Board index Arcade Cabinets and More! Smile station - My build blog

Smile station - My build blog

Show us your cabinet, control panel, or clever mod. Tell us what you did and share how you did it. Bask in the glory!
Post February 23rd, 2014, 7:54 pm
smile123 User avatar
Gamer Extreme
Gamer Extreme

Posts: 20
Location: Sheffield

Here is my first attempt to build an arcade. Ultimately it will feature a handful of classic games using mame and Hyperspin or similar. It will be based in my business so I want to also incorporate a music style jukebox facility.

There are no detailed plans and I'm making this up as I go along.


I purchased two sheets of 18mm MDF for the side panels. Each piece is 600mmx1800mm. I decided it would be nice to keep one straight edge as the back and that the panel was about the depth I was looking for.

Image
Adopt - Adapt - Improve

Post February 23rd, 2014, 7:59 pm
smile123 User avatar
Gamer Extreme
Gamer Extreme

Posts: 20
Location: Sheffield

Next I marked out the outline of the cabinet. The right hand side will be the back edge and the control panel area goes right upto the left hand edge which gives two parallel edges to work off.

Image
Adopt - Adapt - Improve

Post February 23rd, 2014, 9:06 pm
smile123 User avatar
Gamer Extreme
Gamer Extreme

Posts: 20
Location: Sheffield

The sharp angles looked a bit harsh so I tried to incorpoarate a couple of curves. After failing to draw them free hand I came up with this method....seemed to work well.

Image

I used a jigsaw to cut out the design I had drawn then stood it up so I could stand to it and see how it felt and luckily it felt right.

Image

I then clamped the cut-out to my other fresh piece of MDF so that I could draw round it which I think is common practice at this stage. This photo shows how much of the actual sheet I was using so waste was quite small.

Image

I clamped the two pieces together so I could go around the edges and sand it back hopefully making them as identical as possible. At this point I was thinking about T-moulding and maybe going round the edges with a router which I don't own. The cost of the tooling at this stage on a first build put me off so the plan now is sanded edges without T-moulding.

Image

At this point I'm researching monitors and took a chance on this 19" monitor which I found on ebay. Because I'm not sure what games will be installed I figured 4:3 might be a safe option. I'm trying to think just one step ahead at each point so realised I needed to get the cabinet stood up.

Image

I used a piece of 18mm deep MDF to mark an outline around the edges of the side panels so I could mount some battens. I wasn't sure whether there was any science behind this other than whatever I do it needs to be absolutely rock solid when it's stood up.

Image

.....The above work was carried out in September 2013... My business gets really busy over Christmas so the arcade was left untouched but I spent a bit of time forward planning what I would do next. Because I made one or two mistakes and might have tackled a couple of things differently I am making mental notes now for the second cabinet. The goal is to complete the whole process with this cabinet then go into the next one with a bit of experience....

So back to now, its Febuary 2014 and I've got time to spend on the arcade again. This weekend was great for motivation. I decided to attach some battens to the panels, again not sure what would work best and trying to imagine it in a 3D format in my head was tricky. I screwed through the battens into the Mdf sheet to save screw heads being on the outside. I'm thinking just enough battens to get it stood up....

Image

.......although attaching the battens was easy the tricky bit was that I realised there was suddenly so much to think about such as should access to the base being front or back and how to hinge the door, how will the marquee fit, control panel angle and size, screen bezel angle and size and where will the speakers go...

At this point I decided getting it stood up would help with all these questions. I decided to go for slightly thinner 12mm thickness Mdf for the front and back panels mainly to try to manage the weight but also to see if it worked in terms of rigidity. I built on its side on my workbench...

Image

A major milestone for me. It stands up and is perfectly square but best of all it's absolutely rock solid with no sway at all...

Image

Here is the view from the front. The transformation from two side panels to a standing carcass happened over a day or so and the motivational boost is massive. I'm really pleased with the look of the arcade at this point and although it's not groundbreaking in terms of design it is exactly what I wanted it to look like.

Image
Adopt - Adapt - Improve

Post February 23rd, 2014, 9:50 pm
smile123 User avatar
Gamer Extreme
Gamer Extreme

Posts: 20
Location: Sheffield

The cabinet will stand in my store / man cave so the art work needs to have some impact. I wont be going game theme related. I have narrowed my ideas down to either Joker related or Anonymous - we are legion. I love the Anonymous stuff so I made some mood boards for inspiration.....

Image

Image
Adopt - Adapt - Improve

Post February 24th, 2014, 1:24 am
Nostalgia User avatar
Gold Skull member
Gold Skull member

Posts: 1185
Location: Australia

Awesome work mate!

Post February 24th, 2014, 2:18 am
PantherUK Moderator
Moderator

Posts: 775
Location: England UK
Nice one mate, that's exactly what I'd have done had I had the time and space, I ultimately bought a kit cabinet, thanks for showing us... Looking forward to seeing the next stages...
:thumbsup:
Ooer... No pictures...

Post February 24th, 2014, 4:30 am
smile123 User avatar
Gamer Extreme
Gamer Extreme

Posts: 20
Location: Sheffield

Nostalgia wrote:
Awesome work mate!


Thanks mate...
PantherUK wrote:
Nice one mate, that's exactly what I'd have done had I had the time and space, I ultimately bought a kit cabinet, thanks for showing us... Looking forward to seeing the next stages...


Thanks, how did you get along with the kit?
Adopt - Adapt - Improve

Post February 24th, 2014, 12:42 pm
PantherUK Moderator
Moderator

Posts: 775
Location: England UK
Hey there mate, have a look here...
Ooer... No pictures...

Post February 26th, 2014, 7:46 pm
smile123 User avatar
Gamer Extreme
Gamer Extreme

Posts: 20
Location: Sheffield

PantherUK wrote:
Hey there mate, have a look here...

Love it, some innovative ideas there...

I spent so long researching that everytime I come across a problem I realise somebody else has already tried my solution. Trying so hard not to copy anybody else's cab is hard...lol
Adopt - Adapt - Improve

Post February 26th, 2014, 8:09 pm
smile123 User avatar
Gamer Extreme
Gamer Extreme

Posts: 20
Location: Sheffield

Well today I decided to tackle positioning of the control panel, monitor and speaker panel up to the marquee. My monitor arrived today so I now have a better idea what needs to go where. I decided to go down the route of the secret keyboard drawer under the control panel. Here's how I did that bit....

Image

Bottom mount drawer runners 350mm screwed to the inside of the sidepanels behind and under the control panel. I used a simple cut piece of Mdf as the shelf for the keyboard and mouse. I have seen this idea all over the place but was surprised how easy it was to do.

Image

The control panel is hinged to reveal the keyboard drawer underneath which pulls out. I though this would also provide access to the wiring under the controls aswell. I realised the hinged action of the control panel would conflict with the monitor bezel due to the arc of movement but by placing the hinge a couple of inches forward the back of the control panel now travels downwards rather than backwards slightly but I'll address this bit now my monitor has arrived.

While I was working on the control panel I decided to drop the top down 3mm under the front panel so I can have some artwork covered by 3mm acrylic then I'll mount the controls...

Image
Adopt - Adapt - Improve

Next

Return to Arcade Cabinets and More!

Google+