One of the first projects I took on when I first started making DIY equipment was a Fig Rig. A fig rig is a steering wheel shaped stabilizer rig. This is used to limit camera shake while filming. I found the instructions for this rig on the Indie Mogul YouTube channel. I find YouTube to be a great resource when finding a good step by step walk-through of all sorts of DIY. I’m gonna break this down into a couple categories: Build Difficulty, Cost, and Functionality.
This is a very simple project. I as a beginner was able to put this together. The only tools used were a hacksaw, PVC cement, and a drill. Even if you have no experience, but a good level of sense, you can pull this off. The hardest part is the quick assembly. This rig is held together by the PVC cement. This is a fast-drying adhesive therefore once you start applying it you can’t stop. The circular shape made it a must to do all the assembling in one go. Still in the end, quite the simple build
I built this because I needed a good steady cam mount so that I might incorporate moving shots in my projects. After looking around, other rigs ranged from $60 all the way to $300. The total cost of all the materials for this project was $30. So right away there was a positive, and in the chance that it doesn’t turn out I’m not losing much money.
On the lines of functionality there are some drawbacks. Considering the material and the lack of a more secure mounting system this rig can only be used for smaller/lighter cameras such as DSLRs and camcorders. I would not advise putting any heavier cameras on this rig. In its defense, Indy Mogul tells us upfront that it is only for smaller end cameras. Still if you want to use any sort of Cinema camera that isn’t the Black Magic Mini, you are out of luck. When I built this I had a camcorder and later bought myself a DSLR. For my purposes the rig worked great. It actually became my go-to rig as it allowed me to move quickly from shot to shot and still get steady good-looking footage. This especially came in handy with action films, the rig was stable, and remained steady, and the circular design allowed me to hold it however I wished. While using this rig the amount of angles and positions I could shoot from was very flexible.
Being a first build, and how simple and cheap it was to make, it was a great product. It lasted me four years of heavy use and it never broke on me. I did constantly lose the washers for it, so make sure you keep track of them. The best way is soon as you take your camera off put the wing nut on top. That way you don’t even need to think about it.
If you are looking for a challenging yet simple project to get you into the world of DIY. This would be an excellent choice. Not only are you getting building experience but also a solid piece of equipment that you can rely on
Here is the original tutorial I used when I built it if you want to give it a try.