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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I have posted this in a couple of other forums so I apologise in advance if you have seen it before.

I built this from an old exercycle, an office chair, and some steel I scored from work.

I wanted something that was custom made to suit me, so I mounted a chair to the old exercycle frame and built a desk around myself. I used the desk in its previous incarnation for a year and it worked fine but there was a lot of tidying up to be done, so when we shifted to a nicer house I decided to upgrade the desk so I didn't feel so bad keeping it in the lounge.

00nY5.jpg


The footrest comes up at the same time as the desk comes down, the springs underneath are to help with the weight of the desk. I still need to find some slightly stronger springs that are in between the current springs in the picture and the garage door springs that I used previously. I am considering changing to hydraulic rams (like on a hatchback car) rather than springs but I need to find someone to advise me on that yet.

WdPLf.jpg


Here it is in the open position

Kn8kH.jpg


The keyboard is held on by magnets I have glued to the bottom and there is a metal plate on the desk to hold it in position, that way I can still move it around for comfort. The mousepad is glued to the plate. The current desktop is painted plywood but I am replacing it with a polished wood desktop that I will make at the same time as the new side table. The side table will be a PC case as well as having a place for my mouse cradle, USB hub, volume controls, iPhone dock and a place for my coffee. I will do another post about it when it is finished as I have only just started on the design.

The original desk was modified several times before I found a shape I liked that worked well, I will link the videos I made at the end of this post so you can see how it all began. After I got it all working I used it for just over a year and had no problems whatsoever with it other than the noise of the garage door springs when I opened and closed it and the fact that they were a bit strong. I designed it so that I could adjust the springs at both ends as you can probably see in the photos.

I added handles to hold the weight of the desk when it is in the closed position, this was so that it was easier to pull down and also so I had some slight adjustment in height. Please excuse the mousepad, I knew it was being replaced so I used a crappy one in case it was destroyed when removing it from the metal plate.

F2T9Dh.jpg


When we shifted house I decided to upgrade everything and in our previous house the chair had warped the floorboards out of shape from its weight so I decided to lighten it as much as my budget would alow me to. I realise that I could have gone to lighter steel or even wood to replace some parts but this steel was free and to this day the whole thing has only cost me about $300 - $500 if you dont count the tools I bought. My solution to the weight problem was to remove any parts that were no longer needed and put holes in what was left. I am not really sure how much weight I have saved but it is a lot easier to move around now.

After the modifications I wire brushed it, sanded it, wiped it down with turps and painted it in a rust protecting matte black. I may change the colour one day but black works for now, I want to do it in metallic purple and white if I ever upgrade it again.

When the paint had dried it was just a case of assembly and testing....lots of testing using the skyrim testing system.

Things I need to complete:

* Side table as mentioned above
* New desk top
* I still need to redo the footrest, The sponge inside it is cut really badly as we just used a knife instead of a hot-wire to cut it
* I want to strip the wood on the seat down so I can match it to the new desk top and the side table when they are finished
* Slightly bigger springs

More pictures here http://imgur.com/a/dMwCO (there is even a kitty)

The evolution of the chair (10 videos) is at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC4BF16ECBAF8F4F6

Please feel free to ask any questions
smile.gif


Cheers.
 

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Very nice, I was indeed expecting to have seen something like this before but this is an ingenious new spin
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The finished product looks remarkably clean!
 

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I'll order 10.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermasaurus View Post

I love how you pull it in over you, almost as if closing a jet fighter cockpit!
biggrin.gif
I never thought about it like that.

I might have to play a flight sim tonight....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elroc View Post

I might have to play a flight sim tonight....
But with that configuration you can't use a proper set of rudder pedals
frown.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by radodrill View Post

But with that configuration you can't use a proper set of rudder pedals
frown.gif
That is a very good point! I should make a quick removal system for the footrest for racing and flight sim games so that I can just unclip the current one and clip in one with the pedals mounted.

Thanks for the idea for my next upgrade!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighoppins View Post

That is awesome.
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How muche did it cos't if you dont mind me asking?
As I mentioned in my first post it has cost me between $300 and $500 in parts but that was because I managed to score the steel for free. I work for a property management company that specialises in shopping centres so they are always removing old signage from tenants and throwing it out, I just asked if I could have it rather than taking it to the steel recyclers. This is also the reason I used such heavy steel, if I made it from scratch I would have used lighter steel perhaps angle iron rather than box section to cut down on weight.

The office chair was broken on the base so it was being thrown out too, I just removed the base and threw it away then used the chair on my own mounts.

Most of the money I spent was on consumables like grinding wheels, electrodes for the welder, sandpaper, paint, etc. The most expensive thing I bought was the springs.

I hope this answers your question.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudX View Post

I have before and am contemplating designing one with a friend, but nothing homemade... Very awesome!
It costs a lot. He built it for $500 it looks like.
http://www.mwelab.com/workstations
The emperor workstation was part of my inspiration for building this, it is so far out of my budget that I didn't even contemplate buying it and went straight to "how can I make one myself?"

Now I see they are making a cheaper version that would have been more affordable but still out of my budget with import costs to new zealand etc (I am saving for a house).

If you get one I would be really interested in hearing how it all goes and what you think of it.

Cheers.
 

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Wow, looks fantastic! You did all the work yourself?

One thing I would do differently is have the arm swing side to side (parallel to the floor) instead of up above your head. I'd be too afraid my monitor would fall
tongue.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by MME1122 View Post

Wow, looks fantastic! You did all the work yourself?
One thing I would do differently is have the arm swing side to side (parallel to the floor) instead of up above your head. I'd be too afraid my monitor would fall
tongue.gif
I thought about swinging to the side when I was coming up with the concept but decided doing it this way was far more fun, the monitor is bolted on to the steel so there is no chance of it falling. The desk can hold my weight on top of it without any strain (that's how I tested my welding) so it would handle a 3 monitor combo no worries and even a 50" plasma TV if I wanted to put one there and could find springs that would let it move nicely.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elroc View Post

The emperor workstation was part of my inspiration for building this, it is so far out of my budget that I didn't even contemplate buying it and went straight to "how can I make one myself?"
Now I see they are making a cheaper version that would have been more affordable but still out of my budget with import costs to new zealand etc (I am saving for a house).
If you get one I would be really interested in hearing how it all goes and what you think of it.
Cheers.
oh, i won't be buying one of those unless I win the lottery or something!
biggrin.gif
I would like to build one some day, I have the skills and most of the tools. I'm a pro welder and fabricator and a close friend is a very good designer a long with being a pro at solidworks and machine language. It would be fun, but very expensive to build. Especially for just one or even two.

The way you went about it getting some leftover materials really helps out. You did really really good. It's so awesome when someone successfully completes a project like this. This type of workstation has a chance of getting real big, i think. Especially if one can bring the costs down. Just amazing work on yours though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudX View Post

oh, i won't be buying one of those unless I win the lottery or something!
biggrin.gif
I would like to build one some day, I have the skills and most of the tools. I'm a pro welder and fabricator and a close friend is a very good designer a long with being a pro at solidworks and machine language. It would be fun, but very expensive to build. Especially for just one or even two.
The way you went about it getting some leftover materials really helps out. You did really really good. It's so awesome when someone successfully completes a project like this. This type of workstation has a chance of getting real big, i think. Especially if one can bring the costs down. Just amazing work on yours though!
Thanks for the compliment, I feel embarrassed about my welding now in front of a professional. This project was the project I taught myself to weld with, I just bought a welder and had an idea then read a book about welding and had some fun. I made the original a year ago so my welding has improved a lot over that time as I have made lots of other things since, this last refurbish of the desk let me tidy a lot of my welds up but I left a lot of my original (non structural) welds so that I could see my progress and learn from it when I look at the chair.

If I didn't get the steel from work I would have gone to a scrapyard or wrecker for the steel, or perhaps a farmer with an old structure he wants removed that I could do for keeping some of the steel or something. There are always ways to get what you want without paying full price and used steel is just as good after a wire brushing.

Some of my other projects include:

Mobile home entertainment system http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuV0O-e8nXQ

Coffee table with built in PC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXHZRc9jPGQ

Exercycle with PC for playing games while working out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S40HWOxSq6A

The exercycle is a bit rough but I was new to modding back then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't really think there would be enough demand for something like this to make it worth while patenting (saving for a house so no disposable income).

I would prefer to open source the plans and see what other people do with the design.
 

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I would've got one of those sheet magnets and glued that to the bottom of the mouse pad, rather than gluing the mouse pad directly onto the surface lol

Pretty cool idea, looks rather comfy as well
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