Better platform for Camera Sliders

Wow, we've got some really creative people out there. I'm shooting an event today (which i'm supposed to be doing right now), but I really had to take time out and share this idea. Evan Burns sent me an email about trying to solve unstable footing for his camera slider. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is to use multiple tripods or lightstands, but he's got a better idea. Taking a tip from my recent SpiderTrax Dolly DIY with a pair of sawhorses, Evan stumbles on to a really great 'cheap single sawhorse' with individual adjustable legs. The entire unit collapses into a single rail. He's using a few clamps to keep things together, but i'm thinking go for it and just permanently bolt that bad body down. The slider works even when the sawhorse is collapsed which I think makes for a great DIY platform for ground use. Good job Evan, thanks for making me late today too! Check out the video above, here's the link to the unit: Heavy Duty Steel Adjustable Saw Horse

click image for pricing

If you don't already have a slider, this is based on IGUS linear guide rails. IGUS has been so popular with camera sliders, they are now providing several kits in different sizes to make this DIY camera slider much easier to build. Here's the link: IGUS Camera Slider Kits

find-price-button Igus Camera Slider Kits

38 thoughts on “Better platform for Camera Sliders

  1. Travis W

    I bought this the other week.

    Got it from Harborfreight, pretty cheap (under $30)

    Pros: Pretty sturdy. Not that hard to adjust the legs. Folds up inside itself nicely.

    Cons: Have to force and put a little muscle into it sometimes to get it to fold right and such. Has a bit of weight to it. You won't want to carry this around too much, especially if you have a load of other gear with you. Would be sweet if this was aluminum.

    Biggest con: height. I quickly realized how big of a difference it made when my tripod could get up another foot or two. You could put it on a few apple boxes, but that gets rid of the reason to have a collapsable platform thats easy to move around.

    Its a good start and could work for people that don't need it to go above waist level. I'm still trying to figure out how to build something like this that is lightweight, and you can get it up 5+ft.

  2. Thats slick greg. If you get a chance, post something so we can see more of the mechanism. Thanks for this though, it gets me started! whats the slider made of? Are the bearings mounted 2 per axle or simply using a single bolt for each as an axle? Great DIY!

  3. Greg

    I'll have to post up the slider I designed/made/had made. Looks similar to the igus system except my base slides on 8 skateboard bearings.

  4. Emm

    Post author

    The proper sawhorse is the one with fully adjustable individual legs. Some of these are just folding legs, but aren't adjustable 'individually'. This would cause problems with uneven ground.

  5. xlerate

    Is there a link for the Truly Ugly Slider?
    I searched here, nothing. And Google's only trackback was this thread...

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @ Jarrett - LOL. Such an old post that's been on this blog forever. Sounds like there are plenty of things in the archives you might be missing out on. I suggest everyone run through the blogs pages to see much more interesting stuff.


  7. Hey, I'm here to tell you that slider based on cabinet slides is a triumph of off the shelf construction. Headed to home depot now! One question...I thought drawer slides were usually 2 section, while yours seems to be 3 sections of expansion. What length were yours labeled as when you purchased them? I'd love to have money for an igus, even though it's not that expensive, but after buying a 7d, I've had to do it truly DIY, mostly because I'm going to have to buy a follow focus. I built a greenscreen for the 7d this weekend, and bought a bunch of russian glass off ebay to use via adapters. Thanks for the "Truly Ugly Slider"!

  8. VideoStudent

    Where do you buy that "rail plate" to put the "fluid head" on? Are there any specific rails you need to get?

  9. True, but for a shorter length, most people might be willing to do it considering the cost savings. There is also a smaller similar rail used in the rubbermaid modular closet systems. I just feel like there is a simple, cheap alternative out there. For myself, I am greenscreening everything inside my house, so mobility is not a huge priority. Weight difference noted and appreciated however 🙂

  10. This seems like a product we should be able to craft out of off the shelf parts, using superstrut as the rail. There should be a way to stick a block with skate bearings as rollers into the superstrut, snugly. Come on guys! Help me think this out!

  11. Emm

    Post author


    Mostly plastic stuff. You'll have to replace the head, drill out the plate, and also change the 'brake'. The rail brake is plastic too and will break.

  12. rob

    emm you have any experience or heard anything about the indiSLIDERmini? i'm interested in either building a diy slider or just getting one of those little guys for video. I was also wondering how a 717AH would do on a slider as well!

  13. jared

    what is the top of the sawhorse? is it just wood? are we just drilling the zaza down to the top of the sawhorses?

  14. Tony Carretti

    Wow, I'm glad I ordered as soon as I saw this link earlier. Hard to believe they sold out already!

    Also ordered the Igus motion slider for DSLR from amazon so hopefully the combination will make a really nice slider setup. Will post up once it's all here.


  15. craig

    once again... epic find. I just ordered it.

    Now i just need a good hook up on a cheap but sturdy tripod.

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