How To Make An Old Arcade Game Into A Coffee Table


You’ve got an old arcade game sitting in your garage, and it’s been collecting dust for years now. It’s time to put it to good use! With a little bit of elbow grease and some woodworking skills, you’ll be able to turn that old piece of hardware into a gorgeous coffee table. It’ll take a little bit of know-how, but we’ve got the step-by-step instructions right here. So grab your saw and get ready to work—we’re about to make something beautiful.

Step 1: Remove all exterior parts from the arcade game

Step 1: Remove any exterior parts from the arcade game that you don’t want to keep. This includes the buttons, joysticks and control panel (if present), monitor, marquee, coin door and speakers. You may also want to remove the power supply or wiring if they’re not going to be used in your coffee table project.

When removing wires from arcade games there are two things to remember:

  • Make sure you have a solid idea of where each wire goes before cutting them off! If possible try tracing them back onto paper so that later on when they’re needed again they can be reconnected exactly as before.
  • Don’t cut through any other part of the circuit board when disconnecting any wires! It’s best if you remove those by just bending them away from their terminals instead of trying anything more invasive such as ripping them right out without knowing what else might cause issues with gameplay later down the road (and trust me on this one).

Step 2: Add a box to the Arcade Game

First, you need to find a box to use as the base for your coffee table. You will want to make sure that it is large enough and strong enough to hold all of the components of the arcade game. It should also be tall enough that when you insert the arcade game in, it will sit flush with the top of the box. Finally, it should be deep enough so that there are at least 2 inches between all sides of your finished product and any surface upon which they rest (a tabletop or floor).

If you already have an old computer monitor lying around from a previous project, now would be a good time to use it as your monitor mount—otherwise feel free to skip ahead!

Step 3: Cut the glass to fit your coffee table

In order to cut the glass, you will need a glass cutter and a jigsaw. The glass cutter is used to score the glass before you cut it with the jigsaw.

Mark where you want to cut on your board. Once marked, use a piece of masking tape to hold down one side of your board so that when you are cutting, it doesn’t move around too much and break off any pieces as they come loose. Using an Xacto knife or box cutter, carefully score along each line that was drawn in step #2 with lines no closer than 1/4″ apart (or whatever distance works best for your design). You can also use a utility knife instead of an Xacto knife if desired but be careful not to accidentally break off pieces when doing so by pressing too hard on them!

Cut all lines completely through until there is no more material left between two points where lines intersect each other; this ensures that there isn’t any loose metal bits floating around inside which could scratch anyone touching them later on down the road!

Step 4: Attach legs to the coffee table (and level it!)

Once the table top is finished and attached to the base, it’s time to attach some legs. For this project I chose to go with solid pine legs, but you could also use any type of wood that you want.

To attach the legs:

  • Measure the width between each side of your arcade game. If it’s more than 3 inches wide, you will need to cut a notch in each leg so it can fit inside one side of your game cabinet (see photo above).
  • Now measure from the bottom of each side of your game cabinet to about two inches up from where you will be placing your coffee table legs. This should be right where they start their curve upwards toward being vertical. You will then drill holes into both ends of a piece of 2×6 lumber that fits snugly between those measurements (see photo above).
  • Place those pieces flush against one another on top of each other (obviously!) with their ends touching at an angle that matches how much they overhang on either side—so this will depend on how wide or narrow your arcade game is compared to standard dimensions for residential furniture like tables/chairs etc… In general though, try not make them too long because otherwise they might be too unstable when sitting on top!.

Step 5: Completely hide all wiring

  • Power Strip or Switch

If you want to completely hide all wiring, use a power strip. If you want people to be able to turn on and off the game, then choose a switch instead of a power strip.

  • Power Bar

You can also use a power bar if you don’t have much room below your table. They’re usually small and have multiple outlets which makes them great for hiding wires behind an arcade game coffee table.

  • Power Adapter/Surge Protector

A surge protector is another option if you don’t have any room under your table at all! You can also use this if you don’t want anyone else touching the wires while they’re plugged in and using the arcade machine coffee table (they’re very sensitive!).

Step 6: Add in a shelf for additional storage space!

Now that you have everything in place, it’s time to add a shelf for additional storage space! This is optional but highly recommended.

I chose to use an Ikea LACK table base for this step because it was the same height as my arcade game and was strong enough to hold quite a bit of weight. It also had very simple installation instructions which made assembling it much easier than many other options (such as those from Home Depot). I’m sure you could find something similar at your local hardware store if you’d like something more traditional-looking or don’t have access to an Ikea near you.

The key thing here is making sure that your shelf will be level with the top of your arcade game so that everything looks nice and uniform when finished.

Step 7: Sand and stain/paint your new coffee table as desired.

The next step is to paint or stain the wood. If you are using a dark stain, it may be a good idea to sand the wood before staining it. In this example, I’m going to use brown paint on my coffee table and then apply a second coat of white paint on top of that. Whether you’re using stain or paint will depend on which type of finish you want for your coffee table.

If using paint: Use an old brush (or two) and apply several coats of liquid latex primer over any exposed surfaces. Let dry completely before moving onto step 8!

You can make an old arcade game into a coffee table!

You can make a coffee table out of an old arcade game.

You can make an arcade game out of a coffee table!

You can do both!


This project is a great way to show off your DIY skills and enjoy the thrill of an arcade game every day of the week. We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, and that it’s helped inspire you. Happy building!

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