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    Hi all,

    I have always wanted a pinball table, but it always seemed out of reach until I stumbled across the VP community pretty recently and have been working away on plans for my first cabinet pretty solidly ever since!

    I’ve put together the computer side of things (which is much more in my comfort zone than the joinery/woodworking part!) and have got this all working well with Visual Pinball X and Pinup Popper and a handful of tables for testing.  My hardware setup is:

    • Ryzen 1600x processor
    • 16GB RAM
    • 512GB Samsung SSD
    • GTX 1070
    • Acer ET430k 43″ 4k monitor for playfield
    • Acer K272HL 27″ monitor for backglass
    • Old 19″ monitor for DMD below backglass

    One question I have around this is what else (if anything!?!) may be worth displaying on the 19″ monitor – I see a lot of people seem to have that split into two screens/displays in their cabinets?

    My main questions at the moment are around my cabinet.  I like the Williams Widebody plans (Mameman rev3) and at the moment I am planning to build this using 19mm Black Fibracolour MDF ( ) – this seems similar to a cabinet build that I saw and liked on Youtube ( ) using the same plans and I like the idea of it being stained through and removing the need to paint – it seemed to give a nice finish in the Youtube vid.  I would like to get this CNC machined to my plans to avoid having to do the cuts myself and would then screw using confirmat screws to make butt joints.

    I have altered the plans to reflect the 19mm thick MDF and drafted this in Sketchup.  You can also see my measurements and a rough idea of the placement of monitors in the backglass.

    Widebody plan

    My questions around this are:

    • Any comments regarding my material choice – the 19mm black MDF?  Has anyone else used this?  Any real positives or negatives to this choice?
    • Any comments regarding how I plan to put the cabinet together?  I plan to pre-drill, then butt together with confirmat screws.
    • As I plan to try and get my materials CNC cut, should I be planning some of the holes and getting these cut while I am at it?  e.g  fans/ventilation/buttons/plunger/etc
    • I plan to go with Williams/Bally legs and am also wondering whether it will be straightforward to drill/attach these if  I use MDF with butt joints?
    • I am also curious as to whether I have followed the Mameman plans in the connection between the back of the cabinet and the backbox – I have added a close up of how that is planned in Sketchup.

    Widebody - zoom on backbox join

    I have also made a better image of the backbox with the monitors – does this look do-able, or is it a bit tight?!  There is a total of 17mm space left, 5mm at top and middle, then 7mm at the bottom (this is without decasing monitors).

    Widebody - view of monitors in backbox from front

    Please bear in mind I am far from expert in the woodworking side of things, but willing to learn (!), so any advice or comments about anything that I appear not to have considered or thought of would be much appreciated before I shell out for the investment in materials and cutting!  Similarly, if I appear to be on the right track with any of this, it would be good to hear!

    Thanks in advance for any input or feedback that is offered – I look forward to sharing my progress as it moves forward!



    PS. Apologies if I have missed any really obvious materials/guides online that might cover any of my questions as well (I have been looking at a lot!) – more than happy to be directed towards further reading!


    I’d recommend you go with cabinet grade birch plywood, not MDF – it’ll be stronger and slightly lighter, remember that this is a machine that WILL be knocked around trying to apply english to the ball. Fiberboard just has too much of a chance to tear off the screws if you apply enough pressure to it. Plus, you can do rabbits and dados (basically slots) to join corners and edges together to improve the strength and make assembly easier. You’ll still want to predrill your holes.

    The shelf supporting the backbox, the shelf should be sitting on top of the cabinet sides, not inset in the cabinet like you have it, so that all the backbox weight transfers down into the cabinet sides.

    Drilling the holes for the legs is a right pain without a jig of some sort, I 3D printed one for our build (file is attached), you hold on on the corner of the cabinet to drill the holes at the correct angle. All legs are basically the same with just differences in height, so just get the beefy Bally style bracket.

    Splitting the smaller monitor instead of burying part of it is something occasionally done to support playing topper videos on what would otherwise be wasted screen space on the DMD monitor.

    Creator of the first PinupPlayer PostDMD mods for VPX - PostDMD for Masters of the Universe VPX and Jaws VPX.
    Head Proprietor of Pisces Pinball, a VPX table developer.
    Lead Technician of MC Chase Amusements, a private arcade in our home basement.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Looks like a great start. Your PC should handle any table with ease.

    I had 19mm black melamine CNC cut for mine. I’m quite happy with it. Definitely get all the holes planned out and cut at the same time with the CNC order. Also make large rectangular cut outs under the monitor for cables and ease of future addons. You might want to consider having the back box attached with hinges like a real table . Makes moving it much easier.

    As far as the extra screen , I’d say, you already have the screen , might as well use it. The extra space can be for topper videos or any other popper screen you wish.

    Have fun!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    You are certainly off to a good start. The pc setup seems more than sufficient, I am also currently running the gtx 1070, and I currently have a Williams wide body size cabinet made all from 3/4” plywood. I agree with LynnInDenver, do not go with mdf. I have a 3 screen setup with a 46” 1080p for the playfield, 30” backglass, and 19” lcd 3rd screen. I like the oem style look to the cabinet so I hide most of the 3rd screen, it only shows the dmd part. I have a stern style dmd panel that is 1” taller than standard just in case at some point I decide to use the full screen I can just make the cutout bigger. The two major holes to consider might be your sub, and your coin door if you decide to have one. The rest of the holes will be smaller ones for like the plunger, and some buttons. You might also want to consider routing a slot length wise on the top of each side panel to fit the playfield glass guides.


    I would suggest that you make sure the speakers you use will fit in the space to the left and right of your lower monitor.  You could make the back box a little wider if needed.



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