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Author Topic: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Completed!  (Read 20020 times)

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leapinlew

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LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Completed!
« on: November 10, 2006, 11:50:54 pm »
So... here I am again. I said I was done making cabinets. I really have a good reason for making another one. Honest! I'm moving for my job, and I'm not taking my cabinets with me. It's a 2 year move and I intend on coming back. I'll be living in an apartment and I just won't have the room for the cabinets not to mention moving them up and down stairs.

Anyhow, what I would like out of this new cabinet:

 
  • Play like a multi-williams. I would like to play defender as accurately as possible
  • Play as many games as possible - without being a tight control panel fit - I'm thinking dual Ultrimarc 360's to switch between profiles
  • Be light - I'm thinking a LCD and laptop will power this machine
  • Money - I'd like to keep this one under $200. I already have a LCD, Laptop, materials for building and tools. I should be fine here.

I need to complete this fairly quick. I'm planning on selling my current house and getting a new place. There is lots going on now and I can't get bogged down building this cabinet. So... lets do it!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 01:55:05 am by leapinlew »

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 12:01:32 am »
A few months back I thought I might want to build a galaga bartop. I found some images people drew up that I liked:



I like it. I was trying to figure out how I could get this transferred to a peice of wood. I dropped this
BMP in Visio and expanded it till it was the size I wanted. Visio has the ability to print out an image across multiple sheets of paper. I was told recently that Visio could do this and I was happy with the results:



Here is the print out:

You can see it sitting next to a 10" CRT monitor I wanted to use. The problem was the monitor was pretty deep for it's size. I trimmed up the image, taped it together, and traced it onto some wood:





While the trace wasn't perfect, I knew I could sand it down once it was done.

Here you can see a cutout of it. You'll notice the wood isn't perfectly smooth. This was to be a template for a trim flush router bit. I wasn't real concerned with the face of the teamplate having some drill holes in it.



I did this a month or two ago and I decided to shelf it. I didn't like the monitor depth in relation to it's size, and I already have some cabinets to play games on. Now I have a few 10" monitors I don't know what to do with.

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2006, 12:06:53 am »
Now that I am officially moving, I need to take an arcade with me. So, I revived the bartop project... this time, I wanted to use a larger screen.

I grabbed my old Galaga template and drew out a new design:

Hmm.... some nice lines on this. I like the thinness of it. Ok, it's a keeper. I decided to cut it out.



and here it is in relation to a joystick. My plan is to put the monitor at an angle leaning back to match the angle I have it now, and I'll place the laptop on the bottom of the cabinet. It should just all fit.



Tomorrow I'm going to get some 3/4" and I'm going to try to build it all tomorrow and have it painted before days end. Next week I'll get the artwork printed and parts ordered.

As for parts, I'm debating on ordering the Ultrastik 360's or using the Supers I already have. The real issue is the amount of games I could play on it using the custom maps on the 360's and play 4 way games as well. I'll toss it around in my head tomorrow as I build it.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2006, 01:04:48 am »
I hope the assignment is a good one for you.  Out of state? or out of country?  I've done two six-month out-of-state assignments and a 8 month out-of-country assignment.  All were very rewarding financially.

It's good to see you making instead of lurking.  How long has it been since you're last build?

You could cut around 9" of the height and probably about 3-5 pounds if you ditch the top marquee.  Just a recommendation.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2006, 11:24:51 am »
This is going to look pretty cool! What kinda software are you planning on running in it? What are your laptop specs? I'd buy those 10" monitors off of you but I imagine the shipping would hardly be worth it ??

Good luck on your assignment. Exciting & stressful. Good idea taking a cab along with you.
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leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2006, 01:07:36 pm »
I hope the assignment is a good one for you.  Out of state? or out of country?  I've done two six-month out-of-state assignments and a 8 month out-of-country assignment.  All were very rewarding financially.

Out of state. From St. Louis to Alexandria, Va actually. It's a financial move. Neither my wife or I are real excited about it.

It's good to see you making instead of lurking.  How long has it been since you're last build?
3 months maybe? Can't remember for sure. The showcase was the last cabinet I made. Since building it - I really got into Defender and I want to play it with the proper control layout.

You could cut around 9" of the height and probably about 3-5 pounds if you ditch the top marquee.  Just a recommendation.
I agonized on this decision. I just felt it would look to plain or it would look like an overgrown laptop without the marquee. Your right though, in my specifications I listed price and weight but in reality, I want it to resemble a cabinet. It would indeed bring both the price and weight down if I dropped the marquee, but I'm going to go ahead and keep them.

Thanks theCoder! If you live out in Virginia - you have to let me know. I just have to take a test drive...  ;D

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2006, 01:09:58 pm »
This is going to look pretty cool! What kinda software are you planning on running in it? What are your laptop specs? I'd buy those 10" monitors off of you but I imagine the shipping would hardly be worth it ??

Good luck on your assignment. Exciting & stressful. Good idea taking a cab along with you.

The laptop is a beat up Dell. Pentium 3 with a 20 gig hard drive. It should run all the games I plan on throwing at it.

I'm going to run Mala on it with an older version of DOS. I'd like to have a cabinet that can play Gorf and Gorf requires an older version of Mame to run at full speed.

I would prefer someone take a look at them so they know what they are getting. The monitors have a good screen, but the actual shape of the case isn't that great.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2006, 02:33:49 pm »
... If you live out in Virginia - you have to let me know. I just have to take a test drive...  ;D
Nope, I'm on the other coast.  Albany Oregon, about 90 miles south of Portland.  If you find yourself in the hood, your welcome to come by for a spin.

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2006, 07:36:25 pm »
Today I got the cabinet built. I went to Home Depot to try and decide what material I was going to build this out of. I was considering Birch and staining it, but I saw they had 2x4 sheets of 3/4" MDF. It's not that light compared to plywood, but I'm using so little of it...

I took the template I created last night and set up my wood:


Once I cut out 2 of these I put some blocks on the bottom to mount the base to. I am only going to be able to access the controls through the base, so I wanted to be sure I could take it off and on as needed. Heres the twins:


Next I mounted the base. Even with a cabinet this small, it's not easy with just 1 person. I managed though...

You'll notice I left about 3/4" of space underneath. I plan on the cabinet sitting on some rubber feet, but I'm also debating on putting some LED's underneath. They are leftover from my jukebox project.


Time to bring it inside!

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2006, 07:44:20 pm »
It's so damn cold outside. Yesterday it was 70 degrees. Today, I can see my breath.

Once inside, I needed to install the marquee. This also serves to make the cabinet much more ridgid. I have quite a bit of 5/8" plywood from my last project. I made the marquee slot out of 5/8ths.


And the bottom shelf:


Marquee shelf done. The monitor is inside for my measurement purposes. I'll eventually have it angled in properly. I need to rig up a monitor shelf for it still:


Next I need to do the T-mold routing.... Easily the messiest part of this whole operation. I cut a control panel and kickplate. The control panel dimensions are 7" x 16". It'll be a tight Robotron fit, but it'll be playable.



I created a back panel made of 3 plates. A top plate where a exhaust fan will be, a bottom plate where a power cord will be, and a middle plate that'll have a hinge attached for access.





Major construction is now done. I'm going to clean it up and start painting it.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 09:20:58 pm by leapinlew »

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2006, 08:27:49 pm »
Great progress for one days work.  How are you going to vent it?  Your situation may be different, but on my last project I drew air in from the fan, blowing directly on the CPU area of the laptop.  Not wanting more visible featured, I vented it out the bottom with a couple of dozen 1/2 inch holes. 

Looking good.

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2006, 09:14:05 pm »
On the venting....

I'm going to put a few holes in the bottom of the cabinet and a fan up top drawing air out. With heat rising, it should work just like my server racks at work. With a natural current of air flowing through. Thats the thought anyhow...

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2006, 01:24:05 am »
Did some minor work this evening. Nothing worth taking a picture of...

Created a monitor bracket and figured out how I was going to connect the monitor.

Installed the marquee retainers. I am using wood L brackets. I'm hoping after some painting and sanding it will look ok. If it doesn't, I'll continue looking for some metal ones.

Drilled the speaker and fan holes.

Mounted the back panels and installed the hinges.

I didn't get to the paint today. Towards the end of the day I can feel myself just wanting to get stuff done and not enjoying the build. At that point, I put it all away and pick it up when I can later.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2006, 01:04:52 pm »
I didn't get to the paint today. Towards the end of the day I can feel myself just wanting to get stuff done and not enjoying the build. At that point, I put it all away and pick it up when I can later.

I get the same way. Usually only get about 3 or 4 hours one day a week to work on a cabinet (or anything!), so I often try to get too much done. Hurrying in that 4th  hour is always when I screw up!

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2006, 05:07:54 pm »
When I first saw the cutout shape of the cabinet, I wasn't sure about it. I've got to say though, now that it's together, it's a pretty cool looking bartop. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the finish.
Note: Out of town with limited internet access 2-28-08 through 3-16-08

Bartop/Countertop Cabinet Kits For Sale

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2006, 05:59:54 pm »
Real lean and clean, almost sexy.... err, should I have said that?

GT

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2006, 09:03:22 pm »
It's kinda cute for an arcade machine... lol
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leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2006, 01:08:24 pm »
I did some ordering today:

Ordered a couple red ball tops from Tornado Terry
www.tornadoterrys

Ordered an Ipac, Ipac feet, buttons from Divemaster

I also created the art. Let me know what you think. It's all subject to change:

This is for the "kickplate" area. I seriously doubt anyone will be kicking it... if they do kick it - I'll kick them in the face. I plan on mounting some buttons in this area as well. A coin up, quit and pause button.


This is the control panel. I edited a multi-williams panel. Mainly what I did was remove all the pre-drill locations which should make it easier for me to drop in buttons wherever I want.



And this is the marquee. I took a play off of Multi-Williams and used my name instead. I'm concerned this marquee doesn't play well with the overall theme.


Thoughts?

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2006, 01:10:27 pm »
Oh, I also ordered some Red T-molding. The cabinet will be your run of the mill black... 

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Artwork!
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2006, 01:19:41 pm »
You have four different fonts on the control panel, I would stick with one of them to do the marquee. I think the Robotron 2084 might look best. Otherwise, looks great so far!

leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Artwork!
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2006, 01:22:45 pm »
You have four different fonts on the control panel, I would stick with one of them to do the marquee. I think the Robotron 2084 might look best. Otherwise, looks great so far!

Shoot... I actually removed about 3 fonts. It's a file from Localarcade that I edited. I removed quite a bit off it actually. It's way less busy than it was - but I'm thinking it still might be kind of busy.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2006, 02:23:27 pm »
And this is the marquee. I took a play off of Multi-Williams and used my name instead. I'm concerned this marquee doesn't play well with the overall theme.


Thoughts?

I think it's the lettering that isn't working. The colors and designs all seem fine, though.


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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Artwork!
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2006, 05:07:01 pm »
The Art is off to the printers (Kinkos).

Backlit Vinyl for the Marquee
Laminated High Gloss for the kick plate
High Gloss print for the CP

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Artwork!
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2006, 08:26:00 pm »
Too late now, but I was going to suggest an element from the kickpanel art on the marquee to tie it all together. Just a couple of planets and starts in the background.

I love the multi-Williams concept. This is going to be a killer machine!

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Artwork!
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2006, 11:48:21 am »
This thing is looking really really nice.  I didn't like the profile at first but now that it is assembled I LOVE it.  It is going to be very sleek when it is finished...

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Artwork!
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2006, 11:51:19 am »
Too late now, but I was going to suggest an element from the kickpanel art on the marquee to tie it all together. Just a couple of planets and starts in the background.

I love the multi-Williams concept. This is going to be a killer machine!

You bastard... thats an awesome idea. How dare you not give it to me sooner!

I'll keep it in mind if I do a redesign and definetly implement it. Thanks!

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Artwork!
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2006, 12:01:33 pm »
This thing is looking really really nice.  I didn't like the profile at first but now that it is assembled I LOVE it.  It is going to be very sleek when it is finished...

Thanks... in reviewing my design I think I may have made 1 error that could be a happy accident.

You have to be looking at the screen head on or the marquee blocks a portion of the screen. This could be a condition of the marquee not slanting upwards, or perhaps I could've used a 15" LCD, but the only way to see the whole screen is to be eye level with the bartop. You sort of want to be looking directly at a LCD to get the best picture, so it's not all bad - but it's worth considering if you decide to make a bartop.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2006, 07:46:40 pm »
I did some of the electrical work tonight. I ordered a few of these a while back:



And connected it to a powerstrip:



It'll connect to the lower third on the back portion of the cabinet.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2006, 07:53:31 pm »
Man... I'm not sure why those pictures are so big and fuzzy. Lets see how these next pictures do.

I disassembled the cabinet to paint it. painting without having to make any turns should help me get a smoother finish and avoid using a brush.

Here she is... naked for all to see:





I may get some primer on it yet tonight, or I may wait a bit and make sure I'm really up to it.

My to do list:
  • Cut the control panel
  • Cut Plexiglass for the control panel
  • Wire up LED's
  • Hack power button on the laptop
  • Setup laptop
  • Install Controls and Ipac
  • Wire up light and speakers
  • Install case fans

I've ordered a few things and I'm waiting for them to come in
  • USB Hub
  • 2 red balltop joystick handles
  • Art
  • Case Fan Grills
  • Carriage Bolts, Ipac, Buttons

Whew! Maybe I'll shoot to have it done by Thanksgiving? I'm not sure, with the move coming up - my time is getting less and less mine.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #29 on: November 14, 2006, 08:50:25 pm »
Fine... I'll prime it.

with it all apart... it took about 10 minutes, and it looks pretty good. And I found out I was saving the pics in the wrong resolution.



Tomorrow morning, before I head off to work, I'm going to apply a skim coat of some drywall material over the wood to smooth it out. I'll sand everything down with 400 tomorrow before I stick a 2nd (and last) coat of primer.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2006, 08:56:26 pm »
.......... side story..........

I was working in the garage last friday and I notice something out of the corner of my eye on the floor next to me in the garage. I look up and it's a mouse darting across the wall. I did one of those startled jumps - NOT ONE OF THOSE SCARED JUMPS!  ;D I haven't had a mouse in the house since I've owned houses. We have a pet so I didn't want to use poison, and I wanted the satisfaction of knowing it's dead. I hate when an attempt to kill a spider goes bad and the spider gets away... you just know it's plotting to come back in the middle of the night and get you.

P.E.T.A. members turn away.



Lewis 1 Mouse 0.
The trap really kicked it's ass. Hopefully it was a scout and loner. I'm selling my house soon and a rodent infestation would probably not be good for the bottom line.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2006, 09:20:03 pm »
Quote
The trap really kicked it's ass.

Got him right on the sweet spot!

Nice mini, mini cab. I didn't read through everything up top but how is that side art gonna fit on that thing man? You should put a carry handle on top of that thing for max portability...Maybe even a shoulder strap!
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leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2006, 12:22:05 am »
how is that side art gonna fit on that thing man? You should put a carry handle on top of that thing for max portability...Maybe even a shoulder strap!

No side art - I intend on putting handles on the side.  :)



leapinlew

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2006, 12:25:24 am »
I printed out a joystick and button templates...

I only have a 16" panel and I need to fit 2 sticks and a defender layout. After looking at how Spacies set his up - this looked about as good as I could get.



My primary concerns...

I'd like to move Hyperspace more towards the middle of the CP, but I don't want to cover up the 2084 artwork. When I test it out - it seems pretty comfortable. Anyone have any thoughts or see any problems?

The coin up, exit, and player 1 and player 2 buttons will be on the kickplate area.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2006, 02:12:32 am »
I would recommend moving the 2084 to the lower left, making room for the hyperspace button.  But you already shipped off your artwork for print?  What about the space below the two buttons in the top right?

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #35 on: November 15, 2006, 09:58:55 am »
Heres a beat up version of a stargate control panel - this is what I'm trying to emulate.



I see I can move the smart bomb button closer to the thrust. That'll give me a nice angle.

TheCoder: The artwork was from localarcade. Moving the 2084 is outside of my photoshop skills. :(

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #36 on: November 15, 2006, 06:51:31 pm »
This is my Multi-Williams Bartop CP



It may help you?

The P1 and P2 buttons are on the front face.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2006, 07:00:53 pm by spacies »

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2006, 11:43:05 pm »
Thanks spacies... I appreciate it. I see the hyperspace on yours is even closer to the joystick than I thought. I did something a bit different, but I hope just as good.

Yesterday and today I was going through the tedious process of sanding, priming, sanding, priming, sanding, painting, sanding, and painting. I think 2 coats of paint will do it. Here it is all laid out:


I took a close up of the sides of the cabinet. It has a real healthy reflective shine. It turned out pretty nice:


I also cut the CP... I went to Kinkos and picked up the print. It turned out real nice. A print didn't turn out very well so they ran another one, but they gave me the defect. I used it to measure my controls - this is what it looked like before I drilled it all out:


I drilled it all out and cut the plexi. Cutting plexi has been documented plenty. I did it pretty thoroughly on my last build. You can barely see it here, but I took a chamfer bit to the plexi and put a 45 degree angle at the front of the CP. I popped some buttons in it to make sure it all lined up still.


Tomorrow I am hacking the laptop, and if I have time, I'm going to set it up. This weekend I may get to assemble everything.

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2006, 09:45:31 am »
Awesome!  You are making great progress.  This thing looks like it might be playable this weekend!

Nice paint job too - did you get that finish using a roller?  Is it smooth to the touch?  Are you goign to put a top layer of something over it for protection like poly or something?

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Re: LeapinLew: Bartop Cabinet - Paint Prep... (Even less fun than it sounds)
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2006, 01:15:44 pm »

Hey Leap,

You should rotate your joysticks 90 degrees. It will give a little bit more room to spread the buttons out and means you can bring the reverse button a little closer to the joystick.

Look vey nice!