(Topic ID: 298410)

Cost / bill of materials for building a completely new cabinet & back box?

By Thoughtfulsardin

2 years ago


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  • 11 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Nardax
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 2 years ago

In a few months, I would like to begin work in my garage / "woodshop" (very much a work in progress...) on a from-scratch cabinet & back box that will ultimately house the final version of my Sorcerer rebuild. This will be the first time I have ever built something so substantial/technical, so I am going to take the process VERY slow in hopes of ending up with a final product I am proud of; even if it takes the better part of a year to build.

Though I am not looking to "cheap out" on this by any means, I realize that projects like this can cost either a couple hundred bucks or a couple thousand depending upon the choices made re: lumber, hardware, paint, process etc., and I don't feel as if I have enough experience to just go out and buy materials blind quite yet without making some costly errors.

I would like this to be my first but not last cabinet build, which means I want to settle on a process and bill of materials that is repeatable and economical from a relative standpoint. Bear in mind I am willing to do all of the work myself, perhaps short of powder-coating hardware as I don't have the necessary equipment.

Speaking of hardware, I am also wondering what people think about refurbishing old coin doors / legs /rails with a full strip/paint/coat to look brand new vs. buying/installing NIB or NOS hardware? What can be harvested/re-used from the current cab vs. absolutely must be replaced? I will be doing this with the current Sorcerer cabinet before I begin building the new one. The only downside I can think of with this would be the coin door assembly being pretty much impossible to polish up "new," but I suppose that's also true of the rest of the game's electrical as well.

So...

* What does the cost and bill of materials for a Tier A ("money isn't an issue) cabinet & backbox build look like?
* What's the absolute opposite -- the cheapest, but still respectable build you can make?
* Where's the happy medium?
* What materials does it make sense to splurge on (ie: wood? paint?)?
* Where can you cut corners without actually cutting corners?
* What is the biggest mistake or hurdle that I should be mindful of or can expect to encounter during this project?
* Misc. pointers / things that I can do to prep for success that might not otherwise be obvious to a relatively amateur woodworker.

These are the things I would love to gain an understanding of in the coming weeks and months.

Also, would graciously accept any/all tips or relevant resources for those who have taken on such a project themselves! I am really looking forward to kick this off despite it absolutely feeling like biting off more than I can chew.

#2 2 years ago

I think you will find that there are not a lot of guys who build their own cabinets. The only one I know of is cosmokramer here on pinside. He did a Sorcerer cabinet for me a couple of years ago to replace a termite eaten cabinet. Even Chris over at High End Pins farms out his cabinet builds. So I don't think any one is going to have a BOM handy for cabinet builds.

With regards to coin doors, I have seen some sorcerers with the older system 7 style coin doors that are all polished metal, and the newer back coin doors. The black doors are easy to restore, as the paint comes off with a wire brush attachment on a drill, and you can repaint using semi gloss enamel spray paint, with a splatter coat of gloss over the top. I try to re-use as much of the original hardware as possible. Most of which I clean in a sonic cleaner.

I think the best way you can get pointers on a restoration project is to read through the documented restorations here on Pinside. Most people are up front about documenting the troubles they had and how they overcame them.

#3 2 years ago

I've built cabinets mainly for EM pins. They are not that difficult to build, after you have done a few. For the material I use pure birch 3/4" plywood, runs around $48 - 60 per sheet depend where you buy it, and how many sheet you purchase. I can get the bottom cabinet and back box cabinet out of a single sheet. For the backbox trim and corner bracing I buy clear birch. This is a good material for painting, done right you get a nice smooth finish, I only provide a smooth finished cabinet, the buyer has to provide his own final paint or decals. For the bottom board of the cabinet I use pure birch 1/2" plywood.

If you are going to charge by the hour for your time the cost of building one cabinet will seem to be high. If you charge per cabinet, and are not too concerned about making a full time wage, this is a good part time business. I could produce one finished cabinet per week.

My background has been in carpentry for 40 years, so I had all the equipment and suppliers available to me. If you are just starting out, I would recommend a good panel saw for plywood material cutting, beats a table saw any day, a HVLP paint system. Hope this helps you a little.

4 months later
#4 2 years ago

I am curious about this as well, my father in-law is a cabinet maker, the non-pinball kind and I have talked to him about building a cabinet from scratch. Is there a place where there are plans or do people just take measurements off their old cabinets?

#5 2 years ago
Quoted from Thizben:

I am curious about this as well, my father in-law is a cabinet maker, the non-pinball kind and I have talked to him about building a cabinet from scratch. Is there a place where there are plans or do people just take measurements off their old cabinets?

Yes it's best from the old Cab and head

#6 2 years ago

Doing this right now for a Bally Rolling Stones. Still have a couple of tweaks to make. Decided that this RS will have a fold down head. Will post progress as all the details are worked out.

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#7 2 years ago
Quoted from 29REO:

Doing this right now for a Bally Rolling Stones. Still have a couple of tweaks to make. Decided that this RS will have a fold down head. Will post progress as all the details are worked out.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Very nice so far bud keep up the nice work

#8 2 years ago

Thanks. Notice in the 2nd picture that the new RS cab sits at the exact same height as the HG next to it but the back casters on the HG are wound down 1 1/2” while the new RS cab legs sit flat on the floor.
The back legs are 1 1/2” longer on the new RS cab. I want the game to have a nice 6.5 degree rake and still sit with all the casters wound all the way in. I like the look. The longer legs are off of a Bally bingo.

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from 29REO:

Thanks. Notice in the 2nd picture that the new RS cab sits at the exact same height as the HG next to it but the back casters on the HG are wound down 1 1/2” while the new RS cab legs sit flat on the floor.
The back legs are 1 1/2” longer on the new RS cab. I want the game to have a nice 6.5 degree rake and still sit with all the casters wound all the way in. I like the look. The longer legs are off of a Bally bingo.

That's right it does it's the right height right on

10 months later
#10 1 year ago

Interesting thread. I've done many renovations using custom cut RTA cabinets. They are computer cut panels for the plywood box and pre-made face frames. They ship flat and fit together perfectly. They almost self square. Plywood materials are beautiful and you could specify grade and species. If you could get a hold of schematic (or make your own) that these types of companies could plug into their CAD cutter they could easily cut and ship it to you for assembly. I guess they'd just have to be willing to do it. The assembly would be a snap.

Keith

#11 1 year ago

Can you post a link to where you buy the RTA cabinets?

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