Advice from LARGE # collectors please

(Topic ID: 160737)

Advice from LARGE # collectors please


By Whysnow

2 years ago



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  • 131 posts
  • 56 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by rotordave
  • Topic is favorited by 19 Pinsiders

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    There are 132 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
    #101 2 years ago

    24' ceilings allow a nice 22nd floor balcony/loft. Think original Tilt Town from archived photos or seminar videos. Always consult with local building code authorities and get the proper permits.....

    #102 2 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Just in pin-space alone you're talking 800 square feet (add walking area and you're easily at 1200 sq feet).

    70-100 pins in 800-1200sf? Only if it was one big room with no walls or support posts, and the pins on legs and smashed together with literally no space between, so they couldn't be played. For storage it would be fine, put them on end, would have plenty of room.

    #103 2 years ago

    checking out new options and looks like current possible space will be around 30ft x 60ft of space for the entire area.

    Still likely a ways out but some new options have come to light.

    Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread. It has helped me to think through some stuff.

    #104 2 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    22nd floor balcony/loft.

    Quoted from MrBally:

    Always consult with local building code authorities and get the proper permits.

    Your neighbours may not appreciate that 22nd floor balcony. (Sorry in advance, I just could not let that 1 slide).

    #105 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    checking out new options and looks like current possible space will be around 30ft x 60ft of space for the entire area.
    Still likely a ways out but some new options have come to light.
    Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread. It has helped me to think through some stuff.

    If you are not pushing past 80 machines, 1800 sf will still require a lot of "back to back" runs to make it work.
    40 machines "side by side" with 6 inches between is close to 140 linear feet,not considering central supports.
    A 60 linear foot single run will give you roughly 16-17 machines (I don't know the manufacturer designs of your machines), not considering anything else in the room.
    I always say "plan for much more than you think you will have" because you will fill the space quickly.

    #106 2 years ago

    60 linear ft should fit 20+ easy

    #107 2 years ago
    Quoted from Jdawg4422:

    60 linear ft should fit 20+ easy

    It depends on game spacing not everyone wants less than 12 inches between backboxes.
    Many want upwards of of around 18 inches for several reasons.
    Most collectors want at least some measure of flexibility in designs.

    28 inch standard backboxes minimum requirement for 20 games with no spacing is 46' 8" linear feet.
    6 inch spacing is 10 additional linear feet with a double gap ends = 56' 8" linear feet total or less than 4 feet of "flex" which is less than most people realize.
    It is a standard doorway entryway, and when it comes to pinball that is not much, if you are maneuvering games around corners or lineups already filled by machines.
    12 inch spacing is 20 additional linear feet with double gap ends = 60' 8" linear feet total

    This does not consider ends of walls, end beams, doors, or supports.
    This also does not consider games that have backboxes wider than 28 inches.
    The game manufacturer requirements were not specified.
    It also does not considering requiring working on any machines from the sides.
    If you have to maneuver full lines of machines and have no space to work, multiple machines must be adjusted.
    Basically, you end up "diagonally" sliding them just to fit beside them or pull them out of the lineup.
    It is difficult to emplace them back as well as cabinets get dinged up if an owner is not careful when dropping the dolley in place.
    Arcades really did not care back in the day, but today a basic standard is around 12 inches or so.

    #108 2 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    Your neighbours may not appreciate that 22nd floor balcony. (Sorry in advance, I just could not let that 1 slide).

    LOL! 2nd floor.....

    #109 2 years ago
    Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

    Arcades really did not care back in the day, but today a basic standard is around 12 inches or so

    i disagree. i do not know one collector that has more than 10 games with a ft spacing between each game,more like 3-4 inches in between games. I know atleast 10 decent size collections around here and they all have less than 6inch spacing between them. Just wasted space to most people and space is hard to come by.

    #110 2 years ago
    Quoted from Jdawg4422:

    i disagree. i do not know one collector that has more than 10 games with a ft spacing between each game,more like 3-4 inches in between games. I know atleast 10 decent size collections around here and they all have less than 6inch spacing between them. Just wasted space to most people and space is hard to come by.

    If I had that kind of space, more room between games would be a great luxury. I don't have that kind of space. More like 1 inch between heads.

    #111 2 years ago
    Quoted from Jdawg4422:

    i disagree. i do not know one collector that has more than 10 games with a ft spacing between each game,more like 3-4 inches in between games. I know atleast 10 decent size collections around here and they all have less than 6inch spacing between them. Just wasted space to most people and space is hard to come by.

    My spacing is 1/2" between games.

    A foot!! Crazy talk.

    When I had the Sys11 Champs, I spaced those games in the garage out about 6 inches between the headboxes I guess. Which would equate to about a foot between the flippers. You need space for competitions.

    rd

    #112 2 years ago
    Quoted from Jdawg4422:

    i disagree. i do not know one collector that has more than 10 games with a ft spacing between each game,more like 3-4 inches in between games. I know atleast 10 decent size collections around here and they all have less than 6inch spacing between them. Just wasted space to most people and space is hard to come by.

    I agree. I use the 3 feet by 8 feet per pin rule. A 40 feet long room could hold a run of 13 pins. I'll have about 6 inches between heads. On my classic games it will be more like 3 inches between heads.

    #113 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    checking out new options and looks like current possible space will be around 30ft x 60ft of space for the entire area.
    Still likely a ways out but some new options have come to light.
    Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread. It has helped me to think through some stuff.

    If you can squeeze out to 32ft it would give you the need walking room without rubbing man junk over each other.

    #114 2 years ago

    I'll add to this later. My games room was 4 years in the planning, and I'd outgrown it by the time I built it. Its pretty bloody hard to extend a walkout basement (although nothing is impossible)

    Approx 1800 sq ft.

    #115 2 years ago
    Quoted from sleazius:

    I'll add to this later. My games room was 4 years in the planning, and I'd outgrown it by the time I built it

    Yep. Same here.

    The moral of the story is, whatever you think you need, double it.

    rd

    #116 2 years ago

    Another advantage by having 12 inches versus 6 inches between games is adjusting the lineup.
    It is much easier to slide a few games over and add a new title that is either the same theme of series.
    It was very useful when I had large runs of GTB SS 80, System 11, 6803, WPC games.
    I highly dislike moving the "monsters" like Caveman (GTB, 1982).
    That is of course unless you own every game of the same series.
    No need to adjust the whole bank, and maintenance was easier.
    This becomes even more challenging once you hit the 100+ machine mark, and the room is full.
    At 300+ it becomes just a nightmare, especially when using "double banks" back to back to make everything look sharp and professional.

    #117 2 years ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    My spacing is 1/2" between games.
    A foot!! Crazy talk.
    When I had the Sys11 Champs, I spaced those games in the garage out about 6 inches between the headboxes I guess. Which would equate to about a foot between the flippers. You need space for competitions.
    rd

    I've only got 18 games so far, but working my way up to 45. 1/2" to 1" maximum between games is what i'm going for. Otherwise my 45 game space limit would be more like 35.

    #118 2 years ago

    I would like to think i'm the king of building musical chairs.

    Had a house in michigan, big house, about 3000 sqft with a full basement. it was not a walk out, but i really don't sell games so that wasn't a huge deal. Games go down, but don't come up. Thought i would die in that house... I was wrong about that. never say that, because you're almost always wrong.

    Anywho, had about 60 games in the basement. It was tight but had a good big workshop too. got the crazy idea to expand. Dug out an expansion to the basement for another 800 sqft. connected the two basements through two door ways (one from the shop, so now the shop was "central". Built up too, increasing the home's main and second floor plan. Made room and structure for an elevator, but never implemented it. (If you have a motorized hand cart, you really don't need an elevator.) In the end the house ended up at more than 4000 sqft. But the cost was a lot. Like $125k.

    Note try to keep 4 foot minimum allies between games. This is important. Actually 5 or 6 feet is better. But if you have been to Dayhuff's, you'll see allies too small. on his back row he can't slide glass off, it's too tight. He has a neat system of using glass block to put under the front legs, allowing you to slide the glass off (and over the opposite game.) But that gets old quick and is difficult to do during a party. Also too much butt-on-butt touching when opposing games are played. So plan your rows so you don't have this situation.

    Simply put, home/basement expansion is not worth it. Eventually sold the house and never got that money back. maybe half, but sure didn't increase the house value by the cost of the expansion. What a waste of money.

    Rented warehouse space. As Mr.bally said, first had 2400 sqft plus an 600 sqft mezzanine. The mezz was really cool (24 foot ceilings), but a pain in the ass to bring games up. Also working on games was a pain going up and down stairs for tools and parts. Heating/cooling high ceiling places is difficult too. In the end i will never do another mezzanine. It was cool looking down at everything and playing upstairs. but the risk/cost/cooling were too difficult. had 100 games installed there. aka tilt town.

    Moved to another warehouse space, this time 3200 sqft, no mezzanine (thankfully). Had upper storage using racking, but not a mezz. Had about 120 games there. aka flipper city.

    The problem with warehouse space is it costs money. I started renting during the recession and things were bad here in detroit. Paid $650/month for the 2400 sqft space. Paid $1200/month for the 3200 sqft space a year later. You can see as we started to come out of the recession, things got more expensive. He was going to raise my rent to $1800 per month. Landlords suck too. Also the city could be called by neighbors/enemies, you had limited control (which is another story.)

    Bought the VFW. It's on 10 acres and it's somewhat rural, which is nice. No one to complain. Surrounded by an organic farm on two sides. Bought this as we were coming out of the housing crisis, so the price was fair.

    The VFW has 1400 amps of power. 200 amp service boxes are for rookies! hahaha. We're pretty good with power, no issues there.

    On the concrete floor we ground them with a rented grinder. We did that because there was carpet (as dayhuff said, carpet is sucky) to remove old glue. Then we stained the floor with an acid stain. That's a really cool look. You can do multiple colors too, which gives a molted look. After you're done you have to clear and wax it. The wax is important because you wear the wax. If you get through the wax, you'll start wearing the stained concrete, and can ruin its look. So it does require some maintenance. But it's easy to do, we can wax the entire VFW in about one hour.

    The Annex was an addition. New concrete floor, and it was acid stained. Since it was new we didn't have to grind it. You can calculate the game spacing and the required plugs. We ran 20 amp circuits in appropriate locations. For middle rows (no walls), we put plugs in the ceiling. Note we have 8 foot ceilings, as this is most effective in terms of heating and cooling. Ceiling plugs are nice and works well and is inexpensive. Putting plugs in concrete floors (even new floors) is expensive and permanent. Not a bad thing but if you change your mind on anything, you're screwed.

    Like Dayhuff said, we also have plugs at the top of all the walls. This way if you want to plug in a neon sign or clock, there's a plug. These are all on one wall switch. No other outlets are switched (other than lighting.)

    For us we like 30 foot wide buildings. This gives nice rows with a row of pins against each of two walls. And then a center two rows of back-to-back games. And 6 foot walking rows. This works really well.

    I have another 60 games at our house. We really downsized the house, going from 4000 sqft to 2000 sqft. It's a full sized, 9 foot ceiling walk out basement too. Which in my world is a requirement. Floor is again acid stained concrete. Ceiling is bare but painted black, no dry wall. This way you can modify and fix things without having to deal with ceiling dry wall or ceiling tiles. Walls are drywall. The wife likes the new house as most of the messy pinball stuff is at the VFW and not the house.

    As for lighting i prefer 4 foot florescents on a switch. This is good light for repairing things. For mood lighting i use border neon tubes. Note you can not use red neon (clear glass pumped neon.) The reflection is weird and incredibly bad. Nearly any other neon color is fine. Ruby red (which is a different red than neon red) works well. But nicest colors are gold #2, copper, purple, turquoise, and blue. Green neon is generally too bright, so don't use that color much. I get 8 foot straight neon tubes in my color choice for about $25 each. Of course you need silicone wire and switching transformers. The top mounted wall outlets work great for this too.

    everyone sez to build bigger. i say to build the right size. it costs money to build. then then taxes go up, so does heating/cooling and lighting. it adds up quick. Figure about $100 per square foot. If you're really cheap and do all the work yourself, maybe $50 per square foot. Note we don't do poll barns. I thinks they aren't really a savings after you consider the flooring and ceiling and insulation and heating/cooling and electric. Traditional 2x4 stick construction really isn't any more expensive than a poll barn in my mind, and is a better finished product. Though poll barns do go up quicker, and it's easier to build if you want really tall ceilings.

    #119 2 years ago

    thanks for the info clay.

    What is the dimension of the left side annex building (the one side with the bowler in it)?
    Are those 5 ft or 6ft aisles?

    #120 2 years ago

    It's 30 foot wide don't remember the length maybe 40 foot. Approximately six foot aisles.

    #121 2 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    It's 30 foot wide don't remember the length maybe 40 foot. Approximately six foot aisles.

    thanks. Those aisles are just enough to have 2 players and squeeze down the center so perfect!

    #122 2 years ago

    Rookies leave 12" between games. A seasoned pro can slide games in and out with 1" spacing or less no problem....especially with a pin dolly or some easy gliding pin footies.

    As far as room in the actual walking rows, having enough room for back to back players and an aisle to walk between them is a must. I just reconfigured my game room a week ago to add walking space to avoid crotch to ass rubbing.

    Damn, 12" .... its like admitting using the oversized/over wide handicap parking spots in front of Walmart for Edith and Beatrice to park their Buick

    #123 2 years ago

    Since my somewhat smaller collection is moving in to an 1800 sq ft room, ill probably have a couple feet between games. For now. Hopefully that will change as more games are added. Id rather have a space full than have too much room

    #124 2 years ago
    Quoted from Max_Badazz:

    ... to add walking space to avoid crotch to ass rubbing.

    Come on now. The term is "nuts to butts".

    #125 2 years ago

    Do you want to have parties or serious comps? This really changes the space required. Each time I run a comp we pull 20+ games out of my gamesroom. Its a pain in the neck. Like rotordave my games spill into my garages, and my barn is also full of my games and other peoples.

    Anyway, here are some thoughts that I posted on Aussie Arcade, I've also added freedom units for those that need them.

    1. A dual pinball row in a gamesroom needs to be minimum 4.5m (15ft) wall to wall. This allows 1.5m (5ft) per machine, and a 1.5m (5ft) walkway between them. This allows you to pull the glass unimpeded, and you can pull machines out of the line relatively easily. If you've got enough money, go bigger - 4.5m (15ft) is the minimum.

    batcave.jpg

    2. Headbox Spacing. I prefer 2 games every 1.8m (6ft). This gives you roughly 150mm (6 inches) between headboxes. You can kinda see in this photo what I prefer.

    spacing.JPG

    3. Bigger is always better. There is no substitute for more space so always build as big as you can afford without overstretching yourself. I've never once heard a guy who has done a build say 'geez I wish this room was smaller'. Build up to the collection you can see yourself having in 10 years, don't build to what you've got now unless you're 100% sure you've got everything you ever want.

    basement1.jpg

    4. Are you planning to run comps? You need more space again. When we run Batcave we pull the second row of games out of it to make enough room. This is a tremendous pain in the backside. Do you like doing this? Nope, me either.

    IMG_2137.jpg

    5. Lighting. Totally overlooked in a lot of builds. If you have the right lighting you don't need PDI glass. For me with a displayed collection as large as I've got, PDI glass is just not an option ($20k+ on glass, no thanks). You want indirect lighting that points at the ceiling. In a dark room like the batcave this is going to mean you're going to need a metric shit-tonne of it, but its still doable. The absolute best solution for lighting is track lighting. With LED lights there is almost no limit to the amount of light you can add to a room. If like me you don't want to move your track lights each time you want to work on a game, you'll need at least 1 other type of GI lighting in the room. I went with downlights in the main gamesroom. Non ideal lighting below

    funlights.JPG

    6. Floor treatment. This is dependent on the use. Knowing what I know now, carpet is totally out of the question for any future gamesroom of mine. There are two benefits to carpet that I can see, sound deadening, and possibly going the route of UV carpets. If however you're going to run comps, or have parties, carpet is a terrible idea. The last Batcave it rained all weekend long, and wasn't I glad at that point I had a surface that it didn't matter when it got mud all over it. I went with hard wearing granite tiles, and I'll be putting down a type of epoxy flooring in the Batcave eventually (for now it is unfinished concrete).

    IMG_0427_s.jpg

    7. Power points. Place the points high off the floor if you don't want to see cords. I actually prefer jumping under the machines to plug them in so mine are down low. If you're going to the trouble of wiring a space, spend the extra and get a GPO for every machine you intend to place. There are a couple of spots in the games room section where I couldn't do this for various reasons, but for the most part I stuck with this rule. Photo for this was just a shot of these old girls for something different.

    oldgirls.JPG

    8. (won't work in 110v land, halve everything, we have nominal 230v down here) Power provision. You'll need as many circuits as you can get away with. My general rule of thumb is 5 machines per GPO, 10 machines per 20 amps (you can take it as high as 14/15 games per 20 amps but you will run into problems with certain games and tripping the circuits if you do this). You should have no problem with this provided you stagger the start of your machines. All machines draw their biggest load on power up, so if you're doing it manually by switching on games you won't have an issue. If however you want to rig it up so that everything turns on at the push of a single button you'll need a sparky to wire something up (I think they use relays for this). Be explicit about the power draw of your machines with your electrician. Don't let them talk you out of the power you need, and trust me, you need the amount of current you've specified.

    9. Access. How do you intend to get games into the room? The more you think about this, the easier your life will be long term. Ideally you want everything as level as possible, and very wide doors. I recommend either sliding doors with a minimum 900mm opening, or bifold doors.

    doors.JPG

    *******

    So what does my ideal gamesroom look like? Keeping in mind that building any gamesroom is a costly exercise, even if you're using an un-insulated shed:

    1. On a budget

    Long lines of games look the best, so make your room 4.5m (15ft) wide internally and as long as you can make it. If like me you like a decent spacing between head boxes (150mm = 6"), budget for 2 games every 1800mm (6ft).

    2. The comp shed

    You want at least 3m (10ft) of space between the rows of games to allow mingling whilst not interfering with comp play. 6m (20ft) wide, 1.8m (6ft) per two machines long.

    3. The 'if I had my time again' shed.

    6m (20ft) is still not enough space for plenty of space for larger comps. So I'd have 2 sections to the gamesroom like I do now. One of which is 6m (20ft) wide, the other of which is 9m (30ft) wide. The 9m (30ft) wide section being the main comp area with only 1 row of machines down each wall, and the 6m (20ft) being the games display area. Shape doesn't really matter although I happen to like my current 'T' shaped layout.

    Keep in mind that in all three of these instances you'll need to allocate mingling space and/or space for seating and a toilet if you can afford it. A workshop that you can quickly hide if you have visitors is also a bonus.

    1 week later
    #126 2 years ago

    I found your answer Whysnow! There's a church for sale in my neighborhood. Over 11K sq. feet of finished space and likely space for a couple hundred games! Price for the sq. footage is cheap for Dane County. Already has a kitchen and rooms you could use for bedrooms. Plenty of room in the basement for a workshop. Plus, if you play your cards right you could save on taxes by registering as a religious institution and hold service every Sunday (pinball league and events) and raise money for charity through various events.

    http://wisconsinhomes.com/listing/1660320?o=4#

    #127 2 years ago

    you joke Mike, but if this was on the eastside I would have an offer in TODAY!

    Heidi and I have talked for years about the possibility of revamping a church. We would in fact put in as a religious institution to get rid of property taxes.

    The Church of the Silverball would be a real thing!

    #128 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    you joke Mike, but if this was on the eastside I would have an offer in TODAY!
    Heidi and I have talked for years about the possibility of revamping a church. We would in fact put in as a religious institution to get rid of property taxes.
    The Church of the Silverball would be a real thing!

    And best of all I dont pay property tax

    #129 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    you joke Mike, but if this was on the eastside I would have an offer in TODAY!
    Heidi and I have talked for years about the possibility of revamping a church. We would in fact put in as a religious institution to get rid of property taxes.
    The Church of the Silverball would be a real thing!

    I'm only partially joking. This church has been for sale since I moved in and I always thought it would be the perfect place to house a massive pinball collection. Nice spacious feel with high ceilings, easy access for moving games in and out, etc. It's really perfect for what you're looking for! This is one church I could get behind

    #130 2 years ago

    unfortunately it is too far west of town for us.

    East or North and we would be seriously interested!

    #131 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    unfortunately it is too far west of town for us.
    East or North and we would be seriously interested!

    That's understandable. Hopefully something similar pops up on your side of town!

    #132 2 years ago

    Man, the church looks awesome.

    $400 grand? On 1.3 acres? You couldn't even buy 0.3 of an acre here for $400k, let alone with a building on it.

    PinChurch!!! Do it!!

    rd

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