(Topic ID: 235033)

DIY Framed Pinball Translites - FYI

By TheGunnett

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 6 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Rondogg
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders


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#1 1 year ago

As I have continued to list games for sell I seem to get more comments and questions about my game room decor than the games I’m selling. The framed translites in my current post for my Dialed In have gotten some technical questions on how I made them. I have found many answers to solve issues I’ve had with games on Pinside, so the least I can do is share some information I have that others may find beneficial. I may also be opening myself up to criticism for spending way more for something I could have just bought.
I like things a certain way and I don’t like to settle. A plain frame around a Translite didn’t have the look I wanted. I found out in my home theater years ago a $10 poster in a $15 frame looks okay for a dorm room but spending $200 and triple matting the poster and getting a solid frame makes a $10 poster look like a piece of art.
I wanted a mat board around my Translite and light from behind. I found Shadowboxes at Michaels and through trial and error I think they look pretty good. I think I may add an additional set of lights in the frames to get a more balanced distribution of light and with the color changing ability, some neat effects. I happen to have all the items needed to make two more on hand and I’ll show you all the components in my next post.

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#2 1 year ago

I purchased a 24 in by 30 in Shadow box from Michaels. They are often buy one get one free , or 40/50% off. Never pay full price , they should be around $50 dollars. I use a 24 by 36 mat board and a 24 by 36 foam board to create space between the glass and the rear panel. I purchased a 16’ color changing strip lights from Lowe’s. I’ve owned a mat board cutting kit but if you didn’t need that effect you could just use a yardstick and razor. I use clear gorilla tape and electrical tape.

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#3 1 year ago

I hang or rather sit the frames on a special shelf I purchase from IKEA. I keep these on hand to display my Funko Characters. The shelves come in different lengths and are named MOSSLANDA. I buy them at the IKEA in Pittsburgh. Helicon Brewing is only 10 minutes away and makes for a fun field trip! I believe you can buy these on EBay or Amazon for a 100% premium but considering they are only $10 to start with it may be cheaper in the end. I place the finished Shadow box on the shelf and secure it to the wall with a few 3M Command Strips. The shelf allows for the lights control box , IR sensor and plug to be routed behind the Shadow Box.

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#4 1 year ago

I didn’t realize that Translites aren’t a standard size. I copied my first mat to only find that out. The first step is to pull apart the Shadow box and clean the glass. Cut the mat to fit inside the Shadow box, then cut the mat to border the Translite. The mat should overlap the Translite by 1/4”. Using clear tape , tape the Translite to the mat. Be careful to only tape a minimal portion of the Translite. Using a dark tape at this step would be visible when the light shines through. I use the electrical tape to tape the mat around the edges to the frame to not allow any light to escape from the edges.

I cut a 24 by 36” foam board to snuggly fit in the back of the Shadow box. After I’m sure it’s a tight fit a begin to position the lights in a manner to highlight the Translite appropriately. I make a small hole to allow the power cord escape behind the foam board and out of the back panel.
I double side tape the control box for the strip lights to the back and place command strips along the top two corners incase the frame is accidentally bumped into.

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#5 1 year ago

I think that’s about it , I’ve made four of these do far. I improve each time. I mess around with the colors and effects that the strip lights offer. I may upgrade with a 2nd set but I’m sure there are other lights and methods to achieve this. I like the look of using a mat cutter but you could chose a different way of framing it as well. The new Stern frames seem to have great balanced lighting and are priced right. I hope some of you find this helpful.

#6 1 year ago

Nice thank you!

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