Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Skateboard Dolly Build

Well, I know I'm not the first to do this, but I won't be the last.  What follows is my Dad and I building a skateboard dolly.  It came out great.  For around $100 here is what we came up with...

 Poppy's workshop
 1 inch PVC, enough to create a 20 foot run
 16 skateboard wheels from eBay
 5/16" bolts
 cutting the 1/8" aluminum rails
 2 just under 4 foot sections of rail
 cutting the 10 foot PVC into 5 foot sections
 laying out the wheel placement
 drilling the wheel holes

 wheel holes
 rounding the rails to prevent cuts
 drilling the holes for the carriage bolts that will attach it to the deck
attaching wheels to rails

 making sure the two rails are parallel
 getting closer

 finished, bottom view
 finished top view

Thanks Dad!

Once we create a dowel system I will upload some test footage...stay tuned!

UPDATE***  first test.


  1. put the camera on it to do cool cinema style camera moves. like the slow push in on someones face...kinda hard to explain. i'll have to shoot something soon to put on here to show you..

  2. Looks nice.... Don't cut the poles so short as the dolly will "bump" at the seams when you join the PVC. You can usually angle even 9 foot pieces (or longer) into a car (like you would a pair of skis).

    But looks nice and you should be proud of yourself.

  3. I cut my 5 foot sections with a chop saw to ensure they were super square. Doing it that way prevented any noticeable bumps. I only use 8 wheels, each directly across from the other. With staggered wheels, the bump risk should be even less.

    I suggest using 1.5" pipes, then you can use 1" pipes for the connector pieces. I used a spindle sander to taper the outside of each connector like a cone.

    Then I ran each side through a ban saw blade, twice, to remove enough material for the sides to squeeze in. Do one side, then turn the piece around and rotate 90°, overlapping each cut 1 inch. I used 12" connectors, so 6.5" ban saws on each side.

    I also drilled 1 clean 5/16th hole through each end of each track pipe, 9" in to put a screw driver through, to help maneuver the pieces when connecting them.

    So, what did you do for the deck? I used two sheets of 15/32 plywood, screwing and gluing them together against their natural warp tendencies to lock in a rigid resistance. I think it ended up being more stable than a single 3/4 sheet.

    I made mine too big, however, at 3'x4'. Home Depot sells precut 2'x4' sheets, I would recommend that size to anyone starting out. You'll have to make your tripod more steep and narrow, but just weigh it down, you'll fit through doors that way. :)

  4. @Richard Thanks! I hear you regarding the 5 foot PVC. I'm usually driving my Jeep Wrangler, tighter than the average car...initial tests seem fine over the bumps. The weight of the platform and the offset wheels seem to help with this. PVC is so cheap, that I could see getting enough for a 40' run keeping the pipe as uncut 10' sections, borrow the wife's station wagon for transport.

  5. @Jesus Ali. Hey Jesus, thanks for sharing your tips. We ended up cutting square dowels that just fit into the pipe, add a bit of masking tape to really tighten the fit. My platform is 2 3/4" plywood turned for strength, glued and screwed, ends up being 1 1/2" thick. It's 28" wide (goes thru doorways) and 48" long, and HEAVY! The weight and the 16 offset wheels seem to work well over the PVC pipe connection "bumps".

  6. Thanks for the ideas! I'm planning a DIY CNC.

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