Friday, March 30, 2012

Star Wars woodworking

I haven't posted for a *really* long time, but rather than bore you with excuses and apologies, let's get right to something I have been working on in the arcade. Every now and then, an old game will die, and sometimes someone will decide it is easier to convert that game to MAME rather than fix is up properly. This was the sad course of events that led me to purchase a Star Wars upright that had been (poorly) converted to a MAME machine. (This shouldn't be confused with the earlier Star Wars cab I blogged about--one that was entirely trashed had had been MAMEd Street Fighter style..) I ended up polishing up the MAME conversion a bit, but it always irked me to have a Star Wars that wasn't running the original hardware. It had the yoke, and looked like a Star Wars on the outside, but it didn't have any soul. After playing my friend Jay's Star Wars a few times, I decided I had to take the plunge.

One major obstacle that I had to overcome was the fact that the guy who had MAMEd the machine originally had ripped out the entire monitor frame. This is no small feat. He wanted a VGA monitor in there, so he cut out all of that custom woodwork. After a few trips to Jay's house to take pictures and make *many* measurements, I came up with a computer model (in Google sketchup) of what the wood I wanted to make looked like. Eventually I cut out the frame, routed it in places, inserted T-nuts in other places, and placed it back in the cab. Check out the results:

The new frame is made out of high quality plywood, and is shown with the mounts for an Amplifone tube, which is what Star Wars originally shipped with.