(Topic ID: 168005)

How to move a pinball machine alone


By PinballTilt

3 years ago



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  • 110 posts
  • 70 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by bheasy
  • Topic is favorited by 38 Pinsiders

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There are 110 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
#51 2 years ago
Quoted from d0n:

Sorry, you lost me at removing the head. So much easier to wait for help or buy proper equipment. When you start removing things, you run the risk of the game not working the same when you reconnect everything

I bought a machine once that didn't work when I went to look at to purchase. ended up paying $100 for it because it didn't work. I took the head off to transport. got it home and put the head back on, plugged all the jones connectors back in, turned it on and had a fully functioning machine....found out that many problems on em's are bad connections and that's it.
....found same problems on ss's also.

#52 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Just fold the damn thing up and walk it up those three tiny steps with a 60 dollar hand truck. Probably the same price as that erector set you built. Haha.

Next time you're in California come on over and show me how it's done.

#53 2 years ago

I recommendusing a Lectro-Truck stair climbing dolly. I've had mine for over ten years. Makes moving a pin or slot easy for one person. Gun safes too.

#54 2 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

Next time you're in California come on over and show me how it's done.

I've always wanted to go back to the Greek theatre for a show. Might take you up on that.

10
#55 2 years ago

How to move a pinball machine NOT alone

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#56 2 years ago
Quoted from RobDutch:

I always use a scissor lift: slide the machine from the back of your car onto the lift, roll it into your house and add the legs They're also very handy to slide machines out of a tight row of pins for maintenance.

Completely useless when faced with the first stair.

#57 2 years ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Completely useless when faced with the first stair.

That's why I live in a house with no stairs but that's indeed the downside of this thing..

#58 2 years ago

For those who don't want to buy a stair climber, RENT. It's cheaper than medical bills.
My wife says my Escalara is the best tool I ever bought.

#59 2 years ago

Atv ramps work well if you have a to get them out by yourself on a standard appliance dolly.

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#60 2 years ago

I'm all about breaking it down too pf out and bg out at this point it's like field stripping...but if you're JAWS you can just shoulder it lol

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#61 2 years ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

How to move a pinball machine alone? Easy:
Look blankly at the game. Play several "last" games on the game. Get the hand truck out, some straps, maybe a blanket. Dig around the toolbox for the one ratchet size that fits the leg bolts, but instead grab one that's *just barely* too small. Throw it back in the tool box, grab another that's *just barely* too large. Dig around some more, and realize that you never put the socket back in the toolbox, and that it's still on the workbench. Look for a chair or barstool that you can stick under the backside of the game while you remove the rear legs. Realize that you threw out that bar stool last month. Look for something else that could work. Call/Text friend to see if they can help. Leave voicemail. Play another game or two while waiting, get tired waiting. Go upstairs from the basement.
Drink a beer and say you'll do it tomorrow.

That is super close to my method!
1. Push ineffectively against front right corner.
2. Pull ineffectively against front left corner.
3. Curse weak T-Rex girly arms
4. Look around ineffectively to see if husband and son are free
5. Decide pin didn't need to be moved at that particular moment

#62 2 years ago

Just the breaking down (or putting up) of a pinball machine is a big problem if you are by yourself. The usual way is to use your knee or a chair and lift up the rear of the game and remove the legs then lower the game to the floor.

I tried this in the beginning and will never do again! My back hurt for a long time and eventually I would have permanent back problems.

I have used this system ever since then so I can raise or lower a pin to the floor by myself with no strain. In addition this method is lightweight and small so it can be carried to any kind of location where a pin is and takes up little space in your car.

Thanks.
Alan

#63 2 years ago

I've never felt the need to ask for help when moving a pin. I've done it so many times by myself other people get in the way. I have a system that works well. In 10 min i can fold up, pack up and load up a pin by myself. Stairs are not an issue if you know how to use a dolly. In my younger days I delivered and installed appliances. I've taken countless refrigerators up and down stairs with little or no help. A pin is only half the weight. Next time I'll have my wife film it and post a video.
All that being said, if you don't know what your doing or have a physical limitation get help.

#64 2 years ago
Quoted from PanaPinResto:

I've taken countless refrigerators up and down stairs with little or no help. A pin is only half the weight. Next time I'll have my wife film it and post a video.

I thought this was the other way around with a pin out weighting a standard fridge.

#65 2 years ago
Quoted from P2K:

Just the breaking down (or putting up) of a pinball machine is a big problem if you are by yourself. The usual way is to use your knee or a chair and lift up the rear of the game and remove the legs then lower the game to the floor.
I tried this in the beginning and will never do again! My back hurt for a long time and eventually I would have permanent back problems.
I have used this system ever since then so I can raise or lower a pin to the floor by myself with no strain. In addition this method is lightweight and small so it can be carried to any kind of location where a pin is and takes up little space in your car.
Thanks.
Alan
» YouTube video

Awesome......I NEED THIS!!!!

Can you post up some plans of this setup??

#66 2 years ago

I just finished moving a machine from garage that was delivered on a wood palette to my walkout basement by myself. Loaded it onto a hand truck, wheeled it around the house down a slope into my walk out basement and then put the legs on myself. Awesome! no need for help, or moving company. I also got those pinball skates to wheel it into another room. Anyone can do this. No need for help. I have another machine in my garage that I have to move, and the Star Wars LE when it comes... saves money!

#67 2 years ago
Quoted from P2K:

Just the breaking down (or putting up) of a pinball machine is a big problem if you are by yourself. The usual way is to use your knee or a chair and lift up the rear of the game and remove the legs then lower the game to the floor.
I tried this in the beginning and will never do again! My back hurt for a long time and eventually I would have permanent back problems.
I have used this system ever since then so I can raise or lower a pin to the floor by myself with no strain. In addition this method is lightweight and small so it can be carried to any kind of location where a pin is and takes up little space in your car.
Thanks.
Alan
» YouTube video

Quoted from AUKraut:

Awesome......I NEED THIS!!!!
Can you post up some plans of this setup??

Yes, would love to have this made as well!

#68 2 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

I thought this was the other way around with a pin out weighting a standard fridge.

A pin and a standard fridge weighs about the same (250lbs ish) but many refrigerators are not standard. Sub Zero, Viking, Wolf etc all weigh much more. A stainless steel 25cu ft side by side can weight 400lbs if it's a quality brand.

#69 2 years ago

Don't be cheap and try and move pinball machines with improperly designed equipment, or equipment that is underrated for requirements.

People can laugh, and say it is rediculous, and it would never happen, but I have seen it tried, fail, hurting the individual, damaging the machine, and destroying the equipment.

These methods don't work.
It's like trying to use a frozen kiddie pool in the winter as an ice skate rink.

FINAL NOTE: Many pinball machines DO NOT WEIGH 250 lbs, but more, with a true average of 285-300 lbs. The 250 lbs "rule of thumb" common weight was a result of games made in the 1960s, and what Stern does today with their cost reductions and cheap materials. Most solidly made featured EMs are over 300 lbs easily. Some SS games are close to 400 lbs or more from both the 80s and 90s. They are far from all being equal. Don't forget to add packing materials, if not uncrated or unpalleted first, as that is another 50-200 lbs. Shipping weight of a pinball is between 350-550 lbs, dependent on material used.

Know the title you are moving, don't guess.

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#70 2 years ago
Quoted from P2K:

Just the breaking down (or putting up) of a pinball machine is a big problem if you are by yourself. The usual way is to use your knee or a chair and lift up the rear of the game and remove the legs then lower the game to the floor.
I tried this in the beginning and will never do again! My back hurt for a long time and eventually I would have permanent back problems.
I have used this system ever since then so I can raise or lower a pin to the floor by myself with no strain. In addition this method is lightweight and small so it can be carried to any kind of location where a pin is and takes up little space in your car.
Thanks.
Alan
» YouTube video

What brand and model is your scissor jack, please? What is its max and min lift height?

Thanks.

#71 2 years ago

Here are some details of my lifting system.
Mine is a prototype and had revisions to make it work so it looks funky. I recommend using 3/4" plywood, glue and screws. Good corner bracing is important.

Remember that as a pinball is lifted or lowered it will try to slip along the wood top plate of the jack because the distance is constantly changing due to the angle of the game pivoting on the front legs. That is why I put lines on the top plate to show the expected movement. Pay attention to this!

This slipping can put the load center off center so keep an eye on how the jack looks as the game moves. The heavier the game the more important this becomes.

Safety first!

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#72 2 years ago

had to get six pinballs up and down this maze of stairs in a housing commission block including a roadshow and a banzai run took 2 hours to get them down when i moved banzai run had to be dismantle in two pieces it was too heavy and bulky now i live in 3 bedroom house used a sack truck

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#73 2 years ago

I have several videos on my website on how to use an Escalera to move a game the easy way. Check them out. If you are going to be in this hobby for any length of time save your back and buy this tool. I get customers all the time that tell me it was the best tool they ever bought. And I wish I hadn't waited so long to get one.

flipnoutpinball.com/videos

Larry

4 months later
#74 1 year ago
Quoted from P2K:

Here are some details of my lifting system.
Mine is a prototype and had revisions to make it work so it looks funky. I recommend using 3/4" plywood, glue and screws. Good corner bracing is important.
Remember that as a pinball is lifted or lowered it will try to slip along the wood top plate of the jack because the distance is constantly changing due to the angle of the game pivoting on the front legs. That is why I put lines on the top plate to show the expected movement. Pay attention to this!
This slipping can put the load center off center so keep an eye on how the jack looks as the game moves. The heavier the game the more important this becomes.
Safety first!

I personally nominate P2K for the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Medicine for his contraption! I built my version using his plans last weekend, and got a chance to use it last night.......GENIUS!!!!

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#75 1 year ago

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#76 1 year ago

My stairs are carpeted, based on those videos it looks like the Escalera would rip up the carpet. Are there solutions to this?

So far I'm breaking them down as well, no issues yet but I'm much more skilled at tech and building then lifting...

#77 1 year ago
Quoted from Raegor:

My stairs are carpeted, based on those videos it looks like the Escalera would rip up the carpet. Are there solutions to this?
So far I'm breaking them down as well, no issues yet but I'm much more skilled at tech and building then lifting...

I have carpeted stairs and have taken heavy things down the stairs 3 times with no problems (other than me being nervous as all hell). Our carpeting is secured to the stairs pretty well. Probably not a good idea if it is a semi-loose carpet runner. Not saying that a rip couldn't happen, but I'm currently not worried about that. I have the brake attachment for it too and that has worked ok on the carpeted stairs also. I'm sure carpet does not help to make things better, but nervous me has not had a issue yet.

#78 1 year ago
Quoted from Raegor:

My stairs are carpeted, based on those videos it looks like the Escalera would rip up the carpet. Are there solutions to this?
So far I'm breaking them down as well, no issues yet but I'm much more skilled at tech and building then lifting...

Carpet is not a problem for an Escalera. I have moved many a game on carpeted stairs. The feet land near the edge of the step and apply all the weight straight down from the two feet.

Larry@flipnoutpinball.com

#79 1 year ago

Do you have video of that?

I'm talking high pile carpet, the kind you have in bedrooms.

#80 1 year ago

I'm glad this thread is still helping people. While I appreciate the suggestions for Escalera, that's just not in the budget right now for me and probably many others. Anyway, I appreciate everyone that has posted with their ideas.

I recently invested in a harbor freight furniture dolly because of how quick it makes the process. Still not easy moving a whole pin though so I like to have help whenever possible

#81 1 year ago

Yes, good info.

#82 1 year ago
Quoted from Raegor:

Do you have video of that?
I'm talking high pile carpet, the kind you have in bedrooms.

No video but I've moved hundreds of games using it on all kinds of surfaces. It will work.

Larry@flipnoutpinball.com

#83 1 year ago

In a few weeks I should be getting a pin and will see if my wife will record at least the last few steps downstairs. Should be before Christmas.

#84 1 year ago

There are several videos on my site or you can go to the Escalera.com site and they have videos showing various things being moved. Even on climbing on an ice block.

Larry

#85 1 year ago

I have been using a 60 inch Escalera for the last 4 years. I bought it from Larry. It will not damage carpet. I have a nice wool carpet that leads to my basement. I have used the Escalera on it 50+ times. Nothing is marred at all.

I moved a pin to the upstairs at another pinsider's house yesterday. I did it 99% myself. At the top of the stairs there was not much room. This is where I needed a little help with the move. If I was using a the MS 66 Escalera it would have been much more difficult or impossible. If you are not moving Coke machines or the like I do not think you need the 66 inch Escalera.

2 months later
#86 1 year ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

I personally nominate P2K for the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Medicine for his contraption! I built my version using his plans last weekend, and got a chance to use it last night.......GENIUS!!!!

Can we please get a link to the plans? I usually just lift mine onto an old mining box my dad gave me but this is genius

#87 1 year ago
Quoted from statictrance:

Can we please get a link to the plans? I usually just lift mine onto an old mining box my dad gave me but this is genius

I basically followed the dimensions and pics shown in post 72 in this thread. I used some 3/4" plywood, cut it to the shown dimensions, and used Kreg Pocket screws with some yellow glue to put it together. Also got some appropriate angle iron, carriage bolts, nuts, & washers. The floor jack is a 30" RV jack I got off ebay, mounting to some 3/4" plywood with some recessed bolts. Think I have about $70 into it total, and worth every penny.

#88 1 year ago
Quoted from lb1:

My homegrown ramp with one piece already removed. Luckily I only have four steps.
I replace the leg plate with stem casters.

Looks kinda scary. I just took 1x10 boards...and ramp kit ends and made runners. A long one to climb the big steps (about a 20" rise for me) and a short one for the threshold. Works well for me... but I also use a hand cart as I have to then climb more stairs and cross a yard

#89 1 year ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

I basically followed the dimensions and pics shown in post 72 in this thread. I used some 3/4" plywood, cut it to the shown dimensions, and used Kreg Pocket screws with some yellow glue to put it together. Also got some appropriate angle iron, carriage bolts, nuts, & washers. The floor jack is a 30" RV jack I got off ebay, mounting to some 3/4" plywood with some recessed bolts. Think I have about $70 into it total, and worth every penny.

I second nominating P2K for an award for his idea! Brilliant ! I built mine with a few modifications. I used 3/4" plywood for the sides and 5/8" for my top. (Whatever is handy) but I cut 2" x2" x 12" long for the support instead of making support brackets -and glued and screwed. I also attached my angle iron to the bottom inside instead of on top.
I wrapped it with some leftover shelving paper I had to keep it from scratching the back. I used 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 slotted angle iron -but probably should have gone bigger to the offset 1x 2 1/2 menards had.
I picked up a "used" Rv scissor jack on Amazon for $24 (otherwise they are $45 or so)
Should have built/seen this years ago!

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4 months later
#90 1 year ago

OK, I made one of these too, I love it !
Hats off to P2K for the design.

I had a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" plywood, so I cut enough pieces to make 4 of these.
So, now I have 3 extras for sale. (nut/bolt hardware included but the scissor jack not included)
You can buy the jack from eBay.

I coated the wood with Zinsser shellac.
If anyone wants one PM me for price and details. (am am not making profit, these are the last I will ever make )

First come first serve....

Bud

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#91 1 year ago
Quoted from Budwin:

OK, I made one of these too, I love it !
Hats off to P2K for the design.
I had a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" plywood, so I cut enough pieces to make 4 of these.
So, now I have 3 extras for sale. (nut/bolt hardware included but the scissor jack not included)
You can buy the jack from eBay.
I coated the wood with Zinsser shellac.
If anyone wants one PM me for price and details. (am am not making profit, these are the last I will ever make )
First come first serve....
Bud

Awesome!!!! Guys, if you don't have one of these and don't have the means of making a set yourself, these are a backsaver!!!!

#92 1 year ago

The price on each set is $65 plus shipping.

I use USPS Priority shipping, expect about $20 depending on your location.

If you can pickup that is fine too. ($0 shipping)

Bud

#93 1 year ago
Quoted from Budwin:

The price on each set is $65 plus shipping.
I use USPS Priority shipping, expect about $20 depending on your location.
If you can pickup that is fine too. ($0 shipping)
Bud

PM sent

#94 1 year ago
Quoted from Budwin:

The price on each set is $65 plus shipping.
I use USPS Priority shipping, expect about $20 depending on your location.
If you can pickup that is fine too. ($0 shipping)
Bud

Sorry, but shipping a box this size by USPS Priority is rape, so I'll ship UPS ground instead.

Bud

#95 1 year ago

Here is the eBay link for the scissor jack I used.

ebay.com link » 2 Pack 30 5000 Rated Rv Scissor Stabilizer Jacks Jack W Crank Handle 2 30 50cr

Hopefully the guy can sell you one at a time like he did for me last Fall.

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#96 1 year ago

Great ideas and I love the scissor jack mod. I need to do this.

FWIW, I bought an Escalera a while back. I hate to sound like a fanboy...but I am one. It is the single best investment I have ever made towards this hobby. Yes, it is a significant cost upfront, but if you consider the fact that you can sell them for almost what they were purchased for (finding used ones are like locating a unicorn... with polkadots), it was a no brainer for me. It was also a boost to my ability to acquire games. It is HUGE leverage when you enter into a potential deal with the ability to remove the game solo if stairs are involved. I pay up front, and the seller has been awestruck as I maneuver out of their house easier than they brought it in with two people.

In a hobby where most of us drop 2k on a low end game now, I don't understand why one wouldn't get one if you have steps or a lower/upper level arcade. Larry, flipnout1 , who is the main distributor, is top notch as well.

#97 1 year ago

All of the lifter kits are sold.

Sorry,

Bud

#98 1 year ago

Yep - I got an Escalera from Larry as well. I recently bought a new house that doubles my arcade size, but has no level entry and each machine has to go up/down a full set of stairs. grabbing the forks to throw on my hitch makes my van a 2-3 machine hauler even when I'm flying solo. It's an absolute lifesaver.

Only issue I have with it is sometimes going downstairs it'll skip a step and side on the rubber runners. I think it's cause my steps are narrower than I'd like, and given the load (especially with heavier fold down head machines) - I need to balance it pretty vertical to run it. If I balance too much further forward, I'm afraid the whole thing is going to go forward end over end. However, if I balance much further back, then the wheels miss the next step when the catch wheels drop out. Any insight on this? I'm guessing it's just a getting used to it as I've only moved 4 of my dozen machines downstairs thus far... I've only noticed the issue on narrow stairs and am trying to find a way to use it more intelligently. I've been using the seatbelt to hold the machine and also rocking a ratchet strap around the top of the escalera/body of the machine to keep it real firm on the hand truck.

5 months later
#99 9 months ago

I am considering both the Escalera and the PowerMate L-1 and wonder how each of them do on hardwood stairs? I have a full flight to get to my game room over the garage... Any experiences would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
DSL

#100 9 months ago
Quoted from DSL_:

I am considering both the Escalera and the PowerMate L-1 and wonder how each of them do on hardwood stairs? I have a full flight to get to my game room over the garage... Any experiences would be appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
DSL

I've had an Escalara bought from flipnout1 for almost 2 years now. It's been great on every surface I've tried it on. The climbing feet have rubber (or similar compound) on them, so they won't slip on the hardwood.

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