Tuesday
Jun082010

Assembly

It's time to show how I put all the pieces together. With the paint done the next step was to assemble the cabinet. I was too anxious to wait and do the graphics (admittedly I still have not finished them) so I went and assembled the cabinet ready for the electronics. I'll have to remove the legs, coin door and buttons when it comes to applying the vinyl.

Quick Recap

First here's where I am with the cabinet parts, ready for assembly.

Here's the cabinet itself finished with gloss black paint, and ivory white.

Cabinet finally ready for assemblyThe empty backbox with top open.

The speaker grill.What a relief to have all the parts ready and to be able to finally put them together. By this stage all the metal parts and buttons I had ordered had been here for weeks, I was glad I wasn't waiting for them to arrive.

Putting it Together

To begin I placed all the essential items in loosely. With everything finally ready it's really just a matter of placing and screwing thing in. The coin door, back door locks and fan grills were all straight forward with appropriate pre-drilled screw holes and screws locking them in place. The speakers for the speaker grill were also easily screwed into place. The playfield glass guide at the back of the cabinet simply slots in between the backing plate and the fit was so tight I just used a mallet to drive it in (no need to glue it or anything else). The drawer I made to host the computer simply slides in and out on the runners, I screwed these back into position after the paint had dried and reattach the back door hinges.

The draw and back door are in place, as well as the backing plate and playfield glass rest.You may notice in the photo there is no holes in the top of the cabinet for the monitor cables to pass through, but I add these later.

The plunger took some careful consideration to get right as I wasn't supplied the correct screws. A visit to the hardware store didn't help either. No thread I tried would match, so make sure you get the screws shipped with your plunger if you order one! In the end I had to make some brackets I had lying about to get a strong tight fit with some screws that only sort of fit. I don't recommend this! The lockdown bar is such a tight fit I just jam it in place, one day I may get around to screwing it in position. Not all lockdown bars come with that bracket installed though.

The coindoor, plunger and buttons are loosely placed before screwing them in. The buttons are simply tighten into place by their own plastic bracket.

Testing the backdoor and drawer. Works a treat and makes life so much easier in the next step of assembly.

The legs are fairly easy to install if you have something to take the weight of the cabinet. Surprisingly this is a very heavy piece of equipment! With assistance (in this case a wooden chest to take the weight) you bolt the legs in place. Using a piece of foam I protect the outside of the case when attaching the legs as they are really pinched together into place with the brackets (not really screwed into place.) A good tight fit with the spanner is essential, after all you don't want a leg prying loose as you bash this cabinet about.

The back fan grills with fans installed were just simply screwed into place. It's ironic that I enjoy looking at the back of the cabinet more than anything else. The semi-gloss black paint against the chrome fan grills, chrome legs and blue led lights coming from the fans just looks so nice to me. I guess that's something only the creator will truly appreciate, but I was proud of the results and it was the one area that was truely finished.

You know you're happy with something you've built when you stare at it from multiple angles, walk away and then come back and look again. Yes I like the back of my cabinet!The shell of the cabinet complete, now for the fun part - wiring it all together.

Time to reflect

For the first time I could stand back and truly see the final product in my mind. What a feeling to have come this far. If you're reading this and thinking of building a cabinet, let me just say at this point it is truly worth every minute. Any frustrations I had felt with the paint were totally worth it. A very rewarding feeling to have built something that looks like a commercial product. Sorry to go on but I am also very pleased at selecting a minimalist approach with the buttons and plunger. There is something elegant about the simplicity and familiarity of the interface despite it's limitations.

Now that you're completely over my self praise, I hope you will enjoy reading my next post on wiring this all together.

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Reader Comments (3)

Ok, so how about an update for the wiring segment? Your work has come along so far so fast (yes, even if you think it was slow by other's standards and results). Please, let us know about the wiring, the computer configuration and issues you had and hardware choices you made. And of course show us some video of your finished work when done. Please, do turn of auto focus when you do your videos :)

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Agreed - I love this blog... update, please

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjonathan

Nice to know it's appreciated. It's been almost a year since i finished this cab. Still haven't completed my artwork as life and everything else just got in the way. I'll have to get cracking again!

November 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterDan Potter
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