2002-06-03: Here is a working version of the jib with
my VX2000 camera and Bogen 3130 head mounted on it. The counterweight is
a weightlifting disc. The jib arm is two 4' pieces of 1" square aluminum
tubing bolted together in the middle, and the rest is aluminum angle stock and some wood from the hardware store.
The rotating base is made from a 12-inch "lazy susan" bearing. It is sitting
on a rolling spreader base of 1-1/4" Al tubing and wood pieces, which uses
rollerblade wheels running on a track of PVC pipe. The whole thing enables
the camera to move quite smoothly back and forth, up and down, and around.
This took four days to assemble using a cordless drill and some hand tools.
It really helps to make accurate holes if you use a drill press instead.
Given the amount of work involved, the various small jibs sold commercially
aren't such a bad deal.
Safety note: most people are not used to having obstructions
about head level, and if you use the jib much it's not a question of "if",
but "when" someone will hit or get hit by the jib arm, the camera head or
the counterweight. It's a very good idea to make sure it has no sharp edges-
some padding would be better- and bright colors would be useful also. Always
make sure the other end is resting on something before removing the camera
or the counterweight.
This design is not original; I copied parts of it from what I found on
these web pages:
small commercial jib and dolly system (no plans, but just looking
at the photos gave me ideas)
Ron Dexter's page
photos of do-it-yourself skateboard-wheel dolly ideas
Paul Turner's boom
made from a parking sign
has many impressive cranes, dollies, and stabilizers
(original page gone, this is an archive.org mirror)