Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

How to shoot best high-definition video in various specific situations, regardless of camcorder model. Accessories: tripods, stabilizers, lights...
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Doughie
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Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby Doughie » 12 Feb 2011 08:21

acgold7 wrote: Not shown were the two Davis & Sanford rigs with fluid heads and dollies! They're not built like tanks but are a pretty good value at about $200.
My mate with the FX1000 has exactly that Davis & Sanford tripod. AND the dolly. We built a 6meter track for it too, out of PVC tubing and alloy 'railway sleepers'.
Last edited by Stephan on 15 Feb 2011 08:55, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: split posts from HXR-MC2000 thread

steve
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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby steve » 12 Feb 2011 09:55

Doughie wrote:
acgold7 wrote: Not shown were the two Davis & Sanford rigs with fluid heads and dollies! They're not built like tanks but are a pretty good value at about $200.
My mate with the FX1000 has exactly that Davis & Sanford tripod. AND the dolly. We built a 6meter track for it too, out of PVC tubing and alloy 'railway sleepers'.


For those from outside the nation that brought railways (railroads) to the world, he means 'railroad ties'. Sleepers are something different in toontown and thrillers.

Sorry Doughie. <grin>

Steve

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Doughie
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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby Doughie » 12 Feb 2011 20:10

No worries!
- i just never heard of them being called railway ties before... OK sleepers / ties ....all good! those transatlantic differences always good to add a bit of confuision..

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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby acgold7 » 12 Feb 2011 20:55

Sweet! Did you have to modify the wheels? How did they conform to the track?
Adam

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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby Doughie » 13 Feb 2011 00:45

acgold7 wrote:Sweet! Did you have to modify the wheels? How did they conform to the track?

Pretty easily. see pic 1 below - these are not out wheels, but close representation of how they conform to the track.

We got a Davis&Sanford tripod dolly W3 (see last pic below) and took off the single-wheels, and bought some 4-wheel dolly wheels (see 2nd pic below), drilled out (bit bigger) the original holes in tripod-dolly where the original single-wheels bolted in, and then attached the 4-wheel buggy things. They spin freely, so orient themselves great when running on the track, see the 1st pic below.
Track was strong PVC tubing, around 2inches diameter. Cut into 1meter lengths, with smaller PVC tubes glued inside one end, to 'sleeve' with the other tube. 6meters of track and dolly, super-smooth motion. Straight or curved track - the PVC tubes flex quite a bit if you need them to. The metal 'ties / sleepers' were just alloy cut to length, and screwed into the track with adjustable screw things.

It basically is similar to this one (see link on left) -

except ours is twice as long, cost around US$250 in total -- Libec's cost US$2100 is half the length and really isn't as good ! Plus ours is more stable as we have multiple sleepers/ties, and at each sleeper/tie where it rests on the ground, the screw is a long-thread and is an adjustable screw, so that on uneven ground we can stop the track flexing and undulating which can be a problem with dolly tracks. almost all the cost of the track-and-dolly was the US$180 for the set of dolly-wheels, but it really is smooth motion and the track can even be curved quite a bit for semi-circular track. The PVC is long enough and flexible enough to do that, no problem.

am sure i'm off-topic with all this stuff..... ;-) but yeah thats it really. Making mechanical stuff like this isnt that hard and with a little bit of thought and ingenuity and a coupla trips to hardware stores and some basic tools, you can save yourselves US$2000 like we did by making this track and dolly rather than buying it ready-made.
Attachments
4wheels.jpg
4wheels.jpg (13.32 KiB) Viewed 6900 times
wheels.jpg
dolly wheels, about US$180
wheels.jpg (87.42 KiB) Viewed 6900 times
D&S-dolly.jpg
Davis&Sanford tripod dolly
D&S-dolly.jpg (9.62 KiB) Viewed 6900 times

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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby acgold7 » 13 Feb 2011 01:07

Very, very nice.
Adam

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Stephan
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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby Stephan » 15 Feb 2011 12:09

As discussed separately, I've split this thread from the Sony HXR-MC2000U review topic.

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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby rlippert22 » 14 Mar 2011 16:24

Where do you buy the wheels from? I have that exact tripod/dolly from davis and sanford. I am looking to do the same thing. Having trouble finding the wheels though.

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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby Doughie » 14 Mar 2011 20:35

rlippert22 wrote:Where do you buy the wheels from? I have that exact tripod/dolly from davis and sanford. I am looking to do the same thing. Having trouble finding the wheels though.
The wheels are Ikan dolly wheels, bought from B&H for US$185:

These are the only pricey part of the track-and-dolly. The wheels probably cost around 70% of the parts used for the track-and-dolly. (ignoring the tripod).

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Re: Do-It-Yourself tracks for Davis & Sanford dolly

Postby skmedia » 22 Jul 2011 17:40

Hi guys I am very interested in building this track. Where Can I buy these railway sleepers here state side?
Home depot...???

Eric
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http://www.skmediagroup.com


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