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Homemade Indiana Jones Pinball Machine

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Step 4: Pinball Flippers

Picture of Pinball Flippers
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Materials Needed For Step 4:
   * 3"x4'x3/4" thick Lumber "A Hardwood Preferred"
   * 1/2" Dowel Rod
   * 1 - 2'x2'x1/4' thick plywood
   * 6 - 3 1/2' x 1/4" Rubber Bands
   * 1 1/2" Wood Screws
   * 1 1/4" Wood Screws
   * 1" Wood Screws

Prepping Above Table Flippers:
   First we will cut out the pinball flippers. The length of the flipper will be 3 1/2" long. The thickest area of the flipper is 1 3/8" wide and the smallest area is 3/4" wide. Next make sure that you round both ends. Once the flipper is cut you will need to measure 5/8" from the thickest area of the flipper and center the mark between each side. now take that point and drill a 1/2" hole all the way through the flipper. Next cut 3" of a 1/2" dowel rod. Once you are done cutting find the side of the flipper that you want facing up and flip it over so that it is face down. Next insert the 1/2" dowel rod into the hole and make sure that it sits flush with the side facing down. Next you will need to drill a 3/32" pilot hole and counter sink it on the end of the thickest side of the flipper and with a depth of 1 1/4". Now screw in a 1 1/4" screw into the pilot hole. This screw should go all the way through the 1/2" dowel rod. Next find the end skinny end of the flipper and find the center point and mark that spot. You will need to use this in a later on step. Follow these instructions with the other flipper and set them aside.

   After you have completed the flippers you need to measure 7 3/4" from the left side of the board and measure 5 3/8" from the bottom of the board. Next measure 14 1/2" from the left side and 5 3/8" from the bottom of the board. These two areas you will need to drill a 1/2" hole all the way through the board. Make sure that the holes is as straight as possible and drill the hole from the top of the board so that if you have any splintering it will happen on the bottom. Next measure 10 1/4" from the left side of the board and 4 1/4" from the bottom and mark it. Next measure 11 7/8" from the left side and 4 1/4" from the bottom and mark it. You will need these marks in a later on step to line up the flippers.

Prepping Under Board Flipper Mechanism:
   First we will cut out all of the wood for the flipper mechanism. We will need to cut out two 3/4" thick 4 1/2" long by 1 1/8" wide pieces of wood. Next you will need to measure 1" down from one of the short sides and center it between the two longer sides and then drill a 1/2" hole all the way through it. Next measure 1/2" from the other end of the flipper and center the line in between the side. Next drill a 3/32" hole 1/2" deep. Once the hole is drilled then screw in a 1 1/4" wood screw. Make sure that it doesn't go all the way through. It only needs to go in about 1/2". This screw is one of the ends that the 3 1/2" rubber band will attach to. Next repeat these steps for the other under board flipper. Once you are done with both flippers then set them aside.

  Next cut out a small 3/4" thick flipper stopper block that measures 2" long by 1 1/2" wide. Next cut out two pieces of 1/4" thick plywood. One will measure 7 1/2" long by 3 1/2" wide. Next take that piece of wood and from the right side of the of the short side measure left 3/4" and measure 3 5/8" to the left. Next measure 1 3/8" from the bottom and measure another line of 2 1/4" from the bottom. Connect all of the lines and it should look like a rectangle. You will need to now cut out this rectangle out with a scroll saw. Next cut out the second 1/4" plywood 5 1/2" long and 3 1/2" wide. Next take that piece of wood and from the left side of the short side measure 3/4" to the right, also measure 3 3/4" from the right side. Next measure 1 3/8" from the bottom and measure another line of 2 1/4" from the bottom. Connect all of the lines and it should look like a rectangle. You will need to now cut out this rectangle out with a scroll saw. Next cut out two pieces of 3/4" wood measuring 7 1/2" long by 1 1/8" wide. Also you will need to cut out two pieces of 3/4" wood measuring 5 1/2" long by 1 1/8" wide.

Assembling the Flipper Mechanism:
   Flip over the board so that the bottom of the board is facing up. Next we will start on the right top playing field flipper channel. When looking at the bottom of the board this will be on the left side. Start by measuring 1 3/4" from the bottom of the board. Take the 7 1/2" long by 1 1/8" wide and 3/4" thick wood and place it on the line ("from the bottom of the line up, the piece of wood should be on the top part of the line") and line it up with the left side of the board. Next measure 4 1/8" from the bottom of the board and line the second piece of wood that is 7 1/2" long by 1 1/8" wide on the second line. There should be a 1 3/16" gap in between each piece of wood. Next place the 7 1/2" long by 3 1/2" wide 1/4" thick piece of wood on top of those other pieces of wood and line it up with those woods. Next clamp it down so it doesn't move. Now pre-drill four 3/32" holes two on each side of the channel and screw in a 1 1/2" wood screws in each of the four holes. Next from the channel where the under board flipper will touch measure 3 1/2" left and 2" from the bottom of the channel. Now pre-drill a 3/32" hole 1/2" deep and screw in a 1 1/4" wood screw of a depth of 1/2". Follow the same steps for the other channel which is for the left playing field flipper. All of the measurements are the same on the other side as well.

   You may need two people for this step. Now take one of the playing field flippers and insert a 1/2" ID nylon washer onto the 1/2" dowel rod. Next insert the dowel rod into the hole that you pre-drilled earlier. Once it is pushed through check and make sure that it turns with little friction, but not to loose. Now place another 1/2" nylon washer on the dowel rod from the back side. Next insert the under board flipper onto the dowel rod. Now once you have made it to this step you need to look under the board which should be the playing field side which is faced down and take the line that you drew on the board and the line that was placed on the small end of the flipper and line them up. Once those lines are lined up take the under board flipper and make the bottom end pressed up against the channel. This will be the starting point for both flippers. Also make sure to hold together both flippers tightly. Next pre-drill a 3/32" hole in the side of the flipper through the 1/2" dowel rod and a depth of 1" Next insert a 1" wood screw. This will hold everything together. You should have some of the 1/2" dowel rod sticking out and this will be fine. Check and make sure that when you move the bottom flipper that the top playing field flipper will move. Next place a 3 1/2" rubber band from the flipper screw to the channel screw. Make sure that you do not place the rubber band on the threaded part of the screw. This will shorten the life of the rubber band. Once you are done with this flipper then follow the same steps on the other flipper. Next you can put two 3 1/2" rubber bands on each of the playing field flippers for there bumpers.

Flipper Buttons:
   First cut one 3/4" thick piece of wood 11 1/2" long by 1 1/8" wide and cut another 3/4" thick piece of wood 9 1/2" long by 1 1/8" wide. Next take one end of the wood and round the corners "Not to much and not to little". Now sand down the top and bottom of the long sections of the flipper sticks about 1/16". Do this with both flipper sticks. Next take the longer piece and insert it into the longer channel which should be the right playing field flipper. Make sure that it is not to tight. If so then sand a little more. Now slide it all the way in until it barley touches the under board flipper. Now it the channel groove that you cut out in a earlier step make the farthest wall from the flipper. Cut two 1/2" dowel rods measuring 1 1/4" long. Next pull out the flipper stick and and take one of those dowel rods that you cut and place one end on the line. Make sure that the dowel rod is on the side that is closes to the round end side and center it between the two sides. Now draw a circle around it and drill out the 1/2" circle. Place the flipper stick back into the channel and then insert the dowel rod into the hole. Make sure when you insert the dowel rod it doesn't go all the way through the flipper stick. You do not want to cause any friction. Now follow the same steps and sizes on the other channel with the other flipper stick.

Step Four Reminders, Tips and Tricks:
   * When drilling a hole all the way through the wood it is a good idea to place a scrap piece of wood on the other side from where you are drilling. This will help with these splintering.
   * Drill the holes as straight as possible, so that you do not have any hang up.
 
 
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