Fun DIY project.

I am a big fan of the way Jarrod from Just Basl Productions does his product reviews on Vimeo. He uses a turntable along with a slider which gives his product videos a ton of interest. Since I have been doing more product reviews lately, I thought I would try out his technique to see if it fits my style. I contacted him and he was nice enough to give me some pointers.

But first I needed to find a turntable that could handle some weight, then I remembered an old Perry Jenkin’s video from DJTV. So I took Perry’s advice and went to the hardware store to pick up 16″ circular wood disc at Lowe’s [3/4 x 16 AC/BC Fir Round Item #: 181834 |  Model #:1213024], a 6″ lazy Susan bearings at Home Depot to provide a bed for the rotation and then I found a really old rotisserie motor [Char-Broil EMS81 – discontinued] for $10 on Craigslist, this thing is really old I am guessing 20 years and it looked like it cooked a lot of birds. This motor is perfect because it rotates slowly and has a ton of torque.

I took the motor out of the casing because it need to be lubricated and I didn’t need it anyway. I thought I would need a variable speed motor, but I didn’t because the speed is perfect which is about 6 cycles per minute, if I wanted to slow down the footage slightly I could over crank at 30fps and conform down to 24fps.

I mounted the motor to a wood box I built, and then mounted the bearings to the box, if you want detail instructions, Perry has done an excellent job and I will not repeat it.

I then cut the skewer and glued it in to the wood like Perry did, and let it dry for 24 hours.

I spackled the wood and then painted it with flat black paint.

After using for about a day the metal skewer rod came loose from the wood disc, so back to the hardware store and I picked up some L brackets to make sure that would not happen again.

After I built it I had to test it out, my girls came to see what I was doing and we had fun trying some of their toys.

The girls were cracking me up.

It is kind of a cool way to help tell a story like I drank too much Grand Marnier last night and had to take some Pepto in the morning, or I the boxes require glue.

Within no time I had a very cool turntable that only cost me $20 that can handle up to 15 pounds of weight.

After using it for awhile I got tired off plugging it in to turn it on so I use the switch box from an old halogen light was not using anymore and made a footswitch from it that works great.

Perhaps in another video I will show you some tricks with the slider and turntable and how to light it. Just quickly I will tell you I am lighting it with one $25 halogen work light from the hardware store and a bounce board.

Set Up

Products Use in this Video

Find Prices T2i


Find Prices 50mm 1.8

Thanks to Kevin Macleod and GregVMusic for the creative commons music.


  • Great video as always Dave! I love checking my email and RSS feeds in the morning and seeing new content from your site pop up. Would love to build one of these for myself sometime. Very classy and cool!

    Do you have plans to re-attempt your ND tutorial? Your videos have been a huge help and inspiration since I got my T3i last spring.

  • Dave, I love how the Nifty Fifty 50mm f1.8 is being used in all of your videos here.

    Since it’s effectively an 80mm, how far is it your camera positioned from where you sit? Do you find it difficult to adjust it during recording? Thanks!

  • dave, as usual, i notice the details.. that clamp you have on your lamp, is it modified with a bolt? I’m curious what you created that for specifically.

  • I created a table like this using a new rotisserie motor from ebay for like $30 and the same parts from Depot and Lowes. Some of the ebay rotisseries can be operated by D batteries or an AC plug which means you can use it off-site.

    Also, I use a adjustable peg and string system to change the rotation speed of the table. The motor winds the string on the shaft and by changing the peg position on the table, the speed changes.

    I was, however, disappointed by the noise. I wanted to do a shoot with the mount sitting as a centerpiece and do a time lapse of a large family dinner but it was clear that the noise would disturb everyone.

    I’m thinking about trying a Disco ball motor but I don’t think they can turn much weight. Hopefully it could turn a 7D and a camera mounted LED like the z96. Might be worth a try.

  • I love the ancient motor you found on CL..
    I bet the seller was shocked that someone actually bought it!

    Great video Dave!

  • Dave Dugdale and Dave Knop helping me out! I’ve saved a decent amount of money and collected the appropriate gear through both Daves, find it comforting knowing that they know each other too. Internet not so big after all.

  • Hey Dave,
    Just thinking, maybe a box housing a dimmer switch wired to an outlet, with your table plugged into that, could be used to control the speed of the motor.

  • hello , your video very nice . and I like it .
    but I want to buy a buy new camera 550d , but it so Expensive about $1300 , I am live in gaza in palestine can you send it to me K If I send money to you