Control Panel Project

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I need to create a control panel to replace one on a full sized coin- operated arcade video game.
The original control panel made of plywood, which is covered by veneer on the outside, has roughly a "U" shape with a metal bracket in the center for added support.
http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll257/Statenislander/Control%20panel%20Project /
The control panel pictured is 24" long, and looking at it from on edge, the width of all three sides is 3-3/4" x 6" x 7".
Making the control panel exactly the same way as the original would be too difficult, so I was thinking of making one by bending 1/8" sheet metal into the same shape of the original control panel(an 11 degree bend), and screwing wood boards to the inside to get the proper thickness, and adding "L" shaped braces to the inside for support, but I was wondering how others would tackle a project like this.
*** The only major difference is that the top side of the control panel where the joysticks are located would be detachable.
I don't know if there is a plausible way to make the edges rounded like the original, so I'll settle for sharper bends.
I settled on Aluminum for the metal parts because steel would require serious bending equipment I don't have access to. And I guess that plywood can be used, but may go with one of the hardwoods.(The proportion of metal and wood in this project is still an open issue).
Any thoughts, ideas, or tool/material recommendations would be appreciated.
Thanks a lot.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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Looks like a Williams control panel. I've got one in the garage I'd let you have for $20 plus shipping. You'd have to patch a few holes but you wouldn't have to build the whole thing. Pretty sure I have the aluminum panel that goes over it too. Otherwise you can just copy the one you have. Glue and butt joints work fine for those. I might use pocket screws if I made a new one unless I was worried about authenticity.
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I have several Williams control panels, and I am not looking to hack any of them.
I'm creating a duplicate control panel *from scratch*. The only difference is that it will be in two pieces, because I want to be able to swap the control panel's top without having to unscrew the piano hinge that hold the entire assembly to the machine.
Basically, my question comes down to finding the best way to get that angle shown in the first picture.
http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll257/Statenislander/Control%20pan ...
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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Now that I've seen your name again, I think I've done business with you before. Probably bought/sold some PCB's or something.
Let me try to answer your question. To find the angle you can use a sliding bevel (t-bevel) and/or a protractor. Think of the vertical piece in your photo as having a dado as wide as the blade kerf. Lay the piece flat on a table saw and set your blade angle. Cut your dado. Make it wider if need be. The horizontal piece in your photo is a rabbet cut at the same angle. Don't round off the vertical piece until you've finished the dado and rabbet and done a test fit. Then use a 1/4" round over on the end of that vertical piece.
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Well, I know all this. I just have to figure out if I have the right equipment.
A) Since the cuts will be along with the grain wouldn't it be considered a "Groove", as opposed to a "Dado"?
B) Is there a blade that will allow me to make a 1/4" x 1/4" groove? (I have a 10" Delta TS200LS Shopmaster).
C) Since the "Rabbet" will have to be a bevel cut. what is the best way to accomplish this?(The wood will be 3/4" thick).
D) Would a hard wood like oak(which I assume I can easily get a Home Depot) be a better choice than what the original control panel was made of, which I think is BC plywood, or is there a better option?
Thanks a lot.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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I've decided to use 3/4" thick oak/maple boards, and connect them lengthwise at 80/100 degrees.
The Groove/Rabbet will of course be at the same angle, as well as the triangular piece I'll use epoxy glue to secure to the inside corner. (See pic).
http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll257/Statenislander/Control%20panel%20Project /
Would a table saw get me the accuracy I need, or do I definitely need to use my router table?
I'd appreciate pointers to any simular projects.
Thanks a lot.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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On Sat, 14 Jun 2008 08:33:21 -0700 (PDT), Searcher7

Personally, I'd use cabinet grade baltic birch plywood, the kind with lots of plies. It's much more stable, and possibly more durable than solid wood for an application like yours.
Soild wood would still work well for the glue blocks. If you decide to stay with solid wood for the panel, mind the grain direction, to avoid a cross-grain gluing situation with the glue blocks.

Sounds good.

Either my table saw or router table would be plenty accurate. I'd probably use the saw as angle dados and rabbets are easier to cut with it. Using the router table would require a special bit, or shop-made jig or sled, as my router mount doesn't tilt.
I can't comment on the accuracy of your saw or router table, as I don't know what you have, how well it's tuned, what blades and bits you own, or your proficiency with the tools.
--------------------------------------------- ** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html ** ---------------------------------------------
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I found nothing that said "cabinet grade baltic birch plywood". The following are what I saw at Home Depot and Lowes:
3/4" Hardwood Oak Plywood (4' x 8') 3/4" Hardwood Birch Plywood(4' x 8') ------------------------------------ 3/4" Primed Plywood (2' x 4') 3/4" Cherry Plywood (2' x 4') 3/4" UV Maple Plywood(2' x 4') 3/4" Maple Plywood (2' x 4') 3/4" Red Oak Plywood (2' x 4') 3/4" Birch Plywood (2' x 4') ------------------------------ 3/4" Birch Boise Cascade (2' x 4') ********************************** 1" x 8" x 10' Solid Red Oak 1" x 12" x 6' Solid Maple
(BTW. I may go with 1" thick instead of 3/4").

I have a Delta TS200LS Shopmaster 10-Inch Table Saw, and a Craftsman 1-1/2 Horse Power, 8 amp Router & Table.
http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll257/Statenislander/Tools /
I just have to build a jig and get the correct saw and bit.(If I don't already have them).
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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On Sun, 15 Jun 2008 10:56:18 -0700 (PDT), Searcher7

This MIGHT work, and is often available in 2'x4' panels if that's all you need. I say MIGHT, because home centers use many suppliers, and without seeing what you're looking at... Some is usable, some is total garbage. What you want is as many plies as possible with no internal voids. The lack of voids and many plies make for superior joints and stability.
The stuff I'm talking about is sold by hardwood or plywood dealers (check the Yellow Pages) and usually comes in 5' x 5' sheets. Expect to pay ~ $80/sheet for 3/4".
If you use the cheaper birch ply from a home center, use a good gap filling glue, like epoxy, to put it together. Regular yellow wood glue needs a solid mechanical joint to properly adhere, as it dosen't fill gaps.

Be aware...
"1x" finished wood is actually 23/32" to 3/4" thick, not 1".
3/4" plywood is actually 22-23/32" thick, not 3/4".
You MUST think of wood movement it you use solid stock. If you don't, you'll probably be sorry when it splits or falls apart. You should be OK with the edge to edge panel joints, but make sure the reinforcing parts have the grain oriented in the same direction.

I'm not familiar with that stuff, but I'd probably use the saw.
Clamp an auxiliary fence to cut the straight side of the rabbet vertically: <http://www.americanwoodworker.com/aspx/Contentdetail.aspx?ContentIdC5&PageNo=1
Then, cut the groove and angled side of the rabbet with the stock flat on the table.
Get a 2'x4' sheet of MDF (around $6) to use for the tall fence, and you'll also get a bunch of very inexpensive stock to use for test cuts on your setup.
--------------------------------------------- ** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html ** ---------------------------------------------
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Ok, I'll have to go back and do more research.
I'm thinking 1" because thicker means stronger.
I have several books on making Jigs and Fixtures, so I'll concentrate on using the Table saw to get the correct angled Bevel cuts.
What is your take on how the original control panel was made? http://s290.photobucket.com/albums/ll257/Statenislander/Control%20panel%20Project /
I count 5 plies. And a veneer was used to cover after the corners were rounded.(If I decide to round the corner, I guess I could use some Oak veneer I also saw at HD & Lowes).
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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"Searcher7" wrote:

veneer I also saw at HD & Lowes).
3/4" cabinet birch has 13 plys, available in 60"x60" sheets.
You WON'T find it at Lowes or H/D, but worth the effort to find it at a plywood distributor.
BTW, what's left makes great jigs.
Lew
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This is not 13 plies, but it seems to be similar to what you are referring to, correct?: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&N=0&Ntk=i_products&Ntt=Birch%20Plywood
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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"Searcher7" wrote:
This is not 13 plies, but it seems to be similar to what you are referring to, correct?: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&N=0&Ntk=i_products&Ntt=Birch%20Plywood
Not even close, it's like saying oranges and apples are equal.
THey are both plywood, but that's it.
You simply are not going to find quality plywood at H/D or Lowes.
Neither one are in the quality material business these days.
Lew
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I tried to e-mail you some diagrams on how to cut this last week. The mail comes back returned. If you want them then drop me an e-mail with your correct address.
btw, I've used birch plywood from HD for control panels before. I haven't had a problem with large voids in it. I wouldn't build furniture with it but for control panels it's fine. I'm sure you've noticed voids in arcade cabinets you've worked on.
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E-mail sent.
The control panel in the pics I took have voids in it. I'm just trying to make this the best way possible. And as bullet proof as possible.
I was just reading in "Woodshop Jigs & Fixtures"(Sandor Nagyszalanczy) that many woodworkers prefer premium plywoods like Baltic Birch, Apple Ply, and Maple Die board. So I wonder if the guys at the lumber yards are familiar with all the common names for these materials.
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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"Searcher7" wrote:

to make this the best way possible. And as bullet proof as possible.

Go to a good lumber yard and take a look at MDO plywood, you might be pleasantly surprised.
It is used for sign boards, has a paper skin on one or both sides, and takes paint well.
Probably more expensive than whatever the Borg is selling, but less expensive than 13 ply birch.
You can apply an appliqu over the paper since it will be a smooth, solid surface.
Lew
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I checked two more lumber yards and could not find Baltic Birch.
So I'm thinking that perhaps I am over doing it. I see voids in the plywood of the original control panel, which may be pine, so am I correct in assuming that every plywood listed below would be considered a step up?
I counted 11 plies in the Hardwood Birch plywood. And the UV Maple & the Cherry cost a little more. And the cheapest was the Birch Boise Cascade BMDD(Handy Panel).
3/4" (2' x 4') Hardwood Birch Plywood 3/4" (2' x 4') Hardwood Cherry Plywood 3/4" (2' x 4') Hardwood Primed Plywood 3/4" (2' x 4') Hardwood Red Oak Plywood 3/4" (2' x 4') Hardwood UV Maple Plywood 3/4" (2' x 4') Hardwood White Maple Plywood ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
--
3/4" (2' x 4') Handy Panel Birch Boise Cascade BMDD
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"Searcher7" wrote:
I checked two more lumber yards and could not find Baltic Birch.
Where is the MDO info?
Lew
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I know nothing about MDO, and only asked about Baltic Birch over the phone. I hadn't seen it during my visits to Home Depot and Lowes.
Is it cheaper and/or better than the plywoods I listed?
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York
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"Searcher7" wrote:
I know nothing about MDO, and only asked about Baltic Birch over the phone. I hadn't seen it during my visits to Home Depot and Lowes.
Is it cheaper and/or better than the plywoods I listed?
Reply,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Go back and read my earlier post, info is all there.
Lew
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