Since I finally started working on this, I thought I'd start a little build thread to document the thing.
This will be a Visual Pinball/Future Pinball conversion cab with a Capcom Big Bang Bar theme.
I don't have my monitors yet or PC. I'm basing my plans on what others here have done because
it seems to work.
I started down this path about 5 years ago. Sort of...
I picked up a gutted Bally Doctor Who cabinet off ebay for shipping cost only.
It cost about $150 to get it shipped to me.
So far I have invested:
$185 - gutted Doctor Who pinball cab (Actually, found an old note and it was $30 for the cab... and $150 shipping!)
$ 39 - Set of 4 legs (used, eBay)
$ 6 - hardware store leg bolts
$ 70 - 1 sheet 3/4" birch plywood, wood screws, glue, etc.
$ 20 - Cabinet buttons. Originally bought a few years ago when
I planned on redoing it as a Doctor Who. I'm uncertain if I'll actually be
using these OEM doctor who buttons or not.
$ 30 - Doctor Who pinball Apron. I'm not certain about the price of this one.
It's been at least 3 years now. Since my design has changed, I'll not be using it.
$FREE - Coin door. Came with the cabinet. Needs repainting and the coin slots need replacing,
but the interior is minty fresh and complete with no obvious damage.
$FREE - leg levelers (leftover scrap/spare parts)
$FREE - DMD/speaker panel salvaged from a modification to my Indiana Jones pinball.
If you want to get technical, you COULD say it cost me $45 because that's how much the
replacement panel was.
$FREE - Widebody lockdown bar. The welds are broken, so I'll need to take it into
work and see if someone can't reweld it. It will work fine with the original cabs
locking mechanism, so score!
$50? - Ipac control encoder board. I had this mounted in a test pinball cab
controller I built out of scrap lumber. Can't let a good controller go to waste can we?
$600 - 42" Visio 1080p 120hz LCD (Playfield Monitor)
$40 - coin door repair parts and leg bolts/brackets.
$295 - Big Bang Bar Cabinet artwork.
$45 - New leg levelers, cab protectors and hang hooks for the DMD/speaker panel.
$75 - More tools (spade bits for the drill, new toolbox, hole cutting bit for the DMD plexiglass, etc, etc.)
$80 - Paint and paint supplies. Bought the wrong color ($35) so had to buy more ($35).
$85 - 17" Dell LCD monitor for the DMD! Yay eBay!
$98 - New Bally/Williams rails, DMD panel "H" channel and backglass lift channel, plus some Millwax for my real pinball machine and double sided tape to attach the rails to the cab when I have the art in place.
$FREE - Starter PC from a forum member! Dual core 2.6gig processor and a couple other bells and whistles. Thanks!
$400 - Motherboard, 3.3gig i3 processor and 1 gig GTX 560 video card.
*New Updates 5/2019
$150 - 27" Backglass Dell monitor
$45 - Plexiglass x3 (Because I broke one and the hardware store can't cut plexi in the correct size the first time.)
$15 - Spraypaint/wood screws/misc.
$20 - Furniture mover caster wheels (x4)
1ST Day (11/6/2010) - Pulled the cabinet out of the old garage into the new garage.
Attached the legs temporarily and started cleaning/stripping it down.
2nd day (11/7/2010) - Got the cabinet completely dissassembled today. Bought
wood and got it cut "close" to the correct size at Home Depot so I could fit it in
my wife's car. Just need to shave a little off to get it to fit. Would have gotten it
trimmed and started assembly... except I couldn't find my skillsaw. I know it was
here a minute ago...
Work day 3 (11/8/2010) - Found the power tools and got the bottom panel, door panel
and back panel cut to the correct sizes. Had to make a new sawboard because my old one only
fit my old skillsaw. If you want to cut perfectly straight lines when making your arcade cabinets,
making a sawboard is the way to go. You can make it from scrap wood just as long as it's straight.
If you're not familiar with a sawboard, it's a long piece of wood on the base, wider than the width of
your skillsaw, with a narrower strip that runs along the top left edge. You nail or screw them togeather
making sure your screws aren't too long (so they don't break through the bottom. Then, fire up the
skillsaw and run it down the length of the base board, with the left side of the saw's bottom guide pushed
up against the narrow wood strip. You'll cut a long piece off the right side and when done, you have
a perfect guide to allow you to cut perfectly straight lines on pretty much any sheet or MDF or plywood.
Use some clamps to lock it in place and you're good to go. Ideally I would make one about 8 feet long, so
you can cut full length sheets of MDF, but my new one was made from scrap and is only about 48 inches in length.
I hope to start reassembling the cabinet in the next few days. I need to use the router to cut out the coin
door opening and the power cord/rear vents on the back panel.
Work day 4 (11/12/2010) - Finally broke out the router I bought over 2 years ago. I measured the original coin door/front panel and used it as a tracing template.
After my hole was marked, I used the router to cut out the hole for the coin door. Took about an hour and a half all told. I used the saw board so i was able to make nice
straight lines. The door fits in the hole just fine. I won't drill the holes for the plunger/start buttons until I get closer to having the cab assembled. I ripped a couple 2x2
boards to get some angle pieces to mount in the corners of the cabinet. It was... interesting... trying to get the table saw at work to do what I wanted, but in the end it finally
worked out okay. Dropped off my lockdown bar and one of the guys at work thinks he can reweld it. Score!
Work day 5 (11/14/2010) - This day I evened out the L/R side angles at the front and rear, making them a "perfect" 45 degree angle. Also had to shave off 4-5mm off
the bottom panel because, somehow, it ended up being too long. I then also angled the front and back panels. It was THEN that I discovered my original plan to have the bottom panel
sit on the recessed section in the bottom edges of the side panels wasn't going to work. Having the panel sit there would decrease the width of the cabinet from 25" to 24". However,
if I raise the bottom panel by only 3/4" the width will be fine. I hope to soon get the sides mounted to the bottom and mount the front/back panels in place.
I still need to route out the vent holes and power cord hole in the back panel, and fabricate the back panel rails as well as route out the grooves for the leg bolts in the new F/B panels.
It's coming slowly!
Work day 6/7 (12/18-19/2010) - Finally fired up the router again and cut out the holes for the power switch and rear bottom vent holes in the bottom panel.
Also finally routed out the rear vent holes and power cord hole in the back panel. Also used a dremmel tool and a sanding drum to route out the holes for the leg locking bolts.
Added two 45 degree wedges in the bottom rear of the cabinet to start attaching the bottom panel to the sides.
I've revised my design to use a 42" playfield monitor (and saved $300) instead of the larger 46". I hope to pick up the monitor this coming week as they were sold out on
Tuesday when I tried buying one. Doh.
Work Day 8 (1/6/2011) - Finally mounted the front coin door panel in place and mounted most of the interior leg bolt brackets.
I may order new brackets as the ones I have are a bit on the... corroded side. Last week I finally bought the playfield monitor.
I'm not sure how I'm going to make the panel that the backbox bolts to when in the upright position as I'll need to essentially route the 3/4"
plywood down to a 1/4" around the oputside edges like the original panel was. I plan on ordering some replacement parts so I can
refurbish my coin door.
Work day 9 (1/11/11) - stripped, sanded and repainted my coin door. It looks a ton better than it did! Ordered some missing coin slot inserts, leg bolts and a few other odds and ends.
Work day 10 (1/19/11) - Disassembled and installed the replacement coin door coin slots and push button face plates.
It looks pretty nice now! Now I just need to get back to working on the cabinet...
Work day 11 (1/30/11) - Added more corner brace wedges to the bottom of the cabinet and finally finished screwing the bottom togeather.
It seems pretty solid now. Replaced the original leg bolt brackets with the ones I bought from PinballLife.com. That took forever.
Work day 12 & 13 (2/12-2/13/2011) - Finally routed the edges of the under head panel. It fits like a dream. I suprised myself with how nice it turned out.
Spent about 3-4 hours on Sunday getting the head fit correctly. I had to remove the internal metal corner brackets and redrill them and the
cabinet because the backbox hinges now mount into those brackets (because the cabinet is a couple inches wider than the original).
The left bracket mounted fine for some reason, but the right side was a real pain in the... But it's finally test mounted and seems to work just fine.
I'll need to remove it all however so I can bondo over the original holes, but that's in the future. I still need to cut out a hole for the DMD LCD
as well as permanantly mount the under box panel, but it's coming along.
Work day 14 (2/16/11) - Decided to test mount the coin door and lockbar locking mech in place. It went pretty
smoothly except for snagging my shirt with the drill and shredding it. Doh. Pretty soon I'll have to strip the original
cabinet art off and start bondoing the cabinet walls and backbox, removing all the dings and imperfections.
Work day 15 (2/26/11) - Picked up my rewelded lockdown bar (the locking pieces on the inside had busted loose from the top piece)
from a co-worker and got it test fitted. Fits great and the locking mech in the cab even works perfectly! I love it when things actually
do what they're supposed to.
Work day 16-17 (4/15/11) - Cut and mounted speaker panel metal grill plates in the DMD panel. The stencils for the speaker panels
are also completed. Side art arrived finally last week and it looks great! This project is really starting to shape up!
Work day 18 (4/30/11) - Actually worked on this a couple days this week. Managed to score a
couple old pinball speakers for the DMD panel from work. One fit perfectly, the smaller one wasn't
small enough, so I had to drill new holes and add new screw post bases. Just got it all assembled!
Work day 19-23 (4/30/11) - Spent a couple weeks stripping the old side art, sanding, using a bondo-like
wood putty (twice, because I messed up the mix ratio), sanding some more. Very time consuming and slow going...
plus I was able to slice open two fingers with a shiny new razor blade scraper the first 5 minutes of stripping the
side art. Blood makes the games grow appparently...
Work Day 24-26 (5/31-6/5/2011) - Spent a few more days getting back at it. Finally finished the wood/bondo
puttying and sanding on both the cab body and backbox. It turned out pretty nice overall, even the larger areas
I filled due to chips/splinters in the wood. Got all the main bolt heads painted black. And THEN I took the leap and FINALLY
drilled the holes for my flipper buttons and game start/buy in. Next, the painting begins!
Work Day 27-28 (12/20/2011) - Painted the speaker grills and installed the DMD panel art.
Edited by Rook, 31 May 2019 - 02:54 PM.