Ideas for a cockpit have been bouncing around in my head for years, and the furthest that they ever got to becoming reality was a few sketches and talk. I started saving money for a purpose I hadn't decided yet, and a few months down the road I decided that the money was for my cockpit. I had always had the drive to build one, but never the funding.
So with that decided, I started looking around the net for what other people have done, partly for inspiration, partly to steal some ideas, and partly to see what they did wrong and learn from their mistakes. I struggled for a while on my design, mainly because I wanted the whole thing designed around the seat, for ergonomic reasons. I wanted to make sure that I'd be able to fit into whatever I designed. But one thing led to another and design flaws stacked on top of me not liking what I had designed, and things came to a halt. So I went back to the net for more inspiration.
After viewing Rodger Dodger Aviation's PVC pipe cockpits, I decided that I would use a similar frame design. I previously had planned on making the entire thing out of wood, but a PVC frame seemed to make more sense to me. With a solid idea for the framework, everything else seemed to fall into place.
I'm the type of person who loves to have a plan and loves to be able to follow that plan. But eventually the plan will fail at some point, and you have to be able to improvise. Thank the maker that I'm good at improvising. After I had my frame designed, I basically made the rest up as I went along because I was so tired of being in the planning stage. So most of the construction was a smidge of plan, a little bit of research and a whole lot of improvising peppered with some experimentation. I guess that's just how I roll.