(Topic ID: 326475)

Pinball Lift Jack Tool

By ForceFlow

1 year ago


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  • 17 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by ForceFlow
  • Topic is favorited by 31 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    This past summer, I built a pinball lift jack tool. The purpose is to make it easier to setup games on their legs, and/or take them down. Since I was doing a show and setting up and tearing down 8-10 games all in one shot, I needed to find an easier way to do with than past methods I've used. So, I have the lift jack tool a try. In short--it worked pretty well.

    I originally saw the design buried in the thread here:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-to-move-a-pinball-machine-alone/page/2#post-3845705
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-to-move-a-pinball-machine-alone/page/2#post-4065665
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/how-to-move-a-pinball-machine-alone/page/2#post-4210965
    https://www.jeff-z.com/pinball/lift/index.html

    It's a two-piece tool. To set up a game, put the front legs on. Then stick the the frame with the rounded where you would normally use a hand truck, then roll the game onto the floor. Then stick the jack under the frame, and use a drill to jack up the game to the proper height, and put the rear legs on.

    To take down a game, put the frame and jack under the game, jack up the game, take off the rear legs. Lower the game to the floor, tip it up, then take off the front legs.

    It's fast and the physical effort needed is fairly low.

    This isn't my image, but one example I stumbled across from the jeff-z website linked above:

    pinball lifter (resized).pngpinball lifter (resized).png

    At a later date, I plan to add that hand hole on the frame, and handle on the jack. Otherwise, both are a little awkward to carry around.

    #2 1 year ago

    Instructions on setting up a game (I'll be showing the steps using photos from different games).

    Put on the legs and slip the frame under the butt of the game.
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    Use the rounded frame to lower the game to the ground.
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    Slip the jack under the frame
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    Raise the jack
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    Put on the legs

    And then lower the jack and the game is standing on its own 4 legs.

    Pretty straight forward. No struggling to lift the game off the ground by hand, no balancing it on a stool, knee, or a 2x4 I or T shape, or no hauling around a 100+ lb lift cart.

    Note: the cardboard is to protect the floor and the butt of the game.

    [edit]: Someone posted a video on using their lift jack tool:

    #3 1 year ago

    Materials & tools

    You'll need a sheet of plywood. I used 3/4" maple 24x48". You'll be using the entire sheet.

    First, the sides of the frame will be 14" x 10-1/4". The top will be 14" x 15-1/2".

    You will also need 2"x2" square lumber cut to two 12" pieces. These will be the corner pieces for the frame.

    You'll also need a scrap piece of 2x4. 5-7" long should do. I used about 6-1/2". This is a brace for on top of the jack.

    You will also need an angle iron. 2-1/4" x 1-1/2" x 10-1/2" You'll probably have to cut down a 12" length piece of angle iron.

    And of course the jack: 5000 lb 30" RV Trailer Stabilizer Leveling Scissor Jack. Ebay and amazon have various listings for these under different brand names. It should be around $50-$60.
    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    (The following to be completed)

    Tools:
    Some sort of wood saw, jig saw, circular saw, or table saw
    Grinding wheel
    Spindle & belt sander or disc sander
    socket to raise/lower the jack
    socket for nuts
    Socket adapter
    Phillips bits
    Drill bits
    Hole saws
    Drill

    Hardware:
    bolts
    nuts
    washers
    elevator bolts
    wood screws

    Optional:
    Flex seal or plasti dip spray

    #8 1 year ago

    That is awesome. Now all you need is a backbox crane…

    2 weeks later
    #9 1 year ago

    I also built one of these from some scrap lumber and a $30 harbor freight RV jack. It's an AMAZING tool that is easy to use. Huge props to the designer.

    One tweak I made was to use angle aluminum which is plenty strong, easier to work with, and more forgiving on your games (but still added felt).

    #10 1 year ago

    This is the jack I use. $40 now, works great: https://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-ton-trailer-stabilizer-jack-96406.html

    I did add stabilizers to my base. IIRC, lag screws from jack into 16" long 1x8 and then something like 16" long 1/2 wide strips glued and screwed onto each end of the 1x8 to keep the platform stable but light to carry. Probably would be smarter to do carriage bolts from 1x8 into jack but I just used what I had on hand and it's been fine for a ton of moves now.

    #11 1 year ago

    I built one of these a year or so ago and I love it.

    I did a few upgrades though.

    I put automotive carpet on the base so it can't scratch the bottom of the cabinet.
    I put t-molding on the curved edge. This prevents it from scratching the floor, and its slick enough that I can slide a machine across the floor a bit if I need to.
    I also bought a jack that has a 3/4 nut for the screw to raise and lower it. Now I just use a 3/4" socket chucked into a drill and I can raise/lower a machine in 10 seconds with 0 effort.

    1 week later
    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from PghPinballRescue:

    I put t-molding on the curved edge. This prevents it from scratching the floor, and its slick enough that I can slide a machine across the floor a bit if I need to.

    I was considering that on mine, but I thought the slotting might weaken the wood too much. Instead, I tried flex seal spray, but it left streaks on tile floor, so I wouldn't recommend that.

    Quoted from PghPinballRescue:

    I put automotive carpet on the base so it can't scratch the bottom of the cabinet.

    I like that idea.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I was considering that on mine, but I thought the slotting might weaken the wood too much. Instead, I tried flex seal spray, but it left streaks on tile floor, so I wouldn't recommend that.

    I like that idea.

    No issues whatsoever with it.
    Ive lifted dozens of games with it and not a single bit of fatique.
    Highly recommended.

    #14 1 year ago

    Intriguing. I'm commenting so I can keep track of this thread. It looks very functional and easy to use

    #15 1 year ago

    I’ve been using one for years. Don’t leave home without it.

    6 months later
    #16 8 months ago

    ForceFlow did you ever complete your build?

    #17 8 months ago
    Quoted from Mrsiyufy:ForceFlow did you ever complete your build?

    Yes, I just haven't had time to come back and finish documenting it.

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