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Author Topic: Thickness of control panel to undermount a sanwa stick  (Read 2001 times)

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zatarra76

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Thickness of control panel to undermount a sanwa stick
« on: February 18, 2022, 07:57:23 am »
Hi guys,
I'm going to build my first arcade cabinet and I want to mount sanwa sticks and buttons on it.
My intention is to mount it under the panel and I would like to ask you how thick the panel should be to avoid shortening the shaft too much or be forced to extend it.
When I say mount it under it doesn't mean I need to screw it from the bottom to the top, I can put the screws on the top and bolts on the bottom.
I was thinking about using a thin hardboard reinforced with a thiker wood under and maybe a thin layer of plexiglass on top.
If I use a 3mm hardboard and a 1/2mm of plexiglass on top, is 4/5mm a good thickness in your opinion?
Thanks for your support!

PL1

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Re: Thickness of control panel to undermount a sanwa stick
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2022, 01:39:00 pm »
There are several excellent mount methods shown in the FAQ.

wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/FAQ#Joysticks

"Under mount (support blocks)" is a very popular method to solidly mount the stick to the panel without having to worry about structural support if the pocket you route for the stick is fairly deep.

If you use MDF for the panel, the threaded inserts ensure you can remove/repair/reinstall the joystick repeatedly without stripping out the screw holes.   ;D

The easiest way to do this mount is with two bars.



You can use metal spacers like Gilrock did for his ServoStik mount here.



If I use a 3mm hardboard and a 1/2mm of plexiglass on top, is 4/5mm a good thickness in your opinion?
1/2mm plexi sounds way too thin and likely to crack.

Some people don't like plexi because the smooth surface traps sweat when you rest your hand on the panel.

One way to avoid these problems is to buy artwork printed on vinyl and laminated with textured polycarbonate.
- The lamination is thinner than the plexi and it is flexible so you protect the artwork without having to worry about the protective layer cracking.

Even if you use several thin layers on top, you'll still need a thick layer underneath to provide structural support for the joystick.

You may want to consider eliminating the thin layers.
- Route pockets for the Sanwa buttons (OBSN 30mm screw-type?) and joystick in the thick layer (usually MDF or plywood) and prep/prime/paint the top so the art adheres properly.
- Use vinyl artwork with textured polycarb lamination on top of the thick layer.


Scott
« Last Edit: February 18, 2022, 01:52:05 pm by PL1 »

zatarra76

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Re: Thickness of control panel to undermount a sanwa stick
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2022, 09:17:40 am »
Really thanks for your reply, you gave me a lot of ideas.
Considering that my sanwa buttons will be snap-on, her are my thoughts:
- undermount the stick with a single layer wood panels means I have to reduce the thickness in correspondence with the rectangular plate of the stick (and also for the buttons enlarge the holes...). This could be a little hard to do without special tools (like a milling machine) to work with wood.
- I understand and agree with you regarding the vinyl artwork with textured polycarb lamination as an alternative to plexiglass
In conclusion:
Since I understood that sanwa components are mainly made to be used in thin metal panel I think that working with a 1,5mm sheet of aluminum could be easier. On top of that I could put a vinyl artwork with textured polycarb lamination as you suggested.
What do you think?
Thanks again for your support.

PL1

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Re: Thickness of control panel to undermount a sanwa stick
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2022, 05:07:51 pm »
- undermount the stick with a single layer wood panels means I have to reduce the thickness in correspondence with the rectangular plate of the stick (and also for the buttons enlarge the holes...). This could be a little hard to do without special tools (like a milling machine) to work with wood.
Yes, this method would require the use of a router -- either a full sized one or a smaller one like this or a tiny Dremel router.



Since I understood that sanwa components are mainly made to be used in thin metal panel I think that working with a 1,5mm sheet of aluminum could be easier. On top of that I could put a vinyl artwork with textured polycarb lamination as you suggested.
Disclaimer:  I haven't worked with 1.5mm aluminum for a full-size control panel so I'm not sure if this is the best thickness for this application.   :dunno

Easiest way to mount a joystick on a metal panel is using carriage bolts.



One potential problem is that if you leave the metal panel flat, it will be very flexible.
- You can stiffen the panel by bending the edges with a bending tool or brake and/or you can brace the back of the metal panel with wood.

 

If you don't have the proper tool, you can try something like this.   ;)




Scott