Main Restorations Software Audio/Jukebox/MP3 Everything Else Buy/Sell/Trade
Project Announcements Monitor/Video GroovyMAME Merit/JVL Touchscreen Meet Up Retail Vendors
Driving & Racing Woodworking Software Support Forums Consoles Project Arcade Reviews
Automated Projects Artwork Frontend Support Forums Pinball Forum Discussion Old Boards
Raspberry Pi & Dev Board controls.dat Linux Miscellaneous Arcade Wiki Discussion Old Archives
Site News

Unread posts | New Replies | Recent posts | Rules | Chatroom | Wiki | File Repository | RSS | Submit news


  

Author Topic: Finished: First Cabinet: Kraylix (no experience wood working or paint)  (Read 949 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

barky

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
After a month or so, I've finally finished my Kraylix cabinet. I've posted the whole project over on my blog: https://wemustimaginesisyphusgaming.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/kraylix-arcade-project/ but I'm posting the entirety of it here. Lots of pictures, feel free to ask me questions.

Iíve always wanted an arcade cabinet. Thereís something about a piece of furniture whose sole function is for play. Seeing an arcade cabinet at a mall or pizza place always filled me with a kind of excitement, something I couldnít get anywhere else. Now, I finally decided to get one. This project took me a little under a month. As a note, I have zero wood working or painting experience, so all of this is to chronicle what this build took and hopefully help someone else with this if they need it. Letís start.

Once I decided I wanted a cabinet, and my wife graciously okíd the decision, I started doing a whole lot of research. I wanted the cabinet to play arcade games through mame, while also having the ability to play modern fighters like sfv and dbfz. I wanted a japanese style candy cabinet because the sit down style is just more comfortable. I found one or two places that sold sega city cabs, but most of them were more than a I wanted to pay, let alone the shipping cost for such a cabinet. I also realized that having a CRT sega city would not allow for modern fighters to be played without a lot of suffering. I then decided I wanted a vewlix style cabinet. I was almost determined to buy a chinese vewlix knockoff, especially after a good report of their quality over on arcade otaku. Even though they were cheap, the unknowns about import costs, duties, and fees really turned me off at the end of the day.

After thinking about the issue, I decided I wanted this to be a project where I could maybe learn some skills on top of having a cabinet. Thatís what led me to decide on buying a kraylix. Kray is a well known member of the arcade community, and he sells an ikea style unpainted vewlix cabinet on his website kraylixarcade.com. The price is reasonable for what you get. I decided I wanted to mimic the classic look on his site: black paint, red art, white controls. I emailed Kray asking how long his waiting list was, and he replied back within a day. I put down a deposit on the cabinet and then had to wait. After putting the money down I started on the only part of the project I could at the moment, the front end.

I decided to use Attract Mode as my front end. Hyperspin is popular but hard to set up, and attract mode seemed to have a good middle ground between customizing and ease of use. I spent the better part of a week setting up the front end, but at the end of it I had a nice interface. Attract mode is a good program, lots of options, and every question or problem I had was answered on the forums. Itís also free. After taking care of this, I also ordered the controls. The stick and buttons were all Sanwa osb (screw in), with the jlf-8yt for the joysticks. Iíve used these sticks in fight sticks and have done the wiring before, so this part I did know what I was doing. I ended up ordering some brook ps3/ps4 with breakout board and wiring harnesses for the pcbs. I wanted something that would use xinput so there would be less issue with modern fighters, as well as better compatibility with windows overall. I could also through my ps4 in there if I wanted, though I donít see why I would. After ordering all this, I waited for the cab.

I received the cabinet via fedex a week or so after placing an order. I was super happy with how fast the whole process was, as I was expecting a few weeks minimum. The cabinet came in three seperate boxes. One containing the arch parts, one containing the plexiglass and control panel (pre-assembled), and another containing the rest of the parts.





Everything was nicely labeled and laid out. The instructions kray provides were really clear and easy to follow. The first day was a lot of building Ikea style.




At this point I needed to glue and clamp the arch to the rest of the assembly and let it dry over night. The next day I connected the bezel and the rest of the cabinet for a preview. Looks like a cabinet to me!





Alright, after that was complete, the real work started. At this point the cabinet comes apart in three pieces, the stand, the arch, and the control panel. The arch at this point looks exactly what it is, a separate piece glued onto the top of the arch. We want this to look like a seamless piece of cabinetry, so we need to fill the gaps in the arch. I had never done anything like this at this point. I bought a whole lot of supplies and kray recommended bondo for body filler. I have to say here that the author over at alpha pinball was pivotal in helping me understand how to do this. He also did a kraylix build and is clearly more experienced than I was at this. I used this blog post heavily: https://abpinball.com/2016/06/19/prepared-kraylix-arcade-for-paint/ Which reminds me, I need to reach out and thank him for that. I basically mimicked what I saw him do and others on youtube, filled the gaps before the bondo cured, then sanded it over until smooth. Hereís the result.




At the end of the day, with this being my first time, I was pretty happy with this. The arch looked pretty seamless to me, and it was smooth to the touch. After this part was what the bulk of the work ended up being: sanding. This cab has a lot of surface area and all I had was a sanding block. I first sanded all the sides with 120 grit sand paper (using a mask because mdf creates a lot of dust), and then going over it with 220 grit sand paper. This took a long, long time. Days. I was so tired of sanding by the end of this, but when I finally felt the cab was ready I felt really good about it. On to the paint.

I used rustoleum pro grey primer in spray cans for the primer. I wasnít sure how many coats I would need since I was told mdf sucks up paint like a sponge. After being scared for no real reason (I have a post on arcadecontrols looking for moral support), I started priming. My hand hurt like hell from holding the spray can down, I definitely recommend using a roller if you can instead of spraying. I only used cans because they didnít have the primer in regular form. After one coat, it looked ok, but I still saw some problems.








You can see in the last three pictures how the edge of the mdf soaked up the primer overnight, raising the wood like hair standing on end. This is making sure those edges were really wet with primer too. I decided to sand (again) at 220 for a smooth surface then prime again. For some reason I didnít take any pictures of the second coat of primer, but it did seem to seal a lot better. I made sure the surface was smooth again by sanding at 220 (AGAIN). I had to go to home Depot so many more times running out of paint and sand paper. After this, I was finally ready to paint.

Alright, now itís time for paint. I used Rustoleum Pro Satin Black for the paint. I wanted to recreate the looks on Kraylixís website with the red, black, and white look. I couldnít do what he did with finish, I knew it was out of my league (a mirror finish requires a lot of work and an experienced eye), but this paint came recommended from arcadecontrols. I used a 4Ē foam roller to paint the cabinet, which was also recommended. After all that sanding, painting felt so damn quick. Here it is after the first coat.





After doing a second coat and letting it dry, I decided I wasnít happy with it. The paint looked uneven to me. It turns out I was an idiot and used the same foam roller twice without cleaning it, and it was only after being done and not liking the paint that I realized my stupidity. On top of this, some imperfections in the bondo showed through with the paint on top of it. Lesson learned, sometimes filler imperfections will not show through until after paint. So, after this mistake, I sanded the paint off where I wasnít happy, redid the bondo, got a new set of foam rollers and did it again. Sanding again, and again, and again. After two coats, and then some spot painting here and there where the primer showed through I was finally happy with the paint. The final pictures show the final paint job, I didnít take pictures with the cab separated. The next disaster was a $150 dollar mistake having to do with the artwork.

Kray sends out a photoshop file of the art for the cabinet. It includes three parts, the marquee, the move list, and the control panel. He also includes plexiglass to put over the three pieces. I decided I was going to use vinyl which is pretty standard. I also decided that I was going to front mount the art using reverse sided vinyl. I thought it would be perfect. I was wrong. I went to Fedex for the art to be printed and it look great. I cut it out and first attempted to mount the artwork to the marquee. Well, I first put it down and tried to adjust it once it had been placed, which is a no go. I tore the vinyl almost immediately. After having a heart attack, I tried to mount the artwork anyway the best I could. I donít have pictures of this, but it looked like absolute garbage. No only was the artwork torn, there were a ton of bubbles that looked like water stains on the plexiglass itself. I took one look and said this is just a wash. I started taking the art off the plexiglass but the glue is VERY STRONG on this vinyl. It left a residue that was almost impossible to get off. I cleaned and cleaned the plexiglass but could only get it down to smudges instead of dirty marks on the glass. It was a disaster. Next I tried the movelist the same way along with the control panel, the pictures speak for themselves.




Bubbles. Bubbles everywhere. Not only did I mess up the alignment on the movelist real bad, the bubbles still showed through even though I used a lot of pressure. The control panel was the best alignment wise, but even doing a better job with the adhesion the bubbles were everywhere. Long story short, donít use reverse adhesive vinyl for this. Unless you are a pro, youíll end up with similar issues. I decided to use non adhesive vinyl from gameongrafix. I also asked Kray if he could cut me some more plexiglass because the ones with old art would look dirty no matter what. He obliged, and all in all it cost me $150. I honestly though the nonadhesive vinyl would look wavy or not flush when mounted, but it ended up looking better than I could have expected.

I decided to go ahead and do a test of the constructed cabinet at this point since I needed some space in the garage. I learned another hard lesson. The cabinet has very tight tolerances for the arch and the base. I tried to slide the arch on from the front and ended up damaging the paint on the base.



So, again, I had to sand and repaint that area. The area behind the arch will never be seen so I left that scuffed as it was. In hindsight, that part of the base would have been pretty much covered by the control panel, but Iím glad I decided to repaint it anyway. I soon got the art and plexiglass after this so I decided to put the control panel wiring together. Here are both sticks wired.




I used focusattackís ps3/ps4 brook board with breakout and wiring harness. I ended up having to modify the wiring harness for the joystick. The instructions for the kit ask you to rotate the PCB for the jlf so the pins are in the bottom left hand position, but as you can tell from the picture, the joysticks could not be mounted that way. I had to basically modify the wiring harness for the joystick by moving the pins around to match the orientation of the jlf I had installed. Luckily, the wiring diagrams for the jlf and the breakout board were readily available, so all it took was a small pin and moving the wires to the right direction in the molex connector. I also had to mess with the ground for the start button because the harness wasnít long enough to reach the button. Luckily, the board is common ground so any ground would work. I tested the controls on my laptop before closing it up, all worked well. I also mounted the speakers at this time. I got some cheap 4Ē speakers from amazon and a small amp. Iím not looking to blow the house down with the sound. I mounted them directly to the wood with the hardware, and was pretty happy with the result. One of the speaker wires came out of the quick disconnect so I had to crimp it again, other than that I had little trouble.

I originally thought I would use an old Emerson 32Ē TV for the display. I ended up buying a like new Samsung un32j4000c on amazon. According to displaylag.com, the input lag is 23ms, which is less than two frames of input lag. Iím not planning on this being a tournament cab or anything, but I am happy I was able to get a very low input lag LCD. Once it arrived, I went ahead and attempted to mount it myself. Luckily, the TV was very light and I did this with only a little trouble. The last picture is of the TV and speakers.



After all of this, I kind of basked in the reality that the project was done. The total weight of this thing is heavy, but splitting it out into three was just light enough for me to carry it into the house myself. Here it is in all itís glory.



A few notes. Once I got it in the house, I realized the PC I planned to use was too big to fit inside the cabinet. Iím using an older gaming PC I had to power it, and it is in a full ATX Tower. Thereís enough clearance inside the cab, but the angle to get it inside the cabinet is impossible to get. I realized it didnít matter, as I could put the computer on the outside of the cabinet and I wouldnít be worse off. Eventually Iíll want to put it inside, but I donít know when Iíll do that. Easy access is preferable currently. I also put the small audio amplifier on top of the PC for easy access to volume if I wanted. It all seemed to work pretty well at the end of the day.

I learned a lot during this, gained some new skills, and had a great time. I was nervous at some of the imperfections on the cabinet, but once it was in the house you wouldnít notice unless you knew exactly what to look for. The TV in particular is slightly off center by a fraction of an inch, to where there is a little bit of space on the left side of the cabinet. Thereís really nothing I could do about that, since the tolerance is very tight on the mounting piece. The TVís are just really small these days. Even given that, only I will notice. There are a few paint problems only I will see as well. At the end, I am quite happy with this. Now Iíve been bit by the bug and want a 2 player candy cab with a CRT after all to supplement my more modern machine, so help me please.






« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 09:25:06 am by barky »

Ian

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 901
  • "A day without Laughter is a day wasted"
Re: First Cabinet: Kraylix (no experience wood working or paint)
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2018, 12:39:58 pm »
Not a bad Vewlix. In the future try to post the pictures to the page so we don't have to click through so many.

You can upload them under "Project announcements" --- "NOT A PROJECT III - Thread for Posting Images to Link in our project threads"

Then link them to this post. Easier for all of the intended readers!

Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

barky

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: First Cabinet: Kraylix (no experience wood working or paint)
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2018, 01:11:02 pm »
I'll do that now, thanks!

edit: looks like all of my pictures are too big for the forum, can't do that unfortunately
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 01:15:25 pm by barky »

barrymossel

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 324
  • RetroPie all the way!

barky

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17
  • I want to build my own arcade controls!
Re: First Cabinet: Kraylix (no experience wood working or paint)
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2018, 09:28:31 am »
https://bulkresizephotos.com/

Thanks for the suggestion, took care of embedding the photos

Malenko

  • KNEEL BEFORE ZODlenko!
  • Trade Count: (+58)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12968
    • forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,142404.msg1475162.html
looks really good. They sell "gun adapters" for rattle cans, so its like squeezing a trigger instead of pushing down a button when painting.
No matter one's station in life, the Dance of Death unites us all.

rave0035

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 70
  • Disassemble First, Ask Questions Later...
looks really good. They sell "gun adapters" for rattle cans, so its like squeezing a trigger instead of pushing down a button when painting.
+1.  These also help keep your coats a little more consistent.  Spraying with cans is an art but it's really useful once you get a technique down.

Nice cab!  Looks good.

Mike
You can't truly know how something works until you've ruined it by taking it apart.

  
 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31