How to make a tabletop arcade

Is the arcade one of your favorite places? Or do you just enjoy playing games? What if I tell you that you can now get the arcade to your own house? Today we will show you how to make your very own tabletop arcade from scratch! Read more to find out how it is made.


Products needed for this DIY project:

  1. Plywood
  2. Jigsaw
  3. Wood glue
  4. Buttons
  5. Spray paint
  6. Monitor
  7. Wires
  8. T-molding


Let’s get started with our DIY project!


Step 1:

Take a large piece of plywood and cut out two pieces that resemble the shape given in the picture below. You can even make an outline of it on paper first and then cut it out so that you have a line to follow which will make the task easier. Once you’ve cut the sections, sand down the edges to give it a smooth finish. These two pieces of plywood will form the side pieces of our arcade machine.

Step 2:

Draw a line along the edges of both the pieces of wood that you just cut by leaving one inch from all the sides. Measure each of the lines by taking one side at a time. These measurements will be used to cut the plywood to make the rest of the body of our arcade machine. Once you have cut the plywood according to the measurements you just took, sand them down to avoid any rough edges.

Step 3:

Next, take an old PC monitor and lay it flat on a piece of plywood with the screen side down. Trace the outline of this monitor on the plywood and cut the center out. Take the stand that came with the monitor, remove its metal bracket and screw it on a small piece of plywood and put it back in place on the monitor. Cut and stick two more small pieces of plywood on the two sides of the monitor on the large plywood piece. Lastly cut a long strip of plywood enough to fit across the length of the larger piece of plywood and screw the plywood with the metal bracket on it using a drill.

Step 4:

Start assembling the plywood pieces one by one along the entire body of one of the side pieces with the help of some wood glue. Make sure that the plywood structure made in step three for the monitor is in the center. Once one of the side pieces is done, lay it on the other side piece along the line you just made in one of the earlier steps and stick them in place with the help of some glue. Leave it aside to dry for some time. Your final plywood structure should look like the one given in the picture below.

Step 5:

To make the control panel you need to take a piece of plywood cut to length and make some holes where you would want your buttons and controls to fit. Make the holes using a template so as to avoid any errors. Customize your buttons with any stickers you would want and wire them up. You then need to make some daisy chains to connect all the lights and grounds. Mount all the electronics to be used behind the plywood so that there isn’t any loose connection. After this is done simply glue the control panel in place.

Step 6:

To give it a more professional look, spray paint the whole plywood structure with some black spray paint in a well-ventilated area. Using a slot cutter, you can also make a slot across all the pieces in case you want to put in some T-molding. To insert the T-molding simply press it down into the slots that you just made. This will not only provide protection for your structure but will also give it a more aesthetic look.

Your tabletop arcade is now ready! Put your favorite games on your newly made arcade to enjoy a great gaming experience. Now you no longer need to get out of your house to go to the arcade to play some games when you’re bored; you have your very own arcade at home. Enjoy your latest creation!

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