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how to make a weight


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#1 Adam Tyler

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:10 PM

Hi everybody, I am about to head to a friends place where he has a metal working shop. I told him I want to make a weight plate for my steadicam, now all I need is for someone to explain in detail how to make one that I can put between the camera and the dovetail.
I am thinking about a rectangle piece of steel about 3" by 10" depending on the weight (it needs to be about 5lbs) and drill holes down the center alternating 1/4-20 and 3/8-16. my question is do they all need to be counter sunk and which ones should be tapped? thanks for the input
ps this one is for my flyer


Thought I would share my current weight creation. I went to home depot and picked up a 5" piece of pipe, then took a smaller diameter one and put it inside of that. then got another one even smaller diameter and put it inside of that, so now I have 3 pieces of pipe inside each other. then I got 2 end caps for the larges piece of pipe put one on and filled each pipe with expanding foam so they wont rattle around, then put the other end cap on and covered the whole thing in a rubber truck bed spray in liner.(to help protect the camera from the pipe) Next get a worm clamp and connect the weight to the top of the camera handle to move the c.g. of the camera up.
its about 4.5 lbs cheap and easy but does not fit on all cameras. theres my idea feel free to use it if you want.
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#2 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:45 PM

Don't know how the experts did it, but I've made several plates, and that is pretty much how I did it... I didn't need to tap anything, but countersink is definitely required, at least as far as my setup. I just attach a quick release plate on top of the weight plate, and that's permanently attached via the dovetail. The weight plate is sandwiched between, and since I've never found a camera that doesn't fit into the quick release plate on top, I've never had to detach it.
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#3 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 06:40 PM

Since you have access to a machine shop I would say drill a bunch of holes in a similar pattern to those on your steadicam plate and countersink them for mounting cameras wherever you want. Then drill and thread atleast two holes somewhere near the ends of your steadicam plate that line up with your plate so that you can attach the weight plate to your steadicam plate. With this setup the weight of the weight plate will stay relatively centered and you can use the different mounting holes in the plate to mount the camera with its center of gravity over the center of the weight plate. Not sure what your steadicam plate looks like but if you have access to a mill you may want some of the holes you make to be slots. Not sure if anyone else is doing things like this but it make sense in my head.

The weight plates I am currently using are actually much much simpler because I made them in a pinch using only my cordless dewalt tools. Just drilled a hole through the steel plate and I use extra long 1/4" screws that go through my plate and the weight plate and into the camera. Works fine for me but my topstage has a lot of adjustment room so some people may need more hole options. Also you need to make sure that the bolt you use is storng enough to hold everything together and keep in mind that the camera screw thread is holding the weight plate as well as the camera which it wasn't necessarilly designed to do. In cameras with pathetically week bottoms low mode might be a bad idea.

~Jess
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#4 Adam Tyler

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:48 PM

how about some pics of your "homemade" weights.
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#5 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:10 PM

how about some pics of your "homemade" weights.

Posted Image
It's pretty simple, really... 9 pounds, and I didn't make any changes to the shape, I just found a piece of steel at Industrial Metal Supply (Many convenient locations throughout southern California!) that was the basic shape and weight I wanted, then I may have drilled the holes (I have a mini mill) or they may have done it for me, don't really recall... Here it is with the quick release plate
Posted Image
Makes it 10 pounds with that.
I've had a couple of guys much more steadi-experienced than me use this thing, and no complaints. In fact, I made this thing too
Posted Image
but based on the opinions of those same experienced guys, they tell me my plate is much more useful than the cage is, so I never bothered making it black.
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