Now we know things are going to work as we expect, we can get serious and build an enclosure for these nifty bits.

Since the Adafruit joystick is the classic Japanese ball-top four-way style (like you'd find on Pac-Man or Frogger), I thought a clean zen style would be appropriate for this stick. A blonde wood enclosure felt right, and should also result in something you won't be ashamed to leave on the coffee table when guests come over.

There's a company called Walnut Hollow that sells through Amazon. They make all sorts of raw wood boxes that you can modify and finish yourself. They're a terrific source of cheap, nice looking project enclosures. Here's what I've chosen for the arcade stick:

We're going to mount all the bits in the lid. That will make wiring and future maintenance much easier. So, I started by laying out my holes on the lid. Once again, I'm using my beloved blue tape to assist.
For the Adafruit buttons, drill a 1-1/8" hole. I drilled pilot holes first, then drilled the final holes using a sharp paddle bit. Paddle bits tend to tear out the bottom of the hole, so drill from the top. Alternatively, use the more expensive Forstner bits if you have them. They make nicer holes, and are a bit easier to control.

The resulting hole will be a tiny bit too small for the buttons, but that's good. We want them to be just large enough for a tight press fit, so we'll go the rest of the way with a round file. I don't have a round file, but 80-grit sandpaper wrapped around a screwdriver works well.
Next, I drilled the hole for the joystick, and marked where the mounting screws needed to be. I'm mounting the joystick using wood screws from underneath. This will be strong enough for casual play.

We need pilot holes for the screws to avoid splitting the wood. The trick here is that the wood isn't tremendously thick, so we need to be very careful not to drill our pilot holes too deep. Here's a trick for that- choke up the bit so that the drill chuck will prevent it from going too deep. Then drill carefully. If your bit is sharp (and it should be!!), you'll have good control.

With all the holes drilled, this would be a good time to apply a finish to the box if desired. You could do a varnish or tung oil, for example. I'm opting to leave it raw, since I like how it looks and feels as-is. Your mileage may vary! Note that if you leave it unfinished, it will be a bit susceptible to moisture.
I mounted the power button in the side of the lid. This will become the back when the joystick is being used.

With all the components installed, it's time to start wiring!

This guide was first published on Nov 04, 2013. It was last updated on Nov 04, 2013.

This page (Enclosure) was last updated on Nov 03, 2013.

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