Monday, January 29, 2007

Progress Pictures

I thought I'd post a few pictures of the current status of the cabinet with the coin door panel and bezel panel in place. You can really get a sense of the overall proportions of the cabinet if you look at the monitor frame. The 19" monitor was a good decision!

I'm really looking forward to getting this thing finished. I spent a little time this past weekend putting the computer together. I hope to configure it over the next few weeks so all I'll have to do is pop it in the finished cabinet and hook up the controls when it's ready!

Thanks for looking!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Day 9: MORE of the Crazy Bezel Panel

I was able to find a little bit of time over the weekend to get some more work done on the arcade cabinet. I finished making the last cuts on the bezel panel (cutting out the rectangle for the monitor). This proved to be a little more difficult than it sounds because I had no way of getting into the corners to make a perfectly square cut. I ended up eyeballing it and sanding - it came out OK but it will eventually be covered by the black posterboard bezel I'll be making to hide the monitor casing.

The first thing I did (after laying out the rectangle using a t-square and pencil) was to drill pilot holes in the corners. I picked the largest bit I had and drilled 4 holes about 1/8" inside of the lines. Next, using the holes I just cut as starting points, I used my jigsaw to connect the holes - again staying about 1/8" inside of the lines. Yoo can see the pilot holes and the crooked lines I made connecting them in the picture below.

At this point I had a rough cut frame that needed to be cleaned up:

The next thing I had to do was use my router, flush trimming bit and a straight edge to remove the extra material and make a perfect rectangle. This is where I had to get creative with my router set up and my use of shims and clamps. As you can see by the pictures, I had to raise the work piece quite a bit to get everything set up properly. It worked though! This is what I love about home projects - there is always a solution to a problem if you stare at it long enough.

I used a piece of 1"x2" wood as a straight edge and I set it up so I could run the router and flush trimming bit along the inside edge of the bezel cut out. I repeated this process 4 times (once for each side) and I ended up with a perfectly cut rectangle - except for the corners.

As you can see by the next set of pictures, after making the 4 cuts around the bezel, I was left with some material in each of the corners that the router bit could not reach.

In order to remove the excess material, I used the jigsaw, a steady hand and some sandpaper. I wanted the corners to be as square as possible but they will eventually be covered by the black posterboard bezel so I'm not too worried if there are small imperfections in the corners.

This is the final result:

Not too bad, eh?

Thanks for looking!!

The Marquee is Here!!

The marquee is finally here! I am very pleased with how everything came out - this is going to really get me motivated to finish the arcade cabinet so I can see how it will look all lit up! Bella is really going to love it - almost as much as me!

My entire experience with Mamemarquees was fantastic. The service and the product are top notch. Even though I think the marquee I ordered is a little pricey it is definitely worth it. I can recommend them without hesitation to anyone else out there who wants to make their arcade cabinet really stand out. Here is a shot of the real marquee:

Thanks for looking!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Marquee Is Ordered!

The title just about sums it up. I placed the order today with mamemarquees for my custom marquee. The total cost came to $58.93 with shipping. The marquee was $15.95 and I also ordered plexiglass cut to size for $24.99 and an upgrade to the "Ultimate" style material for an extra $10.00. Shipping was $7.99.

Overall, I think it's a little pricey but I also think it will be worth it in the long run. I've heard nothing but praise from everyone who uses mamemarquees so I'm excited to see the final product. This ups the total spent on the project so far to $663.52. Wow! I'm waaaaayyyy past my self-imposed $500 limit and there are still a few things left to buy.

Here's the final design of the marquee - sized properly to 6.5" tall by 18.5" wide and leaving a 0.75" edge on the top and bottom to accomodate the marquee retainer that will be used to hold it in place.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot - a HUGE THANK YOU to megashock05 for designing this awesome piece of art and putting up with me through all of the minor tweaking I had him do. I am very very pleased with how this came out.

Thanks for looking!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Well, it's January. The last 2 months have been abnormally mild (in the 50s). If I had more free time I would have been able to get the finishing done before the weather got cold but it might be too late now. As you can probably tell, I have everything set up in my garage which is detached from the house and unheated. In order to paint it is recommended that the temperature is over 50 degrees and that's probably not going to happen for a few months. Bummer.

I do have some options though if I really get motivated but it could be expensive or messy (or both). I could:
  1. Bring the cabinet to the basement. It is definitely warm enough to paint down there but it would be extremely messy because I will be spraying and sanding. I would have to set up a spray booth (made out of a plastic drop cloth) because dust and overspray are definitely a concern. I also don't want anything to get caught in the vents and travel through the house.
  2. Keep the cabinet in the garage. It is getting cold out there but there is no wind in the garage so the temperature would be my only concern. I would still have to set up the spray booth but the problem would be allowing the paint to dry properly. I would probably have to buy a space heater and even then there's no way to guarantee the paint would dry evenly.

I'm torn but I'lll probably keep the cabinet in the garage and just deal with the weather. I'll have to be extra patient and if it takes a few more coats to get it right so be it. I'm guessing that I'll only have enought time for one coat per day once I get started (including sanding the previous coat smooth).

Anyway, the monitor should finally be arriving this week and that's the last piece I need in order to completely finish the construction of the actual cabinet before I finish it. I'm hoping to complete construction this weekend but the NFL Playoffs start (go GIANTS!!) so I'll probably be glued to the TV. Oh well!

Thanks for looking!!