DIY : I Built an Arcade. From Scratch… (cabinet build) – Stephen Browne – Medium

So it all started when I started to play a game called Robotron 2084 on an online emulator. I then thought that it would be really cool to have my own arcade to play old/retro games on. I started planning it all out and realized it wouldn’t be too expensive and it would be a really awesome project.

I spent hours going through different shapes and designs until I settled on the project Mame blueprints.

Project Mame Blueprints

I really liked the shape of this design but I wanted to make my arcade very authentic so I added an extra 100mm to the depth of the design so that I could fit an original arcade CRT in the cabinet. I then got to building the cabinet, I decided to go with MDF for the frame as it makes the arcade feel solid and it doesn’t warp when it gets wet. It’s also fairly easy to work with.

Cabinet frame

I used long wood screws for all the joints as well as wood glue to ensure a secure bond. All pieces were held together by corner clamps while the glued dried. I counter sunk and then used wood filla to hide all the screws.

Once the the general structure of the cabinet was secure I started deciding on the angles of the different sections such as the screen and control board. I used no specific angles I just went with what “looked and felt right”.

Cabinet with control panel and kickplate

I then searched and tried to find an original arcade CRT, luckily for me there is an online store near me: — They were able to find me a CRT that was from an original arcade. They also supplied me with a new control board and transformer for the CRT. I then placed the CRT in the cabinet, I sadly ended up scratching this CRT slightly and tried to remove the scratches but I was unsuccessful so I decided to buy another CRT. I then realized I was going to have many issues trying to get the CRT to work but that’s for another blog entry. 🙂

CRT installed in cabinet

Next Blog Entry Coming Soon!


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