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Author Topic: Arcade cabinet question  (Read 2957 times)

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Homietheclown

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Arcade cabinet question
« on: January 08, 2015, 04:43:55 pm »
Hola,

I am super stoked (and little overwhelmed) with building an arcade cabinet. I grew up hanging out at the local arcade so building an arcade cabinet is very nostalgic for me. I tried explaining this to the wife until I was blue in the face. epic fail...

Anyway I have been perusing this forum for hours but I'm still looking for an answer to one of my many many questions.

It's about how you guys put the arcade cabinet together. I've looked at quite a few building topics like Martins, and I couldn't figure out if he was using glue and\or screws to hold the pieces together. I want to apply laminate to the outside pieces, but I don't understand how you conceal the screws. Especially if you laminate your pieces before you put it together.

If this doesn't make sense, I'll reword it. Thanks

stripe4

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Re: Arcade cabinet question
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 06:00:09 pm »
Hi and welcome!

It is best to use both glue and screws in combination with wooden supports for maximum durability. When glue is used, the resulting bonds will have different strength for different types of material (MDF, plywood, MDO). For example, it is possible to use only glue to hold MDF pieces together. Though I would still use screws, because the bonds may degrade after some time.
Drill appropriate pilot holes and tighten screws until they are a bit deeper than the surface of the material. Then apply wood filler and sand to get a smooth surface.

Le Chuck

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Re: Arcade cabinet question
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2015, 06:06:27 pm »
Ideally you don't drill through the outside panels of your cabinet on the front or sides.  Instead assemble from the inside using either pocket screws (kregg jig) or batons.  You can build out a full frame work but that is weight prohibitive.  Using 1x firing strips you can make a simple system to get everything attached with no screws showing. 

If you do drill through (I do for some monitor mounts to add support for a heavy CRT) you can leave bolts show - there's nothing wrong with that.  Did it on my Fieldhouse build and a lot of classic cabs show mounting bolts.  Screws you can counter sink using a simple bit that you can pick up at the local big box and then fill that with either bondo (my preferred), wood putty, or just a mess of woodglue and sawdust.  Sand flush and you're good to go.  If you're staining the outside and can't avoid a screw hole you can use a dowel to fill and then use a Japanese pull saw to trim it flush.  If you do that with the same type of wood it stains out great. 

bfauska

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Re: Arcade cabinet question
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2015, 06:10:19 pm »
There are a couple ways to attach the sides to the cabinet (which I think is the primary part of your question). One way is to use strips or blocks of wood inside that you glue and screw to the side panels and the face panels so that all the screws are inside the cabinet. Another way is to screw from the outside of the cabinet into the edge of the interior panels and then fill those holes with putty or bondo. If doing the second option many people will laminate everything but the side panels before assembly and then after filling the holes and smoothing them out they will laminate the sides.

While I was typing Le Chuck beat me to basically the same answer but sometimes hearing the same thing worded a couple ways is handy.

Homietheclown

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Re: Arcade cabinet question
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2015, 06:38:56 pm »
It's a great community here. Thank you all for taking the time to answer. I definitely like the idea of using screwing it from the inside. I even have access to a kregg jig so I would probably try that method.

Got another question ;)   In this picture. with the blue support pieces. Are these support pieces called batons? Also when you guys install them in your cabinets; 1) how do I figure out where to install them on the side panel. It seems overly complicated to me. 2) When installing them, how far down does the screw go into the panel. For example, the panels will be the typical 3/4"(18mm) MDF that I hear most people use. 

I realize that maybe my questions I have been answered before. I'm still trying to read as fast as I can.

Le Chuck

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Re: Arcade cabinet question
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2015, 06:51:26 pm »
It's really easy to figure where to put them.  Thickness of panel + desired inset of panel.  If you have 1/2" panel and want it 1/2" inset you draw a line 1" in and put your baton flush to that line.  For things like the bezel it often helps to dry fit the panel where you like it and make an index mark then back your baton off that, or have someone help and do it from the inside. 

Slippyblade

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Re: Arcade cabinet question
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2015, 06:55:03 pm »
Yes, those are battens.  As far as depth of screw, it totally depends on the thickness of the wood.  If your battens are 3/4" and your side panel is 3/4" then I'd use 1-1/4" screws.

Code: [Select]
-------------------\   /-------------------- 
 ^                  | |
3/4"                | |           
 v                  | |
--------------------| |---------------------
 ^                  | |
3/4"                | |
 v                   V
---------------------------------------------

Pardon the ASCII art, but does this make sense?

Homietheclown

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Re: Arcade cabinet question
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2015, 07:48:45 pm »
It makes perfect sense. Good use of ascii.  Now I gotta read up about the laminate and t-molding issue. Off to the forums. Thanks again.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 07:50:42 pm by Homietheclown »

otsep

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Re: Arcade cabinet question
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2015, 10:14:20 am »
Yes, those are battens.  As far as depth of screw, it totally depends on the thickness of the wood.  If your battens are 3/4" and your side panel is 3/4" then I'd use 1-1/4" screws.

Code: [Select]
-------------------\   /-------------------- 
 ^                  | |
3/4"                | |           
 v                  | |
--------------------| |---------------------
 ^                  | |
3/4"                | |
 v                   V
---------------------------------------------

Pardon the ASCII art, but does this make sense?

If you countersink the screws, you way only want to go to 1" in this example.
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