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  1. #1
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    Building a MAME from scratch: Cabinet, Control Panel, and PC.

    First off a big thanks to BYOAC, without those guys I wouldnt have bothered with this project. So much help and resources in one place, just an amazing community.
    Also thanks to: Andy @ www.ultimarc.com, Divemaster127 @ www.arcadeemulator.net, Randy @ www.groovygamegear.com, and Scott @ www.gameongrafix.com
    All great people to work with, saved me money, and provided superior products and services. If youre ever building an arcade cabinet, everything you need can be found through them, dont go looking anywhere else.


    The PC - XP Pro, P4 2.5GHz, 1GB, 430W, Radeon 9550:


    Completed Marquee:


    Completed Control Panel:


    Completed Side:


    Completed Bottom:


    Completed Front:


    Full Complete Cabinet:


    Intro Video:



    Full Complete Indepth Video:



    Composite Video:







    =====Original Post=====

    So after seeing the thread about MAME brought up recently, I decided to take a further look into it.

    Ive always wanted to build my own home entertainment room with leather couches, a great audio system and a huge projection system, however thatll have to wait till I get a big enough house. Whats goes great in an entertainment room though? An arcade.

    I, like many of you here, grew up on arcades, theres nothing that beats an intense match of galaga, or a furious match of mortal kombat; sure you could do it on a video game system, but theres just something about standing up at an arcade, holding a joystick, bumping shoulders, and hearing the sounds of the buttons being slapped.

    Anyone right now could be playing a MAME, all it basically is, is a bunch of emulators running on a PC, you dont even need a cabinet or control panel to do so, but that sort of takes the fun out of it.

    Seeing that building an arcade cabinet is a fairly easy wood working project, I decided to look more indepth on the different styles and setups. There are tons of resouces out there, but it seems Build Your Own Arcade Controls FAQ - Step up to real gaming excitement! is the best place of gathered info. While the main site seems fairly dated, the forum and wiki are quite active.

    There are three main parts to an arcade unit, a cabinet, a control panel and its inner workings (main board, audio and video). I decided that hardest part would be the cabinet. While not exactlly difficult, it sets the standard for everything else. I could start with the CP as it's more technically challenging (as you can see here http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/inde...ch=74701;image), but it's not really that hard once you understand whats happening; I could then build a cabinet to fit it, but that seems backwards to me. I also could start with the PC, but since those are a dime a dozen, and emulation is not a foreign concept for me, so that wouldnt be hard either. The only difficult with the inside will probably deciding on what kind of display to use.


    Well then, since I decided to start on the cabinet, I began to look around and see what kind of designs are out there. I could of gone with the basic look, I wanted something a bit more eye catching, and then I saw this http://www.mameroom.com/images/UAIIQuadKit.jpg The second I saw it I knew it was going to be perfect. But how to figure out the dimensions? On their website you could buy a completed unit, a DIY kit or just the dimensions, and thanks to the internet I did a bit of searching and found some rough dimensions for it, and began to work off of those.

    Using Visio I then started to work on the top portion and the bottom portion and ran in to various problems. Some of the dimensions didnt quite match up total wise, so I had to change a few, I also didnt like their pullout drawer for a keyboard, I figured I could easily fit a mico keyboard in the control panel, so I decided to raise the front kick plate, and I think it looks more like an arcade this way.

    Here is part of the drawing I came up with. The other part is where all the dimensions are labled.


    Fairly self explainatory which piece is what, and the blue part will help me find the points to cut out the red part. This is the hardest part solved, and as you can see in the final picture what it looks like put together from the side, and its height/width, 6'2x3'4 seems reasonable to me. With this part out of the way, I can fill in the front and back on the fly basically. Im not an expert wood worker, but I know a good amount.

    I havent quite finalized on the max inside width, but im thinking 25", it seems most arcades hover around 23" to 35", but I think anything above 30" is too big, maybe ill consider going to 28". I dont need to worry about that right now though, I can size it up once I get the sides cut out. Id also how to find a display unit to match it's width, so somewhere between a 25" to a 33".

    In terms of material, im thinking 5/8" MDF; while heavy, it's fairly inexpensive, and im going to try to keep this project sub $1000, which shouldnt be too hard. Most of my cost will come from the control panel and the display unit.

    I still havent decided on how many players I should make the control panel either. I was originally thinking 4P, but honestly, there arent that many 4P arcade games, nor will I have 4 people regularly available to play. However I started thinking that there are a decent amount of 4P N64 and DC games out there, any maybe that might be a reason to go 4P. And then after deciding how many players, Ill have to figure out a button config. There are many games out there, ones that use 1 button, and ones that use lots, and it seems every aracade has a different arrangment. Im thinking 7 buttons per player, 1 8x joy each, with 1 track ball, 1 spinner, and 1 4x joy, and then some extra misc buttons.

    Yes, as I forgot to mention not only will I be using this to play arcade games, but also the many video games out there. Which brings me to my next issue, the display unit. While an actual arcade display is nice for getting that realisim, getting one that displays newer games properly isnt common, and can be quite expensive, $600 for a 27". So then maybe a monitor? but it may not display the arcade games properly, but I found this guy Ultimarc, the Ultimate in Arcade Controls.� and it's bascially a video card that emulates an arcade display properly, so that may be an option. The easiest and middle of the road option would just be to use a good ol CRT TV, easy to find, and cheap, but would need an S-Vid at minimum, and it's hard to find one that has thinish sides, but I guess that will be an issues down the road.

    And then even later down the road is all the small details like power buttons, lighting, and marquees.


    So thats it in a nutshell at the moment. Has anyone ever built one, or used one before? I still havent come up with a color scheme either, the top sides of the cabinet will have print on it eventually, and im thinking about just painting the base black. I also need to decided on a trim color. Anyone have any ideas they want to toss out or anything? Any recommendations on a control panel layout? Ive one in mind, and ill probably make a quick mockup of one soon and post it.

    But until then, toss me some questions/comments, and maybe thatll get my thought process going on some things that I may have missed.

  2. #2

    Going the extra mile to match up the resolutions of games of yore does sound pretty interesting... but also sounds like a pain to setup. I dunno what to say in regards to that one, mainly because I'm fine with how things are displayed on an LCD, even if the aspect ratio is a bit fubar'd.

    As for your control panel, I would actually recommend a 2 player setup and space it out enough (which you should have enough room for if you're adding in a trackball). Having 4 players and not really using all 4 joysticks would seem like a waste and if there were situations where you would need more controllers, add some USB slots and get some external joysticks to fill out the rest with some chairs and boom!

    As for buttons and joysticks, this is all a matter of preference. If you like some precision for fighting games or shmups, I would recommend looking into a Sanwa or Seimitsu Stick/Buttons. Note that they're Japanese styled (lollipop sticks and convex buttons) but they're perfect for those types of games. If you want something more american/traditional style, Perfect 360 sticks and Happ Competition buttons. The P360 sticks are optical based instead of traditional microswitches so you won't actually "feel" anything but it's very smooth, you will need extra power going through them though. The Happs buttons are concave and you can even get some translucent buttons so you can get some LEDs on that and make it look cool. <.<;

    As for button layout, I would suggest 6 buttons (not counting coin/start buttons) per player. Now, yeah there are Neo Geo games that use 4 buttons for horizontal and if you want the traditional spacing for them then sure, go with 7 buttons with that extra button on the bottom left. However, with the advent of all these new games coming out with a 6 rectangle layout, you usually see Neogeo/SNK games laid out like this on the buttons:

    BCD
    AXX

    or

    ACX
    BDX

    The first layout would be more accurate to how traditional Neogeo games are. No other game out there would warrant a 7 button layout for the sake of having all 7 buttons so I would go with 6 buttons.

    I believe you can change a Sanwa around to make it only register 4 directions instead of 8. It would be great for pac-man and older games.

  3. #3

    I'd question a stand-up.

    I'm really into arcade hardware(I mean, I run a charity related to it ffs), and there's one thing people often forget about with stand ups:

    #1. You have to stand to play, a bigger deal than you think after an hour. Stand up is a weird American thing, rest of the world uses sit-downs.

    Mostly sitdowns:
    Cabinet List - Hard*Candy

    #2. Stand-ups, especially ghetto Mame standups, are UGLY. There's really no way around this, they're an eye-sore. If you went to an arcade enthusiast community and showed that cab you linked above, you would get laughed at. I'm not saying that as a dis, just a suggestion that I would *really heavily...heavily* consider the aesthetic choice you make in your cab, what seems awesome now, will be "that ugly fucking thing sitting in my living room" in a month. The reason so many people are into candy cabs, is because they're functional decorations on top of being functional cabs. i.e. they're pretty to look at. They're also pretty cheap($350-$900, depending on model, including monitor, joysticks, control panel, everything, just need a $100-$200 PC and some parts to interface).

    #3. Montiors, people really don't understand this, and almost universally choose some new CRT computer monitor, or even worse...ESPECIALLY WORSE...LCDs.

    A real mame setup should be on a real arcade monitor, the resolutions were 15k/24k/31k, it's really hard to find normal monitors that go below 31k, and 95%+ of Arcade games were 15k(240p!!!).

    Never, NEVER...use an LCD for these projects, it's impossible to emulate the actual feel of a classic CRT monitor, in the enthusiast community, it's incredibly ghetto. I know you clearly said you were going CRT, but I thought I should emphasize it before someone gave you terrible advice.

    #4...other stuff, honestly if you want expert advice you can AIM me, cause I can go over it with you and tell you everything about everything.

    Arcade hardware is my passion if you couldn't tell >.>

    Oh...related to monitors, remember that like 30% of arcade games are VERTICAL, and not horizontal...you need to make your monitor tateable(can rotate).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MogKnight View Post
    As for your control panel, I would actually recommend a 2 player setup and space it out enough (which you should have enough room for if you're adding in a trackball). Having 4 players and not really using all 4 joysticks would seem like a waste and if there were situations where you would need more controllers, add some USB slots and get some external joysticks to fill out the rest with some chairs and boom!
    This is what im thinking too, 2P with additional USB controllers should be enough. If for some reason 4P bcomes a better option, I can always make a new one.

    Quote Originally Posted by MogKnight View Post
    As for button layout, I would suggest 6 buttons (not counting coin/start buttons) per player. Now, yeah there are Neo Geo games that use 4 buttons for horizontal and if you want the traditional spacing for them then sure, go with 7 buttons with that extra button on the bottom left. However, with the advent of all these new games coming out with a 6 rectangle layout, you usually see Neogeo/SNK games laid out like this on the buttons:
    Ive seen the 6 horizontal setup being used quite a bit now, but since im an MK fan I wanted to add a 7th to it. With IPAC2 Ultimarc, the Ultimate in Arcade Controls.� I can have up to 8 buttons, but im not sure if I want to do 8 or not, 7 would be minimum though.

    So itll be this set up at least:
    ..OOO
    ..OOO
    O

    And for 8 I guess..

    OOOO
    OOOO

    ..OOO
    ..OOO
    OO

    O
    ..OOO
    ..OOO
    O

    or something.

    I do plan to use Happ though, theyre a tad more expensive, but they have most everything. I did see the 4/8 switching sticks, but I want to do a bit more research on those.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darus Grey View Post
    1. You have to stand to play, a bigger deal than you think after an hour. Stand up is a weird American thing, rest of the world uses sit-downs.
    Standing isnt an issue to me, I used to stand for 8hrs a time (granted it was moving around), but I could see adding nice stools as an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darus Grey View Post
    #2. Stand-ups, especially ghetto Mame standups, are UGLY. There's really no way around this, they're an eye-sore. If you went to an arcade enthusiast community and showed that cab you linked above, you would get laughed at. I'm not saying that as a dis, just a suggestion that I would *really heavily...heavily* consider the aesthetic choice you make in your cab, what seems awesome now, will be "that ugly fucking thing sitting in my living room" in a month.
    I agree theyre big, but what about enthusiasts not liking the linked image? I do think it looks odd with a pull out and low coin door, but I think by removing the pull out and moving the coin door up near 6 inches, makes it look more real. I think the profile of it looks more interesting than a straight back, but maybe theres something I can change to make it a bit better. http://www.knievelkustoms.com/neonmame2.jpg for ex looks really sharp, while the color scheme/etc could be argued, it looks professional, and I plan to put the same effort in, it wont just be 'some gamer got bored' thing. Itll be going in a dedicated fun room, so it wont really look out a place with a pooltable and such.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darus Grey View Post
    #3. Montiors, people really don't understand this, and almost universally choose some new CRT computer monitor, or even worse...ESPECIALLY WORSE...LCDs.

    A real mame setup should be on a real arcade monitor, the resolutions were 15k/24k/31k, it's really hard to find normal monitors that go below 31k, and 95%+ of Arcade games were 15k(240p!!!).

    Never, NEVER...use an LCD for these projects, it's impossible to emulate the actual feel of a classic CRT monitor, in the enthusiast community, it's incredibly ghetto. I know you clearly said you were going CRT, but I thought I should emphasize it before someone gave you terrible advice.
    This was my thought process as well, id only go LCD if it was my last resort and had 0 other options for some reason. While I think the old arcade screen looks really cool, I do want to play modern (probably PS1/DC/N64 (maybe PS2/GC/XBOX) and of course earllier), and from what ive seen those aracde monitors cant push those too well, unless I spring for a Wells Gardner, since I here those are damn good. At the moment im just considering a good ol fat CDT, and maybe taking the case of it off.

    As far as the vertical thing, I did see that during some of my research, but Id think a standard square 25" CRT should be plenty of height, Im not going to bother with a rotating one.



    Thanks for the tips guys.

  5. #5

    I'm fond of the astro city layout myself, curved layouts are much easier on your hands over long periods.

    Also Seph, I forgot you mentioned the ArcadeVGA card...don't.

    It's not bad by any means, but you can get the same thing for free.

    Google "Soft15k" it's a program that unlocks the resolutions needed for 15/24/31k. Same thing but software vs hardware.

    31k as a note, is same as 480p. Arcade monitors can display consoles just fine with a simple converter that costs $50~, actually I think they sell a bunch of them on the website you linked, Ultrimarc. Though they down-convert to 15k.

    Also, Wells-Gardner monitors are good in that you can still buy them new, cause they're still made in the US. They're really not great monitors though.

    The top ones are Sanwa PFX, Nanaos, Toshibas, and to a much lesser degree the Wei-Yas(which you can also buy new, around $300).http://hard--candy.com/index.asp?page=Monitor+List

    http://www.knievelkustoms.com/neonmame2.jpg for ex looks really sharp, while the color scheme/etc could be argued, it looks professional, and I plan to put the same effort in, it wont just be 'some gamer got bored' thing. Itll be going in a dedicated fun room, so it wont really look out a place with a pooltable and such.
    We'll have to disagree on that looking good, but if it's in a dedicated game room, it will certainly look less out of place.

    Now the Windy2, that's some boner inducing contours.

  6. #6
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    It seems weve different tastes in cabinet designs :p And I found an 8 buttons setup for astro city if I decided to go that route, doesnt seem too bad. http://slagcoin.com/joystick/layout/sega1_l.png Ill look in to maybe softening the control panel a bit to be more curvey too.

    I doubt I would of gone with that card, but now that youve brought up that software option, thats awesome. Do you happen to know how the name of the converter? I did a quick look on Ultimarc and only saw that arcadevga.

    Out of that monitor list, do you have a recommendation for a good 25"? keeping cost in mind too, or maybe 25~30". Like I said, im still not sure on what width im going to go with, but I dont want to make it anything bigger that 30" wide, id suspect a 33" arcade monitor could fit in that due to no case, but I havent really done any monitor research yet. So based on what monitor I can fit in, I might have to base the width off of that. Any good places to buy? I just saw this site too http://alvaamusement.com/

  7. #7
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    I donated 5 bucks and all I got was this shitty title from Zet

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    If you go with an actual arcade CRT monitor like my friend did (he wanted it to look and feel like an authentic arcade machine), be -extremely- careful with it. They're very heavy, bare-backed, and do not have any shell or protection around the tube itself. Just sayin'.

    His arcade machine is pretty awesome though, it's a great DIY project.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by SephYuyX View Post
    It seems weve different tastes in cabinet designs And I found an 8 buttons setup for astro city if I decided to go that route, doesnt seem too bad. http://slagcoin.com/joystick/layout/sega1_l.png Ill look in to maybe softening the control panel a bit to be more curvey too.

    I doubt I would of gone with that card, but now that youve brought up that software option, thats awesome. Do you happen to know how the name of the converter? I did a quick look on Ultimarc and only saw that arcadevga.

    Out of that monitor list, do you have a recommendation for a good 25"? keeping cost in mind too, or maybe 25~30". Like I said, im still not sure on what width im going to go with, but I dont want to make it anything bigger that 30" wide, id suspect a 33" arcade monitor could fit in that due to no case, but I havent really done any monitor research yet. So based on what monitor I can fit in, I might have to base the width off of that. Any good places to buy? I just saw this site too ALVA HOME
    The most common sizes are 25 and 29 inch, I'd recommend 29 inch, just because pretty much every monitor type comes in a 29inch variety, and they're easiest to find used in good condition(since much of the arcade enthusist scene is geared towards candies, they're the ones sold the most often, as they're the standard size for them).

    29 is sometimes notated as 27(because it's actually 27inch viewable). Example:

    NEW: Wells Gardner 27" Flat-Screen VGA Arcade Monitor: $369

    Also, console adapters:

    [url=http://ultimarc.com/console.php]Ultimarc, the Ultimate in Arcade Controls.

  9. #9
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    Oh those, I was thinking you were talking about something else. I plan on running everything through emulation, no physical systems. Id assume running from the PC theyd run fine on an arcade monitor then?

    Seems I better find a monitor or TV first before a final decision on a width.

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by SephYuyX View Post
    Oh those, I was thinking you were talking about something else. I plan on running everything through emulation, no physical systems. Id assume running from the PC theyd run fine on an arcade monitor then?

    Seems I better find a monitor or TV first before a final decision on a width.
    Oh, if that's the case then yes. You can run all your emulation fine on one.

    And yeah, monitor is really what you should be building around in the design phase, as opposed to designing and then finding something to fit.

    I'm constantly trawling arcade websites for deals, I'll keep a lookout for anyone selling cheap. MUCH of the buying/selling in the enthusiast sector is through forum buy/sell sections like we have here on BG.

    neo-geo.com
    arcadeotaku.com
    forum.arcadecontrols.com
    forums.arcade-museum.com

    Then the various MAME ones which I don't visit personally(since I collect original hardware and don't do emulation).

  11. #11
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    After visitng lots of threads about monitors, I think im just going to go with a CRT TV.

    Most prices for the arcade monitors are just too pricey. Found a few comparison shots, 1 being http://digidownload.libero.it/ventur...alfight_hi.jpg and while the monitor looks great, the SVid shot looks good enough for my needs. I am going to plan to make the width a bit larger incase I do upgrade at one point.

    With using a CRT TV striped from its case, an SVid or Component in conjunction with Soft15k have been getting some good thumbs up. While of course not near the perfection of a monitor, it seems to make for a good cheap mans option. And for $25~100 for 25"~30",I cant pass that up.

    Though if I do find some real good deals on monitors in the mean time, that would be swell too.

    The only question I have unanswered atm is should I be looking for a specific CRT TV? Obviously itll have to have an SVid or Component, but will any CRT with one of those be fine? From what I recall, any of those should be no lower than 480p.

  12. #12

    Sony Trinitrons or Wegas. Those were the best CRT TV ever made. The actual tubes had 2-3 times as many scanlines(analog to, but not equivalent to, resolution in an LCD) as most others in the higher end models.

    Alternatively, you could look for a deal on a Mitsubishi Megaview 27-33inch. I picked one up for $150 recently, they're actually computer monitors that have all the color/scan functions of an arcade monitor. They were $10000-$20000 brand new, but can be gotten for practically nothing now.

    They have straight up RBG in via VGA(DB15) to BNC adapters.

    Hard to find, but a cheap option if you find one locally.

    Super important thing to consider with an actual CRT TV, is that they actually display 480i, except for ones that specifically support progressive scan. Important distinction because all arcade games are progressive and not interlaced. You have a lot of control options for display output in mame, but i'd avoid interlacing myself.

  13. #13
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    Ive seen near 10 TVs posted on Craigslist in the past few days ranging from 25" to 27" for about 50$, of course they never list the model #s so I cant see what size they are or what connections they have.

    Going to try to see about some local-ish TV repair places and see if they have any lying around too. With this many postings on CL just withint a few days I doubt ill have trouble finding a good, but finding a good working one that fits the bill may be another story..

    Id like to find an EDTV for 480p, but those seem impossible to find. So many CRTs, all quite similar but have their own differences.

    Also did a bit of scouting around at the local Lowe's, worthless, didnt have half the things I need, ill have to try the HomeDepot. They didnt even have 5/8 MDF, so may have to bulk it up to 3/4. Ill be able to use 1/2 for the CP though. MDF is also a bitch to cut, let alone two 3/4 boards at once. May have to borrow some more powerful tools, or ill have to take it the slow way.

  14. #14
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    My bf and I adapted an old poker game box into a MAME box about 8 or 9 years ago, we built the front part of it; it worked really well... until we had to move it! Becuase of the size of the cabinet, we had to take the tv out of its box, and every time we moved house we had to buy a new one because something would inevitably short-circuit and blow the whole thing. It sucked :X But anyway apart from that it was awesome.

    I'd give you supply shop recs but they're all Australian but if you have any questions feel free to ask

    We weren't really going for any "look", just wanted to build one on the cheap to play at home Also we kinda sucked at woodwork but it worked out pretty well!

    http://liedra.net/misc/mamebox.jpg

  15. #15
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    Did you just go buy any old random CRTs? Did you use SCART? Or just S-Vid/Component? How did it look visually just picking up a random TV?

  16. #16
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    Built two of these over the summer (one for me one for a friend)

    I also read up on the CRT vs LCD debate and ended up picking a vizio 32" lcd. Pretty glad I did since most of the time I'm playing something in HD anyway and although mame doesnt look as authentic it hasnt bothered me much.

    I built a cabinet way back with a big CRT and it was just a pain, using the flat screen this time around was much cleaner/easier.

    edit: wanted to also add that I'm using a decently cheap PC (e5200 @ 3.75ghz, 4gb ram, 9600GT around 400$) in it and its currently running everything ps2/gamecube/wii pretty easily, I added usb ports in the front for a xbox 360 pad, and using xpadder to play games that need a gamepad works great

  17. #17

    Well, if you're playing primarily modern and console games, I agree an LCD makes more sense. That's just building a machine to it's function. I'd maintain that a machine whose *primary* use is MAME/Arcade cabs, a CRT is far more appropriate, since yours isn't, it makes less sense.

    Compared to a lot of horror stories I've seen, yours looks rather nice, very Naomi Universal in style, though I can't tell from scale if that's a sitdown or standup(I'm assuming a standup, cause the screen is way too high otherwise).

    Could use some polishing like round out edges for aesthetics, but otherwise is clean and not gaudy(least in design).

  18. #18
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    ya its a standup cab, when we feel like sitting we just use stools. If you're building only for mame then a crt would be best, especially when a widescreen would be wasted on 4:3 games (or stretched).

  19. #19
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    I've a 21" (viewable) CRT PC monitor lined up, hoping to pick it up tomorrow. It'll do for now, and for 25$, I couldnt pass it up.

    Hoping to also pick up the MDF this weekend and finally get the profile cut out.

    Been working on some of the smaller aspects in the mean time, one of them being a color scheme. Saw something I liked and reproduced it (still some left to do, but a good mockup).

    Gonna use this for the backround of the CPO and Marquee, and ill flip this verticale and use it for the sides too. I plan on painting the base black, and put either red or blue tmolding on the bottom, and then adhere this on the top part and use the opposite color tmolding. http://www.t-molding.com/store/home.php is a good site for tmolding btw. Have 20ft total (20 1ft piece samples) on order of various sizes and colors, all free, very nice site.

    Will definitely stand out, but I think itll look good next to the jukebox.

    Another thing I need to think of is a name. I was considering just leaving it nameless, but dunno.

  20. #20
    I Am, Who I Am.
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    Didnt get the monitor.. so still looking for a display >.x
    But the actual project begins!

    Some T-Molding samples; this will go around the edge.

    Four 5/8" 8x4' MDF Sheets. Heavy suckers weigh about 90lbs each. 1/2 and 3/4 can be found anywhere, only one place in the area sells 5/8 and took days to find out who.
    Laying out the pattern for the bottom portion on one sheet.

    Laying out the pattern for the top portion on another sheet. The meauring took a very long time. I started at about noon, and didnt start cutting till about 4 when the sun started to vanish. Measure 42 times, cut once.

    Forgot to adjust the drawing so I could fit both sides of the top portion on one sheet, but luckily enough both the top and bottom portions could fit on to one sheet (by 2 inches..). So I cut both sheets at the proper length, and that allowed the smaller unused half from the top portion to be used with the bottom portion, and the larger unused half from the bottom to be used with the top portion.


    Top portion work in progress. Using multipule clamps to keep it secure, and moving them when necessary. I used the 1x2 board as a straight edge for the saw and clamped it down 1-1/4" from the line I wanted to cut. I originally planned to cut out only one side, and then use it as a template to route the second one out with a flush tip bit, but after a friend recommended trying to cut two boards in one pass, I tried it, and it worked fine. Saved time and money.


    Top portion all cut out, and both sides perfectly flush thanks to lots of clamps. Just needs to be sanded a bit, and itll be time to cut out the bottom portion.


    Getting the bottom portion all clamped, set, and ready to go.


    Bottom piece WIP, same process as before; mark 1-1/4" away from cut, clamp straight line, cut.


    Cuts all done, just need to sand and touch up.


    Realised I hadnt 'planned' passed the profile bit of the project, so did a few rough measurments and begane to cut the front and back peices.


    Bottom part set out.


    Top part set out.


    Profile laid out.


    The front and back pieces of the bottom portion, will do the top parts after the botom is assembled and the top is attached to that. This part wasnt too hard, but all the markings, adding the straight edge, cut, remove straight edge, mark next piece, add straight edge, etc took awhile.


    Material List and Total Cost at the moment.

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