We need a Painting FAQ and Power Tools FAQ

I know next to nothing about either of these topics, and I’m willing to bet many new modders don’t either. What we need is an experienced individual to guide us.

[]Detailed steps involved in painting (primer, sanding, etc.)
]What type of paint to use
[]How to paint different materials (wood, plastic, metal)
]How to use Bondo
[*]Safety precautions

[]Basic drilling techniques
[]Useful tools for modding joysticks
]For cutting button holes, can I use a Dremel/rotary tool with a hole saw, or do I need a proper drill?

Some helpful videos I found on Systm:

Geek Tools 101
MAME Cabinet Part 3
Painting Your Project

thanks dude :smiley: just noticed this post. It would be really awesome if someone could step up and share his/her knowledge.

i 3rd that , great idea Mizkreant

i was actually going to do a MDF painting tutorial when i paint my next stick. should be within the week assuming funds allow it.

The tools should include how to use them to do crazy boxes. How do people make their boxes all curved and angled? Yea I know use a router, some saw. But go into details for complete newbs that can barely use those things.

I think before we get into complicated tools like routers, the FAQ should just start with tools used to do minor modifications to existing cases, such as enlarging or drilling new holes for buttons or joysticks, for example.

For instance, I know you need to drill a pilot hole, but what do I do after that? And what should I use to hold the console in place, some kind of clamp? How should I position it?

I know I could probably look up some general knowledge on the web, but it won’t be joystick mod-centric.

a tool thread would be nice.

I’ll be updating the first post with any new questions I can think of, as well as any helpful links I find, so keep checking it.

Slagcoin has a lot of useful info on his site here

I wont be very organized but …

A “Step Drill Bit” is great for enlarging holes. They work in wood, metal and plastic. Here is a link with info and pictures


A “Forstner Bit” is essential for working with japanese buttons. Not only do they cut the cleanest holes but they are the best way to cut a large hole with a square bottom. For example, if you want to recess a button or drill a larger recess for the button nut.

Finally, Drills:

Hand drills are for hack jobs. But if you are going to get a hand drill, make sure that it has a 1/2" chuck so that you can fit larger type drill bits.

A Drill Press is the way to go for drilling. You can get a great Delta drill press at Lowes for $99. It has variable speeds and will cut a straight and true hole unlike the hand held drills.

If you are going to set up a shop, you need the following tools in this order.

  1. Table Saw - you can get one that will work for $150. You will use this tool the most

  2. Router - This tool can do almost anything. You can get one for $60. 1/2" shanks cut much smoother and safer than the 1/4" shanks do. This tool could easily jack you up, so be careful. Shapes, cuts from templates and cuts recesses.

  3. Drill Press - the $99 job will suit you just fine

  4. Hand held sanding block - $3, I use mine almost every day. Always sand and always sand everything.

  5. Shop Vac - You gan get one for $60 - hook it up to your router, your table saw and your drill press. Inhale less toxic dust. :tup:

  6. Sell your dremel so you can buy the tools above. Maybe not but this should only be used for modding, pcbs and for your mom.

  7. Do you really want to be the tool guy? Once you start, it’s hard to stop, its expensive and it will take away from the time you could be playing the vid-e-ya-game.


Buy clamps and lock your materials down when you are machining them. What I mean is, dont just drill into a piece of wood, clamp it down first. That bit could catch on the wood and send it spining.

All the close calls I have had have come from trying to work too quickly. SLOW DOWN, make sure your stuff is secure and dont try to cut off too much, route off too much or drill too much too quickly.

Always make sure your power tools are unplugged when you are changing a blade or abit. Then double check this again before you change the blade. Always make sure that the blade/bit is tight before starting the tool.

Get in the habit of wearing safety goggles. I get all geared up when I am machining lumber. I use a leather apron so I dont have to dust off my shirt when I go into the house. The apron also prevents a lot of cuts and ruined clothing.

I wear a dust mask or respirator as well as hearing protection headphones. It looks crazy but I can still breathe, hear and see.

I was going to start uploading tutorial vids but I keep getting told it’s a bad idea

I got a pretty good layout of some of this stuff at my site, but I know it can be better. Timoe mentions some good stuff that I haven’t gotten up yet. I’ve been making many notes the past few weeks and will be researching and working on my tools section in one of my next three updates (next update will center on panel layouts).

One thing that is good to mention is that you need to think about what you are doing with your tools, and try to have things so you fail safe. Imagine the possibility of your hands slipping on some object or some other accident; if it happens, will my hands or some other part of my body possibly take a hit? If the answer is yes, you need to do something to change the situation like wear gloves (moderate to little protection) or make a small rig like a push stick. Remove bad possibilities.

Awesome joystick site, Slagcoin! Everything I wanted to know about making one is all there and now I’m almost ready to make one, except that I have a few questions about the routers.

  1. Is that the tool to use to make the shallow rectangular hole to mount the sanwa joystick plates on top of the wood? (I’m pretty sure it is, just wanted to double check).

  2. And if so, would I use just a plain stright bit or a rabbeting bit? Or something else?

  3. I was wondering what brand of 1.5~2.0 HP plunge router would be best to buy or if there are any brands I should avoid; there seems to be several and I can’t really tell the difference since I’ve never touched one before.

First off, I want to thank everyone for continuing to contribute to this thread.

If I’m not going to be building sticks from scratch, what about a rotary tool + hole saw for drilling button holes in plastic panels? For example, I have a Japanese Saturn Virtua Stick (HSS-0136, the good one). This stick was originally for the Saturn, so it only has a Start button. I need to drill holes in it for Home and Select (going to use a HFS3 PCB).

that would be a great idea if you can make a video tutorial of how to make the case of a joystick and how to paint it, and everything, my cousin would love that, he bought a lot of tools to make a joystick but he doesnt know how to use them :looney:, so yeah, i would love to see that.:rock::rock: