Friday, 13 May 2016

Never: Assembly

Ok thats it done, really quick and easy!

Pfffff. If only it were that easy. Ha ha ha ha ha (manic laughing)

The whole driving force of this project was using an existing pinball machine playfield as a donor game (see the parts plan). The idea, saving time developing a layout and sourcing parts

As all the parts are in place on a wiring loom, the concept is to detach from the original playfield and simply slide across onto the new one.

I knew it was going to be a difficult job, but I underestimated the amount of labor required, a full weeks work from last Thursday till just today!

At the start I took hundreds of photos of the playfield, if I had any accidents or confusion about how parts were assembled, I could reference back. Thankfully due to having studied the playfield closely I didn't need to refer to any of the photos, but it was certainly standard practice, and more so if you are doing over a longer period of time than I was.

The process of dissembling the old playfield started with what was perhaps the toughest part last Thursday night. Undoing the staples which held the General Illumination braiding in place. There's really only two ways to remove the staples, prising out with a flat object like a flat screwdriver or snipping with some heavy wire snips (as I found out as my flimsy snippers snapped!). The staples are quite heavy duty so this does take some time, and I damage quite a lot of the braid in my haste. As well as hurting my hands quite badly, but no body cares about my health right!?

Once the braid had been mostly loosened, I could start to make my way through removing all the screws holding the fittings in place.

It is pretty overwhelming, at times I ask myself if I made the right choice using a donor game rather than starting from scratch.

I can't really stress enough how important it is to keep everything well organised when removing parts. Having the photos to refer to is handy, but just having a separate box for each type of part makes life easier at the other side.

I find it funny to think that this was assembled in the 70s, I bet no one thought about what would be happening to it in 2016.

The next bit was setting the playfields side by side, and use a piece of cardboard to help slide the wiring loom and parts over onto the new playfield.

This video make it sound like the studio is next to a racetrack, which I find humorous so left the sound on! Hopefully it provides some amusement amongst these dry posts.


  • Some of the problems I had came down to simply not having good quality tools, if I were doing more with pinball in future, I would start to invest in the proper tools. 
  • It really needs more time to be done correctly, it could have been a less strenuous more relaxing process if there wasn't such a deadline

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