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Author Topic: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!  (Read 23084 times)

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javeryh

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The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #160 on: March 01, 2021, 07:20:10 am »
I built a cabinet years ago with the coin door swinging open like you are doing and it was so hard to get the door just right that I decided to not try it again.  Hinge adjustments didn’t help or if they did then they created gaps where I didn’t want a gap. 

Anyway, I actually thought a lot how to solve this because it was annoying me and I think if I had to do it over I would make the entire front panel a large drawer face.  So I’d have a panel on the bottom to put the PC on attached to the base of the coin door panel with a frame made out of 1.5”x.75” wood strips and FOUR sets of soft close drawer hardware (two on the top and two on the bottom) so the entire thing could slide forward.  Easier to get to the PC, front panel rock solid and no loose wiring. 

Think of it like a cube made out of the wood strips with the coin door panel attached to the front that slides in and out of your cabinet on the hinges.  The cube has no sides, back or top but has a bottom to put the PC on and the front is your coin door panel.  You can reinforce as needed with plywood so the drawer slides have a place to sit.  Put a magnetic catch on the front that you have to press in to make it pop out.

Also, add a thin frame around the opening or at least on the sides so that when the “drawer” is closed there are no gaps on either side (the face of the drawer would close up against the frame).

I hope I’m making sense.


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« Last Edit: March 01, 2021, 07:25:01 am by javeryh »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #161 on: March 03, 2021, 12:54:38 am »
@javery Thanks for the ideas.  :cheers:  I think I follow what you are saying but that's a bit of a large departure from where I'm currently heading with the design. ;) 
Now if I chose my 3rd option to torch it, then I guess it's a possibility.   :blowup:

No other suggestions came in to consider so I ended up going with option 1 and just removing the lower overhang from the door.



Now it works like it's suppose to as a full inset.  I also added on the locks to the back side to help counter act the warp.  It's frustrating but I'm going to have to try using an iron on it with a damp towel and see if I can counter act the warp once I'm ready to laminate.  Given the double wood layers I'm not sure how well it will work.

I think I can make the gaps mostly disappear this way when it's closed.  The gaps all need adjustment yet and change a bit when I move the side frame boards into their proper resting place.  I'm optimistic I can get a decent even gap around all of it.  It's still a bit less than 1/8th of a gap by the hinge which I'm not crazy about but the door is too thick to make the reveal gap any smaller.  I plan on messing around with weather stripping to try to plug up all the gaps around the cabinet in general.  Hoping that does the trick and it won't be so obvious when the cabinet is laminated and has graphics applied.

Next up I need to commit to this lower half design and add another set of threaded inserts to anchor it to the base.  To fix the missing wood panel below the door, once I have everything anchored down and adjusted for optimal gaps, I'll measure that section and cut a new piece that either attaches directly to the base with glue, or I may attempt a half lap joint to connect it to the door frame.  Then I gotta attempt my side lighting panel designs,  Those will be a challenge. Gotta do some tests with plastics and possibly order some too.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 01:07:24 am by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #162 on: March 03, 2021, 05:24:35 pm »
Im sorry its a bit late to be chiming in on your problem,but did you research these sort of surface mount hinges?



You get a sort of slide out of the door before the swing occurs.Maybe could create the clearance from the frame you needed at the bottom.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #163 on: March 05, 2021, 07:49:37 am »
I can tell you are learning a lot on the wood working front from both your write up and seeing your results.  Edges are looking cleaner and pieces are fitting together tighter.  Keep going.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #164 on: March 09, 2021, 04:09:35 pm »
@Lomoverde Thanks for the suggestion.  This is a cool hinge style I didn't know existed.  Looks a bit bigger than euro hinges but it's nice that it doesn't require a cup hole drilled.  Not sure this would have really made much difference with my door style though.  I kinda merged 2 styles and now understand why that didn't work so well.

@Arroyo  :cheers: Thanks bro.  Your build continues to inspire, and that clock is tickin to finish it off ;)


OK so time for a catch up post with a ton of pics.  February here had some pretty cold dips, getting down to around negative 9 a few days.  As such I wasn't willing to try getting much done in my garage so I had to come up with ways to make progress indoors.

This is one advantage to me building this portable and piece by piece in my house.  All the fine detail work and cleanup I can do in the comfort of my basement.

So going back in time a ways, when I first threw on the back panels, there were some alignment issues with the holes I made verses where the threaded inserts were. I basically butchered some holes more than others trying to guess at how to adjust them.  This was also before I bought a round rasp which is much easier to make precise adjustments with than a power drill.

I went out and got a bunch of DAP plastic wood filler for these fixes and turned problems like this:


... turned into putty blobs like this with a nice smooth hole.  I used a drill bit shank to press the hole shapes lightly and held it up against the inserts they needed to align to so the holes would be pretty precise without needing to do a bunch of measuring and redrilling.




Then after some light sanding with 220, it's all better!


Each panel has vents and all of them had issues from the way I made them.  This part ended up being WAY more work than I imagined.  While I never tried it, the only major difference in how I was going about it verses others I've seen on the forum was that I wasn't doing multiple light passes, and I don't have a plunge router to start the holes.
However, I'm now thinking that even though it would have taken a lot longer to adjust the router and do multiple passes with a short bit, it would have been less time and headache than all the sanding and multiple applications of wood filler required.

So we started with small holes made primarily from getting the router started in the hole.


Filled them up and waited a day.


Then sanded them down with sandpaper wrapped around a drill bit shank that I could barely fit in the slots.



The absolute worst of it came when I remade my top panel cover that I screwed up originally.  I hurried and forgot to use a backer board when drilling all my pilot holes.  That added a lot of tear out on the back.
However the worst was a stupid void in the wood that took out a big section in between 2 vent slots.



This one required multiple passes with wood filler but I managed to get it back up to snuff.

Prior to me cutting these final slots, I did learn a bit from my past mistakes and first cut the basic top panel piece with no other details.
Then I took that to the cabinet and made sure it fit proper.  After that I did angle cuts on both sides.  I used the before mentioned method to match the angle on one side that wasn't anything standard (like 19 degrees).  The other was a 45.

Once I made those cuts, I took it back to the cabinet and again made sure everything aligned properly first.  After a bit of sanding and wiggling, I got a pretty good seam.





The last step on those was to mark exactly where the cleets needed to attach once the panel was aligned.  Doing it this way helped insure a proper fit once they were glued on.


Next up I wanted to fix the back middle panel.  This wasn't sitting quite right and again had the challenge of lining up the cleets once I got it where it needed to be.
This panel also will have a hole cut in it with the jig saw and router that will reveal the power button and network jack.  I tried using some small ceramic floor tiles I picked up for less than a buck a piece as small router template edges, and it worked OK, but the double sided tape didn't stick to the surface as well, and they were a bit too easy to accidently crack.




Here's everything re-assembled.  Finally a completed back side and top!  These 12 hex screws for the service panels in the back are the only screws you will see anywhere outside on the cabinet.  If I need to access the marquee area for some reason, simply removing the top panel provides access to 2 more internal screws to easily pop off the top panel over the marquee, or the speaker area.  That's a benefit to using threaded inserts.



I still need to do some work on the base area to smooth it out more and decide if I'm going to try laminating that section or just paint it.


Then I revisited my drawer.  It was having issues rubbing against the bottom frame because of how I built it.  Turns out it's probably a good idea to always leave a gap between the drawer face and the actual drawer bottom.

Even though I could sand it some and get it to not rub, because the drawer isn't sitting absolutely perfect, it can rub in various spots.  Then if you add weight into the drawer, that will cause the bottom to bow ever so slightly and rub more.

Here I added I think 3/16ths of a lip to the bottom.  It's a good thing I decided to use screws to hold on the drawer face!



This adjustment required me to move the slides.  I also swapped holes and instead of using the capsule holes, I just used the circles.  This was because the screws would not grip the thing tight enough to prevent slippage over time.  Using the circle holes made it so even if the screw wasn't super tight, the drawer wouldn't drop any lower.


Once I got that lined up and working nice, then I decided to try using wood filler to fix some of the edge gaps.  This started out looking promising...



To sand these back perfectly straight, I used a square resting on the bottom of the drawer and a hand sand block that ran against the side of the square.


This seemed to work well and I actually got a nice straight edge rebuilt on my door face.



However, when I went to put the door back on the slides, it sticks and requires a bit of force to push it all the back to be fully closed before the slides work properly.  In this process it wasn't perfectly aligned and just enough of the edge I just repaired caught the side panel and broke clean off.



I had mixed results with this dap plastic wood filler.  It seems to want to stick to everything EXCEPT the wood.  Later on I added small drops of water and mixed it up a bit and that seemed to help it stick a little better but then was harder to build up.

Since I was doing all this wood filling, I tried to cover the full cabinet to fix small blemishes.

I covered stuff like the small indent the router made on the speaker holes.


Fixing the blade slip on my bezel cut on the bottom of the speaker panel area.


I also went back with a chisel and cleaned out the channel better than I originally had and sanded it a bit.

I debated molding back the bottom edge that chipped away but ultimately stopped since the wood filler wasn't sticking or forming that well.  Also after the drawer edge result I figured it would break off too easily.
That part I'm going to fix by gluing a piece of hardboard to it.  It will be hidden inside, behind the bezel, so should work fine.


I did pick up bondo as well but was hesitant to try using it for a few reasons.  One was that for situations where humidity swings a lot like outdoors, or my house, I read a big post where someone showed that the bondo doesn't move with the wood, so it eventually can break free.  Wood filler was suppose to flex better with the wood.  No idea how true this is, but bondo also looked a little harder to work with.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 07:28:28 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #165 on: March 09, 2021, 04:54:38 pm »
Eventually we had some warmer days where it was at least more in the 30's so I got back in the garage and rebuilt the coin door after my first screw up.




This, with a little sanding came out to be a pressure tight fit. 

I also noticed the door has a stamp on it.  Kinda cool, showing it's authentic age at 1981.


I added all the side bracing to the back of the door after cutting the coin door hole, making sure it all fit proper before gluing and screwing.  This bracing was necessary mainly because I used 1/2 inch ply on the door and the hinges require more depth for the cups to sit in.  I also though it might help straighten the bow of the door a bit more and help keep it from sagging over time.

Then, after reviewing the Rockler documents for the Blum hinges I got, I measured and used a forstner bit with my portable drill guide to make the holes for the cups on the euro hinges.
It was tricky to get an even surface so I pulled off the rubber feet on the guide.  This made it easier to keep it flush to the ground but made it more prone to slipping.  I used one hand to anchor it down as best I could while drilling.



Here I have the door mounted, with the bottom cut off per my earlier posts so the door is completely inset and closes properly.  I also added on the inside locks.  They are half turn locks so they are very easy to use without seeing them directly.


Lastly I committed to the design for the lower front panel area and added threaded inserts to the base at the front.  These anchor the whole lower half of the panel to help hold it in place and add stability.


For these and my power inlet threaded inserts shown a bit later, I opted to just free hand drill (with taped drill bits for depth gauges) and hand screwed in the insert.  It worked out fine, and was really my only option on the power inlet due to tight spacing.

Below I've got the lower front frame and door anchored to the base, and I also glued on the side angle boards to the front frame making it much stronger.  Then I added the right lower light panel that's just pressure fit as a test.




Next up I redid my power inlet area.  I had a measurement error the first time around so this time I wanted to make sure it came out nice and centered.



Next I needed to add on a cleet so I could anchor this down to the base.  I wanted to keep it removable but still have enough strength so the inlet doesn't move at all when plugging in or pulling out a power cord.


This took some creative clamping to make sure the wood block didn't split as I made the holes.  I used my drill guide on these.

Then I used my jig saw to cut the "T" shape out of it.  This was necessary to make it the right height for the threaded inserts I have, and still have the center point a bit higher for additional support.



Here it is installed.



I still plan on putting an electrical box around it for extra protection since the lower half is an open cabinet area for storage.  Don't want any kiddos getting zapped.

Lastly I polled in some other threads and searched high and low for different mesh options for vents.  The best I could find was an expensive aluminum option with circle holes dye cut out of it.  However based on rough calculations I would have spent around 100 bucks plus shipping to cover all my vents.

That wasn't really worth it to me, but I still wanted an option that would look more complete than an open hole and possibly help keep critters and spiders out.  Jennifer warned me about rabbits....although not sure those are likely to enter my home. ;)  Still I want to pretend this could be a commercial cabinet setting outside or in a big arcade.

What I came up with should work well enough and is FAR more economical.  10 bucks at Lowes in nearly the perfect size and I get 100 feet!


Then I needed to cut a bunch of spacers for the inside covers I'm putting on all the vents.  These have little threaded inserts in them so I can easily remove the inside panel and wipe it down if needed.



Here's what it will kinda look like from inside the cabinet (but picture the hardboard over it).  I'm likely going to use staples to hold down the mesh, and the spacers will be glued on, but I'm debating on waiting to assemble so I can laminate the main board on both sides first.


The hardboard piece will also be laminated on both sides, holes added, and it screws onto those spacers over the vents.  The end result is that you can't see into the machine at all from any angle in the back.  It should also hopefully help collect any dust there instead of getting into the cabinet.

I also did some additional work on logo concepts for the new name and theme for the cabinet.  Not sold on it yet, and trying not to get lost back in art until the cabinet is built, but it served as something I could do when it's too cold out.


That's all for now... hoping to start doing tests on the front light panel areas soon.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2021, 12:51:06 pm by vertexguy »

javeryh

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #166 on: March 09, 2021, 05:22:19 pm »
Wow - lots of details.  That has to be one of the most complex coin doors I've ever seen!  Why didn't you just mount the electrical socket on the back panel instead of inset like you did.  It looks great but seems like a lot of work!   :cheers:

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #167 on: March 12, 2021, 06:04:01 pm »
That has to be one of the most complex coin doors I've ever seen! 

LOL.  Sweet!  I achieved something! ;)  Are you referencing the actual coin door or the door holding the coin door, or the mix of it all?

Why didn't you just mount the electrical socket on the back panel instead of inset like you did.

Glutton for punishment? ;D  I'm doing the same thing with the power switch in the middle area.  I wanted to keep them inset to hide them a little more, and in the case of the power inlet it helps keep the cord end from sticking out a lot and possibly being damaged if shoved too close to a wall.  It also kinda goes with the vent style.  I'm planning on accenting the inner edges of each inset with a blue paint that matches my T-Molding.  I had a concept render of that a little ways back in the thread.  :cheers:
« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 06:04:30 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #168 on: March 12, 2021, 06:38:35 pm »
What I like most about this project thread is your detailed account of your research and your build.  Plenty of pix and a real willingness to keep an open mind.  The lit CP rings, that's something I'm about to re-visit with my RoToron build.  In a world of CNC and 3D printing I love that you are doing these things by hand.  Just a really enjoyable journey here.   :cheers:

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #169 on: March 15, 2021, 03:14:08 pm »
What I like most about this project thread is your detailed account of your research and your build.  Plenty of pix and a real willingness to keep an open mind.  The lit CP rings, that's something I'm about to re-visit with my RoToron build.  In a world of CNC and 3D printing I love that you are doing these things by hand.  Just a really enjoyable journey here.   :cheers:

Thanks,  I really appreciate that!  Wish I had more of your building skills to help me through this project!  Glad to see you're back at your project again too!  :cheers:
 

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #170 on: March 30, 2021, 02:30:25 pm »
Time for a quick update before the months end.  8)

I struggled a bit these past few weeks to make progress.  Some of it is just figuring out the next best step to even take.
 
Then I find I need to refine design detail before I can start cutting wood.  Alignment of things in a precise manner is a big challenge and with some of these details it's becoming more evident that I can't just rely on digital measurements.

I've gone back and forth now with the cabinet to try to figure out how I'm going to align my bezel correctly with the monitor and used cardboard to try to help test things out.  Right away I can see there are differences between the computer and reality for various reasons.
As such I'm having to continue to adapt some things on the fly.

The next step I figured I should take was getting my monitor mounted.  This needs to be in place so I have something real world to align my bezel to and make sure it aligns properly.
For the monitor I wanted to come up with my own mounting design that wouldn't require me buying a TV mount and would make good use of the wood and threaded inserts I have on hand from the project.

One of the benefits I observed to most TV mounts is that they come in 2 parts.  One that connects to the TV, and one that connects to the wall, and then you simply walk the TV to the wall and the 2 parts latch onto each other from the top.
The down side I see is that most of these designs are relying on gravity to keep the TV in place and if your wall were to turn on it's side, the TV would fall off.  That's no good for an arcade machine cabinet where it could be on it's side being moved or worked on.
So I borrowed some of these concepts and created a wooden version that benefits from the 2 part easy install hook concept, but then bolts into place easily from behind so it can't move.

First I designed it all on the computer, printed out my designs, and then made some simple cuts and drilled a few holes.


I just used my jigsaw for these interior cuts.  It turns out that what I thought would be a "standard vesa" hole alignment didn't quite line up to my TV.  I think I messed up and went with inches instead of MM so that didn't help.
I also bought a universal mounting screw kit because I wasn't sure exactly what screw I needed for my TV.  Online research yielded varying results.  Turns out I only got one set included that fit my TV, and the bolts were way longer than I expected.

In an effort to find the right size spacers to make these work, I discovered that my 15mm threaded inserts would work well here.  Those, flipped upside down, and with a washer, turned out to be a perfect solid spacer.  Here's the full thing assembled on the back of the TV.


Now you simply hold the TV from the top and bottom, and walk it straight into the cabinet.  The mounts on the sides below are your target, and you want to be slightly above them so it rests on them.


Once inside the cabinet, the top square blocks on the back of the TV mount sit on top of the cleets on the sides walls of the cabinet, holding the TV in place and allowing you to go around back and make fine tune adjustments.


From the back you add 2 bolts to each side cleet to firmly hold the TV in place.  Now the cabinet should be able to move around any direction as needed without fear of the TV moving.


After doing this I checked the alignment, only to discover a little problem.  Here you can see the top and bottom are not the same distance to the side edge of the cabinet.



It turns out there were a couple things working against me.  First, the mounting spots on the back of the TV were not firm.  The plastic has a little flex to it.  Secondly, the back of the TV wasn't square as I originally thought.
So now I needed to modify my mount to allow for a little more adjustment.  I first thought I might be able to do it from the center plate area, but that idea was flawed.  Then I discovered that the corners of the back center square mount on the TV had the best stability and didn't bow.
I measured to those edges, drilled some holes, and added threaded inserts at each corner.  The idea being that now I simply thread the bolts in as much as needed to push the lower half of the TV back out.  It only needed maybe 1/8th or less adjustment to correct the angle.



Here you can see it mounted from a top down view with focus on one of the new bolts pressing against the bottom corner of the tv mount area to hold it firm and correct the angle.


Problem solved!


Now the hope is if I need to fine tune anything, I have enough adjustment with this design to do it.  If my TV ever changes, I should be able to use this mount, or worst case, just replace the center board.



I've been working on bezel design tweaks after this and realized I should probably get the back of my CP in place first as this is a critical piece to align to.  When finished, I should be able to slide the bezel out when the CP is opened up.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #171 on: August 26, 2021, 06:25:36 pm »
How sad.  I went to reply to my thread for an update and it alerted me that there have been no replies in over 120 days and I should consider starting a new thread.
Has it really been that long?!  Sadly for as much work as I've gotten done the progress isn't feeling nearly as significant as of late.

I've run into new challenges on the wood working front and had to figure out some ways to do repairs and compensate for things.  Did I mention don't use 1/2 inch ply on your project?  Gotta stress that again.  I feel like so many of the issues I ran into would be better if the entire thing was 3/4 " and a high quality wood to minimize chip. 

I've also been banging my head against the wall for many months trying to get a solution that works well for the ring lights around the joysticks and spinner.
That still has me stumped unfortunately.  I can't find a thin enough lighting solution that can also make the shape and be evenly lit and bright.  I also haven't found any other projects that attempted it around a spinner.
 
A big consideration to the solutions I knew from the beginning was how far down each stick is mounted.  I wanted to try to minimize this because I feel that adding a shaft extension will just completely hose the intended feel of the stick, and that's more important to me than a light effect.
This is especially true now that I got my MS Pacman 25th anniversary stick for the 4 ways games and discovered its shaft is even shorter than my other sticks.

Another big factor is I wanted to come up with a universal mount that would allow me to use any stick on the market, is easily changeable, doesn't show bolts, and doesn't effect the top art.  Oh and somehow allows ring lights to work too.

I'm also wondering just how necessary dust covers are with joysticks.  Do they really get gummed up that easily?  If so that still needs to be worked into the equation.

On the plus side I have a bunch of the CP built out now.


However I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.  Let's rewind back to where I left off in my last update and talk through some of the journey.

I was working on bezel alignment details and needed to get at least the back of the control panel in place for me to feel comfortable knowing where to line things up.  So I decided it was time to build out the full CP.



I used a combination of approaches to cut this out.  First rough cutting everything with the jig saw.  Then I used tape to stick pieces under my table edge to make the final smooth cut with the router.


In some cases it was easier to go from the top with a straight template board to trace.



For the inside short angles I used a strip of hardboard with the factory edge for the router to trace.  I marked them with arrows to make it really obvious which side to use.  In retrospect I wish I made them a little wider.
You'll see later that I ended up putting another loose hardboard strip next to these so the router could self balance.  Otherwise it was easier to accidently have some small wobble and mess up the cut.  Fortunately this only happened in one cursed corner.



Here's the mistake.



Fortunately this is easy to fix with wood filler.  Only consideration I can think of here is that if this were an exposed edge, I wouldn't trust the wood filler to keep it intact long if it were a high touch area.  In this case it will be sandwiched between side wall boards so I think it will be OK.



For tight inside 90 degree corners I had to get out my chisel to remove the rounded part the router inevitably leaves.


And I always check everything as much as possible to make sure it's lined up.  Nice and square now.



Here's an example of using an extra piece of hardboard to balance the router on the template.  Doing this for the rest kept me from any additional mistakes.


When done we have the bottom crazy shape for my control panel design.



The next task was figuring out how to make nice clean miter cuts (angled end cuts) so all the side walls lined up flush and securely.  The catch is I need to use the tools I have available.  Around this time I happened to travel back to my home state of South Dakota to visit my Grandpa.
He had a few tools of my dads in his garage that he wanted to get rid of.  I saw this old hand miter saw and decided it was worth keeping.




I remembered using it with my Dad when I was little to make different things.  My hope was that this would make it really easy to get super precise miter cuts and bust out these walls in minutes.

Unfortunately the saw only allows a board a little more than 3 inches tall under it, and all my side walls are taller then that.
So plan B was to use it to make a precision template that I can use against my skill saw like I tried earlier in the project.



I think I had 3 different angles I needed to cut, so I made a few of these. (22.5, 27, 45)


I decided to use some scrap first and see how precise the results were before going all in.  First I had to figure out where to put a fence for the skill saw to ride against to help make a nice straight yet simultaneously angled cut.
This started with me measuring a rough average and taping down a factory cut board for the fence.  Then I adjusted how far out the piece I was cutting needed to sit based on where the blade was hitting.  After a few test cuts I dialed it in and wrote it all down.




There's an important lesson I learned a bit later in this.  When the angle of the cut changes, so does where the blade makes contact!  These 2 pieces of scrap below clearly aren't the same height, but that's not what I cared about.  This was a pretty good test with barely any noticeable seam where the angles meet up.



This is a pile of side pieces to my CP from some time after.  I first ruff cut each piece with the jigsaw, then hit the non angled edges with a straight router template.  It's a lotta work to make a stupid rectangle!


In retrospect I kind of wish I had done all 4 sides.  This may have prevented some measuring mistakes later on.  Who knows...

Next I decided to attach the bottom of the CP to the main cab to make sure all was good there.  This also allowed me to put the back cp wall in place temporarily to see where it was at relative to the bezel.



When installing the inserts for this, I ran into a big problem.  Apparently despite having what I thought was a big enough bit, the top lip on these inserts seems to require a bit more space.  I used an allen wrench and slowly turned them all in, but as you can see, one of the lips completely broke.
This annoyed me to no end as I can't get an allen in there to take it out and replace it now.  I'm also not sure how to keep a new one from breaking.  On the plus side it's internal and never really seen, but I like to make everything correct when I can.

Here it is fully installed.


I ordered a bunch of different plastic from TAP Plastic online.  Ended up spending way too much just for some tests.  Several of the pieces I got were just for lighting tests.  I will say they pack their plastic extremely well for shipping.


On the far right, the white roll is a special LED diffusion plastic wrap.  It was only like 15 bucks so I threw that in the mix.  I tested different distances from the LED and adding multiple layers to get different results.

The rest is a bit hard to see since its still wrapped up but I got a flat black plastic to use in a few spots on the cab.  The big black piece is a new special LED plastic they advertised where the plastic is black but it shows the LEDs really well.
What I found with this is that it's cool if you're going for a look that clearly shows each diode.  Then you don't have to have white plastic to get a bright LED showing through in different colors.  However, the further I pulled the LEDs from it, the diffusion properties didn't seem too great.  I think it's more designed to bring contrast to the emission points.
The strength of the light diminished incredibly fast with only about an inch of distance.  It was possible to get more of a milky wash of color, but it was super dim.

The next 2 big sheets I have are different flavors of their white plastic for lit up signs.  One is more of a cream while the other is a bright white.  Each has a different rating for how much light gets through.

Lastly on the far left is the clear plexi to go over the monitor and bezel area.  Generally speaking they seem to have cut it very precisely.



I test fit it and it's extremely snug.  Maybe a bit too much on the sides as its bowing slightly.  I'm not sure how I will be able to shave a hair from it.  Hoping the router will do a decent job without melting the plastic.  Mine doesn't have a speed control and I don't know if I need a special bit for plexi.

The length I left slightly longer than the design called for.  I'm not sure if I'll need to reduce it any or not.  Right now you can see it's hitting above the back wall of the CP, which is exactly where I want it.  The CP top adds another 3/4" to that and is what will hold it in place on the bottom until you open the CP.  There will be some small edge pieces added to support the plastic from behind as well.

I also picked up an expensive LED ring set off amazon (which are hard to come by for a decent price and time frame with stuff from Ali Express taking months to ship).


I only needed one right now to experiment with and see if it would work for lighting up a circle shape around the joysticks,  Turns out there are more considerations on this solution as well.  The thickness is a hair over 1/8th and then the contacts on it are also on the bottom, which can easily add more than 1/16th to fit wires.
Then with no space to diffuse any of the light before hitting plastic, it's back to compromising a lot of depth on the stick mount for lights.

Now going back to the CP, I needed to come up with a way to connect the side walls.  The design was that the walls hide the bottom edge of the CP so it's one flat surface.  The trouble with this is that means I only have 1/2" of end grain to try to glue walls on.
Everything I've learned so far indicates that ply end grain isn't very strong and you shouldn't screw into it or rely on it for a strong joint.  So that meant I needed to create more internal structure to mount against.

I still had some furring strips and already had bought 1" screws a while back, so I wanted my solution to use these.  Trouble is I needed a way to cut the strips in half length wise and I don't have a table saw.
First I invented this highly sophisticated mount by combining a few clamps to hold the strip.



The idea here is that I'm going to quickly cut them in half using my jig saw.  The cut edge doesn't need to be perfect since that edge will be facing inside the CP.


For shorter pieces I had to get creative with adding support blocks to be able to clamp down on them.


The last step was to pre drill holes for the screws.  I found a counter sink bit and used that on each to compensate for the giant angled head on the screws I have.  It was a good thing too because they all would have split on me if I didn't once I tightened the screws.


By mounting these angled I was able to drill the holes on all the needed sides in one swoop.


A pile of these later and I'm ready to start applying them.  I have to be thoughtful of where these go to give decent support but also not potentially get in the way of the components.  My original design didn't account for any of these supports being needed.

Before I start putting on the supports I measured everything again and found a slight mistake in the CP base.  Somehow I lost an 8th on one of my edges.  So I now needed to come up with a way to fix this blunder.

My first thought was that maybe I could just use wood filler to build up the edge more.  Trouble is, it doesn't have near the strength and there already isn't a lot of support for the CP walls.  I needed strength, so I figured adding wood is the best answer.
After all, the glue supposedly makes a bond stronger than the wood itself.

First I found some scrap that's close to the size I need and I plotted an 8th strip off of it.



Then I needed a way to cut this ultra precisely.  I decided that I would use the skill saw for this to ensure a 90 degree cut.  Using similar methods to making the earlier miter cuts, I adjusted the board I'm cutting under the table until it met up correctly with the blade.
A word of caution with this method though.  It's really easy to be off by a couple hairs from one end to the other, and it can be tricky to make adjustments once things are taped down.
In this case I got lucky and was able to keep it perfectly parallel to the table and make a clean straight cut.




After making the outside cut, I had to readjust everything again to make the inside cut.



The last step required a chisel so I could cut down the length to an exact fit.


Here you can see the added filler piece glued down and clamped.


vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #172 on: August 26, 2021, 06:26:13 pm »
OK so problem solved!  After a day of drying that new piece is on their tight and shouldn't break off with any reasonable efforts.  Now we can get back to the side supports.



Each support is glued down and clamped for a few minutes to help make sure it doesn't shift at all when I add the screws.  Once everything is in place, now I have long wood grain surfaces to glue and screw each wall into, in addition to whatever support the end grain of the CP base might provide.

Next up I need to add my pinball button holes before the walls go up.  For these I wanted to make sure the holes were big enough to accommodate multiple brands of buttons.  The eclipse style buttons I got can fit in smaller holes just fine, but the classic black Happ buttons I got require more space.
So looking back in time I remembered I bought a 1 1/8th paddle bit years ago when I started messing with buttons.  I decided to try using that for these.

What I found was that it didn't seem to do a very clean cut no matter what I tried.  One of the challenges of using the bit is that it has a center point with threads so it screws itself in as it goes.
I thought that might be a good thing but it felt like I was just being forced through each cut and didn't have the adjustment control I had with Forstner bits.  You can't stop and re-approach the cut for instance.  At least not without backing it out entirely.

I think some of these results are driven by the 1/2" ply as well.  My very first use of this bit years back was into MDF to compare different button types and all of those cuts were smooth.



Here you can see the first cuts with a backing board.  The top of the cuts has a lot of chipping.  The back side is just as bad if not worse even with a backing board.

My next idea was to add painters tape to both sides, leaving room for the starting hole it needs.



This maybe helped the top of the cut slightly, but I think it actually made the back side even worse.  The bit stopped cutting when it reached the back tape and took some effort to get to cut through resulting in this.




So now I have a bunch of repair work to do... but it doesn't end here.



First thing I noticed as I started looking at the wall pieces coming together was that for some reason both sides with my pinball buttons weren't fitting quite right.  I remeasured them again and found out that the angle cuts I made on one side of each were wondering off of square.
For this I decided to use a sanding block and slowly work them down to where they needed to be.  This of course creates some other slight imperfections in the surface, but at this point it didn't matter so much since I'll be filling all the corners with wood filler anyway.  So much for my alternate career path installing crown molding in kitchens. ;)



For a lot of the connection points for the walls it was a very tight fit so I needed to use a special angled screw driver bit to get them tightened down.

What started off looking good from the top ends up having a slight issue as it nears the bottom with alignment.


This could be a number of factors from just a bad angle cut, which happened before, to a slight warp or bend in the wood (which I also ran into in a few places).  This resigned me to the fact that I needed to wood fill everywhere.



Above was another blunder.  Apparently one of my side walls was cut about 1/8th too short.  In retrospect I think I should have fixed this before continuing.  Now I have a new repair challenge ahead of me.  Instead I kept going and left it with an 1/8th gap.

Putting all these on required all of my clamps, along with some creative additional blocking to enable it to grab the small braces and hold perfectly in place while I screwed them in.  Once they were screwed, I could remove the clamps, but I opted to keep them on for about an hour for extra strength.



The next problem I had to fix was on the back wall of the CP.  This particular board had some twist in it that I didn't catch right away.  It's very important it lines up perfectly with the back of the cabinet for many reasons, including bezel support, so I needed to correct this warping.

Here you can see it's off square by over 1/8th at the bottom.  This changes depending on where you're at along the board.


By adding thick supports in the back I was able to bend the board back to be square, using clamps and glue on the supports.


Here you can see the supports along the back that now keep the back wall perfectly square.  You can also see a bunch of wood filler all over the place that I need to start sanding down.


The results after sanding on some corners are great.


The button holes are more challenging to keep perfectly round.  I used the wooden end of a rubber mallet and duck taped some fine grit sand paper on it, then slowly worked around the circle shape, checking it by eye frequently to make sure I wasn't getting too much in one spot.




I discovered a new issue on on the right corner.  If I put a little weight on it, the bottom board of the CP bends a bit, and it was enough to crack the joint apart.  I'm not sure why this particular joint is so weak as the opposite side seems strong.  It's almost like maybe I forgot to glue it.  Either way, I need to sand out the joint and re-glue it.
Then I've decided I will need to add some small support pieces to each corner up top as well to ensure they don't split apart over time with people leaning on the CP.  This is where I feel like the 3/4" ply would have helped prevent this, as that really doesn't bend at all.



Lastly we have my cursed problem corner area to solve.  I ended up butchering the small wall for that corner trying to use the power sander on it when it didn't fit right.  So I need to remake that, and figure out how I'm going to patch this 1/8th gap in the corner.
My current thinking is I'll make a 1/8th piece the right height but keep its depth longer so it extends out on both sides to give me some extra to counter the angle it's attaching to.  I'll lube it up with glue and get it so it's just under pressure tight to tap into place.
Then I'll try using a chisel and sanding down the excess sticking out on either end.  The last touch will be wood filler.

So a lot of things done over this period of time, but it doesn't feel like there's a ton of visual progress.  Once I have the remaining sides fixed, I'm going to print out the CP top and make a template for it out of hardboard.  This way if I screw up, I can get new hardboard much cheaper than new 3/4" ply.  Once the template is in place, I should be able to duplicate it with the router pretty quickly.
This will make sure I don't make any human errors trying to plot out the controls as I experienced with my cardboard prototypes, and makes sure that the graphics I make for the top can align perfectly.

I still have a number of things to solve design wise for the CP top as well.  I have hinges that I hope will do the trick, assuming I picked the right type.  But then I need to design a latch system to keep it tightly closed that can be easily unlatched from inside the cab.

Before I put the top on I might use the base to hold up a prototype so I can test out my mount design and maybe come to some sort of epiphany for a way to get my ring lights to work in the setup without compromising significantly on joystick shaft length.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #173 on: August 28, 2021, 06:11:06 pm »
This is a great build thread! I like that you're posting your woodworking missteps and the moves you make to fix them - one of my favourite parts of any woodworking project :)

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #174 on: September 09, 2021, 12:22:46 am »
This is a great build thread! I like that you're posting your woodworking missteps and the moves you make to fix them - one of my favourite parts of any woodworking project :)

Thanks BeastlyBoy!  There's never a shortage of missteps it seems.  :duckhunt

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #175 on: September 09, 2021, 01:32:01 pm »
So I've been racking my brain on joystick mounting and light ring solutions for quite some time now.  I played with several ideas in 3d, but I really need to play with lighting in the real world to figure it out... so it's time for some more physical prototypes!

I was extremely close to giving up on this idea as there seemed to be no great solution without significant compromises.
This is where we left off on this over a year ago.



It wasn't a bad start, but it wasn't what I was hoping for, and there were a lot of compromises with it.

1. I wanted an evenly lit ring with no obvious light sources. (fail)
2. I didn't want to have to compromise significantly on how deep the stick is mounted for a lighting effect. (this compromises shaft length and can make it not feel right.) (fail)
3. I absolutely did not want to use a shaft extender as this will completely change the intended feel of the stick and greatly increase the throw distance. (pass if JLF)
4. I wanted my solution to be able to work with ANY commercially available stick in a universal way. (fail...this was very Sanwa JLF specific)
5. You must be able to change joysticks without ever impacting the CP top / artwork. (pass)
6. No bolts of any kind showing on the surface of the CP. (pass)
7. Ideally no dust washers on the surface of the CP (pass)


First I wanted to test my original idea of simply needing more than 2 LEDs to get around the ring.  If more lights didn't help, then I might as well stop here.
The new plan called for hollowing out a very large section to include room for my new mount design.  First to simulate this, I just cut some scrap 1/2 ply to the correct sizes to make 4 walls.
Then I cut an LED strip to about the right length (was a actually a pixel or two short) and taped it in place with duct tape as a temporary solution.
I put some washers together with tape to simulate the targeted mounting height and set a MS Pacman Mounting Plate on top of it. 
The key here is that the mounting plate has to sit just under the center of the pixels so it doesn't block the light beams.





Then I took a highly sophisticated piece of cardboard, cut a whole through it quickly with a forstner bit, and painted a black area around it with a marker.  I put a black washer in the middle to simulate the ring look I'm after.


This proved to light things much more evenly, and from a distance that works with all the commercial sticks, so it was worth continuing to rack my brain on it.

For fun I put one of my LED ring lights under it instead just to see what it would look like.  This is cool if you like the definitive look of the LEDs.  The plastic diffuses the shape of the LED a little, but it's still a very obvious light source.
There's just no way to get the depth needed to hide the light sources without drastically extending the stick shaft lengths.  Also keep in mind I'm going for an RGB look, so I can't rely on hiding the sources more by color matching the light with the plastic.




Now before we go further I want to stress how hard it is to get a photo of light sources like this to look accurate.  Generally speaking most phone cameras just won't cut it.  There's absolutely no adjustment even in pro settings that I can make to get it to look like it does to the naked eye.

Cameras typically overexpose light sources which makes everything seem like it glows really strong, when in reality it doesn't.  There are also colors (like yellow) that the camera can't even pick up natively.  So as a simple example, my camera shows this looking rather evenly lit.



But this shot is a bit closer to reality after a ton of setting tweaks.  Even here the blue is accented stronger than it really is.  You get stronger / definitive edge highlights in the real world though.




Most of the shots in all this testing are all in a day lit room with lights on.  If it looks decent in that setting, it looks really good in a dimly lit environment and could even be a touch on the bright side.

So knowing there was some promise to this working a bit better, I continued on and fabricated some new washers from the different plastics I bought.

Here's a very important discovery.  For this entire project so far I've relied on a portable drill guide to help me get things more accurate.  However, no matter how hard I tried,
at different points in the project I found things were never lined up quite the way I was expecting.  Sometimes it was great, others not so much.  Turns out that's because there's noticeable play in the drill guide that I can't figure out a way to fix.
The play happens while you try to force the spring down the shaft to make your hole.  There's so much play that you can move the bit a good 8th or more in any direction.

Here we have an attempt to enlarge the center hole to be the right size for larger joystick shafts.  Notice how far off center this came out after all kinds of careful alignment and even a starter puncture hole through tape over the top.



Not gonna cut it.  So next I decided to just eyeball it and go at it free hand.



This came out a lot better than the drill guide, but still isn't quite right and is prone to error.  I also had to start the drill resting on the plastic which caused some noticeable chipping on the inner edge.

Finally I decided to try to make my own simple jig to see if a more accurate cut was possible.  Turns out it was.


I made a huge crosshair on the bottom scrap MDF.  Then I used a 1.5" x 1.5" piece of framing lumber and used the drill guide to make a hole on it's center (which was marked).
Then I erased those marks because the drill guide was off as expected.  Once the hole was made, I created a new cross hair mark centered around the hole I just made.
Then I wrapped it all the way around the board.  This way the lines on the base MDF sheet can touch with these lines for easy alignment.  Lastly I put the plastic piece I wanted to cut visually aligned dead center on
the crosshair lines on the MDF sheet.  Then I stacked the 1.5x1.5 hole guide on top of it and aligned the cross hairs wrapping around that to the cross hairs on the MDF.
I clamped it down on both ends evenly.  I marked a rough depth guide on the drill bit with tape.  Then I stuck the drill in the hole on the top and drilled to the proper depth by hand.



...and the result, so much better!  In retrospect I'm going to put tape over the top of these to hopefully further help reduce edge chipping, and make sure the drill is up to full speed before making contact.



So now I have a method to be far more accurate for precision drilling.

Next I assembled my new mount design into my test control panel. 



I wanted to be able to play with the height a bit on where the metal mounting plate sits under the wood, so to do this I added a bunch of washers directly under it.
Some of this is to compensate for this MDF panel being exactly 3/4" where the plywood panel it will be on will be 1/16th shorter.  This would all be fine except that the bolts I wanted to use for it then became too short.  The final version of this will have the outer bolts running out the other side of the wood with a washer and nut on the end.


That said, just with the bolts tightly screwed into the wood, it was solid.  You can see the same #8 bolts used to mount the joystick to the metal mounting plate. (MS Pacman sized).
The stick I'm using is the MS Pacman stick which I found has a shorter shaft than all the others I've looked at.  I figure if I can make this work good, then everything else will be great.

Here's the underside of the CP it's mounting into. 


I made a dumb mistake by plotting my threaded inserts too far out.   :banghead: Those inserts are only 10mm deep btw.  I didn't want to have to remake everything so I compensated by cutting slots into the wood on the joystick mount.
This meant the hold would be significantly weaker, but it should be good enough for testing.  You can also see I duct taped the LED strip in place and covered the mounting area just to help the reflectivity a bit. 
In the final version I'll probably paint it white or use the same reflective metal tape I plan on using in the marquee area.

Here it is mounted and put together.


You can see the hex bolts and washers on the end just barely having enough surface to grab.  Surprisingly even with all these mistakes compromising its strength, it was still solid with little more than finger tightness everywhere. 
There's zero play in it, so I figure when done correctly it should stay solid over time.

Here it is flipped over and mounted with a couple clamps onto the corner of my actual control panel.


You can see I have 2 different plastic round dust washers under the joystick. 


Right now the concept keeps the black washer close to level with the surface of the rest of the control panel.
I will probably try to make a version that makes the black plastic sit inside the white dust washer so they are all level as well.  This is all dependent on having the perfect sized forstner bit and making a jig that's precise enough.

For now this isn't bad though and I could live with this.  It gives it the white ring look I'm after.  In the next version I'm going to increase the size of the white dust washer a bit so you don't see into the hole at all even when the joystick is pushed full in a direction.
The black plastic is the special black LED plastic I got from tap.  Figured I might as well find a use for it.  It has a nice shiny side to it that looks nice and reflective.



Here I'm playing with a number of things.  The left side is exposed enough where I can reach under it and manipulate the LEDs.  The tape isn't holding them snug enough to the top, and I found if I pushed it up tight I could pretty much double the brightness on the ring.
Another factor is that the right side of the ring doesn't have as many LEDs and is missing 2 right in the center where it's needed most.  That will all be corrected when I split up the strip and deliberately mount LEDs in key spots.

Next I have a couple dark room shots where I'm playing with dropping the mount even lower to try to get the LED centers better aligned.  The more center aligned I can get them with the joystick dust washer, the better the results.  Look at the left side again.


Here where you see a hot spot of light on the left edge it's actually not that white.  It's very brightly colored.  Then it quickly falls off (but not completely).  So even with this over exposed photo you can get the sense that it's basically illuminating about half the thickness of the ring consistently.



Here I adjusted a few more things and changed the color.  Now you can see on the left it's spreading much better, compared to the right that's totally out of alignment (tape failed).


So that's where I've left off so far.  I believe this setup has potential and I can achieve a decent look with it.  Let's check the criteria list again.

1. I wanted an evenly lit ring with no obvious light sources. (pass)
2. I didn't want to have to compromise significantly on how deep the stick is mounted for a lighting effect. (this compromises shaft length and can make it not feel right.) (pass)
3. I absolutely did not want to use a shaft extender as this will completely change the intended feel of the stick and greatly increase the throw distance. (pass)
4. I wanted my solution to be able to work with ANY commercially available stick in a universal way. (pass)
5. You must be able to change joysticks without ever impacting the CP top / artwork. (pass)
6. No bolts of any kind showing on the surface of the CP. (pass)
7. Ideally no dust washers on the surface of the CP (pass)

Overall we're looking good here!  If you wanted to remove the entire stick and swap it with another, you can do it with 8 screws and don't have to touch the E clip on the joystick.  The only exception would be something like a flight stick.
If you wanted to, you could keep all your sticks on my mounting bracket design and get the hot swap down to 4 screws.  All the wires would just need to run to a Dupont or JST connector for quick swapping.
For me I don't anticipate the need for quick swaps.  I just wanted a versatile design so I can try out all the stick types over time and choose my favorites without compromising the CP.

I think this could even work for a servo stick.  It just depends on if it's possible to get LEDs around the servo extension area, and you would need to adjust the routing under the CP in that area.


The remaining challenge is keeping the LEDS exactly where I need them, but ideally not gluing them in place.  I would like the strips to be able to be removed easily for maintenance.
Worst case if I glue it, I need an easy way to break it off without damaging the CP.  The tape on these strips tends to vary in quality and even the 3M stuff has plenty of complaints with it not holding well.
My current thinking was to try to make some sort of pressure pin out of thin metal (like wood staples) to try to hold it in place.  Not sure that will work though.
I might try to make some kind of wooden support brackets that get wedge in there somehow.  Who knows.... love to hear ideas!  My current "LED gutters" are 2/8ths wide by 9/16ths tall.

If I can get it high enough up at the perfect angle, then I'm only compromising about 2/8ths of the joystick shaft, which in my testing on the MS Pacman seems fine.

I believe 1/8th which is a full layer on the ply should be strong enough to not worry about it breaking with the little more than 1/8th gap under the wood before the metal plate.
If it becomes a concern I may add some tiny supports outside the dust washer area and in between where the mounting holes are.

Also if anyone can think of a stick that might not be supported by this mounting bracket let me know!  As far as I can tell it should cover all the common sticks I found to purchase so far.

The last challenge to this is making it all fit in my existing CP layout.  This mount requires a lot more space than I originally designed for.  Most areas will be OK but there are a couple that will present challenges to solve ((player 3 for instance).
Some of this is solved by adjusting the size of the wooden L shaped brackets that attach to the metal plate for specific areas.

Given this solution I am even starting to see a version of this that should work to get the ring light around my spinner.  That will be the next challenge after this one is complete.


 :) Hopefully someone is finding all this information useful.  Let me know if it's helping you in your project!  :)
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 12:23:10 am by vertexguy »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #176 on: September 26, 2021, 10:32:46 pm »
For the past several weeks now I've been trying to solve how I'm going to light up my spinner.  I want it to be in the same style as my joysticks where it visually looks like a ring (circle) shape around it that lights up evenly.

One of the biggest challenges I've been facing is accuracy in making the plastic ring I'm trying to light up.  As I showed in an earlier post, I was able to get the joystick rings drilled out fairly accurately with a jig that I built, but it's not perfect and takes a long time to do.
I tried a similar approach with making the bigger ring needed to go around the spinner.  The challenge here was mainly that I couldn't use a drill bit for the center hole. 

For the spinner it needs a 1 1/8th center hole, so a standard drill bit isn't an option for me.



Try as I might, I kept making lopsided rings.  I tried using a spade bit that had a center point that's like a drill bit.  That didn't work at all.  It just shattered the rings in two every time no matter the speed.
Getting the plastic cores out of the hole saws were becoming increasingly challenging too.  I tried adding WD-40 and wax on the inside rim but it didn't seem to help any.

Finally I decided I needed to get SOMETHING I could work with just to prove out the concept for my spinner mount.  I decided to try making a square instead of a circle, and after a couple tries I got much closer to center.




For some reason keeping a forstner bit dead center is really hard for me, even with jigs.  I have a ton of pictures that can show all the different ideas I tried.  I even filled the center hole in the plastic from the initial hole saw cut with wood filler thinking if the center point has more to grab it will work better.  However no matter the various techniques I tried, it just doesn't come out dead accurate or easy enough to reproduce multiple times.

The good news is there may be hope.  I reached out to Mike A and we are figuring out some options to possibly use his CNC to cut the plastic rings and circles.  That should allow for amazing precision and a look I couldn't achieve on my own.  Then I may be able to bring the rings flush with the surface, which buys 1/8th of additional space for LED diffusion.


With all that out of the way, on to the big reveal! ;)  The concept to mount this seems pretty sound, and my first test actually worked.

Here's the final result of the proof of concept for the lit spinner.






Here's what the mount looks like at the moment.





Similar to my joystick mounts, I made my own bracket to attach it to and used 1 inch hex bolts I have on hand with 10mm threaded inserts going into the top panel.  I originally had a version of this that had the inside inset hole a bit bigger, so I made a custom LED strip that perfectly fit the space.  Rather than remake another I just cut it short and crammed it in to test things out.

The general idea with the mount is that the plastic sits flush against the top panel hole.  I tried doubling the thickness of the plastic so more of the light would be captured off the LED.  It did help some.
I later found that adding a gap and reflecting off a bottom layer may work even a bit better.  I also got reflector tape and tried that on the bottom later and it maybe helped slightly, but nothing significant.

If I don't want any obvious LED hot spots, I can lower the height of where the LEDs are.  The trade off is you get a lot less brightness of color, but more of a milky wash of color across it without hot spots.  I also tried putting a LED ring under it that shines directly up.  Similar result.

If it's right up against the surface, you clearly see each LED hot spot.  The further away you get, it starts to even out.  This is something I can do with a spinner because there's nothing below it in the way.
Joysticks on the other hand are a different challenge.

For a cleaner mount on the spinner, I discovered that 1" PVC pipe fits nicely around it.  So instead of the hardboard piece by the plastic and the cardboard by the nut, I will cut the exact size needed for a tight fit out of PVC.  The whole idea is that you're just lowering the pinch point where the spinner connects to a solid surface.




About the only thing I can think of left to try is fabric layers to try to diffuse the LEDs better.  Otherwise I think this may be as good as I can get it.  That's all for now!

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #177 on: October 01, 2021, 03:35:35 am »
Wow, this thing will survive a storm of apocalyptic proportions. Keep on keeping on! I'm following along with your progress. I'm guessing at this very moment, it's already heavy as it woulda been had you chosen MDF. I'm a CNC programmer, with my own full size CNC machine, and I can give you these tips about MDF. MDF may be heavy, yes. And some have said it won't hold screws well, or you have to buy special screws. MDF doesn't in fact hold screws very well, but it's VERY thirsty, and will soak up ALOT of glue which will have a bond way stronger than a screw could ever produce. When I'm building repro cabs, I glue the parts together, then staple. I've got a 12 year old Space Ace cabinet, that could fall off the back of a truck going down the highway and survive. Not a single screw in it. Only glue and staples. Plus, it mills, and pockets beautifully.

Also, probably 90% of the originals, used MDF on the sides and front, for the smoothness, and low effort to 'finish'. Using ply for the bottoms, back pieces and top, for rigidity.

Anyway, long time lurker, saw your project, and gotta say I'm impressed. I've been watching because you said you had zero skills with cabinetry and your original render was on a very advanced level for a novice. But you're doing it man, so keep it up! By the time you're done with this, you'll be confident in building anything!

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 07:10:51 am by 601 Arcades »
Ms Pacman (All Original)
Galaga (All Original)
WIP Dragon's Lair (Reproduction Cabinet By Me)
WIP Centipede Cabaret (Reproduction Cabinet By Me)

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #178 on: October 04, 2021, 12:25:21 pm »
I'm guessing at this very moment, it's already heavy as it woulda been had you chosen MDF.

It's actually pretty light.  Very easy to move around at the moment.  When I'm totally done I might try to weight it on a scale and see what it clocks in at.

Anyway, long time lurker, saw your project, and gotta say I'm impressed. I've been watching because you said you had zero skills with cabinetry and your original render was on a very advanced level for a novice. But you're doing it man, so keep it up! By the time you're done with this, you'll be confident in building anything!

Hey thanks man.  I really appreciate it!  It's slow going and as I'm sure you've seen, a lot of mistakes get made, but it's all part of the journey.   :cheers:

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #179 on: October 09, 2021, 04:32:26 pm »
Just a quick update for now.

I've been playing around more with the joystick lighting concepts and to help me figure out some final touches on sizes and spacing and such I went back to 3d space.  To achieve the precision needed I'm going to get these laser cut from the acrylic I have with the kind help of Mike A.  I needed to get final measurements on everything for the exact look I want and needed to make sure they will have the flexibility to work with different joystick types.

The basic concept is only slightly modified from my real world test examples.




Now I've added a clear piece of acrylic to be flush with the CP surface and give your hand something to rest on if you're right up close.  The idea is that I will glue these top plastic pieces flush with the CP.  The other pieces are the white and black plastics that come together flush to make the dust washer that sits underneath and illuminates.

I also decided I need a little more help with the light spread on the LEDs to hopefully achieve something close to this.  I should be getting enough strips in today to cover all the controls necessary.  They are 100 pixels per meter instead of the 60 I had been using.  You can go higher, up to 144 or even 150, however I found that the 100 was the only option that kept the width of the strip at 10mm.  Everything else gets wider, and that unfortunately won't work without dropping everything further from the top of the CP.

Now I have to count and measure all the plastic parts I need and do some quick ruff cuts to get it into small sizes to mail off for laser cutting.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 05:17:00 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #180 on: October 09, 2021, 07:07:15 pm »
Awesome stuff.  Glad to see folks finally figuring out the LEDs and not making their cabinet look like a Christmas tree.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #181 on: October 11, 2021, 10:12:30 am »
As a woodworker I am enjoying reading some of your learning process, appreciate you sharing! 

As for joystick mounting I haven't read the entire thread but have you seen paradise arcades universal S joystick adapter plates?
https://paradisearcadeshop.com/collections/paradise-exclusive-products/products/universal-s-adapter-plate
Those allow you to have a lot of mounting flexibility while still retaining original throw length on joysticks, see here for examples:
https://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/mounting_layering.html

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #182 on: Today at 04:24:38 pm »
OK I may need some community opinions to help get me moving on this.  I've been messing around more with size options and introduced bat tops since I now have 2.

There is likely more to consider here than just aesthetics but you can vote just based on that if ya like.



Big Ring (left) or Small Ring(right)

Besides the aesthetic, given where the lights are at relative to the plastic ring they illuminate, I am anticipating different results.  I may likely attempt to make a physical test just to confirm my theory but right now I think that the larger the ring is, the closer the ring is to the actual light source.  This means it should be brighter, and may have a little more energy to push through the plastic in my mind.  Further away will definitely add even more diffusion to the mix, but will likely not be as bright, and there's a question of whether or not the light will fall off too quickly and not illuminate the full plastic shape enough.  Remember I now have more dense LED strips so I should get better diffusion already.

It's a questions of how quickly the light might fall off going through the air, and how much plastic it then tries to go through that may impact how well it illuminates the two options.

What do you guys think?

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #183 on: Today at 04:44:06 pm »
Small ring and ball top is my pick.  I just think ball tops look way better but I’m not a big fighting game fan.

You are crazy by the way… in a good way.

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #184 on: Today at 06:01:07 pm »
Just noticed your approach to light up rings!  Similar to my own Rotoron CP and of course Arroyo's 'The Grid' CP.  I'm using a kind of PVC material in my CP because of its opacity/diffusion qualities.  The more diffusion, the better to get a nice soft even light.  Great work!  Watching.