Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Setting up a boring old cliche...

You wait ages for an update, then two come along at once.

Yeah... Well... Annnnnyway...

Today I had a day off work. I booked this leave a few months ago when the fixtures for the world cup were published, expecting to take a trip up to Bedford, the place I begrudgingly call my hometown, to see some friends and watch England triumphantly qualify for the knock out stages...

Yeah... Well... Annnnnnyway...

So instead I took a trip to the in-laws to finally put some work in on the MAME cabinet!

It took quite a long time to get going at first. With a limited amount of MDF I was worried about cocking up and leaving myself short.

Still, when I cut a couple pieces to size and laid them out to make my base; it finally felt like I was actually getting somewhere.

You'll notice that's some fairly chunky MDF, 20mm to be exact.
I don't have a lot of this, one large piece that I had to cut to make this base, and two other bits that are 15cm wide and about a metre long, so not much use.
You can see at the top of that pic that I've use another piece to prop up the front of the screen to give me the angle I wanted.
There's another piece further back to support the rear - this is necessary because I've decided to leave the top side of the PC cabinet open to help with ventilation.

Building up my pieces one at a time felt a little like Sudoku.
When I had the base and the supports I knew how high the back would need to be, when I knew that, I knew how high the tallest part was, with that information added to angle of the screen I was able to work out how big the front panel would have to be, and so on, and so forth.

Eventually, through this gradual building up of dimensions, I was able draw out the shape of the side panel on one of large pieces of MDF...

Sorry, that's quite hard to see. But hopefully you get the idea.
If you can see it you'll spot that there's a rather steep slope down from the marquee to the lowest point of the back. (Just to the right of the saw blade).

I'm concious that I want to keep this unit as small as possible, but I must admit I don't like the look of this.

So, for now, I'm not cutting that side down at all, later on I'll test out some angles until I find a happy compromise, but for now.

Taking shape nicely, I hope you'll agree?

Next thing was to do that again, three more times... okay... I confess... Five more times.

With all my larger pieces of MDF (by area) also being the smallest (by width) I was always going to have to double up to make the side panels a decent looking thickness.
I had cut one and used it as template for another before I realised I'd forgotten that the sides were going on the outside of the base - and so needed to be 20mm higher at the bottom. So. Bugger.

Luckily I had enough MDF, and so, soon after I had 4 near identical side pieces ready to be screwed and glued together in pairs:

The screws are too long at the moment but they're only there while the glue dries, I was a bit careless with their positioning too so I'll probably fill the holes and move them when the time comes.

And that, to be honest, was as far as I got. 5 Hours work in total, so pretty slow going, but really happy that I finally have a 'thing'!