Build a Camera Crane / Jib for $30

Whew! THAT was a lot of work.


1- 10' length of chain link top rail
2- training wheels with rubber grooved tires
1- dumbell handle with screw collars
1- Simpson Strong Tie A24 angle (Home Depot SKU# 590007)
1- roll of 50lb. test fishing line
1- small hook & eye turnbuckle
1- quick plate from your tripod
2- 1/2" PVC plugs
1- 1/2" PVC end cap
1- 1/2" PVC tee
1- 1/2" PVC elbow
1- 1/2" PVC pipe (3" in length)
1- 1/2" PVC pipe (5" in length)
3- 1/4" machine screws (1 1/2" in length)
4- 1/4" nuts with nuts
1- 1/4" lock washer
2- 1/4" fender washers
1- 3/8" bolt (3" in length)
1- 3/8" bolt (4" in length)
7- 3/8" nuts
2- 3/8" fender washers
1-4 3/8" washers
1- 3/8" lock washer
1- knobbed 1/4" bolt with 5-6 exposed threads
1- 1/4" screw (2 1/2" in length)
1- 1/4" wing nut


Wes said…
Great job. Thanks for all the hard work on this one.

ജോ l JOE said…
Good. Let me try.

Joe from Kerala, India.
Anonymous said…
I've been working on a design for a simple, cheap jib like this for a while now, but nothing I came up with was as elegant as your solution. I will definitely be tackling this one first chance I get! Thank you!
Unknown said…
Absolutely great work. Im pretty amazed since this is something thats been on my mind to do for quite some time.
Anonymous said…
Now that's great!!
Peter said…
Great stuff Scott. I have recently finished building this rig. It is truly an effective piece of equipment and will add some real pro shots to our filmmaking. Thanks so much for your tutorials. Keep em' coming.

P.S. I can't get hold of your email on your blogger page. My system won't allow access. Can you publish back to me please?
Anonymous said…
Just wanted to say thanks for the know how and simple explanation of how you built your jib. If your interested I've put up a quick video of my version of your design here

pretty much the same, except for the mounting point onto the tripod.

Tom B. said…
Aw man, I watched it three times and got the parts and since you didn't mention the posititon of the holes that hold the training wheels in relation to each other, I didn't line them up for the training wheels....... so when the two poles are put together, the holes for the training wheels are half a turn away from each other.
I just followed your brief directions without thinking... Duhhhhh
Scott Eggleston said…
Doh! Sorry, Tom! I'll put an annotation on the video so that doesn't happen to the next person attempting to make this contraption.
Unknown said…
Thanks Scott. This has really been so much fun for me. I ran into several issues, but figured out how to handle them.

My cam is heavier than yours, plus I'm using a heavier wide angle lens.
I overcame that "twisting wheel and rubber tire" problem by adding two 3 inch long mending plates attached to the 3/8 inch axle and the 1/4 inch bolt that runs through the tire part. I used one on each side of the wheel. Now it's straight and steady.
Now, everything works great.
regards, Tom B.
Scott Eggleston said…

Can you send me a picture of how you fixed this problem? I'm sure others having the same issue (including me!) would love to literally see how you did it.
Glenn said…

Did you ever get any pictures from Tom B and his update to the bending mounting plate? I would love to see what he was thinking. Love the video! Now I need to get a tripod that can support this and get building. :)


Tony said…
Fantastic design and directions. Exactly what type of tripod are you using to carry all that weight, or what would you recommend?
Scott Eggleston said…
Tony, my tripod has a Bogen 501 head with Manfrotto 3046 legs. I believe they are rated at 25 lbs., so that is probably what you should shoot for, whatever tripod you get.
Vin Weathermon said…
I'm the ultimate lazy person I guess since I'd really love to buy one of these already built :-)

Truly wonderful to see engineering talent used to make this crane...
Bruce said…
Put an eye hook in the end of the handle on the bottom pulley. Adjust the camera up/down angle where you want it while the handle is vertical. Hang a small weight from the handle and it keeps the camera at the same angle as you raise and lower the boom.
George Kanyingi said…
Where can I get the exact specs for the materials...Awesome work sir. George said…
Scott, Thanks so much for the DIY crane video. I have seen other video where they put two small wheels in place of the counter weight, and cutting the post shorter into 3 pieces. What is your take on that?
What could you do to find the wheels that heavy; and what could be the best to have 3 pieces of tube metal fitting all together. And the final crane to be mobile for transport and taller (at leat 4', I guess). Thanks
{jc} said…
Idea to "lock" the camera angle as you raise and lower the crane...

Not sure if it would work but it popped into my head as I was watching.

Add a second wheel on the inside next to the bottom wheel. Attach an arm that shoots straight down with a small weight on it. Put a set-screw in the top. The wheel will just hang when the set screw is loose, but once you have the angle you want, just tighten the screw and the angle should stay as you move the crane around.

I'm contemplating building this rig in the near future, so if I get around to building it, I'll attempt to try the idea. I'll also look for a larger wheel to attach to the camera mount so that tilting is smoother.

I can send a (very) rough drawing of the concept if you wish. :)
Daryn T said…
Wow I built this and it works amazingly thank you do much for posting this. I've always wanted a jib but never had the money to buy one but now I have one that is cheap portable and it works very well. Thanks
James said…
Hey Scott
I really like your blog and thank you for lots of film making tips. I have a question about the jib though. Do you think I could use a 10-12ft wooden pole instead of the metal pole? My brother bought it to support a green screen in high school but didn't use it and went off to film school and didn't need it. So now I have it and have no use for it. It's pretty thick, maybe 2-3in diameter. So do you think it will work?
Scott Eggleston said…
If you use the same method I did (drilling a hole in the middle), then I wouldn't do it. The hole will weaken the wood and the weight from the camera and the force from your hand will probably make it crack.

Jib Crane said…
Just wanted to say thanks for the know how and simple explanation of how you built your jib. If your interested I've put up a quick video of my version of your design