Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Over the last few days I've been playing around with a scrap piece of MDF, some pink paint and some Minwax polyurathane. Here is the process I used for finishing Test Panel #1:
1. Sanded MDF with 150 grit sandpaper
2. Rolled on first coat of primer
NOTE: I used an OIL BASED primer because a water-based primer will soak into the MDF and ruin it!
3. Sanded with 150 grit sandpaper
4. Rolled on second coat of primer
5. Sanded with 220 grit sandpaper
6. Rolled on first coat of paint
NOTE: I used a latex, water-based paint (made by Behr) which is OK to apply after the MDF is sealed.
7. Sanded with 220 grit sandpaper
8. Rolled on second coat of paint
At this point I was completely unhappy with how it was coming out. I had multiple particles/hairs in the paint (probably from a bad roller) and there was an unmistakable "orange peel" texture all over the place that you could feel and worse yet see. I decided to change up my strategy:
9. Sanded with 220 grit sandpaper
10. Using a FOAM BRUSH I applied a third coat of paint.
11. Applied first coat of poly (Minwax) using the foam brush.
12. Sanded with 220 grit sandpaper
13. Applied second coat of poly using the foam brush.
14. Sanded with 220 grit sandpaper
15. Applied third coat of poly using the foam brush.
16. Sanded with 600 grit sandpaper
17. Applied FINAL coat of poly using the foam brush.
Here are the "before" and "after" pics:
Here are some extra (not so good) shots of the finished panel. The flash of the camera kind of ruins the pictures and I don't think you get a good sense of what it actually looks like unless you are standing next to it. The finish is still a bit streaky and there are a few spots where air bubbles in the poly dried leaving it a bit bumpy - you just can't see it in the pictures. That said, the bottom picture really makes the finished surface look like it is mirrored or something - check out the reflection of the paper towel! I assure you it doesn't really look like that up close.
I'm going to try a different method over the next few days on a separate panel and see if I can come up with something better. I haven't tried using a foam roller and since I kind of like the way the foam brush came out I'm going to give that a shot. I'm also hoping to talk to an actual painter or someone that works at a paint specialty shop and see what they think. I will be starting test panel #2 in a few days when I get a chance to buy a foam roller and some different supplies.
Thanks for looking!!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
The pictures I took of this process are self-explanatory (and totally overkill!):
1. Make sure the measurement for the height of the side strips is as accurate as possible. This will determine the depth at which the monitor will sit. All of the other cuts and measurements don't need to be exact because the player will never see the framing of the monitor once the cabinet is finished.
2. Before gluing anything in place permanently make sure to test your cuts for accuracy. Place the monitor face down inside the monitor bezel panel (which should already have the rectangular cutout in it) and build the monitor frame without gluing anything. Make sure there is absolutely no spacing between the back of the monitor and the strips of MDF that stretch across the back.
3. Use clamps to glue everything together - one piece at a time. This takes longer but will produce a more accurate result.
Thanks for looking!!
Friday, February 09, 2007
OK, I need to get somewhat organized if I am ever going to finish this project so this is going to be a detailed "punchlist" of things I have left to do.
Cut second monitor strip to hold monitor in place Glue monitor strips in place Re-cut top panel to proper size (the first one is about 1/8" too short)
- Glue top panel in place
- Glue bezel panel in place
Cut angled control panel pieces (3) on tablesaw Glue angled control panel pieces to control panel top
- Cut angled rear panel to hide speaker wire and marquee light wire
- Drill hole in rear for Smart Strip
- Prime entire cab (2 coats, sanding in between)
- Tape cabinet to accept the black paint on the interior
- Paint black section of the cabinet (3 or more coats, as necessary, sanding in between)
- Tape cabinet to accept the pink paint on the exterior
- Paint pink section of the cabinet (3 or more coats, as necessary, sanding in between)
- Add polyurethane/rubbing compound to entire cabinet for protection/shine
- Cut marquee retainer
- Install marquee
Add vinyl overlay to control panel
- Install speaker covers (use screw caps)
- Install grommet for Smart Strip
- Install pink t-molding
- Cut posterboard bezel
- Install glass over the monitor
- Install buttons and joystick
- Install DVD-ROM to computer
- Install coin door
- Install Smart Strip
- Install monitor
- Wire everything (buttons, joystick, coin door, etc.)
- Set up MAME
- Set up MaLa (front end)
- Place computer in cabinet
- Screw caps for speaker covers
- Hinge for control panel
- Primer/Paint/rubbing compound (for finish)
- 1/4" Glass (to cover monitor)
- Black posterboard (for bezel)
- Grommet for Smart Strip plug
Wow that's a lot of things left to do! I guess the tasks are broken down quite a bit so maybe it won't take forever but I better get moving on this if I want to finish sometime in the spring.
Thanks for looking!!
Monday, February 05, 2007
On Saturday I had my dad come over and help me move the unfinished cabinet from the garage to the basement. By Sunday night when I went to test fit the same piece it was snug again due to the warmth of the basement. Whew!
The big problem now is going to be painting the cabinet in the basement. I am going to try and set up some sort of paint booth made out of plastic drop cloths so I don't get the paint everywhere. I'll probably end up covering other important stuff with plastic just to be safe - I wouldn't want to get pink paint on Knights of the Arcade Table! I'll also have to make sure the booth is well ventilated to the outside somehow so I can breathe.
Anyway, I managed to cut a few of the smaller pieces to fit around the back of the monitor bezel panel which will eventually hold the monitor in place. It looks pretty good so far and my cuts were accurate enough to allow for the front of the monitor to lie exactly flush with the monitor bezel panel. I'm also playing around with the idea of physically screwing the monitor to the monitor brace. It depends whether or not the brace I'm making plus gravity holds the monitor in place with no chance of movement. There are 4 screws on the back of the monitor that don't seem to do anything so I would be able to use them to screw the monitor in place. Take a look:
I guess the next few steps are going to be setting up the computer and making sure all the vertical games you can play with 3 buttons and a joystick are working properly. I'll also have to configure the front end (MaLa) which could take a while. I'm getting so close!!
Thanks for looking!!