So I've always wanted an arcade cabinet. I've seen the MAME cabinets, very cool. This cabinet could be converted over to a MAME, but for now it's a NES Arcade cabinet. My steps are mostly process steps but they are idea givers and could help you decide how to build your cabinet. Now I was lucky, my neighbor threw out his NES, I asked if I could have it, he said sure. The plywood I used I also
Salvaged from a guy down the street who was throwing it away. So there is where it began, if you look around you might be able to get some of these materials you need for free like I did. The tools I used you may or may not have but it you can get these they will help you do a clean cuts on rough lumber, and expedite the process. Here we go! Here's what you'll need.
Jigsaw (curved cuts)
Drill and drill bits (Phillips,11/2" paddle bit,1/4"drill bit)
Router (not necessary unless you want smooth edges)
Sander and sandpaper
Roller and tray
3-4 in PVC 1' long
Black Gloss Paint
Step 1: Build the Sides
Your making templates for the sides. So you need to cut the first one the way you want. Mine is 2 feet wide with about 7 feet in height. I used references on google, and here for the look I wanted. To be honest 7ft. Is a little to tall, it works just hard to move around.
Step 2: Add Top and Bottom
Basically your going to use your measurements and add a top and bottom. This will stabilize the cabinet and allow you to move the cabinet around. Now one thing I didn't mention was I needed wheels or later on sliders to move this cabinet around. I tried canabalizing some old skateboard wheels on the bottom with 2x4 pieces, but in the end I used slider squares, you know the ones that slide on the floor, way easier!
Step 3: Add Backing,Shelving, and Controller Board
So basically we are sturdying this up more with a back piece of plywood and a shelf to hold a TV. Now some builds use a PC monitor, LCD TV or monitor. Since I have a NES console this would be easier to use a TV, ecspecially with duck hunt or games that require a light gun. I learned LCD screens won't work with the nes zapper. So I found a old tv at goodwill. 12 bucks! On another note I used 2 pieces of plywood for the "controller board" and traced out the shape of the nes advantage controller, and the hand held controllers.
Step 4: Doors on the Front
Cabinets in the arcade have a coin door. Mine in the future will have a mock coin door. But for now two plywood doors with hinges will work. Plus you can throw a shelf in for holding the nes and storage. Here you see me sizing up the TV and placing the controllers.
Step 5: Wood Putty and Primer
Putty wood knots and chunks of wood that have come out or scratches that have happened during construction. Next prime the areas your going to paint. Before I forget I put a piece of PVC pipe on the side of the cabinet for the zapper. Prime It Paint It!
Step 6: Paint It and Place It
Although this doesn't have any images on it it will. I haven't decided what images yet. Hand painted or graphics edited in a computer. Heck you could get posters and 3m them on the side with clear gloss finish! Hope you like the build. Just take your time, use what works for you, make it big or small. Most of all be resourceful use free stuff as much as you can and get creative and make it cool! Most of all have FUN!