Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#3072205 - 08/12/10 04:46 PM Generic 'pit build  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Valisk_61 Offline
Member
Valisk_61  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Widnes, UK
After many(many) months of buying bits and bobs by 'stealth' (ie. Small packages from ebay that are under the wife's gadget radar) my 'pit project has finally gained a bit of momentum.

I was originally going to keep things super-simple and just build a desktop switchbox. After spending lots of time reading through this forum and seeing the awesome creations I decided to go the whole hog and build a full simpit.

I decided I wanted something simple - straight cuts and 45º angles... nice and easy... However, after taking my cut list to the local shop, I discovered I'd used the wrong stock sizes. As I was rearranging everything I remembered Gene's 'pit and wondered 'how much would it cost to have something like that cut on a CNC machine'. I emailed half a dozen suppliers across the UK and got replies ranging from insanely expensive to 'how are they making a profit?'.

CNC it is then!

Being a complete novice to 3D packages I decided to stick to my strengths and use Adobe Illustrator to design the parts. I was a technical illustrator for years, so visualising the 2D pieces in my head wasn't too difficult. I also spent some time creating cockpit training aids for BAE Systems Hawk aircraft - it's no coincidence that some of the dimensions exactly copy the MK109/209 export variant!

I knocked the design up in around four hours! A quick check with the tape measure and done! Emailed to the supplier.

As luck would have it a friend happened to be passing by the supplier and offered to pick the parts (he's registered on these forums as the delightfully named: SHARkeyWards_LeftBollock).

Anyway, here's some pics of the parts that are now sat in my garage (plus a few project pics).

Original cardboard mockup:


Building the sim-room (basically, half a standard UK garage - not very much room at all!!):


A view into the room - cockpit parts on the floor...


More bits (plus the small CNC machine I bought to do the edgelit switch panel cutting/engraving):


Yet more bits:


Couldn't resist a quick dry-fit! (not squared up properly, but you get the idea):


FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe
Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#3072221 - 08/12/10 05:28 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,215
f15sim Offline
More projects than sense!
f15sim  Offline
More projects than sense!
Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,215
Graham, WA
Fantastic job! I can't wait to see how it looks built.

\o/

g.


Proud owner of 80-0007
http://www.f15sim.com - The only one of its kind.
http://geneb.simpits.org - the Me-109F/X Project
#3072232 - 08/12/10 05:49 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: f15sim]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 22
JFA2 Offline
Junior Member
JFA2  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 22
Looks great! That middle section between legs and its upper frame might need some support though.


JFA
#3072239 - 08/12/10 05:59 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: JFA2]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,348
HitchHikingFlatlander Offline
Senior Member
HitchHikingFlatlander  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,348
California
Wow thats amazing so far did you make your own design or is it based off of plans. In any case looking forward to watching the progress.


I've got a bad feeling about this.....
#3072301 - 08/12/10 07:40 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: HitchHikingFlatlander]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 792
PropNut Offline
Member
PropNut  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 792
Greenville, Michigan
That does look awesome!

How are you going to get in and out of the pit? Does the chair slide back?

Keep going, it looks great so far. Wrong side of the pond but I would have cut your CNC parts out at cost for you, anything to further the hobby. (and an excuse to play with my shiny new CNC table)

David


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
#3075240 - 08/17/10 05:58 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: PropNut]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Valisk_61 Offline
Member
Valisk_61  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Widnes, UK
Many thanks for the comments chaps! I just hope my crummy woodworking skills don't cock it up! I'm ok with a mouse, but give me a powertool and anything could happen!

Originally Posted By: JFA2
That middle section between legs and its upper frame might need some support though.

Yep, there's a box section that'll sit behind there that connects to the computer bay base that isn't on the pics.

Originally Posted By: HitchHikingFlatlander
Did you make your own design or is it based off of plans?

It's my own design, I borrowed the shapes of the leg-cutouts on the main panel from a Hawk Mk109, but that's it. I wanted something like Gene's 109F/X but not quite as enclosed and with side consoles. A little bit like Steven190's in the show your pit thread (page 3).

Originally Posted By: WH_PropNut
How are you going to get in and out of the pit? Does the chair slide back?

I've got a couple of options - the chair does indeed slide back, I might be shortening the overall length of the 'pit by a whole rib - I've not decided yet. I have my eye on another type of seat that folds completely flat which would work nicely.

Originally Posted By: WH_PropNut
Wrong side of the pond but I would have cut your CNC parts out at cost for you, anything to further the hobby. (and an excuse to play with my shiny new CNC table)

Thanks bud! I wish you were closer smile

The next CNC part is the aluminium plate that will fit over the 18.5" TFT panel to mask the instruments. I'll be cutting the bezels out of acrylic on my machine.


FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe
#3189806 - 01/26/11 09:40 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Valisk_61 Offline
Member
Valisk_61  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Widnes, UK
It's been a few months since all that nicely machined wood turned up on my doorstep, so what progress have I made? Not as much as I would have liked, that's for sure. Now that there's a March deadline to work to, I'd better pull my finger out...

Here's the base. It's as simple as can be. I got a sheet of 18mm spruce ply cut to size down at B&Q and bought some 3x2" planks. There's some 120mm locking castors bolted to the underside so I can move the pit out of the way when I need to use my desk (space is limited - thanks to Gene for the idea!)


Attaching the frame to the base. It's designed to break down into three pieces to fit through a doorway, so just screws at this point, no glue.


Another angle, but now the side console decks are in. They fitted perfectly into the slots on the front bulkhead.


The side console structure is all screwed together. Also, the structure for the centre console that supports the flimsy 6mm MDF piece that goes between the knees is attached.


Another angle, with the seat at the correct height (sat on my toolbox for now). I missed out on an ejection seat pan and PSP on ebay that went for £70 - it would have fitted perfectly - gutted! Still looking for the perfect seat - I might end up making one, I've drawn up a couple of designs that I might get CNC cut.


FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe
#3189813 - 01/26/11 09:48 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Valisk_61 Offline
Member
Valisk_61  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Widnes, UK
I've made a start on the panels and electronics too. Here's a pic of some translucent 5mm cast acrylic mounted in the mini-CNC ready to be cut.


Here's the result. The acrylic is sprayed black, quite a few coats to stop light leakage, then matt lacquered. It's then mounted back in the CNC to be engraved. The idea is to just take off the paint and as little of the underlying acrylic as possible - keeping that sort of tolerance over the whole face of the llightplate is the tricky part. This is just a prototype, but I was pretty pleased with the result for a first attempt. More thanks to Gene, your site was an invaluable reference.

The aluminium plate, handle and knob were all cut on the mini-CNC and will form the Landing Gear selector. Again, first attempt. I'll be making the bracket again out of thinner aluminium.


I've decided to skin the 'pit in 0.5mm aluminium sheet instead of hardboard or luan - it's arriving tomorrow. I was going to fork out to have it lasercut but that came in at £200, so jigsaw it is then! £28 + VAT, much more affordable! Once the skin is on, the structure is basically finished so it's painting time next.


FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe
#3189873 - 01/26/11 10:55 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,082
- Ice Offline
Veteran
- Ice  Offline
Veteran

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,082
Philippines / North East UK
Very nice work! I wonder what is CNC and where in the UK did you find cutters?

I'd like to build my own pit myself but at the moment, I got no power tools, now room for it anyway, so if things can come ala-IKEA, pre-cut and ready to be assembled, that would be awesomeness!


- Ice
#3190604 - 01/27/11 06:43 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,348
HitchHikingFlatlander Offline
Senior Member
HitchHikingFlatlander  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,348
California
Same here love to hear more about your CNC. I have quite a few pc.s of white acrylic lying around for a toy like that!


I've got a bad feeling about this.....
#3192643 - 01/29/11 09:33 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 133
choowy Offline
Member
choowy  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 133
Hey Valisk, this is going to be a very nice project, love the CNC pieces the perfect choice for "carpentry challenged" builders. Really good. Very impressed with the panels too.

#3193261 - 01/30/11 04:32 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,215
f15sim Offline
More projects than sense!
f15sim  Offline
More projects than sense!
Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,215
Graham, WA
Very, very nice! I'm glad to see it coming together! What cutter did you use for the lettering?

g.


Proud owner of 80-0007
http://www.f15sim.com - The only one of its kind.
http://geneb.simpits.org - the Me-109F/X Project
#3194707 - 01/31/11 10:51 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Valisk_61 Offline
Member
Valisk_61  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Widnes, UK
Thanks for the positive comments chaps! biggrin ~S~

Ice - The large pieces that form the bulk of the pit (two sheets of 15mm 8x4 and a sheet of 6mm 8x4) were cut by a company in Birmingham for a surprisingly low amount, it's worth shopping around for quotes - If you can draw your 'pit plans in a format that the CNC shop can use, that helps keep the costs right down.

HitchHF - The mini CNC is called a 'Tonsen I', I imported it from China for $580, which I think is a bargain - it's a fantastic tool, especially if you're into modelmaking etc. All the tooling was bought off various ebay sellers. The plan was to sell the CNC once the panels were finished to fund the new PC build, but I'm keeping it. (don't tell the wife!)

One of the best pieces of advice I could ever give somebody new to CNC - use Vectric software, it's fantastic. The learning curve for most of the CNC apps out there is scary. I really struggled at first, but Cut2D makes things so easy. Thanks to Gene and PropNut for putting me on to that one.

choowy - You're dead right, CNC parts make it as easy as screwing together flat-pack, perfect for people like me that have zero wookworking skills (you can instantly tell which bits I've had to cut myself because they look dog-eared compared to the ultra precision of the CNC cuts). But more importantly it saved me so much time.

Gene - The engraving bit I used was the starter bit that came with the CNC, it was a little blunt too after I'd taken an accidental bite out of some alu sheet with it. It looks to be around 30 degrees with a 3mm shank. I need to buy some more - what would you reccommend?

Here's some updates - the port skin is finally on and I couldn't resist a quick check to see if the 18.5" LCD fits (£45 ebay).

Clamping the skin:


Screwing around... (6mm head security pinned TORX self tapping screws - I only chose them because they had an interesting head pattern)


Perfect fit! Shame I'm going to take it to bits - I hope I don't break it...


FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe
#3213843 - 02/21/11 06:47 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 667
archermav Offline
Member
archermav  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 667
Black Country, England.
Any update mate? Looking good so far, I reckon there a few folks out there who would appreciate some kind of plans for something like this, and willing to contribute financially.

#3234746 - 03/15/11 12:59 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Valisk_61 Offline
Member
Valisk_61  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Widnes, UK
Hi archermav - I hadn't really thought about it to be honest... I don't know how much interest there would be - probably not enough to make it financially worthwhile. I'm amazed at the Spit 'pit that's available for £500!

If you're interested in the plans, drop me a PM smile

I've just sealed and undercoated the MDF - I'll post some pics once I've got the paint on.


FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe
#3270908 - 04/15/11 03:56 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 148
Flying_Colander Offline
Member
Flying_Colander  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 148
Hey Valisk,

Any more updates you can share? Some of us live vicariously here! Keep up the good work.

Cheers,

Flying Colander

#3290827 - 05/09/11 09:50 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Valisk_61 Offline
Member
Valisk_61  Offline
Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 202
Widnes, UK
Finally got the MDF painted. Here's a few pics:

I thought I'd try out the stencilling technique on one of the panel covers that is out of the way:



Bracing for the 'between the knees' part of the main panel:



Spot the gremlin!



Sorry about the grainy,washed out colour on these pics. I'll dig my camera out for the next update.



Who knows, maybe Cliffs of Dover will be fixed by the time I get this thing finished!!!


FS~Valisk 'Val'
www.skiesoffire.org

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive." - Randall Munroe
#3290856 - 05/09/11 10:21 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,348
HitchHikingFlatlander Offline
Senior Member
HitchHikingFlatlander  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,348
California
Really coming along nice work!


I've got a bad feeling about this.....
#3291067 - 05/10/11 05:06 AM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 58
Chappy Offline
Junior Member
Chappy  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 58
Please keep the updates coming, that is a great project!


I want you to see this coming
#3291234 - 05/10/11 12:35 PM Re: Generic 'pit build [Re: Valisk_61]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 792
PropNut Offline
Member
PropNut  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 792
Greenville, Michigan
This is an impressive built Valisk, wish my CNC panels came out as nice as yours. I never thought to do the shaping, then paint them black, and then finish the lettering. Thanks for the idea. (Cute gremlin, bet he hopes to be at the controls sometimes).


F/A-18C Hornet cockpit build project:

http://hornetpits.org/index.php?topic=15.0
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  RacerGT 

Quick Search
Recent Articles
Support SimHQ

If you shop on Amazon use this Amazon link to support SimHQ
.
Social


Recent Topics
Blue Angel's will transition to the Rhino
by CyBerkut. 06/02/20 12:41 PM
The pancake chef...
by Mr_Blastman. 05/31/20 06:33 PM
DOSBox/MS-DOS6
by MarkG. 05/31/20 02:14 PM
Question for gun lovers
by Blade_RJ. 05/30/20 02:54 PM
The Last British Destroyer Commander of WWII
by F4UDash4. 05/30/20 12:43 PM
I'm down to one game.....
by PanzerMeyer. 05/29/20 02:19 PM
Would you purchase a flight sim...
by MarkG. 05/28/20 04:33 PM
Copyright 1997-2016, SimHQ Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0