Have you wanted your own arcade machine, but never thought you had the time, skills, tools or money to make a stylish cabinet?
Here is the solution!
I have designed an extremely easy to build, affordable and stylish cabinet. Now you can build one too. With this home arcade machine, you can play arcade and home console games with a true arcade feel.

What makes this cabinet so special?
  • Easy Woodworking:There are no curves or special cuts to make, every cut is a straight cut and little measuring is needed. The only power tools needed is a saw, a drill and a sander.
  • Extremely Affordable: The entire cabinet cost me less than $100 to build! I did have an old laptop I put in that I am not counting in cost, but this is cheaper than a small bartop cabinet!
  • Easy to do: I built this in two weekends, and I was going slow!
  • Stylish: Most Viewlix style cabinets are extremely complicated and very expensive to build. Usually between $1000-$1500 This cabinet has everything that is great about a viewlix. Striking angles, design for seated play, slim profile. It is an affordable eye grabber.
The cabinet I will be showing you here is a mini cabinet, perfect for kids or as a sit down cabinet for adults. Most of the cabinet is build from one sheet of 2' by 4' by 1/2" sheet of plywood. You can follow these instructions and build a full size cabinet instead by doubling all the dimensions. You would use a single 4' by 8' by 3/4" sheet of plywood instead. 

So follow along if you finally want to make you home arcade machine a reality!

Step 1: Materials

Here is what you will need to begin:

Hand saw or jigsaw.
Straight edge for drawing cut line
Power Sander, preferably random orbital.
Drill for drilling screws and 1 1/8th spade bit for drilling arcade button holes.
Cutting knife
paint roller if painting by hand
Adjustable wrench for bolts
Wood Clamps

1 sheet of 2' x 4' X 1/2" plywood or MDF wood. This make up the core of the cabinet.
Spare and scrap wood! I used 10 feet of leftover 3/4" square doweling wood and 4 feet of 1/4 by 4" wide flat doweling wood.
16 inches of heavy wood lumber for a base. A 2" by 6" is great. 
paint, either can of spay enamel, or bucket of paint if painting by hand.
Arcade controls
An arcade encoder. You can get a Zero Delay arcade encoder from ebay for $11
An old Laptop or computer with flat monitor, up to 17 inch screen. Save that old computer from the scrap heap!
Small computer speakers.
Art board for bezel
Screws to keep the cabinet together, bolts to bolt on the control panel and controls, varies in size depending on the controls you use.
Putty to fill imperfections.
(Optional) Vinyl edge banding as as a stylish protectant around edges of cabinet.
(Optional) Plexiglas sheet for monitor cover and marquee
(Optional) 12" fluorescent light for a light up Marquee.

OK, lets dig in!
<p>THANKS for the idea and instructions. I made mine 30 wide. CP is 30 x 14. Thans again for the instructions.</p>
Do u have the template for the side art that you could send it to me? Thanks.
<p>I can send you or help you with your own artwork if you wish.</p>
How much did u pay for ur side art?
<p>I modified this some and made it larger to be more comfortable for adults. Made it 2 player 8 buttons. Followed some of the suggestions by the GreenMachine...tinted plexi, masked off the border of the monitor and spray painted it. Used carbon fiber wrap for the Control panel. Got rid of the batman ears on top and made it more triangular. Also adding a light gun for the duck hunt and area 54. Installed Hyperspin on it...that's the hurt locker. Had a duratrans made and a vinyl sticker for the side art. Check out this link for great ideas it saved me a lot of time. </p><h3><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai5mCW06r1U" rel="nofollow">Vigolix Invader Arcade Cabinet - YouTube</a> </h3>
How much did u pay for the side art? Want to make one myself and would love tl put a sticker on it
<p>Very nice! I am making a larger size like this as well, two player. What did you use for a monitor? What size? </p>
<p>I believe it's a 27&quot; have to check it to be sure...</p>
<p>The one I just posted pics of is a 27&quot; monitor. 2 player. Pics doesnt show controls yet but they fit nicely, 2 js, 16 buttons plus 2 on front</p>
<p>When you say made it larger, how much larger off the original plans did you make it? Looking to start a build and any tips would be great. </p>
<p>Sure it 60&quot; high x 24&quot; wide...I'll post a very rough diagram of what I did...you have to measure everything out again to make sure i'm accurate. This was awhile ago so not sure if I made many changes.</p>
<p>Tried to post my rough pdf...won't allow me to post. <br></p><p>plywood was 8' tall..</p><p>Side triangle was 15x60. </p><p>Base of unit was 24x12</p><p>control panel was 24x12</p><p>Arm were 24x3</p><p>front panel under control panels were 24x15 (2 panels)</p><p>Marquee was 24x6</p><p>Should be able to get 2 arcades from single board. Or you may need one piece of extra board. We built 2 of them. </p>
Thanks sports007 feel free to email me the PDF if possible. Tj12691@gmail.com
<p>Almost finished just waiting for some speakers that will go under the screen and a bit of painting :).</p>
<p>Hey dude I absolutely love this cabinet. Wondering how you mounted your screen and what size monitor you used is. Also did you put something covering the bottom of the arcade where the controls go? </p>
<p>Thanks dan i used a 22&quot; acer monitor </p>
<p>thank you so much for the pic. I am about halfway through making mine now. mostly just have to finish sanding then assemble. What did you use to run your emulator on? I plan on using a raspberry pi and am just having a little bit of trouble configuring the joystick buttons. </p>
<p>I used an old softmodded xbox and hacked the controllers </p><p>like in this youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7JTPmYsMKI</p>
<p>I used pi on mine but have a softmodded xbox also. Can u possibly give me some info on how you hacked the controlers so I can use the xbox with the mamma mame joysticks and buttons?</p>
<p>I have just one more question for you, I am curious as to how you attached and made your joy stick console. I cant really figure out what was done for this build in the instructions and it looked like you used a different method altogether. Just curious on the steps you took. </p><p>thanks</p>
<p>It doesn't appear they covered up the underside...I plan to.</p>
<p>How did you get the two player setup? Did you build it at 2.0x? </p>
<p>Hi woody, what did you use for the marquee and back lighting?</p>
<p>Where did you order the buttons?</p>
<p>Hi Bobby i got them from ebay. They come from China so i was expecting a long wait but they only took about 2 weeks to arrive. Link below :)</p><p>LINK</p>
<p>So i bought a very similar set of buttons, but they use a Sino Arcade Encoder. The buttons themselves work on my raspberry pi however as soon as I enter a game the controls no longer function. Do you have any experience using a raspberry pi? </p>
<p>Your arcade looks amazing. I am just curious what the dimensions for your controller box are?</p>
<p>Woody, that looks awesome! How did you finish/paint the wood? Your finish looks very smooth and natural.</p>
<p>Looks great! Did you build this at 1.5 times the original size (4 ft x 6 ft)? What size monitor did you use? What are the dimensions of your control panel?</p>
Hi holtzer yeah I used 4x6 18mm ply so it stands just under 6 foot tall and is 60cm wide. The monitor is 22&quot; :)
<p>Thanks for the great ideas! Buddy and I started one on Saturday, 30 wide, 6 feet tall. CP is 30&quot; wide by 14 and 36 from floor to top of cp. Monitor is mounted by routed grooves and slides in, but also added shelf so if that monitor needs replaced in the future a monitor can be sat on the shelf if needed. Just gotta sand, paint, and wrap. Have a raspberry PI B+ setup with retropie, and, I have an xbox modded with XBMC I will also put in bacj or under front. Gonna put usb ports also so PS or xbox controllers could be plugged in in leu of sticks and buttons if a player preferred. Thanks again for all the ideas!</p>
2nd one made and plexi glass was held on with 4 blocks of timber 30mm x 30mm screwed to cab and silicone glue between plexi glass and timber block
<p>Hi Nick, did you make measurement adjustments to fit 2 player joy sticks? Looking to start a build but definitely want it to be 2 player like yours. Any information/tips would be greatly appreciated. Your set up looks amazing!</p>
<p>Man you do some amazing work. What did you do for the Plexiglas? What thickness is the Plexiglas?</p><p>Thanks. </p>
<p>Hey thanks man. </p>
<p>I'm wondering, how much more should I increase the dimensions to make a 4 player cabinet, I love this design!</p>
<p>Finished mine. Running a Raspberry pi3, 24&quot; TN screen, Sanwa JLW joystick with IL buttons. For audio I was going to install two 5.25&quot; Fosgate speakers in the base but the monitor sound is working so well I'll use those in another project. </p><p>Thanks to the OP for the guide and everyone else for posting pics of their setups. </p>
<p>Hey guys and gals, quick question, I see he made this build for one player in mind but I see completed builds with two players. Is there a difference in the plans? Please elaborate! :)</p>
<p>just again. How do you get the games onto the monitor. Is a hard drive needed?</p>
<p>Try a Raspberry Pi computer. It's not very expensive, and if you load an OS like RetroPie on it, it can cant as an emulator for a ton of diffrent consoles.</p>
<p>Or a 60-in-1 board or an ArcadeSD board.</p>
<p>You need an old computer, a program called MAME, and some sort of front end to run it (a piece of software that will allow you to easily pick a game with a nice menu).</p><p>Hit up the thrift shops and look for Core 2 Duo equipped computers. Those often do the job just fine. Pentium 4 or Pentium D computers could do it, but try to go for Core 2 Duo. Then you'll need to A. Learn how to use and set up MAME and a front-end, B. Need to get arcade ROM files (these are the games themselves), which if you want the classic arcade games is not legal and I can't supply you with them, and C. You need to know how to set the computer up so that it automatically goes into the front end, so you don't need to use a keyboard and mouse to use the arcade cabinet.</p><p>Here is a good guide on the same deal, just follow the steps that explain those three points I mentioned: http://www.maximumpc.com/how-to-build-a-kick-ass-mame-arcade-cabinet-from-an-old-pc/</p>
<p>Thanks for this! I am now planning a table-top portable retro arcade box powered by RPi3B and a large LiPo battery that should last for many hours on a a charge. I am fiddling with MAME for Raspian right now, but it's tricky...</p>
<p>Try RetroPie, it's got more than just MAME. It's what I'll be using for mine!</p>
<p>This is pretty cool! How'd you mount the plexiglas? I'm planning on making one of these myself!</p>
<p>Loved the concept and really appreciate the tips!</p>
Thank you
<p>Very nice!!! Did you build it bigger? Aduld size? How did you do it?</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Vigo is an electronics enthusiast with a passion to bring back the nostalgia of the past. His goal is to share major projects that anyone ... More »
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