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Author Topic: My first cab... a Lowboy  (Read 1044 times)

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morton

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My first cab... a Lowboy
« on: November 16, 2017, 08:33:41 pm »
Never done this before and decided to give building a cabinet a shot. I have been slowly noodling about the garage putting a cabinet together... an Australian Lowboy style cabinet. Single Player. Vertical games only (Classics and Shmups). Pi 3 running Attract Mode on a 19" CRT TV via 240p composite. Sanwa JLF Joystick and Happ buttons... though I have considered Sanwa.

Decided if I was going to build a cab, I would build one that wasn't very common in these parts and not too huge - after all... it's my first cab! The Lowboy style fit the bill and has a cool retro look to it. It's only about 54" high, 24" wide and 24" deep... give or take. Found several sets of plans, but none were 100% complete or accurate, each had their issues. While I took a few liberties, most of what I tried to build thus far is true to the originals. As it stands now, it's completed woodworking wise, primed and waiting paint/vinyl/finishing. I have most of my parts in hand, and am working on getting the software fine tuned.

Using MDF is a bit of a chore, and really wish I had spent a little extra on ply, but it could always be worse. Took lots of time to get to this point as I had been working lots, but now it's getting to the point that it's too cold out in the garage to paint the final coats, so am wondering if this is going to have to go on the backburner until spring, or I can make something happen. Would be great to find a heated garage/shop to get into for a few days.

The tough part after (of before) finding a place to paint it is going to be deciding on an aesthetic. I was considering some tweaked arcade art and such, had posted a few attempts of varying levels of effort:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,154856.0.html
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,155046.msg1626810.html#msg1626810
 
None of them are screaming to be put on this cabinet at this point. To be honest, I am considering a simpler theme than trying to reinvent the wheel, possibly just a plain cab, black and white, or maybe some fancy rosewood vinyl for the sides like traditional woodie lowboys tended to have. It will fit into a room a bit better, and the generic theme will allow me to cycle out different marquee's if my mood changes. The T-mold I have for the cabinet right now is white as the other mold I picked up at the same shop doesn't seem to fit the slot properly. Seeing Mark74's "The Invaders" cab made me realize that a) white T-mold can look cool, and b) my cab is really gonna suck compared to his  :lol

Thanks to all the members who I've corresponded with up until now who got me this far, as well as anyone else who has posted their projects to these forums, as they have provided me with heaps of inspiration.

I am open to friendly suggestions and critiques... feel free to ask any questions.

bperkins01

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2017, 08:52:12 am »
Looks like a great shape so far.  Color and a CP will really make it pop.
Thanks.
My Arcade Build and other projects here:
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

harveybirdman

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2017, 09:24:26 am »
The cab is great bro!

Of the two directions I prefer the kongizazee thing best... but don't skimp on art.  If it's not your bag hire an artist.  It's an investment sure but I don't regret it in the slightest.

morton

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 10:01:16 am »
Thanks for the kind words!

I have seen many mention their first cab was one they were attached to so i made sure to leave it open to upgrade as time goes on. My goal is for it to be a legit Jamma cab in the end so i am not doing anything too wild.

The control panel is already made and just on the table letting the primer finish up. Unfortunately my job went a little bit longer than planned and now its too cold to paint out in my garage... not sure what I will do. Considered rolling in the basement and sanding in the garage but it gets tricky moving it. May spend more time repairing all the scrapes and knicks before i finish it :lol

Kongikaze is a great idea IMO, but saving that for a Nintendo shaped cab... its the only way I think. As much as I'd love to throw that theme on this one, its not clicking enough for me to invest the time or money into using that theme. Its on the backburner. Tho it really is my best idea so far I feel. "Mimic" and "Blip" have clean looks and though I wont have the LCD marquee, I may go for a subtle look like they went with. Pixelhugger (Thanks dude/dudette!) came up with a neat "Video Game" marquee similar to what you'd usually see on a Lowboy cab that I really liked in a way, but since paint isn't coming anytime too soon, I will take my time to consider the theme/aesthetic. The generic thing may be a little tough now as the local vinyl guy moved towns and finally got back to me and said he can't find the rosewood vinyl I was hoping to price out.

So the major things i need to get sorted are:

- Paint and or Art/Theme
- I have 70 and 80 degree angles that make up my marquee top and bottom. Simple 90 degree angle won't suffice. May have to get creative coming up with a retainer. Open to suggestions.
- I built a Nintendo style base from poplar to raise it about 4"... need to figure out feet for cab. Its small and not too bad so not sure about wheels.

I have already decased the CRT and removed the board. Its been dry fit and clears everything. Hinges and such have been fit prior to priming. Just gotta reinstall everything. I plan on using an old PC power supply to power everything but the monitor. Pi (5v), Audio amp (5 or 12v), LED strip lights for marquee (12v)... I have tested each isolated component but my plan is to hook it all up as a complete system before attempting to install it. Going to run a 120v fuse block after my IEC inlet to allow me to branch off to TV and PC PSU individually. Hopefully it comes together well.

Will keep you posted as things progress... hoping some of you can provide a little more motivation and inspiration along the way :)

yamatetsu

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 01:25:27 pm »
"Mimic" and "Blip" have clean looks and though I wont have the LCD marquee, I may go for a subtle look like they went with.

Here's one is I found a few years ago while looking for inspiration. Clean and simple, yet elegant.

                  

morton

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 05:01:17 pm »
On the topic of black... what kind/shade/type of black paint is most common in these situations?

rackoon

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2017, 11:29:39 pm »
I use satin black, next in line is semi-gloss and its too shiny :banghead:
They treated me like an animal and that's what I became.

jennifer

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 12:48:39 am »
   Semi gloss is probably the most common (but too shiny? common, that's not a real thing :-\) ....Personally Jennifer likes industrial chem based spray coatings, But doing that in the house ,basement or kitchen most likely not your best solution.

morton

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 08:56:51 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions. I am leaning towards the satin black. Should I use a Rustoleum type paint or a latex? I am still trying to pull strings to see if I can spray this somewhere, as I feel rolling will be just as messy with the sanding factored in. Just too cold in my garage this time of year to pull off spraying. I probably could have rolled and sanded by now. It's killing me that this is my big hold up.

krangbrain

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2017, 10:45:19 pm »
What kind of abuse is this thing going to take? If it'll get heavy use by kids I'd try to spray on something more durable than latex, but I know it's used regularly for builds around here. Rustoleum enamel paint would be a solid choice I would think. I used it inside of my cabinet and it seems to be pretty tuff. But, if you're painting inside your house, latex and rollers!

Oh, and go satin. Semi-gloss belongs on bathroom walls.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 10:47:37 pm by krangbrain »

jennifer

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2017, 11:54:24 pm »
     Out of the wind in a garage, temp usually stays around 30 deg. on a frozen day, Not optimal, but allowing for longer flash times with a small heater (and to keep your fingers warm) or inferred heat lamps (cheap ones are at the farm store for incubators It can be done....I prefer to paint in the cold, because the air quality is cleaner, and the bugs are dead, Slow, slow slow dry times however, get it to heat as soon as possible,

morton

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 09:13:54 am »
     Out of the wind in a garage, temp usually stays around 30 deg. on a frozen day, Not optimal, but allowing for longer flash times with a small heater (and to keep your fingers warm) or inferred heat lamps (cheap ones are at the farm store for incubators It can be done....I prefer to paint in the cold, because the air quality is cleaner, and the bugs are dead, Slow, slow slow dry times however, get it to heat as soon as possible,

I primed using Zinnser shellac based primer which is known to work favorably in cooler weather. I noticed it had a very different drying time and style to primer I had applied before. It ran a bit thinner due to the slower dry time i reckon. I dont live alone, so setting up a temp spray area is quite difficult here. We use the garage as a throughway into the house as well.

I am thinking latex if I gotta roll inside for sure, but really feel Rustoleum will be the best bet overall, as it sounds a little more durable and sprayable. Thanks.

- new challenge is how to get a marquee retainer figured out. I need it to cover the 3/4" inch that the MDF takes up, but also need one at 80, and another at 70 degrees... my best option may be custom bent sheet metal, but am still researching my options.

- also on fence about adding a second player for Shmups, Contra and the sort... two sticks and four buttons in an SNES  diamond shape on a 22" wide panel sounds tight as tho... one player with four buttons was my original plan. Maybe a second CP?

krangbrain

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 05:56:33 pm »
That Zinnser shellac based primer is great. It sands so easily without loading up the sandpaper. Let us know what you do about the retainers. I had sheet metal bend to my specs, which was difficult to find. Finally got someone on eBay to do it after looking around town without success. Small orders...

rackoon

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2017, 11:34:36 pm »
rustoleum is the way to go and yea you gotta have two sticks :cheers:
They treated me like an animal and that's what I became.

morton

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2017, 11:10:04 am »
I am gonna do some thinking today and try to see what kind of real estate I am gonna have. Also considering a second control panel to swap out when I do want a second to join in. That would have been better to determine a month ago when I wasn't at this stage. I am already planning a horizontal cab and two players is going to be a must for sure.

As for the Rustoleum, how bad is spraying it inside? With it being so cold out I am trying to figure out something with someone who has indoor space available to spray... Otherwise I am gonna have to roll it... And still not sure if inside is a good idea... Ventilation and such.

BigHootchieMK

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2017, 12:03:21 pm »
Depending on the space you've got around your place in the garage or outside, you could put together a make-shift paint station with some PVC pipe and some rolls of plastic.

DIY Paint Booth

jennifer

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Re: My first cab... a Lowboy
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2017, 11:43:13 pm »
Depending on the space you've got around your place in the garage or outside, you could put together a make-shift paint station with some PVC pipe and some rolls of plastic.

DIY Paint Booth
   That seems fun, But..... Getting something ready for paint is already a lot of work, and the cost is already prohibitive for the average Jenn, Building that booth would take most of the afternoon at best,  the static on the plastic would attract dirt and overspray, making it a one time thing, and that fan is a poor choice for ventilating, at best rather than drag the fumes through the sparks of that motor one would be better off creating a positive pressure by blowing clean air in, (and that would blow the plastic out as opposed to sucking it in) It would be far easier and cheaper just to hang and shoot....Not trying to discourage outside the box thinking friend, just pointing out the obvious. :-\
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 11:46:27 pm by jennifer »

  
 

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