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Author Topic: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!  (Read 1130 times)

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AndersHP

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Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« on: November 13, 2016, 07:19:05 am »
I really cannot decide if I should build my own bartop arcade or buy a finished one from eBay.

Being used to nice modern consumer products, is it really possible to build an arcade yourself and not feeling like sitting at a DIY bench stuffed with hardware?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this, and your background with woodworking. Myself, I have a good catalogue of power tools  :tool:, and have been fixing up my own house for years now, but still, I cannot decide if my woodworking skills still will be adequate for the finish of a consumer product vs. the finish of rough woodworking.

The cons of buying an eBay bartop is the price and also that the design is very much fixed.

I'd also like to hear your opinions on my plans for a DIY arcade, should I choose to go in this direction..:

* Bartop arcade made from 15mm MDF
* T molds from arcadeworlduk, and a slot cutter like this: http://www.arcadewinkel.nl/accessoires/gereedschap/schijffrees-slot-cutter-t-molding would this be an OK slot cutter blade?
* I want the cabinet to be white and black, with plexiglass on the control panel and in front of the screen. What about the seem between these two?
* White and black: better to do with PVC foil or spray paint? I don't have good experience with spray paint, doesn't it always look very DIY'ish?
* I'm on top of my joystick/button/speakers/screen situation, and it will fit both a DIY or an eBay kit.

Wow, really a lot of questions here  :blah: I hope you have some input, and I really look forward to hearing if you've got experience with the eBay kits or your own build, have any regrets or recommendations, or similar input. Thanks!  :) :)

dgame

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2016, 10:34:56 am »
This community generally supports building your own.

yotsuya

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2016, 11:18:42 am »
This community generally supports building your own.
It's like going to a woodworkers forum and asking about either rolling your own or getting a Snörjd from Ikea....
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Scassidy24

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Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 01:25:17 pm »
If you can handle general home maintenance you can build your own, be patient, take your time, when you get stuck just try to keep your momentum. Didn't you notice that generally speaking the build quality on modern consumer products is pretty shabby :o

If you've never made a cabinet Build a complete prototype. It's a great experience and will set you up for success and satisfaction in your final build.   It's better to learn by doing and making mistakes


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UEDan

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 03:35:31 am »
I went back and forth myself.
In the end I ended up building it myself. Everything except for getting the sides CNC'd. My woodworking experiance is limited to Jr High woodworking class. I just love to tinker.

* I want the cabinet to be white and black, with plexiglass on the control panel and in front of the screen. What about the seem between these two?
I had the same dilemma. I just cut the about an inch off the top CP plexi, The screen plexi would rest on the CP wood right where the CP plexi would meet.
* White and black: better to do with PVC foil or spray paint? I don't have good experience with spray paint, doesn't it always look very DIY'ish?
Foam roll on satin paint.


AndersHP

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 04:31:59 pm »
As stated, I was merely asking a "how much talent is needed" question, and the buy/build headline was more a provocative way of getting people to answer.

I am most interested in building myself, but would love to hear from you guys woodworking experience vs. your arcade outcomes.

I had the same dilemma. I just cut the about an inch off the top CP plexi, The screen plexi would rest on the CP wood right where the CP plexi would meet.
* White and black: better to do with PVC foil or spray paint? I don't have good experience with spray paint, doesn't it always look very DIY'ish?
Foam roll on satin paint.

Thanks for the honest answers.
I live in Denmark, and the satin paint don't really make a lot of sense to me. Is it like high-gloss wall paint? And what about filling and priming? I guess to get the completely even surface you have to use some kind of filler material, sand it very smoothly, and prime it before paint/artwork?

When it comes to the control panel, I thought about painting the plexiglass from the backside and glueing it onto the MDF? Could this work?

AndersHP

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 06:09:55 am »
Wow, this woodworking forum is quiet..

No one out there?

Mike A

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2016, 07:26:28 am »
Do some research. Get a plan together and start asking some direct questions. You are scattering general questions in every direction.
The woodworking involved is not difficult.

Let's get started. Answer this question:

What games do you want to play?

AndersHP

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2016, 02:48:16 pm »
Do some research. Get a plan together and start asking some direct questions. You are scattering general questions in every direction.
The woodworking involved is not difficult.

Let's get started. Answer this question:

What games do you want to play?

Huh. I believe my questions are pretty specific, not that general.

I already have my system up and running, and which games I'm playing on it is not really important in relation to if you have tried painting the plexiglass of the CP from the backside, IMHO.
But okay. I'm playing Megadrive, SNES, MAME and Neogeo games, particularly shooters and beat'em ups. Just enjoying the retrogaming. Now, have you tried PVC foil or did you paint your cabinet?

Mike A

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2016, 03:45:02 pm »
I was trying to focus you. Playing all of those games on one cabinet involves too many compromises. Play the console games on a tv with a pi emulator or a laptop. All you need is a couple of game pads and you will have a good console gaming experience. Console game are not designed or programmed for arcade controls. They will be clunky.

The games you want to play will dictate what controls you need. It is probably the most important question to answer before you build.

To answer your questions.
The one bartop I built had an MDF control panel. A vinyl graphic covered the panel, and a clear sheet of plexi covered that.
I built my full sized cabinet out of laminated MDF. I then applied vinyl graphics to it.

Mike A

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2016, 03:47:48 pm »
If you notice, When I applied my graphic I didn't realize until it was too late that it was the wrong size. I kept it because nobody else notices, and when I get up the ambition I am going to strip the graphics and spray stencil the artwork like I should have done in the first place. :banghead:

Guywiththegun

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2016, 11:24:35 am »
Building is infinitely more rewarding. I probably could have put the same $$$ into buying a basic cab somewhere and being done with it, but then its just a thing I bought. Not saying it still isn't cool especially if you just want to play games, but the value in building something great yourself is immeasurable.

AndersHP

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Re: Bartop arcade: build or buy? Questions about slot cutter also!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 12:44:34 pm »
Playing all of those games on one cabinet involves too many compromises. Play the console games on a tv with a pi emulator or a laptop. All you need is a couple of game pads and you will have a good console gaming experience. Console game are not designed or programmed for arcade controls. They will be clunky.

The games you want to play will dictate what controls you need. It is probably the most important question to answer before you build.

In my first post you can see that I'm on top of the controls situation. I have the setup I want, I always preferred joysticks to joypads, growing up playing mainly Amiga, and I think the joysticks and buttons that I have suits both MAME as well as the old 8 and 16 bit consoles. And I have it set up, no compromises or clunkiness, at least not in my opinion.

Building is infinitely more rewarding. I probably could have put the same $$$ into buying a basic cab somewhere and being done with it, but then its just a thing I bought. Not saying it still isn't cool especially if you just want to play games, but the value in building something great yourself is immeasurable.

I'm getting more and more convinced that a DIY project is the right solution.
Cannot find a good place to get a slot cutter for the T molding though - seems awfully expensive! Which did you get, and will a 19 mm MDF combined with a 16 mm MDF + 3 mm Plexiglass for the CP be a good solution? I guess the 3/4 inch T molds fits 19 mm MDF, right?

  
 

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