Building A Fight Stick

Editor’s Note: In mentioning the website Focus Attack (focusattack.com) I can receive credit toward a discount on my next purchase.

Though I have already built a complex arcade, I have been twiddling my thumbs on woodworking projects until recently. What prompted me to try building something new was watching videos of talented fighting game players who brought their own personal fight sticks to a one-on-one match, or even to a tournament. I have known for a long time about the website slagcoin.com, which shows how to make these very fight sticks that you can use to play games like Street Fighter, Tekken, and more. I checked on the Slag Coin website for the instructions, and thus began my latest adventure.

I won’t spend a lot of time talking about woodwork, but the ball was rolling when I picked up a miter saw at Home Depot. I made every cut I needed with the miter saw, and after that, I connected the wood, which requires only a power drill, dowels, and wood glue. There were finer things, like drilling holes for the buttons, and sanding the holes after that, because the drill bit is too small. I also used a router to trim slight amounts of wood, and I wasn’t expecting this, but you need to hold the router very steady to get a clean cut. I spent about six months in a professional woodshop, and I didn’t think I would remember much from the experience, but a lot of the work came right back to me.

All of the buttons came from a website called Focus Attack. $3.45 is pricey for a button, but I can’t deny that the Seimitsu buttons are a big improvement over Suzo Happ. Only after the entire unit was assembled did I feel like I had a professional rig. The Seimitsu joystick is light-years above any other I’ve tried, both fast and responsive. A good analogy is purchasing a $6 computer keyboard because you think you won’t need anything else, only later to discover mechanical keyboards and custom switches. You will notice the difference. Seimitsu buttons and joysticks can be found on focusattack.com.

There were holdups. Sometimes I was waiting for a part to come in the mail. Once I was waiting for laser-cutting vendor to make the cuts in the acrylic. And of course I have a job, so I was often there, not at home working on my hobby project. All told, I estimate the project took a month and a week. I learned some tricks, like using wooden dowels to connect ¾-inch pieces of wood, and using a router to recess the plate of the joystick. For now, I have the finished product video, but I might put a “making of” video together, because I have footage of making it.

In brief, I am very happy with the fight stick. I already have an order from a friend for a second fight stick. I might just open a shop on Etsy and see where the idea goes. If nothing else, I’ll put a link up on the store page. Till next time.

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