackets. they are no where to be found at home depot, where everything else was.

  2. Wow! Im impressed with this!
    As a 13 year old, i am kind of against DIY builds, because my parents don't like to spend a day of the weekend schlepping me over to home depot and back, but I'm considering this.

    Would it be at all smart to buy camera stabilizer like the flycam nano that I've heard so much about? I am confused about the price that it would cost to make this. Somebody said that it cost around 100 dollars to make this, but then I figure that this little parts must cost around $25.

    Your site is a gold mine of info! I can search anything camera related and have 5+ pages about it! it's awesome!
    The video helps a lot!

    Post Scriptum

    Do you think that this would work while skiing? Obviously handheld is a nightmare, but would this also be shaky from the bumps in the snow?

    I figure i would be fine skiing because it was fine while you were running with flip flops but you know more about this than me. (xD)

  3. SkunkWorks

    All that matters to me is the end result... and I see more stabilizing and less tilting/wobbling in this demo video than pretty much every single Flycam Nano user demo I've watched on youtube. I honestly wouldn't think twice about throwing a c-note into something like this DIY if it performs.

    @ HD-tography...
    I returned your email, bro. (wrote you a short novel, 'hope the info helps!)

  4. Garrick

    Re: HD-togography's comment... hit it on the head in hinting it was more the fun of problem-solving this build vs. any rationale math on the time it took to eventually get the design right (lots of other enthusiasts can probably relate)!

    Saw all these high quality clones with high-grade, milled aluminum etc. online and thought it would be cool to see if some guy (like me) in a downtown apartment with no access to a workshop (or the know-how) could build something functional with straight up off the shelf parts.

    For that reason, I know more about how the local hardware stores are organized than I do about the final bill, as it took a few randomly spaced trips to pull this parts cocktail together and I didn't keep close track on cost. Aside from the gimbal joint and ladder hook (both <US$10) the other 'big ticket' item is oddly enough just the stack of washers I needed for weights... would buy bulk in box rather than individual if you're gunning for this build!

    To Bill's point about balancing the thing... for sure took some guessing and checking but actually wasn't all that bad... from what I read of what it takes other folks to balance commercial units, think this design is overall more 'forgiving' (with the broader base/footprint and all) so really only took a few minutes to get right.

    Thx all for the feedback!

  5. Jayhas

    That's some good DIY work there and a lot of thinking you have put into it to make it work. Congrats!

    I have seen WSClater’s project and followed it through the revisions he made with the gimbal design. Somehow I just could not put myself to make a stabilizer like that because too many variables will be involved to make it a success. So I decided instead to get the Flycam Nano which I think for the price is reasonable.

    It is not perfect. As Bill Voelker has mentioned, the lack of micro fine-tuning is a pain to reach to a decent balance setup, and I agree. I am still searching for a way to DIY a fine-tuning mechanism on that thing, even though I think have arrived to a point where I can get it to balance pretty quick (for a specific lens).

    On a related note, I finally got my hands on a Tokina 11-16 to try out on the Nano with a 60D. Had a blast with that combo. You can see it at:

    Emm, if I am violating any rule here by posting the link, please remove it. Thanks.

  6. In my humble opinion, any DIY steadycam is worthless unless there is an excellent means to balance the thing with some kind of micro finetuning mechanism, such as knobs. This one looks like a nice design, like any other Merlin copies, but I bet it's a major pain in the rear balancing the thing.

  7. HD-tography

    You know, I gotta say this is pretty incredible and innovative... First of all GREAT Job man!

    Even though I personally started doing some more professional DIY builds out of high grade aluminum for use in an actual professional environment, and I am totally ALL FOR DIY innovation...

    I am looking at tallying up all those parts (not to mention the time) and can't figure out why anyone would spend that kind of money (Maybe over $100???) in parts and countless hours building this when you can pick up any of the more professionally built options (below) for between $100-$180 (Shipped to North America)???

    I really wanna know, am I missing something here? (besides the satisfaction you get when you build something yourself that is, which I agree does have some value)

    Indiehardware Camera Stabilizer - A Product of USA ($100 Including Shipping Within USA)

    Flycam Nano (India) ($141 Including Shipping To USA)

    Flycam Nano DSLR Version (India) ($180 Including Shipping To USA);

    Please don't label me as Anti-DIY, I love DIY! And is the best DSLR DIY resource around...

    But at some point you gotta ask yourself, "can I buy a better one for similar money"?

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