(Topic ID: 129900)

Let's talk about pinball jacks


By swampfire

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 35 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by shimoda
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    Sawhorse3.JPG
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    spin_prod_739999712 (1).jpg
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    pinball buddy.JPG

    #1 4 years ago

    I'll preface this by saying that I'm sure someone else has done this already, so apologies if this has come up before on Pinside. The Pinball Buddy serves one purpose only: it holds up the back (or front) of your game while you install or remove the legs. It's a portable, fairly lightweight alternative to a bar stool. I'll start with a quick picture of the two that I'm making for SFGE (work in progress):

    pinball buddy.JPG

    Behind them, you can see the bulky wooden version that I made about 10 years ago. It has served me well, but I needed a few more so people can help me set up and tear down games at SFGE.

    #2 4 years ago

    The picture above only shows the black pipe part of the Pinball Buddy. I'll screw a 20" length of 1"x6" to the bottom 2 flanges, and a 10" length on the single flange on top. The top board will get heavy-duty felt to protect the cabinet. The overall height should be about 25".

    Here's the list of 1/2" black pipe parts needed, with cost at our local Home Depot.

    N=3 flanges, 13.59
    N=2 nipple, 3.5”, 3.96
    N=2 nipple, 5”, 4.54
    N=2 couplers, 4.60
    N=2 elbows, 5.54
    N=1 threaded tee, 2.27
    N=1 nipple/pipe, 18”, 5.71
    -------------------------------
    $40.21 total

    This can probably be made a little cheaper; I hacked out my design quickly because the HD was about to close. You could go with 24" black pipe, and eliminate the couplers and nipple at the bottom of the stand. That would knock about $8 off the cost.

    #3 4 years ago

    Reserved for when I finish this silly project.

    #4 4 years ago

    I imagine this could also be made with PVC, the sturdy stuff, perhaps 1.5 or 2" would be cheap and plenty sturdy. Think I'll actually make one and see how it does.

    #5 4 years ago

    I just cut the end off an old sawhorse...

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    it holds up the back (or front) of your game while you install or remove the legs.

    I use my left thigh...and occasionally the nearest end table.

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from shimoda:

    I imagine this could also be made with PVC, the sturdy stuff, perhaps 1.5 or 2" would be cheap and plenty sturdy. Think I'll actually make one and see how it does.

    Cool, feel free to post it in this thread. The more designs, the better. I'm just surprised that so many people seem to get by without something like this. What would really be cool though is a design that actually helps you lift the game from its "reverse kneeling" position.

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from cody_chunn:

    I just cut the end off an old sawhorse...

    I'm trying to picture what that looks like. A normal sawhorse is too wide.

    #9 4 years ago

    This beats the hold on leg method I use.

    #10 4 years ago

    I use the good ol MM bar stool and it saves everyone's thighs!

    IMG_3437.JPG

    #11 4 years ago

    I have used a 2' aluminum ladder several times cheap and helpful around the game room.

    #12 4 years ago

    Bought one of these a year ago to serve the purpose: http://www.menards.com/main/mobile/paint/ladders-scaffolding/step-ladders-stools/327b-2-type-ia-aluminum-step-stool/p-1351281-c-7999.htm

    Only one pin so far has been too tall for it, and for that I just throw a metal coin box on top to make up the difference.

    #13 4 years ago
    Quoted from TonyH:

    I have used a 2' aluminum ladder several times cheap and helpful around the game room.

    This is definitely the way to go - cheap, light, sturdy. Wish I'd thought of that first.

    #14 4 years ago

    It still begs the question about lifting the back end up. That is always a pain, especially on some of the games I've moved like Genie.

    #15 4 years ago

    I have two plastic milk crates stacked together that are the perfect height for doing this.

    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from shimoda:

    It still begs the question about lifting the back end up. That is always a pain, especially on some of the games I've moved like Genie.

    When I was 20 years younger I could deadlift the back of a WPC game from the floor all the way up.

    Now that I'm an old man, the best technique I've found is to do it in two stages using a small box. In my case I use a toolbox - you can lift the back onto the toolbox from the hole at the top, then you can get enough leverage to lift it from the bottom the rest of the way.

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    When I was 20 years younger I could deadlift the back of a WPC game from the floor all the way up.
    Now that I'm an old man, the best technique I've found is to do it in two stages using a small box. In my case I use a toolbox - you can lift the back onto the toolbox from the hole at the top, then you can get enough leverage to lift it from the bottom the rest of the way.

    This might be the best post of this thread. I'm definitely going to try this, because the "clean & jerk" approach is killing me.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    Now that I'm an old man, the best technique I've found is to do it in two stages using a small box. In my case I use a toolbox - you can lift the back onto the toolbox from the hole at the top, then you can get enough leverage to lift it from the bottom the rest of the way.

    Yup, seconding this. I've got a drum stool that's perfect for supporting the front of games, and a piano bench perfect for supporting the back. It's that front legs on, back of game on the floor moment that's the worst. Top holes to box, then you can get under it to do a full lift and get the bench under there.

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    Cool, feel free to post it in this thread. The more designs, the better. I'm just surprised that so many people seem to get by without something like this. What would really be cool though is a design that actually helps you lift the game from its "reverse kneeling" position.

    Here is the patented RD method ... But feel free to use it free of charge.

    I have a hand truck (cart) with a large "carrying plate". I cart the game into position, then affix the front legs (pin vertical)

    Then I tip the pin over (still on the hand truck) so that the front legs are on the ground, but the rear of the machine is still on the hand truck. (So the back is about a foot in the air)

    Now I lift the back up (much easier as it is already a foot off the ground) The hand truck falls down, i boot it 6" further in, and rest the pin on the top of the "loading plate" ... Now it is at such a height, I can *almost* get the back legs on. It's a few inches away. (If I was really keen, I could make the plate longer and the job would be done) The handles of the cart rise to the bottom of the pin, but it's as safe as houses.

    Now I lift the machine another few inches higher and put my custom cut 2x4 in the middle to hold it, and slap the legs on.

    Nice!!

    rd.

    Hand truck

    #20 4 years ago

    Awesome RD! And I assume you just reverse this for lowering a game - lower it down onto the hand truck, instead of all the way to the floor

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    Awesome RD! And I assume you just reverse this for lowering a game - lower it down onto the hand truck, instead of all the way to the floor

    Spot on champ!! All so easy.

    My "harbor freight" style wheeled trolley is also excellent for moving pins around. I can back the ute (and eventually the Hearse, when it is finished) right through the sliding door, wheel the trolley under the tailgate, slide the pin straight onto it, pump it up a few more inches, and stick the legs on.

    Generally I use this in the games room, and use the "hand cart" technique everywhere else.

    rd.

    #23 4 years ago

    I've done this as well, several times, it is that last several inches that still sucks almost as bad as the first few.

    #24 4 years ago

    There's a similar tutorial on pinball news on making one out of PVC pipe: http://www.pinballnews.com/learn/pinballjack/

    I tried it when I was new to the hobby but decided I like lift tables for most situations.

    #25 4 years ago

    I use a collapsible black stool I got from Walmart... looked at their web site but they don't seem to have it in stock anymore. Model # 14705BLK1W and MFGR date of 2014 printed on the bottom.

    -Rob
    -visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or for Williams system 3-7 sound board solutions

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from fumbleflippers:

    Craftsman Rolling Stand $26 at Sears

    I have one of these, and was thinking of adapting it somehow. That roller is kinda heavy.

    #27 4 years ago

    +1 RD. I only weigh about 130, and I can disassemble and move and reassemble pretty much any machine by mice elf. My "custom cut 2x4" is a big wooden letter R that I found in the rubble at the back of my old pinball place. I just make sure I have a strap for holding down the heads that fold down instead of coming off.

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from fireball2:

    +1 RD. I only weigh about 130, and I can disassemble and move and reassemble pretty much any machine by mice elf.

    I'd like to see a mice elf move a pinball machine.

    You can do pretty much anything with a hand truck. I've unloaded whole 40ft high cube containers of bedroom furniture by myself, just me and my handtruck. I tell you what, when you open the container doors and there's a solid wall of boxed chests of drawers there, it's pretty daunting ...

    rd.

    #30 4 years ago

    At PPM the tool they use for this is called "the square". It's literally just a square made of nailed or screwed together wood. You stand it so half the square is under the rear of the game, put the back legs on and then slide the square out.

    square.jpg

    #31 4 years ago

    I made this at work out of junk off the scrap rack. It suits my purposes especially trying to setup my stargate by myself at MGC this year. Apparently gottlieb saw fit to make their cabinets weight 9,000 pounds for whatever reason...

    IMG_2548.JPG
    #32 4 years ago

    I use milk crates.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    I'm trying to picture what that looks like. A normal sawhorse is too wide.

    Stable enough to stand on its own:

    Sawhorse1.JPG

    Fits between the legs even when on small casters.

    Sawhorse2.JPG

    Very stable when holding a game with its wide footprint. Feet are several inches off the floor.

    Sawhorse3.JPG

    It's also pretty light and easy to manage.

    You can also use it as a platform/fulcrum to hold the rear of the game off the floor if you have a helper to grab it when you lift the game. If not, I use a leg crossed under the game for finger room.

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    I have one of these, and was thinking of adapting it somehow. That roller is kinda heavy.

    If you didn't already have one, that's exactly what this is. Works great.

    http://www.pinballlifter.com/index.php/pinball-helper

    #35 4 years ago

    Or you could make one from a lumber holder for less, just replace the wheel with a strip of metal. I still think there could be something even better, some nifty design to make lifting the game easier. When I get spare time I'll look into doodling up some real ideas, so look for it sometime around 2017.

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