Trolley Dolly (Camera Slider)

Request time! Lots of folks have asked me to create a camera slider, so I came up with this gizmo. It's actually more like a traditional dolly than a rail slider, but the end result is hopefully the same. What I've created is basically a minimalist version of the table dolly that rides on its own rails. The rails are also portable and can attach to a tripod, so you can take them anywhere without having to worry if a flat surface is available.


camera trolley
4 x rollerblade wheels (used)
4 x 1/4" bolts, 2" long (if your wheel bearing doesn't have a spacer use 5/16" instead)
8 x 1/4" nuts (or 5/16" nuts if the above bolt is also 5/16")
5 x 3/4" PVC plugs
3 x 3/4" PVC tee joints
2 x 3/4" PVC pipe 1 1/2 - 2" long

camera mount
1/4" bolt 1" long
1/4" lock washer
Mini ball head
Sima Quikconnect (optional)

trolley track
cutting board (I used a black one)
4 x 1/4" countersink screws 1 1/4" long
5 x 1/4" washers
5 x 1/4" lock washers
your tripod's quick release plate
1/4" fender washer
1/4" screw 1 1/4" long
10' roll of 1/2" magnetic tape
4 x 1" PVC elbow joints
2 x 1" PVC pipe 3-4" long
Real Organized black shelf rail, 70"


Anonymous said…
Could you put a second set of tracks on top of the wheels to keep it in place and prevent it from falling off of the track? You could probably find a PVC joint that supports three axis, no?
Jason Anderson said…
This design just screamed out to me suggesting something very similar to a tabletop for photography where the camera sits aside your laptop when you are shooting tethered. You wouldn't necessarily need the rails and wheels though...I'd imagine some sort of clip mechanism to hold a laptop in place though. Any DIY ideas in that vein?
Stan S said…
Great thoughts on how to do stuff [I really liked the boom episode {mostly all of them}].
Would it be possible to adapt both the Trolley Dolly and the Table Dolly so they can work together? By shortening the Table D and making the Trolley D about 2 inches wider, couldn't they be interchangeable? For a longer Trolley D; Have you tried, or have any thoughts on using 2 full length shelf rails?
Unknown said…
Two thoughts; first I was not enamored of the gaffers tape and so am going to try the 7/8 - 1" rubber chair tips. They will go on the end of the shelving and also fit snugly into the elbow. Second thought was to check your local thrift shop for cast off roller blades. Don't know if anyone has mentioned that but I got a pair of blades for 4 bucks making the wheels .50 each.
Scott Eggleston said…
Great idea to use chair tips instead of Gaffer's tape! And I agree about the Rollerblade wheels. I found a pair used at the local thrift shop for $5.
Tom Guiney said…
I built this, I kind of like it. What have you all done about the bits of vibration when your skate wheels rub a little bit on the sides of the tracks? And also, Has anyone had any luck when using a decent-sized zoom, e.g. a Sigma 24-70 2.8? I find that I get a lot of vibration, front-back(or tilt) wobble. Too much weight up too high. I've modified my tracks so I can grab it at both ends with a stand, but still, the whole thing wobbles a bit too much. Who's dealt with this successfully, and how? And don't say go buy something expensive.