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How hard is it to build a Arcade Machine

Since everyone doesn't have the same skill set, this is always a little hard to answer. However generally people fall into one of three categories:

I have limited woodworking or limited Electronic Skills

I have Ok woodworking and Ok Electronic Skills

I'm Handy with woodworking and Handy with Electronics

Limited woodworking Skills or Limited Electronics Skills

If you fall into this area don't worry you can still get your very own arcade machine. It may take you a touch longer but you'll learn lots on the way and love it all the same. We will talk about some of the workrounds and ideas to make this project happen.

Woodworking - Arcade Cabinet

Don't stress about not having a strong wood working skills, there's plenty of options to get a professional looking cabinet made. Lets list what they are.

  • Handy Mate : We all know someone who seems to be able to make anything and have it look great. Word them up about giving you a hand and maybe teach you a thing or two. It's also helpful to either supply beer / food to entice them!
  • Flat Pack Arcade Cabinets : There's plenty of suppliers of flat pack cabinets going around. It's pretty much find the cabinet you like and in your price range. What I would recommend is checking reviews, return policy, warranty, contact the supplier and ask if they provide installation instructions and if possible to get a look at them before hand. Most are straight forward to put together.

Helpful links

Arcade Cabinets at jacobud

But how long will it take?

With a Handy Mate the time it takes to build a Arcade Cabinet could take a weekend to a couple of weekends depending on time etc. The cabinets themselves are pretty easy to put together and you'll be surprised how quick its completed. Buying a flat pack arcade cabinet will take no time at all, You can get a pack together in a morning and the electronics mounted by the end of the day.

Electronics - Wiring the Machine

Our kits and in house written installation instructions make installing the electronics very easy. When you purchase one of our kits you get access to download the installation instructions. This is a full booklet showing how to put together our parts with full colour pictures and detail descrptions. We also offer email support during your project build.

But how long will it take?

The electronics installation take's no time at all to get up and running.  You can have it up to a power on and running state within a couple of hours. However saying that, tiding all the wires and making the side of your cabinet look neat can take up another few hours. I can't stress enough the importaintance of lablling and making your wiring clean, When it comes to troublshooting this greatly reduces time to get your system up and running.

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I have OK woodworking and OK Electronic Skills

This is where the bulk of our customers fall into. They have enough knowhow to get some plans together and go down to the local hardware store and pickup a few sheets of MDF/PLY and cut their own cabinets out. The electronic side is pretty easy for them also. Here is some options that we've noticed people taking.

Woodworking - Arcade Cabinet

  • Self Built - I high percentage of people in this area love to make the cabinet's. The project to them is alot about the built process as well as having an Arcade Machine at the end. You'll know if you fit into this category by the fact that you've already looked for plans, checked out the price of a full sheet of MDF/PLY. So what are your options?
    • Arcade Plans - There are plenty of sites out there will CAD drawings of arcade cabinets which you can download. Most will not be to scale and you'll need to draw them on the sheets and manually cut out. However if you have access to a large printer or have a local printing place, it's nice to be able to get full 1:1 scale printings so you can either trace or stick onto your sheets of wood.
  • Flat Pack Arcade Cabinets : There's plenty of suppliers of flat pack cabinets going around. It's pretty much find the cabinet you like and in your price range. What I would recommend is checking reviews, return policy, warranty, contact the supplier and ask if they provide installation instructions and if possible to get a look at them before hand. Most are straight forward to put together but without clear and easy instructions, it could get very frustrating.

Helpful links

Arcade Cabinets at jacobud

But how long will it take?

For most people in this category it will take longer than most, Why? Because they enjoy learning about every part of the project. They'll research the best way to cut the wood, best way to finish the painting, best fittings etc.. They're also the people that might have a couple of project on the go at one time, It's a labour of love and will get finished in time.. You know what im talking about, it not about the time. Saying that, it's very hard to say.. It could be a month it could be a year but you know what, It'll get done.

Electronics - Wiring the Machine

Our kits and in house written installation instructions make installing the electronics very easy. When you purchase one of our kits you get access to download the installation instructions. This is a full booklet showing how to put together our parts with full colour pictures and detail descrptions. We also offer email support during your project build.

But how long will it take?

The electronics installation take's no time at all to get up and running.  You can have it up to a power on and running state within a couple of hours. However saying that, tiding all the wires and making the side of your cabinet look neat can take up another few hours. I can't stress enough the importaintance of lablling and making your wiring clean, When it comes to troublshooting this greatly reduces time to get your system up and running.

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I'm Handy with woodworking and Electronics

Why are you reading this if your handy with both? :) 

Wood working

If you don't know much about cabinet designs once you look at a drawing you'll find out how easy it actually is. Since you're handy with wood working then you'll be fine. You can google "Arcade Machine Plans" or check out jacobud which have a nice selection of cad drawings.

Electronics

Our kits and in house written installation instructions make installing the electronics very easy. When you purchase one of our kits you get access to download the installation instructions. Since you're handy with electronics it'll be straight forward for you, it's all quick disconnectors.

How long will it take?

With your skill set you should be able to knock this over in a weekend or two depending on your work shop and allowed project time. The project is a fun exercise and will leave you with a retro Arcade machine at the end. 

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