1st timer could use some advise

So I’ve been reading the forums for a little while now and I’m interested in making my own 360 arcade stick. I just have some questions and if you could give any advise for a 1st timer or any suggestions, that would be awesome.

So as of right now, my specs are going to be 12in x 9in which will leave me 12in x 7.5in on the top to work with. I’m just wondering if that will be enough space to put 2 rows of 4 buttons (I’d like to include the shoulder buttons just to have them)? And I’m going to put smaller buttons on the top for start, select and guide which shouldn’t be a problem. So do you think that will be enough space to fit all the buttons?

Also, I’m going to have about 3in of height to work with inside the box so I’m wondering if that’s going to be enough space inside to fit the Sanwa JLF-TP-8T. I’m going to use Sanwa OBSN-30 and Sanwa OBSN-24 buttons so those shouldn’t be a problem. I just don’t want it to be too cramped in there for the first time I build this.

So I know this is long but any advise or suggestions would be great. Thanks.

Bumping for any advice from anyone. Thanks.

Three inches is plenty for a JLF and the buttons are shallower than that. As for the area, you might run into some crowding. In the couple most recent sticks I’ve built, I had a 10" x 6.5" panel. It comfortably fits a stick and six buttons, but only barely. With 12" of width, you should be able to manage eight buttons, depending on how much space you like. It’ll get more crowded if you want to include three more utility buttons. My suggestion in that case, would be to put them on the front or side panels, perhaps.

Why not just draw out the layout you want on paper or cut out in cardboard first? There’s also always the option of digitally modeling it beforehand, too. Might I suggest Google Sketchup?

Thanks, I’ve never heard of Sketchup before, I’ll have to check it out. But yeah, the utility buttons aren’t really a concern to me as to where they go, so I think the side or front may be the better option. My main concern was just about the stick being too big inside but thanks for the help.