Camera equipment can be unnecessarily expensive, so let’s just build it ourselves.
We’ve all almost had a heart attack because the camera slipped out of our hands. Cameras made for video have nice, huge handles to make sure we have a good grip on the camera, but DSLRs don’t offer that luxury. It’s an inevitable problem that the camera will slip out of our hands at some point. To prevent our cameras from falling, a good stabilizer goes into the clutch.
If you are worried about dropping your DSLR, a fig rig is the best way to ensure that you always have a good grip on your camera. Fig rigs vary in price, but they typically cost around $ 300. To protect your camera and your wallet, CineFix walks us through an easy, inexpensive way to make your own fig rig for under $ 5. Check out their tutorial.
Here’s what you need to start building your fig rig at home:
- A drill
- A ¼ inch drill bit
- Rubber mallet (optional)
- PVC glue
- Tape measure
- PVC cutter or hacksaw
- 4 feet long ¾ inch PVC pipe
- 4x ¾ inch PVC elbows
- 2x T-connections
- One ¼ inch machine screw 3 “long
- A ¼ inch machine screw 2 “long
- 2x ¼ wing nuts
Now that you have all the tools, we can start building this fig rig!
First, take your 4 foot long PVC pipe and use the tape measure to mark where the pipe will be cut. Measure out two pieces that are 11 inches long, then four pieces that are 4 and 3/4 inches long, and you get a leftover piece that is the perfect size for an optional handle. Once you’ve measured and marked where to cut the PVC pipe, use the PVC cutter or hacksaw to cut the pipe.
Next up is assembly.
Before you put everything together with glue, determine where each piece will be and make sure everything fits together. You’re making a square with the pipe, so take the PVC elbows and pin them on the sides of the 11-inch pipes. If you have a rubber mallet, tap in the elbows to secure them to the pipe. If you are working without a hammer, you can use any stable, level surface.
Connect the 4 and ¾ inch pipes to the tees at the top and bottom. The bottom tee should be facing the inside of the square, while the top tee should be facing up from the square. This upward T-joint is where the optional handle piece attaches. Do not glue in the optional handle, because you may find yourself filming with the fig rig when you do not need or want a handle.
When you are sure everything fits and is exactly how you want it, take everything apart and glue it together with the PVC glue. Remember: don’t glue the handle!
Now it’s time to drill. The camera is attached to the rig in one place and the optional handle in the other. Mark the spot on the underside of the T-joint that points towards the center of the square. Then enter the optional grip and mark a spot on either side of the T-joint that is not too close to the edge of the T-joint but still grabs the pipe. The 2 inch screw will go through this T-joint. Then drill out the markings with a small drill and then re-drill with a large drill. Test that the screws will fit through the space. In the optional handle area, feed the 2-inch screw through the newly drilled hole and use one of the wing nuts to hold the screw in place.
Boom, now you have a homemade square fig rig!
All you have to do is attach your camera to the rig. To do this, use the ¼ inch screw with a wing nut facing up and insert it through the hole on the lower tee. Then screw the bolt into the camera of your choice! Make sure to screw in the screw all the way to make sure the camera is stable, then tighten the wing nut for an extra secure connection.
This fig rig is perfect when you don’t have a dolly and need a dolly mount or just need extra security for your camera. You can make a lot of great moves with this fig rig, and there is so much more to add to this homemade rig if you want. The possibilities are endless with this DIY project.
Did you create this DIY fig rig? Let us know in the comments below how it worked for you and if you personalized it in any way!