My Stick Building Diary

Let me start off by saying that I am no carpenter. I think the most woodwork I have ever done in my life is the sharpening of a pencil. I currently have a pelican that I modded with Happ parts and I like it just fine but I want a new stick that has all sanwa parts. Seeing as how on this forum everyone and their mom can build a stick I thought I would give it a try. But I am not holding myself to the rigours of high quality as many of you do. In fact my goal is to make a stick using the least amount of money possible. This means no power tools since I don’t have any and don’t want to buy them just for this. With that I present to you my daily account of the birth of my stick.

Purchasing Materials
Saturday I went to home depot and bought a piece of pine that was 60 inches long, 12 inches wide and 3/4 in thick. I had the nice gentlemen at the store cut it for me into 3 14 in sections and 2 9 inch sections and to give me the reamain piece. This all cost me $9.53 and the wood was more than enough to build to sticks.

Last night I decided to get to work and make this stick. I had previously made a mock up of my stick using thick Foam Board I got at Walmart for $1.50. I used the pieces as reference and trace their outline on the the wood. Then I cut it out with a handsaw. Thats right a handsaw. Needless to say it wasnt flush but i tried sanding it down to get it flush. Afterwards I put 2 hinges on because I wanted to be able to open the top so I could replace faulty parts quickly when needed. To keep the top from opening up while playing I attached magnets to keep it shut. The magnets and Hinges cost me $2.50. Since I used a handsaw I couldn cut the proper angles on the front or back of the stick to allow the top to rest flush so i decided to place the Hinges and magents in a way that would allow the top to seem as if it was floating 1/8 in above the rest of the stick. Here are some pics of the work so far.

Top View

Side View

Inside View

As you can see there is no bottom. I dont know yet if I want to put a wood bottom or just cover up the bottom with a piece of plexiglass. I’ll figure that out tonight.

That’s what U meant by magnets, that ain’t a bad idea ;]

you’re definitely gonna need to borrow/rent a drill though ;]

A drill is the only power tool I really own. The only thing i need for it is a hole saw that will be big enough for the button holes.

You need 1-3/16" for sanwa buttons, 1-1/8" for happ buttons (and happ stick). not sure what size hole for a sanwa stick, but i know there is a circle on the sanwa stick itself that is the right size

Cool thanks. I am gonna see if I can find any of those holes saws at the local hardware store.

Ok the last two nights I have spent chiseling out top of my box to make and inlay to put in my artwork and plexi. This was truly a pain and time consuming. I managed to make it pretty even. I still have to sand it down because the edges look rough but all in all i think it came out all right. After I was done with that I decided to cut a piece of plexiglass with a saw. Bad idea I put a huge crack in it but thats okay I have an extra piece and can try again later. Plexi was $5.00 for 2 sheets. Does anyone know how I should cut this?

I also put in a bottom. I decided to use wood instead of plexi because I thought in a fit of excitement one day that I might actually hit the bottom hard enough that I might break it. I didnt want to have a bloody knee followed by a stinging shock hence I chose wood. As with everything else this was a lot harder than it should have been. After cutting out the bottom I must have sanded the sides for like what seemed hours before I got it to fit by using sheer force.

Here are some pics of my progress thus far.



To cut plexi, at Home Depot they sell plexi glass cutters…which are VERY good and sharp…I use that to cut my plexi…i used to cut it via table saw but found it easier to cut with that plexi glass cutter they sell at Home Depot…its only like 3 bux…very cheap but good quality shit.

This weekend I went to home depot and picked up a piece of lexan. It was $5.00, twice the price of the acrylic sheet but its way easiar to cut. To demonstrate I cut and drilled both a piece of acylic and lexan. As you can see in the picture the acrylic sheet cracks when you drill it and chips when you cut it. I did the cuts with a plastic cutter I got at home depot for $3.00 and drilled the holes with a hole saw. On a side note, I believe I messed up the hole placement and may need to do this again. I hope to have fabrication done by the end of this week and start paint the beginning of next week.

What are you using to connect the wood pieces together?

You got the Lexan…good.

Everything is nailed together execept for the top. I plan on contersinking the nails and covering the holes they left behind with wood filling. The top is attached to the rest of the stick with hinges and kept closed by using magnets.

Nails? Why not glue?

I did use glue as well but I wanted this thing to be sturdy as hell.

Nails aren’t necessary. When a box is properly glued together, the failure points aren’t at the seams. Usually.

Why would you want to paint pine? Stain that shit down, a light color.

The thought did cross my mind. I might still do it but if I do it will be a dark stain. Almost like brown shoe leather color.

Well I havent done much the past week on fabrication since the power at my place was out for like 2 days but bought a bunch of needed supplies. First thing I went and got was a pcb. Since this stick is for my xbox I went out looking for xbox pcbs. I want to map all 8 buttons so i didnt use a xbox 1st party pad because I didnt think I would be able to solder the trigger without messing it up. So while roaming the local game shops I came across a gamester reflex arcade stick for $18.00. This seemed perfect because the r and l triggers where mapped to buttons and not triggers and it also supported xbox live. After that I order some sanwa parts from Himura games. They should be in by thursday.

After parts I had to decide weather to paint or stain my box. After much thought I decided I would stain it a red mahogony type color since it would go with the overall theme of the stick. I am going for a rugged yet classy look and i thought that would go well. Plus my art is a brown and white pic and I thought it would match. So with that decided I bought some sandpaper, stain, lacquer and some brushes and rags. Hopefully when the parts come in later this week I can get to finishing up all the bits of fabrication and get to paint and assembly.

I got my parts in on friday and spent this weekend finishing up my box. First I drilled the holes into the top panel and cut away a hole to mount my joystick on. After that I routed the insided of the stick down 1/2 inch so that my screw in buttons would fit. Drilled a hole in the back panel for my wire to go through and sanded my stick down using 60,100, 150, 220, and 240 grit paper. Afterwards I preconditioned the wood so that the stain would penetrate evenly and let that soak for 20 miniutes then I put on a coat of stain and let it dry for 6 hours. Repeated one more time and then put on a lacquer finish. He is what it looks like so far.

Before Stain

After Stain

All that is left to do is wire it and buff it here and there.

hehe, great panel pic. nice stick placement too. yeah i said it.

That’s fucking awesome.