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Author Topic: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions  (Read 1195 times)

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destial

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Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« on: August 03, 2020, 04:24:03 am »
Sorry if this should have gone into the project threads just didn't feel like it was quite to that point yet.

Like several others I've been wanting to build a cab. Shocker I know. Got the greenlight from the wife  :cheers: but with some strict and ... odd requirements. I've got a rough idea of what I want to do and how to make it meet her criteria, even purchased the PC hardware to make sure I can't back out completely, but I've got a few things that I'm still unsure of and want to make sure I'm not going too crazy with the ideas as well.

So the basic rundown after running through designs/plans with the wife (thank you all for posting your build logs) I've got permission to build two cabinets with the following restrictions.

Restrictions for Cab 1 (Basically the wife's):
Must be usable as a coffee table...
Must be usable for table top D&D maps....  :banghead:
Has to have pinball
Has to have wood covers for the CPs and Glass top to prevent damage
Width: 30 - 35 inches
Length: 55 - 60 inches
Height: 24 - 30 inches
4 player in case our daughters want to play

That is a lot of real estate and the D&D map software I put together takes a second screen for the dungeon master so I either have to accomodate that or start fighting with changing the software to work with one monitor.

I was thinking if I went with the two monitor approach I could put in some some sort of hinge/lift that would alllow the second monitor to be used as the backglass for the pinball and I could find some use for it in other scenarios while it's flat. Control schemes, marquee.. as odd as that is in a cocktail style cabinet. The only thing that annoys me with that idea is if there are actually four players one of them is going to be looking over that second monitor and upside down to boot. Would love feedback on any other drawbacks that I should watch out for like leg space as well. I've tried to read through the relevant forum posts but with the site search broken I've been stuck using google site search to try to hunt them down so might have missed some :dunno

Restrictions for Cabinet 2:
All gaming systems must be removed from the bedroom
Has to be showcase/pedastal style with seats  :censored:
Has to be able to be broken down into pieces that can easily be moved (fair enough we have some nasty front stairs on our porch)
Max width: 60 inches
Max height: 72 inches
Max depth: 68 inches

She gave me lots of space to work with but that's in exchange for my VR play area  :cry: so going to have to make this worth it.

Since I don't get dedicated cabs I was wondering if there was a database/list of controls used per game so I could sort through what I really want control wise.
I'm kind of torn on 4p for this because I see it being used more than the coffee table anybody have any pros/cons on doing a 4p showcase style vs. a 2p with usb for player 3/4?

For me personally I'd be aiming for three main genres (fighting, racing, shooting/lightgun) but don't want to lock myself out of the occassional tron spree or some of the other games with custom controls. That said I really don't think I'm up for managing modular control panels either, seems like I'd just avoid those games which also seems to be the general concensus. Are there any real downsides to just having usb plugins for those controls, for example the tron stick, or a second spinner (forgotten worlds) other than losing some of the authentic feel? I would like to keep the control panel as clean as possible.

What I'm thinking currently for this one is a 3 piece showcase style at a slightly lower height since it has to have "seats". Control panel is on wheels and detachable, and then an open racing rig that can be folded up, maybe to make the seats? No idea how I would accomplish the folding into seats quite yet but one can dream ;D Please bash me over the head if I'm over-reaching what's reasonably accomplishable by a novice.

The current state of the lightguns has me torn between ordering the sinden and waiting until November or buillding the DIY aimtrak with the 4 IR sensors can't remember the name of it now, but would welcome any kind of intermediate suggestions since I would really want to see the sinden light gun in action, the idea of the border has me pausing even though I understand the why.

I can handle pretty much anything programming wise, and can do basic electronics so I'm not too worried on that end. But I have absolutely no woodworking skills, luckily the wife actually has some and while she's offered to help. I actually would like to pick up some so I can feel like I at least worked on my cabinet even if she handles hers. Any suggestions outside of Saint's book and the links on the site for going from barely knowing the visual difference in a circular saw and a jigsaw to at least having an idea of what tool to use for each type of cut?

Last two questions, I swear. After reading through the book Saint recommended MDO but most users here seem to recommend plywood but most actually use MDF... Is this just because of cost/finish aspects and the preferred is MDO->Plywood->MDF or are there some types of plywood that seem to do better than MDO for specific aspects like durability?

Finally, I plan on posting build logs but am going to need to work on these simultaneously so the wife can't start backtracking after hers is done, would one or two build threads be preferred?

And for anybody that's made it through this giant wall of text thank you :notworthy:

CitznFish

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2020, 01:37:45 pm »
Option 3: get a new wife.


JK! Good luck with the project. The cocktail cabinet sounds like it will be interesting and fool if you can get that 2nd monitor to act like a pinball backglass
Everyone has the right to be stupid. Some just abuse the privilege.

Mike A

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 01:55:19 pm »
This is a giant ---smurfing--- mess.

None of this will work out at all and it will end in frustration.

You need to focus on building one cab that isn't a coffee table that does laundry and bakes cakes.

You say you have no woodworking skills. You MUST simplify.

bperkins01

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 02:39:09 pm »
You are in the territory of swallowing an elephant.
You're likely going to here something on this theme:  a Swiss army knife isn't good at anything, but it does have everything... 

I won't tell you to set your sights lower, I never tell myself I can't do something I set my mind too...   however ... I recommend learning to use Sketchup and create a full set of plans before purchasing materials.. 
Its pretty easy to conceive an Escher print..  it's impossible to actually build it..

I consider myself an advanced woodworker and I wouldn't bite off what you are looking to do.
Check my link - I created a full set of plans for my Mame cabinet - you want to have detailed designs at that level so you know what you are doing will actually exist in 3 dimensions.
Good luck!
My Arcade Cabinet Build and other projects here:
Centipede, Joust, Joust Cocktail, Asteroids, Galaga, Ms. Pacman Cabaret, Defender, Space Invaders Cocktail
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

PL1

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 02:42:11 pm »
I hope you can trim your gamelists and controls enough to make these two builds manageable and avoid getting into Frankenpanel territory.   >:D

Restrictions for Cab 1 (Basically the wife's):
Must be usable as a coffee table...
Must be usable for table top D&D maps....  :banghead:
Has to have pinball
Has to have wood covers for the CPs and Glass top to prevent damage
Width: 30 - 35 inches
Length: 55 - 60 inches
Height: 24 - 30 inches
4 player in case our daughters want to play

That is a lot of real estate and the D&D map software I put together takes a second screen for the dungeon master so I either have to accomodate that or start fighting with changing the software to work with one monitor.

I was thinking if I went with the two monitor approach I could put in some some sort of hinge/lift that would alllow the second monitor to be used as the backglass for the pinball and I could find some use for it in other scenarios while it's flat.
How about a lift mechanism with pulleys and drawer slides that raises a frame containing the backglass monitor?
- Add a latching Z-axis pivot mechanism within the frame so the backglass can either face the pinball playfield or face the other direction for DM mode.



Threads with somewhat related ideas:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,121454.msg1288560.html#msg1288560
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,130727.msg1342110.html#msg1342110

I was wondering if there was a database/list of controls used per game so I could sort through what I really want control wise.
I'm kind of torn on 4p for this because I see it being used more than the coffee table anybody have any pros/cons on doing a 4p showcase style vs. a 2p with usb for player 3/4?
If you haven't already done so, read through the FAQ, especially step 2 of What type of build meets my needs?
- There are links to game lists in there.
- If the link is broken, change "newwiki" to "wiki" in the URL. i.e. change http://newwiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=Multi-Player_Games to http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=Multi-Player_Games   :embarassed:

ProgettoEmma allows you to search by controls, but it's . . . not exactly perfect.   ::)

I plan on posting build logs but am going to need to work on these simultaneously so the wife can't start backtracking after hers is done, would one or two build threads be preferred?
It will be easier for readers to follow if you keep them separate and they might be interested in one, but not the other.

Also, strongly consider uploading your build pics to the stickied "Not a Project" thread in Project Announcements.
- Lots of build threads are now almost useless because something changed with the account or at the site that hosted the pics.   :banghead:


Scott

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 05:03:36 pm »


I'm going to have to agree, you should pass on this project, if those are hard requirements.

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 05:53:37 pm »
Man option 3 is really looking good.   It's obvious you aren't happy at all with the restrictions.  I suggest you man up and build them the way you want.  I'm not trying to start a fight in your household or anything but if you aren't happy with just the idea of what they'll have to be then you certainly aren't going to be ok with them once finished.  I mean from a practical standpoint  you really shouldn't do the things she's wanting you to do. 

Just a few random thoughts:

It sounds like  cabinet 1 is supposed to be a 4 player cocktail.  If you are fine with the very, very limited selection of games that are 4 player and cocktail then I guess that's fine but most of those are specialty cabs... either a spinner on each side (warlords) or a steering wheel on each side.  I mean you can make a cocktail with two players on two sides but it's either going to be cramped or have a puny monitor dwarfed by the large 2 player control panels on each side. 

Those dimensions are too large for a cocktail.... I think they'd be even larger than the goofy Japanese cocktails with the vertical control panels. 

We just had a discussion about control panel heights.  Some people have issues sitting in chairs if they are too short or too tall.  Since you have kids someone is going to have a hard time.  A proper stand up height control panel with adjustable bar stools or an old fashioned milk crate for the kids to stand on would work better. 

A modular cabinet that's easy to move is fine... lots of people build them that way but the thing is you shouldn't be moving your cabinet around a lot as bumps and such are bad for electronics. 


I'll also just say that if you are more into modern games you are probably going to miss that VR setup.... you can play mame and stuff on a regular gamepad but you still need room for vr. 

About the USB stuff..... yes you can plug in usb controls and in theory they should work just fine but keep in mind that most front-ends and emulators won't let you hot swap controls so you'd need a set of always plugged in controls for the menus and such and when using external usb stuff you'd have to plug it in while in the front-end prior to launching the game.  The other issue is windows often mixes up multiple usb devices so the order gets out of whack.  There are some methods to fix this but none of them are fool proof.  In a perfect world you don't have multiple usb controls plugged into a cab at once. 

destial

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 06:06:38 pm »
This is a giant ---smurfing--- mess.

Alright that's fair, and I'm personallly up for simplifying, part of why I posted was for feedback, I've read enough of the forums not to dismiss your posts outright but that's a bit too general to be useful for me.

For cab 1, I'm guessing it's the liftable second monitor and the wood covering that push it over the edge for you? Outside of that it seems like an extended cocktail, having dedicated machines would be nice but I'm mostly stuck within the parameters I have to work with, so want to do the best I can while not overreaching too far.

For cab 2, if I start with a showcase base plan I don't see that I'm doing anything crazy here other than showcase style machines being behemoths in their own right. I don't want a franken panel and am more likely to give up on games that I can't support easily, just want to realistically weight the pros/cons before I plan out the games. The foldable racing rig was more of a day dream, will probably just buy one of the collapsible ones.

If I'm not rushing and handle one aspect at a time, computer, electronics, wood working, assembly, etc.. is there a specific reason not to work on two cabs? Seriouslly listening not being glib, please enlighten the noob ;D I do expect this to be a very frustrating but rewarding adventure. And it's more about having something that I've built and love than anything else but I do want to be able to take pride in it when I'm finished.

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2020, 06:21:53 pm »
I'm finding I'm agreeing with Mike more and more.  Weird.

destial

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2020, 06:23:50 pm »
You are in the territory of swallowing an elephant.
You're likely going to here something on this theme:  a Swiss army knife isn't good at anything, but it does have everything... 

I won't tell you to set your sights lower, I never tell myself I can't do something I set my mind too...   however ... I recommend learning to use Sketchup and create a full set of plans before purchasing materials.. 
Its pretty easy to conceive an Escher print..  it's impossible to actually build it..

I consider myself an advanced woodworker and I wouldn't bite off what you are looking to do.
Check my link - I created a full set of plans for my Mame cabinet - you want to have detailed designs at that level so you know what you are doing will actually exist in 3 dimensions.
Good luck!

I've fired up fusion 360 but I'm a bit rusty, it's been a few years since I've modeled anything at all and then it was maya so.. working on it but it's progressing slowly. Figure I'll be at that for quite a while especially if I'm iterating properly.

The first cab is the one that concerns me, I think I may grab some of my monitors and see if it's even usable for the 4th player. I've started thinking maybe it would be worth it just to mount a 3d printed case for an hdmi cable when the second monitor is needed but not really feeling that either...

Is it just the coffee table one that you would avoid or is there something about the second cab that would be daunting as well?

destial

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2020, 06:38:41 pm »
I hope you can trim your gamelists and controls enough to make these two builds manageable and avoid getting into Frankenpanel territory.   >:D

Yeah definitely need to keep the games limited, The closer to a standard 4player with a trackball and maybe a spinner I can keep it the better.

How about a lift mechanism with pulleys and drawer slides that raises a frame containing the backglass monitor?
- Add a latching Z-axis pivot mechanism within the frame so the backglass can either face the pinball playfield or face the other direction for DM mode.



Threads with somewhat related ideas:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,121454.msg1288560.html#msg1288560
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,130727.msg1342110.html#msg1342110

I kind of like that, originally was going to just use a screen for the DM.

If you haven't already done so, read through the FAQ, especially step 2 of What type of build meets my needs?
- There are links to game lists in there.
- If the link is broken, change "newwiki" to "wiki" in the URL. i.e. change http://newwiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=Multi-Player_Games to http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?title=Multi-Player_Games   :embarassed:

ProgettoEmma allows you to search by controls, but it's . . . not exactly perfect.   ::)

Thanks not perfect is ok, at least it gives me something to go on, just being able to filter down the list to scan through should be good  8)

It will be easier for readers to follow if you keep them separate and they might be interested in one, but not the other.

Also, strongly consider uploading your build pics to the stickied "Not a Project" thread in Project Announcements.
- Lots of build threads are now almost useless because something changed with the account or at the site that hosted the pics.   :banghead:
Scott

Will do, there were a lot of older build threads that I really wanted see pictures on, so down for not adding to that issue.

destial

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2020, 06:53:13 pm »
Man option 3 is really looking good.   It's obvious you aren't happy at all with the restrictions.  I suggest you man up and build them the way you want.  I'm not trying to start a fight in your household or anything but if you aren't happy with just the idea of what they'll have to be then you certainly aren't going to be ok with them once finished.  I mean from a practical standpoint  you really shouldn't do the things she's wanting you to do. 

Just a few random thoughts:

It sounds like  cabinet 1 is supposed to be a 4 player cocktail.  If you are fine with the very, very limited selection of games that are 4 player and cocktail then I guess that's fine but most of those are specialty cabs... either a spinner on each side (warlords) or a steering wheel on each side.  I mean you can make a cocktail with two players on two sides but it's either going to be cramped or have a puny monitor dwarfed by the large 2 player control panels on each side. 

Those dimensions are too large for a cocktail.... I think they'd be even larger than the goofy Japanese cocktails with the vertical control panels. 

We just had a discussion about control panel heights.  Some people have issues sitting in chairs if they are too short or too tall.  Since you have kids someone is going to have a hard time.  A proper stand up height control panel with adjustable bar stools or an old fashioned milk crate for the kids to stand on would work better. 

A modular cabinet that's easy to move is fine... lots of people build them that way but the thing is you shouldn't be moving your cabinet around a lot as bumps and such are bad for electronics. 


I'll also just say that if you are more into modern games you are probably going to miss that VR setup.... you can play mame and stuff on a regular gamepad but you still need room for vr. 

About the USB stuff..... yes you can plug in usb controls and in theory they should work just fine but keep in mind that most front-ends and emulators won't let you hot swap controls so you'd need a set of always plugged in controls for the menus and such and when using external usb stuff you'd have to plug it in while in the front-end prior to launching the game.  The other issue is windows often mixes up multiple usb devices so the order gets out of whack.  There are some methods to fix this but none of them are fool proof.  In a perfect world you don't have multiple usb controls plugged into a cab at once.

The 1st cabinet is definitely the one I'm ...hesitant on, the second I'm feeling pretty good with assuming I can figure out how to move just the pedastal portion without it being a hassle so I can hookup the racing frame or move it out of the way to still be able to use my VR headsets if I ever get in the mood. I don't want to move the main frame around unless we're moving or something.

Luckily the youngest is 13 and the other two kids are in highschool so there's not a huge variation in height but that's definitely something I'll have to keep in mind, more prototyping  :applaud:.

For the usb switching, that's definitely something I'll have to dig into more, and explains some of what I was reading on the modular panel threads I could find. Are the front-ends/emulators mainly choking on the device ids when windows assigns them a new one?

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2020, 09:43:56 pm »
Well you have to code specifically to constantly re-poll usb devices as they are plugged in and as a rule most programs in general don't do that.  You'll find a lot of pc games have issue with you plugging/unplugging stuff as well.  The main issue though is windows doesn't particularly care what ID number it assigns gamepads... in theory if you plug things into the same physical port in the same order the IDs should always be the same, but it doesn't turn out that way. 

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2020, 10:27:04 pm »


I'm going to have to agree, you should pass on this project, if those are hard requirements.
I love this photo so much


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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2020, 11:12:47 pm »
Well you have to code specifically to constantly re-poll usb devices as they are plugged in and as a rule most programs in general don't do that.
MAMEUIFX 0.152 and MAME 0.220 allow you to plug in a new USB controller while you're at the game selection menu, before you launch a game. (tested with a mini-Pac and an analog joystick)
- After a short delay, MAMEUIFX recognized the mini-Pac without leaving the menu.
- MAME did not recognize the mini-Pac until I launched a game, then it worked fine for the game and worked in the menu after leaving the game.
- Once a game is launched, new USB devices are not recognized.

Not sure how various front ends will respond to adding new encoders.   :dunno

Looks like as long as the USB encoder that you're using for admin buttons (i.e. navigate menus and launch games) is always plugged in and you add any other gamepads/encoders before you launch the game, you should be good to go.     ;D


Scott
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 11:23:41 pm by PL1 »

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2020, 11:39:55 pm »
You are in the territory of swallowing an elephant.
You're likely going to here something on this theme:  a Swiss army knife isn't good at anything, but it does have everything... 

I won't tell you to set your sights lower, I never tell myself I can't do something I set my mind too...   however ... I recommend learning to use Sketchup and create a full set of plans before purchasing materials.. 
Its pretty easy to conceive an Escher print..  it's impossible to actually build it..

I consider myself an advanced woodworker and I wouldn't bite off what you are looking to do.
Check my link - I created a full set of plans for my Mame cabinet - you want to have detailed designs at that level so you know what you are doing will actually exist in 3 dimensions.
Good luck!

I've fired up fusion 360 but I'm a bit rusty, it's been a few years since I've modeled anything at all and then it was maya so.. working on it but it's progressing slowly. Figure I'll be at that for quite a while especially if I'm iterating properly.

The first cab is the one that concerns me, I think I may grab some of my monitors and see if it's even usable for the 4th player. I've started thinking maybe it would be worth it just to mount a 3d printed case for an hdmi cable when the second monitor is needed but not really feeling that either...

Is it just the coffee table one that you would avoid or is there something about the second cab that would be daunting as well?

Glad you are going to draw plans first - If you post them - you will get a barrage of input.
It seems like your upright may be less complicated overall - start there with your designs.  Having the right tools is a big part of this and there will be some investment..
People make test control panels on card board..  That's fine..  But make your last test panel out of cheap particle board and use it for a couple weeks on a bench at the finished height and angle..  A lot of time gets spent on the perfect CP..  The only perfect one is the one that fits you.
If you're into the Journey - then great.  If its about the destination - you need to keep working on simplify the project..


The guys here who have built many cabinets will try to keep you from building something that will be unusable..  More often than not the 'everything cab' doesn't work.
My Arcade Cabinet Build and other projects here:
Centipede, Joust, Joust Cocktail, Asteroids, Galaga, Ms. Pacman Cabaret, Defender, Space Invaders Cocktail
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2020, 02:00:15 pm »
Quote
If I'm not rushing and handle one aspect at a time, computer, electronics, wood working, assembly, etc.. is there a specific reason not to work on two cabs?

I suggest doing ONE at a time, because as you build one, you'll learn things that make building #2 much easier. Over the years, I've built and rebuilt a lot, and at this point, it doesn't take me that long to build something that is solid. It's still a challenge to do something wild and unique, but building something that is fun is pretty simple. It wasn't like that when I started many years ago. Each one I build makes it easier to do the next. Starting 2 at the same time just means you're more likely to burn out or get stuck on something, with more invested, which leads to more frustration.

My advice in general with regard to swappable panels or controls (a holy grail of mine). It is very challenging for a few reasons:

1. hot plugging sometimes means controls are completely ignored
2. hot plugging sometimes means controls are misconfigured
3. if you use 2 of the same encoder in 2 different swappable controls, the system may just see them as the same thing, meaning that the configuration will have to match (more or less) to get anything done.


What I've settled on over time is that, while I do have swappable panels, basically I just rotate them out from time to time, along with the list of games compatible with those controls. I have a very focused panel that's suitable for specific set of games. If I get tired of that genre, I put in a different panel, or build a new one.
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destial

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2020, 03:09:48 pm »
Thanks all this has definitely helped get me moving in a more solid direction. For the time being I think I'll do the high level designs for both so I can have them more fleshed out mentally but will focus on the showcase cab first as I'm happy with that one's general direction and it's simpler at least conceptually. That'll also give me time to try to get some compromises on the coffee table design :cheers:

Gilrock

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2020, 11:01:45 am »
Yep it will be much better only having one unfinished cab sitting around than two.

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2020, 11:18:20 am »
Find something, like a coffee table or whatever, that fits all of your wife's requirements, then make your game out of that. :dunno

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2020, 11:20:52 am »
Yep it will be much better only having one unfinished cab sitting around than two.
I canít imagine working on 2 cabs at the same time.  I canít even work on 2 parts of the same cabinet at the same time.  And I consider myself a beginner-intermediate woodworker.

I understand the ďrestrictionsĒ OP is working under but if I were you Iíd just build a standard 2P upright and follow the many people who have done it before instead of trying to build something completely unique on your own with no woodworking experience.  I just donít think it is going to end well.

Also, in cases like this, Iíve found itís better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2020, 03:03:06 pm »
Yep it will be much better only having one unfinished cab sitting around than two.
I canít imagine working on 2 cabs at the same time.  I canít even work on 2 parts of the same cabinet at the same time.  And I consider myself a beginner-intermediate woodworker.

I understand the ďrestrictionsĒ OP is working under but if I were you Iíd just build a standard 2P upright and follow the many people who have done it before instead of trying to build something completely unique on your own with no woodworking experience.  I just donít think it is going to end well.

Also, in cases like this, Iíve found itís better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

A little late for forgiveness rather than permission, but on the brightside she actually knows how much space it's going to take up, so I won't have to worry about that fight down the road. Worst case scenario maybe it'll keep others from jumping the gun and getting their signficant other involved quite so early in the process... figure out what you want first in case they like the idea a little too much.

I picked up some scrap plywood from my cousin to practice with and I think I'll have to live with the fact that I'll probably need to make each part at least twice if not more until I get better at this, really starting to enjoy it though... didn't think I'd get such a sense of accomplshment of making my first "box" if you can call a four sided cube that  :-[. I definitely recommend anybody that's just starting out with their woodworking to try to do the same, just getting used to the feel of the tools is helping me get a better understanding of what I'm looking at. Next up is getting a router and playing with it.

So I definitely won't be handling the woodworking for both at the same time now that I've experienced just a bit of it. PC setup, frontend, etc.. I definitely will since I can mirror the initial setup and tweak from there and don't need both cabinets finished to get that part going. Can't imagine doing the control panels at the same time either since they'd be so structurally different.

Once the designs are done and I can visually show them it should help give me some wiggle room for changes since I'd be able to point out what the actual issues/difficulties are and create some physical prototypes with cardboard or plywood. So far only about 10% of the way through the initial modeling on the first cab but it's progressing so :applaud:

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2020, 04:52:24 pm »
I got hung up on what I wanted for artwork on my Mame cab and never finished it.  Its playable though but its a skeleton with no skin.  I have since completed a Robotron clone and close to done with a Joust clone.  I haven't touched the Mame cab since completing the Robotron which gets played many times a week.

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2020, 04:59:53 pm »
Quote
Next up is getting a router and playing with it.

When it comes to using a router, I *rarely* use mine without a guide or a template. They're really hard to control by hand as they vibrate and bounce off of things. So, most of the time I have a 4 foot long x 1" thick metal ruler/level clamped down so I can hold the router against it and slide it along. The other thing to keep in mind with a router is that if you're using a router to strip a bit of wood off so you can flush mount something (a trackball mounting plate for instance) eventually if the hole is big enough the router will dip in. So I usually work from the inside out on that kind of thing.

Also, one of the single most useful things I ever did was build saw guides:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=43568.0
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destial

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2020, 05:54:00 pm »
Quote
Next up is getting a router and playing with it.

When it comes to using a router, I *rarely* use mine without a guide or a template. They're really hard to control by hand as they vibrate and bounce off of things. So, most of the time I have a 4 foot long x 1" thick metal ruler/level clamped down so I can hold the router against it and slide it along. The other thing to keep in mind with a router is that if you're using a router to strip a bit of wood off so you can flush mount something (a trackball mounting plate for instance) eventually if the hole is big enough the router will dip in. So I usually work from the inside out on that kind of thing.

Also, one of the single most useful things I ever did was build saw guides:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=43568.0

That's extremely helpful, thank you

Mike A

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2020, 08:35:22 pm »
Be careful. Routers bite. They are dangerous machines that almost nobody learns how to operate correctly.
Learn the reason for the speed control on the router. Don't seat your bit all the way into the collet.

If there is a Woodcraft store near you, sign up for a class or two.

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2020, 09:08:12 pm »
That's very good advice.  I've been using routers with my projects for nearly 20 years and they still scare the hell out of me.... things aren't meant to spin that fast.  I'm more scared of one day losing that fear though as it keeps me cautious and thus keeps all of my fingers on my hands.  Clamp down your work, make sure said clamps, nails, screws or anything metal are clear of the area you'll be using the router on.  Go slowly and carefully and keep all appendages as far away as possible.  Even then there is danger as a broken bit will go flying like a bullet.  Needless to say that means you need to keep safety goggles on as well. 

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2020, 11:19:16 pm »
The only tool I trust less than the router is the Sawzall  :laugh:
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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2020, 12:57:48 am »
Nail guns are pretty scary as well, especially brad nailers.  If those bad boys hit a knot or something they bend and go wherever the hell they want to go, including through your hand. 

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2020, 01:09:18 am »
There's definitely classes near me, just a matter of if they're running classes right now. I'll call around tomorrow and see what's available.

While I'm enjoying learning I'm definitely erring on the side of caution, though I didn't even think about the bit breaking... as if I wasn't already nervous  ;D. I do find myself attached to my fingers so would like to keep them and my other parts around for a good while.

My initial thought was to practice rounding off an edge of clamped down wood just to get a feel for it. Too ambitious without the classes or should that be "relatively" safe and simple, assuming I'm not being stupid and careless?

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2020, 01:51:24 am »
I never had the luxury of going to a class, had to learn on the job, And just do it right the first time non-the- less... I have 4 routers  and generally use a Dewalt with a 1/2" collet when I can, but every few minutes I gotta stop and check the depth, cause the vibration tends to throw if off slightly on hardwoods...The Craftsman is a beast that could run all day without breaking a sweat (So nice I got 2 of those so I can just leave one set up for repetitive projects without messing with settings), but it is heavy, (quite the fatigue on long big jobs),  Pretty much fixed as adjustment goes and only uses 1/4" bits, but the sheer horsepower makes a nice cut on hardwoods or thicker laminates...The Ryobi  laminate trimmer isn't really a router I supose, but in tight areas its small footprint get right in there close and keeps up with the big guys, It helps to minimize the cut material however, because it is a little underpowered for heavy deep cuts, although it will do it, Just gets a little warm.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 02:06:15 am by jennifer »

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2020, 11:05:14 am »
I learned everything I know watching Norm in This Old House...lol.

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2020, 11:38:35 am »
I learned everything I know watching Norm in This Old House...lol.
That's how I started too :)

I agree with MikeA - I see lots of guys in the forum messing with routers and have no idea how they can get hurt.
- They spin at 10K rpm..  you don't need that..  slower speeds work great . generate less heat.. less likely to have a bit fail.
- Don't push the router bit all the way in..  back it out some so its not bottomed out...  if you bottom it out.. it will not tighten properly and then it can fly out at the 10K rpm you shouldn't be using..

Tools that will mess you up
 - table saw and jointer - they shred fingers
 - router can throw high speed bits at you
 - band saw - its literally designed to cut meat.

Many mistakes are made when people don't wait for stuff to stop spinning..  wait 4 more seconds..  once it comes to a complete stop..  then reach for the part.

On table saws - if the fence is crap or aligned incorrectly - it will throw boards at you.. 
I was at the doctor last week - he told me that he's been working on a lot of missing fingers lately due to people being at home more..

A Woodcraft class is a good idea on any of this stuff if you head down this road..




My Arcade Cabinet Build and other projects here:
Centipede, Joust, Joust Cocktail, Asteroids, Galaga, Ms. Pacman Cabaret, Defender, Space Invaders Cocktail
https://bperkins.wordpress.com/

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2020, 12:17:45 pm »
I learned everything I know watching Norm in This Old House...lol.
That's how I started too :)

I agree with MikeA - I see lots of guys in the forum messing with routers and have no idea how they can get hurt.
- They spin at 10K rpm..  you don't need that..  slower speeds work great . generate less heat.. less likely to have a bit fail.
- Don't push the router bit all the way in..  back it out some so its not bottomed out...  if you bottom it out.. it will not tighten properly and then it can fly out at the 10K rpm you shouldn't be using..

Tools that will mess you up
 - table saw and jointer - they shred fingers
 - router can throw high speed bits at you
 - band saw - its literally designed to cut meat.

Many mistakes are made when people don't wait for stuff to stop spinning..  wait 4 more seconds..  once it comes to a complete stop..  then reach for the part.

On table saws - if the fence is crap or aligned incorrectly - it will throw boards at you.. 
I was at the doctor last week - he told me that he's been working on a lot of missing fingers lately due to people being at home more..

A Woodcraft class is a good idea on any of this stuff if you head down this road..
Itís so scary.  About 7 years ago I had a router bit snap and go flying.  Never even found it - thank god it flew away from me and didnít hit anyone.  I still get nervous using the power tools and itís hard sometimes when you set everything up and then realize you donít have your safety glasses or something.

My table saw needs a tune up so o donít even use it anymore but I use the router a lot.  My other tools in heavy rotation are less scary (jigsaw and compound mitre saw).

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Re: Starting to get my ideas together but have a few questions
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2020, 01:42:16 pm »
My major in college required that I take multiple "3-d Design" classes which is basically just Shop Class at College Prices. I spent tons of time in the wood shop... Professor Crigger had been around forever and had multiple horror stories about every single machine in the shop. Lots of good advice came from listening to the old pro. The most terrifying stories were of the 20" circular sander.

Quote
Many mistakes are made when people don't wait for stuff to stop spinning

Patience and precision pays.

Anyway, I just handle my tools with patience and respect, use a lot of clamps, keep my fingers away from sharp bits, make tools to do dangerous things for me, use templates, guides, pay attention to my surroundings. Calm paranoia  :laugh: Also known as "experience"

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