Building an Animation Rostrum – part 2

Building an Animation Rostrum

Part Two

By Brian Clare


If you have got this far with building your rostrum you are almost half way to being home and dry.

Before I get on to the metal work and assembly procedures I suggest that you give all the woodwork two good coats of ‘Ronseal’. Not only does it protect the wood, it also improves its looks, and it is much easier to do whilst it is still in unassembled state.

Most of the work described in this part is my own design. I am not decrying Eastman Kodak’s design, as shown in the book THE WORLD OF ANIMATION, which I used as ‘a basis for building my stand. Far from it, but what I have done is to do away with most of the plastic bits and replace them with metal.

I would suggest that when you have all the metal (with the exception of the aluminum) welded and bolted together, you clean it down very carefully and give it a coat of ‘Trustan’. This is a very good rust preventative which I use an awful lot in the Motor Trade. Also give it a good undercoat and. a final covering coat of matt black. You will need a couple of large aerosol cans if you opt for this method of painting.

When it comes to the camera mount the dimensions given are for my own camera. This may not suit your camera so you will have to check out the best size for your own camera.
The distance that varies is the one between the tripod bush and the centre of the lens. The simplest way to work it out is to measure the distance between the dead centre of your platen and the back of the rostrum base. Deduct from this the distance between the camera lens centre and the tripod bush. The result becomes distance ‘A’ in Fig.9.

The upright poles

If you use a 2 diopter close up lens the distance from the front of your camera lens to the artwork will be around 19~ inches. At this distance the wide angle setting of most zoom lenses will cover the area required.

The items needed for the upright poles are as follows:

2 five foot lengths of motor car exhaust pipe, new and undamaged. The bore size is not important, I find or the metric equivalent an ideal size’
8 exhaust pipe clamps to suit pipe size. With bolts and washers.
2 x 14” lengths of threaded rod ¼” diameter.
12 nuts to fit the above rod. Use whitworth sizes if possible.
4 pieces of mild steel flat bar 4¼“ x 1” x 1/8 “

The rods are used to separate the track poles as shown in Fig. 5.
The steel flats fix the poles to the wooden base as shown in Fig. 7.

The camera mount

The camera mount uses a fair amount of mild steel flat bar.

4 at 1 ¼ ” x 1/8” x length ‘A’. In my case it was 15”.
2 at 1 ¼” x 1/8” x 10¼”
2 at 1 ¼” x 1/8” x 4”
2 at 1 ¼” x 1/8” x 1½”
1 at 1 ¼” x 1/8” x 18¼”
2 at 1 ¼” x 1/8” x 9¼”
4 at 1 ¼” x 1/8” x 1”

Other items used are:

4 Nuts and bolts ¼” whit. by 1”.
1 Bolt 1” whit. by 1½ ” with a wing nut and ‘penny’ washer.
1 wooden block to fit pistol grip base. Mine was ¼” x 2” x 3”.
1 piece of vynal to fit wood.

Assemble as shown in Figs. 9, 10, 11 and 12.

The platen

2 aluminium flats 1” x 1/8” x 21½”
2 aluminium flats 1” x 1/8” x 3”
2 aluminium angle ¾” x ¾” x 9¼”
2 mild steel flats 1 ¼” x 1/8” x 4½”
2 mild steel flats 1 ¼” x 1/8” x 2½”
2 x 19” lengths of ¼” threaded rod
12 nuts to fit the above rod.
8 x 3/16” mild steel hexagon headed bolts with nuts.
1 6 flat 3/1 6” washers
8 spring 3/16 Washers
1 optical quality glass 17” x 9¼” x ¼” with polished edges.


page 1 | page 2