Build an Arcade Style DDR Pad

1 - materials and tools
2 - solid panels
3 - ddr pad base
4 - acrylic panes
5 - supports and switches
6 - wiring the ddr pad
7 - finished ddr pad

2 - Solid Panels


This is a piece of plywood that was just cut. It is a 10 7/8x10 7/8 piece with a 3/4" width. When it was cut, it was slightly too large, so here I am with a hand planer shaving the sides a bit. This is also a good way to smooth out the sides if you cut it a little crooked. You may want to cut your plywood a hair larger than where you marked your cut line just in case so that if the cut is not perfect you can perfect it with a hand planer.

You will need to make 9 of these.  I cut it a bit smaller than 11" sq so that when the sheet metal is wrapped, it will be closer to 11" sq.
Here's an up close of the Stanley hand planer. It's a very handy tool. I used it to smooth the cut on the plexiglass as well.
This is how I measured where to put the screws in the solid(non-arrow) panels. I Put a mark where the center of the hole is in a corner bracket.  This gives me how far from the corner I want to offset the screw.  I then measure a half inch out from the closest edge of the plywood through that mark made via the corner bracket. That is where the screw should go. I don't place the screw directly on that spot because it's nice to give the screws a little room and it looks better if the head of your screw isn't right on the edge of your panel.   I then drill pilot holes (a hole smaller than the screw, but large enough to guide it straight -- it also helps prevent cracking in the plywood as the screw displaces wood) at those locations.

If you look at an arcade pad, the screws aren't square, they're offset to the side.  This is the look I am going for, but it isn't necessary.  You can place the screws squarely in the corner if you desire.
Cut a 1 ft sq panel of sheet metal.  place your plywood on top and line it up evenly with about .5" extra on each side.  For those who want a really flat top to their pad, they can use a glue (contact cement works well from what I hear) to glue the plywood in place.

This image is depicting how I made the solid(non-arrow) panels.

Drill one hole into the sheetmetal at one corner. Bolt one screw there just far enough so that the screw doesn't come out the other side. This will hold it in place, then do the corner diagonally across from it. If you drilled all of the corners through the sheetmetal at once, the sheetmetal could slip in the process causing the holes to be misaligned. Doing one at a time prevents that problem.

Once all of the screws are holding the sheetmetal in place, you will use a rubber mallet to fold the edges of the sheetmetal around the sides of the plywood.  It's simple -- just tap the edges so that they bend along the plywood's corner.
If you would like to suggest something or comment on my metal ddr pad design, please email me at