|Project by KTMM (Krunkthemadman)||posted 10-10-2009 07:09 AM||5688 views||11 times favorited||19 comments|
It’s amazing what a few beers and a couple of bored guys can do…...
In all honesty that’s really how this project started. One fateful night back in the early summer of 2007 this beast was conceived by myself and a good friend. We were up way too late playing some old arcade games on the pc with a couple of basic joypads. At some point we got to talking about how cool the old arcades were and how they almost don’t exist anymore. (We live in central MS and to my knowledge all of the arcades here are gone, except for one, that’s in the ghetto, and I’m not going to take a bullet to play Street Fighter.) My buddy went on to say, “It’d be really cool if we had our own arcade.” That pretty much led to us talking about all the things we liked and didn’t like about the old arcades and the layouts of machines.
The next day I did a bit of research and found out that there were a ton of people out there building these things, and that the internet holds a wealth of knowledge on the subject. The challenge at this point was to build a machine that could survive on my screened in porch here in this wonderful Mississippi weather. This led me to not use any MDF or particle board in the project (except for the pegboard backing). The complete machine was built out of construction 2×4’s outdoor grade 3/4 plywood and some shop scraps. With all this in mind I set out to draw up plans and start locating parts.
I’ll try and summarize three months of grueling work for you…
To begin with we used my father-in-laws shop to build this thing. It is (was) stocked with a bunch of late 70’s and early 80’s Craftsman tools, (several we found out did not work as the project continued). The problem was that we could not get two feet in the door of the shop to begin with, which led to a week long cleanup project from hell. It was horrible. Imagine a 10 year neglected shop that has flooded several times and has had plenty of rodents, birds and reptiles moving in and out of it. Nuff said.
Once that was done we purchased materials (3×3/4 sheets of outdoor plywood, a bunch of 2×4s and a ton of deck screws, and my faithful ryobi drill). With these and some really poorly drawn plans we set forth on the machine. We finished the first machine carcass and control panel in about 2 weeks, working only in the evenings and averaging about 4 hours of sleep. We were so excited that we hooked the monitor and everything up and played it for about a week just like that.
Well that week came and went, and me being who I am decided the whole thing needed to be finished and that a few (hundred) things needed to be modified. So we broke the whole thing down and started over. This rebuild doubled the cost of the whole thing by the time we were done. About 2 months later, working everyday for about 4-6 hours a night, we finally had it cut, assembled, wired, stained and finished. That results are what you see in the photos above.
One note here, we worked at night because we built this thing between August and July here in MS….
P.S. to all wood workers, especially ones starting out, I would like to give a few pointers I learned in this project.
1. DO NOT DRINK WHILE WOODWORKING, I can not emphasize this enough, my friend and I only worked on this project after consuming copious ammounts of rum. Thank God neither of us were horrible injured being drunk and working with power tools. I can tell you that there were several close calls with several different tools.
2. Being 1/16th of an inch off on cuts is not acceptable. Take my advice on this.
3. Stainable wood putty is stainable, but that does not mean it’s going to match your project.
4. Always check the alignment of the table saw fence and blade…..
5. Norm is right, the safety glasses are VERY important…...
6. DO NOT DRINK WHILE WOODWORKING. I really can not emphasize this enough. Believe it or not, the worst thing I got from this project was a few hangovers and some splinters. Oh yeah, and a hole in a work table from shooting a 2×4 off of the table saw.
-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi