How to Build a $23 Dolly Track for the Modus Mount

How to Build a $23 Dolly Track for the Modus Mount

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I needed a quick solution to mount my new Modus system with the wheel assemblies option. Rather than fabricate something from aluminum, I decided to make it a quick afternoon project out of inexpensive materials I already had. You could easily make a 10 foot track as the PVC comes in 10 ft sections. I made mine 6 ft so that transportation would be easier. If you make it longer, a third center support stand might be helpful, but with these few materials, you can build up to 8 ft. Prices are from my local building supply chain store.

2 x 10 ft Rigid PVC (1 inch gray conduit) $4.15 each
1 x 1 in x 8 in x 8 ft Pine Board $14.43
10 x 3/8 in screws

Metal 1" conduit is $9.90 each which would add about $10 to the total build cost, but drilling and securing the conduit will be slightly more difficult. 

1. I cut my base platform out of a sheet of thick plywood, but for ease of construction, I recommend buying an 8 in wide pine board so only the length will need to be adjusted. After cutting I gave it a nice coat of black paint.

2. Then I measured every 12 inches on the PVC where I would be screwing them into the platform.

3. Based on the size of the heads of my screws, I drilled a 3/8 inch hole at each mark, making sure the holes where in line with each other. This is important because we don't want the holes being rolled over by the wheels, so make sure they are all in the center. 

4a. Before securing them to the platform, I cut two blocks from some scraps to act as braces that hold the width of the pipes. The width of the wheels when mounted to the Modus platform is exactly 7 and 1/4 inches. So the pipes need to be centered at this distance apart. Because the pipes are 1-1/4 in in actual diameter, I just need to subtract this from the distance of the wheels to get the distance apart that the pipes should be. So I cut my spacer blocks 6 inches and screwed them in.

4b. Then I line up the PVC and make sure the holes I drilled are lined up on top. Preferably using a magnetic tip drill bit, I screw each piece down.

5. Finally I drilled a few 3/8 inch holes in the center of the platform so that I could set it on top of tripod legs or stands. This works ok if your tripod bolts are long but I plan on adding some steel tee nut inserts for security.

I went a little further and added some simple stops at each end which prevent the Modus from falling off the track. You could use a simple screw drilled into the ends of the pipe. 

If you go past 6 feet, I suggest a 2x4 running lengthwise on one side as a good way to give strength to the span so there isn't any bowing or flexing.

In the final picture, you can see a pulley belt that I rigged to work with a motor and joystick. It's great to get controllable and consistent slider movements. That will be available as an add-on option very soon.

Check out the Modus mount and all of it's options here: Modus Camera Mounting System

[Video of this project coming soon!]



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