Starting from Scratch

Starting from Scratch

By Waderade812

November 21, 2018

61 days ago

I have always had a soft spot for pinball.  Earliest memory interacting with a machine was a a mini golf arcade in the early 90's.  My limited disposable income was meager at age 8.  So my ball times were just as limited.  I had all of forgotten about pinball until a retro arcade opened about ten minutes away from my home last year.  With a little more disposable income then I had all those years ago my skills started to get better. (I'm still no all star but I have a lot more fun)  Being a Carpenter by trade gives me the opportunity to meet a large number of people each year.  Quite recently a gentleman whose kitchen I was remodeling had a F-14 Tomcat buried in his garage next to a Dancing Dolls EM.  Close to the end of the project I asked him If he was interested in selling the F-14. He immediately pulled it out from underneath piles of cloths and boxes.  He tired firing it up and it sprung to life.  He could not get the balls to feed to the shooter lane and it had a dead display.  He started trying to diagnose what the issues where.  This was hard for me to walk away from while I was trying to trim out his new kitchen.  By the end of the day he was still messing with it so I asked again if he would sell it.  He thought for a moment and then told me it would be a great project for him to bring back to life so he said he was going to be keeping it.

The next morning when I showed up for work he pulled me to the side and said "That machine has been sitting there for 8 years and I did nothing with it.  If it stays here it will sit for 8 more.  Take it home with you tonight"  I was floored.  I tried giving him a few hundred bucks but he wouldn't take anything for it.  Super cool Dude.

After 3 days I had the game playing.  Benefits of being mechanical.  Now a new display and LEDS. The play field is rough, so there are plans for snazzing it up.  I'm so consumed now.

The Game room remodel of my home has begun and needless to say more games will grace my space after the construction is finished.  Thank you Pinside for being a great source of information and support.


Story photos

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58 days ago
Wow what a deal! I’ve been thrilled by pinball for years now and finally have my first machine to call my own. It’s a Bally Vector, needs a lot of work but so fun to start building a game room. I’m a plumber and always see machines and live by the montra “it never hurts to ask” so far haven’t closed a deal with any owners. Most of the time it’s “a family heirloom”
58 days ago
I know what you mean when you make an offer. One fella was very offended. He thought his Spirit of 1776, that barely worked, was worth a million dollars. haha Your right it never hurts to ask. The hard part is finding the moment to bring it up.
55 days ago
What about Dancing Dolls? If you're starting a collection you gotta have an EM!
55 days ago
Whoh... That pin had a story all it's own. This guy is a jukebox collector. The first jukebox he bought when he was 11years old included the dancing dolls. He tells me it only cost him $60 bucks for the pin and jukebox. This was also 1971. I would not have the gumption to even ask. He talked about his friends at that age ,asking what his parents thought of it. "Because of the backglass" haha
51 days ago
That's awesome. F-14 is a great game, and you just can't beat that generosity.
9 days ago
Great story! What a guy for letting you ressurect the F-14 and prevent more deterioration. Good luck in building your collection!

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