Wal-Mart Laptop Desk > Portable Arcade Cabinet


Hey there,

Before I get started on this thread, know that this will be an event that takes a couple months to finish as I am currently traveling for work and will only have a few hours every week to work on this.

The main point of this thread is to try and turn two cheap Wal-Mart laptop desks into an easily portable VS setup.

I decided to use these Laptop desks (Another SRK user pointed these out in a thread and I fell in love with them).

These desks can be bought here: 30$

I am also going to be using the “EVO” Asus VH236 Monitors as they are the preferred monitors of choice, are fairly cheap, and look great.

Recently, these have been getting harder and harder to find (Newegg sold out in under 10 minutes after their last restock).

To be continued…


The nicest thing about these desk is they take up much less room than a candy cabinet (My Blast and Astro Cities are monsters compared to these). Also, the way I will be designingthese, you will have the option of connecting them either side to side or back to back like a Vs. City.

After assembling the desks, here is what they look like.

My original Idea for these was to make my own control panels, but after thinking about it, I will be using two TE panels that are counter sunk into the flat part of the desk. I will discuss this more once we get to the control panel section of this build.

The main issue with these desk is how much they weigh. In total, each desk only weighs around 12 pounds. This is no where near enough weight to ensure these do not move and shake as you play. To remedy this, the cabs will have Sidewalls, a back, and a speaker shelf / Monitor mount added to them. this will add around 25 - 30 pounds to each desk. In addition to this, I will be pulling the cheap included plastic wheels and adding som Metal leveling legs with rubber feet.

More to come.


Day 1 of working on the Cab.

A friend and I went to Lowes and bought some wood for both of our projects. (Me for these guys, him for rebuilding a base for his arcade cabinet.)

The metal “Z” legs on these desks are right around 3/4 of an inch thick which is perfect for using 3/4 inch plywood. After unloading everything and planning how I wanted to work everything, I made a quick template out of Posterboard for the sides.

Basically, what you are looking at is one of 4 sides I will need to cut out of the 3/4 inch plywood. Each cabinet will have 2 of these walls.

Here is a quick mock up of how it will be mounted.

As you can see, the point of the sides it to mainly add weight to the cab as well as seal in everything else (Eventually I will be adding 2.1 speakers to each cab so the Sub will sit on the lowest Black Mounting Board).

The top most slant is where the speakers will be mounted. The goal is to get the 2 speakers mounted up toward the player. The highest point of this cab is where the bottom of the Asus monitor will be. I will be mounting the Monitors on an additional board that runs up the back of the cab via some 100 x 100 Vesa Mounts.

More will come tomorrow as I will be using the template to get the wood cut!


I like where this is going… As soon as i saw the pic i said to myself “self, thats a great idea he has”


Appreciate it. Stay tuned for some more stuff tomorrow.


Q: Are the desks made of something that you could actually straight up drill holes through for mounting of buttons and joysticks? AND/OR Is that something that you’d want to do for wherever this project ends up?


The top most Flat part of the desk is made of Laminated particle board. I believe it is strong enough that you could mount a stick there, but I don’t trust it. That’s why I am using 2 TE panels on it. This way the Metal panel will take the stress of everything. The panels will be flush with the top, then a piece of plexi will go over everything.


Awesome use of readymade objects.


Looks to be a nice concept. Looking forward to the end result.


Looking forward to seeing this shit too. Its looking mad nice. The desk looks like it was made to become a cabinet.


Updates: Day 2 - Gettin some wood cut.

Got some wood cut today. Unfortunately I was only able to cut 2 of the sides as my Jigsaw Blade can’t even cut butter at this point.

Due to the Welds on the corners of the Frame of the desk, I will need to spend some time dremel sanding the corners so each one fits each corner perfectly.

As you can sort of see here, the wooden sidewill not slide all of the way up because the frame has shotty spot welds. Once these are sanded they will sir flush. The larger gap on this side is because I pulled the plug out of the back. I am going to try and run all of my speaker wires and HDMI / USB cables through the frame.

I still need to cut the back panel that will attach to both of the walls as well as the bottom black piece here. It’s sort of looking like a cab at this point.

View from the front:

You can sort of see where the Speakers will be on this one.

That’s all until next weekend.

Any feedback will be appreciated.


Feedback: you need to take one for the team and just go ahead and finish this amazingness today.


need a place to hold a soda

edit: and a place to hang your bag!


This thread is sexy and inspiring, mostly sexy though.


I wish I could finish them up. I need Jigsaw blades, and probably some more wood.

I’ll be home at the end of the week and I can hopefully get some more done.

I will never put a cupholder on a cab. Use the floor.


Watching thread.

Can’t wait to see how this turns out.


I bet you could bondo those cracks where the wood meets the frame and sand it smooth as a baby’s ass.


I’d like to, but I’m not great with wood work. Ideally, I’d like to see the sides of this laminated, but I don’t have a router or know how to laminate :frowning:


Looks awesome!
Watching with interest.

For jigsaw blades, go for Bosch. Some of the best out there.

Laminating is easy! Just roll contact cement on the laminate and wood sides with a paint roller, wait until it’s dry (about 20 minutes), stick them together and flush trim with a router. Here’s a cheap trim router that will do the job, and the flush trim bit needed to trim the laminate.


Thanks, i’ll go snag a router.

Where can I get Black Laminate and Contact cement?