Best/cleanest way to mount a JLF without a router?

fiol’s thread got me wanting to get off my ass and finally put together a stick, but I don’t have the majority of the equipment I hear builders talk about using. All I’m going to have is a drill, various hand tools and wood glue. I know the basics of putting a box together without anything fancy, I can get that done, but I was wondering about the best way to mount a JLF if you don’t want screws popping up on the top of the case? I read up on different mounting techniques at slagcoin, and what I’m seeing is leaving me to think that this may be the only real option I have.

I’m not sure if Home Depot would route out something small for a price, but that may wind up being the only thing I can do. I know Ecks did something with a QFC case to mount the plate with the screws hidden, I’m hoping someone here has experience in this and can give me a few pointers, or maybe a link I can look at. I realize that this may be a bit obvious to many here, but its my first time actually looking at building a stick from scratch.

just put 1 layer of acrylic or lexan on top of the mdf top panel. You can also use 2 layers of 1/4 inch MDF. The bottom layer can be cut to top mount the plate.

You should have a keyhole saw if you cannot invest in a jigsaw.

Also will need a 30mm Forstner, 24mm forstner if using 24mm buttons and a 1 1/2 inch forstner for countersinking.

Things can be ordered at

I thought about that, but decided I wanted to have the stick made of a nice, solid wood, stained and finished. I could try mounting a couple of wood blocks underneath the top panel and using an s plate to mount the stick from underneath.

For the control panel, you could get a piece of sheet metal, or an old road sign. Countersink the mounting screws and they’ll be hidden by the plexi.

I was thinking more along the lines of what Ecksnine did with his QFC case.

I’m thinking if I want it done this way a router may be necessary, or I could go the old fashioned way with a chisel and mallet, cutting out an outline and shaving the inside area. I’ve done it before, just not with a case like this. It doesn’t need to be perfect inside, a sanding block would take care of leveling it.