DIY Steadicam for GoPro or iPhone Camera stabilizer
Make a Wood Steadicam for a GoPro or iPhone camera stabilizer using wooden bent lamination and aluminum, get that steadyshot you have been looking for in this easy woodworking project that will teach you some new techniques like bent lamination.
Nothing is more annoying that watching video with a shaky camera this simple Steadicam will solve that
The Steadicam is used to hold your camera or smartphone steady and reduce handshake and uses counter weights and a UNI joint to achieve these
This woodworking project uses bent lamination by soaking the Steadicam thin strips of wood in water until they become soft and flexible; they are then bent around a round form to achieve the desired shape while wet.
After drying they are glued together to give the final shape, I use wedges as clamps for the parts which apply a lot more pressure to specific parts that trying to use clamps.
The Handle is a UNI joint also made from wood, this can be made using simple tools that most people have like a saw and a hand drill.
Step 1: Cut the Strips for bent lamination
Using a magnetic stop block set about 3mm past the blade on the table saw you can cut the thin strips for the bent lamination. Just cut the strip and keep moving the fence over.
I then soaked these in water for about an hour to make them more flexible.
Step 2: Bent around form and make wedges
While the wood was soaking i made some small wedges on the table saw by tilting the mitre gauge to 10 degrees making a cut then straighten the mitre gauge make a cut etc, more detail can be seen in the YouTube video.
I then take the wet strips and bend them around the form (circle) to give me the shape i want, i used a brad nail gun to attach small pieces of wood around the the bent lamination leaving a gap of about 4mm, i then hammered the wedges in the gaps.
The wedges apply a lot of pressure to specific points ensuring there are no gaps.
I let this dry overnight before glue up.
Step 3: Glue Up the bent lamination
When glueing up the bent lamination you want to apply a lot of glue so all surfaces and completely covered, i covered the form with packing tape so the glue did not stick to it.
Then using the wedges again i hammer them in making sure there is good pressure all the way around and no gaps.
The excess glue is wiped off with a damp cloth.
Step 4: Making the handle with a Uni Joint
I used a Uni Joint for the handle so the Steadicam can swivel freely.
To start with i drilled a hole about 20mm down from the end of the rod. then cut down the sides as seen in the images.
I used a small piece of wood with 2 holes at 90 degrees to fit the 2 pieces together more detail can be seen in the YouTube video above.
I used small nails to join it all together, i cut them flush and applied super glue with the spray activator which make is dry almost instantly. This joint moves very well.
Step 5: Final assembly and fine tuning
I cut a piece of aluminum and bent one end, i ran a bolt through the small end that the handle attaches to by holding it with 2 nuts, you can see what i mean in the image.
The handle can be moved forward and back to get the balance right.
I made a separate video for the iPhone mount that you can watch here.
For the counter weight i just drilled some holes in the bottom of the lamination and inserted some bolts until it felt right.