My MAME Cabinet




Introduction: My MAME Cabinet

I decided I really needed my own arcade machine since I'm a child of the 80s, I enjoy videogames and I really wanted to make something cool. My wife didn't want to have something "ugly" in the house, so instead of making my machine out of particle board like the real thing, and like the other MAME cabinets I'd seen, I made mine from maple plywood I started with a design I found and made some of my own modifications (like a keyboard drawer and a pull out drawer instead of just a front door that swings open). I printed this up on grid paper and cut it out to make my first design. After my initial design my father helped me cut out all of the pieces - he used to teach and judge woodworking contests, so I needed his help a lot with the woodwork. After cutting them all out, we glued them together and used small staples in some places to hold until the glue dried. After this I purchased the hardware like buttons, trackball, monitor, coin mech, etc from Happ controls. When I was cutting out the top of the control panel I had a piece of Plexiglas attached so I would have that to protect the wood surface where hands would be. I then used photoshop to create the design that I would use for the marquis and the design under the control panel and had them printed at Kinko's after some testing with printed paper taped together. The final step was wiring everything together and staining, then clear coating the wood so it looked good.



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    6 Discussions

    Wow, nice! One thing though: you might want to add a bezel. Might improve the looks a little. :)

    Fantastic. I Wish I had one...maybe one day. How much dit it cost you to make this project?

    1 reply

    Honestly I have no idea. I started it in 2003 with 3 sheets of maple plywood, which was $90 at the time and is probably a lot more now. I bought all the stuff pretty quickly but never got around to adding up how much it all was, but pretty expensive. The single most expensive required item would probably be the monitor. I think it was about $500. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably try to find a high res 4:3 LCD and make a tabletop version that I can easily move around for a single player, then put a USB plug in somewhere and make a custom second controller that matches it to plug in. It would be cheaper and more convenient when I have to move. You could probably build a pretty nice cabinet for less than $1000 if you already have a computer to stick in it.

    NICE Job! What games can you play on it? I love retro styled video games and am disappointed everyday that more arcades seem to be dying out. Arcades are awesome!

    1 reply

    Thank you. It's run on a computer, so any game the computer can handle can be played. One of the most authentic parts is the coin mech allowing you to "pay" to play the games. The coin mech activates a switch which presses the 5 and 6 keys so the games need to be set up to read those keys as coins.