Carve the plexi pieces workpiece. I’d recommend sanding or rounding the front of the joystick/button plexi piece.
Catch up on Galaga and Zaxxon, maybe a bit of Super Smash Bros, and of course, Double Dragon.
For installing RetroPie, check YouTube, lots of great resources for doing this. It will also walk you through setting up the buttons and joysticks.
Connect the USB cables from the joysticks (and front panel mount if you used it) to the Raspberry Pi.
Connect up power to the Raspberry Pi and LED lights.
Tap in the T-molding carefully. I was able to press almost all of it in by hand. There are tricks to cutting pieces at 45 degree angles where they meet, check youtube for ideas and tips.
Attach the vinyl stickers to the sides. I added about 1/4" to each side as I cut it out. This allowed me to fold the graphic over the sides. I did have to make a few relief cuts on the sharper curves/angles.
Tilt the unit onto it’s back, open the bottom access panel, and slide the button panel in place from the front. I marked the left and right side along the backer strips (attached to the side panels). I then cut 2 short 3/4" pieces of MDF and glued/nailed to the bottom of the button board. This allows the button panel to be installed and held in place, but allows it to be removed in the event of disconnects or button/joystick replacement.
Once you have it in place, measure the distance from the joystick board to the top of the monitor. Carve out the monitor overlay workpiece, paint it black and trim 1/4" larger than your measurement. Then angle cut 1/4" deep to match the joystick board angle. This trims it halfway into the board and allows it to be held by the notch.
Drop in the USB soundbar and run the wires through the hole in the back marquee board.
Sandwich your marquee print between the two pieces of plexi. This part is a bit cumbersome, but you should be able to press the piece until it slides into the dada cuts.
Sandwich the wood button piece, the overlay printout and the button plexi. Then insert the buttons to hold the pieces together. I also attached the joysticks to the wood piece from the bottom using #8 × 3/8" screws.
(1) 4×8 Sheet 1/2" MDF
(1) 18 × 24″ .08" clear acrylic sheet (Marquee and button cover)
(1) Momentary switch (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0094GP7SQ/) for safe power on/off Raspberry Pi 3B+
(1) Jumper wires – to connect switch to Pi3 (you don’t need this many, but I bought for other projects) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZF1ZSZ
(1) Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and power supply (you don’t necessarily need the case) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BC7BMHY I used the 3 B+ as it has built in Wifi and bluetooth, didn’t have to use a USB port for a dongle
(1) Micro SD Card – recommend 32Gb or larger
(1) LED Strip Lights – white https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JQV6Q4I
(1) LED strip to strip connector https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076VW86Y2
(1) LED strip power jumper https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076VF3FBM – you don’t need 10, but only a dollar more than 1
(1) USB Mini Sound Bar https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076XC6PCN
(1) 2 Player USB Controller, buttons and joysticks https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NCW0I3F You can use others, but you will need to adjust hole sizes to accommodate
(1) Coin / 1P/2P buttons https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5Y8E2Z/ – I did not hook up the LEDs on these.
Extra button cables, to provide connections for the 4 coin/1P/2P buttons. I just bought another partial kit as it was only a buck or two more. https://www.amazon.com/Easyget-Joystick-Raspberry-Retropie-Projects/dp/B01C5J5AJO
(1) HP v244a 23.8" monitor http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4737496&CatId=11640
You can use your own monitor, but you will need to adjust the width on the panels and monitor mount panel to accommodate.
(4) M4 x 20 or 25 to mount the monitor using the VESA mount to the monitor mount board.
(2) 12" piano hinges for the bottom piece button wire access and back panel access doors
(1) door handle for back panel access door (or you can add a hole to it like I did on the bottom)
(1) power strip that has mounting holes on the back (to keep it from moving around)
(1) USB Extension (to use external controllers) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0768YWQTQ
you will need to drill a hole in the front piece to fit this. I drilled a hole and then used a Forstner bit so it sits flush)
(1) RetroPie pre-built card https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077NP8L8V You can use your own SD and load it yourself, however this will save you some time. I am not affiliated with this seller.
(1) Slotting cutter if you don’t have one already. This is needed if you choose to use T-Molding on your machine. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002TUCRA
~ 25ft of 1/2" T-Molding. I bought mine from http://www.t-molding.com
Marquee and side panel graphics Marquee height is just over 3". I bought a 4.25" marquee banner on their clearance section and cut it down slightly to fit.
My side graphics are a 49×21 mural from their clearance section, I had to edit them slightly for height. I bought from https://www.gameongrafix.com/
(4) cans of flat black spray paint
(1) can of metallic silver spray paint (for behind the marquee)
(1) 24×18 photo gloss print from Staples, goes between the joystick wood carve and plexiglass (~$15). Staples PDF Proof I used is here: http://www.slaga.net/SW-ButtonLayout.pdf You will need to use their online tool to import this PDF. I only labeled start and select buttons.
Before you nail the monitor mount board, attach the piece to the monitor VESA holes and dry fit to find the correct location. Monitor should be touching the top of the unit. Mark the location from the back on the monitor mount board, remove the monitor, then nail in the board.
You can move this step until after all the pieces are nailed, but I found it easier to paint the pieces now. I did not paint the inside very much, just enough to ensure only painted pieces will be seen once it is fully assembled.
Use a trim nail gun to attach the marquee back, speaker/lower marquee board. I then painted the inside marquee area with reflective silver paint (after covering the front/top/sides to catch overspray). Once this dried, I installed the LED strips that I cut to fit. I used three strips, connecting them together with the LED strip connector cables. I used a bit of hot glue about every 6 inches to make sure it stays put. The adhesive on LED strips are not the greatest. Run the power cable out the hole in the marquee back board.
Attach the bottom access panel and rear access panel using the piano hinges. I used the cheap magnet holders to keep them closed. ($.78 from big box store)
Dry fit the bottom and back to the sides. Then use an angle finder to find the angles to trim these pieces on a table saw. The bottom piece will be trimmed on both sides, the back on both sides, the top only towards the back, and the vertical front lower piece (with 4 button holes) gets trimmed on both sides.
Carve the Bottom, Marquee back workpiece, and the back and top workpiece. Some of these pieces are slightly oversized as I cut angles using a table saw so they fit nicely together.
Carve the Front, button, speaker and monitor mount workpiece.
If you plan to use T-molding, use a router and the slotting cutter to cut the front of the top piece, the front of the speaker/lower marquee piece and the front of the joystick/buttons piece.
I used glue, 3/4" nails and a trim nail gun to attach the backer strips to the side panels at the points indicated on the carve.
If you plan to use T-molding, use a router and the slotting cutter around the entire side panels.
Cut out the left and right side pieces. I have two options, one if you want to save wood, however the other has backer strips marked.
Use the button hole test workpiece print to verify the hole size for your buttons. Once you have those noted, make adjustments to the pieces that have buttons.
There is a lot of parts and build into this, but for me it was well worth it. Playing some of my old time favorite video games has been a blast, see my kids expressions when I play some of these old games is priceless.
Each workpiece has notes in regards to the individual pieces and their use/locations.
I also opted to use 8 buttons for each controller, however you can adjust to fit your preferences. Here are some options: http://www.slagcoin.com/joystick/layout.html
I used the fourth one down.
Also, note that I built this first, made a template and marked where all the tack strips went. They may not be 100% accurate, I am planning to build a second unit in the near future for a friend. I’ll make additional updates then if necessary, and add lots more pictures of the build.