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Cost of building materials for mame cabinet.

i was wondering how much your cabinet cost you for the building materials after it was all done. the wood, formica, t moulding and all of that. i already have the monitor and computer i want to use and purchased the Tankstick controller.



  • Believe it or not, I didn't actually keep track of the cost of the materials.

    From memory, the sheets of plywood cost about $45/piece. Wood changes price fairly quickly, so you may want to check with Home Depot or Lowes or your local building center. I used plywood with a very nice stain grade finish on it. You don't necessarily need to do that since it will be covered with Formica. A lower grade piece of plywood may be a little cheaper (you could always fill any uneven areas with wood fill and then sand it smooth.

    For the Formica, I believe I ordered two sheets. I laminated the sides of the cabinet and the front, and just spray painted the top and back (since they aren't seen). From what I remember, two sheets worked fine and I had a little left over.

    I think this is where I ordered from:

    I found my old invoice and it says this is what I ordered:

    "4X8 1595 60 107 BLACK"

    It has a very slight bit of texture to help hide fingerprints and also to try to match up with the X-Arcade controller. At the time, I paid $66.56 a sheet. Looks like it's now $69.42/sheet if you buy two sheets. You may be able to find it cheaper somewhere else.

    I bought the T-molding at Here's a copy of my invoice:

    SKU Product Item price Quantity Total
    T-BLA-75 3/4'' Black T-Molding $0.37 40 $14.80
    3WNG-6700A-116 Whiteside Slotting Cutter 1/16" 3-Wing $17.95 1 $17.95
    ARBOR_A200B_025 Whiteside Slotting Cutter Arbor 1/4" Shank, 2-3/8"OL $9.95 1 $9.95
    Subtotal: $42.70
    Shipping cost: $9.17
    Total: $51.87

    Sorry the formatting is a little messed up. Basically, 40ft of 3/4" t-molding was $14.80. The slot cutter arbor was $9.95 and the slot cutter bit was $17.95.

    I can't remember the cost of the glass (I went to a local glass company to have them cut the custom size). I don't think it was too expensive ($10 - $20). I think I bought tempered glass so it would be stronger and less likely to break/shatter.

    All the rest of the parts (2x4s, hinges, screws, I had around the garage).

    I hope that helps a little bit.

    Good luck on your build.

  • One thing I forgot to mention. You will need a 'flush trim' bit to cut the excess Formica from the edges. I can't remember how much mine cost, but I would guess in the neighborhood of $20 - $30.
  • how much editing did you do to the tankstick controller? i
    got the impression that you had to remove some of the sides of the
  • It's been a while since I built the cabinet, but from what I remember, the tankstick sits in a base/box. I started by unscrewing the bottom of the box (tankstick upside down at this point) and then removed the side buttons. i then removed the whole box/base from the tankstick. Basically, you will end up with the tankstick with a bunch of wires and the side buttons hanging down.

    It was a bit of work mounting it and hooking the side buttons up to the MAME cabinet.

    My whole plan was to build the cabinet around the tankstick, so when you start figuring out the width of your cabinet, make sure you make the outside width the same as the outside width of the tankstick box (the top of the tankstick surface will overhang the edges of the cabinet a bit).

    One issue I came up against was that when I went to mount the tankstick in my cabinet, I realized that my cabinet sides were 3/4" plywood. When I tried to mount the tankstick side buttons, they didn't fit because the original box/base the tankstick side buttons were mounted in was much thinner. To fix this, I believe I ended up grinding the inside of the cabinet sides down around the button holes so they were thinner so these side buttons could be mounted in there and so that there were enough threads sticking out to mount the holding nut.

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