Thursday, 14 July 2016

Fighting Frame - Part One

With the Lucario Fight Stick finished, it's time to move on to my "Player 2" build (for lots of Virtual Console co-op fun!). I was considering going with another intensive Pokken character build, but i wanted more time to think about the next case style for that.

But, as a gift to "the people", i've decided to try my hand at a cheap, easy to build stick which uses Ikea parts to present a high quality finish without the usual skill requirement. It features replaceable art, has no visible screws, requires only the most basic of tools, and all it takes is a sheet of 7mm plywood and a picture frame! Total cost of materials was about $15.

I went with a Ribba 50x23 frame for this one, as i'm a big fan of a wide stick. I replaced the included glass pane with a sheet of clear styrene from another, cheaper Ikea frame i had lying around (Fiskbo). Then i cut two 500mm x 230mm pieces of ply to work as the top and bottom panels.

I inset the "walls" of my case by 30 mm to accomodate for the thickness of a Wiimote, which is mounted down the left, on the outside. The opposite side will house the -/home/+ buttons (as per the previous stick), and they'll be inset under the lip of the lid/frame to keep them out of harm's way.

In the corners i've put some lengths of 18 x 18mm Oak i had lying around. The plywood lid will screw down onto those, creating a rigid structure.

The Sanwa joystick will mount to the underside of the plywood lid using countersunk bolts from the outside. Then the art sheet goes down, followed by the clear, then the outer frame.

The assembled "floating" look is something i really wanted to integrate into a stick design at some point. Practically speaking, the base could have been trimmed in, but i appreciate the extra stability and symmetry it offers.

The buttons are seemingly set very high up the stick, but this provides more wrist rest area on the narrower stick, and keeps the hands clear of the little raised lip of the frame. Other Ikea frames (like the svelte, aluminium Stromby) are almost flush, but you'd have to move down to a squarer 40x30cm size.

This is how the Wiimote is held in place. Dropping the black frame down locks it in, but still gives you access to all of the buttons. It's snug, but easily removed.

Plenty of PVA glue, some clamps, and a little time later, and we'll have ourselves a functioning stick. Stay tuned for the next part in the series!

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