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Cabinet Design and Manufacturing

The original design for my cabinet comes from Scott's Unicade site. The design is similar to the NEO-GEO games, I was also attracted to this look as I think they appear "impressive" and look substantial. Lusid's site also contains some schematics and plans for a similar cabinet. Here is a reprint of Scott's Excellent work...

panel1.gif (17645 bytes)    panel2.gif (19394 bytes)    panel3.gif (17650 bytes)    control-front.gif (17582 bytes)    control-side.gif (12523 bytes)

I basically used Scott's plans because they were drawn so nicely in CAD. The only changes that I made were to the overall height of cabinet, which I think is 70" and I also used a television in a case instead of a monitor mounted to the brackets and framing. I still manufactured the cabinet the same way I only made the change for the television after I decided not to de-case my TV. 

I measured the total width of my TV cabinet and made sure it was going to fit the width of the cabinet before any cutting and assembly.

I started with 3 sheets of MDF (medium density fiberboard) I would hate to lift the high density fiberboard! (that was a joke, never heard of high density fiberboard).  I think I bought 10 2X4's and a box of 2" and 3" drywall screws, sorry Scott. MDF is HEAVY! but  it mills up nicely and takes paint very well. That was my choice for using it, I knew I was going to be painting my cabinet.

So, after breaking my back and a friends back hauling this MDF,  the cutting began. First I measured and drew the side panels on a sheet of MDF. I then re-measured the side panels for accuracy (measure twice cut once). I also manufactured the inside frame but had to adjust the measurements because I added to the overall height. Scott's plan doesn't include an overall height and it was kind of tough to measure because of the front glass angle and the back of the cabinet angle, just be careful. All the frame has half/lap joints, glue and screws. I also, left off the wheels that Scott had included on his Arcade because they were going to add to much overall height to the project.

Here are some pic's of the panels all cut, getting painted and in different parts of completion.

CLIP1.JPG (73407 bytes)    Cab2.jpg (73893 bytes)    Cab3.jpg (85560 bytes)   

 Cab1.jpg (79774 bytes)    CLIP2.JPG (70872 bytes)   

 CLIP5.JPG (69565 bytes)    CLIP4.JPG (62189 bytes)    CLIP3.JPG (71362 bytes)

The one side note to the above pictures is that I cut the T-Molding early in the production process. A) because it was easier to mill the slot and B) I wanted to see how it looked. The T-molding that I used was ordered from a woodworkers catalog and worked quite well. I used a router and a slot cutting bit to mill the groove for the T-molding.

 I put a lot of thought into how the cabinet was being assembled because I didn't want to have to re-do anything. So, I cut access panels in the back of the cabinet 1 for access to the back of the TV and another for access to the computer and peripherals. 

The back, top and front panels are attached to 3/4"X1"  thin strips of wood attached to the sides of the cabinet. The strips are offset from the edge of the side of the cabinet by 1"  this ends up giving a 1/4" reveal all the way around the cabinet and gives it a nice look.  This is the best shot I've got showing the 1 by's attached.

 clip75.jpg (77932 bytes)

Visit Scott's Unicade and Lusid's web sites for the technical drawings, they both are excellent references. 


bulletSelf satisfaction of making our own Arcade cabinet
bulletMaterials readily available
bulletDesign and make any cabinet style you want
bulletSubstantial weight

bulletTime consuming to make
bulletSubstantial weight
bullet...Substantial weight...


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Last updated: 05/28/03.