This project was a fun challenge for me, and posed a lot of little dilemmas along the way. In the end I was quite happy with the way it turned out!
Thanks for looking. Enjoy!
Step 1: Top Piece
I purchased one 2 by 4-foot panel of MDF in each of the following thicknesses: 1/4", 1/2", 3/4". I also purchased one 2 by 4-foot sheet of 1/8' hardboard. I had plenty of material left over afterward.
MDF is great for things like this. It's easy to cut, shape, and sand, and it doesn't warp, crack, or split like wood (unless it is left out in the elements, or you drill a screw straight into it). Be sure to cut, route, and sand it in a well ventilated area.
If you plan to make one of these, I would recommend finding a real joystick to work from. Measure it and make all your pieces proportional to it.
The top piece is cut from 1/2" material. See photos for details on cutting the beveled edge.
Step 2: Making the Side Panels
Step 3: Making the Corner Blocks
Step 4: Assembly of Sides and Corners
Step 5: Shaping the Corner Pieces
Step 6: Raised Ring
Step 7: Button
I plugged that hole with a new piece of MDF, and glued down the raised ring on top of the base. This made it possible to make a clean, flush cut all the way through both the ring and the top of the base for the button.
Step 8: Three Rings
In order to route these pieces safely I had to temporarily mount them to my small workbench with dowels. The shorter pieces had to have shims placed underneath so the router bit had clearance from the table top.
The heights for the rings (starting with the largest diameter ring) are 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch. The 1-inch ring was made from a ring of 3/4" MDF, plus a ring of 1/4" MDF.
Step 9: Stick Pieces
Step 10: Stick Assembly
Step 11: Stick Collar
I cut out all these pieces with a jigsaw, and placed them back around the stick where they matched. These were all glued in place with hot glue and covered with a couple layers of wood filler. To make the top taper of the collar, I filled it with a few layers of wood filler. Then I gently sanded the collar and the taper smooth.
Step 12: Bottom of Base
The bottom panel was cut from 1/2 inch MDF, with 1/4 inch circles glued on to it. To attach this to the base, I added cleats to the inside made of 1/2 MDF.
Step 13: Lampshade
I got the pictures of old game covers from the Atari Age website. I made them all the same size and then printed them from my home printer.
The pictures were glued to the lampshade with spray adhesive.
Step 14: Finishing, Part One: Priming
Step 15: Finishing, Part Two: Painting, and Lamp Assembly
The directional markings are craft foam painted golden orange and glued in place with spray adhesive.
I attached the three rings and the stick with hot glue, and then drove a couple of screws up through the bottom of the top of the base into the bottom of the stick to keep it sturdy (pilot holes were drilled first to keep it from splitting).
For the lamp assembly, I used an old cord along with a basic socket and a push-button switch from Home Depot. I fed the cord through a hole that had been drilled in the back of the base prior to painting, and set up the switch following the instructions that came with it. The switch was hot glued to a small wooden bracket I had glued into the base below the button hole opening. To the bottom of my red button, I attached a small block of wood with a shallow hole reamed into it so it would sit balanced and centered on top of the switch button. I used some hot glue to attach the red button to the switch through the the button hole opening.