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#4150053 - 07/24/15 02:28 AM My Sim Desk Build  
Joined: May 2009
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Redhornet Offline
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After lurking here for a very long time, I decided to take the plunge and build a proper simpit, well sim desk really. This whole process started back in December of 2014.

Background:
I was very impressed with the simpits built by Propnut (http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3488474/1) and Vanderstok (http://s99.photobucket.com/user/vanderstok/library/Simpit?sort=3&page=1) on the SimHQ forums. Those are my favorite simpits I've seen to date. So I decided that my build would incorporate my favorite features from both of those simpits.

Requirements:
My wife and I work from home and we both use one of the bedrooms in our house as our shared office. That means I need a proper desk for work stuff. I can't waste valuable office space with a gaming setup that's only used after work and I want something that is well designed/looks good. Also, I want a simdesk that will have storage for my controllers and whatever else I can think of.

Design/Process:
I took a ton of measurements: desk width I wanted, height, depth, chair position, controller positions/dimensions, monitor size & positioning, computer dimensions, etc., etc., etc. I then did some sketching (sorry didnt save them) and after a few days, I had something I liked. Then I did the drawings in Adobe Illustrator, because I wanted to be able to draw them at 100% scale and I didn't have any experience with 3D programs. Once I had a basic layout I was happy with in Illustrator, I downloaded Sketchup and built my simdesk in 3D. This took a couple weeks because I was learning Sketchup along the way, but I finally finished a design I liked and that would suit my needs. Next step, full size mock-up.

Front in desk mode


Front in "game" mode


Back

Last edited by Redhornet; 07/24/15 03:42 AM.
Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#4150116 - 07/24/15 10:19 AM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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MudPuppy Offline
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Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Very nice design. Will you use plywood for the 'ribs' and sides?
Look forward to more updates.
Derek

#4150253 - 07/24/15 05:11 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
Joined: Dec 2007
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Henk Offline
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Henk  Offline
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Strijen, the Netherlands
Realy nice Redhornet, please keep us up to date

#4150349 - 07/24/15 11:06 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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Redhornet Offline
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MudPuppy:
3/4 inch plywood will be used for everything except the skin and the top and bottom rails. The skin will be 3/8 inch plywood and the rails will be solid pine board with 3/4 inch thickness.

Henk:
Thank you! I'll try and keep updating every couple days or so.

The Mockup:
I made the mockup out of old cardboard, foam core board and extra wood I had. Everything is stuck together with packing tape so I could play with the configuration if I needed to.




Once I had the basic shape, I cut some ribs from 3/4 inch plywood to help me see how they were going to work. I also made some wide ribs from foamcore. These wide ribs will become the "cabinets" that will store my HOTAS setup, wireless keyboard and sundries. With some spare 3/4 inch ply I had lying about, I made a rough pedal platform as well:




Doing the mock-up was extremely helpful because it let me make decisions about and/or change a lot of the things that I didnt see in the drawing stage.

#4150431 - 07/25/15 10:01 AM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,082
- Ice Offline
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- Ice  Offline
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Posts: 16,082
Philippines / North East UK
Question: where will you mount your HOTAS?


- Ice
#4150434 - 07/25/15 10:20 AM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
Joined: Dec 2007
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Henk Offline
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Henk  Offline
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Strijen, the Netherlands
Hi Redhornet, thanks for the update. I was very inspired by your design; playing around with the idea to make
a P-51B simpit for a long time. Only scale 1:1 was not going trough a standard European dooropening. Then I
're-designed' the thing a couple of times, but finally didn't see myself with a 75 x 150 x 100 cm large
case in my room with me clambering over a 70cm high sidewall.
My thought is now to make something like your drawings, pull the office chair out and a flight seat 'module'
with pedals, throttle and stick in if I must go on a mission.
Can you share your Sketch-up drawings with us / me?

#4150721 - 07/26/15 05:52 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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Redhornet Offline
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Redhornet  Offline
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Thenks for the encouragement!

Ice:
I'm going to have pull-out drawer style mounts on the bottom part of the "instrument panel".

Henk:
Glad you like the design. I'll get the sketchup files uploaded so anyone can download them, however the measurements probably don't match exactly. I'll also upload a .zip of the flat files I made in Adobe Illustrator, which are far more accurate in measurements and angles (saved in different file formats .pdf, .dxf, .ai, etc.).

More updates coming gents!

#4151172 - 07/28/15 03:03 AM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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Redhornet Offline
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Cutting out the ribs and top and bottom plates took a while. I had to be very accurate with the measurements, curves, etc. so I went slowly, it took about 2 days to do. Once the pieces were all cut I went ahead and drilled cabinetry style screw holes for assembly.

I learned a BIG lesson here, next time I ever do complicated pieces with so many curves and angles, I'm going to find a place that does CNC routing and pay to have the pieces cut! It was very challenging to do these with a jigsaw and router. What I had to do was create a template of the outside curve of the rib and use it as a guide when cutting all the ribs. Consequently, I screwed up my first 2 attempts at a wide rib and the curves on all the ribs aren't an exact match, but are within 1/16th of an inch of each other so they worked out fine in the end.

Wide ribs (2 had cutouts in the middle to be the front of the cabinets):



Pieces for one side, 3 ribs, 2 wide ribs and the bottom plate (the top plate not shown):




Last edited by Redhornet; 07/28/15 03:24 AM.
#4151772 - 07/29/15 02:34 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,216
f15sim Offline
More projects than sense!
f15sim  Offline
More projects than sense!
Member

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Graham, WA
Kreg Pocket Jig FTW. biggrin

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
#4152409 - 07/31/15 12:06 AM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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Redhornet Offline
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f15sim:
YUP!

Assembly of the sides went pretty smoothly. I used wood glue as well as the screws. Oh, and by the way, self drilling screws are the single greatest contribution to woodworking since the advent of power tools.

Getting everything lined up making sure it all will go where it's supposed to:




Securing everything with glue and screws:











Attaching the outer skin, I used 3/8 plywood (4.7625mm):









I needed to press and glue the top of the skin to the top rail. So I set it up and let it dry/cure for 24 hours. Both sides were done like this:



Last edited by Redhornet; 07/31/15 12:09 AM.
#4152495 - 07/31/15 10:21 AM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 48
Henk Offline
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Henk  Offline
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Strijen, the Netherlands
Thanks for the update, looking great!

#4153587 - 08/04/15 03:21 AM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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Redhornet Offline
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Now that the sides were made it was time to move on to the part that would hold the computer. You will notice that on the shots with the rough-in of the front panel, the sides dont yet have the skin attached. This is because I wanted to leave the skin off until I was done with the this part so that I would be able to see all areas of the computer holder and front panel. So chronologically I constructed the sides, made the computer box and then attached the skin.

I cut out the front panel and attached it to the base with L-brackets. This enabled me to put it on the sides and figure out how I was going to make the thing look (I just balanced the other pieces in place to see how it would fit together):





I think I spent 2 days drawing and re-drawing on the front panel to see what I wanted to do with it


Once I was happy with the layout, it was time to do the cutouts:


Holes for the jigsaw:








With the front panel finally done, it was time to assemble the whole thing. I prepped all the pieces with pockets for screws:





One last test fit/placement of everything before screws and glue:



All but the front panel secured:




Now with front panel and on the sides:



Last edited by Redhornet; 08/04/15 03:27 AM.
#4153617 - 08/04/15 09:19 AM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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Henk Offline
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Henk  Offline
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Strijen, the Netherlands
Getting better all the time

#4153697 - 08/04/15 12:47 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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MudPuppy Offline
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Appalachian foothills in Virgi...
Excellent progress. With all that heavy ply, I hope you don't have to move it far. wink
Derek

#4154854 - 08/07/15 02:24 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
Joined: Dec 2009
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AggressorBLUE Offline
Check out my
AggressorBLUE  Offline
Check out my
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Jerz
Nice, clean work, especially given the heavy use of Jigsaw. Lots of your cuts look like they were done using a table or band saw!

QQ btw: any more details on this drill guide? Looks pretty handy!



Also, +1 for pocket hole jigs and Self drilling screws being a weekend woodworkers best friend biggrin

Last edited by AggressorBLUE; 08/07/15 02:24 PM.

My Rig:i5-3570k @ 4.2 GHZ W/ Corsair Hydro H110 Cooler / Asus Sabertooth Z77 Mobo / GTX 1070/ 16 Gigs DDR3 RAM / A Few SSDs, and a Bunch of HDDs / All held together by: Corsair C70 Case

Other Assets Deployed:
HOTAS: Thrustmaster Warthog SN#22621/CH Throttle Quad/MFG Crosswind Pedals SN#0004 smile
TrackIR TIR 5 w/ TrackClip Pro biggrin
Simpit: Obutto R3VOLUTION


#4156021 - 08/10/15 10:00 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: AggressorBLUE]  
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Redhornet Offline
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Originally Posted By: AggressorBLUE
Nice, clean work, especially given the heavy use of Jigsaw. Lots of your cuts look like they were done using a table or band saw!

QQ btw: any more details on this drill guide? Looks pretty handy!
...


Thank you for the compliments! I use the jigsaw for the rough cut then I use a router with guides to get the fine, really clean cuts.

The drill guide is a cheaper dowel pin jig I bought at Homedepot to join some oak planks together to make a desktop for the Mrs. I used it here to make sure I didn't drill outside the lines. Here's the link on their website:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/General-Tools-Aluminum-EZ-Dowel-Joining-Jig-Kit-841/100659787

#4156835 - 08/12/15 07:51 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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Redhornet Offline
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Now that the frame was done it was time to do the panels that cover the tops and sides and get them attached. I cut 5 pieces and put a bevel on the front edge of them. I decided to use insert nuts and rounded hex bolts to secure the top and side panels to the frame. I want them to be removable in case I need to make modifications or adjustments, it will also make it very easy to access the computer when I do upgrades, etc.

Setting up the top panel that will cover the computer. I marked out where the bolt will go through the panel then drilled a hole through it and into the frame. I used a forstner bit to recess the bolt heads a little. Then I put the insert nut in and repeated that for the 3 other corners:







For the left and right top panels I needed to add some lumber for the insert nuts to go into. I didnt want the nuts to go into the frame because that area of the frame was very thin in height and I wanted to make sure the bolt would be well secured. I marked, drilled holes and installed insert nuts in the same way as the computer top panel:








I added lumber for the side panels as well and repeated the drilling process:


I then bolted all the panels on. You can see there are fairly large panel gaps where the side panels meet the top panels. It was tricky getting these angles correct, the side panel itself is on an angle then the bottom of it had to be cut at an angle to lay flat on the top rails and the tops of the panels had to be cut at a different angle to form a decent corner with the top panel. Im going to leave them as is and live with it for a while. Im strongly considering re-making all of these in oak to match the desktop.



#4157459 - 08/14/15 01:44 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
Joined: Jan 2004
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f15sim Offline
More projects than sense!
f15sim  Offline
More projects than sense!
Member

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Graham, WA
That's nothing a belt sander can't fix. smile Excellent work!

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
#4158114 - 08/16/15 02:23 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
Joined: Jul 2006
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Cali Offline
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Davis-Monthan AFB, Az
That looks awesome, can't wait to see it all done.


i5-2500k @ 3.3, Asus P8Z77-V LE mobo Windows 7 64-bit, 8GB 1866mhz
EVGA GTX 670 FTW 2GB, 256GB SSD, 500GB WD, Warthog, uber modded Cougar, TM Cougar MFD's, TrackIR 5, G15 keyboard


#4158642 - 08/17/15 11:55 PM Re: My Sim Desk Build [Re: Redhornet]  
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HitchHikingFlatlander Offline
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Awesome build looks great! Thanks for sharing all the pictures too, can't wait to see more progress.


I've got a bad feeling about this.....
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