(Topic ID: 296240)

The old men/bad backs club

By jackd104

1 year ago


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  • 33 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by jackd104
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 1 year ago

    As I’ve gotten older, it’s become more difficult to deal with heavy pins. Share your tips, techniques, and equipment for moving, setting up, taking down, pins as easily as possible. Bonus points for pictures. Extra bonus points for unique and creative solutions.

    #2 1 year ago

    Unless I have about 3 men assisting me, I am not moving any machine without this lift cart that I got from Northern Tool and Supply.
    It was more expensive than other carts, but I can lift any machine with minimal effort on a flat surface and move it around easily.
    This particular unit is used widely to move pool tables, so the lift capacity is more than other comparable units.

    IMG_20201019_175722 (resized).jpgIMG_20201019_175759 (resized).jpg
    #3 1 year ago

    Definitely having a hydraulic table lift is super handy. Only downside is lifting the actual lift into a regular vehicle. I usually throw it in the backseat of my truck.

    #4 1 year ago

    As I have gotten older and my back gotten even worse, the only 100% effective technique I have found is pulling out the wallet and enlisting backs that can still take it.

    I did also get that Northern Tool lift table myself (though getting it to my basement to begin with… yep… back went out.)

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from skink91:

    As I have gotten older and my back gotten even worse, the only 100% effective technique I have found is pulling out the wallet and enlisting backs that can still take it.
    I did also get that Northern Tool lift table myself (though getting it to my basement to begin with… yep… back went out.)

    Might be time to enlist fully grown assistance from several men or purchase an escalara.
    This is exactly the reason why I do not plan on placing any machines where stairs are a part of the installation route.
    Either up or down is a bad idea in my opinion.

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from Dent00:

    This is exactly the reason why I do not plan on placing any machines where stairs are a part of the installation route.
    Either up or down is a bad idea in my opinion.

    I do have a walkout basement and in general always take that route when I can.

    I do feel guilty/foolish/etc. about being just under 50 and having such a problem with it, but the possibility of spending days barely being able to get around is just not worth it.

    #7 1 year ago

    I'm a member of this club. But I never need help moving pins unless they are in
    a basement or second floor.

    #8 1 year ago

    Good stuff so far. The hardest part for me with an injured back is switching from vertical storage position to horizontal or vice versa when putting legs on or off. I put a stool under the rear of the cab, take off rear legs, then set up on it’s ass. The doozy part is lowering the rear off the stool to the floor (without help). Anyone have a better method of this part?

    #9 1 year ago

    It is those awkward in-between position type things that usually are the deal breakers for my back as well.

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    The hardest part for me with an injured back is switching from vertical storage position to horizontal or vice versa when putting legs on or off.

    Yes, this is the whole ballgame. I never have a problem moving a game once it’s vertical and the legs are off. A hydraulic lift table just seems like overkill to me, for raising or lowering the back of a pin. Plus, you still have to get the game from the lift table to the floor (or vice versa). I’m 57 and my back is still okay, but I know my days are numbered. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this lift/lower problem, and I might have a solution some day.

    #11 1 year ago

    Bride Of Pinbot is fine, Haunted House is a big no no

    IMG_3340 (resized).JPG
    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from OzPaul:

    Bride Of Pinbot is fine, Haunted House is a big no no
    //<![CDATA[
    window.__mirage2 = {petok:"5495b820bab07811593210afdb7c25844b4b5f26-1625468176-1800"};
    //]]>

    [quoted image]

    HH is one heavy sumbitch! It's not just a wide body. Look how long it is! Not to mention the 3 playfields, 8 flippers, and more coils that you can count. A literal back breaker. . 20200611_125416 (resized).jpg

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    Good stuff so far. The hardest part for me with an injured back is switching from vertical storage position to horizontal or vice versa when putting legs on or off. I put a stool under the rear of the cab, take off rear legs, then set up on it’s ass. The doozy part is lowering the rear off the stool to the floor (without help). Anyone have a better method of this part?

    I will need to get home to my computer ( surfing on a cell phone has limits).

    On the thread of DYI tools a guy made a roll/pivot tool used in conjunction with a RV scissor jack.

    You jack the rear of the pin up, remove legs, lower jack to allow the pin to sit down on top of the pivot tool, the roll the pin back and remove the front legs. Then go stand the pin in the corner.

    Reverse the procedure for setting up. The most work you will do is crank the jack handle.

    I’ll find the link when I get home in couple of days.

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from OzPaul:

    Bride Of Pinbot is fine, Haunted House is a big no no
    [quoted image]

    I used to do that.

    Now I have my pins planted on furniture sliders for easy moving around the floor.

    Just slip and slide.

    #15 1 year ago

    Seems like many of us have jacks, carts, etc. to move and lift our games, but how do your old bad backs do while working on them?
    I have to be very careful about standing next to a game and bending over with my head down in the cabinet. Or standing next to a game leaning at a weird angle repinning connectors. I've got bad vertebrae in my lower back and neck and always have to be careful not to strain anything. Even raising and lowering a heavy playfield like Road Show must be done carefully.
    Once I do strain my back, I have to play pinball sitting down for weeks afterwards. I've gotten used to it, but it's not quite the same as standing up and leaning into the game.
    When I work on a game, I try to sit next to it on a stool so I don't have to bend over too much, but you can't always do that.
    Often it's a trade off - it could be easier working on the game with the playfield on a workbench or rotisserie, but I don't want to risk jacking up my back getting the playfield in and out. So I sit on my stool and take lots of breaks.
    I need some sort of "playfield hoist" that attaches to the playfield and lifts it out - maybe a modified engine hoist and some ratchet straps.
    It is not fun to have a bad back! Not to mention being old!!!

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from DCP:

    I have to be very careful about standing next to a game and bending over with my head down in the cabinet. Or standing next to a game leaning at a weird angle repinning connectors. I've got bad vertebrae in my lower back and neck and always have to be careful not to strain anything.

    I can no longer play pool. The exact angle I put it at when I go to take a shot puts it out nearly 100% of the time.

    #17 1 year ago

    The details of this method are in another post on the subject. Use a two wheeler to move the pin and these two hand carried portable items to assemble and disassemble the pin with no back strain. Use it in the field when buying a pin.

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from P2K:

    The details of this method are in another post on the subject. Use a two wheeler to move the pin and these two hand carried portable items to assemble and disassemble the pin with no back strain. Use it in the field when buying a pin.

    Yes. This is the one I was thinking about

    #19 1 year ago

    One thing I have not done (too stupid/stubborn/cheap) is get a good back brace/support for when I am doing this stuff. You guys have any recommendations?

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from P2K:

    The details of this method are in another post on the subject. Use a two wheeler to move the pin and these two hand carried portable items to assemble and disassemble the pin with no back strain. Use it in the field when buying a pin.

    This is great. I guess the roll tool is a diy type of thing. Would love to just buy one.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from skink91:

    One thing I have not done (too stupid/stubborn/cheap) is get a good back brace/support for when I am doing this stuff. You guys have any recommendations?

    I recently got this one. Haven’t used others but it seems to help.
    amazon.com link »

    #22 1 year ago

    My professional brain is screaming at some of these posts (Chiropractor here)... lifting properly is difficult with many machines, but not impossible... with help. Let a friend carry them with you. Let them have a few flips and a beer or two as 'payment'.
    The lifts are a great idea, or the small furniture foot rollers for moving the pins about.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from skink91:

    One thing I have not done (too stupid/stubborn/cheap) is get a good back brace/support for when I am doing this stuff. You guys have any recommendations?

    Supports are good for while you're doing the moving of the machines, but try to only wear while lifting. (Get one with suspenders/braces attached so you can release the belt when not lifting).

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    This is great. I guess the roll tool is a diy type of thing. Would love to just buy one.

    How much would you be willing to pay?

    I could, as could others, make you the wooden roller. That would not cost too much. But shipping prices are getting out of hand.

    And I think the jack, that you could buy at an RV shop costs around $50.00 guesstimate.

    You could be in the pot for $100.00 real easy.

    Home Depot sells these 24”wooden wheels for about $20.00 that would be enough to make two of these roller contraptions.

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from P2K:

    The details of this method are in another post on the subject. Use a two wheeler to move the pin and these two hand carried portable items to assemble and disassemble the pin with no back strain. Use it in the field when buying a pin.

    I put this one together myself after seeing that video a few years back.....it really works great and helps tremendously!!

    #26 1 year ago

    My game room is in the basement. Moving pins in is easy, coming through the garage door it's a straight shot down the carpeted basement stairs. I get a piece of cardboard, lay the pin down on the landing and let gravity do the work, all I do is stay in front and keep them from tobogganing down.

    Moving them up, I have a Harbor Freight electric winch mounted in the center of two 2x4s (for strength). I stand that up in the garage door opening at the top of the landing, lean the game against the stairs on the same cardboard (front edge curled up so it doesn't slip underneath), wrap the cable around the game and 30 seconds later it's at the top.

    A shout out to jDubbs (R.I.P), saw him do this with plywood on the (uncarpeted) stairs and winch mounted to the front of his Jeep.

    #27 1 year ago

    I have to deal with lots of games solo.I had these pictures taken to help customers set their games up not necessarily by themselves just the order. This is my method.
    Install front legs. 41938B0C-623B-40D2-88BE-164CD1471BF2 (resized).jpeg
    Lower it down. 7754E5E5-194C-4E8A-B610-D717865E84BF (resized).jpeg
    Push shoulder into back of game and lift while tucking knee under game. 2D91810B-FFE5-4072-8987-7741B439783E (resized).jpeg
    BCC56D69-D7AC-4CA4-97CA-D24E8939AFBD (resized).jpeg
    Rest on knee install legs. 398DABA8-6CE0-4720-8018-7B107AB0DE9F (resized).jpeg
    All set. DB270BF2-ADA0-4C22-BCBD-448FEA1956ED (resized).jpeg

    #28 1 year ago

    Stretch/limber up your back and neck, do some twists and touch your toes etc before doing any lifting( with your legs, not your back) and it helps to do it periodically while bent over working on a game too. Really helps me ward off injury as I get older.

    #29 1 year ago

    Be careful Guys.....After Lifting and moving too much...even with Equipment, my back went out last year.

    3 back surgical procedures later, I am better by alot, but likely going in for my 4th.
    I cant lift anything more than 15 pounds now.

    Hire others...ending up like me isnt worth it.

    #30 1 year ago

    This ‘club’ is even less fun to be a part of (by a fair margin) than the male pattern baldness club.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

    Be careful Guys.....After Lifting and moving too much...even with Equipment, my back went out last year.
    3 back surgical procedures later, I am better by alot, but likely going in for my 4th.
    I cant lift anything more than 15 pounds now.
    Hire others...ending up like me isnt worth it.

    2008...I was moving a heavy Bally and blew my back out. I was in bed for 7 weeks. I was scheduled for surgery and met a NovaCare physical therapist. At that time, I couldn't stand for long periods and driving was definitely out. Mr. Fred Schwint (NovaCare) took me through the gauntlet of stretching and strength conditioning. He saved my life. No surgery. I sometimes have twinges, but I do my stretches and walk 5-10 miles a day. I can lift my machines again and I body surf and have no restrictions. I was lucky. I hope your situation continues to improve. When I need to transport a game that I either purchased or sold, I hire young bucks. That never hurts my back!

    #32 1 year ago

    I used the roll/pivot idea to build this rocker to help to move games between the floor and a horizontal surface.
    Pinball car dolly 2 (resized).jpg
    The idea is that the rockers have a radius that matches the height of whatever vehicle platform, table, dolly, workbench you need to get to. I made two sets of rockers for two different vehicles.

    From the vertical position you just push it over to the horizontal position where the end of the rocker can rest on the edge of the vehicle, workbench, whatever. Then the game can slide from the rocker to the next surface. Pushing it over from the vertical position is much easier than lifting it. It works in reverse for unloading too.

    The rocker is held together with threaded rod and can be knocked down flat except for the angle bracket on the bottom.

    I've used it a couple of times but not as much as I expected to.

    /Mark

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from cottonm4:

    How much would you be willing to pay?
    I could, as could others, make you the wooden roller.

    Name your price my friend! I have little free time so it’d be worth it to me. I won’t be cheap, whatever makes it worth your while. If you are serious just pm me for arrangements.

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