Bartop Arcade Cabinet - Part 3: Skeleton

  • Posted on: 28 May 2017
Bartop arcade cabinet skeleton

After all the boards were cut I could proceed to construct the skeleton of the cabinet. It turned out to be a time consuming task.

I have transfered the design on the side panels and added some marks for the support planks.

Just to be sure I placed the monitor on the side if I did not make any mistakes. I have also placed the plank below the screen to see how it will look. 

For the speakers I needed a hole of 10 cm in diameter.

I also needed 29 mm holes for the buttons on the sides.

To connect the sides I have decided to use 30 x 22 mm planks and in some places that needed less support 18 x 12 mm. To cut them I have used a miter box and a clamp to cut them at 90 degrees angle.

I ended up with supports for the screen, the door on the back and the control panel.

I could predrill holes and use dowels to glue them togethes. This was rather tricky as I did not have a tool to drill in a right 90 degrees angle.

I did the same with the boards for the marquee.

I have connected all the planks and put some weight on top of one of the side panels for the glue to set wel.

The next day I could attach the bottom of the cabinet.

And the lower (as well as the top part) of the back, that will support the back panel door.

I have also decided that the screen needed some extra supports and I have cut few extra planks.

I have glued them on the back of the initial monitor supports.

I marked the holes for the VESA mount and predrilled holes. I could test if I did it correctly.

I have found this nice hinge for the cover in back of the cabinet. At this stage I could test it with a couple of predrilled  mm holes.

To cover the screen I have chosen to cut some plaks from the 8 mm MDF. It worked out just fine. Later they were going to be pained and a plexiglass with a sticker overlay will cover them anyway.

Next, I needed to hammer in the T-nuts to fasten the control panel. They are for 5 mm screws, but needed to predrilled it with a 6 mm drill.

Then I have placed the pannel and tested it everything fitted as it shoud.

On the back, I have predrilled a hole for the C14 power connector. I also needed a power switch, but the order did not come in at this point in time, so I had to wait to be sure about the dimensions. First I have drilled 4 holes in the corders of the square and then used a small saw to cut out the hole.

The connector fitted well.

The last thing that I did to the cabinet before painting, is to put some supports for the marquee sign. As I initially thought that the marquee sign will be inside the boards. Later in the build I shall change my mind.

The finished bartop arcade cabinet skeleton was ready to be pained. The first thing was to cover the MDF board with a primer. I have used a terpentine based pained. To my surpise the primer was only available in white and gray. So I have chose the darkest colour to cover the cabinet.

Next, I have painted the control panel and the screen covering planks.

After I have finished priming the cabinet the expected power button had arrived. So I could make a hole for it on the back. I have proceeded in the same way as with the power connector.

Testing out the button next to C14 connector.

In order to add t-modling to the sides of the cabinet I needed to mill in a 2 mm slot on the side panels. For that purpuse I have used a special router bit.

The routed needed to be setup I a manne that it could mill exactly in the middle on the side panel.

The finished slot for t-modling looked like this.

Now it was time to paint the cabinet. I have chosen black color.

The pained cabinet looked like this.