Wooden Handheld Game Console
This wooden handheld game console is made out of 2" thick cherry and was finished with a few coats of shellac. It is powered by a raspberry pi 2 and a few other components listed below. The software is RetroPie and Emulation Station. It was a blast to build and is fun to use. Now before you say it, I agree, wood is not the best material to use for something like this due to heat, but I wanted to build one anyway. Check out the video or the images below to see how I made it..
Products used: (Affiliate links below help support my channel)
Miter box: http://amzn.to/2nr83Hp
5/8 Dowel rods: http://amzn.to/2mMx6Yu
3/8 Dowel rods: http://amzn.to/2neQzgs
1/8 Dowel rods: http://amzn.to/2nwouE3
Dremel Tool: http://amzn.to/2o7cjzd
Raspberry Pi: http://amzn.to/2neFhZQ
HDMI decoder board: http://amzn.to/2nwdmH8
1000C Power Board: http://amzn.to/2nr6EAJ
2.5 Watt Amplifier: https://www.adafruit.com/products/2130
HDMI ribbon cable: http://amzn.to/2o7gz1y
5 inch tft screen: http://amzn.to/2mMu4DF
Scroll Saw: http://amzn.to/2nwqrjW
Drill Press: http://amzn.to/2o1XLQS
Forstener Bit Set: http://amzn.to/2nr0Mr6
Diamond Needle Files: http://amzn.to/2mMGQ59
To begin, I trace a line around the wooden block with a combination square that will act as a ledge for the back panel to rest on.
Before using the router to remove the waste, I first take the block over to the drill press and remove the majority of the waste with a large forstner bit.
Moving on to the chisel, I clean up some of the sharp corners.
Using a flush trim bit and some plywood, I remove the rest of the waste. I take the plywood and line it up with the line I drew with the combination square which the router bit will reference.
I make a pass with the router, making sure to keep the bearing of the router bit up against the plywood.
After the first pass, I lower the bit until I remove the rest of the waste.
To cut the screen out I first drill a few pilot holes using a 3/8" drill bit for the jigsaw blade.
I then use the jigsaw to remove the waste.
The jigsaw left a rough cut so I went back to the router to clean them up using the flush trim bit and plywood edges.
To inset the screen, I used a rabbeting bit in the router table.
With the screen hole cut out, I focus on cutting the buttons on the wooden handheld. I use the plastic controller as a template and trace the buttons.
I then mark the center of the buttons and make a pilot hole with a small drill bit.
Using a 5/8 inch drill bit at the drill press I drilled 1/8" deep holes on the inside of the case for the button holders. I used the small pilot holes as a reference point for the tip of my forstner bits.
Using a miter box, I cut eight button holders from a 5/8" dowel rod. I found using a miter box to be a safer way to cut these smaller pieces throughout the whole project.
I glue the button holders in place.
With the glue dried, I flip the case over and drill all the way through the front with a 3/8" forstner bit for the buttons.
Using a dremel tool, I cut slots on the button holders for the 1/8" dowel rods that will be glued in the top of the buttons to prevent them from falling through the holes.
I mark the top of the buttons for the 1/8" dowel rods that will be glued in to prevent them from falling through the holes.
Back to the miter box to cut the rest of the buttons.
To pillow the ends of the dowel rods, I put 120, 180 and 220 grit paper on top of a scrotch brite pad and using my drill, pillowed the ends of the rods.
Using some CA glue, I glue the 1/8" rods in place.
Moving on to the D-Pad, I used the controller again to trace out the position.
Just like the rest of the buttons, I used a dowel rod to hold the d-pad in place. This one happens to be a 1 1/8" dowel rod.
I had to make a custom D-pad for the handheld due to the thickness of the case, so I cut one out using a scroll saw.
And now i'm gluing the D-pad to a 1" dowel rod to keep the D-pad in the button holder.
To remove the waste on the handheld for the D-pad, I used a 1/4" router bit in a handheld router.
It left a good bit of waste to be removed so I used some small needle files to clean the lines up.
Back over at the drill press I use a 1" bit to drill for the speaker.
I added two 3/8" dowel rods on the inside of the case to screw the back panel to.
With the back panel screwed on, I start to shape the case. I used the CA glue bottle as a template and traced the rounded corners.
Over at the bandsaw I remove the waste.
And then clean it up with the disk sander.
Using a 1/4" round over bit, I ease the edges.
The left and right shoulder buttons needed to be added so I put them on the back panel using the same exact methods as above for the other buttons.
To hold the electronics in place, I go back to yet more dowel rods. I drilled holes next to each of the button holders for 3/8" dowel rods.
Next up I glue the dowels in place around the button holders.
Time to cut the controller circuit boards. I mark where I need to cut them so that they fit in the case.
I used a dremel tool with a plastic cutting wheel to cut all of the pieces necessary for the buttons.
Next up I soldered all of the contact points that will then be connected to the GPIO ports for the Raspberry Pi.
On the back panel I needed to cut a hole for the USB port (for charging the battery) and for the power switch so I traced out their shape.
I made pilot holes at the drill press for the next step.
Back to the scroll saw, I cut out the holes.
And used the needle files to clean them up.
With the case complete, I sanded everything with 120 - 180 and 220 grit sandpaper with my random orbit sander and by hand.
For the finish, I applied 3 coats of shellac, sanding after the second coat with 320 grit sandpaper.
To protect the speaker, I cut a circle out of some speaker grill.
I covered the speaker grill with this speaker grill cloth. It happens to be the same material that I used in my retro arcade cabinet.
To glue the cloth to the grill, I used super 77 spray adhesive.
I install the electronics using the controller case screws. They are perfect for this task because they are small and fit perfectly.
To hold the speaker grill in place, I used hot glue.
I actually used hot glue for a lot of the internal electronics. Hot glue is perfect for a project like this.
I have the raspberry pi mounted on the back panel with brass standoffs and the HDMI decoder board mounted to the pi with them as well. Luckily everything fit without any room to spare.
Thanks for checking out my project, hope you like it!