Thursday, September 27, 2007

The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't. Not without your help.

The cabinet cutting, routing and fabricating is complete. All the pieces were moved over to my house for assembly. We'll likely be putting this beast together on Sunday.

That will pave the way for me to start focusing on the control panel. With any luck the control panel will be a fraction of the work of the cabinet.

I completely underestimated the amount of hours and work that was involved in the cabinet construction.

I didn't realize it at the time, but the European door hinges required a section to be routed out. The space had to be 1/2", keeping in mind we only had 3/4" of material to work with in the first place. To make matters more complicated, it was only 5mm from the edge, which we had already used a 3/32 bit on. To say I was concerned about punching through the side of the cabinet would be a big understatement.

J did a great job.

No wiggle room on the hinge at all, nice and snug.

My house, now filled with pieces of arcade cabinet.

The back piece of the cabinet upside down, with the angled back piece and speaker shelf resting against it. You can see the amount of MDF dust all over it.

I had assumed the Midway speaker grills were plastic. They are, in fact, some sort of aluminum. The pictures don't do them justice, they look great.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You can help me. Whatever comes out of these gates, we've got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand?

Another productive evening.

J and I managed to complete all the major cutting we need to do for the cabinet. There will be some minor frame support pieces tomorrow night, but they shouldn't be more than a few minutes.

The top, back, front door with coin door cutout, speaker shelf with cutout and all the fan cutouts are complete.

The coin door was the most difficult piece, it required some careful routing to ensure that the coin door fit properly. J touched it up a few times and now the coin door fits nicely.

Tomorrow we bring all the pieces to my place for assembly.

From there, my focus will be the control panel.

Using the 200mm DC fans to get a sense of size for the cutout.

Close up picture of the Antec 200mm fan.

Used a 1 1/2" spade bit to cut a hole for the router to fit into. The spade bit made short work of the melamine.

A few odd edges on the fan cutout, but it will be completely masked once the fan is mounted and the fan grills installed.

45 degree cut for the top back piece that sits at angle. Done with a circular saw, not a bad job.

Same technique as above used for the back panel. Another Antec 200mm fan will be installed to provide air intake from the back.

The layout for the coin door cutout. We were a little sloppy when we used the spade bit to cut the corners. We should have used the router to cut the corners, or more carefully measured. In the end it worked out fine because we had a 1/2" of play on either side of the coin door.

Cutout completed. As you can see, it's not exactly precise. Luckily the coin door hides any ugliness on the cut job.

With the coin door installed, nice and snug. As you can see the router kicks up tons of MDF dust. Breathing protection is a must.

No traces of gaps around the outside edge. It really looks great.

Speaker cutout. The book wasn't exactly clear on the inside dimensions of the cutout. In the end we used the dimensions of the Klipsch 2.1 speakers and simply subtracted 1/2" from either side to cut the inside dimensions.

Not exactly a thing of beauty, any imperfections here will be covered by the speaker grills.

Monday, September 24, 2007

They call it the Enterprise Room, man, because it's for people who wanna be beamed up to Scotty.

It was a shorter work day on Sunday, but not any less productive. I can see how practice and experience with the tools and the melamine makes every session more efficient.

J was poking fun at me, because during the last work session I was almost OCD about checking the underside (the side that will face outwards from the cabinet) to ensure that we hadn't drilled through the wood and perforated the outside edge. It got to the point where I was doing it with every screw.

We didn't have a lot of time to work with, so the goal was to be as productive as possible.

The goal for the evening was to finish the major cuts for the cabinet. We did complete that goal, although there are some finishing cuts that will need to be done.

What remains now is to attach the top, top back, back and front pieces to the cabinet. We'll need to finish the internal framing and attach the sides to the bottom, as well as attaching the casters to the bottom. There will also be some routing to do on the top back, lower back and front sections to accommodated the fans and coin door respectively.

I took a couple days off work (Tuesday and Wednesday) to recharge and get some painting done around the house. Tuesday and Wednesday evening J and I will focus on completing the cabinet assembly so I can put my energy towards the control panel.

A nice side view of the frame attached, as well as the shelving and top piece that will be installed.

What the side piece will look from the outside view.

Nice view of the marquee cuts. J is concerned about the angle but I think once it's assembled that nice sweeping angle is going to look great.

These boards will serve to mount the top of the cabinet as well as the speaker shelving.

Me hard at work measuring, measuring again. Starting over when I realized I measured incorrectly.

Keeping the Project Arcade book close at hand helps me to visualize the cabinet in 3 dimensions.

Measuring out 26" sections.

All the pieces cut, set against the wall so J can park his car in his garage.