Sketchup model. Imported it into the free 'DesignSpark' solid modeller and just projected the side of the box on the piece of MDF I had available. This also gave me the chance to make it less deep. Since my cabinet will be fitted with a slim LCD screen instead of a bulky monitor it can be a lot smaller than the original. From the model I created the following plan-view of the side:
After I created the two sides I just estimated the optimum width by just holding the monitor next to one of the plates and finding good position. 50 cm seems like a good width so I just made the second MDF board exactly 50 cm wide. By doing this very carefully and making sure all corners of the board are now exactly 90 degrees it will be easy to create all front, top and rear surface plates.
And then we paint..and paint
In the mean time I keep refining the 3D model. And it's actually progressing faster than the real thing:
Finally used the blade of a fine tooth hack-saw. That works better but it is essential that you carefully support both sides of the cut or the perspex will break.
Then the holes. This turned out to be even harder and it took me three attempts and a full panel of perspex before I finally had one that did not have cracks, or even completely destroyed edges. My tips for making holes:
- Start every hole by drilling a small (3mm) hole in the centre. Then slowly increase the size of the drill but not more than 2 mm for every next step.
- Drill any hole larger than 10 mm using a hole-saw ! Trust me, any other drilling device (like a step-cone drill for example) will crack the perspex. This has one disadvantage. The arcade buttons require a 28 mm hole and this somehow seems to be a very uncommon size. So far I just found one set that has the 28 mm included.
- Support the perspex with wood and use a fresh piece for every hole so there is no hole in the wood under the perspex before you start the drilling.
- Don't drill too close to the edges. If there are holes near the edge of your control panel (like there are on mine) make the sheet larger, drill them first and then cut the sheet to size.
But finally with the inside painted deep-blue and the control panel covered with the perspex sheet it starts to look really good:
With the front-bezel installed, running LadyBug: