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Picture of Easy Cab (arcade)
Here are instructions on how to build an upright arcade cabinet. I have built a couple of arcade cabinets and have enjoyed learning how to build them and customize them.

a preview video can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-3FZYUdghI

I wrote these instructions to assist those who are not yet comfortable in taking on a project like this singlehandedly. I tried to make it as inexpensive as I could, while making it easy to design and construct one with the minimum required skills. I will not be talking about programming or where to download videogame files from, but I’ll offer references to sites that will.

I believe this is a great first project to pick up because not only do you get something awesome at the end but you get to learn about: electronics, soldering, construction, and designing. Once these skills are picked up, they can be applied to other projects.

I used a jigsaw, router, and drill to build this cabinet so the tool requirement is not out of reach for a beginner.

Before starting this project please read though the whole instructions, because there are many different things that can be done.
 
 
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Step 1: Tools:

Picture of Tools:
Tools:
Here is a full list of tools that are needed to construct this arcade. If you don’t know what these are you can go to your local building supply store and ask because they will know. 
You will need:
� Drill
� Drill bits
o 1 1/8th spade bit – I got mine from Wal-Mart in a set for $10 (it needs to be this size for the buttons)
o A drill bit set for various holes – again Wal-Mart for about $14
o A Philips screw bit – usually comes with the drill
o A countersink bit- (used to make the screws flush with the wood)
� Router
� Router bit – I bought it for around $17 (it’s a slot cutting bit and ill post a picture , I used a 1/16 th inch)
� Knife – (to cut the t-molding)
� Soldering iron
� Hot glue gun
� Wire cutters
� Hammer
� Jigsaw- I bought mine for $20 at Wal-Mart (make sure you can cut angles, meaning the faceplate can bend at least 45* degrees)
� Jigsaw blades- cheap like $3 for a couple (buy fine saw tooth or smooth wood)

Here are a couple of pictures that go along with the tools:
 
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First Arcade Cabinet Built, running Gameex,

Took Awhile to build, not the handiest person with tools, but decided to give it a go, looks pretty good for first attempt, a few blemishes, but bring back memories from the old days of games If anyone has the plans on autocad can you pm me,

DSC_0608.JPG

Looks pretty sweet. I especially like the Donkey Kong decorations you've put on it. I'm wondering, what type of wood did you use and where did you get it?

i used 16mm mdf, then used oil paint, undercoat it first, any hardware store has it, if ur in Australia go to bunnings I got it for 30 dollars a sheet, U only need 2 sheets one for each side, careful when cutting mdf makes alot of mess and dust,

i used 16mm mdf, then used oil paint, undercoat it first, any hardware store has it, if ur in Australia go to bunnings I got it for 30 dollars a sheet, U only need 2 sheets one for each side, careful when cutting mdf makes alot of mess and dust,

Nice job. How did you 'attach' the monitor bezel?

I got stumped on how to attach it, so i just used a bit a super glue on each corner and attached it to the plexi glass, thats why you see the dark small black stains on the top of the bezel,

Thanks for the reply. Also curious, did you use the poster board approach from the instructions? At least in the pic you posted it looked good.

Yes i used the poster board, i tried cardboard but didnt look good, so i tried the black poster board and it looked so much better, and if you make a mistake, poster board is cheap as

One last question - where did you get the plexiglass for the bezel? How much did it cost? I was looking at homedepot.com and it was more expensive than I was expecting.

My Friend got me the plexiglass from his work, but when i was looking around it was about $30-40 at acrylicplastics for the size i wanted, cheapest way is going to hardware store and just buying a sheet and the scoring it out yourself, but its a lot more work

FrankA2 made it!5 months ago

Used these instructions to make a full size arcade, came out great.

20150105_195435.jpg

I like the blue Tron colors you've chosen. But I have a question for you. Did you use the same wood that was used in this instructables page? If so, where did you buy it? I'm just trying to gather tips. Thanks! :)

how did you end up doing the monitor benzel? how did you attach it to the plexiglass?

felipe.icp3 months ago

I'm building one of these right now, and Just wanted to leave some suggestions:

For the parts, buy SANWA buttons and JLF (the stick), this is the best japanese brand, and most pro fighting game players use them, I have 3 sets of them and regret nothing.

For the controller PCB, you can buy the multi console cthulhu made by toodles that will work with pretty much any video game console + pc after everything is plugged in. You can alternatively use the PC and PS3 PCB sold on ebay. I have used both and they work great.

jthroop4 years ago
Thanks for the instructable, I am almost done with mine based mostly on your drawings, used 2 4x8 sheets of 3/4" melamine from Menards $29 each. Ordered the controls and Tmolding from groovygamegear, cut the melamine out on a CNC router, I have the cad drawings laid out on 49x97" sheet (size of the melamine) if anybody wants them.
2011-05-13-19.08.34.jpg

Just wondering do you still have the cad drawings laying around, would love to have them

thanks

uitechclub (author)  jthroop4 years ago
hey it looks great ( you just made my week)

out of curiosity what is the table size of your cnc machine. i was also wondering how well the 3/4 th inch melamine works. i live on a third floor and didn't want to pick up such a heavy cabinet, but I bet it is more sturdy using the 3/4th. the speaker holes look amazing I wish I did the same thing.

it look amazing i hope it brings you lots of enjoyment if you have any questions feel free to ask! :)
The CNC is a 5'x10' machine at work, I used the 3/4" because that's what they had in stock, but it worked great. very heavy yes, next time I would add wheels to the bottom, also I made the bottom door swing out and I will have some USB ports in the bottom of the monitor cover acrylic. I should get the buttons/joysticks on Wednesday. I'll be sure to post finished pictures when I am done.
same here. i also used 3/4 inch. Heavy.
kminnie11 months ago
Dw I see you used a 20"
kminnie11 months ago
What size monitor did you use
writzy1 year ago

what was the mame menu you used it is very cool

and if you would like to remove all the windows xp logos i can send you a email on how to do it.

i am making a mame arcade just waiting the controlers

Mistablik2 years ago
Thanks for this great idea. i finished mine at the end of last year. it turned out to be really cool and is way fun to play
arcade.JPG
i ended up using mala though cause i couldnt figure out hyperspin. Plus my computer inside is kinda slow so mala is a little easier on its brain. lol
Thank you, uitechclub, for making this instructable for us. The way you broke the steps down was very clear and easy to follow. Mistablik and I had a great time making one.
PhoenixGG2 years ago
That is an awesome build. What version of the Mario rom do you have on the screen?
bekabam2 years ago
Hey there, if you ever did find those CNC plans, I'd love to take a look at them.

I'm starting my build and got word that I may have access to a CNC machine, and specs would be awesome to have.

Thanks!
visivopro2 years ago
I would love the CNC Router drawings!
uitechclub (author)  visivopro2 years ago
Hey, ill try to look it up but i have been moving quite a bit. What format do you want them in?.stl, .dxf, etc....

also ask jthroop he CNC his whole Cabinet, he should have some files.
visivopro2 years ago
Thanks for the plans, I just started my two days ago, here is the progress so far!
photo(6).JPG
uitechclub (author)  visivopro2 years ago
I wanted to make sure I thanked you for sharing your pictures. I really appreciate it.
JoeShmo12 years ago
Fantastic design! I just got approval from my Electrical Engineering Department to make a pair of these cabinets as recruiting tools. The only question I have is were you able to save enough mdf to make a back panel or is it open on the back?
uitechclub (author)  JoeShmo12 years ago
That is fantastic news!!! I built the last arcade as a recruiting tool for our department as well.

To answer you question quickly : the design only covers about 50% of the back because i ran out of mdf stock and i needed room to remove and place a whole desktop inside. ( watch the youtube video i go behind the arcade)

If you don't mind me making suggestions:

The problem with this design is when potential students ask questions about it, i couldn't just open up the arcade and show them. Another problem is to move this thing around was a pain in the a$$ because i had a free floating computer inside. ( what ever you do just get rid of the desktop case and mount components inside the arcade!!! ) to solve these problems i would recommend making a bartop arcade. It is smaller and cheaper on material cost. Second i would make a side plexiglass. This will allow people to see all the wiring. Pretty much think of it as a custom desktop with a screen and arcade sticks.

and also i have really wanted someone to install these on the sides of an arcade: http://www.amazon.com/MengYi-Luminglas-GREEN-Plasma-Glass/dp/B006L7CYIC

They are just suggestions lol. but hey if you have any questions let me know! I will reply as soon as i am able to, and i love helping with this type stuff. If you have any questions about games, emulators, front ends, or light guns. shoot me a message.
Well they're finally done. Here's a link to the album. I put plexi glass windows on the side lit with LED strips. The computer was mounted to a panel in the cab and is layed out so prospective students can see all the parts.
http://imgur.com/a/ben8H
uitechclub (author)  JoeShmo12 years ago
That is awesome, thank you for sharing this!!!!

I am working on designing and building a claw machine game right now. Because of my new job i haven't been able to spend time on it, but this have rejuvenated my interest in finishing the project.
Mistablik3 years ago
I am starting one of these but I am having trouble using hyperspin, I can't get Roms to open when you choose a game in the home menu.
man. i'm having the same problem. I guess to the forums I go.
uitechclub (author)  Mistablik3 years ago
this best advice i can give you is to ask on the forums in hyperspin, they are very good at getting back with request for help.
Mistablik3 years ago
I am using blue t-molding to give it a Tron look!
mllmTECH3 years ago
Nice cab, I was wondering is the line going down the centre of the control panel a sticker ?
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