Any time I start a new project, I always love going out and doing research. A huge win was discovering the Build Your Own Arcade Controls website, dedicated to people who had already built MAME cabinets, and resources with how to find anything you need to make your own cabinet . I spent hundreds of hours looking at all of the websites, absorbing all the information I could, and considering a bunch of the interesting designs. It was time to figure out what I wanted to do.
You can’t design something if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish. First things first, I needed to define my goals:
- Modern cabinet design, not specific to a single game
- Lighted marquee that I could customize and personalize
- Control panel should be removable, in case I wanted to change it later or have swappable controls.
- Single player games I wanted to be straight onto the cabinet.
- I wanted to play multi-player games as well.
Jeff’s Ultimate Arcade Machine..
During my research I stumbled across Jeff’s Ultimate Arcade Machine website. His cabinet and approach was exactly the direction I wanted to head, with very little modification. THANK YOU JEFF for a GREAT cabinet design !!! These are the files that I used, which are posted here with permission from Jeff McClain. My design is slightly different, but if you make all the cuts based on these designs, you can still make a few additional cuts to get to my design variation if you want.
Materials Shopping List (Click to View)
|2||3/4″ 4×8 MDF||$21.19||$42.38|
|1||1/2″ 4×8 MDF||$16.39||$16.39|
|3||Hinge (2 pack)||$2.91||$8.73|
|1||Box Drywall Screws||$2.46||$2.46|
|1||30″ Piano Hinge||$7.87||$7.87|
|1||8′ Light repair kit||$3.45||$3.45|
|1||Gallon Black Satin Paint||$9.00||$9.00|
|100||“Bell” Wire (feet)||$0.03||$3.00|
|1||Hot Glue Gun||$13.86||$13.86|
|1||24 Pack Glue Sticks||$5.77||$5.77|
|1||1 1/8″ Drill Bit||$4.83||$4.83|
|3||4x Machine Screw/Nuts||$0.78||$2.34|
|1||Laminate Router Bit||$15.97||$15.97|
|1||T-Molding Router Bit||$22.57||$22.57|
Other MAME Articles in this Series
You Built a WHAT?? Many years ago (early 2000's), I built a MAME arcade machine cabinet. It was an incredibly fun and challenging project, and the final machine was so much fun to play. Even today, I have an occasional conversation where I bring it up,...
Measuring it Out First step was to get the wood. I got 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF 4x8' which would be used mostly for the sides of the cabinet, the floorboards, and other parts that needed thicker support. MDF is "Medium Density Fiberboard" which is one grade higher than...
First order of business was to measure out and mark where all of the 2x2 supports would be attached. I figured that the kickboard was 3" and the casters I got should be mounted 2 1/4" recessed. So I measured in 2 1/4" and clamped in the first 2x2 support. This was...
The control panel is one of the core aesthetic reasons I decided to make a cabinet. The control panel is your physical interface to the games; the joysticks, trackball and buttons. My design for the control panel was so that it could be easily removed and...
First Computer System The first computer I put in was an old Pentium system I had sitting around. Specs: Compaq Pentium 166MMX with onboard video 64MB of RAM SBLive soundcard 2x CD-ROM 17" monitor Not a powerhorse by any means, but it sure does play a mean game of...