You might be wanting to move things. But don’t have enough time to carry one by one. On top of that, you don’t want to spend money on movers. Nor can you afford ready-made dollies.
Or maybe you’re a short-budget producer. And can’t spend money on professional camera dollies.
So you’re searching for ideas on how to make homemade dollies?
To make a dolly, you’ll need 12mm thick wooden pieces. Then using a wood adhesive to attach the pieces together and let them dry. Now cut the wooden board according to the size you want. After that, attach the wheels to it. Now screw a leather piece with the wooden board. And the dolly is ready.
But to have a deep insight look into the whole article.
What on Earth is A Dolly? Why Do You Need a DIY Dolly?
With many options on things, it’s common to get confused among them. As there are types of dollies, let us tell you what exactly we’re talking about.
So dolly is a wooden platform that’s used to move things. It has wheels and a handle that make it easy to move. And you don’t have to carry all the heavy stuff by yourself. You can completely rely on it for moving things from one place to another. It saves both time and effort.
Also, there are camera dollies that are used to carry cameras and shoot.
We know that there are ready-made dollies available. But from our experience, those dollies don’t have customization flexibility. So you have to settle for whatever you get. Plus some are really expensive.
In any case, the dolly’s carrying capability and size will differ based on the purpose. So it’s always wise to make yourself one.
So without further delay, let’s discuss how to make it by yourself.
How to Make Homemade Dollies? 4 Easy-to-Follow Steps!
Moreover, you can make it as flexible as you want. Let’s get started with it. But wait, you would need to look at the tools required first-
Tools and Kits You’d Need
- 12-16 mm plywood pieces(2 pieces)
- 4-12 skateboard wheels
- Drill machine
- Aluminum plates (optional)
- Wood adhesive/ Glue
- Brush with synthetic fibers
- Measuring tape
- Swivel Handle
Now that you’ve got the tools, get ready. Just follow the steps and have your DIY dolly ready to use.
Step 1 of 4: Attach The Wood Pieces Together
The first thing you’ll need to do is attach the wood pieces. Here you may take the wood pieces according to your need.
If you’re wanting to carry bigger stuff, then take two big plywood pieces. But remember to take two exact similar pieces. And each piece should be between 12-16 mm.
This thickness is perfect. As it ensures durability and can carry heavy stuff as well. If you take a piece with extra depth, the dolly itself will be heavier.
And you’ll face problems while carrying. Because you’re attaching two pieces together. So it’ll be thick enough already.
So put one piece of wood on your table. Now take the wood adhesive and put it over the wood.
Now it's time to brush the adhesive with any brush having synthetic fibers. The fiber will help the glue to spread evenly.
Now wait for a minute and place the other plywood over it. Make sure to maintain the alignment between the two.
Once you set them together, attach clamps to them. Based on the wood size, you may need 4-6 clamps to hold the woods together.
As the adhesive is liquid, air bubbles may rise inside. To avoid it, place heavy metal weights above it. So the clamps will hold them in place. And added weight will keep the pressure.
Now let it dry for 2-3 hours. After that remove the weights and clamps for it. And move to the next step.
Step 2 of 4: Cut The Wooden Platform to Exact Shape
So remember the first time when you took the woods? They didn’t have any exact shape. So now you have to cut the wooden platform to a proper shape.
The measurement will again depend on your need. We recommend cutting it to medium size. Now just measure the length and width. For that here’s a chart-
Width and Length
Books and tools
Camera carrying Tripod
According to your purpose, mark the measurements with a pencil. Bring your woodcutter and cut it accordingly. You don’t need to smoothen the wood now, because that’s for later.
For now, just move to the next step.
Step 3 of 4: Add Wheels to The Wooden Board
By now the wooden platform is ready. But the main part is still not done. And that’s the wheels. There are two ways you can add wheels to the dolly. We’ll describe both for you.
Let’s start with the easy one.
Method 1: Using Only Wheels
For this method just mark the four corners of the wooden board. Leave a gap of 1.5 inches from the edge on each side. Then mark the places where you want your wheels. Then drill four holes altogether, one for each corner.
You have to drill the wooden platform all the way down. Now, add the wheel by pushing the wheel-string inside.
Now hold the wheel and turn it upside down. And the wheel has a long straw-like part that you pushed inside. Now put the nut over it and tighten it up. Then screw tight the wheel with the board.
Repeat it for all the wheels. See it’s that simple. But still, you can follow the next method.
This method is used for making small and medium dollies. And it’s quicker to make.
Method 2: Using The Aluminum Plate
It’s almost the same. But instead of attaching wheels to the wooden board, you can attach them to the 3’ long 2”x2” pieces of angled aluminum. That is on the bottom of the wooden base.
So drill holes about half-inch depth, on the aluminum plate. And screw the wheels to it. You have to add two wheels per aluminum plate. Then screw the plate tight to the board. And you’re done.
This method can be used if you’re looking for a camera dolly. The aluminum plates give it the flexibility to move in a limited range. So slide shooting is easier with it.
Depending on the method you chose, you have to select the perfect handle for it. If you’re wanting to make it a camera dolly, then no handles are needed. But if it’s a stuff-carrying dolly, then move on to the next step.
Step 4 of 4: Add Handle to The Dolly
Your dolly is pretty much ready. But it lacks a handle.
Swivel handles are pretty useful for dollies. And they come in various lengths. So, just attach it according to the instruction manual.
Now you’ll be able to pull the dolly.
The dolly is now ready to use. You can decorate it with stickers or an epoxy layer if you want. Or you can just keep it plain. Either way, it will serve the purpose.
But you might want to skip all the hassle and buy a ready-made one. In that case, don’t forget to get the best dollies.
Question: Which wheels are best for dollies?
Answer: Skateboard wheels are best for dollies. They have super flexibility and easy-grip to the ground. And when you’re moving the dolly over the harsh rocky ground it won’t flip easily.
Question: Why does dolly keep flipping over while carrying things?
Answer: The reason why dolly keeps flipping is weight balance. Maybe the weight distribution over it wasn’t liberal. So try to maintain equal balance on the sides and middle. And it will reduce the flipping.
Question: Can I use 10 mm plywood for my dolly?
Answer: Yes you can use 10mm plywood. But it would be better to go for 12mm. Because that is the perfect depth for the wood pieces to make a dolly.
We’re grateful that you came along with us till the end. Hence a big thank you to you. And with that, you’ve known how to make homemade dollies.
If you still have any confusion, do comment. We appreciate you reaching to us. Also, you can share pictures of your dollies with us.
Best of luck & bye!