Advice on making my first stick


Apologies for creating a new thread, but I asked some questions in the noob thread a few days ago, which haven’t been answered.

I am creating my first arcade stick, and would really appreciate peoples feedback and advise. I have ordered my parts from Gremlin Solutions here in the UK…

6 x OBSN-30 (White) for Punch/Kick Buttons
3 x OBSN-24 (Blue) for Start/Select/360 Guide
1 x JLW-TM-8 (White ball top) Joystick

My plan is to have the face plate 10.5" x 8", with a half inch thick wooden frame around it. I have drawn the box 3" high, but I’m thinking of trying to make it shorter. Maybe 2" or 2.5". I’m also tempted to reduce the size of the face plate to 10.5" x 7.5". Are these suitable sizes? The image below is my design drawn in Illustrator.

I’d also welcome feedback on the layout of my stick/buttons. I based it on this layout from


2 inches may be a little cramped for your first build, but you should be fine with 2.5" or so. 10.5x7.5 shouldn’t give you any problems either. Button layout seems pretty standard, it’s really all about picking something you’re happy with, it IS your stick after all… :wink: Your top does seem a bit thin to me, it’s common for people to use a top piece as thick as the rest of the stick, and then just use a router to thin it down for the buttons and stick. If your entire top is that thin, it might feel hollow or feel like it flexes, not a good thing.


Thanks for the advise Bakageta. The top is currently designed at 1/4" thick plywood and a plexiglass top. Was hoping to avoid complicating routering the buttons.

My brother wants to build the box, but he’s in Australia and I’m in the UK! I’ll need to send him an exact schematic to work to.


Can someone tell me the minimum and maximum thicknesses that OBSN-30 and OBSN-24 can screw into?


Minimum would be as thin as you could get it… :stuck_out_tongue: Maximum would be 7-8mm, 6mm would be better. At 1/4", you’ll need VERY thin plexi (1mm) on top or they’re just not going to screw down. Also keep in mind the thickness of the plexi and whether or not you want the plexi flush with the edges of the stick, you’ll need to lower the top to make up for it if you do.


If it comes down to it, you could always just router a little bit out underneath the button to make room for the nut on the button. But I’m building my first stick too and I’m pretty much using the same specs as you. I was also hoping to be able to use 1/4" plywood for my top. My top is going to be 12" x 7.5" because I want to have 8 buttons on top, so I’m hoping the plywood won’t flex or anything. I’m going to use a thickness of 3" just because I figure with it being my first stick, the more space the better. Sorry, long winded reply, but I’m pretty much in the same boat as you.


Thanks guys. Myndflyte - I look forward to seeing how your stick turns out.

Here’s my revised design. I’ll keep this thread up to date as the project progresses.

Think I’ll use this as the faceplate artwork. I have a Chun-Li Fightpad, so it’ll look cool to match that.


The orientation of the stick is odd to me for some reason

it’s 90 degree rotated from “normal”… you saving the bottom space for PCB?



Cutting it a little close on those buttons aren’t you? Nut diameter is larger than the diameter of the outer edge of the face of the button, you need a couple mm between them.


Yeah I was wondering about that too. Being that I’m still making my first stick but shouldn’t the long way of the plate be up and down?


I didn’t realize that! I’ll rotate the stick on my design. Thanks.


I did a simular build with my okami stick but it was hard because the plate for the joystick was good but the joystick (sanwa JLF) is actually bigger than the plate when it comes stock. That means that the hole needs to be wider than the plate to fit that. I almost didnt have room on the side because I did the work before the stick got to me.

Another thing is if you are putting the plate on the front router down for the plate and test it then screw it down and level test the screws. The screws need to sit flush and the plate a bit lower. Unless someone has found screws that sit on the stock plate well or counter sinks the holes it makes the cover plastic and art work stick up.


I was planning to follow this guide and screw the joystick plate under the faceplace without the need to router.


The dotted lines in my design are 36mm, the diameter of the nuts, and the grey circles are the 30mm holes. But, yeah I was a bit worried the buttons were too close. I took the layout from this diagram. Would you recommend spacing them out more?


you have to remember that there are 4 directional switches on the pcb, if you rotate the plate, I am not sure how it affects what “up” means…

the wires on the harness (if you use one) or the pin out on the pcb might be different if you decided to mount it sideways…



My joystick and small buttons arrived yesterday (action buttons will arrive next week) so I made a start on creating the fightstick. I cut out three layers for the face of the box. The top layer is made from plexiglass with holes for the buttons and joystick shaft. The next layer made of 3mm plywood has the holes for the buttons, and a rectangle cut out for the joystick plate. Then the third layer of 8mm wood has a smaller hole for the joystick box, allowing the plate to be screwed to it, and a large hole cut out around the buttons to allow access to screw the buttons to the other layers.

I’m quite pleased with the way it’s turning out so far, considering I have no experience in woodworking whatsoever. The wood isn’t cut extremely well, but this wont be seen when the artwork and plexi is on top. My biggest disappointment was the plexi glass has some cracks between the buttons, but this should be mostly covered by the button tops. I have another piece of plexi, so might take another go with that.

Tonight my mate and I start soldering the electronics. Friday night I’m building the sides of the box.

Photos speak a thousand words…

(After taking this photo I cut the rectangle out for the joystick plate)


Printed artwork for the faceplate…


Looks good so far. Did you just print the art off yourself or take it somewhere?


Could you possibly send me a PM with a link to that artwork? I’ve ordered a set of 4 white buttons with two light blue for the xbox bumpers and i’ve been struggling to find artwork which fits the look I want. Im after a few to compare and this looks perfect.

Good luck with the rest of the stick!


I work as a Graphic Designer, so printed it at work.

djbailey, I found a very high res version of the artwork but I’m afraid I can’t find the link.

Soldering didn’t go very well last night. A few lessons learned. I shouldn’t have stared the wiring before I’d finished building the box, attaching the pcm and installing the buttons. A few points have came off the pcm. I’m going to try to get a cheap Madcatz Gamestick to use the pcm from that instead.