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DIY Gaming Chair

After buying a Microsoft steering wheel and pedal set to get the best out of various driving games on the Xbox 360, I quickly found out that the steering wheel didn't securely fit to any tables in my house. Therefore I decided to create my own 'table'. Here's a quick how-to guide for anyone else thinking of making their own. It's not a plan but should give you some ideas and you're welcome to copy it.

The brief I set myself required that the gaming chair emulate the driving position found in many sports and super cars, allow for different driver sizes, be relatively easy to get into and out of, be sturdy, be able to be stored away with ease, and look at home on the floor of the living room. Not look like a collection of welded tubes and car parts bolted together on a whim.

Construction of the gaming chair started with a trip to the local DIY store where I picked a variety of hardware and several different pieces of wood, using the plan which only existed in my head as a blueprint. But in the end it required:

34" high x 15 3/4" wide (87cm x 40cm)

15 1/2 " x 15 3/4" (39cm x 40 cm)

17 1/2" x 15 3/4" (44cm x 40 cm)

3" x 3/4" (7cm x 2cm) planks for base, backboard and seat supports.

Table sides:
15" high x 10" deep (38cm x 25 cm)

Table top:
10" deep x 15 3/4" wide (25cm x 40cm)

Other stuff:
2x hinges, 10x L-brackets, 8x joining bars (flat L brackets), multiple screws 70 - 100 approx.

Gaming Chair for driving games

Gaming Chair for driving games
All these measurements are approximate and only intended as a guide to what you might need during your construction.

The plan slowly developed in a productive afternoon spent in the shed. It began with a rectangular base formed from the 3"x3/4" (7cm x 2cm) planks. Resulting in an overall base size of 58"x15 3/4" (147 cm x 40 cm). The next part of the build was creating the back rest. Strength was critical to its success so I used support braces attached to the base and running roughly 1/3rd the height of the back rest. The position of the back rest also allows for the gaming chair to be positioned on its back for storage - a nice feature if you're considering building one yourself. Then came the seat section. Because the seat itself (and the backrest) are fixed, it's best to align these to fit your body shape. On my gaming chair the front of the seat section is about 6.5 inches high, while the rear rests on the base. Then came the table section which holds the steering wheel. For this I made two identical sidepanels which are attached to the base using L-brackets. Then I built the gaming chair's table top, this is attached to one of the side panels using two strong hinges (a small piano hinge would also work), this lets you get in and out of the chair. Then in order that the table top fit snugly I added an additional piece of wood on the side panel without the hinges which sat up at the same level as the table top when closed (see picture 4), this helps keep the table top locked in place when closed. Finally came the board on which the pedals rest, this quite simply is a wooden panel screwed to the rectangular base on which the pedals sit. I opted not to attach the pedals to the base because the rubber feet on the bottom of the pedals hold them in place firmly anyway and it also makes it very easy for drivers of differing heights to fit the chair.

Once the framework was complete It required padding for the seat section and a covering for the entire structure. At the upholstery shop there was a wide selection of different density and size foam padding and a variety of coverings. I opted for thick 2" foam for the seat and 1" foam for the backing, black faux leather was chosen for the covering. It required 1.5 meters x 3 meters in total. To attach the leather I used a staple gun and about 200-300 8mm staples.

I've been using the gaming chair now for a couple weeks and find it makes driving games far more involving than using a conventional controller. Several others who tried it found it to be great fun also. As a further bonus I found that it makes a great chair in which to watch TV, work using a laptop, or even eat off!

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Gaming Chair for driving games

Gaming Chair for driving games

Gaming Chair for driving games

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