Waterfall Bubinga Joystick

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Project by Kaytrim posted 01-21-2009 07:41 AM 4078 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was lucky enough to get this beautiful wood from a fellow member of All the boards were 1/4″ thick and about 3″ wide. Two of the 6 boards were a near perfect grain match. I decided to use this match to make the top of the case. Because of the narrowness of the boards this also determined the depth of the case.

I wanted this case to be one of my full custom hardwood case. Each control in the case gets some form of the main wood from the case. To that end I took one of the small cuttoffs from the case sides and passed it through my bandsaw for veneers. I had just loaded my bandsaw with a new blade as wide as it could handle and tuned it up for the blade. Surprisingly I was able to get 3 veneers out of the 1/4″ thick piece. After some sanding and a few coats of polyurathane they were ready to be cut and inserted into the buttons.

Thanks to another member of I was able to procure a small turning block to match the rest of the case. This I had planed on using to make a normal sized ball top. However due to one dimension being just a tad small and a slight misalignment of the center I ended up with a small balltop. This top is 30mm instead of the standard 35mm. With the size and scale of the case I think that this was a happy mistake. As you can see I also make a Bubinga dust cover to match. Because the top panel was only 1/4″ thick I decided to show the mounting screws and choose solid brass.

The corner blocks needed to be just as nice as the main wood. I also wanted it to contrast to give the case some character. I went to my small but growing stash of special lumber. What caught my attention was some Curly Spalted Maple. After carefully choosing the section of the Maple board I cut out the corner blocks. With even more care I laid out and cut the case corners and glued these 3/4″ square blanks into the resulting spaces.

One final detail is the bottom panel. The Bubinga was so beautiful from both sides I wanted to show it off. I had sanded and polished both sides of the panel prior to assembly. Then drilled the holes for the controls. After the finish coat of polyurathane was applied and dried I installed a clear plexiglas bottom panel.

12 comments so far

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

508 posts in 3918 days

#1 posted 01-21-2009 02:20 PM

My Man Kaytrim!!
Let me be the first to say WOW!
Congrats on finding such sweet bubinga.
...and how on earth did you get three slices from a 1/4” thick board? That’s amazing.
Keep it up! Let me know if you need more bubinga like this. Got a few nice pieces on the rack…

Take care!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View Kaytrim's profile


63 posts in 3603 days

#2 posted 01-21-2009 02:46 PM

I am always on the lookout for Luthier quality material. Shoot me an email or PM and we can discuss further. That is the type of wood I love to work with because of the end result as this piece shows. The resaw was a small piece about 3” x 5”. I went free hand and supper slow. My little 9” bandsaw was setup perfect it also helped that bubinga is so hard.

View WispWoods's profile


65 posts in 3454 days

#3 posted 01-21-2009 04:00 PM

Great work Kaytrim!

What brand was the blade you were using?

Is the small control board a custom design, or is that an off the shelf part?

-- - You begin thinking less, and feeling more.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4092 days

#4 posted 01-21-2009 04:07 PM

One of a kind and beautiful!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Kaytrim's profile


63 posts in 3603 days

#5 posted 01-21-2009 04:14 PM

WispWoods, I don’t remember the brand of the blade it was one I picked up at my local Menards. IIRC the blade was a 3/8” with 4tpi. After sanding with my ROS the resulting veneer was less than 1/16” thick. I still have one of the flitches. The control board is available at for $40 assembled or as a kit for slightly less.

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 3893 days

#6 posted 01-21-2009 04:16 PM


-- He said wood...

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3816 days

#7 posted 01-22-2009 05:40 AM

Great job. I have been waiting to see how this one would come out.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View savannah505's profile


1813 posts in 3614 days

#8 posted 01-23-2009 05:49 AM

Okay, it’s very nice looking, now, what the hell is it for???!!!!!!!! My buddy and I are looking at this wondering what it’s supposed to go to.

-- Dan Wiggins

View Kaytrim's profile


63 posts in 3603 days

#9 posted 01-23-2009 06:17 AM


This joystick is made to connect to a personal computer or a Playstation 3 console system. There are professional gamers that play fighting games like Street Fighter in tournaments across the world. They are my customers. Here is a post in my blog that goes into a little more detail. I was also a guest on The Sawdust Cronicles and go into quite a bit of detail about these and other topics.

Thank you for your question as I am sure that there are others who are asking themselves the same thing.


View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 3384 days

#10 posted 06-09-2009 06:34 PM

i’m a gamer and never even considered this. Thats an awesome job, possibly a project in the future. Love the wood also one of my favs. Keep plugging, stuff looks great.

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 1899 days

#11 posted 01-09-2015 05:52 PM

Man, this is one of the coolest projects I’ve seen. Great work.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View Russell Eck's profile

Russell Eck

159 posts in 1453 days

#12 posted 02-19-2015 05:06 AM

So amazing! Very inspiring

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