Bartop Arcade cab takes shape

Installed a new table saw over the weekend, and wow even though I’m just cutting MDF, it’s amazing what a difference a real table saw can make. MDF stands no chance and now kneels before me.

I re-cut all of my inside panels using 1/2″ MDF to cut down on overall weight and to save whatever precious interior space that I could. HUGE difference between 3/4″ and 1/2″ for the internals. The cabinet went on a diet and feels healthier now. But it still enjoys carbs. And hot cheetohs.

I also found some other design pictures from my original stand-up cab idea. I’m glad I let it die long ago, it’s a cool idea but DAMN that design is busy.


LCARS, the OS that should’ve been…


Behemoth, now with backlit display shelves!

The idea for the control panel was to have it all backlit, similar to the way it was actually done during production of TNG, and have separate sections of the panel light up depending on what game/situation was running. In the end I realized what I really wanted was a working LCARS panel, and building a full size arcade cabinet for that was probably overkill. Though it would’ve been nice to have the cool display shelves on the base of the cabinet to show off some of my Star Trek collection. FUTURE POST IDEA.

Back to the minicab: I’m going to do a cutout on the sides, backed by white plexi on the inside. Here’s a rough prototype to see if it was even worth it.


Took some extra time, but testing proved valuable in determining which acrylic passed light the way I wanted.

If I’m going to do artwork, I want it to be cleaner and more simple than the stand up cab would’ve been. Blueprints are always a good look:  

Rough cutting a template, then refining the final template to use as a router stencil on the actual cabinet sides. I really don’t want to mess this up and have to recut the side pieces, because honestly I kind of winged it when cutting them and that’s part of their appeal.  

Two’s company, but third time’s a charm! Wait is that not the saying?


Don’t blow this, Steve.


The project could end here, and I’d still be happy.


Success! Christmas is not ruined and the cabinet will continue.
Also received some additional hardware. I went for the iPac VE for the free air mail. For anyone thinking about going for this option, just know that it really does take a full month to receive from the UK:

Next up, begin rabbeting the inside of the insignia cutouts so the acrylic sits separated from the cutout itself, and continue the general construction of this monstrosity.

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