The Novice Arcade Stick


The Novice Arcade Stick

This is a retelling of the creation of my first arcade stick. I’m making this topic because I know hardly anything about hardware, woodwork, electricity and other things that a lot of people use to create their sticks. I’m pretty much poking around guides and faqs, taking advice, and learning from my mistakes. I thought this might help out other people speculating whether or not to build their own stick. So right now, I’ve got this little gem to show you:
This is just a handful of buttons and a stick stuck in a premade case (case made by QCF Gaming). From what I could tell at this point, is that the pieces all fit in perfectly, and the stick rests in real nice. I ordered 3 Sanwa 24mm buttons, 6 Sanwa 30mm buttons, and 1 JLF from Note that I also had to purchase the balltop separate, so you can add that as well. I was really admiring the woodwork at this point. It was very smooth and well done. First I’d like to say that an unpainted/unfinished case picks of dirt and lent like crazy, so keep it away, ESPECIALLY if you have pets. I found this out the hard way, as I was assembling it at a friends house at one point, and ended up with a layer of dog fur on the edges. At this point, I had two things to do: Paint And Wire. I’ll get to that soon, and will post more pictures.


See those screws holding the stick in?

That is really going to hurt.


Kooper, tons of sticks have countersunk bolts on the top panel. Unless you flail your wrist like a complete spaz it’s not a problem. I’ve had a stick like that for years with no problems. I even have an LS-32 in my QCF case, which takes more wrist movement due to it being tighter. Amazingly my hands haven’t bled once from those terrible dangerous bolts.

If you need any help I just finished up my own stick using a QCF case. Does your JLF have a wiring harness? Because if not, it’s a slight pain to put on some of the connections because the stick is so close to the side. I bent my prongs on the joystick so that I could put QDs on it. But you could also solder for the 2 sides (top and left side) that are too close to the sides of the case.

I did 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of black on mine and it came out looking sweet as hell. I’m sure they told you already but be SURE to use wood filler all over the top of that case. It will not take paint at all if you don’t do that. And don’t forget to do the sides too (at least the parts where it’s rough). I used 200 grit for dry sanding the filler and primer, and then I used 600 grit for wet sanding on my color coats. It looks really slick. I’ll get picks of my own case later today. This was my first stick build too BTW.


We include those bolts with the stick, but you can easily put flat heads in there that are more flush with the case if they bother you.

@Clembo = I wanna see those pics when they’re done…


Yeah you should definitely switch to flat headed bolts when it comes time to buy bolts. I think your customers will appreciate that.


Thanks for the replies. I started painting the case before I had even made the topic, and now sort of with I hadn’t. Don’t be alarmed, I plan on sanding it heavily and repainting it. So here’s the problems:
-Fingerprints in the paint
-Doghair under the paint (I know WTF)
-Torn paper on the side
-Mostly uneven painting with streaks
So what have I learned from this? First, clean the case before you do anything with painting. Second, patience is vital when painting. Go at it with a pace, and let it take the time to freaking dry. Don’t touch it until you know it’s dry. If you need to poke it to see, then it’s not freaking dry. Also, sanding helps give it a smooth look.
Top of stick
Side of stick Paper! Yay!
Bottom of stick
Oh, and anyone who thinks this is scary, just wait until you see my wiring job. It’s ghetto. coughtstaplescough