How to build a cocktail arcade cabinet

This is a guide on how to build your own cocktail arcade cabinet. It's not just a fancy name for a bar, it's actually an arcade machine that you can play all kinds of games on!

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On this challenge, we’re going to make a cocktail desk arcade cupboard that we predict you’ll to like! I’ve wished to construct a cocktail desk arcade since my very first arcade cupboard construct again in July of 2015! A cocktail desk arcade is one thing I at all times gravitated to as a child. I believe it was due to the socialization and two participant facet of it. You had been actually duking it out with the individual throughout from you. It’s time to lastly make one!

Watch the Cocktail Desk Arcade Cupboard Construct Video

We extremely advocate watching the Cocktail Desk Arcade Construct video as many ideas are a lot simpler to speak in video format.

Reading: How to build a cocktail arcade cabinet

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Constructing the Cocktail Desk Arcade Cupboard

Constructing a cocktail desk arcade is just like constructing every other arcade. There are some fundamentals you’ll want to resolve up entrance. Are you going PC based mostly or Raspberry Pi based mostly? Do you need to construct it out of MDF or plywood?

I selected to construct my arcade utilizing Retropie (which is Raspberry Pi based mostly). I really feel prefer it has essentially the most neighborhood assist and it’s drop useless easy. Nevertheless, the Raspberry Pi can’t play fashionable PC video games. So if you wish to play Future in your arcade construct, you’ll want to make use of a PC.

I additionally selected MDF for my constructing materials. I typically get questioned by folks on this selection. Why not plywood? It’s true that plywood is far lighter making for an arcade that weighs considerably much less. Additionally it is true that plywood isn’t close to as dusty as MDF when slicing and sanding it (MDF for essentially the most half is solely compressed sawdust). Nevertheless, it’s a lot simpler to get an important end on MDF than plywood. Plywood will want some extra work to take away the woodgrain texture from it. When you plant to 100% clad your arcade with vinyl art work this can be a moot level for you.

If you wish to construct this arcade we a have a really detailed set of Cocktail Desk Arcade Plans accessible that embrace templates, elements lists, and the entire dimensions.

Slicing Down the Materials

Step one in any arcade construct is usually to chop down the fabric into usable sections. I began by breaking down the sheet items. On this construct there are three sizes of sheet items wanted. 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ (13mm, 19mm, and 25mm). Nevertheless, you’ll see later I’ve an answer to keep away from shopping for the bigger of the three supplies!

I minimize the sheet items down utilizing a Bora noticed information. That is very handing for utilizing a round noticed to get lengthy straight cuts. The primary factor I’m doing right here is making an attempt to get items that I can simply deal with on the desk noticed. Although in case you don’t have a desk noticed then you need to use these guides to chop to actual dimensions.

Breaking down the sheet goods

I then used the desk noticed to chop the facet, backside, and participant panels all the way down to their last dimensions,

Cutting down the parts on the table saw

Professional Tip: At all times label your elements as you narrow them out. This may make the entire subsequent steps a lot simpler, sooner, and fewer complicated.

Labeling the parts

Utilizing Cleats for Meeting

I virtually at all times use cleats when assembling my arcades. I simply really feel like this additional effort makes for a a lot simpler and cleaner meeting course of.

The cleats add structural rigidity to the construct. However extra extra importantly they flip your entire elements into puzzle items that each one align and go collectively merely. No measuring wanted.

I often minimize a small piece of scrap wooden that’s the actual measurement of the spacing required. For instance, if the the facet panel is inset by 1/2″, then I’d minimize a scrap board at 1.25″. That’s the thickness of our materials, plus the inset. All you’ll want to do then is line the cleat up utilizing the spacer and nail it in place. Once more. No measuring required and an ideal match each time!

I take advantage of a mixture of glue and brad nails to carry every thing collectively. Nevertheless, brad nails are purely non-compulsory. They only act like mini clamps that maintain the MDF collectively whereas the glue dries. When you don’t have a nailer, simply wait 30-45 minutes for the glue to dry.

And the completed cocktail desk arcade cupboard base appears to be like superb!

Assembled Cocktail Table Arcade Cabinet Base

Making the Management Panels

Cocktail arcade cupboards typically have two management panels. One on all sides (though some have three). In our plans, I embrace “spray and stick templates” that make this course of quite simple. Simply minimize out the template and use some spray adhesive to connect it to the half to be minimize.

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I choose to stack the elements and use double sided tape to carry them collectively. This fashion I can minimize out greater than as soon as piece at a time. I used my bandsaw to chop these elements out, however a jigsaw works simply as properly.

I additionally embrace templates for drilling the management panels. This makes issues go actually quick.

I like to make use of a middle punch to make a divot on the heart level of each gap. This offers the brad tip of the drill bit a spot to catch and retains it from wobbling away from the opening’s heart when it begins turning. I like to recommend utilizing a Forstner bit for this operation, however an affordable Dwelling Depot paddle bit will work fantastic.

Assembling the Management Panels

1/2″ MDF doesn’t do properly with brad nails. It tends to crack and/or cut up. Because of this I made a decision to simply use glue and clamps. This simply means I’ll want to attend about half-hour earlier than shifting to the subsequent steps.

Routing for T-Molding

Earlier than last meeting of the cocktail desk arcade cupboard we have to route the parts that can obtain T-Molding. It’s tremendous necessary we route the T-Molding slots earlier than we assemble, as a result of the router won’t be able to achieve the parts after glue up! This can be a mistake many first time builders make.

Mounting the Management Panels

Mounting the management panels for our cocktail desk arcade cupboard takes just a little thought. We want to have the ability to entry the entire wires and have a spot to cross those self same wires between the 2 totally different compartments.

To begin, I minimize out a 2″ (~50mm) tall entry port on either side of the cupboard. That is a lot simpler to do on the skin of the cupboard than it might be in a while the within! I used my jigsaw for this operation.

Using the jigsaw to cut an access port for the control panels.

I then proceeded to fastidiously align the management panels, glue, after which clamp them into place. The entry slots make an ideal place to cross the clamps by way of!

Making the Desk High for the Cocktail Desk Arcade Cupboard

The desk high of the cocktail desk arcade cupboard is 1″ (25mm) thick. As I discussed firstly of this construct, I didn’t need to spring for a full sheet of 1″ MDF since that will price some huge cash at in the present day’s costs, and I solely want only a small piece.

As an alternative I made a decision to simply glue collectively (or laminate) two 1/2″ (13mm) items of MD to make a desk high of the thickness that I would like. This can be a fairly widespread observe in arcade builds by the way in which!

I utilized a liberal quantity of glue to your entire high floor of one of many sheets, combed it out, after which sandwiched them collectively right into a single bigger lamination. I clamped it up and let it sit in a single day.

The following day I trimmed the laminated high all the way down to its last dimensions on the desk noticed after which utilized my large ass tabletop template to the highest of it utilizing spray adhesive.

The finished cocktail table arcade tabletop!

Slicing out the Tabletop

I minimize the tabletop of the cocktail desk arcade cupboard utilizing my jigsaw. I attempted to remain simply barely outdoors the road after which got here again with my orbital sander with a purpose to deliver issues again all the way down to the road.

The completed tabletop appears to be like superb!

Priming the arcade

Priming and Portray the Arcade

I virtually at all times prime my arcades with filler primer. (See Why I take advantage of Filler Primer.) Filler primer fills in all of the little imperfections and whenever you sand it, leaves a end easy as glass. It’s superior.

The Best Cocktail Table Arcade Plans

I then shot the arcade the arcade with flat black. All of this utilizing rattle can paint from Dwelling Depot. You’d be amazed how good the end of rattle cans might be in case you take your time and do it correctly (utilizing correct methods that’s).

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I actually like flat black finishes on arcades. In fact, it actually makes no distinction in case you plan to clad your arcade with a vinyl graphic decal.

Making a Cocktail Table Arcade Cabinet

Putting in the T-Molding

In my view, no arcade is full with out T-Molding. It simply offers it that superior retro-look! You’ll want to try our full line of Arcade T-Molding in The Geek Pub Retailer!

On our cocktail desk arcade cupboard, we determined to go along with our line of yellow T-Molding. We put it on the edges of the cupboard, the faces of the management pane, and across the desk high. It appears to be like superb!

We used three totally different sizes of T-Molding to cowl the totally different sizes of fabric. You’ll have to plan forward until you construct your entire cupboard from the identical thickness of sheet items.

Putting in the Cocktail Arcade Monitor

I purchased a 4×3 CCTV monitor on Amazon after which eliminated the LCD panel from it. Discovering the proper monitor with viewing angle is necessary. It’s additionally a good suggestion to discover a monitor the place the panel is just not glued in and might be simply eliminated with just a few screws. You’ll find this information on this monitor within the plans.

Putting in the the Controls and different Elements

We’re within the dwelling stretch now! Simply want to put in the entire parts and controls for this cocktail desk arcade cupboard! That features the encoders, buttons, joysticks, coin door and naturally the Raspberry Pi.

For our construct we’re utilizing the Yellow Arcade Controller Package from The Geek Pub Retailer. This package consists of the big and small buttons, joystick, encoders, and all wiring. You sort the the arcade controller wiring directions for these kits right here.

I began on this case by putting in the coin door. It simply slides into the opening and is secured by little brackets from the bottom.

Then I put in the joysticks. They screw into the again of the management panel utilizing 4 screws.

The buttons are subsequent. They only slide by way of the holes and are secured by a plastic nut on the bottom. The encoder is put in between the buttons and the joystick. The right place to cover it.

Every button will get a devoted wire that connects to every button, together with a shared wire for powering the LEDs.

As soon as all wired up its time to put in the management panel into the cocktail desk arcade cupboard. I plugged the controller right into a USB outlet simply to test every thing lit up and and it was successful! “Let there be light!”

You possibly can see right here the ultimate wiring inside the cupboard. I attempted to do some cable administration to maintain every thing organized. Mounted on the left facet wall as an influence strip, and the Raspberry Pi.

Making a Cocktail Table Arcade Cabinet

Putting in the Glass High

Each cocktail desk arcade cupboard wants a glass high. Once I see builds that skip this half I at all times shake my head!

I sat the glass high onto the cupboard after which gave it a extremely good cleansing with glass cleaner. I then hooked up it completely in any respect 4 corners with tabletop arcade glass clips. These are simply little U-shaped clips that screw in on the underside facet of the tabletop.

The Accomplished Cocktail Desk Arcade Cupboard

I’m so extremely joyful how properly the finished cocktail desk arcade turned out! It beat all of my expectations. Right here’s an image of it enjoying Pac-Man on MAME!

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Making a Cocktail Table Arcade Cabinet

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