The greatest Woody arcade machine

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Project by KTMM (Krunkthemadman) posted 10-10-2009 07:09 AM 7274 views 11 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s amazing what a few beers and a couple of bored guys can do…...

In all honesty that’s really how this project started. One fateful night back in the early summer of 2007 this beast was conceived by myself and a good friend. We were up way too late playing some old arcade games on the pc with a couple of basic joypads. At some point we got to talking about how cool the old arcades were and how they almost don’t exist anymore. (We live in central MS and to my knowledge all of the arcades here are gone, except for one, that’s in the ghetto, and I’m not going to take a bullet to play Street Fighter.) My buddy went on to say, “It’d be really cool if we had our own arcade.” That pretty much led to us talking about all the things we liked and didn’t like about the old arcades and the layouts of machines.

The next day I did a bit of research and found out that there were a ton of people out there building these things, and that the internet holds a wealth of knowledge on the subject. The challenge at this point was to build a machine that could survive on my screened in porch here in this wonderful Mississippi weather. This led me to not use any MDF or particle board in the project (except for the pegboard backing). The complete machine was built out of construction 2×4’s outdoor grade 3/4 plywood and some shop scraps. With all this in mind I set out to draw up plans and start locating parts.

I’ll try and summarize three months of grueling work for you…

To begin with we used my father-in-laws shop to build this thing. It is (was) stocked with a bunch of late 70’s and early 80’s Craftsman tools, (several we found out did not work as the project continued). The problem was that we could not get two feet in the door of the shop to begin with, which led to a week long cleanup project from hell. It was horrible. Imagine a 10 year neglected shop that has flooded several times and has had plenty of rodents, birds and reptiles moving in and out of it. Nuff said.

Once that was done we purchased materials (3×3/4 sheets of outdoor plywood, a bunch of 2×4s and a ton of deck screws, and my faithful ryobi drill). With these and some really poorly drawn plans we set forth on the machine. We finished the first machine carcass and control panel in about 2 weeks, working only in the evenings and averaging about 4 hours of sleep. We were so excited that we hooked the monitor and everything up and played it for about a week just like that.
Well that week came and went, and me being who I am decided the whole thing needed to be finished and that a few (hundred) things needed to be modified. So we broke the whole thing down and started over. This rebuild doubled the cost of the whole thing by the time we were done. About 2 months later, working everyday for about 4-6 hours a night, we finally had it cut, assembled, wired, stained and finished. That results are what you see in the photos above.

One note here, we worked at night because we built this thing between August and July here in MS….

P.S. to all wood workers, especially ones starting out, I would like to give a few pointers I learned in this project.

1. DO NOT DRINK WHILE WOODWORKING, I can not emphasize this enough, my friend and I only worked on this project after consuming copious ammounts of rum. Thank God neither of us were horrible injured being drunk and working with power tools. I can tell you that there were several close calls with several different tools.

2. Being 1/16th of an inch off on cuts is not acceptable. Take my advice on this.

3. Stainable wood putty is stainable, but that does not mean it’s going to match your project.

4. Always check the alignment of the table saw fence and blade…..

5. Norm is right, the safety glasses are VERY important…...

6. DO NOT DRINK WHILE WOODWORKING. I really can not emphasize this enough. Believe it or not, the worst thing I got from this project was a few hangovers and some splinters. Oh yeah, and a hole in a work table from shooting a 2×4 off of the table saw.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

19 comments so far

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 4225 days

#1 posted 10-10-2009 07:31 AM

Shades of Pac Man!!! Super gaming console…..I could spend a week there one night!

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4629 days

#2 posted 10-10-2009 07:34 AM

View david9951's profile


39 posts in 4213 days

#3 posted 10-10-2009 03:14 PM

thats pretty sweet man

View Pdub's profile


926 posts in 4232 days

#4 posted 10-10-2009 04:57 PM

Looks really cool. You and your friend did a good job. Have fun with it.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4226 days

#5 posted 10-10-2009 05:15 PM

Never seen anything like it. Really good job!

-- -- Neil

View KTMM (Krunkthemadman)'s profile

KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1058 posts in 4246 days

#6 posted 10-10-2009 06:37 PM

Oh we played it almost everyday until the weather got too cold. Currently I’m trying to find a new home for it, we have a new baby on the way and don’t really have room for it at the new house. When I built it we were renting the back half of my in-laws home (they have a separate apartment on the back of their house). I think I may post it to craigslist for the cost of the controls ($250). The tv in it went out some time last year, and it needs another pc… if anybody is interested feel free to pm me. I think I feel a tear…..

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

View Jason's profile


660 posts in 4561 days

#7 posted 10-10-2009 11:49 PM

Never underestimate the power of beer!

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View Steve Good's profile

Steve Good

101 posts in 5007 days

#8 posted 10-11-2009 10:55 PM

I like it. The large control deck was a neat idea.

-- Steve Good,

View KTMM (Krunkthemadman)'s profile

KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1058 posts in 4246 days

#9 posted 10-12-2009 06:06 AM

When we designed it that was one of the requirements for the control panel, four players and room to put drinks. Nothing like playing Gauntlet or Ninja Turtles with four people. One pointer, aim all of the joysticks the same direction.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

View RouterManiac's profile


96 posts in 4334 days

#10 posted 10-12-2009 11:48 PM

I think this is the coolest use of beer I have ever seen. Well done. I love projects that are so “untypical” I am sure it is quite the conversation piece.

-- Ken, Florida,

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 4248 days

#11 posted 10-13-2009 05:17 PM

The things we do on booze. Nice project but I agree the booze should be kept for after work.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View JNelson's profile


18 posts in 4368 days

#12 posted 10-13-2009 09:15 PM

Now that’s a project wish should yield hours of fun!

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5453 days

#13 posted 10-13-2009 09:35 PM

Down memory lane, and a new and prosperous life. I hope that you can recoup your material costs (Minus the brews that were consumed). If they were added in it would be more than a pristine, unused Atari machine.

Gread\t job for a group of lushes.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View carpentrymonster's profile


57 posts in 4227 days

#14 posted 11-01-2009 02:46 PM

This is relly cool, I love stuff like this. Woodworking is a great hobby and people make a ton of really beautiful stuff strictly from wood, but when you add something technical to your project it makes it so much more interesting. I am currently working on a birdhouse that conceals a remote controlled motorized security camera. It adds some excitement to a project when it has a cool function.

View ElmoSr's profile


243 posts in 4079 days

#15 posted 04-19-2010 04:47 PM

this is really NEAT i make arcade cabinets, but yours is very unique,, i might have to steal your idea

-- ElmoSr,Ga. Life is Hard by the Yard,,,But a Cinch by the Inch

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