There I was, minding my own business, when all of a sudden (as all good stories start) I found an old pinball machine at the dump.  I promptly took it home and has help putting it in the house where it sat in my living room long enough to put rust stains on the carpeting where the metal feet sat.

It wasn't complete enough to make it work without spending a lot of time and money on it.  I live too far away from a market to sell it as-is.  And honestly, the wife didn't seem too keen on starting a game parlor with our limited space.

So I decided to make a coffee table out of the main playing surface.

(Please add a link to www.zieak.com if you mention this project someplace other than Instructables.)

Step 1: Tools and materials

This will largely depend on what you have available...
  • a pinball machine
  • lumber
  • plywood
  • screws
  • staples
  • hot glue
  • tempered glass
  • aluminum stock
  • wood glue
  • a few strings of LED Christmas lights
Some suggested tools...
  • screwdrivers
  • drill and bits
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • glue gun
  • staple gun
  • small nailgun
  • belt sander
  • miter saw
  • table saw
  • bench grinder
  • reciprocating saw
  • pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bolt cutters
You got geeked! http://www.geek.com/articles/games/pinball-machine-gets-a-second-life-as-a-coffee-table-20100930/
Cool! Thanks! I often check the "Stats" sidebar for incoming links and hadn't seen that one yet.
If you havent yet discarded it the scoreboard would make a great matching end-table using the same method
Not a bad idea! <br><br>I think i can sell a set like that here. But nobody wants a project machine here. Well - other than me for this kind of use I guess.
This Idea got me interested in making some theme type tables for our game room. if you don't have a spare pinball table lying around you can find the backboards(in the pinball industry, they're called &quot;translites&quot;) online http://www.pbresource.com/transl.htm this is just one place i found after a 5 min search, reasonable prices too. on the tables i want to do, i was thinking about using actual pinball table legs(which can also be found on the same site) for the table legs.
Nice; I like that you used salvaged lumber as well as the salvaged pinball machine!
Thank you - I managed to not spend any money on parts or materials - just used things i had kicking around or (like the lights) had purchased a while ago.
whoa, dump-find...cool!<br> Great build, and good call on getting those vintage parts to the right people. I can't believe you found it in the condition you did. The table looks awesome!<br>
<p>Great idea! Nice work!</p>
<p>for me, it's impossible</p>
<p>great man love it</p>
How do you prevent the pinball panel from falling?
Very nice job!!
AAAHHHH !!!! <strong>Horreur</strong> et <strong>Damnation</strong> un <strong>Sacril&egrave;ge</strong> un <strong>Massacre</strong> !!!!!
C'est clair. En plus je me demande si c'est jouable. Il n'y a pas d'inclinaison ni de boutons. En fait c'est une table &eacute;clair&eacute;e.
I have to agree! What's the next ible? Making a model t ford into a planter box? Or perhaps a P-51 mustang garden fountain?<br><br>It was your classic piece of americanna I guess you can trash it if you like. I would have paid you $700 for the PBM BTW.
I'll take the $700 if you'll pay for shipping it to Seattle on a barge line and then the freight to wherever you live. I'll reassemble it (with the exception of the plastic pieces i cut) and package it nicely on a pallet with the legs off and the back removed for safest shipping.
Deal! But only if you can un-cut the irreplaceable pieces that you cut.
I'll call your bluff. Here's one on Ebay that is more complete than the one I have for well under the price you mentioned... http://cgi.ebay.com/Bally-Paragon-Pinball-/290503332597?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item43a35912f5 And no bids with a day left!
1...The POINT is that turning an old PBM into a table PISSES OFF anybody who likes pinball machines. <br><br>2...using Non original REPLACEMENT parts LOWERS THE VALUE and it is NO LONGER ORIGINAL. <br><br>3...I could get that unit from Alaska to my door for around $150 because it could be DRIVEN DIRECTLY. (No ship to Seattle) (Even cheaper if you can tag a ride with someone who is going to make the trip anyway.
I live on an island. You can't drive here directly. <br><br>Be pissed off at me - but I saved the PBM from the conveyor belt of a trash baler. Maybe some day the playfield will land in the hands of someone working on a complete restoration. Maybe the back glass will be the final piece someone was looking for. After months of research I determined that the cost of restoration on my end wasn't worth it and the cost of shipping the whole thing to others also was not worth it.<br><br>Poo-poo the project all you want. It's easy to just contribute negativity here.
You make a great point. What is the greater loss? Been totally trashed by a compactor, or been converted into a coffee table with the possibility of future restoration. You did WELL to save it.
And here are the &quot;irreplaceable&quot; pieces that I cut... Available for just $28.<br><br>
Wowowowowowow thats sick!
this is soooo cool bro, i can't believe it's paragon! you are a lucky lucky man to have such a sexy coffee table
cannot tell you how much I love this. And if I ever get my hands on an old pinball machine...<br><br>*evil cackle*
where do you find a salvaged pinball machine? I live in a large city; what do you suggest? Please advise... I am dying to recreate the wonderful table and am pretty handy myself! Thanks in advance!&nbsp;
hahaha is that you or did you put that in for jokes? xD
That's my wife helping out with the project.
freakingly cool thing you have built, I want it...;-)))...I think I'll have to make one...
Please dont make your own... Was cooler before you.....but looks good!
Thank you!
This is so cool! Good job :)<br>
Zieak, Lower 48ers have no idea what shipping costs are. Good find, Great Job!!
I know guys who wold have driven 1000 miles to pay you good money for that machine.<br>Nice build, though I suspect MANY pinball enthusiasts will be quite upset at what you have done.
Sadly, I live on an island In Alaska. But if you find someone willing to pay for the shipping of it to Seattle I'd love to get it in the hands of a true fan. The only thing i 'ruined&quot; are the seven plastic parts that pop up... and I'm sure they could be repaired. Back glass is in excellent shape too...
Try advertising it for a $1000 bucks. See what happens. Then you might be able to buy a coffee tables with the proceeds. :)<br>All this been said, I still like your build. Creative thinking.
Post on the KLOV boards - I'm sure there is someone that would take it.
you destroy the pinball to do a coffe table????? what is next?
That's a classic, prized pinball machine. And the playfield looks like it's in nice shape.<br><br>Nice table... but this makes me sad. I kiiiiinda think it coulda been fixed for not too much. As long as you're into circuit board soldering! ;)
The soldering wouldn't be a problem... But keeping the machine isn't an option for me. In fact, I probably won't even be keeping the table. I just don't have space for it. I agree that it is a great machine. And I would still love to get it onto the hands of a collector. Or the parts that people need to those that need them. <br><br>But i literally saved the thing from being crushed and shipped to Seattle in a container to be dumped in a landfill. I loaded it on my trailer at the baling facility. But living in Alaska it is really expensive to ship something so large and heavy.
all the parts you need to repair the parts that were scrapped n cut and the parts to repair/recondition it can be found here http://www.pbresource.com
If you just took the scoreboard off, couldn't you put just some very short legs on it and use it the way it is? Even better if 2 of the legs lowered or raised so you could tip it for playing (Otherwise the ball doesn't roll down to the paddles) and then you could lift it up to level so your drink doesn't slide off.
Any plans on making a matching end table with the backglass / scoreboard part of the pinball machine? Very spiffy, btw!
That's a great idea!
I'm sorry that: If you Removed a worked Pinball it :(((
It didn't work. It lit up - but wouldn't do much more than that. <br><br>I disassembled it nicely for the most part - few wires were cut but that's an easy fix. The cut plastic pieces were the only cruelties on it!
Is it necessary to dress as Super Mario to build this? ;)
Good one. Very funny.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I like making things out of items that would have otherwise been discarded. Check out my other projects!
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