Published on January 13th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Ivar loves Dolly

Lights, camera, Ikea hack! Romain turns the Ivar side unit into rails for the cam.

“A few days ago, I found out that the Ivar “wooden ladder” was perfect to use it as rails for my cinema dolly! I can now make some nice sequence shots with this 18€ accessory from Ikea.”

Check out this video shot from the Ivar rail.

EOS 7D + DIY dolly / 1st (snowy!) outdoor test from Aalto on Vimeo.

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

59 Responses to Ivar loves Dolly

  1. Adri says:

    Great hack!
    Just finished a few days ago. Here you can see it:

  2. MacKayFilms says:

    Question to anyone who built this! Do I use the bearings as well? Or just the wheel and take out the bearings and use a different bolt? Thanks in advance!

  3. Lloyd Edgar says:

    Great job man! I was just wondering where in the UK I could get the wheels you used, maybe you could get a company name if you got them from outside of the UK! Thanks in advance!


  4. Anonymous says:

    Nice hack! I have seen people use aluminium ladders instead of this wooden frame. You could also mount the outside wheels on the inside of the frame, so the overall footprint is smaller. And for smooth movement, you can use chain of large rubber bands, it’s elasticity smooths the motion. You can also ues the rubber band trip on the handle of tripods, when you want to make a smooth pan. Nice hack! Love this site!


  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi folks,
    because of constant speed: Connect rope to dolly. That rope fix onto an axle that is turned by an electric motor. The motor is ficed at one end of your track. The motor runs in adjustable constant speed and winds the rope up. To smooth it a bit more put a wooden stick to the board in the way that it slides on the wood of ivar. This way it works like a break which makes the moving more controled. For example you could use one of these 12V car wind some off road have on their front bumper.(sorry about my bad english)
    Have fun!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What camera you use to film clip? T2i?

  7. Apache says:

    Have you tried it with a larger camera? I wonder how the L plates will hold up with some solid weight on them.

  8. Where can i order the “L” metal plates in France. My search is turning crazy…

    Thank you very much ;-)

  9. Kenneth says:

    Disregard my wheel question. I just saw that someone else already asked and answered it.

  10. Kenneth says:

    I was thinking of building a dolly using PVC pipe but I may do this instead. Do you think eight wheels would be sufficient, or are twelve wheels needed for support?

  11. Made me one… I love it!

  12. Jim Austin says:

    Me and some friends built a camera dolly from an old pram, a wooden plank and the remains of a table lamp as an articulated arm for the camera. It actually worked pretty well. No snazzy tracks though.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Great. I love the shot of the white house, eerie music behind it and You’d think something is wrong with that house, or the people inside…

  14. David says:


    can you tell me how to make a constant speed on the dolly on post?
    i made one based on yours but i can´t do a smooth movement all along.
    thanks for sharing!

  15. Thanks so much for this hack !! =D

    Nice to make Street Golf Movie !

  16. notwithstanding says:

    I just built a version of your dolly. I made it with 8 wheels instead of 12 (they came in packages of 8 for $45 each – a bit too expensive for this project).

    The L brackets gave me some trouble initially as I could not find ones even close to the ones you used. I ended up using L brackets with four slightly offset holes each. They fit together so that the edges overlap, but the important bits (that attached to the board and the bottom wheel) are square if that makes any sense.

    The lack of holes meant that I needed to drill holes through the L brackets for the wheel axles to go through, but I was fortunate enough to have access to a drill press and titanium bits.


    I am going to get another Ivar and fit them together to get 12 feet of track.

    Thanks so much for putting this out there – I’m very happy with the results.

    First experimental video using the track: http://www.vimeo.com/12867568

  17. Term Papers says:

    Look really great. Are there any suggestions concerning the degree of hardening of the wheels. Better harder or softer?

  18. Photograjph says:

    Excellent effort, and easy to figure out – for the Aussies reading about this, Bunnings has everything except the skateboard wheels and bearings, which I got from Blindside (at Chadstone) – I chose skateboard over rollerblade because they seemed to have a softer compound and a wider contact spot (smooooooth….). And I only have 8 wheels total, not 12, works fine!!

    Also possible to join more than one Ivar side – I ran 2x sides at 2.2m each, works well without any bump at the join!

    Thanks for sharing, very useful!!

  19. Onur says:

    This looks great. Thanks for sharing. Is there a reason why you used 6 set of wheels instead of just 4, with a square plate? Weight distribution? Surface area?

  20. Onur says:

    This looks great, thanks for sharing. I’m wondering, could this work with only 8 wheels and a square wood panel? Is there a reason (weight, surface area etc.) why you made it long and put it on six set of wheels instead of four?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Look really great. Are there any suggestions concerning the degree of hardening of the wheels. Better harder or softer?

    greetings from germany,


  22. Anonymous says:

    Where did you find your wooden board?

  23. Anonymous says:

    where or what store can you find rollerblade wheels with ABEC1 bearings?
    and the L shaped medal plates?

  24. Wow! We’ve put this to our Pixmac’s Facebook page. So great… :-)

  25. Anonymous says:

    What’s the music you put on that video?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Great Dolly and footage! I’m really impressed! I was just wondering what was the size of the ivar ladder that you used?

  27. Alain says:

    Very nice.
    Just wanted to add that you can’t use this to do Stop-motion unless you build it so it can be fixed into place. You don’t want to move it b mistake.

  28. Did you use anything to cover your 7D in the snow or just let it be out in the weather?

  29. logicalnot says:

    Looks great!
    But how do you stabilize the rail on an uneven ground?

  30. Z says:

    I was wondering where you found the large wooden plate and the L metal plates. The only places I can find them have them at ridiculously high prices.

  31. Romain says:

    For the bearings, I found a metal plate with a hole that is exactly the same diameter than the bolt that is used to lock up the bearing. I just added 3 metal rings before the nut to space the wheel from the plate.
    For the lens, it’s the basic Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS lens from the 7D kit.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hey, GREAT JOB!!! (and nice touch with the music).

    BTW, which lens did you use?


  33. Anonymous says:

    You amazing !!! Awesome!!

    One question, how do you lock up the bearings on “L” metal plate ?

  34. jam145 says:

    Does it support weight heavier than just the camera itself?

  35. Pretty Idiot Productions says:


    Tearing apart skateboards as we speak, and then rushing over to IKEA.

  36. Romain says:

    It’s not noisy at all, actually you can’t hear it even with the internal mic of the camera if you’re shooting outside. And, no, I wanted this version of the dolly to be compact, so there’s not enough space for an operator, it will be for the next version ;)

  37. Victor says:

    This is amazing!!! Thanks for sharing your tools and ideas. This will be my new project before I’ll start shooting my next project.


  38. Anonymous says:

    Nice work. I’m curious though, how noisy is it?

  39. AdWerks says:

    Wow! Put together a little package of the other parts and you’ve got a customer!

  40. ria says:


    I think the challenge for me if I do this is drilling of holes where the roller blades are attached. Great job!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Wow Great idea!


    Free News Post.

  42. Per-Gunnar says:

    Aren’t those hundreds of dots on the inside of the frame good enough?

  43. Romain says:

    Actually, I didn’t even drilled the holes in the wheel support, I found metal brackets with the exact diameter of the bearings I used!

  44. That is SO homemade, it looks like something I’d have thought up. Good job!

  45. Nic says:

    If you have access to one, a wheelchair also makes a great dolly :) More flexible than a straight rail, but requires an operator :)

  46. Romain says:

    Thanks eveyone!
    Nice tip for the spot on the wheels. I don’t do stop-motion myself (I’m more into motion design, so I use motion tracking for dolly shots), but I recognize it could be very useful!

  47. Gina says:

    So impressed! Great work on the dolly and the video!

  48. just spotted the tip about the dots on the wheels – I never would have thought of that! Is that how it works on shop-bought gear?

  49. absolutely fantastic! I’ve been looking to take my filming to another level; I reckon you’ve hit in something here.
    I’m really stunned at how the film turned out – bravo!

  50. As an animator the only minor tweak I’d make to this setup is to paint some spots or lines on one of the wheels so that I can move it through a fixed distances between each frame.

  51. Romain says:

    Thanks for the feedbacks!
    Most of time the dolly is moved manually. Another technique is to put the Ivar ladder on two trestles (one a little lower than the other) and let the dolly slide slowly along the ladder.
    And thanks Eddie for the tip! I should find some plastic cover for the brackets.

    Cheers from Brussels


  52. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic! (But watch your ankles on those outstretched L-brackets) -eddie from ohio

  53. Anonymous says:

    Hey! It looks fantastic! One question… how did you move the dolly? The velocity is continuous, like a professional!

    Congratulations from León (Spain)

  54. Zengirl says:

    That is so awesome… what a great idea for video people. Love the snow shots as well..

  55. Romain says:

    For the other parts, I used:
    - 12 rollerblade wheels with ABEC1 bearings
    - 12 “L” metal plates
    - A thick and heavy wooden plate (50x80x2,3cm)
    - Some skateboard grip
    - Bolts, nuts, rings
    - AND (I forgot to mention it) a “GRUNDTAL” toilet paper dispenser as a handle!

  56. Monica says:

    that video is amazing! it turned out so well!

  57. Anonymous says:

    What are the other parts that you used? Can you post a complete parts list?

    Nice hack!

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