Cabinet Construction

For the cabinet construction, I decided to use 3/4″ MDF because I was familiar with the material from building subwoofer boxes.  It paints well and is easy to work with.

The first step was to cut out all the large pieces I could be needing.  The sides, front and inner shelf were the biggest pieces that needed cutting.  I don’t have a lot of tools so all my cutting was done with either a jigsaw or a router.

As you can see in the picture above, for the framing I ended up using a cedar that measured 1.5″ x .75″.  This would provide plenty of strength for my shelving and also give me room to screw the different pieces together.

In this picture, you can see where I used my vinyl cutter to cut a template for my front panel.  It includes two holes for the 10″ subwoofers, a hole for the coin door and a larger opening for where all the computer components and power supply would be housed.

Here you can see that I have attached the bottom of the cabinet to the two sides and front panel.  I also took an opportunity to test fit the control panel which I had completed beforehand.

The next step was to add the inner shelf that will be holding the amplifier and electrical strip.  After that the remaining pieces needed for the subwoofer boxes were added along with the panel for the front speakers.

Here is a shot from the front at about the same time during the build.  Here again I was testing the fit of the control panel and getting my first look at what the completed arcade would look like.

At this point it was time to start priming and painting the cabinet.  Everything was painted by hand with a paint brush.  I painted with a high gloss paint because I new eventually I would by wrapping everything in carbon fiber vinyl so I need a good surface for it to stick to.

Here you see another picture of the priming and painting process.  Doing all this by hand took a long time but I think the finished results were well worth it.

After painting was completed, I added a rubber backed mat to the bottom shelf, inner shelf and where the control panel would rest.  This just made for a better look and also my dampen some of the vibrations coming from the subwoofers.  The mat I used was actually made to keep area rugs from sliding around.

Again, here you can see the matting I put down on the bottom and inner shelf.  You can also see the terminal cups I installed in the subwoofer boxes.

I knew I wanted to add something on the cabinet where the back of the control panel would be resting.  I wanted to do this for vibration dampening and to also make sure the control panel fit snugly.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to use but I ended up finding this belt at the flea market for one dollar.  I just cut it into the correct size pieces and nailed it in place.  Worked perfectly!

For the bottom of the cabinet I decided to mount furntiture sliders instead of the usual wheels.  Since the arcade would be on carpet, it would be easy to slide around and would sit lower to the ground than if it had wheels. I’m very happy with the way it turned out.  The arcade moves around very easily.

Here you can see a closeup of the metal L brackets and furniture sliders I used.  It was tough finding the correct size sliders that had a mounting hole in them.  The brackets also provide structural support.  The cabinet is as solid as a rock!

I wanted to use the side art from the original TMNT arcade cabinet but I knew I would have to make a few changes.  On the left is the original art and on the right is the updated art work I did to fit my cabinet.

I had to move the logo from the top left down to where Donatello was so that it would fit on my cabinet.  This was easy enough as I just found a high resolution image of the logo and added it to the artwork.

I also decided to add eyes to all the turtles.  I think the turtles on the original kinda looked creepy and menacing.  Adding the black circles made them look better in my opinion.

After completing the graphics work the files were sent over to the guys at GameOnGraphix.com for printing.  I am really happy with the quality and the way the prints turned out.  The finished product is very close to the original art work but a few changes made it better I think.