ARCADE CABINET PLANS
This easy to build Arcade Cabinet is made from two sheets of plywood or MDF in 3/4″ thickness* is perfect for use with a JAMMA setup, small PC or Raspberry Pi 2/3 computer.
The only tools required are a jigsaw and and screwdriver although a trim router will be required if you choose to use T-molding in your build.
Note: In some parts of the world 22/32″ “cabinet grade plywood” is a common building material. If you choose to use this or other material that is larger or smaller than 3/4″ you may need to adjust some of the other dimensions to compensate. If in doubt, measure twice… Cut once.
Additional tools that will make this project simpler should you decide to purchase them:
- Circular saw or small table saw for cutting the pieces out
- Orbital sander and sanding pads for preparing for paint
- Brad nailer gun and small air compressor for assembly
- Wood glue and “glue bot” for glue up (cleaner and stronger than screws)
- Forstner bits for drilling out buttons
- Sanding sponges for the light finishing work
SIMPLE CUT LIST AND DIAGRAM
The following is a simple cut list and diagram for those who are more experienced wood workers, this serves as a quick start guide. The diagram will help you cut all of the pieces with as little waste as possible.
|Part ID||Part Description||Material||Qty||Length||Width||Thickness|
|A||Side Panels||¾” MDF or Plywood||2||65 5/8″||23.5″||3/4”|
|B||Control Panel||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||9 3/4”||3/4”|
|C||Control Panel Front||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||4”||3/4”|
|D||Tray Front||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||26 7/8”||2”||3/4”|
|E||Front Door||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||26 5/8”||27 5/8”||3/4”|
|F||Monitor Support||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||2 7/8||3/4”|
|G||Marquee Top||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||10 1/2”||3/4”|
|H||Marquee Bottom||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||6 3/4”||3/4”|
|I||Speaker Grill||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||7”||3/4”|
|J||Keyboard Tray||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||26”||14”||3/4”|
|K||Bottom Panel||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||17 1/2”||3/4”|
|L||Marquee Back||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||11 1/8”||3/4”|
|M||Back Panel||¾” MDF or Plywood||1||27”||51”||3/4”|
This is just a recommended cutting diagram to help you save material and keep the arcade down to two sheets of MDF to save you a little money.
ARCADE PARTS LIST
FIRST – Start with one of our DIY Arcade kits. They have everything you need to setup a Pandora’s Retro Arcade System
1 kit includes:
Pandora box DX 3000 in 1 motherboard *1
Jamma cable *1
Power supply *1
LED button *15
Speaker grill *2
Audio cable *1
Coin acceptor *1
Cooling fan with grill *1
Wires cable for led *1
Power socket *1
Wires cable for LED buttons *1
**TRACKBALL – **optional
The following are a parts list for items required (or optional) to build the Arcade cabinet. Optional items can be eliminated to reduce cost of the cabinet but may reduce functionality.
|Plexiglas 10” x 18”||1||Any Home Improvement Center|
|1/2 Sheet MDF or Cabinet Grade Plywood (Sanded, 3/4”)||1||Any Home Improvement Center|
|Paint||1||Any Home Improvement Center||Optional|
|Two Gang Electrical Box||1||http://amzn.to/2niWIsy|
|Electrical Outlet Cover (4 gang)||1||http://amzn.to/2lQFZjg|
|110v Electrical Outlets||2||http://amzn.to/2lQxHbd|
|110v 14-2 Electrical cord with NEMA 5-15P Plug||1||http://amzn.to/2mfLtQK|
|Piano Hinge 12”||1||http://amzn.to/2mfxQAb|
|Marquee Print||1||Any Office Supply Center can print|
|USB Extension Cables||1||http://amzn.to/2mfSwJ0||Optional|
|3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive||1||https://amzn.to/2BFWfti||Optional (but recommended)|
To point out a few things that I think new builders might not initially understand:
- These plans are DIY: We make no guarantees that you’ll be able to build this arcade and we’re not able to provide tutorials over email or other forums to help you learn basic DIY skills. I’m not saying we won’t try to help but at the end of the day teaching DIY skills is beyond the scope of these plans and our support.
- Things change: Although we try hard to keep these plans up-to-date things change that are out of our control. Sometimes vendors change the dimensions of parts, sometimes they remove features such as the VESA mount, etc. We can’t control these things anymore than you can. If you find something has changed, let us know and we will update these plans as quickly as possible.
The good news is that even though these plans are DIY and things do change from time to time, the vast majority of builds go smoothly and turn out awesome! Check out some of these fantastic builds done by you guys! You can see how much you can customize your build to match your style with just a little innovation.
These build notes provide helpful information in addition to those provided in the Arcade FAQ page. We suggest reading them as they can help you make decisions on the build process, especially if you are interested in customizing your arcade.
- These plans are designed for 3/4″ thick material. The smaller buttons in the Sanwa kit will not fit all the way through 3/4″ material. If you don’t have a counter-bore bit or router, you might want to use 1/2” material for the control panel.
- I personally used ¾” X ¾” connector boards to connect the pieces using glue and brad nails. If you decide to use these place them exactly ¾” from the edges of the cabinet sides. When using screws there is no need for these. Another great option for connecting the sides is to use pocket hole screws.
- Some people have replaced the Marquee Light listed above with RGB LED strip lighting such as this Minger Kit. It’s a fantastic option as you can change the color of the lighting behind your marquee with a remote control. Wiring and building the arcade are exactly the same with this bonus feature!
- You can get your Marquee printed at just about any office products store for a few dollars. I recommend a gloss poster board. You can also get side panels and artwork printed from Game on Graphix. They’ve done some great work for me.
- For attaching the drilling templates I recommend using 3M Super 77 spray adhesive. Just a tiny amount is needed.
- We highly recommend reading the Arcade FAQ before beginning. 99% of all questions we get are already covered there. It’s also a good place to get your bearings before beginning.
- Refer to the SketchUp file if for some reason you need an exact angle or other exact dimensions that is not listed. The SketchUp file is fantastic for making modifications to the cabinet. SketchUp can be downloaded here. I don’t have any affiliation with SketchUp, nor do I offer support for how to use it. If you decide to modify the plans, I’d suggest going on their forums and watching Mathias Wandel’s tutorials on SketchUp.
CUTTING THE COMPONENT PIECES
CUT PARTS A, B, C, AND D
First, cut out parts A, B, C, and D. You will need two of part A as these will make up your side panels. If you have a decently accurate jigsaw, you can stack two pieces of MDF to make these at the same time. Parts B and C will make up your control panel, and part D will be the front of your keyboard tray.
Note: You can use the USB drilling template on part C if you wish to add USB ports to your cabinet.
CUT PARTS E, F, G, H AND I
Next, cut out parts E, F, G, and H. Part E sits directly under the monitor. Part E becomes the front door. Part F becomes the monitor support. Parts G an H form the lighted marquee box. Part I is the speaker grill.
CUT PARTS J, K AND L
Next move on to cutting parts J, K, and L. Part J becomes the keyboard tray, part L will be the backside of the marquee, while part K becomes the bottom panel of the arcade.
CUT PART M
Finally cut part M. Part M will be the back panel of your arcade cabinet where you can also drill the optional fan holes.
VESA MOUNTING GUIDE (OPTIONAL)
If you purchase a monitor that has VESA mounting holes, you might decide to affix it in your arcade with a VESA mount. We’ve included a handy guide for that, although this is completely optional. Affix the VESA mount to the monitor before installing it. We recommend using pocket holes screws to secure the VESA mount for easy future removal.
VESA mounts come in many different sizes depending on manufacturer and country. The most common two sizes are 75mm and 100mm mounts. Check your monitors dimensions before drilling.
EXPANDED ASSEMBLY VIEW
The following image shows how all of the parts arrange. If you decide to use pocket hole screws for assembly, all you need to do is drill the pocket holes and assemble the pieces and can skip past the next section. If you decide to use 3/4″ connector braces, we’ll begin installing those next.
INSTALLING BACKER BLOCKS (OPTIONAL)
In this section we’ll give a quick tutorial of how to install the backer blocks if you decide to use them. I get a lot of emails about this subject and the question is almost always “Where do I put the backer blocks? The plans are not specific.” The back blocks can go anywhere you decide to put them! The positioning of these blocks is basically irrelevant as long as you don’t place them in front of some other part. They can be as long or as short as you like. They will never be seen.
Beyond the positioning of these backer blocks, it is important to understand that they are 100% optional. I use them on my arcades because I personally feel like it makes the assembly easier. However, if you decide to use pocket hole screws do not use these backer blocks! They will prevent you from drilling your pocket holes!
CUTTING THE BACKER BLOCKS
I recommend you start by cutting about 10 backer blocks to get started. Make them 3/4″ X 3/4″ by 12″. You can then cut them down to size for specific locations on the arcade.
INSTALLING THE BACKER BLOCKS
The most important thing to remember is to install the backer blocks 3/4″ from the side of the panel. The best way to do this is to use a second backer block as a spacer.
Note: The position of the backer block for the monitor is 100% up to you. It depends on your preference of monitor angles. I recommend you assemble the arcade and then sit the monitor in the cavity on the bottom monitor support and move the top of the monitor forward and backward until you fin the location that suits your preference and works with your monitors viewing angle. Draw a line at that location and install the backer block.
WIRING YOUR ARCADE
Wiring your arcade is really simple. Just about anyone can do it. However, in some countries, wiring electrical must be done by a qualified electrician so check your local laws before beginning. In the US anyone is allowed to do their own electrical work for personal non-commercial use.
WIRING THE OUTLETS (OPTION 1)
The first option is for an arcade that you’d just like to be on all of the time when it is plugged in. This is what most people choose.
WIRING THE OUTLETS W/SWITCH (OPTION 2)
The second option for wiring your cabinet is to include an inline switch, allowing you to turn off the arcade cabinet when it is not being used. T
This section contains downloadable drilling templates in PDF format. Be sure to use Adobe Reader to print these and select “poster mode” on the print dialog box. Printing these inside Chrome, Firefox, etc. will not work.