Cheap Retro Gaming Arcade Table With Integrated Display




About: i don't like to bother after work hour then i make some things myself ;-)


this is my first instructable so feel free to comment and contact me if i can do better to explain each step ! :-)

For this instructable you need:

  • Ikea lack table
  • 17 inch computer display with DVI or HDMI input
  • Raspberry pi 2
  • A Micro SD card with RECALBOX
  • A rotary tool like dremel
  • Hot glue
  • Soldering iron
  • Buttons
  • Stucks of wood
  • some hours to spend :-)

Tip: * If you want more information each picture is commented *

Personal tips:

  1. i tried retropie and recalbox on the raspberry pi and recalbox is working well right out of the box
  2. all my project aim to be repairable in case of failure and it's why i don't use always hot glue or that i don't remove the frame of the screen
  3. Working with a dremel rotary tool is not really easy without a little practice ;-)
  4. Despite my precision to draw the center of the buttons hole the bit when drilling did it differently :-(

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Hack the Ikea Table to Receive the Display of Your Retro Arcade Gaming Table

  1. Remove the back of the table

There are plenty of instructables showing in detaisl this part of the project

I just say that i made a little cut with my dremel (rotary tool) and then removed all the paper inside the table

I cleaned very well the inside of the table

Step 2: Cut the Area for Your Display

in this step i cut off the table the necessary area to put my display into the table

Step 3: Prepare to Fix Your Display Inside the Table

  1. Center very very carefully your screen to align the display with the hole into your table
  2. If need use some piece of wood to block it while trying to center
  3. When done, place little piece of wood and hot glue them to prevent the screen of moving
  4. cut some piece of bigger wood to stick later your display on your table

Step 4: Customize Your Display Buttons to Avoid Problem

My display was provided with some buttons in face of it.

The buttons are for powering on and off and setting up some parameters (luminosity, contrast, input selection, and sound level)

If i place the display as is into the table, the buttons are in contact and the display don't operate and is unusable

I decide to open it to solder some wire to move the commands in front of the table (see later)

If you do as me, be careful and don't forget to test all the wires before to close again the display !

Tip: don't forget to file down the display plastic buttons before closing your display again

Step 5: Add Buttons and Usb Ports to Your Table

In this step, i drilled some holes for the buttons and a squared hole for my tiny cheap usb hub

Don't forget to wire each button before inserting it then hot glue all the buttons and the usb hub

Step 6: Fix Your Display (and Keep It Removable !)

In this step, fix your display with wood.

I decide to glue the lateral piece of wood and screw the back piece so i can remove the display if i have any problem in the futur !

Step 7: Final Step

Connect your raspberry pi with an adaptor (hdmi=> DVI), install recalbox connect two retro gaming controllers and play around !

First Time Author Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Author Contest 2016

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    9 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Fantastic! I actually just finished building a very similar table from a black LACK table. I did make a few changes tho: I just cut out the top of the table, leaving the bottom intact to support the monitor, and I added fine plywood sides to hide the components underneath. My RPi, speakers and driver, monitor controls, and converters are all screwed underneath the table, and I didn't put any buttons on the outside. Fantastic job, this looks much cleaner and slimmer than mine :) Also I would suggest putting some glass on top, particularly as I would like mine to be usable as both a side table and a gaming station. Well done!

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    i think to do so by placing something but the problem is to keep the design.

    It's so beautiful like this that just plexiglass is not enough :-(

    my current position is to make something like a double lack table as a jewel box but i plan to use the second part for something ... (a tablet, buttons, ... game pad holder ... ) but i keep thinking about this upgrade ! ;-)


    Reply 3 years ago

    A second LACK table would be a really neat addition. I think you could probably get away with keeping the look if you added a sheet of tempered glass with similar dimensions as the table. If I recall correctly, something around 22" x 22" should work. A few rubber bumpers would help keep it off the table itself. Keep it up! These things are addicting :)


    3 years ago

    Awesome . . if I built one I would probably never leave the house. :-\

    I'd add only one thing: after all this work it would be a shame to damage the monitor if someone thought it was just a table. Get a piece of glass cut and drop it in on top, seal the edges with silicone or similar.

    1 reply