Building a MAME cabinet 10

Today I did some more work on the cabinet. Little by little, it’s progressing. I figure the trick is just to keep at it. So I tackled the somewhat daunting task of routing a 3/4″ groove at the base of the sides to slot the cabinet base into. I had some trouble attaching the router bit – the shank didn’t seem to go very far into the collet. I tightened it up and hoped for the best. Then I set the depth to about 3/8″, checking it against the side of the ply, and marked a 3/4″ groove running 2-5/8″ above the base (allowing for the casters plus mounting). After clamping a straight edge to guide the router, I got going. Everything was going well until about halfway through the first groove. My doubts about the bit were right as it came out of the collet! That’ll teach me… sparks flew and I cut the power ASAP, then inspected the damage.

Luckily, the bit hadn’t a) flown out and embedded itself in my femoral artery, or b) penetrated all the way through the ply (although it had gone a good deal deeper than I intended). I set it aside and inspected the router. Everything seemed OK. I loosened the collet nut and took a look inside. No pieces of shank in there – another good sign. A couple of test spins told me the motor was OK and nothing had gone obviously wrong. So a lucky escape.

So I decided to investigate a bit further into why the bit wouldn’t go all the way in. I removed the metal piece that is tightened by the collet nut and grips the shank of the bit, and tried slotting various bits into it. Now it wasn’t accepting bits nearly as freely as it used to. There was no obvious reason why, other than that perhaps it’d become too tightly clamped and had permanently deformed a bit, or there was some abrasion inside that was roughing up the entry. Anyway, it wasn’t anything obvious I could see, so I fit the 3/4″ bit properly with the aid of two pairs of pliers, so at least I could be sure it was as safe as possible this time round.

And with that, I went back to the routing. This time was much less eventful, and I successfully finished one side. I chiselled out the corner pieces of the slot to square it up, and repeated the process for side 2. The end result is that I’ve pretty much completed woodworking on the sides now. The next job is to make the base and start the assembly proper.

Here’s a shot showing the routed groove which the base board will slot into. You can also see (if you look carefully) the 1/16″ slot made by the slot cutting bit. I’m so glad that one didn’t fly out of the collet!

Base groove detail

And here’s the completed sides.

Completed sides

One Response to “Building a MAME cabinet 10”

  1. greatbiggary says:

    Routed, and chiseled!? You’re becoming quite the craftsman. It looks good, though that first pic really threw me. I saw it before seeing who posted it, or what it was about, and thought I was looking out over rippling water, with unresolvable shapes afloat upon it. I can’t see it now that I know what it is.

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