Steering Wheel Jig v2.0

2013-12-24 12:17 - Making

The first bit of planning, measuring the side of the coffee table. The second bit of planning, using trigonometry to figure out the measurements I didn Figuring out how to assemble the removable portion. Figuring out how to join the angled platform onto the end of the jig.

The final assembled steering wheel jig. Detail view of the platform. Detail view of the joint.

I'm anticipating a gift of Gran Turismo 6 tomorrow. Back when I was playing Gran Turismo 5 I got a steering wheel controller and made a jig to clamp it onto a chair at just the right height. I learned pretty quickly how uncomfortable sitting on a bare wooden chair gets while driving. So for a while I've had the inkling of a plan to build something better.

The idea was to take the existing comfy couch I have, plus the coffee table sitting in front of it. The jig now hangs back towards me from the coffee table, rather than forward from underneath the chair. I did this briefly while the demo was out with my existing set up, and I learned two things: putting it at the right height for driving makes it very hard to get in and out of the couch (plus blocks the TV for normal watching) and the existing jig was too short to reach, I had to awkwardly move the table closer.

So I started by taking measurements of the table. And how far away the couch is normally. I brought only that with me when I came to New Jersey to visit my mom for the holidays, where plenty of materials and tools are available. Then I realized I had to do some trigonometry to figure out the measurements that actually matter. Which gave me around 54" total length and 24" across the width of the table, minimum. I decided that I wanted to address the obstruction that it caused somehow. At first I figured the easiest thing would be hinges to lift it out of the way easily, but worried about the strength of that. So I ended up with a simple "knuckle" joint that detaches.

The final product is a length of two by four that will get clamped to the legs of the table, ending in the joint. The other half contains the platform, angled to remain flat as installed, which slots into that joint with a retaining pin. Besides a bit of the total length and angles I actually did most of the measurements by eye, and I'm quite pleased with how it all turns out. I might end up needing to add a support brace under the knuckle, if it all ends up too heavy for the table to counter balance (the jig itself is right around 10 pounds, total). But that should be easy enough to take care of later, and the old jig will provide plenty of raw material.

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