Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Arcade Cabinet Project - Day 3 and Day 4

It's funny how the little things take such a long time, plus after nearly killing myself I decided to have a break from it all!

Before I got down to sanding and priming, had to make the speaker shelf and sort the light out for the marquee.

With the speakers, I cut a circle in the shelf, where the main speaker would be if I placed it on the shelf. I will eventually cover the hole up with a grill. I made a "barricade" around where the speaker would sit to stop it from moving around, and attached a back supporting shelf to stop them falling back.

Next up the light, simply fluroescent tube light with a cover on to help diffuse the light a little. Few little other bits and bobs, like door handle at front and front plank under joystick.

Now I was ready to go and buy my acrylic, now that I had exact measurements. I got my local store to cut for me, as I was not confident I would be able to cut the acrylic without screwing it up.

I realised I had better stop staring and admiring it, and get down to sanding it down and at least getting some undercoat on it.

And thats what I did, and I even managed to get my first coat of glossy black paint on there too. Main aim was just to cover the undercoat. Hopefully over the weekend, will sand it down again lightly, and put on a second coat. Most definitely will require a third coat, as my painting is rubbish!!

Nearly there folks!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Arcade Cabinet Project - Day 2

After the buzz of seeing a half erected cabinet, I got up early and headed straight out to start working on it....at this juncture I should state I took a week off work to build this thing, so for the first time it was a pleasure getting up early! Main aim for today was to get the rear doors done, the top ledger, the front door, and the keyboard drawer.

I decided to split the rear door into two. Main reason was that I wasnt confident that one big door at the back was going to look okay largely due to that I wasn't all that confident in the straightness of the whole thing. So it gave me leeway. Used flush hinges to attach them, and some brass cabinet hooks to secure them.

Found some scrap drawer railings in the garage from my old fitted cabinets from my room which proved useful in fitting the drawer. I must say I was impressed with the drawer, I swear I must've pulled the drawer back and forth,
oh i don't know a million times, and still never got bored of it.....

Added a support beam to the control panel, and attached the casters for the second time. I picked up the wrong ones, i.e. casters that did not swivel. Muppetry. Then to finish off the day, the font door, using a magnet lock to secure it, the top roof legder and some photo opps, before taking measurements for the perspex sheets.

Arcade Cabinet Project - Day 1

Right, finally I have decided to construct my own arcade cabinet. After 5 years of dreaming, I finally managed to put pen to paper and start designing my dream. I scoured the net for inspiration and found there were a lot of similar geeks like myself who have made some truly amazing cabs.

Design and Controller
I decided to build a simple cab, and used the X-Arcade joystick as the main controller and built the design round that. I went for the standard 2 player controller. I was tempted to go for the tankstci with the trackball, so I can relive moments of Missile Command but for an extra £60-70, I thought not! Maybe on the next one.

I opted for a 19" LCD monitor (widescreen im afraid - again cost factor!). Considering I went for the LCD monitor and not a CRT, I did want the size of the cab to be quite imposing and instantly recognisable as a cab as opposed to a wardrobe!! I mean wheres the fun in that!

Okay so what I'm going to do do is give you a brief summary of my days spent building this monester, with some select pics, most of the pics by the way on my facebook page, so feel free to check them out. At the end of it, i'll provide a full rundown of the cost, material list and some moments of muppetry because lets face it, im winging it!!

Okay as you can see in the pic, my design, if anyone wants the full spec and material list now, then let me know. I decided to construct the cab in plywood, around 18mm thick, softwood birch quality. So it was quite chunky and heavy. The main reason I chose plywood over MDF, was I just know some kind of liquid was going to spilled over it
and MDF is like a sponge. So off to the local DIY store to pick up 3 sheets of 8' x 4' plywood, 8 2m long studs, screws, hinges, cabinet hooks etc.

Game Day
Measuring, measuring and measuring - I spent a good hour
marking things out for the first side panel. I made sure the dims were 100% correct, as at £25 a sheet, and the
size of the sheet meant I dont want to be making any school boy errors!! Once all marked out, cutting the shape was pretty easy with the circular saw, although on my first attempt it nearly flew out of my hand, nearly ripping my arm out in the process....remember, hold it tight....!
The second side panel was easy after tracing from the first. Next was the base construction. As this was going to take the whole weight of the cab, it had to sturdy. Once the side panels were attached to the base and it stood up, the monitor shelf was fitted. The side panels were screwed from the inside through the studs. Most screws were done from the inside as I wanted have as few as screws as possible visible from the outside. I was fairly liberal with screws, just to make it sturdy as I wasn't using any glue. The screws were 50mm coountersink rapid screws. Now as I stood it all and breathed a sigh of relief nohting fell apart, I sat back and admired my work so far, and I was filled with excitement, it really started to look like an arcade cabinet. I even tested out the fitting of the joystick and monitor shelf and pretented.....had to done! Gaming nirvana here I come.... Not bad for half a days work I say!