I actually just finished building a custom using bare minimum tools. It really wasn’t that hard, just a little time consuming, which is to be expected. If you’re buying a finished box, you won’t even need the saw, just a drill to make holes and stuff.
For cutting plexiglass down to size, I highly recommend using a special plexiglass cutter. Most stores that sell plexiglass (or any kind of acryllic glass) will also sell cutters for it. I recommend Home Depot, I got a pretty big sheet (big enough for two sticks) for $3, and a cutter for another $3.
Cutting the joystick slot actually isn’t even necessary. If you use a very thin board for the top panel (2-3 mm) you can just mount the stick under the board and use screws to keep it in place.
For button holes, I highly recommend using hole saws. They work great on both wood and plexiglass, and they’re pretty cheap. They can vary a lot in price (can range anywhere from 2-20 dollars), but if you’re lucky you can probably get away with some really cheap ones. I got two hole saws at Ace Hardware for $3 each (Ace Hardware brand, carbon material). Due to the price, I was expecting them to break after a few minutes of use, but they actually worked extremely well. Lucky me. :wgrin:
Assuming you’re using Japanese parts, you’ll want 24mm and 30mm sizes. 24mm for the joystick shaft and start/select/back/home/guide buttons, and 30mm for the action buttons. If you can’t find the exact same sizes, just go with the closest size you can find. If you find that your holes are just a little too small, you can grind them to the right size with a grinding stone bit. I got one at Ace for $3 (seems like everything I buy is $3 :looney:)
Assuming you want to paint the stick, you’ll need some of that too. Chances are you already have some paint in your house, but just in case you need to buy some, go with spray paint. For the best looking finish, you’ll want a can of primer, a can of paint, and a can of clear coat. I recommend Rustoleum brand, very high quality and very cheap. Got all three at Home Depot for around $3 each
If you want a REALLY nice finish you can also use a rubbing compound and wax, but it’s not necessary.
Here are two great guides for painting:
You’ll also want sandpaper, of course. Money shouldn’t really be an issue here. Assuming you don’t have any sandpaper in your house, you can buy sheets for less than a dollar. Don’t bother buying a sanding block, you can make one yourself by taping/gluing a sheet of sandpaper to a scrap piece of wood.
To sum things up, here’s a list of tools you’ll likely need:
Saw (hand saw works fine)
Drill & various bits (no need for a Dremel, your drill can handle everything just fine)
Screws and nuts
Hole saws (spade and forstner bits also work, but hole saws are recommended)
Sanding block (homemade)
Desoldering braid (just in case you mess up)
Paint (and brush if you’re not using spray)
This is pretty much everything I remember using. As you can see, nothing really expensive or fancy (minus the drill I guess, but you already have that)
For everything you need to know about building sticks, slagcoin is your best friend.
Good luck! :wgrin:
edit: my bad, didn’t notice that you’re UK based. In that case, ignore everything I said about Home Depot