Show and Tell: Your DIY Homemade Tools

(Topic ID: 65459)

Show and Tell: Your DIY Homemade Tools


By mof

5 years ago



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  • Latest reply 10 hours ago by ktownhero
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    Topic index (key posts)

    50 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

    Post #3 Light bulb remover. Posted by mof (5 years ago)

    Post #16 Link to homemade CNC router. Posted by vid1900 (5 years ago)

    Post #20 Lock picks and tension wrench. Posted by Fanatic (5 years ago)

    Post #21 Roll pin remover. Posted by KenH (5 years ago)

    Post #24 Raised playfield stabilizer. Posted by mof (5 years ago)

    Post #28 Soldering platform. Posted by OuttaSpace (5 years ago)

    Post #31 Inexpensive pinball dolly. Two wheels, a handle, and some scrap 2x4. Posted by SchertzPinball (5 years ago)

    Post #39 YouTube video of portable pinball LED and lamp tester. Posted by Eddie (5 years ago)

    Post #47 Re-graining metal rails and fences. Posted by Vector (5 years ago)

    Post #49 Post removal and installation. Posted by Superchicken (5 years ago)

    Post #52 Tumbler media sifter/storage bin. Posted by Superchicken (5 years ago)

    Post #61 Helping hands type unit. Link to eBay store. Posted by pinball_faz (5 years ago)

    Post #70 Clay's LED tester in a pen case. Posted by SchertzPinball (5 years ago)

    Post #71 Post sleeve maker. Posted by LTG (5 years ago)

    Post #72 System 11 playfield holder. Posted by Taxman (5 years ago)


    Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

    There are 395 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 8.
    #1 5 years ago

    Have you designed any time-saving tools to help with pinball restoration and repair?

    Show us what you've come up with. Try to give us a quick overview of it. Show us a pic. Let us know what problem it solved, and how you you built it. If you've already made a thread for it, then go ahead and link it here so we can have one thread full of great ideas.

    Tell us:
    1) name of the tool
    2) pic(s)
    3) problem it solved
    4) brief description of how to make it

    -mof

    18
    #2 5 years ago

    I call this the "troughpon".
    When I need to lift the playfield, I am too lazy to get all the balls out, so I just jam this in the shooter lane and the balls stay put. I have a few troughpons in my work area, so I never am without one at arm's reach.
    I wrapped a paper towel VERY TIGHTLY with blue painters tape.
    enjoy!
    -mof

    2013-mof-troughpon.jpg

    #3 5 years ago

    I call this the "luzigoose" (luz means "light" in spanish, and it's pronounced "loosey-goose")
    I find it really hard to unscrew and screw in bulbs through habitrails sometimes, and I don't want to take them off, or sometimes, there's not enough room to get into a GI area. This thing is a huge huge help. Other times, I am afraid a bulb is gonna break.
    I always heard you could take a coil sleeve to make one of these, but adding LAYERS of electrical tape to MATCH the bulbs you want to control is key. I have two ends to the tool, one for each bulb type.
    enjoy!
    -mof

    2013-mof-luzigoose.jpg

    #4 5 years ago

    The Grit Gitter.

    gritgitter_003.jpg

    #5 5 years ago

    Has anybody made the "Leaf Switch Adjustment Tool Whose Arms Don't Snap Off Simply From Being Looked At?"

    I've reverted to the good ol' needle nose for switch adjustments, but wouldn't mind going back to something that provides better access.

    #6 5 years ago
    Quoted from Blackjacker:

    Has anybody made the "Leaf Switch Adjustment Tool Whose Arms Don't Snap Off Simply From Being Looked At?"
    I've reverted to the good ol' needle nose for switch adjustments, but wouldn't mind going back to something that provides better access.

    Terry as this one that is case hardened.

    http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=1518

    I made one out of an Allen wrench when my cheapie broke.

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from tracelifter:

    The Grit Gitter.

    I like the name...
    What problem does it solve?
    How did you make it?
    -mof

    #8 5 years ago

    It is made from a hardened fondue skewer about 14" long and a piece of surgical hose off of a suction pump.
    You put a small rag on the hook under the rubber hood to get in all the loops under and up the ramps to get the ball tracks without removing ramps and plastics.
    I spray some Plexus on a rag or a small amount of Novus, the rod is hard enough to get good downward pressure and the hose and tip shield the wire so you don't scratch anything.

    You can also bend it to get around the curves and the hose acts as a spring, here is a pic with a coin in it to show the hook.

    gritgitter_006.jpg

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from tracelifter:

    It is made from a hardened fondue skewer about 14" long and a piece of surgical hose off of a suction pump.
    You put a small rag on the hook under the rubber hood to get in all the loops under and up the ramps to get the ball tracks without removing ramps and plastics.
    I spray some Plexus on a rag or a small amount of Novus, the rod is hard enough to get good downward pressure and the hose and tip shield the wire so you don't scratch anything.
    You can also bend it to get around the curves and the hose acts as a spring, here is a pic with a coin in it to show the hook.

    Sounds brilliant. The parts seem a little tricky to come by. Any alternatives come to mind that might work for a guy without a fondue set and suction pumps around the house?
    =)
    -mof

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    Sounds brilliant. The parts seem a little tricky to come by. Any alternatives come to mind that might work for a guy without a fondue set and suction pumps around the house?
    =)
    -mof

    Not sure, but what leaps to mind would be on of those lint brushes for the dryer with the brush part cut off and some regular air tubing for a fish tank slipped over the long wire part.
    I'm sure somebody will come up with an even better idea though.

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from Arcade:

    Not sure, but what leaps to mind would be on of those lint brushes for the dryer with the brush part cut off and some regular air tubing for a fish tank slipped over the long wire part.
    I'm sure somebody will come up with an even better idea though.

    I tried different types of tubing but it doesn't collapse so you can't pull it down to uncover the hook.
    You can get the hose at any medical supply and each end is molded onto the hose so you can make two out of each one.

    #12 5 years ago

    Not my idea but I saw my pinball tech guy using tube plumbing insulation to prevent the top of the backbox from being dinged by a raised playfield.

    Basically you take one of those foam tubes that wraps copper tubing and split it open. Snap it onto the top of the backbox.

    Think it would be especially useful when shipping and the apron is off. Trough edges can gouge the head pretty good.

    #13 5 years ago

    I can't offer up a pic "they're at my office". When we get small machinery in, there is a piece of cardboard in each corner of the box that looks like a cardboard angle iron. I use the hell out of these for pin transport, keeps the rails completely from the head as well as keeping the bottom of the cab safe from the ratchet strap I use to keep the head down. Also keeps the corners of the head safe from straps. Found a generic pic online, wish I had one handy toshow how I bulletproof the corners on my pins when moved.

    Angle_Board_Edge_Protector.jpg

    Post edited by pinball_erie : have some product if anyone wants some.

    #14 5 years ago

    Hmmmm, I could go on and on, but all of my custom made tools and parts have to do with motorcycles rather than pinball.

    #15 5 years ago

    Made this rivet "press" about 9 yrs ago to install a rivet on my first pin, an Addams Family.

    image.jpg

    31
    #16 5 years ago

    Best homemade tool that I have built 2 of is the DYI Mechmate.

    It is a CNC Router than can cut wood, aluminum, acrylic.....if you can draw it, it can make it.

    This was the first one I built that could fit a 4x8' sheet of plywood:

    http://mechmate.com/

    mechmate-4x8.jpg

    #17 5 years ago

    My home made lock picks for single bit locks. Made out of plain old steel banding from packing crates. I just cut it to the length I wanted with tin snips and went over to the bench grinder and ground in a few grooves.

    Lock_picks.JPG

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from pinball_erie:

    I can't offer up a pic "they're at my office". When we get small machinery in, there is a piece of cardboard in each corner of the box that looks like a cardboard angle iron. I use the hell out of these for pin transport, keeps the rails completely from the head as well as keeping the bottom of the cab safe from the ratchet strap I use to keep the head down. Also keeps the corners of the head safe from straps. Found a generic pic online, wish I had one handy toshow how I bulletproof the corners on my pins when moved.

    Post edited by pinball_erie : have some product if anyone wants some.

    you can do to any appliance store and pick some up. Lowes and home depot will have them too. they come in dishwasher, ovens, stoves and just about any other small appliance.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    Best homemade tool that I have built 2 of is the DYI Mechmate.
    It is a CNC Router than can cut wood, aluminum, acrylic.....if you can draw it, it can make it.
    This was the first one I built that could fit a 4x8' sheet of plywood:
    http://mechmate.com/

    What does something like that cost?

    #19 5 years ago
    Quoted from marlboroa:

    What does something like that cost?

    About $4,000 to build.

    If you already have a computer, subtract $400.

    If you want to use a wood router, rather than a spindle subtract $300.

    If you have a bunch of steel you can take from the scrap bins at work, subtract $1100.

    #20 5 years ago

    My home made lock picks for single bit locks. Made out of plain old steel banding from packing crates. I just cut it to the length I wanted with tin snips and went over to the bench grinder and ground in a few grooves.

    You can make a fine tension wrench from the tines of a street-sweeper brush. The Pelican machines you see cleaning the curbs and gutters use steel tines on their rotating brushes and every now and again they lose one.
    This little set comes in handy for those "lost" coin door keys which can prevent inspection during a prospective deal.

    IMG_0705.JPG

    20
    #21 5 years ago

    Roll pin remover made from a bike chain link remover.

    EDIT (at request of a poster for more info): The tool is used to remove, or help re-install the roll pin on flipper plungers, so you can replace the plunger link. Without it, its really hard to get that pin out or back in after replacing the link.

    Some people have success using a punch or nail or something like that.

    rollpin.jpg rollpin2.jpg

    2 weeks later
    #22 5 years ago

    Any others ??

    #23 5 years ago

    Funny, I was thinking of this thread earlier tonight.

    I needed to do some quick touch ups on a playfield. I grabbed my acrylic paints and brushes, then looked for a Dixie cup or whatever to put a drop in from the container. Always a nuisance to find something small and clean to put acrylics in. I never seem to have a suitable container. Just then I look on my workbench and poof, the solution revealed itself: the leftover plastic insert to a box of 555 bulbs. Perfect. 10 little, clean troughs I can put paint in and mix up samples. Simple and stupid, but oh so effective. And there's always one laying around.

    2 months later
    #24 5 years ago

    I'm proud to have invented a new tool today.

    Problem: Williams (1981) Barracora has a single arm on right and two wooden brackets for the playfield to slide out on. (no hinge). The problem is that there is way too much free play on the non-arm side such that the playfield creaks and moves while I work on it, which is really dangerous.

    Solution: Made a long spongy tool out of a mousepad and (of course) ELECTRICAL TAPE, and now I can wedge it in there with ease. Next one I make will be longer. Use the entire length of the mouse pad if you can. 1" wide and bent in half (because my mousepad was on the thin side)

    Next time your wife or friend laughs at you for "saving things" -- it's moments like this where I think. Sh!t I would have paid $20 for this solution, and I just now got my value for this old mousepad. I win.

    What tools have you made recently? Show us !

    -mof

    Left side with tool
    201401-PF-hinge-tool3.jpg

    Right side with arm
    201401-PF-hinge-tool.jpg

    Showing scale
    201401-PF-hinge-tool4.jpg

    Raw part + electrical tape
    201401-PF-hinge-tool2.jpg

    #25 5 years ago

    I'm gonna build a second one for the right side, to just see what happens...
    It has no value, but I'm going to put one of these in each machine that needs one (the hinge-less Williams games)
    -mof

    #26 5 years ago

    Here's my "I'm too wimpy to move and setup a game tool"...

    http://www.jeff-z.com/pinball/dolly/dolly.html

    #27 5 years ago

    I need a new freaking tool... Plastic bowl to drop over speaker wherever I'm working above it. FML.

    Cry...
    -mof

    20140101_122546.jpg

    37
    #28 5 years ago

    I have a platform with a Durock top I solder over. pintools.JPG

    #29 5 years ago
    Quoted from JeffZee:

    Here's my "I'm too wimpy to move and setup a game tool"...
    http://www.jeff-z.com/pinball/dolly/dolly.html

    Wow. You geniuses make my 5 minute McGyver tools look like pop guns.
    -mof

    #30 5 years ago

    OMG, the soldering platform! Genius!!!!

    I'm gonna build one of those ASAP. And add a power strip for my iron, and light. And a place to mount my magnetic parts bowl thing.

    #31 5 years ago

    Pinball dolly made out of scrap 2x4 and lawn mower wheels. Slide it in between the front legs until only the handle is showing. Rolls nicely and pivots on a dime.

    Jason

    2012-10-25_19-43-50_830.jpg
    #32 5 years ago
    Quoted from SchertzPinball:

    Pinball dolly made out of scrap 2x4 and lawn mower wheels. Slide it in between the front legs until only the handle is showing. Rolls nicely and pivots on a dime.
    Jason
    2012-10-25_19-43-50_830.jpg 369 KB

    Nice! I think you've won for "least expensive" dolly of all time. I have to ask, how do you get by with only 2 wheels?
    -mof

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    I call this the "luzigoose" (luz means "light" in spanish, and it's pronounced "loosey-goose")
    I find it really hard to unscrew and screw in bulbs through habitrails sometimes, and I don't want to take them off, or sometimes, there's not enough room to get into a GI area. This thing is a huge huge help. Other times, I am afraid a bulb is gonna break.
    I always heard you could take a coil sleeve to make one of these, but adding LAYERS of electrical tape to MATCH the bulbs you want to control is key. I have two ends to the tool, one for each bulb type.
    enjoy!
    -mof

    2013-mof-luzigoose.jpg 306 KB

    I have used a shooter rod rubber at the end of my globe remover
    works a treat.

    #34 5 years ago
    Quoted from JeffZee:

    Here's my "I'm too wimpy to move and setup a game tool"...
    http://www.jeff-z.com/pinball/dolly/dolly.html

    Thanks for sharing that. A friend and I each built our own following your lead. I had no idea you were local.

    #35 5 years ago

    Here's a photo of 2 things I use a lot. I bend the toothbrushes slowly & carefully with the Butane soldering iron. They work great for applying/removing Novus, etc in tight spots. And to help level games... a good 'ol Superbar!

    Jan-Feb-Mar 2014 021.jpg

    #36 5 years ago
    Quoted from JeffZee:

    Here's my "I'm too wimpy to move and setup a game tool"...
    http://www.jeff-z.com/pinball/dolly/dolly.html

    I built my lifter based on your design too, but I omitted the tilting top. Works awesome!

    #37 5 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    I call this the "troughpon".
    When I need to lift the playfield, I am too lazy to get all the balls out, so I just jam this in the shooter lane and the balls stay put. I have a few troughpons in my work area, so I never am without one at arm's reach.
    I wrapped a paper towel VERY TIGHTLY with blue painters tape.
    enjoy!
    -mof

    2013-mof-troughpon.jpg 233 KB

    I do the same with my holy socks. I am an engineer and engineers invented lazy. This tool also doubles for catching solder as well.

    index.jpg
    #38 5 years ago
    Quoted from Prefect:

    I do the same with my holy socks. I am an engineer and engineers invented lazy. This tool also doubles for catching solder as well.

    Ghetto Chic is timeless and never goes out of style.

    #40 5 years ago
    Quoted from OuttaSpace:

    I have a platform with a Durock top I solder over.

    Yes!

    What purpose does the Durock serve?

    I need one that has outer attachments that work like shown (clamp to the rails of a pin with a raised playfield), and also inner rubber feet that can sit on top of playfield glass to act as a mini work bench on a neighboring machine.

    Currently I work on a neighboring machine's glass and everything keeps sliding down. But, happily, solder doesn't stick to glass.

    #41 5 years ago
    Quoted from Grauwulf:

    I built my lifter based on your design too, but I omitted the tilting top. Works awesome!

    The tilt is a real back saver. I highly recommend adding it.
    Thanks for posting the how to info way back JeffZee. I copied it a couple years ago. My back thanks you as well.

    #42 5 years ago
    Quoted from Prefect:

    I do the same with my holy socks. I am an engineer and engineers invented lazy. This tool also doubles for catching solder as well.

    index.jpg 8 KB

    The other thing that I have done that so far has worked well is use velcro tape on a leaf switch I have been have problems with. I broke the original switch trying to adjust the leaf. It was picking up most of the time but since the game I have has combos, it really pissed me off when it would not register 10% of the time. I decided to try to use velcro since then I wouldn't have to bend the leaf and it allowed me to easily adjust the position and angle of the switch. So far, it has been working 100% of the time with the velcro.

    #43 5 years ago
    Quoted from Eddie:

    Here is one of my DIY tools
    » YouTube video

    Cool lamp tester, when do we get to see the upgraded version?
    -mof

    #44 5 years ago

    I have a couple.

    My bulb removal / insertion tool is made from shooter plunger tips. Small screws hold them to the plastic rod. The short end is for installing, and the long end is for removing. It will pull 555s from anything with a quick tug.

    tool2.jpg

    This one is for tightening / removing the sleeves that the playfield sits on in games like TAF. It's a backbox bolt, cut off, with a roll pin in it.

    tool1.jpg

    #45 5 years ago
    Quoted from Vector:

    I have a couple.
    My bulb removal / insertion tool is made from shooter plunger tips. Small screws hold them to the plastic rod. The short end is for installing, and the long end is for removing. It will pull 555s from anything with a quick tug.

    This one is for tightening / removing the sleeves that the playfield sits on in games like TAF. It's a backbox bolt, cut off, with a roll pin in it.

    tool2.jpg 334 KB

    tool1.jpg 203 KB

    Very cool - what is the plastic rod from?
    -mof

    #46 5 years ago

    Erm, plastic?

    I think it was one of those things you get at a trade show, a "hand helicopter". If you haven't seen one, then I'm not sure how to describe it. I suppose you could use a wooden dowel, too.

    Allan

    #47 5 years ago

    Got another one!

    I made this for re-graining metal rails and fences. I used a scrap of 2x4 lumber, cut it with a hole saw, then took the wheel out of the holesaw. the shaft is a 1/4 - 20 bolt. I glued just the hook part of some velcro to the wheel. The Scotchbrite sticks to the hook part. The whole thing goes into my drill press on low speed. It makes fast work out of re-graining, but sadly, the Scotchbrite doesn't last very long. And if you catch a part edge, it will take the Scotchbrite right off the wheel. With a little practice, I've been getting great results.
    grainer1.jpggrainer2.jpg

    #48 5 years ago
    Quoted from OuttaSpace:

    I have a platform with a Durock top I solder over.

    I need to make one of those, at the very least just to have a spot to set down the dang soldering station

    11
    #49 5 years ago

    Post removal and installation tool:

    Buy a cheap screwdriver with reversible bit and drill out the neck so that the post will clear when inserted. Nut drivers don't have enough clearance. This tool is a beautiful thing when installing these post on a freshly clear coated playfield.

    IMG_20140102_144552.jpg
    IMG_20140102_144609.jpg
    Post.JPG

    #50 5 years ago
    Quoted from kyle5574:

    Yes!
    What purpose does the Durock serve?
    Cement board is ideal for lining the walls around a wood stove, I even use a small piece when flame soldering copper pipes. Basically I had a piece and figured, why not?

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