I hate do-it-yourself projects. Partly because I'm hopeless at electrical and mechanical engineering; if I can't do it with a screwdriver, hammer, glue and duct tape, then it's pretty much not going to happen.
But the other thing that frustrates me is how often I'll come across projects that "only cost $20," but are dependent upon the fact that you have some piece of unusual hardware or equipment lying around.
Case in point
I came across this video for a DIY Spider Trax Dolly based on the wheels from a skateboard and put together for $20.
DIY on how to build a Spider Trax Dolly from Just Basl Productions on Vimeo.
Looked pretty neat. So I went down to Target to look at skateboards; the cheapest was $29.99. A second trip to Toys-R-Us turned up a $15 skateboard.
With that out of the way I went looking for "cheeseplate" like that shown in the video. A search on Google and Amazon turned up nothing even resembling it. Trips to two hardware stores and Home Depot turned up nothing except a plain sheet of metal which might have worked, though it was border-line too flimsy and would require some drilling (yes, I do have en electric drill).
A little perplexed, I went back to the video, and this time went to the actual Vimeo page it's hosted on (I'd originally seen the video posted on another blog.) There in the discussions were people asking the same thing. Turns out that the plate he "had lying around" was actually a Glidecam Camera Weight Plate. $14.95 from B & H with a 7 to 14 day delivery....so I ordered one ($18.30 including S&H)
Quick Release Plate? $37.50
So the $20 dolly is probably going to cost about $70.
Vimeo: DIY on how to build a Spider Trax Dolly
B & H: Glidecam Camera Weight Plate
B & H: Manfrotto 323 RC2 System Quick Release Adapter with 200PL-14 Plate