Saturday, 27 May 2017

Ikea Arcade Stick - Mini Edition Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

With the glue dried, it's time for a test fit of the Wiimote.

And with the frame on you can see why it was necessary to put those spacers in. Without them the power, +, and - buttons would be obscured or cause accidental inputs.

If you didn't need to fit a Wiimote, the case could be significantly thinner. With the walls at 40mm high, you'll have enough clearance to fit any regular seimitsu or sanwa joystick, and the whole thing will be 55mm thick. Any less and it could start getting dicey with clearance.

Because these frames come fitted with glass, the top frame needs to be disassembled to fit a styrene sheet which i nicked out of a cheaper Ikea picture frame i had lying around. Styrene is way easier to cut holes in.

There's a bit of glue around the entire frame, so i applied heat and pressure to unstick it. The glue comes off completely cleanly, but be careful with pushing on the glass too hard as it could break! Safety first!

Styrene is quite brittle, and if a crack starts it can spread very easily. To cut the holes in the styrene sheet i first fitted it to the case with the frame, drilled small guide holes for each button, then applied a sanding ball. This sands and melts the plastic, and that melting prevents any cracks from spreading.

You can then finish the holes with a bit of sandpaper if they're not quite big enough, this stuff sands very readily.

An alternative cutting method would be to use a hot-wire. It should cut this stuff super quickly, and without risk of cracking (beyond drilling the starting holes, of course).

Here's what we end up with.

It looks a bit mucky, but that's because i've left the protective film on the styrene. It's best to leave that on as long as possible to prevent any chance of a scratch. I skipped across it with the drill a couple of times! :p

Once that task it complete it's time to apply a little paint. I really like the natural look of this plywood, so i masked the top and bottom faces, then shot the rest with white. I think white works best with the silver.

Ok, now that the case is finished it's time to install the hardware and crack on with the wiring. That's best left to Part 3.

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