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Author Topic: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab  (Read 65175 times)

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javeryh

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #160 on: March 22, 2007, 04:17:55 pm »
You've got to wonder about a sanding tutorial that starts off with 2000 grit sandpaper.  It gives one a different appreciation for the word "smooth".  I don't know if I'll be buffing with 2 grades of polishing compound, but I'll probably try for a better finish than I was originally planning on.  Thanks for the link Javeryh.  You mentioned "a few mistakes".  Could you elaborate?

Sure.  First off, I couldn't find 2000 grit sandpaper so I had to "settle" for 1500 which I found at NAPA along with the rubbing compound and polish (it's an auto parts store).  The 1500 worked great - I can't imagine anything smoother.  I wish I could capture it with my digital camera but I just can't seem to get a good shot of it.  The finish is mirror-like but it's definitely not like a mirror... if that makes any sense.  You can see your reflection but it's not totally obvious unless you are looking for it.  Plus, I used a pink enamel-based paint for my base which my not be as reflective as the black enamel-based paint that the example I linked to showed.  Also, I will not be using this process on the inside of my cab around the monitor where I will be painting black - I don't want the monitor to be reflected anywhere and be a distraction while playing.

One thing I definitely learned is that 220 grit and even 600 grit aren't really smooth (believe it or not).  They are good enough for staining furniture that you will cover with a poly but if you want to apply a slick finish with no brush strokes or "orange peel" from spraying then a super high grit is the way to go.  It is a perfectly flat, perfectly even finish - like straight out of a plastics factory or something.  Definitely use a sander though - doing the whole thing by hand would be too hard, I think.

Now, there were three major mistakes I made the first time around that I think I've remedied this time (I have to sand and polish on Saturday so I'll let you know).  All are related to sanding.

1.  In my first test panel I can see very very tiny white spots in certain areas on the surface.  This is a result of the primer showing through after the sanding process because the initial surface I used wasn't 100% flat/smooth.  I'm using MDF.  MDF is really smooth, right?  I thought so but I guess not.  The first mistake I made was not sanding the MDF surface completely smooth before applying any primer.  On my second attempt I used a sanding block and 600 grit sandpaper to sand the entire surface of the MDF smooth.  The difference is very noticable to the touch.  Hopefully this will remove any "sand-through" spots.

2.  The next mistake I think I made was not sanding at all in between coats of primer and paint.  I think this makes a difference - even though I was using a high quality roller that appeared to be laying on an even coat I should have sanded each surfac smooth before recoating.  This time I used 600 grit sandpaper to knock down the current layer of paint.  I think this played a part in the white spots showing through because imagine putting on some primer but one dot dries higher than the rest - when you sand down when finishing it could show through because every other layer on top of that dot is on a higher plane.

3.  The third mistake I think I made was not sanding the edges of the MDF prior to applying any paint.  I noticed that when using the roller paint tended to collect along the edges of the MDF panel causing that area to be raised.  When I sanded it down during the finishing process I ended up completely removing the pink paint in some areas near the edge.  This time, I used 600 grit sandpaper and completely knocked off the corner edge of the panel - probably the equivilant of using a 1/32" chamfer bit or something.  This edge will be built back up by layers of paint and then hidden by the t-molding or whatever else is normally used to hidge the ends of panels.  Also, regarding the edges, I think I'm going to hand sand near the edges this time to be extra careful. 

Going through the process once really gave me a feel for what I was doing and I think I've pin-pointed where I went wrong.  With all that said, the panel still looks and feels amazing and I was very pleased with the results - I just want to make sure I get it perfect before trying it on my cab.  I hope this helps.    :cheers:

theCoder

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #161 on: March 24, 2007, 11:29:10 pm »
Thanks, helps a lot.  I think I'll give this a try.  It will probably add 2 weeks to the process, but I'm in no hurry.

theCoder

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #162 on: March 24, 2007, 11:42:38 pm »
With my new appreciation for what “smooth” means, I sanded down my first color coat.  It’s amazing what you see when you are really paying attention.  I used to just knock down the high spots when sanding before.  Now, I’m shooting to get most all of the orange peel affect sanded smooth.  It takes a lot longer, but it should (?) help get a much better finish. 

Lesson learned:  In trying to save $$, I’m using the same piece of 220 grit sand paper from my previous coat.  Stupid idea!  A new piece works much better.  Even though it was not clogged up, it was truly “dull”.  I accidentally buzzed a little deep at first, but got the job done much quicker.

The sound system in this thing is going to really rock.  When sanding on the back side of the speaker compartment, it amplifies the sound big time.  A neighbor 3 housed down the street heard the noise and came to see what I’m up to.  If he thinks it’s loud now….. 

leapinlew

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #163 on: March 25, 2007, 12:55:10 am »
Lesson learned:  In trying to save $$, I’m using the same piece of 220 grit sand paper from my previous coat. 

Hey Coder...

Long time no see. Glad to see you back on this project. I'm totally guilty of trying to save some money with sandpaper too.

javeryh

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #164 on: March 26, 2007, 09:36:23 am »
With my new appreciation for what “smooth” means, I sanded down my first color coat.  It’s amazing what you see when you are really paying attention.  I used to just knock down the high spots when sanding before.  Now, I’m shooting to get most all of the orange peel affect sanded smooth.  It takes a lot longer, but it should (?) help get a much better finish. 

Lesson learned:  In trying to save $$, I’m using the same piece of 220 grit sand paper from my previous coat.  Stupid idea!  A new piece works much better.  Even though it was not clogged up, it was truly “dull”.  I accidentally buzzed a little deep at first, but got the job done much quicker.

The sound system in this thing is going to really rock.  When sanding on the back side of the speaker compartment, it amplifies the sound big time.  A neighbor 3 housed down the street heard the noise and came to see what I’m up to.  If he thinks it’s loud now….. 


This made me laugh because I had the exact same thoughts the first time I decided that I needed to use 1500 sandpaper to get a really smooth finish.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed the orange peel and it trying to get rid of it.  I am curious about a couple of things -

1.  How are you painting the sections that a roller cannot reach (like inside corners)?  I decided to use a foam brush and it looks OK but it's not as nice as the rolled on sections.  I'm wondering if there is a trick or something that I'm missing.  I'm not planning on putting the high gloss super smooth finish on the interior part around the monitor because I don't want a glare while Bella is trying to play but I still want a nice uniform finish, if possible.

2.  What is your process for sanding in between coats?  I've been using 600 grit sandpaper and a sanding block but it seems to gum up really fast and I'm going through sandpaper like gangbusters.  If I use 220 grit will I just completely strip off the layer of paint I just put on or will that do the trick?  Also, how do you know when to stop sanding?  I just go until my arms get tired of doing it but that's not so scientific...

Keep up the great work - that green looks really cool!  You have a lot of area to cover...

 :cheers:

ChadTower

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #165 on: March 26, 2007, 11:57:51 am »

Just read through this whole thread - great work.  I'm considering throwing a simpler Xbox driving cockpit into my future plans and it's great to see projects like this leading the design effort.

I'm also seriously guilty of scrimping on sandpaper. 

theCoder

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #166 on: March 27, 2007, 02:29:21 am »
1.  How are you painting the sections that a roller cannot reach (like inside corners)?  I decided to use a foam brush and it looks OK but it's not as nice as the rolled on sections.  I'm wondering if there is a trick or something that I'm missing.  I'm not planning on putting the high gloss super smooth finish on the interior part around the monitor because I don't want a glare while Bella is trying to play but I still want a nice uniform finish, if possible.
I'm also using a foam brush.  It doesn't match the rolled surface, but comes close when it is dry.  Anyone else have any ideas?

You got me thinking about the glare around the monitor.  I think I'll go with a flat black around the screen.  This will pose a bit of a challenge, transitioning the black to the green.  It will work out fine on the top and bottom.  On the sides however, I will need to merge the two.  I really don't want the entire inside to be black.  I'll probably make the transition happen along the front top portion of the entrance.  I'll wait 'til I'm done with the green.  This will save me a bit of polishing as well.  Hopefully this part will be done in the next few days/weeks.  Pictures to follow.  Thanks for the idea.

2.  What is your process for sanding in between coats?  I've been using 600 grit sandpaper and a sanding block but it seems to gum up really fast and I'm going through sandpaper like gangbusters.  If I use 220 grit will I just completely strip off the layer of paint I just put on or will that do the trick?  Also, how do you know when to stop sanding?  I just go until my arms get tired of doing it but that's not so scientific...
I haven't quite figured this out yet.  My primer coat was a disaster.  I sanded most all of it off.  The second coat went on very streaky, and I sanded a lot of it down as well.  The first color coat I tried to spray, and it too was a disaster.  Too cold & blotchy.  I sanded almost all of it off.  Now, I'm going about it a little more carefully. 

I followed your advice, and am using a micro fiber foam roller.  I'm kind of getting the hang of it.  The first coat was put on fairly thick.  I go over it horizontally, then vertically, then horizontally... each time pressing lighter and lighter.  This makes the roller lines less noticeable.  After 5 minutes or so, I go over it one last time, VERY lightly.  I think this cuts down on the orange peel a bit.  In one spot, I went over it after about 20 minutes, and really messed it up.  After this coat, I sanded about half of it off with a orbital sander with 220 grit.  I basically quit sanding when most all of the orange peel was gone.  I had just read the link you referenced and really noticed the flaws.   There were some deep flaws that I sanded completely flat, through the primer into wood.  In a few others, rather than sanding a deep gouge, I put on some wood putty.  I let the first coat dry for 3-4 days before sanding.  That may be the cause of your paper clogging problem, sanding too soon.  I put the next coat on a little thinner, and sanded it with the orbital sander and 220 grit paper as well.  Again, I probably took off about half of the paint.  But when done, there were very few non-green spots.  On the current coat (3rd), I'm giving it a couple of days to dry (it is still in the 30's at night, warming up to the mid 50's in the day).  I've got some 1000 grit sand paper that I will use for the next pass.  I've got a small vibrating sander (Sears, $29.00) that I'll use for this.  I'll be putting on thinner coats and sanding lighter.  Hopefully it will only need a few more coats before I pick up the polishing rag.  Thanks again for pushing me towards a better finish.  I'll probably curse you next week, as my arm falls off polishing this thing, but in the long run it will be worth it.

Keep up the great work - that green looks really cool!
Thanks.

theCoder

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #167 on: March 27, 2007, 02:38:36 am »

Just read through this whole thread - great work.  I'm considering throwing a simpler Xbox driving cockpit into my future plans and it's great to see projects like this leading the design effort.

I'm also seriously guilty of scrimping on sandpaper. 
Thanks.  Lots of spare time on your hands? 

You mentioned simpler?  What would you leave out?  Anything I could help out with, just ask.

I think I've got a couple of cool new features on this project, but I'm just adding to the already huge knowledge base represented by this forum.  I'm not leading, just "leveraging".  Steal from the best, invent the rest.

ChadTower

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #168 on: March 27, 2007, 09:25:45 am »
Thanks.  Lots of spare time on your hands? 

Sadly, no, but we aren't going anywhere either.  :)



Quote
You mentioned simpler?  What would you leave out?  Anything I could help out with, just ask.

One of the things that concerns me with what you've done here is the amount of individual connections, custom electronic work, etc.  That's not a criticism so please don't take it as such.  I'm a little worried about the potential failure rates on all of those custom hacked parts, components, connections, etc.  That's one thing I would want to simplify, especially on the wheel.  For the wheel I'd probably try to find a way to make the cabinet design accommodate the wheel with as little modification as possible, rather than totally hack up the wheel in order to embed it in a standard type CP and take advantage of the fact that it's a totally custom build.  The wheel is so important to this project that if any aspect of it doesn't stand up to use it's really going to hurt performance.

Also, for my cab, I'll just use less of the cool custom work you have here, like the controller motors and the keystart, etc.  Keep the bass shaker, probably go with 5.1 and a single small woofer, let the shaker do most of the bass feedback.  I'm thinking of keeping the sides a lot more open and using curtains to close off external visual distraction.

The pedal box is great.  Love that.  It's a subtle concept but being able to stomp a stiff metal pad really adds to a driving game.



Quote
I think I've got a couple of cool new features on this project, but I'm just adding to the already huge knowledge base represented by this forum.  I'm not leading, just "leveraging".  Steal from the best, invent the rest.

I think you're understating how much you've added here.  The dual level controller based feedback is really cool.  I think the next step would be to componentize it a little bit, make it a little more serviceable, for the next project that uses your concept.

leapinlew

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #169 on: March 27, 2007, 01:44:14 pm »
[I'm a little worried about the potential failure rates on all of those custom hacked parts, components, connections, etc. 

I agree Chad, but I think TheCoder is the kind of guy who is secretly happy when he hears something isn't working.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #170 on: March 27, 2007, 02:06:38 pm »
I'm also getting some great ideas from this thread.  I have an extra modded xbox, and just ordered a Fanatec Speedster wheel off of ebay, and plan to make a similar project in the future.

I just picked up a San Francisco Rush the Rock Alcatraz driving cabinet a bit ago, and I think I will borrow heavily from that design.  I obviously won't have the molded plastic parts, but I think the design does a great job of removing outside distractions while remaining open and smaller so the wife will like it (she loves the san francisco rush game).

I'm definately going to use arcade pedals (if I can ever find a decent price on them from ebay), but I will probably leave the wheel fairly unmodified, just mount it to the cabinet (I guess it depends what I think of it, after using the monster stepper motor driven force feedback from San Francisco Rush, would be hard to use a wimpy system, but I hear this wheel has good "fake" force feedback, so I guess we'll see when it arrives).

I like all the little extras you're doing, and am really excited to see this project completed.  Thanks for sharing your progress with the rest, sounds like it's inspiring many of us to make a similar project...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #171 on: March 27, 2007, 02:26:13 pm »
1.  How are you painting the sections that a roller cannot reach (like inside corners)?  I decided to use a foam brush and it looks OK but it's not as nice as the rolled on sections.  I'm wondering if there is a trick or something that I'm missing.  I'm not planning on putting the high gloss super smooth finish on the interior part around the monitor because I don't want a glare while Bella is trying to play but I still want a nice uniform finish, if possible.
I'm also using a foam brush.  It doesn't match the rolled surface, but comes close when it is dry.  Anyone else have any ideas?

You got me thinking about the glare around the monitor.  I think I'll go with a flat black around the screen.  This will pose a bit of a challenge, transitioning the black to the green.  It will work out fine on the top and bottom.  On the sides however, I will need to merge the two.  I really don't want the entire inside to be black.  I'll probably make the transition happen along the front top portion of the entrance.  I'll wait 'til I'm done with the green.  This will save me a bit of polishing as well.  Hopefully this part will be done in the next few days/weeks.  Pictures to follow.  Thanks for the idea.

Glad I could help!  I'm actually only giving the "full treatment" to three of the panels on my cabinet - the two side panels and the coin door panel.  I am also painting the top panel and back panel pink but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to apply the mirror finish in those spots (unless people think otherwise).  The top might be somethign I want to do but the back seems a bit unnecessary.  The rest of the cabinet (the interior around the monitor) will be painted using a flat black paint.

2.  What is your process for sanding in between coats?  I've been using 600 grit sandpaper and a sanding block but it seems to gum up really fast and I'm going through sandpaper like gangbusters.  If I use 220 grit will I just completely strip off the layer of paint I just put on or will that do the trick?  Also, how do you know when to stop sanding?  I just go until my arms get tired of doing it but that's not so scientific...
I haven't quite figured this out yet.  My primer coat was a disaster.  I sanded most all of it off.  The second coat went on very streaky, and I sanded a lot of it down as well.  The first color coat I tried to spray, and it too was a disaster.  Too cold & blotchy.  I sanded almost all of it off.  Now, I'm going about it a little more carefully. 

I followed your advice, and am using a micro fiber foam roller.  I'm kind of getting the hang of it.  The first coat was put on fairly thick.  I go over it horizontally, then vertically, then horizontally... each time pressing lighter and lighter.  This makes the roller lines less noticeable.  After 5 minutes or so, I go over it one last time, VERY lightly.  I think this cuts down on the orange peel a bit.  In one spot, I went over it after about 20 minutes, and really messed it up.  After this coat, I sanded about half of it off with a orbital sander with 220 grit.  I basically quit sanding when most all of the orange peel was gone.  I had just read the link you referenced and really noticed the flaws.   There were some deep flaws that I sanded completely flat, through the primer into wood.  In a few others, rather than sanding a deep gouge, I put on some wood putty.  I let the first coat dry for 3-4 days before sanding.  That may be the cause of your paper clogging problem, sanding too soon.  I put the next coat on a little thinner, and sanded it with the orbital sander and 220 grit paper as well.  Again, I probably took off about half of the paint.  But when done, there were very few non-green spots.  On the current coat (3rd), I'm giving it a couple of days to dry (it is still in the 30's at night, warming up to the mid 50's in the day).  I've got some 1000 grit sand paper that I will use for the next pass.  I've got a small vibrating sander (Sears, $29.00) that I'll use for this.  I'll be putting on thinner coats and sanding lighter.  Hopefully it will only need a few more coats before I pick up the polishing rag.  Thanks again for pushing me towards a better finish.  I'll probably curse you next week, as my arm falls off polishing this thing, but in the long run it will be worth it.

Wow - it's the simplest of things I can never seem to think of... it makes perfect sense that I wasn't giving the paint enough time to dry before sanding!  I read the can and it said recoat in 4 hours so that's all I was waiting - of course the can also said it would fully dry in 12-24 hours but that's not what I wanted to hear.  I was trying to apply multiple coats in a single day when the best course of action would probably be to limit myself to a single coat in any given day.  I checked on the cab last night and it definitely felt dry - definitely moreso than after only 4 hours of waiting.  The difference was very noticable. 

It gives me comfort to hear that you are also getting a "feel" for the process because I was afraid I was hopeless.  You do actually get better at it the more you do, I think.  You will definitely be cursing up a storm - it doesn't take much to tire my arms and you've got a lot of surface area to cover!  Good luck!

Tonight I'm going to try and apply the final coat of primer after sanding everything fully so I might be ready to apply a coat of pink paint on Saturday!

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 02:27:55 pm by javeryh »

theCoder

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #172 on: March 28, 2007, 12:45:06 am »
One of the things that concerns me with what you've done here is the amount of individual connections, custom electronic work, etc.  That's not a criticism so please don't take it as such.  I'm a little worried about the potential failure rates on all of those custom hacked parts, components, connections, etc. 
I'm usually into simple elegance, fewer points of failure, etc.  There are a lot of other things I have chosen not to include.  I've had good luck so far with the custom hacks.  If done right, the result is as reliable as the original.  Besides, 80% of the fun is challenging yourself to do/learn something new.

I'm definitely going to use arcade pedals (if I can ever find a decent price on them from ebay),
I searched ebay on and off for about 4 weeks until I found a good set at a decent price.

Wow - it's the simplest of things I can never seem to think of... it makes perfect sense that I wasn't giving the paint enough time to dry before sanding!  I read the can and it said recoat in 4 hours so that's all I was waiting - of course the can also said it would fully dry in 12-24 hours but that's not what I wanted to hear.  I was trying to apply multiple coats in a single day when the best course of action would probably be to limit myself to a single coat in any given day. 
I was making a large batch of painted Popsicle sticks for my wife a bunch of years ago.  They needed a thick, shinny finish.  I put on about 8 coats of paint in 2 days.  The paint was not truly cured for weeks.  Ever since then, I have allowed at least 24 hours, and sometimes more between coats of paint.

Glad I could help!  I'm actually only giving the "full treatment" to three of the panels on my cabinet - the two side panels and the coin door panel.  I am also painting the top panel and back panel pink but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to apply the mirror finish in those spots (unless people think otherwise).  The top might be something I want to do but the back seems a bit unnecessary.  The rest of the cabinet (the interior around the monitor) will be painted using a flat black paint.
With all the surface area I have work with, I'm probably only going to polish the outsides. 

It was rainy and cold today.  No progress.  I did however pick up some supplies.  Two grades of polish, and a bag of rags.  I should have bought these rags years ago.  I've long since burned through all the stained onesy's, baby t-shirts, and other kids cloths for rags.  This bag of 50 12" square cotton rags cost me less than $10.  That's less than 20 cents a piece.  Now I don't have to agonize over which of my favorite old t-shirts to sacrifice when I need a rag for something.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #173 on: March 30, 2007, 08:00:11 pm »
The thing is you need to recoat before the underneith coat has gone hard, otherwise they will not stick together well. Most paint says recoat in 4 hours, and if you leave it more then 24 you have to give it a sand to give it something to grip to, and after seeing some of my left for a week then repainted coats just peel off, I would agree somewhat with that.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #174 on: March 31, 2007, 12:50:34 am »
The thing is you need to recoat before the underneith coat has gone hard, otherwise they will not stick together well. Most paint says recoat in 4 hours, and if you leave it more then 24 you have to give it a sand to give it something to grip to, and after seeing some of my left for a week then repainted coats just peel off, I would agree somewhat with that.
I've been waiting a day between coats, with a heavy sanding in between.  It it getting thicker & smoother.  I'm on coat 6, moving from 220 grit to 1000 grit paper.  Today I tried polishing the front door piece, just to check it out.  Man, you really have to have ALL of the orange peel sanded out or it really shows.  It is going to take a few more coats to get it thick enough so I can sand it truly flat.  This is going to be a long process. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #175 on: March 31, 2007, 02:43:42 pm »
I guess what @richms means is, that you can easily put more then one coat on, before sanding. I you paint one and sand it off, this project is going to take forever! ;) You have a lots of patience and that's what you're gonna need with this.

btw, don't put on to big artwork that would be a damn shame for all your effort with the painting.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #176 on: March 31, 2007, 11:42:41 pm »
I found a new tool for dealing with paint runs.  For the veteran painters out there you probably think I’m dense, but this was quite an eye-opener for me.  A “Painters Scraper” works great for dealing with hardened runs in paint.  The edge is sharp and just shaves off the run, flush with the previous coat of paint.  Good stuff.  It also works well for knocking off the embedded bugs and pocks.

Today I put on coats 7 & 8, hopefully the last.  In the second picture you can see the front door that I tried to polish.  In getting all the orange peel out, the paint got a little thin in three spots.

And as for trimming the bushes … maybe next week-end honey.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #177 on: March 31, 2007, 11:52:32 pm »
Wow - nice job on that polished panel.  Is it as shiny as it looks in person?  I'll try and post a pic of mine tomorrow but I'm not sure how to get a good picture with my digital camera.  They always come out with a reflection from the flash and everything looks washed out...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #178 on: April 01, 2007, 01:08:21 am »
Wow - nice job on that polished panel.  Is it as shiny as it looks in person?  I'll try and post a pic of mine tomorrow but I'm not sure how to get a good picture with my digital camera.  They always come out with a reflection from the flash and everything looks washed out...
The picture is misleading.  The paint is still wet.  Notice in the flat panel how dull the paint looks in the center.  That area is sanded flat.  The shinny parts are fresh, wet paint.  It would be really awesome if I could get the entire thing looking as shinny as the rounded piece in the background.  I'm going to wait a few days to let the paint get good & dry before I try sanding it all flat.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #179 on: April 02, 2007, 03:49:18 pm »
Wow - nice job on that polished panel.  Is it as shiny as it looks in person?  I'll try and post a pic of mine tomorrow but I'm not sure how to get a good picture with my digital camera.  They always come out with a reflection from the flash and everything looks washed out...
Well, don't flash. ;D Use a tripod or let the camera rest on something steady. Oh, and use the timer.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #180 on: April 06, 2007, 12:51:20 am »
Also dont autofocus or it will focus on the reflection, not your panel. Mind you if your trying to impress with the gloss, that may not be a bad thing.

in that case close up the aperture and let it expose for a long time, so the tripod will be essential, that will at least give some detail to the panel itself. I guess you may just want to find the happy median that shows it all.


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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #181 on: April 08, 2007, 12:08:58 am »
Lacquer Coats
Well after 6 coats of lacquer, it is time to move on to the polish stage.  It took 7 cans of spray lacquer to get the 6 coats.  On the first coat I tried to get complete coverage, but generated a lot of runs. Most of that first coat got sanded off.  From there I just tried to get consistent close stroke lines.  With each coat I alternated the angles approximately 30 degrees.  There are lines of missed coverage and overspray, but they were covered by subsequent coats at different angles.  I suspect it would have gone on much more evenly if I had rolled it on, or gone with a compressor/sprayer.  The lines came out with a light wet sanding with 1000 grit paper.  Between coats I rubbed it down with the shop rags I picked up last week.  This took care of most of the bugs, pocks, and overspray.  In the first set of pictures you can see the surfaces with 6 layers of lacquer before wet sanding.

When I woke up this morning, it was raining.  The front door piece was exposed, but I was very pleased to see the entire surface covered in beads of water. 

Today I buffed the front panel and door with the first “rougher” buffing compound.  Man, this stuff really works.  Notice the reflection in the surface on the last picture.  Unfortunately it also brings out any minor flaw in the surface.  There are a few small ones, but I’m the only one who will ever know where they are.  My arms are killing me !   Buffing these two pieces twice with the buffing compound took about an hour.  I’ll be doing two passes with the finer compound, then one of wax.  The cabinet itself is probably about 8 times more surface area than the two pieces I’ve done so far.  This is going to be quite a work-out for me.  But, hey, I guess the exercise will be good for me.

Perhaps I will postpone the wax until after I’ve applied the side art.  At least that will give my arms a break for a while.  Comments?

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #182 on: April 08, 2007, 12:49:36 am »
Excellent job!  That last picture really shows off the reflective finish.  So did you end up sanding the last coat of paint or did you leave it rolled on with a little orange peel?  Also, where did you get the rubbing compound?  I bought some compound at an auto parts store but I'm not sure it is the right stuff.  It never turns into paste or anything and there's really no noticable difference to the surface after applying it.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #183 on: April 08, 2007, 11:31:47 am »
Looks great  :applaud:

If you're going to polish the entire machine by hand remember to take before and after pictures of your arms/biceps too  ;D

Anyway, ain't that Turtle Wax rubbing compound? Shouldn't be too hard to find ... (see http://www.turtlewax.com/)

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #184 on: April 08, 2007, 11:55:10 am »
Excellent job!  That last picture really shows off the reflective finish.  So did you end up sanding the last coat of paint or did you leave it rolled on with a little orange peel?  Also, where did you get the rubbing compound?  I bought some compound at an auto parts store but I'm not sure it is the right stuff.  It never turns into paste or anything and there's really no noticable difference to the surface after applying it.

Looks great  :applaud:
If you're going to polish the entire machine by hand remember to take before and after pictures of your arms/biceps too  ;D
Anyway, ain't that Turtle Wax rubbing compound? Shouldn't be too hard to find ... (see http://www.turtlewax.com/)
Thanks guys.

I sanded almost all of the orange peel off before starting with the lacquer.  The places where I didn't get it all was the few spots where I knew the color layer was thin.  There are about 5 of these, mostly around the edges.  The good news is they are all towards the bottom, and one in the middle front (the side that will be against a wall).

You're right Psychotech, I'm using TurtleWax.  Back in post #173, you can see a picture of the stuff.  They have a "rubbing compound" which is the coarser stuff, and a "polishing compound" which is the finer stuff.  I picked it up at a small Oregon auto parts chain place Knecht's.  You might also check your local Stuff-Mart.  It shouldn't be hard to find.  It is very cheap at $2.00 per can.  I figured it would work as well as the $9.00 stuff, and so far I'm pleased with the results.  It pretty much behaves as the write-up describes.  It starts out as a gritty paste (grains much smaller than a grain of salt), and ends up as a milky film. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #185 on: April 08, 2007, 01:02:49 pm »
That is looking really nice.

For a project that size you might want to go out and get a cheap electric buffer. That will save you a lot of time and sore arms. You can always reuse it to polish your cars.  :P

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #186 on: April 08, 2007, 11:03:34 pm »
Excellent job!  That last picture really shows off the reflective finish.  So did you end up sanding the last coat of paint or did you leave it rolled on with a little orange peel?  Also, where did you get the rubbing compound?  I bought some compound at an auto parts store but I'm not sure it is the right stuff.  It never turns into paste or anything and there's really no noticable difference to the surface after applying it.

Looks great  :applaud:
If you're going to polish the entire machine by hand remember to take before and after pictures of your arms/biceps too  ;D
Anyway, ain't that Turtle Wax rubbing compound? Shouldn't be too hard to find ... (see http://www.turtlewax.com/)
Thanks guys.

I sanded almost all of the orange peel off before starting with the lacquer.  The places where I didn't get it all was the few spots where I knew the color layer was thin.  There are about 5 of these, mostly around the edges.  The good news is they are all towards the bottom, and one in the middle front (the side that will be against a wall).

You're right Psychotech, I'm using TurtleWax.  Back in post #173, you can see a picture of the stuff.  They have a "rubbing compound" which is the coarser stuff, and a "polishing compound" which is the finer stuff.  I picked it up at a small Oregon auto parts chain place Knecht's.  You might also check your local Stuff-Mart.  It shouldn't be hard to find.  It is very cheap at $2.00 per can.  I figured it would work as well as the $9.00 stuff, and so far I'm pleased with the results.  It pretty much behaves as the write-up describes.  It starts out as a gritty paste (grains much smaller than a grain of salt), and ends up as a milky film. 

Thanks for the description.  I'm definitely using the wrong stuff.  Time to pick up some Turtlewax I guess!

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #187 on: April 09, 2007, 09:30:27 am »

Seriously, bro, get a $25 random orbit sander and a buffer pad.  It will save you so much work and you get a useful hand tool out of it.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #188 on: April 11, 2007, 01:31:32 am »

Seriously, bro, get a $25 random orbit sander and a buffer pad.  It will save you so much work and you get a useful hand tool out of it.

Thank you!  Thank you!  johnm160  & ChadTower

Polished Finish
I picked up one of these today at lunch.  It is amazing what happens when you use the right tool for the job.  My previous hack involved wrapping my dinky 4" palm sander with a shop rag.  While it did work, the 10" buffer works MUCH better.  All yours for $29.  In about 1.5 hours, I rough buffed the whole cab twice and polished about half of it once.  It sure is shinny!!!!!!!

Next up, painting the top of the dash and area surrounding the monitor a dull, flat black.  It was a long haul, but it looks like I'm almost done with the paint phase of this project. 

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #189 on: April 11, 2007, 07:29:12 am »
You are so disciplined and dedicated... I'm jealous.

Don't put any artwork on that cab! ;)

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #190 on: April 11, 2007, 09:06:05 am »

Awesome, glad that worked out for you.  You can use that to wax your car, too, and it will do an awesome job.  I also have buffer attachments I use on a low end cordless drill to clean and wax pinball playfields as well as details on the car.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #191 on: April 11, 2007, 12:23:58 pm »
Wow!!!!  It looks great!  Just so I'm clear, you are using the Ryobi to put on the Turtlewax rubbing compound and finishing polish, right (not to sand or anything)?  I think I might pick one of those up before I go through the same process...

You got a fantastic finish on there - I hope I am as fortunate...

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #192 on: April 11, 2007, 01:44:49 pm »
that look OUTSTANDING 

 :notworthy:

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #193 on: April 11, 2007, 04:28:44 pm »
Just so I'm clear, you are using the Ryobi to put on the Turtlewax rubbing compound and finishing polish, right (not to sand or anything)? 
The process went something like this:
Primer coat, Heavy sand, Color Coat  - dead of winter, with sprayer, really messed up!!!, Sand most all off, rolled color coat, light sand with 200 grit, rolled color coat, rolled color coat, etc (x8), sand out most all orange peel starting with 200 grit, ending with wet sand 1000 grit, 6 coats of spray can lacquer, wet sand with 1000 grit, ruff polish, re-sand missed spots or orange peel, repaint screw-up from re-sand (insert lots of swearing and re-work of previous steps), rough buff with hand sander hack with Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound, purchase Ryobi orbital buffer including extra buffing pads kit (1 extra paste applicator & 1 extra finishing pad), rough buffed with buffer 1 time, 1000 grit sanded remaining orange peel rough spots, rough buffed again, Finish buff 1 time with Turtle Wax Polishing Compound.  I will hit it once again with the polishing compound.  After I create/get my side art, I'll buff it one last time with a finishing wax.

Don't put any artwork on that cab! ;)
Why not?  I'm already into this thing this far, why not go all the way.  There will still be plenty of shinny surface to look at.  Besided, I'm looking for an excuse to learn more Photoshop.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #194 on: April 11, 2007, 11:33:49 pm »
That is a lot of work for a paint job.  But if you want an automotive paint job then I guess the work is worth it.  You need to post at least one high quality image so we can see the full results of your hard work.

OMG I can see myself. :dizzy:

TTFN :cheers:
Kaytrim

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #195 on: April 13, 2007, 03:27:13 am »
If you're going to polish the entire machine by hand remember to take before and after pictures of your arms/biceps too  ;D
Well, I didn't polish the whole cab by hand, but I did get quite a workout even with the buffer.  Here are the before and after pictures you asked for.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #196 on: April 13, 2007, 06:43:43 pm »
Well, I didn't polish the whole cab by hand, but I did get quite a workout even with the buffer.  Here are the before and after pictures you asked for.

I am trying to decide which is more disturbing.  The fact that these pics have been viewed several times, or the fact that the before pic has been viewed more times.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #197 on: April 13, 2007, 10:34:36 pm »
 ;D

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #198 on: April 25, 2007, 12:40:22 am »
Finished Painting
I've finally finished painting!!!!!!!!   I put on a couple of coats of flat black paint on the inside.  I was concerned that the glare on the sides from the TV would be too distracting.  To dull things up even more, I lightly scuffed the surface with some steel wool.

I made the cab 33" wide to make sure it would fit through larger 36" doorways.  Unfortunately, the sliding glass door in my day basement is 32" wide.  Oops, minor oversight.  Removing the sliding door portion brought the width to 34".  A very tight fit, but I made it.  I put a blanket over it to keep from scratching the surface.  Right at the end, the blanket slipped off and I got a deep 1/2" gouge in the side.     :censored:   :banghead:  I'll have to cover it up with my side art. 

From here on the final assembly will take place inside.  It took me a while to clear a path to get the cab into place.  I had to move my pool table (cheap light one) and lay the Foosball table on end.  This thing is big and awkward.  With the back end up in the air, front end on the wheels, It took many back-n-forth movements to get it into place.

And by the way, in the before and after pictures above, the before picture looks NOTHING like me.  I don't own any blue shorts.

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Re: Xcelerator - Xbox driving cab
« Reply #199 on: April 25, 2007, 10:20:47 am »
Woo hoo!!!!  Awesome!!!  This thing is really coming out nice - I think the hardest part is over and now the real fun begins when you install everything.   It looks great int he game room!

 :cheers: