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Thread: Flexible Dolly track that can stay straight

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Question Flexible Dolly track that can stay straight

    Hey guys, I just finished building my DIY dolly following this tutorial: http://www.mishra.tv/wordpress/?p=9. Thanks a lot for the person who posted that, I'm pretty sure they are on this forum, so yeah thanks HEAPS!

    Anyway pics are at the bottom of my dolly and track. The only problem is my track is not flexible enough. I went to Bunnings Warehouse and found some 'Turbo Flo' hose which is 15 metres, and 18mm thick.
    States Virgin PVC material and solid metal fittings ensure maximum durability and endurance.

    I definitely agree on that, it is durable and tough. It can easily handle the weight of my so-far rig. The problem is it won't stay in the shape I want it. Not at all. It keeps trying to roll back into its original position. I had to use my couch to keep it kind of straight.

    I looked through the other posts and found this kind of hosing [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Apex-NeverKink-50-Foot-Flexible-8605-50/dp/B0002IKUEG/ref=pd_bbs_3?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1208370710&sr=8-3"]Amazon.com: Apex 8605-50 NeverKink 2000 5/8-Inch-by-50-Foot Heavy Duty Ultra Flexible Hose: Home Improvement[/ame]. The ends of it look the same as mine, has anyone tried this?


    Later on in the post there is this:
    Updating the shoping list:

    Ok, forget this itens:
    2- 5/8-Inch-by-50-Foot Heavy Duty Ultra Flexible Hose US$19.14 + $12.58 shipping
    3- Some Rink US$29.99 or US$60 if you buy to pairs.

    New, cheaper and better list

    I went to the hardware store and got this red pressure hose is an inch thick, which is the same thickness the of pressure PVC pipe.
    I bought 42 feet red pressure hose for $ 53 dollars, you can bought it cheaper in the United States, also bought this U aluminium profile.

    Those both look the same as what I bought but mine is black. Does anyone have any ways to make this hose be straight. The reason why I don't want PVC (I will have to end up getting some I guess) is because it's impossible to bring around. With hosing I can at least roll it up to fit it in the car. Anyone have ideas to keep it straight? Maybe something like a brick with a hole going through it for each end (then again that would be hard to bring around too). Or maybe a better material to use for my track. Any ideas would be welcome and greatly appreciated!

    Below are pictures of my track and dolly. Also a video of my 'shaky' track (since it's not straight and curves).

    [ame]http://www.vimeo.com/8586517[/ame]











    Thanks

  2. #2
    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Wow, i like the way you fitted the dolly wheels to the tripod legs "spacer" using bearings. Clever!
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drapeama View Post
    Wow, i like the way you fitted the dolly wheels to the tripod legs "spacer" using bearings. Clever!
    As I mentioned I followed a tutorial, so it wasn't my idea

    Any clue on the dolly track though. Any way to make it straight. A REALLY good thing would be able to have lets say 10 PVC pipes at 1 metre each and be able to join them together without the bump. Maybe somehow join from the inside rather than the outside like PVC connectors. Or connect it underneath, hopefully we figure something out like that for a straight track

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    Moderator Erik Bien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillonp23 View Post
    A REALLY good thing would be able to have lets say 10 PVC pipes at 1 metre each and be able to join them together without the bump. Maybe somehow join from the inside rather than the outside
    Check out Doug Underdahl's expandable PVC track connectors.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Bien View Post
    Check out Doug Underdahl's expandable PVC track connectors.
    Ah thanks heaps erik! It's a little expensive, would like to make my own but not that good I will look around on that site, has a lot of good stuff there.

  6. #6
    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Default Dolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillonp23 View Post
    As I mentioned I followed a tutorial, so it wasn't my idea
    1- Any way to make it straight. A REALLY good thing would be able to have lets say 10 PVC pipes at 1 metre each and be able to join them together without the bump.
    Maybe somehow join from the inside rather than the outside like PVC connectors.
    2- Or connect it underneath, hopefully we figure something out like that for a straight track
    1- Check here
    2- Check the attachement, it's hasn't been done in AutoCAD, but you'll get the point. You just take a block, you drill a hole the size of the PVC pipe in it, cut it half the hole and sit your PVC pipe in it. You drill from underneath and screw all the pieces together. Done.
    Hope it's clear the way i wrote it.
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    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

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    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot drapeama, I love the first idea which I hopefully will be using. Now that I have the straight track sorted, I will probably need a curved one. Does anyone know of any curved PVC-like pipes or hoses. I'm thinking of returning the hose I have since it was $79 (AUD).

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of returning the hose I have since it was $79 (AUD).
    I think I take that back, I cut the hose in half to have two sides of the track just remembered. So I guess I am stuck with that. For straight shots I will be using multiple small PVC pipes joined and for curved I will have to use what I got. Now I need a way to keep the track how I want it. Like curved gradually and keep it there. Any ideas for keeping it in place? Back to my brick idea maybe haha

  9. #9
    Forum Mogul The Crowing's Avatar
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    When I made my dolly i tried for the flex track. It didn't work at all. It went everywhere and was never straight. the dolly i made works awesomely. But I went with PVC pipe for track.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Crowing View Post
    When I made my dolly i tried for the flex track. It didn't work at all. It went everywhere and was never straight. the dolly i made works awesomely. But I went with PVC pipe for track.
    Yeah, I just realised that about the flex track. I will be going for PVC also but am thinking of shortening the hose and somehow making it stay in position at a gradual 90-degree curve. And also keeping the same spacing in between the two tracks. Any other suggestions for the curve track would be awesome

  11. #11
    Moderator Erik Bien's Avatar
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    IMHO, flexible dolly track sounds better in theory than it actually works in practice: the commercial stuff is usually solid rubber rod rather than hose, but still it's obnoxiously heavy to schlep around, gets stiff in cold weather and stubbornly wants to stay coiled in a loop. It's also almost impossible to lay out with consistent parallel spacing and only works on a relatively smooth, level surface.

    Straight track, on the other hand, can be improvised from PVC (or my preference: chain-link fence top-rail, since it resists sagging) from the home center. A few wooden cross-ties made of 2x4s with little 'cups' to hold the rails (I like little sections of the pre-cut undulating wooden 'closure strips' used to install corrugated steel or plastic roofing panels) will hold your spacing and can be set up and levelled quickly using apples or basso blocks and shims, even across rough terrain. Be sure to drape a sandbag over each end of both rails so you can't crash off if you get distracted. Since it loads in piece by piece, you can shoehorn it in more places than you might think (I've laid eight feet of track in a bathroom on more than one occasion).

    Bending tubing to the two smooth, consistent radii needed for rigid curved track (the inside and outside rails each follow a different diameter) is not really an easy DIY project; you might try to get a quote from a steel forming & fabricating shop equipped to bend custom hand-rails (take it from me, the cruder machines used in muffler shops to bend exhaust pipes can't do smooth enough curves), but I wouldn't expect it to be a whole lot cheaper than buying something ready-made.

  12. #12

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    chain-link fence top-rail,
    Heck yeah Mr. Bien. This is exactly what I used to fab my rail system, then added some steel conduit for the cross bars. this thing is light and built like a tank. Cost me maybe fifty bucks for an eight ft' section. This would have been half a grand to buy, maybe more. Plus you wouldnt get the beautiful blue pinstripe down the side of it(cant see in the pics). hehe. pics below.
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    I'm feeling frisky!

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    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Yes I agree, it is harder than what you think when you think 'flexible track'. I am thinking of making shorter curved tracks which will can be connected to PVC straight tracks (if I can find the same 18mm PVC) using the method of a smaller size PVC inside to hold it in place. Then I can use the PVC connectors to have a pipe running across the two tracks keeping the distance the same. Going to give it ago in the next week or so and I'll post the results. I really hope this works or else the pipe was a waste of $80

  14. #14

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    Like Erik said, you can always look for a metal shop that has bending capabitities. It could possibly work, not sure though if you find something large and curved, to have a guy on each end and bend it manuely. We cant guarantee this will be close enough, but it was an idea that may work. Or lay the tube on something rounded and have a guy on each end stand on it and bend it with their weight.
    I'm feeling frisky!

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    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antman View Post
    Like Erik said, you can always look for a metal shop that has bending capabitities. It could possibly work, not sure though if you find something large and curved, to have a guy on each end and bend it manuely. We cant guarantee this will be close enough, but it was an idea that may work. Or lay the tube on something rounded and have a guy on each end stand on it and bend it with their weight.
    Yeah I'll see how it goes. I just got another idea to have some kind of small rope or bungee straps on each end of the hose to hold it curved. Thats once I shorten the hose into several smaller parts (obviously making the outer track longer). I will give that a go and post results.

  16. #16
    FilmMaker Extraordinaire Daniel Rutter's Avatar
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    Hey Dillon... Haven't seen you on here before!
    I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but maybe you could stick a piece of dow (curtain rod) or PVC into the hose to keep it straight? It does seem to be an interesting idea.
    By the way... how much did you spend making the wheels + attachments? Would it be easy and viable for someone not wanting to spend $100+ on a Dolly rig?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielRutterFilms View Post
    Hey Dillon... Haven't seen you on here before!
    I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but maybe you could stick a piece of dow (curtain rod) or PVC into the hose to keep it straight? It does seem to be an interesting idea.
    By the way... how much did you spend making the wheels + attachments? Would it be easy and viable for someone not wanting to spend $100+ on a Dolly rig?
    Well let's not include the original foldable dolly which had those standard wheels because I had that ages ago for free from amazon. The rest costed about $80 but a few people have told me that I didn't need the bearings. This is not including track because I myself am still working on that

    yeah that idea with the rod is fantastic. But as long as it can bend into a circle or something to make it portable.

  18. #18
    FilmMaker Extraordinaire Daniel Rutter's Avatar
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    I would suggest jamming the curtain rods into the hose up untill a certain point where you need your curve, then curve the hose, and push another piece of rod into the other end of the hose to straighten it out again.
    Could you point me in the direction of a tutorial for the wheels-or-whatever-they-call-it?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Yeah sure, I mention it in the first sentance of this post http://www.mishra.tv/wordpress/?p=9

  20. #20
    FilmMaker Extraordinaire Daniel Rutter's Avatar
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    Cheers. A quick search on Ebay and I found this:
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Video-camera-...n%3D3%26ps%3D6
    Which is exactly what I want... but I'm not paying that much for a pro-built dolly system. Why are these things always overpriced?
    Thanks Dillon... always a help.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Yes but that's not a flexible one.

  22. #22
    FilmMaker Extraordinaire Daniel Rutter's Avatar
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    Question: Where did you buy your wheels? Are they skateboard or Rollerblade wheels?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dillonp23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielRutterFilms View Post
    Question: Where did you buy your wheels? Are they skateboard or Rollerblade wheels?
    They are skateboard wheels from Kmart. It was just one of those kids skateboards (Ben 10 haha) for $10 each so I grabbed 3. It is cheaper than buying them online since they are like $25 for 4 wheels.

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    THis is great guys. for those of you who are lazy like me. Checkout these guys: http://www.indymogul.com/backyardfx/...e/BFX_20080623

    Eric- DP
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