Best covering for custom stick art? Plexiglass etc

What is the best material to cover custom art on sticks? I’m guessing some kind of plexiglass is the way forward, and it seems to be what most people use, however i’ve noticed that with a bit of time it can go “cloudy”

What is the best material? Are there any alternatives to plexiglass? Is perspex essentially the same stuff, with a diffferent name?


Lexan, doesnt crack like Plexi. They sell it at Home Depot.

Try Tap plastics as well. Usually have good pricing and bigger selection than Home Depot.

if u buy plexi from home depot or lowes or someshit, make sure you get someone who knows how to cut it properly… once they cut it, you bought it…so if they fuck it up then u just bought some jacked up plexi.

that being said, plexi is cheaper/better bought from an auto-glass shop or somewhere that does window work. I got 2 nice sheets cut much nicer than from lowes and it was cheaper than the 1 shitty sheet from lowes…


i actualy went out and did this step of my stick today

i noticed everything at lowes and home depot had shit carved in them

i lucky found a piece that wasnt hoodlumized :stuck_out_tongue:

Glass is cool, but the hardest to work with out of the conventional transparent materials.

Also waaay heavier and risky if it brokes on you.

Ask TMO, I forgot what he uses but he swears by it.

Plexi-Glass (Acrylic) is harder to work with but not much more difficult than Lexan (Polycarbonate). [not to be confused with Carbonite, that was the stuff that Jabba the Hut had Han Solo frozen in on the desert planet Tatooine]

Lexan is a bit more expensive but you can cut it with a rock, a hammer, or your table saw. Lexan is like clear wood, you cant screw it up. But it will get little scratches real easy, where you put your hands or under the dust cover of your joystick.

Plexi glass is cheaper and for a little stick that will take a lot of abuse, it is the better material.


If you are making a stick for yourself for the first time just use Lexan. It is fine.

Here’s a tip for cutting plexiglass. If you have a skill saw or table saw, you can cut it but it will probably “splinter” and get tiny cracks along the edges where you cut it. To minimize such cracks, put masking tape on the front and back of the plexiglass, along the line you wish to cut. Then you just cut right down the masking tape, and the tape helps hold the material together and prevents most (if not all) spiderweb cracking/flaking.

You can also score it with a plexi knife and just snap it.

Lexan nuff said :slight_smile:

Shhh, don’t make me look stupid. =p

Actually if you can throw it on the table saw that would seem faster. I’ll have to try that

If you use a table saw or a band saw, use something with a high tooth count. I generally will do large cuts with my table saw but will usually use my bandsaw to do most of my cuts (all of my non-straight cuts). If you have a router table, you could use that as well of course, but it’s the hardest to work with out of the three.

I always use a sanding machine (belt/disc combo) to smooth out all my edges. If I need to smooth out a curve, I would use a drum sander or a drum sanding set for the drill press, but I have a lot more tools than the normal person does so in that sense, it’s not very practical to have use all these tools.


Damn… I wish I had access to a band saw… =(

Me personally, I use clear vinyl. Tough, and easy to cut (all you need is a hobby knife or exacto). You can even use sharp scissors to cut the big shapes.

Only drawback is that it kind of buckles if you don’t cut some slack in the holes, but easily remedied if you make the hole sliiiiiightly bigger so nothing gets pulled under when you insert stuff. Also, it is a bit of a dust magnet, but I dunno if it’s just a static thing that temporary or long terms, because I’ve only been using it for like a month at most so far.

Thanks a lot for your advice guys, this is invaluable to me at this stage. I’m going to buy some plexi and lexan and see how they both pan out.

Just another quick question - what thickness do most people use?

I am also interested in the thickness.

Everyone’s on this plexi trip but, what about custom printed arcade contact paper (control panel overlays). Durable and more resistant to scratches than plexi (or at least hides them better).

The plexi I use is 1/8" thick. Its a good thickness for me since its thin but still thick enough for me to counter sink screws I use.

As for cutting it, I use a table saw with a blade for cutting compsite materials. Basically it has a higher tooth count with smaller teeth. Out of the two sticks I made I never had a problem with any cracking doing it this way.