Tuesday, June 14, 2005

MAME cabinet: panel construction

I purchased a 1 1/8 hole saw for drilling the button holes and was all ready to begin marking and drilling holes for buttons and joysticks.

I looked at my 48x19 piece of plywood. I looked away. I looked back. Drilling holes in this thing is a big step. If I change my mind about anything after the fact, I would have to cut a new piece of wood.

But I'd prototyped the whole thing on a 48x19 piece of cardboard, and it was all good, so I should be able to begin with impunity.

I grabbed the piece of wood, and instead of beginning to mark out the hole locations, I lopped six inches off each side and five inches off the back, winding up with a 36x15 control panel.

What? Why? Well, I've been looking at the size of the cardboard prototype, and it just seems too darn big. And, I realised that the control panel actually built and placed on Jeff's ultimate MAME machine is a much smaller one than what he put in his cutout plans.

Far happier now, I proceeded to mark out all the locations, and did a little bit of drilling, and ended up with what you see here.

Plywood control panel
Plywood control panel (click to enlarge)

It looks a little asymmetric, mostly because the joystick holes aren't jigsawed out yet, but it's a much more manageable size. It should now overhang by about 3" per side, instead of 9".

Next on the agenda: jigsawing out the joystick and trackball holes.

I also need to construct the sides of the panel and attach them. Oh, and I've got to find some material to put over top of the panel. I'd like to use a laminate of some kind, but I've got to find somewhere I can buy a smaller sheet.

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