The sides will be solid hardwood. The large side panels will be New Zealand Rosewood... a hardwood with a natural color similar to aged cherry or koa.
If I am reading this correctly, you will not be using ply or veneer for this...so you'll be jointing and edge joining boards to make up the side panels?! How thick will the sides be?
I will most likely finish this with no stain, probably a water based urethane or hand rubbed oil.
You are gonna LOVE a hand rubbed oil on that, but won't it be easier (not needing re-application periodically, scratches show easier, etc) to go the urethane route? I know very little about New Zealand Rosewood, but I like the rosewood figure and look...I'm betting it'll be so much nicer than anyone can picture!
The smaller darker sides that flank the kick-panel (coin area) will be black walnut. I really wanted to go with ebony, but since it is actually priced by the OUNCE - (forget about board foot) - and generally only available in pieces the size of a toilet paper tube I decided against it. If the walnut doesn't finish dark enough without a stain I will probably mix a custom tinted aneline dye to get it closer to ebony.
Just go with the dye. I drove myself nuts wondering "Is that black enough?!" I wish I had learned about dyes BEFORE that point
I can't tell you how satisfying it is to hear words like "beautiful" and "stunning"
associated with an arcade cabinet.
The color combinations and the wood will surpass words.
For any metal accents you are contemplating, might I suggest brushed aluminum?
And lastly, how are you going about doing the three-sided marquee? I saw you say you're gonna bend the plexi (so you can soothe the backlightaholic in you), but can you get angles that sharp by bending it? I'll borrow you my heatgun if you come over and build me a replica