Materials

Unfortunately I wasn't intelligent/organised enough to keep a cost of materials together for the whole project, which would have made a nice cost-per-unit calculation. However, I can tell you what I used and where to get it.

The entire cabinet is made of 16mm MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard). Like 99% of the cabinet, it was supplied by my local Bunnings Hardware. MDF is fairly strong, and 16mm is enough to stand up to some angry button mashers, while not being too heavy to cart from the shed to the living room. It's still a 2-man job to move this thing of course (thanks kat! :)

Any place where two pieces of MDF meet at 90 degrees are screwed and glude into 40mm square pine. Again, this stuff is fairly light, but makes the cabinet quite strong.



All protruding edges on the cabinet are routed with a standard quarter-circle routing bit. This serves two purposes: firstly that all edges are not sharp (kiddie-proof) and secondly it is very asthetically pleasing. I noticed also that the routed edges suffered less from the splaying that occured on non-routed edges on wet days. But a good undercoat/sealer will fix this anyway.

Routing literally took 5 minutes for each side of the cabinet. It's quite an easy step to do, and highly recommended for anyone not using t-moulding.



The marquee (the bit with the lit up logo at the top of the cabinet) is made from a 600mm x 320mm piece of 2mm plexi (from a local plastics and glass supplier out of the yellow pages) which is then folded in half. I then had a 600mm x 160mm logo printed on gloss paper, and inserted it into the folded plastic.

A standard flouro light (more Bunnings goodness) sits behind the marquee, and provides illumination for it. The effect is quite nice and authentic.



The cabinet is painted with a standard cheap white undercoat/sealer on all interior and exterior surfaces. After that, a high-gloss (85% gloss!) black enamel is used for the final coat on all visible external surfaces. The enamel gloss is extremely strong and scratch-resistent, and makes a great cover for a machine which will potentially recieve quite a bashing over time. The downside is this stuff costs AU$80 for 4 litres, but it's certainly worth it.

I've seen a number of cabinets finished with vinyl laminates, which look great. I've never used laminates in woodwork before, so I thought best to leave it for the second cabinet when I felt a little more adventurous. Laminates also mean you need t-moulding edges, and the routing option mentioned earlier was far easier.

Castors were added to the bottom for portability, and again supplied by bunnings. These were lockable models, to prevent the cabinet sliding all over the place during heated battles.