Introduction: Arcade Stick Box From an Old Drawer

So I had been working on my this project for literally a week straight documenting the process for the ible when the other night I stumbled across this one "The One" which was nearly identical to the one I was building sans joystick but side buttons n all. I thought it was pretty clever n semi original idea that only I came up with using a drawer for a basis on which to build an arcade stick. Nope! His is cooler cuz of the plunger n bump sensors mine is cooler cuz of the paint job. Even so I'm not about to let all that hard work go to waste so here is my take on a drawer arcade stick

PS: This is a labor of love so a massive amount of work went into the stupidest of details for instance I sanded this thing like a beach. Golem woulda been like dude... you haz problemz. Also there is 6 coats of paint on this not counting the stencil job. 2 white (because idk wtf primer is) 2 red, 1 black and 1 clear.


Here's what we need give or take a few items:

Wood Glue

Wood Filler

Screws/ Finishing nails

Tape Measure Pencil/ Marker Your choice

1 1/8 Drill bit (hole bit probably preferable but paddle is all I got)

1/2 Drill bit

Scrap Wood Old Drawer

Oh yeah! I almost forgot Here's the kickers:

Joystick Arcade push buttons + microswitches

USB Keyboard encoder which you can DIY for the record

Step 1: Grab Your Drawers

Get your drawer and start planning.

Things you need to think about :

Button layout - You can find many pre made on Google to print out. I used the force an eyeballed it using my hands in a natural feeling position on the box then imagined myself having to use expert precision in a head to head street fighter alpha game. Also do you want pinball flipper buttons on the side,coin buttons or even a pinball plunger?

Ergonomics - You don't want carpal tunnel to set in a few points away from the high score on Galaga

Paint job - This is where the options get intimidating with imagination. Do you find acrylic and put down a trimmed up poster underneath? Do you put a view window with LEDs? I suck at painting but I'm broke and it was the easiest path to take without going for the linseed or stained wood approach. Now this is the very thing that sets mine apart from the rest IMO. Also Some ideas would be stencils, stick on graphics, vinyl, glued wrapping paper,chrome decals from the auto parts useless accessories section, its your box and the possibilities are endless. Enough about yours this is about mine lol

So anyways I had to knock off the faceplate and take off the roller slider bar thingies to make the box sit flat and smooth but I was left squadron of little impossible to pull out staple nails on the side which after much fighting had to grind off leaving that side kinda lumpy. I drilled my holes for the buttons, joystick and cord using the paddle drill which was a very tricky job on plywood type indoor siding. Luckily I've done this so much I didn't have much problem (He Lies) yeah well it was a real breeze the trick is to go real slow and not get too impatient. Just kept telling myself sand paper will fix it sand... paper... fix... it... o.o

Step 2: Test Fits and Sandin Drawers

So I used this time to work out life problems in my head as I spent several hours sanding all the edges of the box smooth and prepping the whole thing for painting.

Afterwards I made a few final test fits and adjustments. then I wired it all up and tested the feel of the buttons versus the placement and response times. ( I'm telling you I'm a serious fighting gamer gotta have my moves down tight and combos) During my testing I quickly came to the conclusion that this board would not hold up to the full extent of my fury in a intense Killer Instinct  match so you will notice I added a few pieces of scrap wood to the joystick slot and button holes. I used wood glue and some cinder (No KI pun intended) blocks as weights to clamp it until it dried.

Step 3: Planning and Applying the Paint Job

So by this time I had finally decided on going with an easy yet attractive paint job using my favorite color and type of camouflage. Tiger stripe, Here's how :

I have also heard this color scheme referred to as "urban" along with the yellow and blue camos. The original green black and brown scheme I believe it was originally using in 1960's Vietnam as a substitute for the plane O.D. Green (There's a paint job idea, O.D. with a white U.S. stencil star in the middle) but failed because of cheap cloth materials fading the dye or something like that, however the pattern is very aggressive and I noticed this particular configuration was used by M.Bison's Shadaloo troops in that campy but fun street fighter movie from the 90's. AHA! There was my theme! I DUB THEE... GHOSTS OF SHADALOO!

At this time while the first coats dried I started dabbling with stencils I traced from my monitor screen and cut made from old water jugs. think i'll make that process an instructable too now that I think about it... Anyways I was going with a ego centric "my nickname sake" until I came up with the Shadaloo bit so thats why the stencil turned out different.

Step 4: Finishing

Here it is the finished product. A weeks worth of work for a stripey turd like this. This is my first time working with paint on this level and also stencils I am a little disappointing in that I put a few finger prints I had to touch up on the wet paint and the skull came out a little weak. I think I shoulda went with the chrome one from wal mart auto section. Other than that its pretty cool IMO. After I work the bugs outa the controls I can't wait to hit up MAME, MUGEN, HYPERSPIN, and FUTURE PINBALL. I'm so excited.

I would like to thank my Son and Wife for putting up with my obsession for this last week and for coming up with the alternating button/plunger color idea.

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