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>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>
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>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 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>
<p>Almost finished just waiting for some speakers that will go under the screen and a bit of painting :).</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>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>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>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>It doesn't appear they covered up the underside...I plan to.</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>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>
<p>Wow, really nice finish!! Very good looking!!</p><p>I may use your way of attaching CP to body (I'm in that stage now) and maybe add a drawer under CP for keyboard and mouse (I'll be using a RPi). If I get lazy, I'll use ssh XXDD</p><p>My machine... so far, so good. I'll post pictures when I finish.</p><p>Same question as Pucksnok1, how did you secure your plexi?</p><p>Thanks! </p>
That looks fab! How do you secure your glass/plexi?
<p>What are the dimensions for the side pieces? The image is hard to read and these are the only numbers I can't determine.</p>
<p>I finished my Vigolix Pac-Man cabinet. I love how it came out. I still need to install the marquee light and put a back on it but it is basically done. When I started I had never done anything like this. If you don't think you can make one then think again. You'll learn a lot!</p>
<p>Thanks for the great plans. This is just what I was looking for. Years ago I built a full size MAME cabinet and my own controls but as we all know, it's mostly wasted empty space as the components are so small now. I love this new space saving design (Especially since I'm now using a Pi3 and not a PC) but I just wanted it to be a little bigger (6 feet to be exact) so I just multiplied all of the plans dimensions by 1.5 and it worked out great. This time, I bought an X-arcade dual stick instead of making my own controls and it's working out great. </p>
Did you have to go 1.5 on all your dimensions to make the x-arcade controller to fit?
No. The original plans will work with the controller. Except the controls will stick out wider. At 1.5x it looks a little more proportionate.
when u brought your controller how did u hook it up
<p>What screws did you use for the cabinet?</p>
<p>I am currently finishing mine as well, I am using a raspberry pi 2. However my controls don't seem to want to work with the pi. I bought buttons and joysticks and have them wired through a USB encoder and it shows that the pi recognizes that something is there but won't allow them to be used in the games. They show up as a JUYAO dual arcade controller when i try to input the controls. Any thoughts on what could be wrong? </p>
Pretty much finished ?
<p>How/where did you get the sticker around the screen?</p>
Made a few adjustments here and there but quite happy with the results. Might do a bit of back-lighting behind the marquee later.
Had to make it less arcade-y to please the wife but wasnt too bad. By far the most expensive part were the buttons/joysticks ($80), plywood/trim wood/hardware ($60), Plexiglass ($20), monitor ($20). I built the stools too which cost about $30.
Do you have any more pictures of your construction? Side view/back view? I need to make mine a little more &quot;living room friendly&quot; and I like the way your build turned out.

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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