My cabinet came with a Wonderboy marquee and a Defender front glass. I didnt' want to use either one of these for my Mame cabinet and the Defender glass was for a horizontally mounted monitor anyway. For this reason I needed to find suitable replacements.
I went to Home Depot looking for Lexan but only found Lucite. The Lucite seemed a little thin at first but I quickly realized that it was just as think and strong as the original Defender glass. I picked up a 28" x 30" piece of Lucite for around $15.00.
Lucite is covered on both sides with protective paper that's peeled off when you're ready to use it. The paper prevents scratches while you're cutting it with tools. Because I have a table saw I decided to use the paneling blade that I have for it. I've never used the blade before but I knew it would work well because it had fine teeth on it.
I mounted the blade and put a piece of medium density fiber board underneath the Lucite. You have to put something under the plastic to prevent the blade from taking large chips out of it. Because my first cut was to rip the Lucite to 24 1/2", I also had to put a thin piece of plywood on the right side of the saw. At that width, there was nothing supporting the plastic on the right side of my saw. The table just doesn't go out that far.
I took careful measurements, turned on the saw and started cutting. Soon I realized that I'd made 3 mistakes. The first and worst mistake is that I forgot to put on my safety glasses! As fate would have it, shards of Lucite flew into my eye. It stung quite badly at first but I put it out of my mind and kept cutting - without the safety glasses. When I made the additional cuts, I did finally put the glasses on. I just didn't want to mess up my $15.00 piece of Lucite by stopping in the middle. Quite stupid of me.
The second mistake I made was leaving the blade too high. The blade should be just high enough to clear the top of the material you're cutting. That gives the blade a slighter angle when cutting. When the blade is higher it cuts at a very sharp angle and ends up chipping the Lucite more easily.
The third mistake was using medium density fiber board underneath the Lucite. This material was too soft and allowed the chipping to occur more easily. On the subsequent cuts I switched to using plywood as a backer and got extremely smooth results.
After I ripped the large piece to 24 1/2 inches, I made another cut to make a piece for the front glass. With the remaining Lucite I was also able to make another cut and have a new blank marquee panel. There wasn't much scrap left over and I've quite pleased with the strength and clarity of the Lucite. If it weren't for some minor chipping from the first cut, my front glass would be flawless. A little paint should easily cover up the chips though.
Below are some photos of the old and the new pieces.
Second Chance Arcade