A spool of 20 gauge wire was purchased for Radio Shack for $2.99 on sale, though old printer cable might be a better choice since it is shielded. Keep cable length as short as practical.
Some time was spent going through my junk box for male parallel connectors of the 25 pin "D" type. To connect two machines, 17 wires are needed, so 17 two foot lengths were cut from the spool. The ends were stripped 1/8'' and tinned in an assembly line fashion. Tin the pins in the connector as well. A small vise makes soldering much easier.
Start with just two machines (console and node 1). Almost all connectors have the pins marked. Wiring to the male connectors is as follows:
For the first test with only two machines, it makes no difference which end is connected to the console. In fact, a good way to check your wiring is to reverse the cable end to end. Time to complete should be an hour or two if you don't make any wiring mistakes.
The cable for two or more nodes will be a little different.