Custom ball Tops? Discuss here


I am migrating the discussion over here to avoid grief and leave drama in the past

Opinions/ ideas mentioned

  • Sanding and Painting
    Plenty of Info here - How to: Hand Paint Your Balltops

  • Sand Blasting

  • lathe/ milling derlin (or other plastic), metal, wood

  • 3D Printing

  • Custom Plastic Molds
    Make your own

  • Repurposing items, drawer handle pulls, Pez dispenser heads, ect


There is also this

Looking for Matte/textured ball tops & button tops
Info Thread: Rules, FAQs and Tutorials Inside. (READ THIS BEFORE HITTING THAT NEW THREAD BUTTON!)

I also want to point out that a custom order from a major Arcade parts manufacturer is not feasible for a single stick.
Sanwa, Seimitsu, Happ, ect would need a order in the thousands or a continuing sales agreement.

I also would imagine it take someone with a good working relationship with said Manufacture.
So please don’t think any joe-smoe can just put in a custom order for 100 Ball Tops at Sanwa.


Has anyone used any molding stuffs from a craft store? Ones where you make a mold and then pour in an epoxy or something similar?


I found this

Purplearms makes his own custom bat top for LED lighting.

And someone makes a bat top from a old Chair leg


Slick! I am going to have to try that some day. I simply don’t have the time now, but maybe I will start making a few custom ones. I’m not quite sure what kind to make yet.

I remember the chair leg bat top. Was a nice project and well done.


I decided to do a google image search on door handle pulls

Tell me with some minor hacking these would not be some awesome ball tops


Speaking of this; though it wasn’t exactly a “ball” top, I do recall d3v making a Hulk fist “ball” top with a 3D printer. Idk how well it held up after usage though (assuming he’s used it which I’m sure he has at this point; I remember seeing that post months ago lol)


Sanwa showed off a prototype of a clear bat top at Evo 2014. Shown here next to the long shaft JLF on the left and “high resistance” JLF on the right.


b15 made this ball top

It was to a steampunk themed stick.


This would be the technique I would try for a matte, textured balltop. Adhesion promoter and bumper coating.


I’ve always wanted to try water transferred graphics on arcade parts.

MyDipKit Wood Grain Graphics

How Stuff Works style video:

Arm Dip


Those dips look awesome. I guess you could always mod a shift knob or something to work on one

Probably been done with the small chrome skulls not sure about bubble shifters though.


With a slightly different angle that pic would be lol worthy innuendo wise.

Are the female ends of the shafts available for purchase? Pr would i just seat an approproate sized nut in something?

This thread’s got me wondering what I could put em in.


Many shift knobs are 10mm. This means you could use them on10mm or any 6mm joystick shaft in conjunction with a 10mm to 6mm adapter. Some are universal and use a set screw to hold the knob on. Not sure how comfortable I would be with that.

These caught my eye:


Automatic shift knob for a Mazda Miata is failure of epic proportions.


couple it with the cerulean bubble shifter pictured above. :wink:

Perfect. Double KO.


Some nice stuff here. Another thing to consider is vinyl wraps. Probably wouldn’t be easy to wrap a ball top but I’m sure with practice you could get something really nice, and it would last quite a bit as the vinyl wouldn’t wear or chip off. If it peeled, you could apply more. Vinyl sheets are pretty cheap.


I have this handle-knob from an umbrella that my wife bought in Tokyo when we were there in 2008. The umbrella itself crapped out about a year ago.
It’s a pretty dumb-looking cartoony duck’s head, but size-wise, it’s actually quite nice. I saved the handle before chucking the broken umbrella to mess around with and turn it into a weirdo ball-top.

It’s like this, but I have a yellow one:

It already has a threaded hole, but the thread is very large (as you can kinda see since the entire thing is semi-transluscent), so I’ll have to figure something out there.


Make a jig to hold a 10mm to 6mm thread adapter in the middle of the the current threads and use epoxy to fill the space.


tried to post a comment but it had a link. EP-200 epoxy putty is really good and cheap you knead it with your hands. Way better than wood filler / as seen on TV stuff.