February 22, 2015

Building a Nintendo (NES) Coffee Table: Part I

Mocked up in Google Sketchup
Welcome to my next big project! Does the design in the picture look familiar? Well if you've ever played console games or haven't been buried under a rock in the last 25 years you should know that this design looks like the classic Nintendo controller we all know and love. 

I've already built this replica controller into a giant working controller/coffee table for my husband's 25th birthday, but I'm going to attempt to build another one (or two!) and sell it off so I can fund all of the tools that I've been buying recently :) So this 2.0 model should be crafted much better because we all learn from our mistakes right? ;) So in an effort to further improve my table-crafting skills, I'm going to be blogging this build step-by-step...or at least try to.

So I've already purchased the wood for this table but haven't been able to do any cuts yet, the garage is clean and waiting for our community garage sale, so after the garage sale I can start sullying the garage again with lovely wood chip shavings and scattering tools everywhere! 

I'm making this table out of MDF again...because its an affordable material and it cuts extremely clean. I picked up a 4x8' sheet of 3/4" MDF for the main body (buttons, side panels) and a 2x4' 1/4" sheet of MDF to create the raised panel details on the controller face. I'm still deciding what type of paint to use on the final product, I originally used acrylic paints (because it was cheap, and I found the exact colors to match) but contemplating an indoor water-based paint from Behr or something for better longevity. The whole table is going to get a coat of polycrylic to protect the finish so it'll be durable anyways...what to do, what to do, hmmm...

Oh, when you go to buy a sheet of 4x8' it'll be huge! And if you plan on ripping the pieces yourself...might I suggest getting the first pieces cut to size by your lumber store so the pieces are more manageable.

Here are the pieces cut so far with a highly scientific diagram below ('cos visuals are so much easier than words!)

2 panels measuring 2x4' cut out of 3/4" MDF (for the top and bottom of the controller)
- 2 panels of 2' long and 6" tall for the sides
- 2 panels of 4' long and 6, tall for the longer sides
- 1 panel of 2x4' cut out of 1/4" MDF (for the raised overlay face frame)

For anyone following who is a seasoned woodworker...don't judge my measurements! I use centimeters, inches and feet in this project. This is before I understood how to read a measuring tape, measuring by centimeters was the most exact measurement I could get when scaling out the wee NES controller to the big coffee table.

Anyways, stay tuned for next steps, it gets so much more interesting I promise!

Missed my previous NES posts? Check them out here so you can keep updated on the progress!