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Custom "Slick" Cabinet Build


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Hi All,


I thought I would share latest build with you all.  I built this for a friend's photography studio to entertain her waiting clients.  The design was a combination of the lines of a Midway PacMan cabinet and the "80's Arcade Trunk" from and expensive leather shop: http://coolmaterial.com/home/pinel-and-pinel-arcade-80s-trunk/ – though mostly what I took from that was the way the casters are incorporated into the design... and the chrome t-molding.  Then I pushed the control panel out more for easier 2 player play.

She wanted something slick and classy for here studio space, but had a late 70's arcade vibe, So I went with walnut plywood for the sides, which was surprisingly cheaper than getting enough faux wood laminate to cover the sides.  Brad Bowman (Lucian045 on this Forum) Printed and cut the art for me and walked me through the application.  If you need side art, go to him, no question about it, he's great

The hardest bit was the control panel monitor bezel combo... its a single sheet of 1/4" plexiglass that I heat bent with a shop made jig.  then I masked off an area for the monitor to show through, and painted the backside white.  Its looks really slick in person.

I had originally intended to install Hyperspin and Mame for the cabinet, but in the end she didn't want to have to deal with a PC... so I installed a Game Elf Multi Game Jamma PCB... the roms are kinda crappy and there are so many bootleg games on there... but overall its a decently easy to use system, but the front end is really lame.




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Thanks! Sure


After Designing the side profile in adobe illustrator I built the cab in sketchup to check the design and dimensions and make adjustments.


Then I used my rough dimensions to build a foam mockup of tha cabinet to check the size and form factor, this turned out to be crucial since I realized my monitor/CP angle was too steep to be comfortable



Then I tile printed my side panel design from illustrator and traced the pattern on a 1/2 sheet of plywood to cut out the template with a jig saw, and then cleaned up with files and sandpaper


THen I used the template to cut out the walnut ply with my router


I have a router table that this thing ususally sits in.. but I dropped it last time I was taking it out and broke a corner off the plate... but I learned that if I just keep the plate attached to the router, its like a base exteneder and it keep the router super steady,, no more wobble or tipping around outside corners! 


then I stained the panels with minwax special walnut... looks great on actual walnut



and then started coating with layers and layers of polyurethane.... I should have used a grain filler, I didn't know how pourous walnut is. it took alot of poly and sanding to get the surfaces glassy smooth.


during coats of poly I worked on the CP, I failed to take a pic of the monitor and control panel carriage alone , but you can see it in later pictures.  Here is the plexi line bending jig.  there is an aluminum channel recessed between two hinged pieces of plywood.  In the channel a niChrome wire is stretched.  You connect a power supply to the wire and it heats up... this heats the plexi in a straight line along the pivot axis of the hinged plywood pieces. Once the plexi heated (about 5 minutes) you bend up one side and it hits stops I made at the correct angle for the CP's design.  In these pictures the power supply is resting in the bed where the plexi would be placed - then squared to the edge of the stops


here is the plexi after bending and painting - protective cover still on


then I assembled the CP and applied graphics to the sides - cutting the holes int he 1/4" plexi was a nightmare... go super slow or the plexi will heat up and melt... this caused me trouble on a few holes, afterwards I had to chisel off the melted and hardened bloom. then sand off the chisel marks, then polish with Novus. but you can't tell anything went wrong.


then I assembled the cabinet with pocket hole screws ( predrilled before staining and poly)



and then added the jamma multiboard, power supply, and 100 W mini amp for the cheapo car speakers.. btw the speaker system maybe cost me $20 and was much easier to deal with than the repurposed computer speakers I used on my last cab, definitely doing that again in the future.



after assembly I parked it next to my Hyperspin cabinet for comparison



thanks for looking!



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  • 1 month later...
On 8/18/2017 at 7:25 AM, richie_jones said:

Some great pics there, love the build process!!!

Was this a commissioned build for someone?

Thanks! Yeah, it was kind of a commission.  I work in advertising and have made friends with photographer I've frequently used. She had just built a new studio, and wanted a "branded"  multicade for clients and guests to entertain themselves with while waiting during shoots.  So I built it for her in exchange for her shooting a few rounds of photos of my kids.  She bought all the materials, but I guess we traded labor.  

She's respected enough to have photographed a portrait of the Dalai Lama, so I think I came out ahead in the deal :) And the pictures she has taken so far are amazing - and have bought me permission for several more projects from the wife!

She just sent me a legit picture of the cabinet.  I honestly wanted to keep it once I was done.  I still have the template though, I maybe I'll build myself one one day.


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