Need help solving a problem: how can I make my setup slide up and down?

So I’m planning to make a big two-player setup, but I want the two sides to be movable up and down so that the person playing can adjust it to a height he wants, so that he can either sit on a chair and play or stand up and play. I have all the logistics worked out except one thing: how can I make the setups slide up and down and lock into place at various intervals?

I originally thought about using a steel slider like the kind in a smith machine, but I don’t really know how I would do that either, and I can’t find anywhere to buy just the runner parts of it. I also thought about using a slide mount like for a drawer, but while that would work for the sliding part, it probably wouldn’t be sturdy enough and it wouldn’t be able to lock into place at various intervals.

Any recommendations?

Smith machine is kinda clever, I never would’ve thought of that on my own! I wonder how difficult it would be to implement.

I was thinking you could put it on rails somehow (the way they do pull-out keyboards underneath desks), and then have some sort of sliding things on two levels that would protrude out and hold it from falling further. I don’t know how well this would work at the required weight or how stable you could get it to be, though… the more I think about it, the more I think it would just end up wobbly and/or break right off haha. Oh well, something for you to consider anyway!

is the machine going to be 2 player on one side, or 1 player per side?

originally I was thinking of doing something similar (along with rotating sticks, so you can rotate it around anyway you like, so even if you’re next to a big 400 lbs man, simply rotating the stick 15 degrees gives you room to play and not worry about not finding your corners).

The obvious solution is to make it one height and get an adjustable bar stool. But thats side stepping the issue.

One possible solution though is to get something like a base for a drill press. Drill Presses (at least the ones that I’ve worked on) have a metal shaft thats threaded, and an actual work station thats connected to the metal shalf, so you can use a hand wheel to move the work station up and down.

The smith machine idea is kinda neat, I imagine that it would work similarly (in function) to say installing drawers on a cabinet. Like say you have a wooden case (back, bottom, 2 sides but no front or top). you can install drawer rails on the inside of the sides. And attach the other part of the rails (that would work with the already installed rails) to the control panel. and if you want to make it higher, slide out the control panel, lift it up a few rails and put it back in.

However for this to work the control panel can’t weight too much.

For all of the hot moddable features we could put into the cab, you have to ask yourself “who is going to be playing this the majority of the time?”. If its you and only occassionally having someone else over then set it up to how you want it because once you have it at the height that you like you probably aren’t going to be changing it, so then whats the point of putting in all these designs that won’t be used.

If you’re gonna have a lot of friends over all the time then maybe it’d be worth while to try and do this, but if thats the case, which ever solution you attempt to do had better be quick to impilement, case I doubt that they’d want to stick around 5 minutes between matches for you to adjust the height everytime someone else plays and wants to play it at a different height.

You could always get two inexpensive officechairs and use the parts for height adjustment (the cylinder). This also gonna make it really quick to adjust the height with the lever.

This is what I was thinking as well. It is strong enough to hold a person and has fairly fast adjustable action but you would have to put your weight into it to make it go back down. Plus the cylinder already has a flat mounting plate securely attached to the top that the CP can be mounted to. The cost could be prohibitive if you can’t find some cheap somewhere.

After rereading your intial post I noticed you said stand or sit. Office chairs may not have enough height adjustment for that. Hmmm…

So let me make sure I understand. This isn’t a two player cab but a standalone control panel, right? If so I might have some more ideas.

I’m not sure what they’re called, but you can hit up a local junkyard and rip those pump things off the backdoor of a couple of vans (the pumps that keep the door up when you’re getting whatever out the back of it) or the tailgates of a couple of trucks. If they’re strong enough to hold up those heavy doors, I’m sure they’ll be able to hold up a couple of panels, but you might need something (a hook, maybe?) to hold it up. For example:

Even when I was making this, it felt really iffy, but it’s worth a try. Those pumps can’t be too expensive. It’s just a concept more to spark something, anyway.


I thought about it and this one would work out better, but you have to get a hinge that won’t exceed 180.

Just open the backdoor of a van or pull the tailgate down in a newer truck and decide for yourself if it’s a good idea or not.

I dont know if this is going to make any sense but here it goes. Put it on the shelf rails. This will allow it to go up and down freely. On the stick case, add dowel type things on the side that are retract inside the case when you pull a lever or turn a key. Think of how bolt locks work on doors. When the dowels are in you are free to move it up and down the rail. When the dowels or out, the will go into holes you place along the rail the will cath them and hold them in place. I would try looking at electronic door locks or something similar to find a mechanism that allows you go open and close multiple locks at one time. Or you could go old school and use turning motion that moves thing simultanously like you see in the various clamps in this picture.

I gues my closet analogy would be bank vault doors. When you turn the wheel all the pins rectract allowing you to open the door. When you turn the wheel in the oppisite direction, the pins extend and the door is locked. Just apply the concept to your case on the rail. Think of your controls case as the " vault door with the retractable pins" and the frame the rail is attached to as the “bank vault frame where the pins go in and out of”. I hope that made sense.

Thanks for all the great ideas, guys! The setup’s gonna have two separately-movable panels with a common support in between.

Crimson, that’s a cool idea, but I don’t have a local junkyard, and in any case I’m worried that pumps like that would leave a little bounce in the panel instead of keeping it rigid. I think the chair pump thing might have the same problem; chairs with pumps feel rigid when you’re sitting on them, ie when they have a lot of weight on them, but I don’t think my arcade panel is gonna be heavy enough to take all the leeway out of the pump. I’m making the panels heavy for arcade panels, but nothing near as heavy as a human.

Buyproduct, if I’m understanding your idea right, I think you’re basically proposing a more accessible version of the smith machine idea. But it has the same basic problem as the smith machine thing: when you’re taking the dowels out or whatever, what’s then holding up the panels? Are you supposed to take the dowels out, hold up the panels, and put the dowels back in all with just two hands? It doesn’t seem practical to me.

I think the idea of a big threaded clamp-type thing, thought about that the other day. I’m thinking a big threaded rod would work well, it would just be complicated to make. You’d have to attach the rod to the bottom of the panel with some kind of ball bearing mechanism that freely rotates on the rod side and is firmly attached to the bottom of the panel, and you’d have to ground the rod with some kind of nut attached to the base of the setup, and you’d have to find some way to raise and lower the threaded rod that’s easier than rotating it manually for like 2 feet (which could take a long time).

Right now I’m thinking of just using this. The only problem is that it doesn’t move up and down as far as I’d like.

What about using something like this? It’s like your Smith machine, except the dowels are spring loaded.

The threaded rod idea isn’t bad either, but I think you might be over complicating it. The link you posted isn’t working, so I’m guessing it’s something like this. You could fix the bottom of the rod to some kind of base, then attach a platform to the rod with a guide, like PVC tubing. The guide sits on top of the adjusting nut, so as you move the adjusting nut up/down, the platform moves along with it.

Of course, this design relies on gravity, so if gravity stops working, you might be in a bit of trouble.

You guys forgot your [no][/homo] tags

I think this is really only necessary if his setup turns out to be ass. :bgrin:

True. Joking but that image is very suggesgtive of…

So I’ve decided to go with the threaded rod idea, I think it’s probably the most practical. And you’re right, Strakka, I think I was overly complicating it.

I’ve also decided to modify my design for the panel so that anyone can put their sticks into it, keep their stick steady, and move it up and down to whatever level they want, from 26" above the ground to 50" above the ground (aka, from sitting to standing). I’ll post up my designs sometime soon.


Anyone? :stuck_out_tongue:

Hydraulic pistons. You’d be better off buying new, that way you know what size you’re getting ahead of time. Come to think of it, the style that’s used on office chairs would be better - they’re weight bearing, and designed specifically for setting height.

Can’t wait to see it!

Thanks, and that’s a good point. And I see nothing homo about and extending, censored cock with a rod sticking out of it.

the only problem i see with the threaded rod idea are these:

(pre-emptive no-homo)

Finding a threaded rod long enough for the height and thick / solid enough to support the weight without causing damage to the threads. You might end up needing 4 separate rods, one at each corner, to properly disperse and balance the weight, and that would add great tedium to actually adjusting the height, you would have to go and spin the nuts around like a madman to get them all 2 feet lower / higher, and even more time spent getting it nice and level.

I think the simplest AND most effective idea would be just having a series of holes or slots cut into the sides of the structure a few inches apart (kind of like an adjustable home weight lifting rack) that would allow you to insert any type of plank or solid support or something that would just act like a shelf, then you could drop your playing surface onto that, have it perfectly level, and be able to change from one height to the other in just one quick move.

Well after going to a few of the big home improvement and hardware stores around here, I couldn’t find good ways to ground the rods into the base of the setup or to attach the rods to the actual panel. I think a single rod would be fine, though. I’d make the panel itself fairly light and I’d use a substantial enough rod to hold several pounds up (like 5/8" or 3/4"). I’d also run drawer-style slides up and down the sides of the setup to take a little bit of the load off and keep the panel from moving around. But right now I’m not sure how feasible this is with the things available to me.

Thanks for the suggestion, Sam. Gonna go back to the ol’ drawing board.

For some reason I keep thinking about the simple music or microphone stand that allows you to adjust height quickly. Its pretty much a solid rod which has holes bored through its sides that is placed inside of a hollow rod with screw clamps used to hold the position. Very smiliar to how one select weights on a weight lifting machine using the metal pin. I dont know if it would be sturdy enough though.

I build a lot of random stuff out of wood for work and the home so I can think of a way or two to build it out of scraps I have around my house.

I would probably make the two sticks as if they were completely stand alone sticks. Then attach a few sticks of wood as if they were legs for the two arcade sticks. Not sure exactly how long they should be.

Then build a box out of plywood with a bottom, back and two sides, and a piece up the middle. Tack in some wood to make tracks for the legs of the arcade sticks to slide up and down in and drill holes for pegs that lock the legs in place.

Not sure if that description makes sense…


Like this but with 2 for the 2 sides. Kinda bulky, but you would use thinner stock to actually build it.