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Author Topic: I have a couple questions about applying sideart and cutting CPO graphic holes  (Read 1253 times)

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DaddyLongLegs

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Hello!

A while back I bought a machine that I had no idea what it was originally because it was painted completely black, and gutted (aside from the 25” Wells Gardner monitor).  This did not bother me much as I wanted to make it a MAME cabinet anyway, and the cabinet and CRT was all that was important to me at the time.

Helpful people figured out it was originally a TMNT machine (it took a while to figure this out because it only had a 2 player coin door, but I soon discovered the previous owner actually replaced the entire front of the machine to accommodate a 2 player coin door). Since then, I have replaced the front wood and made a cutout for a 4 player coin door.

So obviously my idea is to make this thing a TMNT machine again, though I will be making it a MAME cabinet because the machine was already gutted and TMNT PCBs are expensive. Not to mention I want to be able to play quite a few different titles (I already have my J-PAC, arcadeVGA, and other things needed).

I am having a difficult time trying to figure out how to fit the CPO without it looking like garbage.

I was lucky enough to find that someone actually sells TMNT CPO without any character buttons or anything, which is perfect since my control panel would not match up.

This is the one I bought: http://www.gameongrafix.com/control-panels--239/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-4player-no-characters-

Luckily this will not require putting plexi over the control panel, because the idea of cutting plexi makes me queasy. However, I am terrified about cutting into $70 worth of artwork.
Here is my control panel, so far:


(I know the box it is resting on is way too small).
I have since filled the 5th and 6th buttons on both side players since there is no such thing as 4 player games using all 6 buttons. I have also filled in the left and right hole above the square hole for the trackball (the remaining middle hole is for a spinner).

My issue is I have no idea how to cut all of these holes without it looking like a jagged mess.

With the button holes, I have room to be a little messy since the buttons have a lip on them and will hide that. But how am I supposed to do the hole for the trackball?

My idea to try and cut the button holes was to use the adhesive backing of the artwork, and stick it to the control panel. Then just cut some holes from the underside which should be OK for the button holes. But that is going to be too messy for the trackball hole, again because there is no “lip” so you are going to see it looking non-perfect. I bought an Exact-o knife and some #11 blades which, correct me if I am wrong, should be the best blades for this. But considering the hole is going to be exposing just the trackball, how am I supposed to cut this perfectly?

Further confusing things is the fact that the metal mounting plate for the trackball is obviously a completely different material than the rest of the control panel. Isn’t this going to be an issue when placing the adhesive for the CPO artwork? Isn’t it going to be noticeable that there’s metal underneath that portion and not wood? Do people just put a thin layer of wood filler on top of the metal mounting plate or something?

My final question relates to the artwork installation. This is the exact artwork I bought: http://www.ebay.com/itm/TMNT-Side-Art-Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Arcade-Game-/122266350413

In the auction, the seller is claiming it’s resistant to air bubbles, which is great! However, I am worried about it not sticking properly  to the side of my cab. After 3 days of using orange gel substances and scraping for hours on end, I finally got all the black paint off of the side of my cab:



As you can see on the bottom part of my cabinet, I had to replace some of the wood due to it being in really bad shape. It isn’t lined up perfectly, however. Towards the middle, the replacement wood “sticks out” very, very slightly. It is perfectly flush at the front and back, but it’s not perfect in the middle. I have put in wood filler and sanded like crazy, but it’s not perfect. Is there any way to hide this? If I sound like I am being obsessive, people have said that even a single piece of hair will look terrible if the artwork is over it, so I would imagine this is going to be real easy to notice.

Another question about the artwork: I have read that I should make sure the surface is nice and smooth before putting the artwork on. Most of the machine has a nice semi-gloss to it. There’s some parts where I went crazy with the orange paint peeler and of course the entire bottom replacement is not glossy at all. Should I paint the sides with some sort of wood gloss? Or is a glossy black paint good enough?

Also I have used wood filler where there were any nicks on the sides, so that the artwork goes on perfectly as possible. However, along the “back edge” of the machine, the wood isn’t razor sharp along the edges. I have circled an example of what it looks like in yellow:

It’s a bit “rough” and I would imagine this is going to be obvious with the sideart. Even worse, I would imagine this will leave some “open areas” between the artwork and wood, meaning dust and other particles will get in there over time. How do I get those edges razor sharp? Is it even possible? It seems way too miniscule for wood filler. And if wood filler is the answer, how would I apply it there so that it will look perfect?

Finally, I am still very unsure of my ability to cut this sideart without it looking like garbage. I know that I should place a little bit of artwork at a time, slowly peeling back and using a credit card or plastic squeegee to place the artwork perfectly. However, it’s the excess artwork that is causing me panic. How do I cut it perfectly? I know that I am obviously supposed to use the cabinet itself to guide my X-Acto knife, but it’s not going to be perfect. So what happens in the back of the machine? The front should be OK because I can hide any imperfections in the t-molding. How do I get the back and bottoms to be absolutely perfect? I can’t even fathom how it’s possible to be honest.

I do apologize for the length of this post and I really appreciate any insight anyone can give me! I did watch some videos and read some posts on applying sideart, but none appeared to be for cabinets where the artwork took up the entire side of the cabinet (most were guides for sideart like Donkey Kong where little, if any cutting is involved). Thanks again! :)

DaddyLongLegs

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If I posted this in the wrong forum, please let me know! :)

vinegar

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the answer to your rough edges is bondo.  bondo all the things.  not wood filler.

as for trimming the art, you can use an edge trimmer intended for wood laminate or even just a razor blade and simply glide it along the edge of the cab if you absolutely must have it cut at the edge.  my best advice there is to chill out, you'll do fine :)

DaddyLongLegs

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the answer to your rough edges is bondo.  bondo all the things.  not wood filler.

Believe it or not, I read Bondo is not good for very tiny spaces. Something about it falling off easily due to it having no grip or something.

I gave Elmer's Wood Filler a try and I have to say I am very happy with the results! Check it out:



You can tell where the imperfections/craters were and there is no sign that this stuff is gonna flake off or anything! I highly recommend it to anyone needing to rectify something like this.

I understand I asked a lot of questions in the OP, so I totally do not mind them not being answered. However, I have one that I am absolutely having zero luck on figuring out, no matter how much I google (only two other people asked this question and neither got replies). So I am going to mount my 2 1/4" trackball, and I am going to cut the appropriate hole for the ball to go through the artwork. Here is what worries me: the pushbuttons, spinners, etc all have a nice "lip" so even if the hole cut in the CPO/artwork isn't perfect, it does not matter since the "lip" will hide some of it.

However, the trackball from what I see has no such "lip". Hell, even if I get the hole cut perfectly, it is still concerning to me that there is no lip. I am not going to be using any plexiglass, as the artwork is really high quality and does not need it. So this means that there is just going to be a hole in the artwork for the trackball, and there is not going to be any "lip" or "ring". Doesn't this basically mean that dust and crap is going to get into the underside of the CPO? Isn't the artwork going to start peeling after people with sweaty hands play some Marble Madness? I am not really comfortable with the artwork being so exposed to outside elements like that. Is there such a thing as a 2 1/4" "ring" to place around the 2 1/4" trackball so it's not just artwork->exposed air?

vinegar

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never heard that about bondo, sounds like folks who use too much hardener :)  (edit: i guess it makes sense for pinholes or like, smooth metal, but you're supposed to rough it up...  :dunno)

for the trackball... that seems to be a pretty big sell for ultimarc's trackball, that high lip (and they have a whole other trim bezel that goes around it which covers the edge of the cut).  i don't know of anything off-the-shelf for other trackball models which don't have such a high lip and accomplishes the same except for putting the big square mounting plate OVER the art.  which is ugly.

i'm using a happ trackball in the cab i'm designing right now, and though my plan is to use wilsonart laminate instead of art, i'm mounting the ball in a way that could provide a solution - i'm leaving the top cover off the ball assembly.  for me, it's to mount it high, but for you it'd provide the opportunity to cut a slightly larger hole and get a custom piece of plastic made, 3d printing or however, that replicates the function of ultimarc's bezel.

trackballs seem like dust and grime magnet little monsters no matter how tight you manage your tolerance on the hole.  their very function is a conveyor.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 03:49:25 pm by vinegar »

DaddyLongLegs

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never heard that about bondo, sounds like folks who use too much hardener :)  (edit: i guess it makes sense for pinholes or like, smooth metal, but you're supposed to rough it up...  :dunno)

for the trackball... that seems to be a pretty big sell for ultimarc's trackball, that high lip (and they have a whole other trim bezel that goes around it which covers the edge of the cut).  i don't know of anything off-the-shelf for other trackball models which don't have such a high lip and accomplishes the same except for putting the big square mounting plate OVER the art.  which is ugly.

i'm using a happ trackball in the cab i'm designing right now, and though my plan is to use wilsonart laminate instead of art, i'm mounting the ball in a way that could provide a solution - i'm leaving the top cover off the ball assembly.  for me, it's to mount it high, but for you it'd provide the opportunity to cut a slightly larger hole and get a custom piece of plastic made, 3d printing or however, that replicates the function of ultimarc's bezel.

trackballs seem like dust and grime magnet little monsters no matter how tight you manage your tolerance on the hole.  their very function is a conveyor.

I don't mind dust and grime getting in the actual trackball. I can just take it apart and clean it. Dust and grime getting under the exposed hole cut though will drive me insane.

I am glad you see exactly what I mean.  ultimarc's trackball has the exact "lip" that I would love, however I already have this trackball and would like to use it. If I knew someone with a 3-d printer, I would be all set. I am open to any other ideas! :)

  
 

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