This post is to document my journey from newbie Pinball Player to complete newbie Pinball Mechanic.... if that is the correct term? This post will detail my journey from the pickup to playfield to the hopefully enjoyment of owning our first pin that I was able to save from the scrap yard.
My wife tinamarie23, my 4 year old son, and I have been playing pinball less than a year. We have been hitting up the local coffee shop, WhatsBrewing, that has 26 Pins a few times a week. We are having a Williams Blackout done by a local tech, but as I started to read and watch Youtube videos about pinball mods, repairs, etc., I found my self becoming interested in learning the ins and outs of how these machines work. So I bought a copy of Pinball Machine Care and Maintenance 3rd Edition by B. B. Kamoroff in anticipation for Blackout coming to our home soon.
As I read it, I decided I wanted to get my hands dirty and learn in the process. I'm a teacher and have been involved in many STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) programs over the years. Once, I purchased an old bicycle frame for $10 just to rebuilt it and get it onto the road again just to learn more about bicycles.
The search for the right project:
So I found myself daily searching the Pinside Market, Craigslist, Facebook, Pinsale groups etc. This last Thursday an ad for a 1974 Chicago Coin Dolphin came up and the machine's price and condition seemed to be right with what I was thinking.
Link to the San Antonio Coffee Shop with all the pinball action in the Alamo City: https://www.sacoffeeroasters.com/pinball
Here is what the cragslist ad said:
"Chicago Coin Dolphin vintage pinball machine for sale. It is NOT in working order but does turn on and lights up. It will not reset. It is stuck trying to reset but did work and play before getting stuck. It is SOLD AS IS. Email, call or text if you have questions."
Below are photos that accompanied the ad:
This journey was solely based on this and a few brief texts and phone calls that set us off racing across West Texas to New Mexico to pick up what I'm now calling in my facebook posts "Project Pinball".