It's a table. It's a gaming rig. It's the Mk5, and you can probably build this better than I can.

My project didn’t go according to plan.

Not that I had a stellar plan to start with, but I've built no less than four homemade sim racing cockpits prior to this one, which I appropriately named the Mk5. Mind you, the Mk5 didn’t turn out bad – it’s a good match for other furniture in my small house, and it does indeed transform from a large, boxy table to a racing cockpit as intended.

I'll explain the details of this unlikely sim racing cockpit project through the above slideshow, but before you jump in, here's some background on this crazy idea of mine.

Simply sticking the frame of a race car in the living room wasn’t an option for us.

With Coronavirus sending more people into the online racing world, I decided now was the perfect time to build cockpit number five. I'm an avid gamer and sim racer, and with Motorsport Games heating up the online eSports community with titles like NASCAR Heat 4 and new partnerships with other games like Dirt Rally 2.0, I wanted something better in which to get my game on.

My quandary with such a project is that I have a small house, and the rig needs to sit in the living room where the 4K TV and gaming hardware lives. As such, it also needs to be multi-functional, and though I have an amazing wife who loves gaming and helped with this build, simply sticking the frame of a race car in the living room wasn’t an option for us. What I needed was a Transformer – a table that could convert into a complete racing cockpit with accommodations for a Logitech G920 system, including the six-speed manual shifter. 

As you click through my slideshow, two things will become abundantly clear.

  1. I’m not a carpenter, by any stretch of the imagination.
  2. I’m also not remotely close to being an engineer

As such, this project took several days longer to complete than planned because I didn’t really think things through before I started cutting, drilling, cussing, and eventually, drinking.

Rather, I like to think I’m similar to most of you out there – just a person with a modest home, a few power tools, a little bit of ambition, and enough skill to be dangerous. I made plenty of mistakes building this oddball cockpit, and I still have some modifications ahead of me to dial it in. But, it looks decent and it succeeds in being two things at once, so I'll take it as an overall win.

It looks decent and it succeeds in being two things at once, so I'll take it as an overall win.

That said, I invite you into my workshop and home to see how this weekend project became a week and a half of big dreams, frustration, more frustration, disappointment, and ultimately a source of pride. If you make it all the way to the end of the slideshow at the top of the page, I even have a few surprises in store.