DIY Flightsims - Floor Unit with Center Joystick

n122vu

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Just for fun, and for my own amusement I guess, I decided I'd turn this into a project blog. I also figured this would be better than to keep using the ChatBox to share my progress.

Some have already seen my recent comments and links posted in the ChatBox earlier this week, but for the rest, a little background:

I was poking around the DIY Flightsims/Rodger Dodger Aviation site last Saturday, and after about an hour, I decided I'd like to try my hand at building one of their projects. So I purchased the Floor Unit w/Center Joystick. I chose this project because it appeared it would allow me to have a mount for my X52 Flight Controls, as well as be able to attach my Saitek yoke and throttle to the desk, without having everything in the way of each other. Now, understand, I have very little previous experience with 'handyman' projects, aside from assembling pre-cut, pre-fabricated furniture that you may buy at your local department stores. So, I was a bit hesitant to make this purchase, and even more hesitant to get started. I decided I'd devote an hour each evening to this project, and any additional spare time as I was able. I figured if I paced myself in this manner, I would have less chance of becoming overwhelmed by any problems or complexity I might encounter.

Earlier this week, I went to my local Home Depot and began gathering the necessary parts and tools for the project. I came home on my lunch break on Wednesday and began cutting the first few pieces of PVC. I then decided I'd cut the rest on Wednesday evening while I was waiting on loads of laundry to finish, before I went to my girlfriend's for the evening. The remainder of the cutting didn't take long, so I figured I'd get started on the dry fit, at least the first few pieces. It went so quickly that I decided I'd go ahead and do the entire dry fit then and there. I was very pleased with the result.

I've since disassembled most of the pieces in prep for gluing. I'm still trying to locate the DIY Flightsims-recommended 'Liquid Nails for Projects' locally, but I may have to order it online. Neither Home Depot or Walmart carry it, only the heavy-duty quick-drying kind.

I still have the boards and velcro to acquire yet, as well as the primer for painting, but once I have the remaining supplies, I expect the rest to go rather quickly. I'll post more pics of the more-complete stages of construction here as they happen. I've also already identified another project on the Rodger Dodger site that I want to build after this one, so I'm anxious to get this one wrapped up and get started on that one.

Here is a pic of the dry fit. I'm very pleased with the size and fitting of this build so far. It's exactly what I was looking for:
 

n122vu

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Thanks Sam. I picked up the remainder of the supplies for the project at Home Depot after work this evening (found the Liquid Nails in a different section than I was looking earlier in the week). All that remains is gluing (except where it should be omitted), screws where needed, attaching the throttle, joystick, and rudder boards and velcro, cleaning it all up, and applying the paint. I hope to have it complete before I go to Chicago next weekend.

And thanks RE: the guitar. I picked that one up at a pawn shop in Myrtle Beach this past April. I also have an Epiphone SG electric and an Alvarez Regent acoustic.
 

Samuel Edwards

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Excellent, excellent guitars. I have a two Epiphones myself. One's an acoustic and the other is an electric. My main guitar is a Taylor electric-acoustic.

Can't wait to see your progress on your project. :thumbup:
 

n122vu

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Gluing is complete. Unfortunately it will be at least until Monday evening before I can do anything further.

Next step is actually shoring up a particular area with screws as directed by the instructions, followed by attaching wood mounting shelves for joystick, throttle, and rudder pedals. More pics to come after those steps are complete.
 

MaverickSawyer

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Liquid Nails... Should have been in paint, but could have been in building supplies.
To be honest, since it's PVC, you probably could have gotten away with using PVC cement. Just make sure that you use the clear primer, not the purple (just for aesthetics).
 

n122vu

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Yes, I've had several ask me why I wasn't using PVC cement. DIYFS recommends LN because it doesn't dry as quickly as the cement, giving you time to assemble the central frame, then the other sections, then add them to the central frame, make adjustments as needed, before it dries. Entire process took me around 90 minutes from prepping my work area to completion, just because it was my first experience with liquid nails, gluing a project this size, and only my second encounter with a caulk gun.

As far as location in the store, well, see, that was the problem. There were many variants of Liquid Nails in building supplies, and I didn't see the 'projects' version there, so assumed they didn't carry it. It wasn't until I was looking for the primer and sand paper in Paint that I stumbled on the LN-P. And for primer, I'm actually using, as recommended by the video/instructions, flat gray latex primer. I may leave it this color, or I may paint it black or a combination of black/gray, black/blue, or something similar. Haven't decided yet.
 

MaverickSawyer

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Yeah, most non-construction adhesives, caulks, glues, and tapes are carried in Paint at Home Depot stores.
 
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