Making a Dolly Track with PVC Pipe

Dolly track is usually needed for smooth dolly shots. But, a dolly and track can be expensive for the independent low budget filmmaker to rent or own. So, how can you get cost effective dolly shots? Simple; you create your own dolly and track out of PVC pipe. 

What You'll Need

  • Lots of PVC pipe
  • 2 90 degree PVC pipe connectors
  • a saw
  • a drill
  • a tripod
  • 8 skateboard wheels with bearings
  • 8 1/4" nuts that are 3 1/2" long with bolts
  • 8 1/4" washers
  • 16 1/4" fender washers
  • 16 1/4" nuts

Step 1: Creating the Base

The first step in creating the base is extending the tripod's legs. Measure the distance between two legs and make a park on the center. Then, measure from the center to the third leg. Place one 90 degree connector where the third leg is and place the other one at the center mark. Cut two pieces of pipe to extend from the center to the first to legs. Then, cut the third piece so it can join to both connectors. Add two more small pieces of pipe to that connector.

Next, drill holes into the base for the tripod spikes to attach to. Then, drill two holes into four points on the pipe for the wheels to connect to. There should be two points on the side with the third leg and one point next to the other two legs. Please note the there should be a 120 degree angle between the wheel axis. 

Step 2: Creating the Wheels

Add the one skateboard wheel to the bolt and then add a washer. Then, add a fender washer. Attach the wheel to the pipe and tighten it with the nut. Repeat this seven more times with each wheel.

Step 3: Creating the Track

The length of your track is entirely up to you. One thing you want to do is attach a piece of PVC at each end to function as tie-ons so that the track remains stable when using it.

Once this is done, you have a dolly to work with.