Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm a Pinball Voldemort...or Muggle...I'm not sure

In my wacky world, the hubby and I have strange adventures and odd collections, but we have undertaken a project that may really test our skills and perhaps our patience. We purchased a pinball machine to restore. If you are thinking that I have finally lost what was left of my mini-brain, you may be right.

It was a rash decision on our part, but hopefully it will pay off in the end. You may have read my post a while ago on my experience with Craigslist (see here). What we ended up purchasing was a Space Shuttle pinball machine. It was the night before the last shuttle was  to land, and I guess that event pushed us to purchase a machine that really was not in very good condition. When might we ever find one again???

It played and most parts were in working order. It went in to the garage for "temporary" storage and so that we could plug it in and try it out before deciding where it would go in the house. The more I looked at it, though, the more areas for improvement came to the forefront. So we now have a pinball machine in a gazillion pieces in our garage. Frankly, electronic components really do not scare me. When I was a kid, I used to take all sorts of things apart and I have had the pleasure (?) of helping to put in the wiring for our first house. I'm good with capacitors and relays and can solder pretty well. What scares me is the thought that we may not be able to put everything back in the correct place.

We are smart enough to have taken a whole lot of pictures during the demolition phase. We also had Favorite Son help us for a bit. He has a photographic memory and we took full advantage of that part of his brain as we got him to assist in removing components. We have used the internet to purchase some new items for the rebuild. At present, we are polishing and repainting all of the parts that can be beautified. All of the cosmetic parts are going to look or be brand-new. So, even if it doesn't play perfectly, it will look really great.

Here's the playfield all naked, stripped of all of the fun stuff like flippers, ramps, and bumpers:

The underside of a pinball table just has a FEW wires:

And we still have all of our carefully labeled parts!!

In the mean time, feel free to send me good vibes and a positive attitude. I'll also be accepting donations of perhaps some duct tape or gorilla glue??


  1. This looks like quite a project and I wish you the best. But what is gorilla glue? Same as super glue?

  2. That is awesome. I want a pinball machine!
    My gorilla glue got all dried out. Good stuff though.

  3. Too cool. I have friends who have done this as well, and there's nothing quite so fun as going into their basement and seeing now THREE restored pinball machines.

    A simpler time, wasn't it?


  4. TILT!!! Now you need to find a jukebox!! There's a new series on the HGTV channel...or whatever channel shows the "storage wars" and "pawn shop" shows. It's called "American Pickers" and they go nuts over pinball machines.

  5. Stephen - It was a pandoras box! Gorilla glue is thick crazy glue. But careful if you have a dog because they like to eat it!

    Ruth - I have always wanted a pinball machine and we had a great one before our fire. We can't find it again, so...

    Pearl - That's the beauty - two flipper buttons - no hit A then B then Triangle - like playing video games with my son. I can't play with him because I can't remember all of the controls!

    Beau's Mom - I LOVE THAT SHOW!! They just aired some that were filmed near where my hubby was raised. I would love to be a picker only I could never sell my finds!

  6. That looks like a major job! It will be really cool though, when it's done!

  7. awesome post! I love to have that pinball machine like yours

  8. Gosh, that sounds like a terrific project! What a fun thing it will be to play-

  9. Pat - It scares me now that we've gotten so deep into it. But I know it will be fantastic when we finish!

    Jeremy- I like the simplicity of the machine when you play it - the complexity of the mechanism is a bit scary right now.

    Shelly - Thanks. I think it is gonna be a lot of fun!


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