NES coffee table

There have been different versions of NES controller tables, including such big ones like Kyle Downes‘ version, which is even a real controller. I really loved the idea but never had the place to get one for my home, but the reading corner of the Digitial Retro Park we still lacks some kind of tiny table to drop your book upon. So here we go….

I sketched out the controller in Illustrator and went to my good friend Dario, who got a huge, massive CNC. Sadly, after a couple of hours, we realized that it is not a simple task to get the file converted into something the machine would understand. To be honest, we did not even get a simple cicrle imported, although using FreeCAD and other tools. The evening endet with pizza… and well, no cut out controller parts and the certain feeling, that I have to stick my nose into the topic and find a way to get the big CNC to work with my files.

A colleague of mine has been tinkering with CNC-routers for quite some time and even has one at home. He took on the task to get this thing into reality. A couple of weeks and two beer boxes (good currency at work) later, I finally got the raw pieces.

Cutting out all pieces and checking the fit, I noticed that there were some errors had crept in:

  • the button size was exactly the same diameter as the whole, hence these sit far to tight. Giving them and insert of -1.0mm to 1.5mm should have done the trick an leave enough space to move the buttons
  • the beveled border that goes around the D-pad was completely missing.
  • Text of label underneath has not been cut out.
  • using two layers of 2cm strong MDF is still not the right thickness to match the original proportions… I will add another layer that will be more like a frame and has space for switches, buttons and some kind of USB-controller – but that’s for revision 2 that will be a real controller.

A lot of sanding later I am quite content with the outcome and will try to fix most of the bugs by further sanding and usigng forex/gator board.

NButtons do have the right shape now

Waiting for the forex cutouts to arrive to get the look of the D-Pad fixed.

Next up will be the actual table construction, which I envision something like a metal rig which holds the controller and a paint job is waiting as well…does anyone know the right RAL colours for the NES grey? Google most likely will….

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