RyanLogics First stick build. PICS added

OK, I have enough parts on the way for 2 sixaxis based wireless PS3 Fightsticks. I will be using the axisdapter from lizard lick amusements. Im pretty sure i have the wiring side of things figured out…multiple grounds soldered connections, shrink tubing, and a project box.

my intention is to make quite a bit more to give as gifts, and sell at cost to close friends locally.

so now I need to figure out what I want to do in regards to case. MDF seems like a good choice, im planning on using solid colors at least initially. For future builds I might try my hand at some more advanced woodwork. but for now, i think i can achieve some good results by wetsanding and lots of coats of spray paint/ clear coat, followed by compounding and polishing.

I have a router, but i have no clue what kind of bit I need to carve out the mounting area for my JLF’s, along with the back side of the button holes…I also want to make the buttons on the side inset. my father can help me construct the jigs and carve it out, but i need to know what im looking for at Home depot.

are there any good guides pertaining to this that I may have missed?

Also, whats the best waty to cut acrylic? I have a table saw, and i am familiar with the score and snap technique…im assuming table saw is better…but i don’t know what kind of blade to get.

Does anyone here ever Use glass instead of Plastic for the top?

any input would be appreciated.


latest picture:http://joystickvault.com/data/500/medium/07032010145.jpg (obviously, some of my plans changed)

Did you check out slagcoin at all? it tells you how to make sticks from scratch and what tools and all.

great site, thanks!

maybe ill just show the guys at home depot a picture of what i wanna do so i can get the right Bit(s).

I swore off MDF because it is a nasty wood to work with, so be careful. Always wear a good dust filtration mask, if you can then get something rated N100 and if the disposable ones are expensive you can get a half-mask for ~$40 then buy the pink N100 pads for it afterwards. Those masks are good because with a quick turn of the filter you can take them off and change them, so changing between paint and dust filters is easy. Plus the dust filters last almost forever you can just take them off and use compressed air to clean them out.

Other than that, try not to use good tools for working the MDF. If you have an older drill or router then use those. Same thing with your bits, MDF will dull them quickly. Some MDF nicked my plane blade awhile ago :frowning:

“Straight Cutter Bits”, “Straight Plunge Bits”, “Carbide Up-Cut Spiral Bit” or “HSS Onsrud Spiral Router Bits”. The spiral bits are the most useful because if you ever use them for other things like joints and stuff they will clear the wood chips out of the hole. The only problem is that the Carbide up-cut bit is a bit small so a 1/2" bit in HSS might be better (if your router has a 1/2" shank).

You can check them out here: Straight Bits - Lee Valley Tools - Woodworking Tools, Gardening Tools, Hardware Supplies

For this you need to get a forstner bit, maybe a spade bit might work too but I’m not 100% sure. You need one that will make a hole larger than the rim of your button, drill partway through the wood with this large bit until it’s deep enough for the button not to be sticking out and then take your normal 30mm bit and drill out the center. I think the size I used for my iL button was 1 and 1/2". Not sure what other people use but if you have a caliper or something you can just measure the diameter of your button and go a little bigger. The size might even be in one of the FAQs.

Higher tooth counts are better for cutting plastics. People have had success in using standard 40T-50T blades though but it would go easier with a 60T, or if you can stomach the cost and the fact it’s not meant for anything other than plastic/metals than an 80T blade.

Not that I know of, I think glass is just too difficult to make it worth it over plexi-glass.

thank you, very helpful. I am assuming by nasty you mean toxic?..not hard to work with…
in which case, is there a different/inexpensive/preferable wood that routes out well and accepts paint evenly that i should consider?

the reason I ask about glass is because i have glass hole saws, and am familiar with drilling glass…I was thinking it would be cool to have some glass cut and drill the 30mm/ 24 mm holes for the buttons and stick…plastic might just be easier though.

Lizard lick amusements ships ridiculously fast. cant find the right bits anywhere, had to order them online.


Yeah MDF is very toxic. Don’t get me wrong the wood dust from any woodworking is bad for your health so you should always wear a dust mask unless you’re planing, chiseling, drilling small holes or something else that won’t make a lot of dust. The thing with MDF that makes it worse though is that on top of all that dust there’s the resin/glue that holds it together. Plus I find that MDF dust is a lot more annoying than normal woods (it makes my clothes/garage dustier).

MDF isn’t very hard to work with although I have heard some people have trouble gluing it and it dulls your tools quickly.

For alternatives, a lot of people like poplar, I think it is mentioned on Slagcoin as well. It is one of the cheapest hardwoods and is also fairly soft making it easy to plane, chisel, drill, cut, route, etc. Going a bit harder you can use Birch which is still pretty cheap and easy to work with but won’t dent as easily. Then further up you have oak and maple which still aren’t too bad in price for building something the size of an arcade stick although oak is a little tougher to work with (I’ve never used maple). Depending on how big your stick will be you might still have to used an MDF top panel but at least you are limiting the usage. That’s what Kaytrim used to do I believe. I did an oak case a long time ago just to see how oak was to work with and for the top panel I used an 8" wide board of oak and then 1" deep oak for the sides which made my case ~10" in depth. Also I didn’t want to put art so I couldn’t use MDF anyways :smile:

As for the glass, well if you have experience and the bits I don’t see any problems with you using it. It is just that most builders don’t have the experience or tools and plexiglass is easier to work with. I would also guess that plexiglass is cheaper but I never bought glass so I don’t know for sure.

coincidentally, that is exactly what I ended up doing.
I made an oak frame, and im working on an MDF top Panel.
hopefully i can find some oak quarter round to use to hold up the panel and give me something to secure the bottom and the feet with. if i cant find it in oak, i am going to consider trying to cut some triangular shaped pieces out of my scrap wood.
although i can drill the holes, I am not going to use glass…mainly because id like my nephews to be able to play with these sticks when I’m not around.
As i mentioned earlier, i couldn’t find the forstner bits i needed anywhere…so i had to order them…gonna have to wait a week to get the holes in the top panel, and the side of the frame.
which sucks because i really want to start staining this frame, and i cant till I cut the holes, and route them out nicely…

ill post pictures tonight.


Make sure you check with your button nuts that your holes are not too close. Some of the Vewlix layouts on slagcoin have the holes spaced too close for use with Sanwa Screw-ins.

thank you, i will check. you may have saved me a ton of backtracking and violent cursing.
I plan on making the spacing between the joystick and the buttons a bit wider than usual…
but this is what I planned on using:
“HORI…transitioning layout used by Hori in some of their joysticks”

…the only difference is I want the joystick to be centered at the furthest left dot
(im a big dude.)

is this layout going to cause problems with the threaded buttons I have? they barely touch…


if so, where can i get a similar layout that will work?

also, does anyone make/carry aluminum balltops…I have seen the bat tops and they look great, but I like the look/feel of a balltop.


obviously i have some sanding to do. Im thinking about painting the stick rather than staining it…mainly because my wood finishing skills are not that great, i messed up in a few places. and also, because the wood i used to support the top panel does not stain well. While the oak stains very well, the other wood( probably pine) just turns a disgusting puke color. If i paint it, i can repair a few of the blemishes/ goof ups.

I am open to suggestions, and i would love to get some feedback. thanks

Drill it, and try and see for yourself. If problems occur, you can order Seimitsu nuts and replace the Sanwa nuts with those since they are smaller.

good to know, thanks