Thursday, April 19, 2012

Steadicam # 2 Progress

Another rainy day here in the Midwest so it's a good day to get something done on steadicam #2 in the workshop.  I received the one inch thick plastic in the mail yesterday that I needed for the spacers designed for this project.  So follow along below and you'll see the steps I took to put the new steadicam arm together.


The plastic that I used for this project is a slab of white plastic that is used for a cutting board in your kitchen.  This piece is eight inches square and one inch thick.  A nice piece of material to work with.  I ordered this item from a company called freckleface.com online.  This is one of the smaller pieces which was  perfect for this project at a really cheap price too.  They have this material in sizes all the way up to three by four feet.  They also have a  lot of other products that I will keep in mind  when I work on new projects.



  I always make a test cut of a new part in foam before I cut the real thing.  Saves a lot of time, effort, and disappointment in making new parts.  This is the lower spacer for the arm cut from the plastic slab.


All three spacer parts cut out and cleaned up after the CNC milling. 


Here all of the parts for steadicam #2 are ready for assembly.  The arms themselves are cut out of clear 1/4 inch thick polycarbonate plastic.  This only took around ten minutes for each arm. Also in the photo are the spacers, washers, 1/4 inch threaded rod connectors, and allen head 3/4 inch long bolts.



The threaded rod connectors are slid into the holes in the spacers.  These worked out very well and were a good friction fit.  The connectors were used instead of just a bolt running through the assembly so that both sides of the arm matched when the allen head bolts were installed. This gives the arm a good clean finished look once everything is in place.



Here the spacers are attached to the two arms using the allen bolts on both sides of the assembly.  Everything in the assembly lined up perfectly like it was designed to do.  I breathed a sigh of relief. 




Here are a couple of good views of what the upper and lower mounts for the upper platform and the lower weights look like.  The allen head bolts really look good in the assembly.  The arm at this point is ready for assembly to the video camera platform and it's related hardware.  I would do this if I had the platform.  As usual I am waiting for it and other components to be delivered in the mail. I suspect them any day now.  Once I do receive them I will show off the completed steadicam #2 in another post.  
  Total time to put steadicam #2 together takes around two hours time to machine the parts on the CNC and assemble.  A vast improvement over the first steadicam that took four times longer to make.  
  At this point of the build I am very pleased with the over all look of the new arm.  In an earlier post I said that I was not sure if I would keep the clear polycarbonate arms or if I would go to aluminum.  Aluminum is out simply because of the cost.  Much higher cost just for the look. The polycarbonate arm look to be plenty strong with a good look at a cheaper price.  I also played around with the idea of making the arms out of the same material that the spacers are made out of.  This would be a possibility using 1/4 inch thick material.  Something to keep in mind if I wanted another option for this project if I build another one.  No matter what this project is getting high marks already on my smile meter!

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