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Author Topic: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!  (Read 11315 times)

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vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #120 on: December 18, 2020, 11:57:46 pm »
Anyone have any idea how I might go about mounting this network pass thru jack in wood paneling?  I bought this from one of the arcade shops (forget which one) and expected it to be a little more mount friendly then this.  Seems like it was only meant for a 1/32 or less thick metal sheet to fit under the plastic black screw down face plate.  I'm going to have to improvise somehow, and I haven't come up with any great ideas yet.   :banghead:  Worst case I could wedge it in a tight hole and use glue to keep it in place but I'm hoping for something a little more elegant and serviceable.

Any thoughts?



« Last Edit: December 19, 2020, 02:16:29 pm by vertexguy »

Drnick

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #121 on: December 19, 2020, 10:35:00 am »
Small metal sheet :) Probably get away with a 2 inch by 2 inch or something.  If you have an old computer cut a piece from the side panel (As long as it is metal) Then Rout out and inset into wood, couple of small screws and should be good to go.  Or save a lot of hassle and get one of these https://www.thomann.de/gb/seetronic_se8fdyh_61_b_ns_rj45.htm



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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #122 on: December 19, 2020, 11:50:51 am »
Anyone have any idea how I might go about mounting this network pass thru jack in wood paneling?
As Drnick suggests, you can use a piece of sheet metal or you can 3d print something similar to an arcade button-hole plug, but larger and with the three mount holes.

Mounting hole pattern.  (click for full-size)


I bought this from one of the arcade shops (forget which one)
Probably Focus Attack.
https://focusattack.com/neutrik-ne8fdp-rj45-feed-through-black/

Here's a video showing how to mount this feedthru on a plastic panel. (2:15 - 5:25)




Scott

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #123 on: December 20, 2020, 08:23:37 am »
In my Magneto cab I mounted multiple Ethernet/USB/HMDI Neutrik passthroughs in 12mm (1/2") MDF.
Just drill a proper sized hole, and predrill for the two screws. As there is not a lot of clearance between these screws and the hole, you need to be precise/careful.
Anyway, I would suggest to try it out on a piece of scrap first.



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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #124 on: December 20, 2020, 10:21:34 pm »
I think that I am going to try a modular furniture faceplate. They are used for adding ports on desks. I don't have one in hand yet but as far as I understand, you just snap them into your cutout and attach your keystones. I thnk I am going with just hdmi and rj45 for any future updates.

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-49910-SE2-QuickPort-Furniture-Faceplate/dp/B002FYOL2M/
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 11:12:41 pm by PL1 »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #125 on: December 21, 2020, 01:03:09 am »
Thanks for all the ideas and quick feedback!  As edekoning pointed out, he successfully mounted it in 1/2" mdf on his Magneto build, so this should be possible.  Upon closer examination of the part, I'm now wondering what the purpose of the PUSH metal tab / button really is on this pass thru.  As far as I can tell it doesn't do anything with the little plastic tabs on the cat 5 cable so if I don't need to worry about using the push tab I can mount it deeper in about a 1/4 or slightly thicker piece of ply and be fine.  If needed I can find some slightly longer screws so it threads enough into the base.  Unless I find critical purpose to the push tab I should be good.

I'm really hoping to make some massive progress this week before Christmas is here.  The weather looks decent all week.  I did a bunch more detail work in 3d leading up to this week that should help me too.  I still have a few things to figure out but nothing that should keep me from getting this thing upright.  I now have WAY too many hex bolts and threaded inserts of different sizes because I was originally planning on using a lot thicker framing and 3/4" ply everywhere.  Those plans changed over the past year or so, and uh... I guess maybe that confused me. ;D  It could easily have been me misreading something too but either way I ordered 100 bolts that were too long (1 1/2" instead of 1 1/4").  I just got the correct size bolts in today.  On the plus side I was able to find some small M5 hex bolts and threaded inserts that should be perfect for all my smaller service panel areas inside the cabinet and in my gun holster designs.  :)  I also picked up a gallon of satin black paint and Kilz #2 dark primer for all the non laminated surfaces.  Wish me luck...







« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 03:27:19 pm by vertexguy »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #126 on: December 25, 2020, 03:42:32 pm »
Merry Christmas everyone!   :cheers:

My Uncle in law got me a really cool ornament this year that I thought everyone would get a kick out of.



It lights up the screen and marquee and plays a bunch of sounds from the game when you push the start button on the CP.

Turns out there's only a couple different collectable cabinets out there so far.   I might have to collect em all. :)


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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #127 on: December 29, 2020, 10:22:14 pm »
Time for an end of year update!

I can't believe how this past year flew by while at same time dragging on as if trapped in an endless loop of covid hell.  Another words no where near as productive as I had hoped. That said, I have managed to make some good progress in the past few weeks.  If I had maybe another day or so, I think I would have met my goal of having this thing standing up, but between Christmas and running into new challenges and required design changes, here we are.

I've ordered new parts in the last couple weeks, I've built a number of things in 3d, revised designs, and done a fair amount of wood working and assembly.  Let's start from the top...

I hadn't really fully fleshed out the back design yet to full detail.  I needed to figure out how I was going to mount my power inlet, momentary power switch, and (eventually) a network cable pass thru.  I also decided to play around with the visual style of the back a little bit.

Here's the power inlet area.  I decided to recess them so that it's less obvious and hides the cable end a bit more.  It should also be more versatile for maintenance because if the part or the wood it's mounted too ever has an issue, those are easier to replace than the full back panel.



Here you can see how it vertically mounts to the large board I have across the back of the base.



I also experimented a bit with an accent edge color for all my vents and inset areas on the back.  From straight on everything is black, but the more you angle your view the more you see edge color.  This would match the blue T-Molding I plan on using.  Thought this might add an interesting special touch.



Here you see the full back arrangement straight on, so it's all black.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty of vents to keep a good airflow going through the cabinet to not require any fans.  I also wanted to make sure you can't see into the cabinet, so each vent has a 3/4" spacer behind it with a piece of hardboard attached, so it's impossible to see in from any angle while still promoting good airflow.



Lastly, here's some of the new details worked out for the main electrical wall.  I plan on covering all the connection points with hardboard to keep young hands away and still need to design a cover for the back area of the mounted power supply.  I will probably be good with a standard outlet box to cover the back of the main power inlet.



On the right side of the above pic you can see the inner details of the inset side design I added to the front.  There's a long thin strip of hardboard over it in the back to cover the long channel of lights you will see in the front.  I also am playing around with turn locks that I think I may go with that keep the main lower front cabinet door closed.  You can access it through the coin door with the key.  That keeps the front looking more like a traditional arcade with no extra handles and gives me a way to seal it up if I don't want people accessing the inside.  I'm also toying around with a slide out coin catch drawer kinda similar to what Arroyo had in his designs.  Still working out details for that.  I also doubled up most of the wood on the front cabinet area to make it almost 1 inch thick just to reinforce the door areas and some otherwise rather thin long strips (1.5x30) that felt too flimsy and bowed to me if left at only 1/2 inch thick.



Now as far as wood working and assembly goes, I started by reviewing the base.  Turns out there were a few mistakes I needed to correct before I could move on.  The first was on the large board across the back.  I had intended there to be a nice tight joint where long cleets from the side panels would sit into this board.  I clearly was not careful enough on this section because my measurement was off and the cuts were kinda sloppy from the jigsaw.  Pretty sure I let my boys help with some of these cuts...so I'll just blame it on that. ;)  Either way, the holes on both sides needed shifting, so I broke out the chisel set I got a while back and did what I could to widen them out.  It's not that pretty, and is too wide now due to how it was originally cut, but it should be corrected and still has board in front on either side.  If I care enough I might try to pretty it up somehow later on with some covering.

Next up I took my time and carefully mapped out the bottom 4 holes for threaded inserts in my side panels.  These are meant to connect to the base.





These came out ok.  The only major setback was that I couldn't get the inserts to thread in enough to be completely flush with the board.  Not a big deal though because they compress into the pine boards on the base and become flush.  The first side I tested came out great.  Everything actually lined up well and with some subtle adjusting I was able to get the side to stick below the base by exactly 1/16th.  Then I went to test out the other side, and trouble struck hard.



I can't explain this misstep at all.  Clearly I have a line marked where the center of the holes SHOULD be....but this is no where near.  I thought maybe I marked the other side and flipped the board wrong when I attached it, but in looking back at my design, it was suppose to centered, so it wouldn't have made a difference.  Either way, I now had a problem to solve.  Since this was for a part never seen and I didn't want to attempt to rip off that piece of the base and lose a bunch of time redoing it, I decided to try altering the holes manually with a free hand drill approach.



Turning the small hole into a capsule shape wasn't too tough and that would get it where it needed to be.  The harder part was lowering the large inset circle on the other side that the washer and bolt rest on at a specific depth.



This wasn't pretty but through a bunch of side drilling / cutting with different bits I was able to get it just wide enough without messing up the depth much.  Finally I tried assembling it again and was able to get it in the correct position.



The next part is a ton of manual plotting.  This took a lot longer than I had hoped, but it's imperative that everything be as accurate as possible...especially with threaded inserts.  In retrospect I think I would approach this process different next time.  Given the shear number of things to position correctly and total number of inserts, it might be worth printing out a large black and white print and using that to align all the holes quickly.  A step further would be to do this on a piece of hardboard.  Then you would have a nice template to get perfect results on the actual wood you intend on using, and it makes it easier to reproduce the whole cabinet in the future if that's your goal.  Anyway.... in this process I discovered a few mistakes with the sides that I needed to adjust my designs to and roll with.

The first thing with the inserts was plotting out the main side cleats that run up the back of the side panels.  These hold on all of the back, add stability, and hopefully give the side panel a little more protection against warping.  When drilling these and putting in inserts, I discovered it was best if I clamped several boards together on all sides to help keep it from accidently splitting during the process.  This also provided a wider area to rest my drill guide on.






The screws are quick temporary holders while gluing on the side cleats.  I may leave them in or I might just pull em out and fill the holes.

This next section is all the fun and pain I've run into dealing with threaded inserts and accuracy. :)

First a little tip I learned from bperkins.  I used a standard toilet bowl wax ring and lightly rolled the insert on it prior to insertion.  It turns out a little bit goes a long ways, and it definitely helps it go in faster and easier.  It's even easy to remove and reinsert again if needed. ;)



It turns out there's a lot more to these than meets the eye.  Getting them to be the exact depth and perfectly straight is no easy task.  First I measured out where my fully inserted drill bit hit the ground surface I'm drilling into and mark that with the stopper on my drill guide.  Then I use a tiny measuring stick with mm on it and measure down from that point to the depth I need.  In this case I'm using 15mm 1/4-20 inserts.  On the first side panel, I got lucky and apparently went just deep enough to not run into an upcoming issue.  On the second side panel though, I quickly noticed that each insert I added was also adding a noticeable bulge on the other side of the panel.   The real breaking point was when I got to this section by the corner where the CP rests.



This is the repair shot.  It ended up pulling the plywood apart!  The crack wasn't very wide so I tried putting wood glue on some paper and was able to slide it in and try to wipe as much glue in there as possible, and then clamped it over night.  At that point I made the decision that something was clearly wrong and I needed to figure out how to fix all these bulges, so I pulled out all the inserts on the panel.


Here you can see the regular depth required of an insert sitting against 3/4" ply.



There's only about 1/8th left which happens to be the final bottom ply and perhaps a thin veneer coating.  This really doesn't leave much room for error, but it also doesn't explain the bulging and split wood just yet.

Next I used my scrap 3/4" ply to test more holes and try to understand what was really happening here.  With what I thought was the proper depth hole, here's the insert threaded in to sit flush.


Now you can see the resulting bulge I was talking about on the other side, along with lots of cracking between the ply layers.

Here I made it a little bit deeper of a hole first, and in a cleaner section of the wood, and again you can see the bulge and cracking.


Eventually I drilled deep enough where it started cutting thru the other side.


After putting in the insert, here's the result.



So... now we have a new set of problems.  This tiny hole shouldn't be an issue worth attempting to patch given that I'm laminating and it's the size of a pin head, but it's frustrating and if I were painting, this is not acceptable.  It's also not acceptable to be this close to the surface if I'm thinking about inserts on my CP.  I then backed it up by a hair and tested it again.




Finally.  This is more acceptable (although still way too close to the surface....any sanding and a hole would likely surface).

I might have a couple different options to help this situation out.  If I went with the next size down (10mm) threaded inserts that I got for 1/2" sections, and a shorter bolt, it would probably be fine with a shallower hole.  However, then what will I do for the 1/2" areas I need inserts on?



Turns out the drill bit selection I was using will definitely make a difference.  I caught this early on but still don't have the best possible drill bit for the situation.  Notice these 2 bits have different end points.  The left one would cut a good 1/8th away before it starts to get to the actual diameter of the bit.  The one on the right is what I used in all these examples.  Still not ideal.  What I really need is a flat ended bit so I can buy back 1/8th of depth.  After a quick search I found some steel bits that kinda look more like what I need, but I'm not sure how it will handle wood.



You also run into situations where you need to find ways to make level surfaces to drill on.  This wasn't even the worst one.  The top section had 2 holes right next to a cleat so I had to measure the thickness of the cleat plus the hole depth and get it just right where millimeters count.

After I found the depth that didn't make a hole all the way thru, I went back over every hole on the panel and drilled each one more time.  That was just enough and took out all the bulging, and left no holes (although it's still mighty thin).



So here we have 2 completed side panels with all the inserts in place.  There are quite a few...72 in all.  This is as far as I was able to get.  At this point I probably won't be able to get back to the project until the new year.  This feels like a lot of the complex parts though.  A lot of the remaining pieces are rectangles and attaching cleats to those with drill holes for the bolts to pass thru into the inserts on the side panels.  I already have all the primary panels cut to stand it up so it's really just attaching cleats.  Hand drawing all this detail out on the sides revealed some flaws in my measuring, flaws in my cutting, and even flaws in the digital design,  So it's been a back and forth process and I'm trying to roll with the punches as best I can to keep it moving forward.


Shookie

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #128 on: December 30, 2020, 05:08:26 pm »
Good thread and congrats on your progress!  I'm just getting started on my own 4 player system.  Learned a few things from your thread that I want to do... and a few mistakes I want to avoid after reading your trial and error.  I think I might just go with some plastic vents instead of routing parallel slots in multiple places. 

I'll definitely do a cardboard CP layout.... have it drawn out on paper right now.  Mounting everything to cardboard or even thin plywood is a good idea.  Want to "try" and get all of the buttons and joysticks in the best locations.

Looking forward to following along wither progress.

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2021, 11:54:52 pm »
Thanks Shookie.  Its good to hear the thread actually is helping someone rather than just capturing all of my blunders for all time.    ;D. I saw the start of your thread and will be following along.  Prototyping definetly helps!

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #130 on: January 14, 2021, 08:43:10 pm »
Here's a little progress update!  There's lots more detail to share on this that will come in a later post.  For now, after a lot of challenges, it finally stands!





« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 08:56:03 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #131 on: January 16, 2021, 10:45:30 pm »
Congrats on getting her standing.  When you havenít done any wood working itís hard to understand what an accomplishment this is.  I know this is your first foray into the hobby so kudos for sticking with it.  Keep going, Iím curious to see where this takes you

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #132 on: Yesterday at 01:46:03 pm »
@Arroyo  Thanks man!  It really does inspire to get it standing and be able to focus more on adding pieces to it.  Now that you're getting back to your build I have more inspiration to look forward to as well.  :cheers:


Here's a bit of a backtrack to cover everything leading up to my last update, and beyond.

Getting this thing upright meant I needed to get a LOT of cleats in place.  Rather than do all this precision drilling outside in my cold garage, I try to setup shop in my basement whenever possible.  Here you can see I used a few existing cleats to wedge the one I'm working on into the middle with some speed clamps.  I also had some scrap MDF underneath to drill into so the back of the hole didn't blow out as I drilled.



I got pretty good at being very precise with my hole making having to create so many of these.  The downside to this is that ultimately I learned you still need a little more flexibility in some places then planned.  In a few places I needed to widen these holes by up to 1/8th or so to achieve correct alignment.  Ultimately this is the best way to have that flexibility since the insert itself isn't going anywhere.

Of course this process made a lot of sawdust with each hole, so I made sure I had my old basement vacuum next to me to suck it all up after each hole.  This kept the basement clean and maintained a happy wife.  :)



Once I had all the cleats made, I attached them all to the sides to test them out.  Since I had plotted everything on the side panels, it was really easy to see where the cross sections should align to the cleets.



After all this I was excited to start piecing stuff together and see it stand.  Here's where I made a very simple but critical mistake...



I accidentally grabbed the wrong bolts box.  Originally I ordered bolts that were too long (1.5 inches) and what I really ended up needing for most of the cab was 1.25.  For some reason I though I still needed the longer bolts to attach my base to the sides.  This was unfortunately NOT the case....  I didn't realize this was happening until I was able to flip the base to attach the other size, so it was too little too late.  I quickly removed the bolts at this point and put clamps over the damaged area to smooth it back out.  This seemed to work OK, and given that I'm laminating, I'm hoping that addition will be enough to cover these flaws and keep the hole area flat.

After this mess, I moved those 1.5" bolts to a different location to help prevent me from accidentally grabbing them again, and labeled my 1.25 bolt boxes more distinctly.

I also did more work on the back panels before I could stand it up.  It turned out that my insert placement on one side was off and instead of checking first on the real deal, I went by the computer measurements.  This was another big mistake as I ended up drilling large holes around the edges of the panels that didn't align to anything.  My hope here is that I can patch these up with wood filler, marking where the holes really should be, and then re-drill them once the filler hardens, and sand it down to match the wood.

Somehow I also made a mistake on the placement of the vents on my top panel.  Instead of redoing everything over this mistake, I decided to modify my layout and keep those vents where they were.  There also seems to be some subtle alignment issues with the panels that I still need to address where it isn't completely square.  This is why the back middle section panel is still not attached.  I went to put it on and realized it wasn't fitting properly.  I also need some gap to be able to easily remove my service panels, but I don't like that it creates obvious cracks in back.  This will be an issue to contend with in several places of the cabinet, so I need to figure something out.  Right now my idea was to either use some thick felt, or perhaps hardboard and create a lip on the inside of the panels to cover the gaps.

Moving along I also added the holes for the "handles" on the back that several machines seemed to be adding as a convenience for moving them around.  The search for these things showed there were very limited options on where you can buy them.  I also had some strange naming results as the place I ended up getting them from on eBay was calling them "handle bars".



I found some really small hex bolts on amazon that I intend on using in several places around the cab.  I had to make the hole ever so slightly bigger to fit, but it worked well and keeps a consistent look.


I also went searching for black carriage bolts at local stores and that proved to be a wild goose chase.  I went out of my way to a far Home Depot that showed it had some in stock only to find out they really didn't.  At that point I decided to just grab regular bolts and spray paint them.



I will likely hit them with another coat to really get the edges better, but considering my coin door has wear and tear in places, this should blend right in.  My main concern is if it ends up scratching off easily.  Hopefully not... my only alternative seems to be ordering online in much higher quantities.

Along the way of working on stuff I started getting more familiar with the router and some techniques to help get perfectly straight edges.



Here I'm using the factory straight edges on each of the hardboard templates I had made to form the edges of the rectangle I wanted to cut out for the power inlet on the back panel.  With a flush trim bit this was dirt simple with the double stick tape and resulted in the rounded edge corner I was after to tie in with the capsule shaped vent holes.  Once I got comfortable with this I started using the router to make perfectly straight cuts along the edges of every board I was making.  This is time consuming to setup, but the end result is perfect.  I bought a few boards and even some cheap floor tiles to act as quick templates I can setup and use for faster setup and better edges.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 02:01:18 pm by vertexguy »

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #133 on: Yesterday at 01:51:14 pm »
Next up I decided to take on the light box that holds the marquee up top.  I went out and bought some tin duct repair tape to line the inside to help bounce the light around.   I was hoping to find something even more reflective as this seems to be no better than aluminum wrap you would use in the kitchen.  For now I'm hoping it's sufficient and actually helps, as I plan on using it in several places on the cabinet to help diffuse the lighting.

My light box design required a few cuts with the router beyond just making nice straight edges. 



First I lined up where I needed to make my cut, which when finished will basically be a rabbet joint.  This channel is needed to make a space for my black metal corner molding pieces that hold the marquee in place.  It's only about 1/16th tall and I think roughly 3/4" deep.  I started by testing the depth of the router on some scrap wood.  I like this method vs just relying on a measurement alone.  It avoids unwelcome surprises!



Next I simply ran the router along my fence (just a factory cut board with a perfect edge) and made the start of the channel.  Since I'm using 1/2" bits, I then needed to move the board closer to the fence to finish the channel.



Just for fun once the cut was complete I then measured to verify my depth was correct again.



I then had to make another channel on the opposite side of the board to create the groove that will hold the plexi glass / marquee once the metal corner molding is attached.  This was a 3/16" square cut if memory serves.  Here you can see the end result with the finished edge for the bottom piece of the light box.



The top panel has a similar channeling but I opted not to channel out the top where the metal sits just to save a little time.  I think I'm OK with a subtle lip facing backwards on the top of the cabinet, and the laminate will end up adding height so that lip will be something like 1/32".  If when I get to that point I change my mind, it shouldn't be hard to route it out and make it flush.

Here it is all assembled on the cabinet.



Another cool thing was that my parents were visiting for the first time in about a year.  I was able to convince my dad to make a few cuts with the router.  He wasn't willing to try anything that wasn't a guided cut.  Still, now I can truly say he helped in building this cabinet.  :)  He used to make a lot of things when I was growing up, including building a giant workshop / shed in our back yard, and making me a massive tree house with a giant staircase.  He definitely has woodworking skills, but it's been so long he's forgotten a lot too.  He said he's never tried doing something this precise before.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 02:45:52 pm by vertexguy »

vertexguy

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Re: The Kline's Arcade - 4 player - first build, help needed!
« Reply #134 on: Yesterday at 01:52:39 pm »
One new thing I had to get right to complete this was how to make precise angle cuts.  I'll have a bunch more of these all over the cab, especially in the CP side walls, so it's important I figure it out.  I also don't have a miter saw so I need a solution with the skill saw I have.  The other problem I ran into is that for whatever reason, I just can't get the protractor tool in 3d Studio Max to work correctly.  After spending way too much time wrestling with it, I opted to find these angles another way.  What I ended up doing was taking measurements of the 2 angled edges on the board, and the depth of the board.  Then I carefully measured that out and drew it on some scrap wood.

I then extended the angled line so I could make a nice wedge block from the wood.



I used the router to make the cut along the line so it would be as perfectly straight as possible.  I also needed to make sure I had a factory edge to square it up against on my scrap wood.



This created a nice jig that I can set right up against the bottom of the saw and move the angle of the blade until it rests perfectly against it.



I never did figure out what the exact degree was for this cut, but it wasn't anything that was easily set on the saw.  Maybe there's a better way to figure this out or force more standard angle cuts to be used, but this is where I landed.

Next I aligned the saw on the board I was cutting to put the top of the blade right on my cut line.  I then marked where the edge of the saw base / sled was at and made a fence for it to follow.  I measured and made sure both ends aligned perfectly.  I also noted that different angle cuts will have different distances to the fence.  I'm guessing this is just because of where the pivot point is on my saw.



After setting the saw against the fence, I did a short cut in to double check things looked ok before ruining my entire board.  All checked out, so away I went.



The result is a perfect match to the angle I needed.  This particular angle cut goes on the top back panel for the lightbox that will meet up with another angled panel with vents.  This was the panel I first tried making my vents on and messed up, so I still need to remake it.  This time, I'm going to do the angle cuts FIRST and make sure everything fits properly before I do the detailed vent cuts.  At least now with my templates, the vents come out consistent.

The next angle cut was a little more standard at 45 degrees.  My speaker panel needs these to line up correctly.  So again I used the same technique but didn't bother with a jig since the saw has a 45 degree line on it.



This panel required something a little more tricky beyond the 45 angle cuts though.  This next part didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped, so I will be revisiting it at a later point to try to fix it.  The bottom section of my speaker panel needs a specific angle cut in it at a specific depth to serve as the top notch to hold my bezel in place.  I wanted to make it serviceable and not have any visible screws.  The idea is that by opening the control panel top, it allows the bezel to slide out if desired.  With the control panel shut it can't move.  This way I can clean the inside of the glass on the bezel and / or the TV when needed.  I remembered reading older posts a long time ago where people had complained that they didn't make their bezel easily removed so cleaning was an issue.

Anyway, my idea for this channel kind of worked but had some problems to address.



I used the same method to find the angle and create a jig to go against the saw blade.  Then I made the first cut.  This was the first mistake.  I should have done this channel before making the edge 45 cuts.  Then maybe it would have faired a little better with more support?  As you can see, the top edge chipped away in several places along the cut.  This screws up the tiny channel to hold the bezel.  At least it's on the back side that isn't seen, so now I'm left with coming up with a way to fix it.  My current thought is to cut a strip of hardboard and glue it along the 45 edge to extend it up to the correct height.  That will at least create a tiny solid edge the bezel can rest against.  If anyone has better ideas, I'm always open to input!

Then I continued along making the same angle cut but at the other end.



This part seemed easy enough.  Then I would just offset my fence in 1/8th increments to remove the middle.  This part didn't work out as smoothly as I had hoped though.  Somehow I got off in a few places.  The top cut near the speaker hole edge now has a lumpy break in it that I need to fix.  Fortunately I caught it early on instead of going over the entire board.  I think I must have lifted the saw a little to make this happen.   



I cleaned up the channel with a chisel.  This worked fairly well and I wonder if I would have been better off just making a single cut down the middle and chiseling out the channel from there.  I am also debating taking a router to it given that it's exactly 1/4" wide.  I can't get the angles, but I can clean out the center area perfectly that way.  I'm hoping some wood filler will rebuild that upper edge and with the laminate over the top it will look fine.

Here's the speaker panel mounted.


All these cleat connections with threaded inserts add time to the process as well.  For each one I have to carefully map where it goes on the board it holds.  For this process,  rather than relying on the computer measurements, I'm using the real cabinet, holding the piece up where it should go, and making pencil marks to align the cleats.  This way I account for any mistakes I may have made along the way that would impact alignment.  Again I also find that I'm having to go back and adjust the holes on the cleats slightly to buy maybe 1/16th wiggle room to get things sitting exactly where they should be.  This is why having washers with these bolts is key to allow you some flexibility for adjustment.  I then have to glue and clamp them on and wait 24 hours before stressing the joint any based on everything I've read.  These are just weak butt joints, so I don't really want to risk them becoming any weaker by shortcutting.

As I go I'm trying to build out the front as much as possible.  Next areas of focus are below the CP, which has a ton of complexity.  I need to build the drawer which is probably my next piece, and then move on to the coin door, larger cabinet door, and side light panels.  I've already run into challenges with the front cabinet because of the hinges.  I didn't realize just how big and deep these things are and I'm not sure they will work well with a 1/4" cabinet door.  At the same time I haven't fully figured out how to mount them correctly and what door thickness the hinges require.  Apparently this is a factor I hadn't considered in my original designs.  The cup depth on the inset euro hinges is extremely close to 1/4".  Maybe even slightly over.  Thus the hinges are kind of dictating how thick the door panel must be.  It all seems to be pushing me back to 3/4", which I was originally avoiding to lighten the cab a bit. :(  Now that all my cleats are in place, I also have to work with where those sit.  So it's a bit of a design conundrum.  I'm not sure if I can only add depth to the door where the cup hole goes and still have it open correctly, or what to do yet...  Given my design I figured I needed inset face frame hinges, so that's what I have.  Given the weight of the door with the coin door attached and coin box full of coins, I need at least 3 hinges.  I have 4 so we're good there.  I've been digging through stuff on the Blum hinge site and looking at a few videos but so far no specific answers   :dunno 

Until I figure out the hinges, I'm stuck from moving forward on the front.  I can move on the drawer though, so I'll probably do that in the mean time.  I'm also nervous about the light panels because they are all glued to the front section.  If I mess that up it will be difficult to remove it and start again.  So I will probably have to cut those and get them perfect before I can actually complete the front section.  I was aiming for the light panels (plastic) being flush with the wood, so that means precision cutting the holes and the plexi that goes in them.  Not sure how I'm gonna do that yet...
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 01:58:07 pm by vertexguy »