Monday, March 21, 2011

Measure once, visit lumber yard twice

One of the wettest months of March I can remember will not stop. Feels more like South Shields than San Francisco... Upside though is that I'm "forced" to spend more time in the workshop.

The goal this weekend was to complete the base that the sim will sit on. Diehard followers of this blog (or newcomers motivated to plumb it's murky depths) will note I started this some time ago but was distracted by other things. Made from 2" X 4" dimensional lumber (a standard building material of everything from garden sheds to McMansions in the US), the idea was to raise the base up high enough to hide the control column mechanism and electronics. In case I need to remove the assembly for servicing, I want to have a snug, friction fit. Here it is in situ:
Note the plywood to the right - more on this later. Now another shot with the assembly removed, simply pulled straight up:

A lot of measuring went on between the MIP and the base to ensure the yoke would clear it when in full forward position. If only I had taken the same care when cutting the plywood that sits on top of the base... I had to make a cut out big enough to allow me to pull the control column assembly through. The idea being, I'd use the cut out to fit around the bottom of the column. I was off my precisely 1.5" all the way around, the exact dimension of the skinny side of a 2" x 4". Wait a minute, I thought you said it was a 2" X 4"? You can read why we don't get what we pay for here.

I'm too embarrassed to post a photo of my cock up.

Back to the lumber yard then! No, it's raining. To heck with it - early dinner, movie then bed.


  1. It seems that I navigate to your site every time I move onto thinking about the next step in my build - any you never let me down! I was thinking about my base earlier. Originally I was thinking metal and money, then PFD - BUT - now its plywood with Boeing grey carpet. Presto idea my friend. Iain

  2. Iain,

    Well, that was the original idea - to share my travails with others so that you can save on time and frustration.

    I'm perfectly happy with the wooden frame. If I were to do it again, I'd make it out of 2 X 6" lumber (or whatever the metric equivalent is) to make more room for the the controls under the deck. This will give you more of a pivot point for the bottom of the control column, making it easier to attach the dampers and electronics.

    On the carpet, what I didn't write about is that I stretched it over the top and stapled it to the underside. This took out all the wrinkles. Your other option would be self adhesive carpet tiles - just couldn't find any that were immediately available, all had to be ordered.

    Boarding a real plane now - more later.