Jan 292006

I put in the top channel for the second side. I then routed a 1/2 in. curve (bevel radius) on the back and bottoms of both sides. On the first side, when I got to where the channel was, the router dipped into the channel creating a lovely crater. I just stood there and stared at it for a while. But, as I am learning, wood putty is your friend. I filled the gap with wood putty and set it aside to dry. I cut out the kick plate and beveled the bottom of the piece and made some side braces for later in the build. These were rounded it as well. I love the router.

Jan 282006

I am seeing that building this is a great excuse to get some new tools. Knowing that the cab build was coming, I asked for and received a router for Christmas. I got to use it for the first time today. What a great tool. I started by doing a rough cut of the second side with the jig saw. Then I used a laminate bit on the router and just traced the first side. It mowed through the second side MDF like butter. I thought that there might be marks or divots. It was just as smooth as the first side. It was too easy.

With the confidence I just gained, I went on to cut the slots for the t-molding. T-molding is a plastic decorative trim that will be added at the very end of the build. The slot was just as easy. My only gripe is that one has to love the taste of MDF if he/she undertakes this hobby. That stuff went everywhere. Soon grabbed a face mask and continued.

After much procrastination (read… fear) I decided to try routing the first channel for the base plate. It needed to be 1/4 in deep and 3/4 in wide. I clamped a board to the surface to act as a guide. It was actually easy. The line was perfectly straight minus a couple of dings where I stopped paying attention (Note to self part II…). But It was very near perfect. I set the wheel base in the channel and it fit great. I then did the other cab side and it went well just as well. Later I cut the channel for the top boards on the first side. At this point it was getting dark and a little cold, so I called it a day. This is so much fun.

 Posted by at 8:54 pm
Jan 272006

Well, I am happy. I actually got to work on the cab tonight. It is taking a lot of time but it is fun. I am working on the cabinet sides. I guess it is my own fault; I wanted everything to be curves on this thing. I wanted no sharp corners or totally straight lines. So it is a lot harder to figure out measurements. After a lot of shaping, I finally have it coming into to a nice form. The sander really does nice work with MDF.

I had one near casualty. I was cutting the scoop out for the monitor area. While I was cutting everything started to slow down. I applied more pressure and eventually it became easier again. When the piece cut free I realized the reason for the slow down. I had cut right through the saw horse (Note to self… don’t do this. ). Tomorrow, I will clamp the other side to this one and route it into shape.

Jan 162006


The Build Begins…

I started the actual build. It was a bit humbling. I had help getting the big pieces cut out, but have been going solo ever since. Today I learned how to rip a sheet of wood right down the center. I guess it is the nature of MDF to split so easily. Back to the saw and had to cut some more pieces. Part of me is thinking that I should be building the base out of ply.

I am taking a couple of ideas from my Taito QIX cabinet. I am going to run a channel down both side pieces of the cabinet. It will be 1/4 in deep. Then when it is joined with the base I should get extra strength due to the extra contact, and it should be square (assuming my channel is square). I will also be channeling the top piece. I will have L brackets in place as well for extra strength.

I have watched so many people on the BYOAC board build these cabinets and I keep wondering how it could take so long. Well, know I know. I thought I would breeze through a lot of this. But I am seeing that it will not be a quick process. I was hoping to have much more completed by the end of the weekend.

The idea here is that this thing will probably weight quite a lot (3 sheets of MDF). The base is ¾ in. thick. I am using swivel wheels on the front and straight locked wheels on the back. At the very back there is an angle cut out so that I can tip the cabinet back and push it around with the back 2 wheels if I need to without tearing up the MDF. Once I found out how much space the swivel wheels needed, I attached braces through out the base. The braces were glued, and then screwed down for extra support. The screws were countersunk, covered with wood putty, and then sanded smooth.



Jan 072006

Since the control panel is the center piece of the whole thing, I decided to start there. Here is my first draft of my CPO (Control Panel Overlay). The second image is a pseudo mock up of the button layout. My idea is that the right player will have a 7th button below the main buttons to the lower left. This can act as hyperspace / shield for a Gravitar, or Asteroids type layout. The left player will have a button above the main set to form a diamond for Vanguard. I always liked Vanguard but I really suck at it.

For the graphic design, I tried to capture the feeling of 80’s machines in general. It’s kind of like an abstract construct of a Space Invaders type thing. My intention is to also make a stencil for this and then do a spray version on the side of the cabinet, like the look of the old Williams games.
I made a desktop CP (Control Panel) a few years ago that I liked, but the spacing was a little too close together. I need to look at CP Sketcher and make the grid smaller so I can scoot them a little closer and still keep the alignment.