Vewlix 'Slim' worklog: Vewlix Inspired Modular Arcade Cabinet - Project Raptor

ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
Current state of cab (June 2012):

IMG_0777.jpg

Worklog:

I thought I'd start a log on the new Vewlix style cabinet I'm building. It's called a 'slim' because it will house a 24" rather than a 32" monitor; this may be useful to the many people who have a similar size monitor who want to build a cab. The overall width of the machine will be around 65cms asoposed to the Vewlix's 80. The depth and height will also be marginally smaller but not by too much. I'm intending to keep with the original design look as much as practically possible.

Having built an arcade machine and a race simulator pod before, I'm not going to kid myself that this is going to take less than 3 months to fully complete.

Here's some rather uninspiring views of the base. I've included some beveling on the front panel. This has taken me a couple of days to build so far and I'm intending to take my time to get it all right. The base will need to be cut further once the main side panels have been prepared.

VewLixSlimBase.jpg

VewLixSlimBaseBevel.jpg
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Comments

  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    I'm only going to be able to work on this at the weekends so progress will be slow. Finished a template for the sides this morning but still getting used to my new router. Made a mistake which I had to correct so it's not quite perfect. The edges are nice and straight though.

    VewlixMiniTemplateSide.jpg

    VewlixMiniTemplate.jpg
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  • BowserKushBowserKush Joined: Posts: 88
    looking good man, keep us updated!
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Well I managed to completely balls up cutting the second side using the first as a template and ruined the template in the process. Nevermind, it gave me an opportunity to redo the template to get it just right. Managed to cut the second side without any mishaps. Now I have to add another 18mm layer to each side to make each side 30mm thick.

    VewlixSlimSidesOn.jpg

    The monitor fits nicely! Must clean the lens on my camera .....
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  • FivewaysFiveways Add me on PSN! Joined: Posts: 120
    Looking good so far dude! Lookin forward to seeing the progress.
    Bogus...
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  • TamaThpsTamaThps Joined: Posts: 113
    Very cool man, looking forward to the finished product.
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  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 20,835 admin
    Looking cool. Cant wait to see the final product. How much you think that'll run you total?
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Looking cool. Cant wait to see the final product. How much you think that'll run you total?

    I've invested in some new tools, but I won't count those because I'll be making new versions of my existing MAME cab and racing pod. The monitor (LG 16:9, HDMI, VGA and DVI - 1080p) was about 180 and the Logitech Z-5400 5.1 sound system just over 100. The materials will run to about 120 or so (MDF, various other pieces of wood, acrylic, vinyl, screws, paint, varnish, levelling feet etc). Then there's the parts for the control panel; pad (ebay), buttons and joystick which would be another 50 or so. In all, I'd estimate about 450. I reckon probably not too far off that in dollars.
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  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 20,835 admin
    Gotta say that is pretty cool. I was thinking about making something very similar. Figured I would even use 24mm buttons instead of 30mm buttons and a person could put a 30mm ball top on instead of the 35mm. nice...
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Ok, I've cut the remaining pieces for the sides and stuck them together. Each is now 30mm thick. The edges will need to be bevelled but I won't do that until the top is complete. I've spent most of the day creating the first rounded piece for the top. I can now use this as a template for the remaining 3 pieces. One thing I've noticed is that this design is very wasteful of MDF.

    Bought some levelling feet this morning and some speaker cloth. This machine will have an interchangeable contol panel so it can be used for a PC as well. This means I have to implement the speakers slightly differently (3 at the front) but I think the finished look will be just as good as the Vewlix.

    VewlixSlimTopTemplate.jpg

    VewlixSlimTop1.jpg

    The top will still require a trim towards its base to fit correctly with the sides. Both will need to be angled slightly to get the bevelling to line up correctly.
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    I've finished all the top pieces and routed the inside edge. I still have the outside edge to do.

    VewlixSlimTopStack.jpg

    VewlixSlimTopDetail.jpg

    I've also bevelled the sides as well. God it's a messy business without dust extraction. Mask/respirator is essential.

    VewlixSlimBevelledPair.jpg

    VewlixSlimBevelledSideson.jpg

    I still have a few things to do with both the top and the sides.

    That'll be it now until next weekend......
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  • exarchezekielexarchezekiel G4C|Frankie G Joined: Posts: 1,523
    Subscribed!!!:tup:

    This looks awesome can't wait to see it till it's done!

    Also lol yeah I gotta agree first pics do seem a lil uninspiring.:sweat:

    None of the less still cool!

    -EX :cool:
    LETS DANCE IN YOUR FACE HAHA IN YOUR FACE DON'T BLINK! JACKPOT! GOTCHA NOW IN YOUR FACE GET BACK NOT DONE YET YAHOO IN YOUR FACE LETS GO KEEPING IT STYLISH HERES THE FINALE! I'M GOOD ARENT I?

    I <3 MomoChuuu

    Follow @FrankieG7Chi
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  • InverseInverse You? Destroy...me? Joined: Posts: 1,711
    Subbed. Keep up the good work. Stay motivated.
    "So Ryu is looking like poop more and more?"
    ~Rockman85

    "No you'll just have to actually learn how to use Ryu."
    ~Deviljin 01
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  • rtdzignrtdzign Joined: Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭
    Yeah man when you get yours done, I was going to do somthing similar. Im not going to do a viewlix clone Just make a stand for my arcade sticks to put in front of a couch for an HD TV. Something that can be folded away to not disturb the living room.
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Thanks for the encouragement and the positive comments guys! Not supposed to be working on this during the week but am doing so for a short time today. Here's a picture of the completed front. The base of the top piece needs to be trimmed down to fit on the top of the sides. The inside pieces of the top section, particularly the second one from the front, are thinner on the inside. This will allow the marquee to fit properly. I also routed out the back 3 pieces at the bottom so they will align with the sides of the cab. I can then use another couple of pieces of wood on the insides the secure the top to the sides. I'm hoping everything will line up perfectly so I can paint it to look like one single piece. I'm really pleased with how this is going and the speed at which it is happening. I'm not pleased with how filthy it is and wasteful of MDF it is though.

    VewlixSlimFrontFinal2.jpg

    Fairly soon I'll be thinking about spraying it (just bought an Earlex SprayStation 3000; not the best in the business by any means but I'm sure it will be better than spray cans or paint and a roller. If anyone has any tips for this, please feel free to chip in!
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  • doomydoomy Joined: Posts: 312
    Only thing I can suggest is maybe thermoforming it as opposed to painting it. I will be doing something similar and have a big assed vacformer here at work to play with, maybe look into that instead. I know painting MDF is a long task to make it look good, maybe somewhere local to you will do it. In fact, where in the UK are you?
    For Acrylics in Europe and general, hopefully interesting blog.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Doomyworks-Arcade-Stick-Modding/124225307605289?ref=sgm
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Sounds interesting! I've never heard of thermoforming before. Can you provide some details on the process and what it does? I'd also be curious as to the price involved. I'm in in Surrey, near Croydon.
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  • doomydoomy Joined: Posts: 312
    It's a process that involves plastic like sheeting, not unlike laminate, heated up and vaccumed around the MDF which is covered in a thin layer of glue. It lies on a suction bed which sucks air out of it, and is basically heatshrunk around it. I have a stick in my sig which shows what it looks like. The black covered MDF is thermoformed...
    For Acrylics in Europe and general, hopefully interesting blog.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Doomyworks-Arcade-Stick-Modding/124225307605289?ref=sgm
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    That looks really good! I'd seen your work before and thought if had been manufactured. Sounds expensive though, how much would it cost (ballpark)?
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  • ZeroSumHappinessZeroSumHappiness Joined: Posts: 398
    doomy, do they make cylinders of plastic sheet for thermoforming? Seems that would be ideal for something like this.

    eric, if you wanted to reduce the MDF loss you could have cut the curves in two parts, like interlocking Ls and just glued them together. Alternating leg lengths would have allowed better contact between pieces as well.
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  • doomydoomy Joined: Posts: 312
    doomy, do they make cylinders of plastic sheet for thermoforming? Seems that would be ideal for something like this.

    eric, if you wanted to reduce the MDF loss you could have cut the curves in two parts, like interlocking Ls and just glued them together. Alternating leg lengths would have allowed better contact between pieces as well.

    Yeah it comes large rolls, its laid across the MDF and suction bed and trimmed for length. Then its a 20 minute process heating.
    That looks really good! I'd seen your work before and thought if had been manufactured. Sounds expensive though, how much would it cost (ballpark)?

    I honestly have no idea, I assume the price for a roll is prohibitive but asking a local firm that did cabinets/kitchen/exhibition (like mine) is probably your best bet. I wouldnt imgine it costing much, a bit of labour and minimal parts.
    For Acrylics in Europe and general, hopefully interesting blog.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Doomyworks-Arcade-Stick-Modding/124225307605289?ref=sgm
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Thanks for the tip ZeroSumHappiness. I'm learning a lot as I'm doing this. I'm currently trying to figure out the design for my next cab as well so I'll be sure to put some of the learning points into action!
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Thanks for the update doomy. I'll have a look to see if there's anywhere local. I need to watch the cost of this!
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  • doomydoomy Joined: Posts: 312
    Blame the credit crunch!
    For Acrylics in Europe and general, hopefully interesting blog.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Doomyworks-Arcade-Stick-Modding/124225307605289?ref=sgm
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  • ZeroSumHappinessZeroSumHappiness Joined: Posts: 398
    doomy, what I meant was can you get vacuforming plastic as a closed cylinder that you would then place around the object (in this case the curved top part), heat it (probably with some radiant heaters) and seal the ends to the vacuum so you get a single seamless piece surrounding the curved top? (I like seamless looks.)
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  • doomydoomy Joined: Posts: 312
    Not sure if you can, I do know that if you want both sides and seamless then youd just do the top and bottom. IE thermoform it twice. The residue is then sliced off and. Ill try finding a pic
    For Acrylics in Europe and general, hopefully interesting blog.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Doomyworks-Arcade-Stick-Modding/124225307605289?ref=sgm
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  • ZeroSumHappinessZeroSumHappiness Joined: Posts: 398
    It was more just idle musing. That said, looks like an awesome project, eric! What model is that monitor and do you have a lag test on it?
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Thanks! It's an LG W2442PA 24" There's a review of it here with a lag test.

    http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2009/review-lg-w2442pa-part13.html

    Looks good to me but let me know what you think.

    Edit - updated link.
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  • ZeroSumHappinessZeroSumHappiness Joined: Posts: 398
    Prad.de seems to do a really good job in testing, though your link is off. Monitor seems a little pricey, going by Google's findings.
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Oh well, it's bought now! I know what you mean about the price but I wanted one with with HDMI, VGA, DVI-D and 16:9. I like the picture quality of my other LG so I went for this one.

    Updated the link. Thanks!
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Well sselemit said he wanted lots of pics in the first response to this thread, so here's a few more:

    The sides are on and the top is balanced precariously on them but it gives the general idea. I noticed the the sides are bowing out by about 1cm or so. I'll be making some braces shortly anyway for the speakers and the monitor so that should sort it out.

    VewlixSlimFrontal-1.jpg

    In profile. I'll need to cut the cabinet legs when my levelling feet arrive. I still have to disassemble the base to attach them and cut the sides out as well.

    VewlixSlimFullSide-1.jpg

    Heres a closeup of the top piece. I had to cut it at that angle to get the bevelled angles to line up. I seem to be a couple of mm out in the width but oh well.

    VewlixSlimTopSide-1.jpg
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  • ZeroSumHappinessZeroSumHappiness Joined: Posts: 398
    So I've got two questions:
    1. What are you planning on finishing it with? Just paint or something else like HPL?
    2. Are you just going to have the monitor sitting there on its stand or are you going to use a VESA mount for it?
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  • protomanSTiprotomanSTi aka paikman Joined: Posts: 1,620
    Awesome work man, thanks for the log.
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    I really like the sound of that thermoforming. I did a search but I reckon it will be too expensive (I'll have to transport it as well so it would be inconvenient also). I'm still going to look into it. Failing that, I'll use a spray gun and finish it with satin poyurethane on the base and feet and gloss on the sides and edges of the control panel. I've bought some black vinyl for the front section (around the monitor/speakers) and the control panel. I did this on my MAME machine and it still looks like new and a very flat fnish; beats painting it.

    The monitor will be completely integrated. I'll make my own VESA mount for it. I'll be placing the speakers under the monitor and use some speaker cloth on a frame to hide them.
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  • sonofx51sonofx51 Joined: Posts: 47
    it's looking pretty sweet, I wish I was handy like that.
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Some additional pitures, more to show the sequence of events than anything else. I've also cut the back panel for the monitor but need to wait for my glue to dry before I can attach. The top is now lined up correctly on the outsides. The inside of the left side of the top is about 1.5 mm too thick so I'll need to make some slight adjustments. I'm also wondering whether to slim down the sides ... could be risky at this point. I'll need to get everything fitted anyway to find out how much could be removed.

    I've left sufficient space to slide the marquee behind the front of the top piece.

    VewlixSlimFrontTopAttached.jpg

    VewlixSlimInsideTop.jpg
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  • llx8000llx8000 www.qanba.com Joined: Posts: 342
    you are very clever
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Thank you all for your comments! Doing lots of work but progress seems to be slow. Here are some pictures of the VESA mount, the board under the monitor where the speakers will go (yet to be finished on the top edge), the inside bevel on the side and a test fit of my levelling feet on a bit of scrap (turned out to be a bad idea as I've stripped the thread and can't get it out - I'll order some more).

    VewlixMiniVESA.jpg

    VewlixMiniSpeakerboard.jpg

    VewlixMiniInsideBevel.jpg

    VewlixMiniTestFeet.jpg
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  • TetsuosanTetsuosan Watahh Joined: Posts: 1,708
    Are you going to just mount the stick and buttons in the wood or will you be using a candy cab CP?
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    I'll be building a full control panel in the original Vewlix style. I plan to make it so that it can be removed an replaced with a Vewlix style PC control panel as it will be used for both the XBOX 360 and my PC (hence the monitor). I'm just concentrating on the main part of the cabinet first.
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  • DemoninjaDemoninja Joined: Posts: 760
    Why do you guys with skill always post your worklogs and make me jealous? :crybaby:
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  • ZeroSumHappinessZeroSumHappiness Joined: Posts: 398
    It's supposed to make you inspired, not jealous!
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  • doomydoomy Joined: Posts: 312
    When you get round to doin the control panel do let me know. If you after Vewlix it'd be really rather easy for me to alter my files and merge two TE fighting stick panels and for you to make that panel really stand out. ;)
    For Acrylics in Europe and general, hopefully interesting blog.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Doomyworks-Arcade-Stick-Modding/124225307605289?ref=sgm
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Thanks doomy, that sounds great! I'm planning to start within the next week or so once the main section is complete. I need to think about ordering my acrylic and buttons/joysick soon.
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  • doomydoomy Joined: Posts: 312
    Well if you give me a width and depth of the kind of size you are after I can certainly knock something up. Then distance you want between stcks and ZAP, done.
    For Acrylics in Europe and general, hopefully interesting blog.... http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Doomyworks-Arcade-Stick-Modding/124225307605289?ref=sgm
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    More progress today on the speaker cut-outs and the speaker frame. The frame has nice bevelled edges to give it a better look but you can't really see them on the pics. I neet to adjust the corners slightly for a better finish.

    Everything looks better in real life than in the pictures but nevermind....

    VewlixSlimSpeakerFrame.jpg

    VewlixSlimFrameOn.jpg
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    Here's the reason why I decided to use vinyl for the front and why I'll be using it for the main sections of the control panel. Provided that the surface is flat, free of dirt and stretched to fit, a great finish can be obtained. Apologies for the size of one of the pictures but it needs to show the detail.

    VewlixSlimVinyl1.jpg

    VewlixSlimVinyl2.jpg
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  • bafiaris13bafiaris13 strava tsibukia Joined: Posts: 538
    looks real cool so far..

    what kind of panel are you gonna put on it?
    KOI..
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  • ericleroiericleroi Joined: Posts: 509 ✭✭
    It's going to be a Vewlix style CP with all the angles acrylic etc which will be interchangeable with a Vewlix PC one!
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  • bafiaris13bafiaris13 strava tsibukia Joined: Posts: 538
    cant wait to see it man..

    good job
    KOI..
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  • mamut5mamut5 Joined: Posts: 97
    Great job so far ericleroi! I really look forward to see more:D!
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