Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recreating The Control Panel: Part 7

The last thing I had to do regarding construction was drill the holes to mount the joystick. This was a bit tricky since I was only leaving about 3/8" of material to screw into. This joystick needs to be secure because I imagine it will take a lot of abuse over the years. I was in the local Home Depot looking for a solution and I came across these:

They are perfect. There is a post that gets installed from the top and then the screw fits into the post from underneath. It makes things very secure. The only problem was getting the head of the post to be flush with the top of my control panel.

I eyeballed the placement of the stick, marked out the holes with a pencil and drilled them out. Next, I used some masking tape to cover each hole:

Then I placed the post in the hole (through the tape) and used a razor to trace the top and score the ABS plastic. The idea was to leave a circle made out of masking tape so I would know where to cut with the router but it didn't work as well as I had hoped. The bit caught onto the tape and removed it so all I had to go by was the score marks left by the razor. I'm sure a permanent marker or something could have done the job but oh well. Then I just used my 1/4" straight bit and my router set at the depth of the thickness of the head of the post and carefully removed enough ABS plastic so the head of the post would be flush. Like this:

Any imperfections here are hidden by the plastic control panel overlay. It worked great and the joystick is VERY secure.

Next up - final pics! More later.

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