How to mod a JLF shaft cover to fit a Seimitsu LS-32

This is a guide for those who don’t like the bare shaft of the LS-32 and would rather cover it with a plastic sleeve as can be done with the Sanwa JLF. It is in fact possible to use the JLF cover but not out of the box because there are two incompatibilities to overcome: the LS-32 shaft is too short and thick.

We therefore need to shorten the JLF cover from 34.5mm to 30.5mm and widen its inner diameter from 9mm to 10mm.

We’ll start with the shortening. The first step consists of making a score around the cover with a sharp blade (e.g. Stanley knife) at about 31-31.5mm (not less than 31mm) from the base of the cover (which is in fact not a cylinder but a truncated cone):

Here I put red india ink in the score to make it more visible:

At this point it may be expedient to put some masking (or insulating) tape on the cover to avoid it being scratched during the modding process:

Now it’s time to cut the plastic in excess with a hand fretsaw:

I cannot think of other tools that are as suitable for this job. Power tools (e.g. Dremel with cutting disc) don’t give enough control and could easily slip and horribly scratch the cover (the protective tape can’t do much in that case), so you’re warned.

Try to cut as close as possible to the score but not exactly on it:

Procure a metal rod (or tube) about 1 meter long and with a diameter of 8mm, i.e. slightly less than the inner diameter of the JLF cover, which is 9mm:

Cut a piece of sand paper about 25cm long and wrap it around the metal rod without overlapping:

Slip the cover onto the rod (and the sand paper) and find a sink where the rod can rest comfortably on:

At this point all you have to do is move the JLF cover back and forth on the segment of the rod covered by the sand paper and use your non-dominant hand to hold the rod and keep the sand paper from moving (if you think it helps, you can glue the sand paper to the rod with double sided adhesive tape). Rotate often the JLF cover so that the inside will be sanded evenly. Also, reverse the direction of the cover on the rod every now and then and wash away the debris when it’s too much.

Keep the LS-32 shaft nearby and after a while make sure you often check if it fits through the JLF cover as you don’t want to sand too much. Depending on your liking you can stop sanding when the shaft fits tightly through the cover or you can proceed to sand a little further until the cover spins around the shaft as it does on the JLF shaft (for the record, the whole sanding process took me about 10 minutes).

Now cut a piece of 150-300 grit sand paper about 12cm x 20cm, glue it to a table with double sided adhesive tape and pour some water on it. Hold the JLF cover with the side we previously cut facing down and move it around with circular motions. Rotate your grip at regular intervals and often fit the cover back on the shaft to check if it’s being sanded horizontally and parallel to the other side.

When you’re almost done it’s a good idea to replace the sand paper with a finer grit one, e.g. 1000 grit:

To get a glossy finish just rub the cover on normal paper:


Although I haven’t tried, I believe Seimitsu LS-40 shaft covers can also be modded for LS-32 with this method.

I heard you were going to make this Tutorial.
I wait and now I see.

Nice guide. Look forward to using them.

Also, PM sent.

Very nice.

Now all I have to do is buy a red shaft cover. My current LS-32 shaft mod is red duct tape. Haha.

Definitely a worthwhile mod if you want to protect the stick metal from corrosive sweat and other liquids.

The question still is – why OH WHY doesn’t Seimitsu make a proper shaft cover for its most popular hardware product?

By the same token we could ask why Sanwa seems content to let Seimitsu have the specialty button market (screw-ins, skeleton, clear, Pearl, etc.) practically all to itself, too.

I wonder if either company has bothered to investigate how modders are using their product to liven up joystick product.

There’s more than a few countries now where the individual end-user has to be the biggest market for them now – or well, would be if product weren’t resold through specialty dealers. You know what I’m getting at… Arcades are pretty much dead outside of Asia and a few other territorities and it’s hobbyists with retro-arcades and current generation game systems that are keeping the parts market alive.

Hi, this is my first post on srk…

I just wanted to mention with regards to a better cutting tool to shorten the shaft cover for the above mod…when I have cut shaft covers before I used a small tube cutter similar to the type used to cut copper pipe like this one
It will give you a perfect cut just go slowly, hope this is of use to you.