Axly's Minimalist foldable rig, "Axiom" custom rig, buttonbox, wheelstand etc.
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(To see the work on the new - transformer-rig, check Page 3.)

I sat down on the side of the bed, sighed, and got back up again. Time for pen and paper, the brain had an idea and wasn't going to let me sleep until it was put on paper. This is a quite common issue for me, the brain starts planning and doing stuff all on its' own, and only lets me in in the very end when some physical action is needed. In this particular case it was how to build a reasonably compact, easily transportable racing rig. The idea was just there, I knew it was the right way to do it, I started sketching.

 

An axiom is a premise or starting point of reasoning. As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.

 

I've basically had a 9 year hitaus from simracing since the GPL-league I was driving in closed down, and even back then I was a slow driver. I've tried driving NR2003, GTR and other sims over the years without getting that buzz back, but then... My long time team mate Mats walked up to me during the TTA-races (touring cars) here in Gothenburg, placed his hand on my shoulder, and solemnly said "- rFactor 2... I'm just saying that, rFactor 2". Since he's someone I trust in these matters I bought the sim and a new G27 wheel (my old LWFFGP and Momo Racing were since long deceased). I quickly felt the joy return, and I decided to expand my playing experience a bit and go for a proper rig and triple screen. Said and done, I aquired a racing seat and two extra 27" monitors and started pondering what I really wanted. The original sketch was produced.

rigsketch.jpg

 

 

I wanted a small rig, preferably collapsible or foldable, but at least easy to transport and move around. I also decided to make it out of wood since it's easy to work with and reasonably light. Since my mind works the way it does I did a quick sketch and started buildning without either measures or proper drawings.

First I needed a base for the seat. I made a simple square out of 2"x2" and added plastic distances to raise the front end of the seat. I shaped and added side plates for the diagonal forward-leaning look I'm after and screwed/glued them to the base, and prepared the side beams.

ramsliders.jpg

sidoplatta1.jpg
 

 

Some paint was then added, I must point out that both colours and shapes are carefully chosen to match the team livery! see: http://smvracing.se for that. I also had to be a bit extra geeky and decided to add some chromed letters, my nickname and my team. Racing with pride!

letters.jpg
 

 

Seat mounted on the sliders, side beams temp mounted. A yellow diagonal line to be added, and the pedal shelf and wheel mount coming up next.

profil.jpg
 

 

Update will come eventually, as the rig is being built right now, revealing my thoughts about this construction. (I know it looks weird, but I have a plan here.).

Right now I'm heading for the post office to pick up my new wheel, so measurements are being taken in a little while.

 

/Axly

Edited by Axly

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Wow, what a tease.  I read the story, and I suffer from the same condition of my brain doing things on its own.  Keeps me up at night all the time.

 

I cant wait to see the rest of your rig.

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lol i have same problem im exhausted atm as ive been up all night last night, brain got an idea of what i can sell to fund my cockpit, and how much funds i can gather to get my clubsport pedals/ triple screens, etc etc etc etc. Rather than drawings i was making lists hehe

 

Your rig looking good so far wish i had my old tools/ space to build my own.

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Wheel picked up, measurements taken, some planning done and a paper template produced! I hope to be able to do some cutting and fitting this weekend, depending on how quick i am on the booked chores and activities.

This rig is made a bit backwards, i'm not using the floor as the base line but instead some imaginary line roughly following my legs. Since the seat also holds that angle in its' design, that 10 degree slope turned into the rig's zero. The front part will look a bit disconnected from the seat, and also "hover" about 6" above the floor, and it actually has a practical use :) (which i'll show when i get there)

More thoughts will be revealed as i move along, as will mistakes and a few "this bit, i would have done different". Hopefully it turns out as good as i'd like it to, and if there's an interest for it then, i'll try putting together some plans so others can enjoy a genuine Axiom rig ;)

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So, a paper template was made yesterday. Just to show you my phenomenal skills when it comes to planning and making proper drawings, here's the super professional template (which by the way is totally wrong). 

pappersmall.jpg

 

I folded the template down a couple of inches and started cutting the mdf-board I had left. Since I don't know exactly how large the sides need to be, I made them heavily oversized (though this time reasonably according to the sketch). The mdf is by the way 12 mm / 1/2" thick, which considering the small size of the pieces and reinforcements should be more than enough.

frontsida.jpg

I unpacked the pedals and took them apart to make them fit at my wanted angle, and started trying out the position for pedals and wheel. Once I sat there I realized that i made the front side pieces a LOT too big. The face I make is the face of "oh shit, I need to cut away so much! why didn't I measure properly".

The rig looks quite large on that pic, but the angle is strange, I'm a small guy, quite a bit of mdf will be cut down, the 2"x2"'s will be shortened to about 135 cm (which is the estimated total length of the rig) and some things will be changed in the front. (the "complete Sherlock Holmes" supporting the pedals will for example not be included).

miffot.jpg


More work tomorrow I hope.. Need to bind a book before wednesday, and that takes a lot of precious time.

Next step is to assemble the rig to find out where the front box will be attached to the side beams, and then find where the wheel shelf is supposed to be mounted. Then details, some obvious, some hopefully surprising.

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Sitting with my hands in the air isn't going to help is it? Time to try to find the wheel position. Balancing a  brand new t500 on the edge of a plastic box, which in turn is balanced on an old desk chair's undercarriage is (if you didn't already know) the absolute superior way to do it.

rattpassa.jpg

 

Time to cut the huge sheets down to size and add some lightness and stiffness. The extra MDF piece on the side being glued on here is a carefully planned stiffening device to reduce flex in the construction. (or perhaps I accidentally measured on the inside of the mdf instead of the inside of the beams and needed to add some thickness hrmm...) Anyway, it turned out quite nice.

limtving.jpg

 

I wrote in the title that it's supposed to be a compact rig. Well, I'm not all that sure any longer, but it's not very large.

I'm only 176 cm tall (5' 9 and 19/64"... how the hell do you manage imperial??) so if a rig looks small next to me, it's small! and I think it looks small enough. The total rig length is by the way 135 cm (4'5" and some division)

storlek.jpg

 

So, paint next? well, no. I'm out of wood and need one more rather small piece and some shrapnel, and since I only have shrapnel I mounted it to test it. So, can I sit in it?

As I slid down in the seat my feet and hands landed naturally on the right positions, and as I started stomping around on the pedals I noticed that I didn't brake at all with my left foot which I normally do quite a lot. It seems that this feels more like a car than the position I had before... Promising, but no guarantee that this will be good just yet. Oh, and when I slide the seat back, well I'm still at the floor, but I have plenty of room to get out.

testsitt.jpg

drabak.jpg

 

I still have some mdf pieces to add, the support and geeky details planned for the front bit are still missing, and the strange fins I've left on the sides of the wheel will either be removed, or incorporated in a little idea I have... We'll see.

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Shaun: Thanks! My intention is to make this a pretty speedy build, The annual league LAN competition coming up pretty soon, and the category "best rig/accessory" has been added. Since I'm a crap driver I thought I'd win at least that! ;)

 

waddymc: I live in an apartment myself, but luckily we have a little woodshop which is free to use for tennants...

 

MICK.G, jisonga, BrEaKnDiSh, Jrv01: Thanks! just you wait for the "bloopers reel" in the end ;)

 

Gunstar: Well.. I wish I had something really witty to say, but the truth is that I had such a great idea for those 50's fenders, and it fell through. They were placed just far enough away from the wheel so I didn't hit them while driving (yay!) but then came getting in and out of the rig... (ouch).

Well, they're gone now! :)

 

 

Weekend over, today was a slow day rig-wise. Went shopping for some more mdf and another length of 2x2. The "wings" are gone, and some other details have been fixed, but at least I've started building the monitor stand. No pics today.

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Shhh, don't tell my brain, it told me to use a pen and my personal little rebellion was to use a pencil instead, muahhaaa.

You raise a good point though, now i know it's just a joke, but English is not my native language, so there will be typos and distorted grammar... Just so you know :)

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So, if you start a thread and then post content every day, you better keep it up right?

Well.. some days are definately less exciting than others, and this is one of them.

 

I've done a lot of permanent mounting (which means glue everywhere! do you know how painful it is to remove dried glue from hairy underarms?). Quite a few structural thingies have been added and/or fixed, and the front legs of the rig has been added (potential surprise coming about those). The first round of sanding and spackling has been done as well, so hopefully the next update will contain some pretty colours!

Well, this is the new look, smooth edges, no wings, covered in putty.

 

spackel.jpg

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Since the person living on top of the woodshop have issues about solvents, I decided to stink my own apartment down... Painting commences!
The basecoat for the front was a big step, finally I could see the shape to be (and since it's water based, I could paint that in the woodshop).
grundadfront.jpg
 

I have also been building a monitor stand which I haven't shown, simply because it's quite boring, but after the basecoating and buildning I brought the rig front, and the monitor stand struts to the apartment and gave it all a first coat of proper paint. Remember that the colour scheme is carefully picked to match the team livery ;)

I think the rig will look pretty good once all fitted together, red chair base and side beams and this grey front bit... Well, this paint dries slowly and makes your brain melt, so there will be a few more days and a few more coats before I can try putting things together, so maybe the next update will be of a structurally complete rig (though details are coming, and those can sometimes make or break a concept).

firstpaint.jpg

mega2.jpg

 

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Well, strictly speaking I'm done now. The rig is up and working... I finished mounting the pieces together a little while ago.

klar.jpg

 

So, once I knew that everything fit together I cleared out my little computer corner and set the rig up where it's supposed to be (at least for a while longer).

klartomt.jpg

 

The monitor stand (which eventually will get a heavier asenal with 2 more 27"ers) and the computer is then set up on their respective positions...

klarfullt.jpg

 

What would I do different then?

I've learned to trust and appreciate my brain when it presents ideas like this. It often turns out pretty good and those few details it misses are often easy to adjust. Luckily that goes here too!

I had some plans on doing double walls on the front bit. That would not only have been cool for hiding the 2x2” (the inside isn't all that good looking), but also for gaining internal cable channels. That however, turned out to be a LOT of extra hassle (maybe on the next rig). I'm also a bit annoyed that the wings on the sides of the wheel ended up so close, and basically useless for what I planned, but it actually looks much better this way.

The back part behind the seat would definitely be different. Now it's the perfect length for when the seat slides back all the way, but I might as well have the seat hang out instead. The normal look is with the seat forward, and then the rig just sticks out behind, in a not so charming way. Also, the rig could have been made about 15 cm/6” shorter that way... The next rig will be much better since I now have tried making one and succeeded, and I have all the measurements and stuff. What worries me about that comment is that I say “the next rig” instead of “if I were to make another rig”… Time will tell.


It would be quite nice to have the rig adjustable. It is now perfect for me, but only me. No big point since I’m the one that will use it, but it’s hard letting people try it out when it’s this specialized.

 

Proper bloopers?:

Well, one of the two mistakes I did is actually the extra side pieces on the front. I took the inside distance between the sides on the seat part, and used that as the outside measure for the front bit, so I needed to add two extra pieces of MDF to fill it out. I think it looks quite stylish, but that in turn caused my insex-bolts for attaching the side beams to be too short and I had to use regular ones instead. The other mistake is that I've positioned the monitor about 5-10 cm too high. I can't tell why that happened, I had all the proper measurements done, and it still doesn't match, so I'll just attribute that to being a mistake.

 

So, now what? Apart from the two additional monitors there will be some mods on this for a while. keyboard/mouse trays, button box etc. I'll also need to put down a number of laps in it to really feel how it works. So far my silly idea regarding the raised front has worked wonders! I have foldable legs on the front of the rig, and once they fold up, the rig tips forward and a set of wheels takes over. Lift the rig's back and roll off. Also, the raised front makes the forces from the t500 (which, gives rather powerful FF) spread straight down the pedals. "Slow" forces are not felt there, but fast ones, like curbs rattle my feel as well as my hands.

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That rig looks sweet :) Very nice job. 

 

I happend to see that you too is from Sweden, where in the country are you located?

 

I wish i had the option to make my own rig, but as i live in an appartment and dont have anywhere to work at it i cant, and i dont think my landlord would be happy if i started to do some woodworking in the appartment ;) hehe

 

 

take care

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Thanks!

I too live in an apartment, and i've done some of the work (including painting) there. However, the little shared woodshop is priceless when it comes to doing bigger things.

I live in Gothenburg by the way, and as weird as it might be, i'm actually in Halmstad right now for a Wedding! Pm me, we're a League interested finding more reasonably local drivers (rf2 is our fav flavour)

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I got a bit sidetracked.
Got a visit from my oldest "bonus"-kid, and he threw long, envious glances on the rig after he tried it out for a while... but since he has a small apartment he can't justify a rig, but perhaps a wheelstand?


Said and done, 18 euros later I had all the stuff I needed and we started making a decent looking wheelstand for him. It was more important with looks and sturdiness than small size. The only criteria regarding size is that it can fit in the rather spacious storage compartment in his couch, no problems!

 

jws-start.jpg

 

After testing to attach the pieces and adding some lightness, some gluing and attaching of pieces, and right now we have to wait for tomorrow as the glue sets.

 

jws-holes.jpg

 

-------------------------------

 

Also, I took the original sketch of my rig idea, from the post-it... and just copied it over a photo of my almost done rig (no screens and stuff), and I must say I'm proud of how close to my original idea I managed to keep it...

 

riggkontur.jpg

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Well, I'm working on something for my rig, but it takes a bit of thinking (and some peices that I don't have yet) before I can start it, so meanwhile, back to the sidetrack.

jws-botten.jpg


I added a floor and a little structural reinforcing, in combo with a pedal shelf fastening piece.
Here pics of it closed and opened. The thinner mdf is just to keep the top part rigid, and some sort of device to hold it open will be added (I actually have no idea what yet).

jws-open.jpg

jws-folded.jpg

Then, to see roughly where it will be cut off, a pic with a rough placement of the wheel shelf. My goal is to make it adjustable, and able to swiver down/in so the wheel can be stored "inside" (though the stand is really too thin for that, so we'll see how it works out)...
jws-hylla.jpg

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Slow, slow progress, but still progress. :)

 

The structure of the rig may be done, and the monitor stand is functional, but I'm not sure I'm satisfied with it... but one thing is actually going forward!

The t500 wheel hasn't enough buttons, and I can't stand the way ordinary button boxes looks (with rows of buttons that look the same), so I did some stuff of my own.

 

soldering.jpg

 

I hacked apart a Simraceway SRW-s1 wheel and used the pcb as a base for my combo button box/cooling unit. 21 extra buttons on top of the 11+pov on the t500 should be plenty, and they're close to fingers and easy to reach and identify. I made two makeshift "boxes" from masonite and then decided to keep them instead of using them as templates, and mounted the pcb and a bunch of buttons inside. Some black paint to that and it looked pretty decent.

On the back of the sidepods are two vents for fans, since the t500 needs a bit of cooling. Being force colled by two fans has to beat open air.

 

panels.jpg

 

This is what I originally planned to use the "wings" on the sides for, but it turned out to be so-so at best, so I went this route instead.

 

The reason the photos look a million times better than before is that my teammate Mats popped by and used his photography skill and a proper camera.

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