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(Topic ID: 150775)

Freeplay40 Ramps

By Freeplay40

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 4,202 posts
  • 658 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 16 hours ago by PinDeLaPin
  • Topic is favorited by 379 Pinsiders


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Topic index (key posts)

56 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

Display key post list sorted by: Post date | Keypost summary | User name

Post #1 List of remade ramps Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #200 F-14 ramp mold Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #210 F-14 ramp preview with various colors Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #232 Examples of the F-14 ramp installed in a game Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #241 F-14 ramp finished Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #258 Hurricane ramp form test Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #264 Original Hurricane ramp differences Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #289 Hurricane ramp finished Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #305 Finished hurricane ramp photi Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

Post #310 Finished hurricane ramp Posted by Freeplay40 (4 years ago)

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#2 4 years ago

Hey good idea Mark. My Space Station clear blue ramp is still goin strong and lookin good.

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from icust298:

Any chance Batman Forever ramps are on the horizon? I think even in clear, they would sell like hot cakes or some other sort of hot breakfast type food.

I'd go for them but the left one is a MONSTER. I wonder if Mark could do that one. I'd want green.

1 week later
#85 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

OK...I'm curious. Can anyone tell if the green ramps in Batman Forever are actually green plastic or are they painted. The reason I ask is that colored PETG is basically no longer available domestically.....unless you order about 2,000# of it from overseas. As far as colors in acrylic, very few are readily available in extruded acrylic. Tons of colors available in Cast acrylic, but cast cannot be vacuum formed. I did ultimately find a source for the transparent dark green but it is a little spendy.
On another note, ramps are either formed over a male or female mold depending on the design of the ramp. When you form over a female mold (imagine the mold and ramp being right side up), the plastic will be the thickest on the top of the ramp and will then get thinner as it pulls and stretches down into the mold. When formed over a male mold (imagine the ramp upside down) the plastic is the thickest on the bottom of the ramp which is better for strength where the ball is. I was just looking at the BF ramps on the IPDB and it appears to me that those would have been formed over a female mold and given the depth of the draws, especially on the left one that the plastic must have thinned significantly. Acrylic would not be a good material choice for my opinion. I would think the only way to reproduce these ramps would be in clear PETG and then see if they could be painted transparent green....certainly something I will need to look into. I'm thinking automotive candy clear with a flexibility additive....if that's even available.
Got to be some professional painters out there... what do 'ya think?

Thanks for checking that out and yes the ramps are green plastic. Did you find out a reason why colored PETG isn't available in small quanity?

#87 4 years ago

Yeah acrylic would not hold up. My ramps have cracks on the sides by the ball entrance. I'll just epoxy the crap out of them.

2 months later
#158 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

So, ramp production has been a little slow lately as I just had to get this project finished. Done today. Back on ramps!

Wow Mark that looks great. You have all kinds of talent.

2 weeks later
#220 4 years ago

Hey Mark, does that material come in green?

#223 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Not easily.... I've ordered green on two occasions and both times I was assured it was extruded acrylic only to find out that it was cast acrylic and thus not suitable for vacuum forming. I did ultimately locate another source but was very expensive. I'll keep checking. Always thought Grand Lizard would look good with green. Also going to experiment with some dye....hard to find time when you are retired.

Thanks Mark, we were talking about new ramps in the BF Club that's why I asked. That left ramp would be a real bugger cuz it's a dual ramp.

#226 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

There is going to be a Batman Forever at the NW Pinball show next week. I'll take a good look at it when I'm there. Options for this one would be green acrylic, dyed green PETG (What I would be most hopeful for) or clear. Clear could be painted, but just not something I want to get into right now.

Hey cool Mark. How expensive was that green anyway? I think we would pay the extra price to have the better quality. Quality is ALWAYS worth paying for. Also, not really sure if the right ramp is needed but will ask in club. Thanks

#233 4 years ago

That clear ramp looks great Mark. Have fun at the show.

2 weeks later
#308 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Finally finished a Hurricane center ramp today. Will start accepting orders on Tuesday.

You've got a nice collection now.

1 week later
#335 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

I chose green first as there is interest in ramps for Batman Forever. Might not be quite the right green for it, but I suspect the use of green LED's might help.

Hey Mark, thanks for thinking about BF but that green is just all wrong. I wonder where they got that color green plastic for the game.

#338 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Just can't source that stuff domestically...unless you want to buy a couple thousand pounds of it!

How much is it in small quanities....non domestic?

#356 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Have you done any scratch testing on the died ramp? What does it look like if scratched? How about after being cleaned with novus?
Question above was posted in another thread....
Perfect questions. Scratching has no affect on the color. The dye I am using completely penetrates the PETG....basically color all the way through it. I just took the first test piece and sliced off the end of the ramp to show that the color completely penetrates (see photo). So polishing is no problem. I also just ran a torch over it for those who like to flame polish and it acts just like the original clear PETG.

WOW!!! Now if you could match the green of the BF ramps you'd have a winner. Thanks for taking the time for testing this out Mark.

#358 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

There is one other green choice and I will get my hands on it and test that color soon.

Thanks Mark.

#371 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Space Shuttle is a definite once I get the new machine running!

Yeah, I'd take one of those.

#377 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Testing some PETG coloring today. Getting more on Tuesday. Also had a request for a smoked tint. Looks doable, but it is quick.

Nice color choices. Green comes Tue.?

Quoted from Freeplay40:

I think I need a new ramp for my Highspeed.....colored one this time...maybe rainbow?

Rainbow???? I gotta see that.

#380 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Yes on testing the greens. Colors are pretty pure so may have to mix a little.

Sounds like a pain.

#410 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Something new I made for a friend locally...

Hey Mark is that the green dye you were waiting for? From the picture it looks close for BF.

#416 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Sorry Paul.... That is an underside painted piece. I may display some dyed ones just for fun. The dye I'm waiting for won't be here until mid next week.

I see.

#429 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

If stern still had old molds from data east days, you would think they would get into that business. They've already cut a piece of the mod cake market.

Yes but they want to sell NEW games not keep old ones going. Keeping old ones going makes buying new ones not very attractive. $200 for a new ramp for an old game or $5-9 thousand for a new game.

#441 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

How's this look Paul? Actually no stock green comes close to what we want. This is a mix of two colors. I dyed a piece of a Genesis right ramp for CaptainNeo.

Well it "looks" good but you'd have to compare it side by side with an original. Thanks for doing that.

#442 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

that's fine, I've actually bought many metal objects from shapeways, all SMALL objects. A gas cap in stainless cost me $150 but for argument sake let's go ahead and model a simple 12" straight shot ramp (positive) with minimal material.
Solid = 490 cm^3, or $2450
Shelled (1/8) = $645
I can't imagine what the cost of a simple and reasonable ramp would cost.

#445 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

If some sort of hybrid mold could be made the, metal pieces needed to stand up to the process would still need to be reverse engineered from the mold which is not something I am capable of nor interested in doing for what will probably be a short to modest production run.
At this point what I see is the only avenue to get this done would involve a bit of redesigning. Instead of forming this as one single ramp in a female mold (note female molds are done with an upright mold and the plastic is pulled down into the mold and thins and thus weakens as it goes down) what I see is to cut the ramp into two separate inner and outer ramp that fit nicely together. Doing it this way I could very likely form these as male molds. Male molds yield the thickest plastic at the bottom of the ramp, generally where it is needed. Separate ramps would also allow the installation of sidewall protectors on both sides of each entrance lane where they are now only on the outside of each lane.
I also see a potential redesign of the inner ramp to end in more of a vortex (Like the WH20 Whirlpool ramp).
I'm not saying this is the only way it could be done, but having studied this ramps many times, I think it is safe to say that I would not reproduce it exactly like it is.
One other note, pertaining to the orange piece that is glued onto the bottom of the ramp. That was most likely installed to add strength to that area which has the thinnest plastic. Forming it in an inverted male mold would yield the thickest plastic at the bottom.

That sounds like what they should have done from the factory. Would both ramps be supported well enough do you think?

#447 4 years ago

Your the only solution Mark, if the ramps aren't made the rest of the game is useless. Obwon....I mean Mark....Your our only hope!

#450 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

How's this look Paul? Actually no stock green comes close to what we want. This is a mix of two colors. I dyed a piece of a Genesis right ramp for CaptainNeo.

Hey Mark, would you send that to me so I can compare it to my ramps, I'll pay shipping. Unless that is you have a ramp you can compare it to.

#459 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Paul... I cut a couple flat pieces out of that partial green ramp and threw them in the mail this morning. Should be to you on Friday.

Hey thanks. I'll post a couple of side by side pictures when they get here.

#467 4 years ago

Dang Mark....there's only so many hours in a day.....I don't know how you do it.

#470 4 years ago
Quoted from scottmaggie:

Yep Guns N Roses "G" and "R" as well as Star Trek 25th trough shipping out to you for repro...

Maybe Mark could make the R ramp better so you wouldn't need that sneeze guard. He did for HS.

#472 4 years ago

Oh....the gears are turning, something GREAT is gonna happen.

#505 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

We've talked about several of the injection molded ramps that likely will never get made again as injection molded pieces as the molds are likely gone and the cost to make new ones is just way too much.

That makes me sad cuz there will come a day when the game will be scraped and sold for parts because of that. A piece of pinball history will be gone then. 3d printing can work magic soooooo. I know it won't look the same but it would be better then nothing.

1 week later
#526 4 years ago
Quoted from swanng:

Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to you personally, for going to all the effort and trouble to make these ramps available. Still don't know how or when we'll get to Excalibur, but there will come a time...................
All the best, and THANKS!

His craftsmanship just amazes me.

1 week later
#541 4 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

So cool to see new ramps being made.

Yeah and he keeps getting faster and faster with his design and production. He's a real Pro.

1 week later
#587 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Yes I'm making enough to keep me going. I'm retired and don't really need much so I just pump the money back into supplies, tools and oh yeah, the new machine I'm building plus I learn something new with every new ramp. Still only marketing my stuff here on Pinside and the level of sales I get here keeps it comfortable....gotta be able to enjoy retirement somewhat, although the past month has been hectic. I've been contacted or had discussions with several major suppliers that want my ramps, but at the "wholesale" level it just does not work for me right now....basically make more money...but really work my ass off and new ramps would certainly slow down. For now I just like retailing which allows it to be self sufficient and I can keep making more ramps. It's not like the old days of very high production runs and the associated economies. By controlling the entire process I do not have issues like large inventories....basically I still offer all that I have produced by simply making them on demand. If I run out of something and get an order I usually make a few extra.

That's the way to do it Mark.

#662 4 years ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Wow you are putting on thr brackets too!

Mark is a one stop shop.

#670 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Complete new ramp $98

Shipping $15

Dang Mark, that's a great price.

#673 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballAlley:

I need Rocky and Bullwinkle ramps. I purchased machines to make plastics and one for ramps. If you have the ramps then I can concentrate on the plastics. I saw one of the ramps on ebay for $425.00. That was the last straw that drove me to purchase the machinery. I restore lots of pinballs, do you have a list of ramps you have in stock?

You don't go by what the price is on ebay do you. Mark never sold a single ramp for over $150 I believe.

#688 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Here is a photo of the first fully assembled DE ST25 subway ramp. 4 new switch brackets and new stainless metal protector.


#712 4 years ago

Sorry to hear that Mark. Did you eat out when you got it? The ER??? Sounds like it got serious.

#719 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Think I did this one to myself. I had sautéed some raw shrimp and recall biting into one that was a little too soft inside.

Were they fresh or frozen?

#721 4 years ago
Quoted from UNCgump:

Did this ever become a website?

Not yet, he's been busy.

#731 4 years ago

Oh man I'm so sorry to hear that but happy to hear you came through it. I imagine they have you on blood thinners. We're getting up there in years so we have to be extra careful. Take some time off and go up to your cabin, bring some good books and relax.

#739 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Thanks for all the kind words guys. Feeling much better now. I do have some lingering effects but nothing that inhibits me in any way. Neurologist told me he expects all will clear up and I will fully recover. I have a friend that actually called to congratulate me. He said the first stroke is usually the one that can really get you and having dodged that bullet, made some changes, that the future looks very good.

Do you think the fumes from the hot plastic had something to do with it?

#749 4 years ago

Is yours a bit lighter red or is that just the lighting?

#751 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Mostly the lighting and the original is pretty dirty.

That's what I thought.

1 week later
#811 4 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

GnR has been a new challenge and I was somewhat interrupted by a medical problem... So that said, I think I have everything in line to get busy producing the GnR ramps and will make a mold for the Wabac probably this week. I don't anticipate any problems producing the Wabac ramp. Once I have the mold (I may actually make two molds) ready I can then begin production in about a week. The long and short is that I will do the Wabac in this round of ramps before I slow up a bit to work on the new machine.

I just don't know how you do it Mark, you are the hardest worker of all the mod makers.

2 weeks later
#860 4 years ago

We didn't miss you at all. We just figured you were busy but wow that's some scary stuff you've been going through. You better scale waaaay back and really pace yourself a bit better, there's only one of you my friend.

2 weeks later
#880 3 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

The donor for the GnR ramps was pinsider scottmaggie. Scott also donated the DE Star Trek 25 subway ramp as well. He took both of these ramps off working machines and accepted assurances from me that I would get them back to him quickly. I got the DE subway done quickly but the GnR ramps were both challenging and I had some health issues....needless to say, but I was not very timely getting the GnR ramps back to Scott.
Attached are photos of the new ramps that will ship out tomorrow morning to Scott. Note that Scott sent me fully populated ramps which I like so that I can be sure everything fits right.
Going to take tomorrow off and head up into the mountains to winterize a piece of river property. I will post prices for the ramps by Saturday and begin to communicate with those on the "list"

You are an artist, those are works of art Mark.

2 months later
#1031 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

I'm back. Since we all have pinball dreams. It brings me back to Hurricane and how awesome those center ramps turned out. I ended up with two of them and still have both machines with your gorgeous ramp.
That said a similar ramp I feel would be very popular.
Black Rose center ramp.
If this could make it to the list for 2017, that would be awesome.
Thanks again.

The Whirlpool cap too.

1 month later
#1214 3 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Space Shuttle is a definite candidate for the new machine...Likely one of the first ones. The most recent reproductions were made with a plastic that was honestly toooooo thick which resulted in a poor fit onto the playfield. My intentions are to offer the ramp in either clear of dyed PETG. (I can do black but just don't like to.. ) Dyed if I can get the blue right!, which I think I can.

Would the exit side of the ramp have the same V shape? I always wondered why they chose that the ball doesn't rattle back and forth as it goes down it?

4 weeks later
#1288 3 years ago
Quoted from jay:

My cover is in the mail and here are some pics of the undamaged mounting holes. It looks like they're coming close to cracking soon so good thing this project is getting going. I doubt there are many of these around that aren't eaten to shit.

Can you put some clear lexan washers over them?

#1290 3 years ago
Quoted from jay:

I honestly don't think that would help. I think the damage comes from balls smashing into the posts the cover is attached to, especially if the posts become slightly loose over time and are flexing the plastic. When I took my cover off this afternoon I noticed my posts had wiggled loose a bit already. The best solution would probably be to attach the cover to something other than the front posts, but there really isn't anyplace else suitable that I can see.

Sounds like it's time to put some oversize metal washers on the underside with lock nuts.

1 week later
#1307 3 years ago

From your very first ramp I knew your quality left the stock stuff in the dust.

1 month later
#1347 3 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Well, tomorrow is "Open House" at Encore Pinball. Pinsider visiting from WI to see how ramps are made.

Cool. Post a bunch of pictures.

3 weeks later
#1415 3 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Seattle....Reputation for being very rainy. Well this year it even exceeded our expectations with respect to the amount of liquid sunshine. Just like a light switch, Summer arrived this least for the time being. Beautiful sunny days with highs in the 80's.
The point here is that it gets hard to stay focused on ramps when the sun comes out! I basically work on ramps every day. Either bringing something new to the table or continuing to supply all products I have made so far basically on demand. The on demand eliminates any excess inventory issues, but with more and more products, the on demand tends to slow things down some. I've had some health issues and am glad to report that I am feeling much better these days and hope that will allow me to maintain demand as well as increase new products...and enjoy a little sunshine in a climate that can be a bit stingy with Summer.
So that said, certain products I have created are far more difficult that others and in some of those cases I will revert to lists short term until there is adequate demand for me to revisit a particular offering.
One such case is the ramps for Guns n' Roses. After the initial run I started to get requests for more and had started a list. There are enough on the list for me to do another run of these and with any ramp that I run out of, I always make a few extra over demand for any trailing orders or more likely folks that all of a sudden find me here on Pinside.
I formed a batch of the GnR ramps yesterday and will begin dying them today...unless I succumb to the sun! If you want to confirm you are on my list (if we have not talked in the past week or two) feel free to shoot me a pm. Any other interest in these, well now is a good time to let me know.
I hope to ship the GnR ramps in the next week or so...especially before the Pacific NW Pinball show and I will be attending that (June 9-11)

I just don't know how you do it Mark.

#1422 3 years ago

That's you....don't you know your own name.

3 weeks later
#1473 3 years ago

Take allllll the time you need my friend. When your up to it come back and tell us about it.....not the icky stuff though.

3 weeks later
#1501 3 years ago

That's GREAT news Mark. You take it easy now, don't want you to pop those stitches.

3 weeks later
#1530 3 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

So...Recovery seems to be going pretty well. I was told yesterday that I will not likely feel back to normal for a couple more months yet. Since putting ramp production on hold just prior to surgery I have been keeping lists of those wanting ramps and for the near term I will work through getting all those folks covered. I've already produced and shipped quite a few ramps this last week and still have 10 or 12 more to get caught up. Surprisingly, the most difficulty I have is riveting. That motion just puts a heavy strain on my chest so I have had to table the arbor press and just use a hand held die for riveting which works great. For those of you interested in riveting, my having to do them by hand does demonstrate that an arbor press is not needed for virtually any pinball riveting....the $25 hand die is really all you need.
Thanks for everyone's patience while I work through this recovery (was a triple by-pass). Although I won't be back to normal for several more weeks, I can now function pretty well and can already see many positive changes now that my heart is actually getting a good blood supply.

That's the kind of news we like to hear Mark.

1 week later
#1545 3 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Here's what I've made so far...
High Speed - Reengineered to eliminate the ramps cover and oh yeah....clear.
Space Station - Right ramp done in transparent blue acrylic.
Genesis - Two ramp set, clear
Swords of Fury - Upper and lower ramp available in clear or transparent red
WWFRR - Bonsai ramp.  Improved design
Heavy Metal Meltdown - new ramp and cover out if much thicker plastic
Whirlwind - New lift ramp
F-14 - available in clear, transparent red or transparent blue
Hurricane - New complete center ramp
Data East - Plastic launch button housing
Strange Science - New Anti-Gravity ramp, Anti-gravity exit ramp and the large Particle Separator ramp.
Guns and Roses - Yellow G and red R ramps
Rocky and Bullwinkle - New WABAC ramp
DE Start Trek - Subway ramp
Hook - Rufio ramp (thicker plastic and improved design)
Doctor Who - Time Expander cover
Think that's all of them.

You made soooooo many people happy with all these. Your a HUGE asset to the hobby Mark.

#1547 3 years ago
Quoted from Yesh23:

I bought a Space Station blue ramp from Mark and it's amazing!

I got the HS and SS from him waaaaaay back when.

1 week later
#1565 3 years ago

Another vote for Space Shuttle here. The black one has got to go.

3 weeks later
#1606 3 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Hey All... Just want to let everyone know that there will be another lull in my production coming in the next few weeks. I do not have a set date yet, but I am opting to have another surgery. Specifically this will be for the reconstruction of my sternum which did not heal properly following the open heart surgery. My entire sternum is separated and although I have been told that one can choose to simply live with this, after meeting with the reconstructive surgeon his advice was to go ahead with the repair. At approximately 10 weeks since my initial surgery I should be completely recovered, however I still suffer some severe pain, thankfully only when I cough deeply or...sneezing is a real bitch....not to mention the unnerving feeling of bones grating over one another. Failure to stabilize my rib cage would result in future limitations such as lifting. So this is a quality of life choice. Nobody wants more surgery, but this is certainly less than what I just went through, and I anticipate a quicker recovery. Hospital stay is only 1 or 2 days.
There are several of you with ramps requests involving me doing assembly, and should you be anxious to get those done, I just recommend you get your parts to me ASAP. As I said, I do not have a date for the surgery set yet, but I am anxious to get this done and behind me and have requested first available date. Guessing probably within 2 weeks.
As I continue to respond to new orders and finish existing orders I want to focus on several new molds before my surgery. My process for molds require they "cure" for at least a week to 10 days before they can be finish prepped for forming the pieces so if I can get them cast they can cure while I recover. On my plate right now for molds are the Corkscrew for Comet, the three pieces for Transporter and if I can get to it, I want to get the Pinbot pieces cast.
Better days ahead my friends!

Wow, I don't blame you for wanting to get that fixed, you'll feel sooooo much better I'm sure. I'll keep you in my prayers.

2 weeks later
#1623 3 years ago

Hey Mark, I'm praying for you every day and will double up on the 17th. Only the best my friend.

1 week later
#1628 3 years ago

Marks surgery was today, damn I hope everything went well.

#1637 3 years ago

Wow back home so soon after something like that, aint modern medicine great. I'll bet it feels like you've got an elephant sitting on your chest right now so just take it easy. To bad you don't have someone to wait on you hand and foot, I'm in the same boat. Be a good boy for the doctor and take your medication on time. Give your body the time it takes to heal properly.

#1647 3 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Got the last drain pulled out of my chest yesterday. Honestly, since the initial surgery in mid July and the ongoing "issues", I actually now feel like I am on the road to recovery!

Good to hear Mark. How's the pain?

2 weeks later
#1652 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Just be glad you did not get addicted to opiates like everyone else in the country.
My buddy just told me that his 27 year old daughter (who is a RN) and her boyfriend (who is an Anesthesiologist) both were found dead in a CVS parking lot Monday. Apparently, her boyfriend wrote the script, and they ODed together in his Jaguar .


#1666 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

You guys are all too kind. I am taking it easy for a while but I'm still producing ramps as requested...just maybe not as fast as one day as I have in the past. I do enjoy making ramps and honestly I think I'd be bored to death right now if I wasn't making them. I will be holding off on anything new at least for the near term, but still producing all the ones I have in the past.
So, if you need something, feel free to contact me and I will let you know what I can do for you. High on my list is "BLUE". Want to get the blue dye process down.

Talk about bored in the hospital, back in 85 I was almost crushed to death by a 6000lb roll of cardboard where I worked, fractured my pelvis in 3 places (only one piece of it was holding it together) ruptured my bladder and herniated 3 discs. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks with a catheter up my you know what and had to learn to walk again. If I had not heard a crack crack noise and started to pull myself in from where I was at I would have been right under the roll when it dropped, needless to say it would have been quick and painless and I wouldn't be here today. No operation was needed but I had to spend 3 weeks flat on my back (and only bathroom # 2 you know LOL) and rehab time out of the bed. So I know exactly how you feel about being stir crazy not being able to do what you want. Sorry for the long post.

#1669 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Holy Cow, Paul! Makes me feel like what I went through was a walk in the park! 5 days in the hospital was all I could bear!

Well if I had had the type of invasive surgery you had it would have been a different story. In sooooo many ways your ordeal is way worse then mine.

3 weeks later
#1693 2 years ago

Sorry to hear about you getting the flu just when your recovery was going so good Mark but that will soon pass. I've never had the flu so I don't know what your going through.

#1695 2 years ago
Quoted from NYP:

This reminds me of the time I was getting some dental work done and when I got home I sneezed and blew my temporary tooth across the room.

Sorry to hear that but it is funny.

#1697 2 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

No kids Paul? I had never been sick in my life until I had kids. Then the flood gates were open and the next thing I knew I was standing in a bathtub with my son throwing up over my shoulder and warm puke running down my back. Kids are festering little petri dishes.

Nope none. My last gf had 2 kids but I still never caught anything. The only time I've been REALLY sick, 104 temp was when I was about 7. Nothing like that since.

#1699 2 years ago

Hey Mark, it's REALLY good to hear your feeling better all the way around and getting back into the swing of things.

#1711 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

I have to say that I have found something in retirement that is enjoyable and meaningful.

That's the way it should be. Have fun .......and make money too.

#1715 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Seems like a long time since I have posted any ramp photos. Been working on the new dyed blue PETG Space Station ramps. Couple photos of some of the new ramps shipping out tomorrow. Pretty much got everyone covered and holding one until Friday. At the moment I think I only have 2 left that I can assemble as I have run out of switches. Placed an order for more this evening which will probably be here by this weekend. I'll probably make a few more while I still have the blue dye set up.

1 week later
#1730 2 years ago
Quoted from KOAmps:

Another shot of Mark's excellent work, my new rufio ramp next to the old one.

I like the extra metal protectors, that will make it last a loooong time.

3 weeks later
#1763 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Just took a look at that lift ramp for Pinbot and noticed a used Pinbot ramp for sale, so i bought it. I think I can do this one on my current machine. If I can I will likely do this one right away. I may also offer the lift ramp, but will need to borrow one locally.
Will be doing one more, most likely last, run of GnR ramps starting this week and finally getting to the Corkscrew ramp for Comet.

Well Mark I think the Pinbot and Jackbot ramps are the same except for the flashers on Pinbot. That area on Jackbot is solid with a sticker.

1 month later
#1898 2 years ago
Quoted from dozer1:

Custom dyed Freeplay40 High Speed ramp.

That red looks great. Mark did it again.

#1900 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Hmmm...I like it! Might have to try one of those in mine.

If the boss man will make another one.

#1921 2 years ago
Quoted from ccbiggsoo7:

starship fantasy is about out of everything. kinda ridiculous actually!

Have you emailed them to let them know what your needs are?

1 week later
#1949 2 years ago
Quoted from EStroh:

I thought I'd post my photos with what I added to the "blank space" under the clear HS ramp.
I'm thrilled with how it turned out!

#1950 2 years ago

That ramp for Pinbot is just about the same as the one on Jackbot and would be simpler to make so a clear colored one would be easy to make wouldn't it? My ramp is perfect but I'd take a colored one because it would look custom then. I'm thinking blue.

#1952 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Just a couple minor differences between the Pinbot and Jackbot ramps...Other than no cutouts for the flashers on Jackbot, there is s subtle difference in the front edge to allow for the overhead switches to attach. I'm thinking I will design the mold to be able to change this area so I can make both.

Yeah that's about it. I'll take one Mark.

1 week later
#1987 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Been making the various hardware pieces for the Pinbot Lift ramp. Put one together today that I will test in the machine tomorrow morning. My only concern is that my spring steel "bridge" material is thicker than the original, so less flexible. If this causes an issue with the motion I will order thinner spring steel.

That look sharp Mark.

1 week later
#2010 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Roughly finished a clear and a dyed orange Comet Cork Screw today alongside an original. See photo and let me know what you think of the orange.

That looks like a tank compared to the original. Nice work. I like the orange.

#2040 2 years ago
Quoted from Sinistarrett:

Got my lift ramp today, came fast and professionally packed! Thank Mark!
Just setting the new ramp on the glass you can tell how cloudy the old ramp looks in comparison.

Would it be worth it to wax it then put mylar on it? Then just change the mylar when it gets bad.

#2082 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

I have to say the Cycle Jump ramp is an extremely flimsy piece of plastic....we'll make it better...

But what color?

#2102 2 years ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

Awesome, thanks for doing that. Will be interesting to see the other colors, but my gut says I'll stick with black.

You could always get a clear and paint the back side black. That would be a nice shiny black then.

#2113 2 years ago

Oh but Mark you didn't drill those 8 holes in the new one yet.

3 weeks later
#2229 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

So I did a first attempt with a black dye and am not pleased with it. The black dye is very aggressive taking only a few minutes to really darken the plastic. I am going to greatly dilute the dye batch to slow it down for more control of the color. May also add a bit of silver dye to it.

Looks like you have a winner for purple.

1 week later
2 months later
#2482 2 years ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

Lots of interest in another run of Space Shuttle Ramps. Especially something that would compliment the color scheme. With the hard top playfield and reruns on playfield happpening in future demand of a few will sure arise.

I think you mean Space Station.

#2515 2 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo: you've done it......
When you make Space Shuttle ramps I want a red/clear/blue one.

#2526 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

I actually have two complete Pinbot main ramps here. On both, the flasher domes are secured with screws. Only the switch plates are riveted. It's really only necessary to use rivets where the ball will roll over them.

And with screws you can change the dome color if you want to.

#2532 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinballerchef:

Or just use your advice....

Well not screws some tiny bolts and nuts. I added mini domes on my Avatar LE and used little bolts and nuts. The screws are stock and attach the stock cover to the bumper body.

IMGA0158 (resized).JPGIMGA0165 (resized).JPG
#2555 2 years ago
Quoted from eabundy:

Sorry, late to the party, I got a space station ramp from you awhile back, and it was awesome. Any plans on doing space shuttle? Those ramps are brittle, and I could use a new set for mine.

I think it's to big for his current set up.

#2561 2 years ago
Quoted from pin-pimp:

i still have a bunch of the original B/W ramp molds sitting here in my shop. we need to do something with them.
judge dread full set, road show full set, jack bot ramps and visor and more

WOW! How long have you had them?

#2563 2 years ago

Are those the "long lost" molds that no one knew what happened to them?

#2564 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Well....yesterday was not a good day. I've produced about 15 of the blue/red Pinbot ramps and discovered a couple flaws in the dye process that I just can't live with...So back to square one. I may at some point offer the "seconds" for sale. The flaws are on the sidewalls at the entrance and exit.
Will probably delay me about another week while I redo them. On another note I will also offer a single color blue ramp as well.[quoted image]

I know what's like Mark, I'm picky about the quality of my mods too.

3 weeks later
#2599 2 years ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

A little help for my friends...Pinsider wanted a High Speed clear ramp but was missing the large curved entry bracket. Couldn't find one so I made him one.
[quoted image]


1 week later
#2622 2 years ago
Quoted from Giulio:

.and I was the one that requested

No you weren't I was. Hey Mark would you post this in the Jackbot club topic. Now to put the decal over the blue of the Jackbot one or not.

1 month later
#2677 1 year ago
Quoted from BertoDRINK1:

If i was closer i would volunteer to help you build it also. I would gladly donate to getting you the parts also if needed

It's not a matter of money it's a matter of time. Everyone wants ramps so he's busy making what people want which leaves very little if any time to make the new set up. Now if he could completly shut making ramps for a month or two he could get it built and tested. We're lucky Mark is still here after his recent health problems so everyone stop asking for ramps and give him time to make what he needs.

#2680 1 year ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

I was looking at it as more of a "thank you" gesture than chipping in because it will get it done quicker thing. I don't know for sure, but I suspect other feel the same way. I'm continually amazed at the cottage industry that takes place in the pinball world. Seems like everything else can be purchased on Amazon, but not all cool pinball stuff, pretty awesome! Love to support all those folks any way I can.

I see, it's a nice gesture to be sure but the only thing that will get it done quicker is if he stops making ramps for a month or two.

2 weeks later
#2694 1 year ago
Quoted from MRudowsky:

Received and installed my ‘smoked’ High Speed ramp today. (Clear ramp dyed a lighter shade of gray/black). I cannot express enough how awesome of a job Mark does. He got my ramp on Tuesday (I was having him transfer the parts), he mailed the new ramp on Wed, and I got it on the opposite coast today(Friday).
It’s exactly as I’d hoped and plays so smooth. Thanks for being awesome Mark! The pictures don’t do it justice. (And I need to change out a few LEDs to be a little dimmer. They show more than I’d like now that the ramp is transparent).[quoted image][quoted image]

Mark does great work and is a true asset to the community.

#2703 1 year ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

Now if I can just figure out where it goes.
[quoted image]

Make it fit.

1 week later
#2723 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Pinbot pieces. I think I have sent messages to all who had messaged me with interest on the Pinbot pieces. Trying to wrap Pinbot up so I can move on to Black Belt and Transporter. I believe some had indicated interest within this thread, and those I have not contacted directly. If anyone else is interested, let me know so I can see how many more pieces I need to make.
Many thanks to all who have been patient with me!

Any word on the blue and red ramp for Jackbot Mark?

#2726 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

I need to make a few more pieces this week so I'll make a two color Jackbot for you.

Thanks Mark.

2 weeks later
#2747 1 year ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

NOS Comet ramp on ebay... link » Williams Pinball 1985 Comet Main Ramp Nos Nice
Mine is in pretty good shape, so I'll wait for Mark's.

Marks ramp will be much thicker and will last forever......and cheaper too.

#2756 1 year ago
Quoted from La4s:

I'm sure I am not the only one that would love to see a walkthrough or closer look at your work space.

He holds his process very close.

#2764 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Starship will only make them in black like the originals. I intend to offer clear and transparent blue.

Yeah I want the blue.

#2767 1 year ago
Quoted from chaskett:

Getting closer to a final design for the blue/red transparent pinbot ramps... white areas will be the transparent blue.
[quoted image]

Can you make one for Jackbot?

#2769 1 year ago
Quoted from chaskett:

Probably, but I would need a physical example of the sticker, a physical ramp, and / or a high-resolution scan of the sticker. Unfortunately I do not have a jackbot or access to one.

I see.

#2772 1 year ago
Quoted from chaskett:

Probably, but I would need a physical example of the sticker, a physical ramp, and / or a high-resolution scan of the sticker. Unfortunately I do not have a jackbot or access to one.

Maybe if you post this in the Jackbot club someone might be able to help get it done for Jackbot.

#2781 1 year ago
Quoted from orangegsx:

Buying a jackbot now and may need a visor. Is that something you can make on demand?

Hey Congrats. Join the Jackbot club.

1 week later
#2800 1 year ago
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

We should be having Ramp Maker classes at all the Major Pinball fest.

Mark has been asked about how he makes them but he hasn't told anyone. Why would he tell potential competition?

#2802 1 year ago
Quoted from lordloss:

Its gotta be lucrative, but also time consuming.

If you knew how much work he has to go through it comes out to about $2 per hour he makes. To make any kind of profet he would have to charge 2 to 3 times what he does. He does it for the love of the game.

#2804 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

I really only market or present my stuff here on Pinside...some think I may only be reaching 5%-10% of the whole community...but I'm comfortable here. I'd be nothing without the support I have gotten here on Pinside. It's what keeps me going...You guys sell more ramps than I do with your posts and photos and word of mouth... Greatly appreciated. Much of my business recently has been with people who just joined Pinside to find me...I've seen guys who joined as little as 15 minutes before messaging me.

I hear ya there Mark same with my products.

#2815 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

I'll share just a little history...I got into vacuum forming mostly for my son as he wanted to make a complete pinball machine. So we decided we would need to figure out how to do vacuum forming. He went in a different direction and here I sat with the machine I had built. So I decided I would do something for myself. I redesigned the High Speed ramp to eliminate the cover and of course make it in clear. About the time I got it working in my machine, I was here on Pinside and I saw a post from MustangPaul. He had just posted a photo of something he did to one of his machines that weekend and asked the community..."What did you make". So I posted a photo of my new clear ramp for High Speed. Within minutes I was getting messages, "Are you going to sell those?". Ummm, well I guess so. That's how I got started..... So it's all Paul's fault!

I remember that Mark, the HS is gone but I still have that blue blank that you signed for me.

#2816 1 year ago
Quoted from freddy:

Mustangs make people do the damnedest things!

Especially original owners.

1 week later
#2871 1 year ago

Hey Mark any chance you have the blue and red Jackbot ramp done yet?

#2879 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

I have 6 ready to dye now (I do them 6 at a time). Will start the blue dye tomorrow and the red dye probably Friday...The red dye has a couple High Speeds going in tonight.

Thanks Mark

1 week later
#2913 1 year ago
Quoted from pookycade:

Could you do Space Shuttle ramp please ? I know Starship is supposed to rerun but I’ve heard that for almost a couple of years now with no movement on that front. Two machines waiting for this

He needs a bigger heater to do that one.

1 month later
#2980 1 year ago
Quoted from robotron911:

I was on the RFM thread and a request for the clear shield that covers the ball trap came up. I think someone had one NOS for sale, otherwise it is unobtainium. You can't play RFM if the shield is broken. It's a clear piece that is rectangular with one angled bend. It looks like it would be fairly simple to form and make compared to what you are doing and I'm guessing a lot of RFM owners would buy one just to have a spare. Just an idea.
If you are interested, I can forward a pic of the piece. It's very small compared to a ramp.

Mine is good but I second the suggestion.

#2990 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Jackbot main blue/red ramp...…'s cut out and just needs to be finished!

Thanks Mark. I know your super busy.

1 month later
#3043 1 year ago
Quoted from bluespin:

Jody Gontero posted on Facebook that he is making Hollywood Heat ramps and they will be ready to ship in a couple of days.
OP: The Hollywood Heat ramp factory is in production this weekend. Made up a purple tinted experiment, and will try teal as well as pink this week!
Me: If you aren't on Facebook pm me and I'll ask the seller for his email address.
All of these Pinsiders expressed interest in a Hollywood Heat ramp.

Why are you posting this on Marks topic? Why are you messing with his topic? Please take this down and start your own topic.

Quoted from JodyG:

I also have ramps made for Arena. Gold Wings is about 2 weeks out and Spring Break is on deck after that.

That goes double for you. Start your own topic.

#3052 1 year ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

If I was Mark I'd be thrilled that people here were spreading the word on other ramps. Cuts down on the nagging. And maybe gets him a little closer to his ultimate goal of the Comet center ramp! Also, it's not like Jody made the initial post about his ramps, and he's not making ramps that compete with what Mark makes. Seems all good to me.

Mark said that others making ramps is OK with him he just wants to have them start their own topic and not use his to promote their products.

#3065 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

OK...Let's please put an end to this discussion now. Yes, initially I found it a little rude and thanks to those defending me as well as the overall discussion. If anything I would appreciate heads up private communications....but its a free world and I have no right to dictate what and where comments can be posted. In the end, the important thing is that the community gets more reproduction parts to restore games. There are more ramps needed than I or Starship Fantasy could possibly make in ten years.
Don't expect me to hand you ramp making on a silver platter...mostly because I just don't want to expend the time and I seriously doubt that very many would actual produce something. Secondly, because not just anyone can do this. I've said many times that it is not rocket science, but more of a art. If I see you bringing ramps to production...point here being you have demonstrated the ability and the initiative, I would be happy to spend the time to help you and I will support you. I have done this for a few others here on Pinside. I often refer folks to Starship if I know Larry has something needed in stock. If he doesn't stock something and has no intention of doing so, he will send them my way.
Some of you may recall a few years back a guy trying to make the center ramp for Comet (yes it will be the first one I do when I get the heater built). Although he said he had access to a industrial forming machine and a friend proficient with molds I could see he desperately needed help. We exchanged just a few messages and then he just disappeared. I've seen quite a few of these attempts just go no where... So, clearly not everyone will be successful at this.
So let's get back to having fun with Pinball machines....

Well said Mark, you and I have known each other from the very beginning and I've always been a supporter.

#3075 1 year ago

Got my blue/red Jackbot ramp today. Man Mark does nice work, it's beautiful.

IMGA0956 (resized).JPGIMGA0957 (resized).JPGIMGA0958 (resized).JPG
3 weeks later
#3105 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

LOL! You have to ask yourself, how could that happen! Working with ReadyPO we actually did 2 traces on this package. I personally believe that the US Post Office was just hoping no one would trace and they could sweep it under the rug....or maybe in this case under the truck again. I'll bet they were happy they didn't have to get a signature!
In defense of the Post office, I ship everything USPS both domestically and internationally, unless a customer requests something different. In all the stuff I have shipped they have never lost anything...even my International stuff that I usually get in a box small enough to go regular mail. As far as actual damage beyond use....has only happened once and that was my fault for not packaging well enough....maybe one other time and the Post Office said it was likely due to my boxes being very light and the mechanical mail sorter being some sort of gorilla.
All's well that ends well!

I too only ship USPS for my mods and never had a problem and never a damaged box and I have shipped all over the world too.

#3113 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

Sun came out and it's been a while since I've had a ramp photo on the hot tub. Eye candy for the folks on the GNR list. Going to make just a few more G ramps then give last call. I will start finishing them tomorrow and expect I'll start shipping on Monday or Tuesday.
[quoted image][quoted image]

I LOVE seeing pictures of you ramps in the sunlight. Soooooooo colorful.

#3117 1 year ago
Quoted from Freeplay40:

MustangPaul, me and the hot tub photos go wayyyyy back.

Oh don't I know that Mark.

6 months later
#3710 11 months ago

Well it's Sunday so Happy Birthday Mark.

1 week later
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