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Materials: Mammut Children’s Shelf Unit

Description: About a year ago I bought an X-Arcade Tankstank, a pro-quality joystick designed mainly for playing retro arcade games. The joystick itself was fine, but playing with an arcade stick on the sofa didn’t feel right, so I set about creating a more arcade-like experience.

I didn’t have the time, space or budget for a full replica arcade machine, but what I did have was a spare 32-inch LCD TV, so I set about finding a piece of furniture that could house it.

The unit had to be sturdy and it had to fit in with the look of our summer house, which is basically a room for my three year old son. When I saw the Mammut shelf unit in IKEA it seemed like the perfect thing.

Step one was to find a way to mount the television. I bought a cheap £10/$15 LCD wall mount bracket from the local supermarket. I then used half inch square metal tubing to build a couple of uprights coming out of the top of the Mammut.

For strength I bolted them through the sides, and angled them so that they exited at the top of the rear of the unit. An old wooden shelf joined the two uprights across the top and gave a mounting point for the TV bracket.

The Tankstick is bolted to the top shelf of the unit using a couple of old L-shaped brackets I had lying around (no doubt from previous IKEA purchases).

I then used one of the Mammut shelves to create a door on the front of the unit to hide the PC, speakers and other components. The door is mounted vertically, hinged on two mirror screws at the top, and secured my a magnetic latch at the bottom.

An additional shelf was added at the top to house the wireless keyboard, instruction manuals and other misc items.

The bottom shelf was intentionally left free for storage of kids toys and games.

The PC is a completely bare bones system comprising an ASRock motherboard, AMD CPU, budget power supply and an old scavenged laptop hard drive.

The speakers are a recent addition, giving a pleasing retro thump to games like R-Type Leo. A second output on the motherboard goes to an old Denon amp powering the main summerhouse speakers, so I can get the whole arcade vibe going, minus the sticky carpets.

The whole kit is finished off with a chrome power button on the left, a Pepsi bottle opener on the right and a five meter string of LEDs on the rear which can be set to just about any colour.

The stickers on the wall are from IKEA too!

~ Grant Gibson, Scotland