Introduction: Budget Driving Wheel Stand for Racing Simulators
So you got a snazzy new Playstation for Chrismahanukwanzamas, now you want to play your sweet new racing sim games? Not so fast. That crappy old laptop table isn't going to cut it with today's high torque force feedback wheels. So, you want to get a stand for the wheel, but they cost at least $80 -- and you shelled out all your hard-earned on the PS4, a new wheel, a racing game, and a PS+ membership -- damn! Time to make a trip to your local big box home improvement store and whip something up for 1/4* that price.
Let's get started**
* ish ... if you have a few bits and bobs already laying around, which you probably do, because you never throw anything away, do you?!
** Make sure to read through the whole thing before you embark on this project, because there may be some things that are model specific that you need to change up. Also, look at the pic at the end so you can see where you are going with this
Step 1: Acquire Materials
To keep this cheap, we're going to make this out of some PVC from the local big box home improvement warehouse. If you don't know what I mean, it's name rhymes with Schmome Schmepot.
Go there and collect:
- 1 - 10ft length of 1.5" PVC pipe
- 2 - tees
- 4 - elbows
- Pvc cement
2 - M6*25mm bolts (this will depend on the model of wheel/pedals you are using)
I already had, but you may need to buy:
- Some wood. I had a 2'x4' piece of 1/2" OSB laying around
- 1.5" drywall screws
- A drill and bits
- Stepped bit (unibit) you could also use a 1/2" bit
An optional piece you may want is a conduit strap (https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-1-2-in-Rigid-2-Hole-... or four instead of using drywall screws through the pvc. I'm cheap, so I just went with screws.
Step 2: Cut Your PVC to Length
You could do this in the store or at home. I elected to cut pieces of known length at the store, so that I'd have less to load into the car #miniproblems
- 4 - 6” pieces
- 3 - 14" pieces
- 1 long piece remaining (should be 4.5 ft or so)
Step 3: Fit the Pieces Together
Assemble the base like you see in the picture, dry (no glue) first
- two six inch pieces on either side of the tee
- two elbows on either side of the 6 inch pieces
- two 14 inch pieces into the elbows
- two elbows on the remaining 14 inch piece
- put the other side of those elbows onto the 14 inch pieces
make sure it all fits nicely, if not, cut some pieces until it fits nicely
Now, take your remaining tee and 6 inch pieces and stick them together as shown on either side of the tee.
Finally, stick the tee onto the long piece and stick the long piece into the tee on the base.
It will probably be way too tall.
Figure out how tall you want the upright to be, mark it, then cut it to length. Mine was about 20" tall.
Now, take it all apart and glue it together. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, and do it in a well ventilated area, because it stinks to high heaven and will undoubtedly kill your few remaining brain cells.... what were we talking about again? Oh yeah...
DON'T GLUE THE TEE ON THE BASE!
Don't glue the tee at the top of the upright either. In fact, just leave the upright and the upper tee off for now.
Once you have glued all the pieces, make 100% sure the base is flat and 'square' by standing on it on a level floor. You'll only have a couple minutes to get this right before the glue sets. Ask me how I know :/
Step 4: Cut Wood
Here's where we get more art than science.
I wanted the pedal board to stick up a couple inches past the end of the base, and touch the base and the floor at the upright which worked out to 12x18"
For the wheel mount, I wanted enough space that the stock mount wouldn't interfere with the upper tee and was roughly symmetrical, so 16x9"
I cut these with a circular saw, but you could use a jigsaw or handsaw or table saw or laser cutter. Whatever floats your boat.
After cutting the wood, you probably want to sand it... unless you like splinters.
Step 5: Drill Holes
Once the glue has set, we are going to drill a big hole in the base to run the wire for the pedals. I put the hole on the left side because my model has the input on the left side of the wheel base.
I used a stepped drill bit to put a 1/2" hole in the PVC, again, this will depend on the model you are using.
I then ran the wire through the hole, out the tee in the base, through the upright, then out the left side of the upper tee.
Step 6: Drill More Holes
First, we go back to kindergarten!
Take a piece of paper and a pencil. Flip the pedals over. Using a method called "frottage" or "pencil rubbing", hold the paper with one hand and rub the pencil over the bottom of the pedals where the bolt holes are and where the edge of the pedal base is. Now you have a template for drilling holes !
Taking the wood, drill holes every 3 inches up the wood from the bottom, using the template for spacing.
Now you can screw those M6 bolts into the base from below. Secure!!
Step 7: Drill Even More Holes!
Now we are going to secure the pedal board to the base PVC frame.
Place the base onto the frame, carefully eyeball where you want the hole, then drill a 7/64" hole through the OSB and into the PVC. Next, screw the board to the frame with drywall screws. A little tip, if you are using a power screwdriver you can "countersink" the drywall screws by running the screwdriver bit in the drill on the hole so it mashes down a divot in the wood, then tighten down the screw... nice and smooth!
Next, clamp the upper tee to the bottom of the wheel board. Put it on top of the upright, get the angle and height *just so*. Once you are happy with the position of the wheel, drill some holes through the board into the pvc and screw that in.
Finally, drill some holes and screw in the base tee and the upper tee to hold the upright in place.
Step 8: Getting It All Set Up ... and DRIVE!
Put the wheel in front of your driving seat, get it all in position. The last step is to wrap some hook and loop tape (aka velcro) around the base for less slip on the carpet.
This project took me a couple hours yesterday evening and for the effort, I'm pretty pleased. It's not as stiff as a full sim rig, but it's probably about the same as an $80 foldaway couch stand. Since this is in my multipurpose room, I need to be able to knock my down and store it in a closet.
Some future improvements I am considering - extending the base by putting another board under the base that extends to the driving seat. I may also fill the base with sand to make it extra stable.
Anyway, if you enjoyed my 'ible leave me a comment and vote for it in the 'wheels' contest. Thanks !