Building an arcade cabinet (part 2)

Jun 22, 2017 By:Thom Zeilstra

A few weeks have passed since the last blog post about the arcade cabinet. We managed to finish it just in time (May 17th)! In this post I’ll talk about the process of sawing and assembling the cabinet itself. And in a third (and last) post I will cover the last things we did to finish the arcade cabinet!


We made the arcade cabinet out of MDF which is easy to saw, and cheap to buy. We have 18mm thick MDF for the sides and bottom parts. 9mm thick MDF for most of the other panels (back sides, speaker plate, etc) and 4mm for the control panel. We used pinewood for the beams inside the cabinet. To put everything together we used lots of wood glue and some screws, sized accordingly to the thickness of the wood. We used 4mm acrylic sheets in front of the monitor and the marquee.

Sawing & drilling

We used a circular saw for cutting the side panels. Since these are the only panels shaped differently. Sawing the beams and other MDF parts wasn’t an issue. Problems came with sawing the acrylic sheets. Turns out, drilling and cutting acrylic sheets isn’t that easy. If you go a little too fast the sheet shatters and you can start all over again! The acrylic does look very nice and was absolutely worth it.


Now for the tricky part, putting everything together and hoping we didn’t make an error somewhere in the sizes. Luckily there where no errors! Everything fell in place perfectly! We used a milling cutter for the small grooves in the side panels so we are able to place some T-molding on the sides. For easy transport we can detach the top part of the cabinet, so we had to make sure everything aligns perfectly. The small fan vents in the woods is also made using the milling cutter.

In the next post I’ll show the the electronics, painting process and stickering. I’ve posted some more pictures in the gallery below. If you are intrested in making your own arcade, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

Some more pictures