Cocktail cabinet to be proud of

At a glance you might think it’s the real thing, but if you look closer you’ll see that The Distraction Contraption is an extremely well-executed cocktail cabinet recreation that hosts a MAME setup. [Sam Freeman] took pictures of the entire build process and has posted them, along with captions, as a Flickr collection.

The project started after some inspiration from this diminutive cocktail cabinet. He wanted his own version that was closer in scale to the coin-op versions that would have been found in bars a few decades ago. He designed the case to fit a 17″ LCD screen using Google Sketchup. From there, he cut out the parts and routed the edges. The controls feature buttons and joysticks, as you’d expect, but that red cap on the end works as a spinner. He tried out a few different ideas for this auxiliary control. He found that using LEGO gears to map the spinner’s motion to the axle of a mouse worked best. To give the plastic knob a better feel he loaded it with pennies to increase the mass, bringing momentum into play. The final look was achieved using wood-grain contact paper, and custom printed skins.


  1. TopHat says:

    Those are some pretty interesting build techniques. Awesome cabinet.

  2. Wizzard says:

    Absolutely Wonderful!! but I hope he used glass on the top of it. I’m going to go view it all now :)

  3. Mike says:

    Ok haters, on your mark… get set… HATE!

  4. JC says:

    Nice build. I had an old mouse that I was thinking about using as a spinner, maybe this will give me some ideas about how to do it.

    @Mike – Sorry I’m not hating on it.

  5. LOVE IT! Absolutely beautiful creation there!!!

  6. AgedCheddar says:

    This ROCKS! I need to get off my rump and build a couple of these for my kids to play on. Then I could have the Xbox 360 to myself more often. I mean, I’m pretty sure I bought a 360, I just haven’t been able to use it much.

    Nicely executed build. I have most or all of the same resources at my disposal so no excuses.

  7. sam seide says:

    Very cool! It’s awesome to see my work inspire other builds! Such a beautiful cabinet!

  8. Brian.Holiday says:

    And to think, last night I found 3 DVD’s worth of MAME ROMs in my old software folder. Is it a sign? :)

  9. Scott says:

    No Arduino? :-)

    Where does one actually get the quarter feeder switches? Salvage?

  10. joe says:

    Absolutely wonderful build – one of the best I have ever seen! Incredible detail to match his inspiration. No hater here!

  11. @scott…. ebay you can buy just about anything on that site including arcade machine parts. or if you’re Scrooge McDuck you can buy them direct from Happ Controls

  12. Ike says:

    @Mike … don’t worry, they’ll come. Maybe you should start the ball rolling with some fakery?

  13. CG says:

    This is beautiful.

  14. Sodor says:

    OOOOOOooowwww this is cute

  15. Sam Freeman says:

    Thanks for the warm feedback! I would love to use glass on top, but I was working with a pretty limited budget. Still, I had a great time building it.

  16. Casey says:

    I think out of the few things I donated to this project, one of the peanut butter lids is my favorite, because I got to eat a bunch of peanut butter….

  17. Sam Freeman says:

    Yeah, good thing you had a taste for the creamy kind.

    Also, @JC, this might help you out:

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