Dolly grip box

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Project by sheriffbob posted 07-30-2015 05:06 PM 1552 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I work on television and film production. I am a Grip and my coworker is a dolly grip. A camera dolly is a specialized piece of filmmaking and television production equipment designed to create smooth camera movements. The dolly grip is the dedicated technician trained to operate the dolly. My dolly grip is retiring so I wanted to make him a box.

The box is designed with the tools of the job.

First the lid, I designed the lid to resemble the diamond shape marks on the two armed hydraulic boom. The diamonds are placed on separate moving arms and when they meet, you know you have hit the correct mark for camera position. The wood in the lid is: Purple Heart, mahogany, walnut, and maple. The border around the diamonds is : walnut, Purple Heart, and curly maple.

The base of the box is all dolly wood. On shots that are simple push ins or pull outs, the dolly is placed on dolly track or 1”x12” pine planks. Our dolly planks are usually cut into 8’, 12’ , and 16’ boards. We use boards instead of track at times for speed of set up time. The sides of my box is a small cut down section of dolly planks.

In more complicated moves, the dolly is placed on a “dance floor ”. We customize dance floors to the shot. Our dance floor starts with 4’x8’ birch plywood. We custom cut our plywood to sizes of: 4×8’, 2×8’, 4×4’, 2×4, pie shapes, and more. Each birch sheet has a top layer of a plastic type board called Centrex. The Centrex is used a top for the birch plywood seams. A “skin” or bridge between one birch to another.

On my box, the sides are the dolly planks, while the bottom is our birch plywood. Inside the box, I inserted a small piece of Centrex as a bottom for the box.

Lindseed oil and 3 coats of gloss polyurethane

5 comments so far

View vidkid26's profile


74 posts in 4602 days

#1 posted 07-30-2015 05:54 PM

Excelent execution of form following function. Your friend will be proud to show this off. Grips rule!

View sheriffbob's profile


10 posts in 3156 days

#2 posted 07-30-2015 06:12 PM

Excelent execution of form following function. Your friend will be proud to show this off. Grips rule!

- vidkid26

Thanks!!! I didn’t mention it before, but I am not crazy about the bottom of the box. Love the lid, but if it was for me, I would have done different sides and bottom. Although it is not super pretty, the idea is he will always see the box and remind himself of his history and roots.

View jim65's profile


1020 posts in 3219 days

#3 posted 07-30-2015 06:23 PM

beautiful box, your friend will have happy memories with this gift, very well done!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3293 days

#4 posted 07-30-2015 07:56 PM

Hmmm, when I watch the credits, I always wondered what the “Dolly grip” did ! Now I know, Thanks!

Nice box and even better the story that explains all the pieces and processes that go with it. I’m sure he’ll love it !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View drewpy's profile


1074 posts in 2643 days

#5 posted 07-30-2015 09:47 PM

Great box, great use of material and great story! I’m sure he’ll cherish it!

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

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