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Week 2 -- Sawdust Everywherecolor>
Week 1 -- The First Stepscolor>
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PacMan Cocktail Cabinet Planscolor>

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Introduction_____


Full Size Cabinet
Full Size Cabinet
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I've recently decided to build myself a cocktail cabinet and I figured that I might as well document the process and share it with the denizens of this forum, perhaps it will inspire some of you to build your own as well. This is not my first project of this type, I built a full size upright cabinet about 4 years ago for my college senior project (helped win me 'Best of Show' for my graduating class' portfolio show).

Yep, I took the upright apart and I'm going to take the pieces from the full size cabinet and make a cocktail cabinet out of them. You might be wondering why I would demolish a full size cabinet, well, the short answer is simply due to size. Full size cabinets are heavy and not meant to be moved very often, in the short time that I've had mine, I've had to move it no less than 6 times. That may not seem like much, but almost every time I've had to move it, I've had to move it up and down stairs, which is not fun in the least. In fact, my last place of residence, I lived on the third floor. I'm sure you can imagine how much fun it was to move this thing up and down three flights of stairs. Plus, I'm going to be moving again soon and who knows how many stairs I'll have to move up. I figured this would be the best time to do this project since I actually have a workspace here. Now, for the actual project.


Week 01: The First Steps_____


Full Size Cabinet
Current Arcade Setup
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As is the case with any big project such as this, a lot of planning needs to take place. I've decided to use these plans as the basis for my cocktail. Having used my current cabinet for awhile, I've noticed a lot of the shortcomings in my original design based on how I actually use the cabinet. For example, there really aren't enough buttons and I could use more administrative buttons. I also don't need the two control setups on opposite ends of each other, my son and I like to play games together (he really loves horizontal shooters like R-Type and Gradius) so we need controls that are next to each other. I'm going to place the controls on one of the sides instead of on the ends. I also don't like how the monitor is connected to the top and the whole thing flips out, I'll build some sort of base for the monitor to sit inside instead. As you can see, I've already taken the full cab apart. I've also drawn measurements for most of the pieces that I'm going to need to construct the cocktail, today I plan on cutting all of the pieces out. I'll take some more pictures when I get all of the pieces cut out.


Week 02: Sawdust Everywhere_____

Top Piece
Top Piece
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For this (extended) week, I started to cut out all of the pieces that I would need for this project. Nothing terribly fancy about this process, I used a jigsaw for all of the cutting and did it all in a nice and small (don't forget unventilated) basement room. I'm still blowing sawdust out of my nose. The cutting went more or less alright, I got all of the rounded corners sanded down to a nice and smooth texture.




Busted Computer
Busted Computer
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You may be wondering why this week took so long to get posted when it seems that all I did was cut some wood, well, my desktop computer started acting up this week so I had to spend a couple of days trying to fix that. The computer kept randomly restarting itself no matter what was going on, it could have tons of processes or nothing open and sitting idle, it didn't matter. After ruling out pretty much everything, including the common causes like the power supply and the RAM sticks, I'm pretty sure that the motherboard is failing. I even disconnected the reset button thinking it was somehow getting triggered.

I searched all around town for a place that sold motherboards with no luck, I didn't want to order one online since I wasn't positive that a new motherboard would even fix it and I wanted to be able to return it in case it didn't. In the end, I fixed it the Apple way, I went and bought a new computer. Got a good deal on an HP slim computer that is better than my 6 year old machine, it also came with a 19" flat panel monitor. Anyway, that little story has more to do with the cocktail cabinet than you may think. My old monitor used by the now broken tower is a 24" widescreen CRT behemoth, since we got a new monitor with the new computer, I get to use the old 24" one in my cocktail. That's the monitor there in the picture sitting next to my mostly busted computer. Much better than the old 15" I was going to use and already cut the hole for, so now I have to cut the hole to fit the new monitor.
Split Wood
Split Bottom
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I also planned to start actual construction this week, and I did, to an extent. The first step is to construct the base of the cabinet, move from the ground up if you will. I gathered my pieces required, lined everything up, and then started to screw in the wood screws. This is when I ran into my first major problem, the wood started splitting.

My guess is, the wood is old and actually not in that great of condition, it is over 5 years old after all. This means that I'm going to have to go buy another sheet of plywood, something I really didn't want to have to do.

In addition to the actual work on the cabinet, I spent about 3 days putting together this wiki page to document my progress, it looks nicer and gives me more control than the basic forums do.




Image Gallery_____


Alex Playing Bottom Pieces Almost put Together Split wood sucks Split wood sucks some more Busted Computer




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