(Topic ID: 87354)

Up the Stairs


By Schnibs

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Schnibs
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 5 years ago

Hi, im new here.

My question has probably been discussed here a few times but my findings haven't answered everything.

Ive fancied getting a pin for some time now but my "games room" is on the top floor. Thats 2 flights of stairs with lots of turns. Im aware you can break a machine down but how manageable is it when in pieces. I.e. how heavy is the cab without glass, playfield, backbox. Could 2 people easily carry it up stairs?

I deal with looms and harnesses for work so im not to worried about that part but is there anything else that should be of concern going this route. I'd hate to splash out on a machine and do some damage in the process.

I don't think i can get one up in one piece or just without the backbox, i see alot of people use dollys but my stairs spiral round corners and i just don't think its possible.

#2 5 years ago

What type of game are you moving if it is a EM you can break it down to many smaller pieces.

#3 5 years ago

I helped a pinsider move a 80's Gottlieb wide body up stairs yesterday. It was really fairly easy, but we did have the head off and the playfield out with no glass. The playfield on these are similar to older EMs so really very quick operation.

A more modern game would take more time to take apart, so my approach would be an appliance dolly (straps and heavy duty) and have the game on end, preferably with the head off. Still would need two people. One to push and one to pull. Try not to kill the lower person.

#4 5 years ago

Weight and size of a game can vary greatly, too. A 1980s-era Williams is pretty easily managed with two people carrying (especially since the backbox is normally removed for transport). A widebody Bally/Williams WPC is a tank, much more difficult and pretty much requires a dolly. You can remove the backbox on a WPC game, but that only saves you about 50 lbs. The only real benefit is that you are making the game narrower by doing so, which can make negotiating the turns and doorways easier.

The turns can be managed to an extent by standing the game up on end (normally there are feet there, the games are designed to be transported this way) and getting things lined up for the next ascent.

#5 5 years ago
Quoted from btw75:

I helped a pinsider move a 80's Gottlieb wide body up stairs yesterday. It was really fairly easy, but we did have the head off and the playfield out with no glass. The playfield on these are similar to older EMs so really very quick operation.
A more modern game would take more time to take apart, so my approach would be an appliance dolly (straps and heavy duty) and have the game on end, preferably with the head off. Still would need two people. One to push and one to pull. Try not to kill the lower person.

he brought beer too

#6 5 years ago

Quick responses on here,

The game i was looking at was Judge dredd, which i guess puts it in the tank range. How heavy do you think it would be minus playfield etc.

#7 5 years ago

if that playfield lifts right out (unplugging harness...) i would totally recommend it if you're just 2 people.
that had to remove over 100+ lbs.

if you have 3 movers and get around stairs corners/etc... then maybe keep it in.

#8 5 years ago

Whats it like lifting them without a dolly, the way the stairs turn but not very wide makes it impossible with one. As the dolly would turn with the stairs the machine would clash with the wall.
What about 2 underneath just lifting it on the next step at a time with one at the top to guide it

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from Schnibs:

Whats it like lifting them without a dolly, the way the stairs turn but not very wide makes it impossible with one. As the dolly would turn with the stairs the machine would clash with the wall.
What about 2 underneath just lifting it on the next step at a time with one at the top to guide it

2 options. done both:

1) one guy on either end of cabinet. go to top landing and stand it up on its back. then lift to next landing, then 2 guys on either end again & carry up the rest of the way.

2) one guy on either end of cabinet. bottom guy lifts up over head. go up to first landing, lift cabinet over the mid-way hand railing, both guys keep going upwards while rotating cabinet over mid-way hand railing, then carry up rest of way. did that move last night.

ps. legs off in both examples.

#10 5 years ago

It's not easy to remove the head on a Judge Dredd, but it would make the job much easier.

#11 5 years ago

I've taken pins apart to get them upstairs a few times, including an IJ93. I'm fairly wimpy but even so none of the parts are particularly heavy. The empty cabinet would be too bulky for me to handle by myself but everything else could be done solo. With two guys you'd have no problem with JD

#12 5 years ago

Yeah.. if your stairs are that narrow, I would skip out on a wide body all together. You really don't want to be lifting this sort of thing without an appliance dolly, it's heavy as #*$&. Taking the playfield out or removing the head from this kind of game is more effort than it's worth if you ask me.

#13 5 years ago

Don't do it without a dolly. I've done it both ways, up a flight of stairs with a 90 or 180 degree "turn" in them, so I have a little experience with what you're talking about. You have two options; keeping it relatively assembled and using a dolly, or disassembling it (including removing the playfield) and brute forcing it. Here are my two cents:

  • Easiest way is to remove all of the balls, coin box, etc from the cab. Fold the head down and strap it down so its secure. Support the back side (either with a stool or step ladder or similar) to remove the back legs. Then gently lower the back side to the ground, then tip it up so it's lying flat on its back. Remove the front legs. Now, strap it to a high quality dolly with the largest wheels you can find. "Stair sliders" are especially helpful if your stairs are carpeted. Now you and your able-bodied friend can wheel it up the stairs without too much difficulty; the person at the top pulling it up one stair at a time, the person at the bottom helping to steady it and helping with the lifting. Not too bad at all. You will find it is way easier to maneuver around tight corners with the machine folded up vertically and secured to wheels.
  • If you try to just manhandle the thing up the stairs (and I've done this before, before I knew any better), you're going to accidentally put lots of stress on the legs, as you will end up having to support it at weird angles on two or even one leg as it snags on your stairs or you get stuck trying to make the turns. Be prepared to sweat profusely, and if you have kids, I recommend having your wife take them out for ice cream so they aren't exposed to all of the swearing that will ensue. They will also be protected from the 250 lbs of wreckage when you accidentally drop it down the stairs at the end.
  • If you really, really don't want to use a dolly for whatever reason, do as everyone else suggests and remove the head, remove the playfield, and carry things up one at a time. You definitely won't be saving any time or effort with this route though.

And to be clear - when we're talking about dollys, we are not talking about pinball lift carts that are designed for moving pins around nice, flat workshops or game rooms. We're talking about the kind of dollies made for moving heavy shit in and out of trucks and up stairs. Get one - you won't regret it.

#14 5 years ago

If i am moving a game by myself down or up stairs the head and pf comes off. Then it is manageable and safe for me to do by myself.

#15 5 years ago

This only works with hardwood floors.

Get a nice thick shipping blanket (orchard, costco, lots of places have em.)

Fold it in half and lay it at the bottom of the stairs. Get the game laying flat on top of the blanket, with the legs off. The coin door should face toward the top of the stairs.

Put 1 leg bolt about halfway into a hole on each side of the front of the cabinet. Fold the shipping blanket up so that it covers the front of the game toward about half of the coin door.

Use some water skiing line, wrap it around the back of the game and under each bolt at the front of the game.

One person stands below the game to keep it from sliding back in case something bad happens.

The other person lifts and pulls like hell. If you angle it right the game will just slide up the stairs.

I have done this with a bunch of games, the heaviest being IJ 93. It turned an hour long ordeal into about 10-15 mins.

#16 5 years ago

Since you'd have to unplug pretty much everything to remove the backbox, it will probably not require much additional work to remove the playfield at that point. Then it should be quite manageable for two people. Just make sure all of your connectors are labelled first!

#17 5 years ago

+1 on everything Neuro just said. If you are going to remove the BB, then just lift out the PF too. I recommend using two people for this also so you won't scratch the inside of the cabinet. Label every connector and take pics too.

#18 5 years ago

Even on spiral staircases, you can just pull out the playfield and pull off the head and carry it all up yourself (use a dolly if you have short legs).

Better to spend 15 minutes breaking it down, than to hurt your back for life.

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from zucot:

This only works with hardwood floors.
Get a nice thick shipping blanket (orchard, costco, lots of places have em.)
Fold it in half and lay it at the bottom of the stairs. Get the game laying flat on top of the blanket, with the legs off. The coin door should face toward the top of the stairs.
Put 1 leg bolt about halfway into a hole on each side of the front of the cabinet. Fold the shipping blanket up so that it covers the front of the game toward about half of the coin door.
Use some water skiing line, wrap it around the back of the game and under each bolt at the front of the game.
One person stands below the game to keep it from sliding back in case something bad happens.
The other person lifts and pulls like hell. If you angle it right the game will just slide up the stairs.
I have done this with a bunch of games, the heaviest being IJ 93. It turned an hour long ordeal into about 10-15 mins.

That is pretty damn clever! I am getting ready to move and if my new place has a basement with stairs I am going to try that method out.
Thanks!

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from SealClubber:

+1 on everything Neuro just said. If you are going to remove the BB, then just lift out the PF too. I recommend using two people for this also so you won't scratch the inside of the cabinet. Label every connector and take pics too.

I did exactly the same with my RS in the same situation once upon a time.

#21 5 years ago

I lost this thread in the move, sounds like i can get it up quite manageable in parts then.

Cheers for the replys guys

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