How to build | make a Gaming / Racing / Steering wheel controller - Page 1
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Gaming / Racing Wheel - How to build a Steering wheel? (tutorial / guide to building a gaming / racing wheel yourself)
Author - Saju Asokan
Last Updated: Aug 02 2008
steering wheel build picture
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Build Wheel

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Introduction to building a gaming / racing wheel
Hello friend. Ever wished you could drive the cars the way we do it in the real world? Here I give you a step by step tutorial for building a steering wheel which has got not just a steering brake and gas pedal, but a Clutch, and yeah a gear box too. It wont cost you more than $10, if you have the most essential tools readily available like saw, screw driver and the like.
steering wheel build picture
Its not only damn cheap, its very much like the same gaming / racing wheel that you purchase for 100+ dollars. The only major difference is that our gaming / racing wheel has got no force feedback mechanism. It's no big deal unless you are a very serious gamer and has got enough money to spend on a Logitech G25 or the like. Here goes the highlights and features that the gaming / racing wheel you build will have
Steering wheel with around two full rotations (720 deg) in both directions as in a real car
Seperate Gas, Brake and Clutch pedals
A gear box with sequential shifting
Constructing the Steering wheel

Since the gaming / racing wheel undergoes a lot of mechanical handling from your part during gaming, we need to ensure maximum robustness in its design. If you are not aiming at a durable build, you can simplify the process and thus save significant time. Shall we begin?

Fetch a plastic / pvc pipe of 2cm diameter (approx) and length 80cm (approx). Light up a candle and heat the pipe from one end to the other end. While heating, slightly bend the tube in increments so that when the whole length gets heated and bent, it takes the shape of a gaming / racing wheel, with open ends.

build steering wheel close

build steering wheel diagram

During the process of heating, the pipe might turn black, due to the smoke deposits - don't bother. Don't even care about the irregularities in bending. We are going to cover up the pipe with cloth soon. Now heat one of the open ends of the pipe and push it on the other end, so that the ends overlaps and the pipe closes into a wheel. Let it cool. Now wash the pipe and dry it with a towel. Apply super-glue to the joined ends to strengthen the bond.

Take a plywood piece of length 20cm and width 5cm and place it at the center of the wheel. Use M-seal or any similar hard mass forming adhesive (used in plumbing) to fix the plywood to the ends of the gaming / racing wheel.

Use super-glue to strengthen the bond between the plywood base and the pipe. Now, when the adhesive has cured, drill a hole at the center of the plywood, large enough to accomodate a long bolt. Take cotton cloth and tear it into long strands. Wrap it around the whole surface of the gaming / racing wheel as shown in the photo above. Use superglue if needed. You can also tie very thin plastic wire over the cloth with proper spacing to simulate a realistic gaming / racing wheel.
Constructing the Steering Base
build steering wheel bolt close view

Now that the gaming / racing wheel has been made, let's build the steering's base. Take a card board box of approx 30cm x 20cm. Make sure that the box is firm enough. I used a logitech joystick's packing box for construction. Take a bolt of sufficient length and fix it on to the steering through the hole that you have drilled. Fasten the bolt using it's nut. You can cover the nut with hard adhesive to provide better support on the plywood. Now take two metal pipes (aluminium preferably). The larger pipe should have around 3cm diameter and the smaller one having 1cm diameter. The larger metal pipe should have a length not less than 20cm and the smaller pipe should have a length not less than 30cm.

Make a hole at the center of the box and pass the larger pipe through it so that only 1/3rd of it remains outside. Place the pipe slanting slightly upwards. Fix the pipe on to the box using the hard adhesive (MSeal). Use superglue if needed to provide extra strength to the gaming / racing wheel. Cover the outer end of the large pipe using the hard adhesive and make a hole through it large enough to pass the smaller metal pipe through it. Perform the same on the other end. Now insert the bolt into the smaller metal pipe and bind it using adhesive. Make sure that the alignments are always parallel. When the adhesives cures, you can pass the smaller metal pipe through the larger one attached to the box. Now you should be able to rotate the wheel freely on its base. If the rotation is not smooth, you can put more adhesive and file it up near the contact points where the larger pipe meets the smaller one.

Continue with the gaming / racing wheel construction in the next page >>
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How to build a Steering Wheel / Gaming Wheel with gas, brake, clutch and gear
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