A couple days ago, I was replacing some plastics with new ones and adding the clear protectors to my TZ. In particular, I was working on the slot plastic. A few days prior I found a press-rivet at my local hardware store that was the right diameter and, I thought, the right length. I didn't bother to check the plastic protector beforehand and just assumed it got riveted to the slot plastic. Well, there's a cutout in the protector so you don't have to remove the slot light from the plastic. You just slip it under it and you're good to go. Well, since I was replacing the plastic anyway, but now had too long of a rivet(and they didn't come any shorter in the store), I decided to improvise.
What I ended up doing worked out WAY better than I expected. I found a bag of 1/4" long 4-40 phillips head machine screws at Lowe's and thought, "why can't I just use one of these and fill in the head with solder"? Well, that's exactly what I ended up doing. I filled up the head with solder, sanded it down a little bit to match the contour of a regular rivet, then polished it up to a nice shine. It looks pretty damn convincing. You really have to be looking for it and know what I did to be able to pick it out. Besides, it sits behind the slot light anyway. You won't really ever see it.
What's nice is, now it's completely removable and serviceable in the future without the hardship of trying to remove the rivet without damaging the plastic. I'm sure to someone with ALL the right tools, that isn't normally an issue, but for those of us that don't have all the tools(yet), this was a nifty way to work around a problem without losing the overall look of what's supposed to be there. For me it was a win/win.
I know it sucks to tell this story and not post a picture of the finished product, so I'll take a picture of it when I get home. I have a BAD habit of not taking pictures, especially "before" pictures, when I start working on my machines so I can show the progress of all the work I've done or even how dirty something used to be versus how awesome it looks now.
So...how 'bout you guys? What's been your quick, most inventive, or most creative solution to a pinball problem? What was your favorite piece of pinball MacGyver-ing?
Edit: Here are a couple pics of how it turned out: