B15SDM DESIGNS Vewlix Custom Arcade Cabinet with Work Log

Hi Everyone,

After some serious consideration and having seen all of the other excellent builds by fellow members, I have finally decided to take on the challenge of building a Vewlix Cabinet for my personal use.

The only thing is I wont be building an exact copy of the beautiful Vewlix cabinet. I have chosen to put my own twist on it and tweak the original design to suit my requirements.

I must say none of this would have been possible without the precise sketchup model and dimensions which can be found online. Sorry dude, I forgot your name. :S

I took the original sketch up model and created my own version. I wont show any pictures of what it will look like when finished as I want everyone to see it as it progresses and hopefully get some feedback to see if we can tweak it along the way.

My main requirements were as follows:

  • More ergonomic and smoother design.
  • Wider cabinet than the original Vewlix as I like to have some elbow room to play. Especially as everyone in my family is tall I didnt want it to turn into an elbow war while playing.
  • Lower overall height
  • 2 different control panels which can be interchanged, so either full sanwa or seimitsu
  • Integrated speakers dolby 5.1, nothing to raise the roof as it will be used at home.
  • 32" lcd tv. I had nearly lost my mind trying to figure out which one to buy as I wanted one with minimal lag but finally made my mind.

I call this arcade cabinet … Bewlix


Edit: I thought I would add the link to Donovan Myers webpage where you can download his very accurate sketchup model of the original vewlix cabinet.



I had created a CAD drawing of all the panels to be cut and got them cut by my local timber merchant as my bench saw was out of action. I simply made a little shopping list of all of the pieces/panels needed. These were mainly for the large pieces I was unable to cut at home.



Next step I started to build the base of the cabinet. As you can see it is fairly wide. I decided to make it exactly 1 metre wide. 90% of the wood used was 3/4" or 18mm mdf board unless otherwise mentioned.

You will notice I didnt slope the back of the base as others have done. The reason for this was to leave some space at the back (outside the base) for all wiring to be secured. This was so that no cables are laying inside the cabinet which SHOULD result in a very clean install.

All joints are glued and screwed throughout.




I added this vertical centre piece to add some support as I didnt want any flex in the base.


Instead of having standard blank doors, I decided to have some viewing panels in the doors so that the consoles etc can be seen. The areas which are cut out will have 4mm clear acrylic panels. I rebated the doors back 4mm so that they will fit flush.

Later on I took this piece back to the timber merchant for him to cut it down the centre to create 2 doors. SO basically it would be like two “E” shape doors.

Those small clamps I was using were a life saver and an extra pair of hands that I needed.

This is when everything started to get reallyyyy messy as most of the work was routed. Damn mdf dust!



Awesome so far man, can’t wait to see your take on it.

Hopefully you throw a sick paint job on it as well.

Good luck with your build!

haha so far it looks like a bunch of mdf boards just glued together :stuck_out_tongue:

but knowing your custom joysticks im sure the final result will be something really extraordinary, i cant wait to see the progress m8

keep up the good work!

I then started to mark the side panels onto the 3/4" mdf panel. As my design is going to be very curvey I needed to be able to cut very crisp curves.


I used to have this special jig which fixed to the bottom of my router and allowed me to cut perfect circles. Sadly, I have misplaced it so I decided to make one quickly out of a broken acrylic panel for an old stick. I ran into another problem as I couldnt find short machine screws to screw into the base.

So, once again I had to make another one using mdf. It worked fine in the end so cant complain. You basically screw it down in the middle and the router will then move in a perfect arc.

I had to carefully position the screw so that the edge of the router bit would just cut inside the lines I made.





After cutting all the curves I clamped a straight bar to the mdf sheet and cut the remaining straight lines.


Thanks guys! I have made ALOT of progress on this build. I must say preperation is EVERYTHING! I didnt realise how quickly it would progress.

This was where it got really messy. I had to cut the other 3 panels. I decided to go for 1" + 3/4" sheets to make the side panels. So each side would have 1-3/4" thick panels.

The 1" and 3/4" panels were screwed together (temporarily) and then flushed using the router again.




After some time All 4 pieces were ready.


Next step was to temporarily screw the side panels to the base to start forming the rest of the framework. I also installed a flat sheet of 3/4" mdf for resting the control panel onto and also to take the weight of it. I didnt want any flex in this at all.


I then made a start on the control panel. Again, the control panel is exactly 1m wide. I built this similar to the way I build the cases for my custom sticks. All butt joints glued and screwed.


I also wanted a provision for an illuminated move list should the need arise. As you can see I have alloted a section of the control panel to house this.


I then placed it into position to see if it fitted/measured okay.


I then flipped it upside down to get it ready to cut out the control panel areas.


As you can see the top of the control panel is perfectly flush with the outside piece of the side panels.

One thing I forgot to mention was that I rebated the inner side panels by 6mm as I had a slightly different plan for the overall look.


I used the flush bit on my router to remove the unwanted 1/4" mdf which was fixed to the top.


There you can see the move list area and the control panel area.


If this thing turns out anything like your sticks, it’s going to be awesome. Looking forward to some funky paintjob! And yes that MDF creates a lot of crappy mess!

Looks sweet, can’t wait to see your take on the marquee and monitor/bezel.

I will just quickly show how I made the inside panels which will form the upper portion of the cabinet.

I clamped another 3/4" sheet of mdf to side of the panel. Marked around it and roughyl cut OUTSIDE the line with my jigsaw. I then clamped it back into position and rebated it by 6mm using a rebating bit in my router.



I then clamped it back into position and rebated it by 6mm using a rebating bit in my router.


Once I repeated the process for the otherside I screwed them to another smaller sheet of mdf which would act as a base for the upper portion of the cabinet.

I also fitted short lengths of 2 x 2" timber to further support the joint.


Thanks, I think for the paint scheme I am going to go for quite a neutral colour scheme with a strong accent colour. I dont want the machine based on any particular theme like my custom sticks as it will be playing different games and also be sitting in the living room. MDF is a pretty shitty material to work with (mess wise) I think, but it does have its positive points aswell I guess.

Thanks for the sketchup model you posted online some time ago. For the marquee I have decided to do something completely different but will get into that when once the work log reaches that point.

With regards to the monitor/tv mounting I decided to leave a few inches all the way round for ventilation etc as I didnt feel comfortable boxing it right up so that it wouldnt be able to breath.

Next step was to fit some lengths of 2 x 2" timber to reinforce the upper portion of the cabinet. These were glued and screwed from the sides which results in extra support for the frame and minimal flexing for the next stage.



As you can see the cabinet has 4 main parts to it. The base, the upper frame, side panels & control panel. All of which can be dismantled for easy transport.

All of the components will be bolted together using various nut/bolt configurations.


I went back to work on the control panel. First step was to square off the rounded corners which were created by the router. A few quick cuts using a jigsaw sorted that out.


I then began to reinforce the control panel from underneath to make it rock solid. I used some 1 x 1" planed timber to sit along the corners and some 2 x 2" timber to sit in each of the corners and centre to add soem support and bulk.


I needed to bevel the openings created in the doors to the cabinet so used a 45dg beveled router bit.

Please excuse me jumping from one component to another as I needed to work on something else while glue/resin drys on other components.


For the front edge of the control panel I want a rounded finish as opposed to the angled bevelled look of the Vewlix or Madcatz TE stick.

For this I used a 76mm rain water gutter pipe as it was a perfect fit. I simply had to cut it down to 1m long and fit it somehow to the control panel.

I then got a 1m length of 1" mdf 76mm wide and bevelled the edges to see how I could fit the plastic tube over it.

After some careful thought I needed to rebate it slightly aswell so that the ends of tube would sit flush as you can see below. There is a little protrusion but that can be sanded down later. I then glued the plastic tube to the mdf using superglue (temporary).

Next step was to glue/fix this component to the control panel. Here I used my trusty mini clamps to hold it in position while it sets.

Here is what it looks like sitting insitu…



This is how I am proposing to hinge the control panel for access/maintenance


I decided to have the plexi stretch from one end of the control panel to the other so cut off the small amount of mdf on either end.

Now its time to fit the monitor panel. Here I used some 1" x 1" timber battens which fix to the side panels and will hold the monitor panel.

This is the panel fitting into position and glue/screwed to the frame. I wasnt sure which lcd tv I was going to use so I couldnt cut the hole out for it yet. I will come back to this later.


I had to look long and hard for some flexible ply which I will be using to form the shape of the upper part of the cabinet.


Here you can see I finally marked the position of the monitor and cut the centre out so that when the monitor is fitted from behind the only thing visible will be the screen and none of the tv border.



Sorry But I forgot to take some pics as I was fixing the flexible ply over the cabinet. Anyway I used battens to hole it tight against the frame I created earlier. I made sure I applied lots of glue/resin to make sure it bonded extremely tight and strong to it. Looks a mess doesnt it?