(Topic ID: 52118)

Switch adjustment tool


By Spudgunman

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 50 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Frax
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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    #1 5 years ago

    I keep snapping the Pinball life switch adjustment tool. I find it to be more useful than the Pinball resource tool. Anyone know of a better quality tool with that 45° angle on it?

    #2 5 years ago

    Order another one heat it up red hot and quench it in oil to harden it.

    #3 5 years ago

    Haha not a bad idea

    #4 5 years ago

    Ya I snap them things non stop.

    #5 5 years ago

    Make one out of a motorcycle wheel spoke.

    #6 5 years ago

    I made a few out of Allen wrenchs. Very tough steel - they won't break.

    #7 5 years ago

    I've asked Terry many times about having these made out of stainless. I have the same issue. Maybe if he received a shitload of Emails asking about them, he might look into having them made.

    #8 5 years ago

    Stainless steel is the wrong material for these. High carbon tool steel is what you need for the strength. Allen wrench steel is perfect. Need to use a dremel tool with cutoff wheel to make the slot.

    #9 5 years ago

    I have snapped all mine as well.
    Drives me crazy!!!!
    But nonetheless, it's a great tool.

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from RacerRik:

    I made a few out of Allen wrenchs. Very tough steel - they won't break.

    Good idea. I'll be trying this, I've broken a ton of the PBL tools.

    #11 5 years ago

    I just talked to Terry.. they are now case hardened ... I guess enough of us had the issue. Ordered a new one..

    next time I will make one out of a allen wrench!

    #12 5 years ago

    Case hardened, mild steel would not be the right approach for this tool. It needs to be high carbon tool steel and through hardened to prevent the little tabs from bending and snaping off. Case hardening is used to prevent surface wear, not to make a part stronger.

    #13 5 years ago

    RacerRik you are wrong. Case hardened mild steel(1018) is a good idea. I would go .005 deep to 45 rockwell. Too deep will make it brittle. The case will give you a strong tool with a tiny bit of flex as an assurance against snapping.

    #14 5 years ago

    I use my tappet tool.

    #15 5 years ago

    Nice, glad I wasn't the only one. I have one left so time to order a few more.

    #16 5 years ago

    Snapped 3 so far here. Frustrating.

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from RacerRik:

    Case hardened, mild steel would not be the right approach for this tool. It needs to be high carbon tool steel and through hardened to prevent the little tabs from bending and snaping off. Case hardening is used to prevent surface wear, not to make a part stronger.

    What he said.

    I grew up in the home of a machinist and made my first hammer and screwdriver at age 5.

    Case hardening does you no good.

    You need a good high carbon steel. And then heat it thoroughly and harden it.

    I work at a lot of Navy yards now. I'm going to see if they will give me any high carbon scraps.

    Mom still has a lathe and milling machine in the basement.

    If I make one and it turns out ok, maybe I'll cut a bunch and offer them here.

    Or maybe I can get some HY80 or 100 which is really high quality low carbon which I think might really be the ticket. Has very little impurities it in which is why usually is what gives you the issues with tools.

    Trying to remember what Dad taught me.

    Case hardening is not all bad as long as you use quality steel.

    That's what it's all about.

    Will keep you posted.

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from fflint_18:

    If I make one and it turns out ok, maybe I'll cut a bunch and offer them here.

    I would definitely be interested. Thanks

    #19 5 years ago

    I have tested several steels for jobs that required a wear resistant surface along with bending strength. Even 12L14 which on its own is a very weak steel benefits from a shallow case hardening. The key is to not go too deep and too high on the hardness. You can use a tool steel, but due to the thin nature of the tool, hardening throughout can lead to snapping......sorta like a small dia. drillbit

    #20 5 years ago

    I'd be interested in a few if someone made an ultra sturdy one at the right price.

    #21 5 years ago

    So far I have not broken either of my two switch adjuster tools but I did slightly bend the tab on one of them recently. If some more durable ones were made, I would buy one or two... I don't mind paying a little extra for a tool that will last longer... Currently I have one Pinball Life tool and another from Pinball Resource. One is the 90 degree end and the other 45 degree.

    -- Shawn

    #22 5 years ago

    I think Terry's tools will be better now with a light case---again, it depends on the depth. Please refer to Google: wikipedia case hardening steel

    #23 5 years ago

    Any photos first I have heard of this tool.

    #25 5 years ago
    Quoted from RobKnapp:

    Any photos first I have heard of this tool.

    me too I need one of those and dont even know it!! lol

    #26 5 years ago

    beat me too it... what do you adjust the leaf switches?

    kind of obvious now that I look at it

    #27 5 years ago

    its used on any leaf switch not so common in new games (microswitches) but very common in any older game..

    I just like the PBL ones as they have that 45deg. angle and I find that I only use it not the 90deg. and the ones from PBR are awesome strong but I never use it because of the lack of 45deg.

    I have a new PBL "stronger" one coming in mail so I will report in if it breaks again... anyone finds a good way to make this better.. i seriously go thru about 4-6 a year.

    #28 5 years ago
    Quoted from RobKnapp:

    Any photos first I have heard of this tool.

    Same here. Must be an important tool though... Has generated a lot of lively discussions. All of my other tools are jealous.

    #29 5 years ago

    I had same thing happen. I made one out of a long allen wrench and used an EDM machine to cut the slot. I made a "U" shape cut so it will not crack. Then used a torch to heat and bend to match the old one. Ground down the "approach" and slipped some 1/4 tubing over part of it for grip.

    Milton

    #30 5 years ago
    Quoted from Milton187:

    Ground down the "approach" and slipped some 1/4 tubing over part of it for grip.

    Can you post a pic?

    #31 5 years ago

    I think I am tired, but would love to see a video showing how to use this to adjust switches. Thanks!

    #32 5 years ago
    Quoted from PapaJohn:

    RacerRik you are wrong. Case hardened mild steel(1018) is a good idea. I would go .005 deep to 45 rockwell. Too deep will make it brittle. The case will give you a strong tool with a tiny bit of flex as an assurance against snapping.

    Case hardening would normally be better for a tool than untreated, but maybe not in this case. The little tangs are very thin and prone to bending. They eventually fatigue and snap off. Case hardening is going to provide very little additional core strength for these tabs. They will be hard and not wear, but they will still bend and break off. In fact, the hard outer surface will be even more prone to crack propagation thus the tool may actually end up easier to break. I suspect the ones Terry is selling now are made of a different steel than the old ones, so it won't be a direct comparison.

    No I am not wrong about this one - a through hardened tool steel would be the best choice here. The ones I have built from allen wrenches would shear off a copper switch leaf before bending.

    #33 5 years ago

    I'm just going to bend up a wrench now so I have my 45 angle I like.. I really am sick of buying new ones..

    Someone sell PBL a quality bunch of tools!

    #34 5 years ago
    Quoted from tonycip:

    me too I need one of those and dont even know it!! lol

    Having the right tool is half the battle...knowing how to use it is the other half.

    #35 5 years ago
    Quoted from Milton187:

    I had same thing happen. I made one out of a long allen wrench and used an EDM machine to cut the slot. I made a "U" shape cut so it will not crack. Then used a torch to heat and bend to match the old one. Ground down the "approach" and slipped some 1/4 tubing over part of it for grip.
    Milton

    Good move on the 'U' Milt. The radius in the corner will be as much help for strength as the hardening, whether it be 'case' or 'through'.

    #36 5 years ago

    You won't have to harden the allen wrench.
    Use an EDM machine to cut the radius in the end.
    Use belt sander to flatten approaches.
    Use a torch to bend the ends to your liking.
    Here are the pics:

    GOPR0059.JPG GOPR0061.JPG

    #37 5 years ago

    Not a bad lookin tool...for an insurance salesman. The other trick is, don't cut the slot any deeper than needed to clear the leaf.

    #38 5 years ago

    IF you break this tool the leaf will be inside it.

    It is very robust.

    Milton

    #39 5 years ago

    What I used before was a set of forceps.
    They make them with every type of bend and jaw imaginable. BUT you can get carried away on torque and damage the leaf.
    I had another type of "pliers" from tying fly fishing jigs that had a type of "slip jaw".
    IT worked great but I have misplaced it.

    Milton

    #40 5 years ago

    New stock is case hardened. We also made the slot thinner (but still large enough for any pinball leaf switch) and also made the slot a bit less deep. I think (hope) we have hit upon the perfect *mix* with our new batch.
    Terry.
    www.pinballlife.com

    #41 5 years ago
    Quoted from pinballlife:

    New stock is case hardened. We also made the slot thinner (but still large enough for any pinball leaf switch) and also made the slot a bit less deep. I think (hope) we have hit upon the perfect *mix* with our new batch.
    Terry.
    http://www.pinballlife.com

    Well done Terry - I will include one in my next order.

    #42 5 years ago

    Can someone please show or explain how this is used? I know it is probably simple, but I don't want to buy one if I can't figure out how to use it. Would it be for switches?

    #43 5 years ago
    Quoted from judremy:

    Can someone please show or explain how this is used? I know it is probably simple, but I don't want to buy one if I can't figure out how to use it. Would it be for switches?

    Take a business card, slip it between the slots in the tool. Then turn the tool and bend the card.

    Same principle with a leaf blade switch. Slip the slot in the tool over the long flat part on the leaf blade switch, and turn the tool to gently bend the points in the direction you like.

    LTG : )

    #44 5 years ago

    Can someone please show or explain how this is used? I know it is probably simple, but I don't want to buy one if I can't figure out how to use it. Would it be for switches?

    Here you go - for leaf blade switches, not micro mini switches.

    Leaf blade points and tools, tools on points, point all bent to hell. Bend them gently in little bits by the base until it stays where you want it.

    LTG : )

    IMG_0313.JPG IMG_0314.JPG IMG_0315.JPG

    #45 5 years ago
    Quoted from RacerRik:

    Stainless steel is the wrong material for these. High carbon tool steel is what you need for the strength. Allen wrench steel is perfect. Need to use a dremel tool with cutoff wheel to make the slot.

    I use a wire EDM, Dremel are so old school

    #47 5 years ago
    Quoted from Chuck_Sherman:

    I use a wire EDM, Dremel are so old school

    About 3 people on pinside have access to an EDM.

    #48 5 years ago

    I can't understand how you could break one of these.Those leaf switches are soft and easy to adjust.It's not like it takes any torque or elbow grease,hell, I've adjusted some with my fingers.What the heck are you doing to your switches to break the tool?Scott

    #49 5 years ago
    Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

    I can't understand how you could break one of these.Those leaf switches are soft and easy to adjust.It's not like it takes any torque or elbow grease,hell, I've adjusted some with my fingers.What the heck are you doing to your switches to break the tool?Scott

    I totally agree with you on this, but lo and behold, I've broken them too! They are just extremely soft and fragile tools. My new one is hardened and more robust, so it should last....I hope

    #50 5 years ago

    No joke, I broke mine after working on my EM for about an hour. Apparently it just banging around in the tool box was enough to weaken it severely. Hope these new ones stand up a bit more. =|

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