Having cut out the all the panels for this cab as per the cutting plan we can now get started on making the first few joins. Before we get into that, some thoughts on joinery methods. I’ve seen some discussion on the forum regarding gluing, using screws, other methods, screwing through panels from the outside etc. I use both glue (MDF specific or PVA white glue) and broad threaded countersunk screws designed for particle boards. I don’t usually build a cabinet with a view to pulling it apart again and try to put in some thought to access the inside where needed. Using screws and glue allows me to accurately position panels where they are just butt jointed and then the right glue for a permanent strong join.
I’ve seen some members using biscuit joinery for really clean looking results. I have used biscuit joinery myself for various cabinets (not just arcade ones) including 45 degree matched bevelled edges and the results can be really pleasing with the right equipment. Other techniques I’ve used include glued only cabinets using rebated panel ends and matching slots which I learned from my dad over the years, particularly with marine grade plywoods.
To make this design accessible to more people I’ve kept it very simple, just using bracing timber, butt joins, screws and glue. Is it OK to screw from the outside of a panel into an internal brace? What about the hole, and painting etc? With the right finishing this is not a problem at all.
I’ve used a bit of colour system in the diagrams just to indicate where panels or timber are in addition to the panels from the cutting plan. These are coloured blue. All bracing timber is just standard 1 x 2” which I see is actually ¾” x 1 ½” (19mm x 38mm). 2 x 2 could also be used.
This cab will be sitting on a base fitted with caster wheels, as many builders start by constructing this first, let’s start with that also.
Choose caster wheels which are strong enough to handle the fully loaded cab, each wheel should be rated at least 50-60 kg. My preference is for casters with smaller wheels if you can find them. As the diagrams show the base is just constructed by pre-drilling the base panel and brace pieces and then gluing and screwing them together.
When attaching the casters make sure you allow for the turning circle each needs, no part of the caster should protrude over the edge of the base unit as this will be positioned at a set height internal to the cab, all caster frames should have a clear turning circle to allow easy movement in any direction when needed.
Next position the brace pieces as shown using the guide measurements. I’d trace with a pencil and then pre-drill the panels for screws points. Glue and screw the bracing pieces to each side panel as shown.
Attach one side to the base, butt joining the brace on the base tight up against the brace end on the panel. The height of the base allows for some clearance of wheels of around 1 ½” radius without having them on display. If you use caster wheels of a different radius you will need to adjust the height at which the base is attached to allow the wheels to clear the bottom of the cab.
Repeat with the other side panel.
The front and main top panel can now be attached as well to the braces.
Next up – making an access hatch with the back panel.