Professional panoramic tripod heads are quite expensive; this DIY solution is put together with scrap wood and a handful of cheap parts from the hardware store and gets the job done just as well.
If you’re not looking to impress anyone and willing to sacrifice a little compactness, this simple build can save you a ton of cash. Over at Rasterweb Pete Prodoehl shares photos and video of his DIY panoramic head built out of nothing but scrap wood he had around the work shop plus a hinge, some angle brackets, and screws/nuts/bolts. All very cheap hardware store fare.
Hit up the link below to see his build and sample photos.