Author Topic: How would you make an articulated boom arm?  (Read 1393 times)

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Offline NuthinFancy

  • Posts: 7
How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« on: September 20, 2020, 04:54 PM »
Maybe this can't be done without a NASA budget, but I'm going to give it a try.
I'd like to make an arm that extends 10 feet, with a hinge/pivot near the middle, to support
a vacuum and power cord (a la Festool).  The 10 meter Festool combo weighs 10 pounds;
about 5 meters will be supported, so about 5 pounds total load.

The ceiling is not an option; so I will mount it to a (2x6) stud wall that is an exterior wall
- no access from the other side.  I'm thinking of something like you see in a dentist's office that he uses
to blind you with while he works.  I don't need vertical movement, only in the horizontal plane.

The elbow should have as much rotation as possible, something like 345 degrees, while the hinge/pivot
at the wall needs only about 100 degrees.

I've looked at (and spoken with) 8020, but didn't get a good feeling.  Searching for dental equipment has
been educational, but not all that helpful. 

I remember terms like moment of inertia, from school days long ago, but it was never my thing.
I used to work in manufacturing, but I was a plug-in, not a wind-up, so this is outside my comfort zone for the engineering involved.   

Any practical ideas welcome and appreciated.
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."  Red Green

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Offline RustE

  • Posts: 463
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 05:44 PM »
What about a wall mounted boom arm for a lighting setup?
https://www.manfrotto.com/us-en/black-wall-boom-098b/

Would require some compromises in design and some sort of an end fitting for the hose.


Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2064
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 06:07 PM »
What about a wall mounted boom arm for a lighting setup?
https://www.manfrotto.com/us-en/black-wall-boom-098b/

Would require some compromises in design and some sort of an end fitting for the hose.
That's cheap. Loading capacity is 10 lbs.

Ebay has a similar but cheaper one (but it costs a lot to ship to Canada): https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Bogen-Manfrotto-3077-Chrome-Wall-Mounting-Boom/274463911021?hash=item3fe752ec6d:g:zKUAAOSwfzRfPDVV
« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 06:12 PM by ChuckM »

Offline RustE

  • Posts: 463
How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2020, 06:25 PM »

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 930
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 06:41 PM »
I would recommend searching here on FOG for "boom", as many people have built some inspiring boom arm setups.

Offline Dane

  • Posts: 394
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2020, 09:35 PM »
I successfully made something in this vein about 10 years Ari.  I used a cheap Costco flat tv wall mount because it already had the articulating joints.  I cut the two arms in half and extended the reach using square aluminum tube.  Wish I had a picture- it worked.

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 268
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2020, 12:54 AM »
Maybe this can't be done without a NASA budget, but I'm going to give it a try.
I'd like to make an arm that extends 10 feet, with a hinge/pivot near the middle, to support
a vacuum and power cord (a la Festool).  The 10 meter Festool combo weighs 10 pounds;
about 5 meters will be supported, so about 5 pounds total load.

The ceiling is not an option; so I will mount it to a (2x6) stud wall that is an exterior wall
- no access from the other side.  I'm thinking of something like you see in a dentist's office that he uses
to blind you with while he works.  I don't need vertical movement, only in the horizontal plane.

The elbow should have as much rotation as possible, something like 345 degrees, while the hinge/pivot
at the wall needs only about 100 degrees.

I've looked at (and spoken with) 8020, but didn't get a good feeling.  Searching for dental equipment has
been educational, but not all that helpful. 

I remember terms like moment of inertia, from school days long ago, but it was never my thing.
I used to work in manufacturing, but I was a plug-in, not a wind-up, so this is outside my comfort zone for the engineering involved.   

Any practical ideas welcome and appreciated.
  or sure what you’re trying to do or accomplish other than have a boom arm? And have a Festool vacuum 10 feet off the ground? If it’s for dust collection then just plumb in 4” pipe and get a 2 hp harbor freight dust collector. If you still need the vacuum in the air then harbor freight sells cargo clamps.  Is the idea to have nothing touching the floor, confused as to what the end goal is. There’s also scaffolding so you can have the Dust extractor off the ground and you can push it to one side or the other??

Offline zapdafish

  • Posts: 592
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline Jasonj888

  • Posts: 112
    • Blog about woodworking and family life.
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2020, 02:36 PM »
My goal isn't to shoot down ideas, but I'm not sure I would go with the lighting booms. I teach photography at a small college and have a lot of experience with lighting stands being destroyed by students and myself. Most, not all, tend to be very lightweight materials and have to be handled carefully. Consider using the design as inspiration and building yourself with stronger tubing.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2064
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2020, 03:16 PM »
The photo boom does look a bit light. Ok for vacuum kind of hose I guess. If I were to go for an overhead boom, I would beef up that boom somehow first.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1748
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2020, 08:15 PM »
You could make something like the photo boom out of 1-1/4" EMT and various hardware bits.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline martin felder

  • Posts: 109
Re: How would you make an articulated boom arm?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2020, 05:08 PM »
I am not on this forum daily and it has been awhile since I visited, but I did today, and saw the link to my thread on my DIY boom arm.

It has been a few months since I posted on this topic.  At that time, my boom arm was functional, but there was just a little twist in the first segment and the mounting bracket had just a little bit of play, causing just a little sag in 1 direction.  I wanted to re-do it to revise the thickness of the plywood on the first segment of the boom arm and trying that out before posting additional detailed plans, but have not got to that yet. 

However, what matters most is that my boom arm as-is has functioned very nicely over the past several months.  What I like about it in comparison to the Photography products is that it articulates 180 degrees and the dust hose-pipe is within the boom arm just like on the Festool articulating boom arm (super expensive and massive, sold in Europe). 

My boom arm extends to 11 ft, and it is not very time consuming or expensive to build.  The knuckle was the tricky part - figuring out what gear and what bearings etc., but that has been worked out  The knuckle was initially made out of aluminum, but I wanted to see if one made out of wood + nuts and bolts + inexpensive bearings from Amazon plus a gear (links to the products on the other thread) would work as well as the aluminum.  It does not look as pretty, but it functions in an identical way and can be made in 30 min or less with a drill press and a Forstner and drill bit.