Build a 2-Player Tabletop Arcade with an Old Laptop and IKEA Cutting Boards

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For those of us who are into retro gaming, there isn’t much better than a full-size arcade cabinet. But, unfortunately, very few of us have the space for them — and that’s not even taking into account how much they cost. Luckily, with modern technology and a bit of ingenuity, you can replicate the experience on a smaller scale. This 2-player tabletop arcade machine, for example, is made from an old laptop and IKEA cutting boards, and you can follow Rilot’s tutorial to build it yourself.

The electronics for this build are fairly straightforward, and unlike similar projects that use a Raspberry Pi, this one simply runs emulators on the laptop. The first step is to pull apart the laptop, so you’re left with just the LCD, motherboard, and hard drive. Then you can use arcade controller kits for the buttons and joysticks, and you can even go the extra mile and add coin and player buttons to provide the complete experience.

The wood enclosure, however, will require some woodworking skill. That’s made from a few IKEA cutting boards that have a pleasant hardwood butcher block style, but you’ll need a router and a decent drill to cut out the profiles and holes. After that, you’ll spend some time sanding, staining, and sealing the wood. Put it all together, and you’ll have a beautiful arcade cabinet that is small enough to fit in any home, ready for some delightful retro gaming.



Build a 2-Player Tabletop Arcade with an Old Laptop and IKEA Cutting Boards