PIN BALL

Introduction: PIN BALL

Pinball is a type of redemption arcade game, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more metallic balls launched by a spring loaded release piston onto a cabinet-like playing field called a ‘pinball machine’. The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible. Different numbers of points are earned when the ball strikes different targets … in my game, when the ball falls into different pipe holes.

What is the traditional meaning of a “redemption” game : Redemption games are typically arcade games of skill that reward the player proportionally to their score in the game. The reward most often comes in the form of tickets, with more tickets being awarded for higher scores. These tickets can then be redeemed (hence the name) at a central location for prizes.

INTRODUCTION

This is a manual game … i.e. it uses no electronics.

In this oversized version of PinBall, 1+ ½” glass marbles are used as the balls. 2” balls are another option, but the necessary pipes and pipe holes might be too big for the game.

The objective of the game is to launch the marbles via a catapult and get them into 1 of 15 possible pipe holes on the Playing Field labeled with different point values. Levers are available to help re-direct some balls.

Once in a pipe hole, the marbles fall down into a Ball Channel Box and roll down 1 of 10 possible ball channels assigned to the 15 specific pipe holes (some pipe holes share the same Ball Channel).

Since this is a manual game, a way of counting the total score is needed … so a 10” channel viewer at the bottom of the Ball Channel Box was made to view the balls and the channels they rolled into, where their scores can be manually counted.

Balls not landing in a pipe hole, roll down the table, past the primary Levers, and over the top of the channel viewer … and land directly in the Ball Release Box, thus scoring no points.

These balls can immediately be played again or not (according to your rules).

This game currently has 8 marbles in a game. (purchased thru Etsy.com … search for Marbles Large)

Note : This is a relatively difficult and time consuming project, with the Lever controls being the difficulty … but construction is made much easier with the highly informative instructions contained herein.

There are 8 integral sections to this Pin Ball :

1. Ball Channel Box … the guide channels assigned to specific pipes into which the balls drop

2. Lever Box ….…....... the enclosed cabinet above the Ball Channel Box housing the Lever mechanics

3. Playing Field ……… the top panel above the Lever Box containing the playing field

4. Cannon ……………. the spring loaded ball release piston … i.e. the ball launcher

5. Hippo ……………... part of the Cannon, this is where you manually load the balls for launching

6. Ball Release Box ..... part of Ball Channel Box, this mechanism releases the balls from the ball channels

7. Frame …………..… the framing that elevates the game to a comfortable level and bevels the game

8. Finish …………..… the finished game

THE CONSTRUCTION IN A NUTSHELL :

The Ball Channel Box is the first thing to be constructed with the location of its ball channels, but it needs the ball hole locations (provided by the Playing Field panel) before its top panel ball holes can be cut and the unit sealed.

The Playing Field panel is also outlined with the location of the ball channels, and after coordinating the desired location of the pipe holes with the Lever locations in the Lever Box (which sits between the Ball Channel Box and the Playing Field panel) so that the location of the pipe holes and their pipes do not interfere with the free motion of the Levers, the Playing Field pipe holes can be cut … then it is used as a template for the Ball Channel Box bottom and top panels and the Lever Box bottom panel (the top panel of the Lever Box is the Playing Field panel).

The following is a step-by-step pictorial presentation on how this Pin Ball game was built.

Supplies

THE MATERIALS :

(1) 1 lb. box 3” Wood Screws

(2) 1 lb. box 1+ ⅝” Wood Screws

(1) Tube Wood Glue

(30) 2x4x8’ boards

(2) ¾” x 4 x 8 hardwood plywood … (Birch, Maple) … ( for Top Panel and Ball Channels)

(3) ½” x 4 x 8 sanded plywood … (for Side Panels, Ball Channel Top, and Ball Channel spacers)

(7) Pints of different color paints (semi-gloss)

(8) 1+ ½” glass Marbles

(1) Handle or Knob

(4) Hinges (small)

( ) Bolts, with washers & Lock Nuts

(4) ⅜” x 6” Bolts

(12) Washers (medium size)

(12 ) Nuts

(4) 6” Springs

(24) ¼” Dowels

(24) 12” Rubber Bands (various colors)

(12) Erasers (Tubes, Pencil Tops, Wedge Shaped)

(12) Obstacles of your choice

(2) Small Cabinet Knobs

(2) 2” Pipe Caps (used as an obstacle)

(4) Paint Poles (used as the Lever poles)

(1) 2” diameter Dowel 24” long

(1) ¾” Steel Box Channel 36” long

(4) ¾” Steel Wheels

(4) 2” Screws (to go thru steel wheels)

(2) 6” Springs (for Dowel)

(?) Various size Washers and Screws

(2) 4” Springs (for Ball Release)

(2) 5” Casters (fixed)

(4) 5” Casters (rotating and lockable)

(1) 1+ ½” x 10’ PVC Pipe (1+ ⅞” O.D.)

(6) 1+ ½” PVC Pipe Connectors (2+ ¼” O.D.)

(1) 2” x 10’ PVC Pipe (2+ ¼” O.D.)

(15) 2” PVC Pipe Connectors (2+ ⅞” O.D.)

1+ ½” nails for nail gun

TOOLS NEEDED :

Drill ... Drill Bits : miscellaneous sizes

Ruler : tape measure ... Ruler : Straight Edge ... Ruler : Square

Pipe Clamps

Paint Brush : 2” ... Paint Brush : small ... Paint Brush : very small

Hammer ... Jig Saw ... Router ... Sander --- (with 80, then 120 grit sandpaper)

Table Saw or Circular Saw ... Miter Saw ... Compressor (for nail gun) ... Nail Gun … 1+ ½” nails

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2” Pipe Holes :

Note : The 2+ ¼” O.D. of the 2” Pipe fits into the 2+ ¼” I.D of the Pipe Connectors :

Hole Saw : 2” : ( for 2” PVC Pipe … 2” I.D. … 2+ ¼” O.D.) This Hole Saw is for the Ball Channel Box top panel only. Pipes will sit on the top of this panel above ball channels. Hole is smaller than the O.D. of the pipes so they will not fall thru panel.

Hole Saw : 2+ ⅞” : ( for 2” PVC Pipe Connectors … 2+ ¼” I.D. … 2+ ⅞” O.D.) Connectors are larger than Pipe. This Hole Saw is for the Top Panel, and both the top and the bottom panels of the Lever Box only. The O.D. of the Pipe Connectors will squeeze in snug on the Top Panel, and they will also provide a little ‘wiggle’ room for the Pipes in the two Lever Box panels.

I.D. = inner diameter … O.D. = outer diameter

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1+½” Pipe Holes :

Note : The 1+ ⅞” O.D. of the 1+ ½” Pipe fits into the 1+ ⅞” I.D of the Pipe Connectors :

Hole Saw : 1+ ⅝” : ( for 1+ ½” PVC Pipe … 1+ ½” I.D. … 1+ ⅞” O.D.) This Hole Saw is for the Ball Channel Box top panel only. Pipes will sit on the top of this panel above ball channels. Hole is smaller than the O.D. of the pipes so they will not fall thru panel.

Hole Saw 2+ ¼” : ( for 1+ ½” PVC Pipe Connectors … 1+ ⅞” I.D. … 2+ ¼ O.D.) Connectors are larger than Pipe. This Hole Saw is for the Top Panel, and both the top and the bottom panels of the Lever Box only. The O.D. of the Pipe Connectors will squeeze in snug on the Top Panel, and they will also provide a little ‘wiggle’ room for the pipes in the two Lever Box panels.

I.D. = inner diameter … O.D. = outer diameter

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Step 1: S E C T I O N # 1 : THE BALL CHANNEL BOX

The Ball Channel Box bottom and top panels, along with the Playing Field panel, are outlined with the location of the ball channels.

Once the Playing Field ball holes are located for the Lever Box lever clearance requirements, its ball holes are cut, and the Playing Field panel can then be used as a template to outline the hole locations on both the bottom and top panels of the Ball Channel Box. The hole locations will validate that the balls will have a clear path to the ball channels, and also helps in the placement of any braces.

The Ball Channel Box can now be constructed and completed at this time. The pipe holes are only cut on the Ball Channel Box top panel and require special hole sizes (discussed below).

THE BALL CHANNEL BOX :

It is 42” wide and 70” Long … the sides are 3+ ½” 2x4’s … the base panel is ¾ plywood (Maple).

The top panel is 42” wide and 60” Long … and is ½” plywood (sanded pine is fine), exposing 10” of the ball channels at the bottom.

10 Ball Channels are each 3” Wide with ½” Thick Spacers which are 2+ ½ High. The 11th channel on the far right is not used. Why 3” wide ball channels for 1+½” marbles : no reason other than desired game width was 42” and 15 holes using 10 ball channels was more than enough.

The outline of the holes on the bottom panel help enormously with the placement of ½” x 1” reinforcing strips so as not to interfere with the clear path of pipes to the ball channels. These reinforcing strips secure the Spacers (the top panel does not do this). These strips are placed horizontally approx.. every 6”, ending at the 60” mark in front to accommodate a plastic viewing pane in the last 10”. After the Spacers are in place, the Ball Channel Box top panel can be put in place and secured with just a few screws.

An 8” Ball Release Box was attached just below the end of the Ball Channel Box to catch the marbles when they are released from the ball channels by the Ball Release (hinged board with the black knob).

Step 2:

Picture # 1

Close-up of the Ball Box and the hinged BallRelease. The 10” section between the hinges and the 1st horizontal reinforcing strip is reserved for the plastic Viewing panel.

Picture # 2

The Ball Release opened … The ball holes are cut out of a 3+ ½” 2x4 and doubles as framing.

The Ball Release Board is ¾” Thick and 3” wide, and three ½” plywood squares were sized to fit into the ball channel ball holes and attached to the board … this is needed, otherwise the 1st ball in any ball channel could not be seen through the plastic viewing panel … these squares push the balls back into the plastic Viewer section.

When the Ball Release board is opened, the balls roll out into attached 8” Ball Release Box which sits ¾” below the ball channels (because they are attached to the bottom of the Ball Channel Box bottom panel which is ¾” Thick).

Step 3:

Picture # 1

The 5th and 6th Ball Channels (going from left to right) :

These 2 ball holes are the hardest to get balls into when playing. They sit at the top of the game and their ball holes are intentionally centered between the 5th and 6th ball channels …

Solution : these balls drop into the 5th and 6th ball channels at the top of the Ball Channel Box … and then they are immediately diverted to the 6th ball channel which is dedicated to these two ball holes …

This allows the ball holes directed into the 5th ball channel lower down to use the 5th ball channel as their own.

Picture # 2

The Top Panel to the Ball Channel Box (shown below) is 42” Wide x 60” Long x ½” Thick … this will expose 10” at the bottom (in front) of the ball channels for the Viewer since the Ball Channel Box itself is 70” long.

Note that the Ball channels are also outlined on this panel to assure that the ball holes will line up with the ball channels.

As explained above, the Playing Field panel is temporarily laid on top of the Ball Channel Box bottom and top panels, and its ball holes are outlined … on bottom panel to validate location of ball holes … on top panel as a guide as to where to drill the holes.

CAUTION : CUTTING THE HOLES IN THE BALL CHANNEL BOX TOP PANEL :

The hole sizes on the Ball Channel Box top panel are smaller than those of all the other panels, as follows :

with the Playing Field holes now outlined on the Ball Channel Box top panel, only the related pipe inner diameter dimensions are then outlined and cut … similar size Hole Saws are used.

This is done so that when the pipes come down through the larger outer pipe dimensions of both the Playing Field and Lever Box panel, they will stop and sit on the top of the Ball Channel Box top panel’s inner pipe dimension holes without falling into the ball channels below.

The Ball Channel Box top panel actually doubles as a pipe stop and pipe support panel.

The Ball Channel Box top panel is then secured to the Ball Channel Box. The Ball Channel Box is now basically finished.

Step 4: S E C T I O N # 2 : THE LEVER BOX

60” L x 42” W x 3+ ½” High x ½” Thick Base x ½” Top

The Lever Box (shown upside down here) contains the mechanics for the ball levers, and sits in a 3+ ½” 2x4 frame with a ½” bottom panel (shown on next page). The Lever Box protects the levers, and also allows the Playing Field’s pipes to pass through to the top of the Ball Channel Box below it.

The top panel of the Lever Box (shown upside down here) is actually the Playing Field panel.

Before securing it to the Lever Box frame, use the Playing Field panel to outline the holes on the Lever Box bottom panel (shown on next page) which will enclose the Lever Box (and sit on the top panel of the Ball Channel Box).

Suggestion : decide where you would like to place the Ball Levers before cutting the ball holes in the Playing Field top panel so that the pipes in the Ball Lever Box do not interfere with the Ball Levers.

This is a picture of the Lever Box which is upside down here. The Playing Field panel is currently the panel on the bottom, which has the ball pipes inserted and protruding into the Lever Box + another ½” through the bottom Lever Box panel which will be put on next.

Step 5:

Picture # 1

THE BALL LEVER BOX BOTTOM PANEL :

Shown upside down, this is the Lever Box bottom panel …

The Playing Field panel, already cut for its pipe holes, is laid on top of the Lever Box bottom panel, and the related pipe outer circle dimensions are outlined and cut.

The ball pipes will pass through these holes and stop when they meet the smaller holes of the Ball Channel Box top panel (which this Lever Box panel will sit on).

The red pipes control the ball levers for the Playing Field.

When the levers are eventually connected to those of the Playing Field, the bottom panel can be secured at that time

Picture # 2

Shown upside down, this is the ball pipe channel at the beginning of the Playing Field and just behind the 2 main ball levers, that will return balls back into the Ball Release Box that did not fall into a pipe with points on the playing field.

Picture # 3

Shown upside down, these are the 2 main levers (in the closed position ) that control the ball levers on the Playing Field.

Picture # 4

Shown upside down, these are the 2 main levers (in the open or active position ) that control the ball levers on the Playing Field.

Step 6:

Securing the top and bottom levers to function was a real task … 1 bolt goes through the top ball lever on the Playing Field, through the Playing Field panel, and through the bottom ball lever.

Technically, the bolt goes through a lock washer, through the top ball lever, into a lock washer with a lock bolt recessed into the bottom of the top lever, through a smoothe washer to facilitate movement, then through the Playing Field panel, through a smoothe washer to facilitate movement, then through a lock nut and lock washer both recessed into the lower lever arm (and this must be set as close to the bottom of the Playing Field panel in order to make the levers somewhat rigid but flexible), through the lower ball lever, then through another lock washer and a lock nut.

Chaotic, but needed to make both the top lever and bottom lever rigid yet flexible to move when the lever pole is pushed.

Even so, both levers loosened and were not coordinated, so a smaller bolt was placed alongside the larger bole, through the Playing Field panel, and anchored to the bottom lever … this pretty much did the job after an arched cut was made in the Playing Field panel to allow the ball lever to move freely with 2 bolts in it. …

I wish both levers were made of a stronger material like metal.

The Lever Pole is bolted to the bottom lever (which is a little longer than the top lever to accommodate the Lever Pole) and is loose to allow easy movement. A spring is attached to the bottom lever and connected to the frame, which pulls the lever back to a closed position (bottom left picture) when not in use.

Picture # 1

Ball levers on the Playing Field panel.

Picture # 2

Its complementary ball levers on the bottom side of the Playing Field panel.

Picture # 3

View of the Left top lever's small bolt hole cut in the Playing Field to allow ball lever to move with not 1 but 2 bolts ... this is done for both levers to allow lever movement.

Step 7:

Pictures 1 & 2

The 2 levers in the front part of the Playing Field are the most active. Shown here are these 2 levers, initially with strings and springs … this was later scrapped in favor of extended bottom levers to which the lever poles were directly attached.

Pictures 3 & 4

The 2 levers toward the back of the Playing Field required a little more ingenuity as they were over 4’ in and had pipe obstacles in the way.

Step 8: S E C T I O N # 3 : THE PLAYING FIELD

60” L x 42” W x ¾” Thick … just this top panel

The Playing Field is a ¾” panel on which the placement of all the pipe holes is determined.

The Ball Channel Box ball channels are outlined on the Playing Field, and guide in the centering of the holes over the channels.

Placement of the holes on the Playing Field is an important decision … it should not be random.

The related pipe holes in the Ball Lever Box and Ball Channel Box top panel is based on this layout.

The ball holes should be coordinated with the placement of the Levers in the Ball Lever Box in order that the pipes do not interfere with the free movement of the Ball Levers. Then, strategically place the holes on the Playing Field within the ball channels.

2 sizes of pipes were used : 1+ ½” and 2” … holes for the Pipe Connectors for these dimensions, which are a tad bit larger, are what is cut and strategically placed throughout the Top Panel where desired.

The standard names of the 2” and 1+½” pipe sizes are the inner dimensions of these pipes.

2+¼” and 1+⅞” is their outer dimensions, respectively.

2+⅞” and 2+¼” is the outer dimensions of their respective Pipe Connectors which the pipes fit into … the same size as the hole saws

The outside dimensions of the Pipe Connectors are what is cut in the Top Panel, since the connectors have a nicer appearance as well as having a little nipple providing a tighter fit into the holes than the actual pipes themselves.

The pipes then fit snugly into these Pipe Connectors.

These same size holes are cut on the Lever Box bottom panels as well, but as previously discussed, not on the Ball Channel Box top panel where the inner dimensions of the actual pipes are what is cut in order for the pipes to stop and sit on top of this panel.

When all the panels for the Pin Ball are connected, the pipes, after being precisely measured, are fitted to the Pipe Connectors which are placed through the Playing Field panel, thru the Lever Box and its bottom panel, and sit on the Ball Channel Box top panel.

This is the finished version of the Pin Ball … the
top layer is the Playing Field which is not the focus.

Note the secondary Top Panel in the distance (explained later).

Step 9:

The Playing Field panel was outlined for ball channel dimensions, then holes were strategically placed, the outside dimensions of their pipe connectors (not the pipes) were outlined, and the holes cut.

Here is the Playing Field panel with the pipe connectors and pipes installed, and laying on top of the Lever Box.

The Playing Field panel is first secured to the top of the Lever Box, then the top levers are connected to the bottom levers … during this process the bottom panel of the Lever Box was not yet installed, thus allowing the set-up of the mechanics of the Lever Box.

A 1+ ½” x 1+ ½” border was placed around the perimeter of the Top Panel.

After the Levers are all connected, the Lever Box bottom panel can then be secured.

The Lever Box should be placed on top of the Ball Channel Box and the free-flow of balls thru the pipes into the ball channels tested.

Various bumpers were installed … angled wood pieces on the sides, and pins with large colored rubber bands around them to bounce the balls, and a small ramp in the front middle.

Step 10:

Picture # 1 : Close-up of front levers in closed position.

Picture # 2 : Close-up of front levers in open position.

Picture # 3 : Close-up of back levers in closed position.

Picture # 4 : Close-up of back levers in open position.

Step 11:

Picture # 1

View of Playing Field with its obstacles.


Picture # 2

View of Playing Field with Ramp and Bridge Ramp.

Hard shots from the Cannon will wrap the ball around the arc at the top of the Playing Field and direct the ball onto the Bridge Ramp where it will roll into the pipe at the end by the tower.

Picture # 3

Another view of the Ramp and the Bridge Ramp.

Note, there is another pipe directly behind the red Ramp … this is a big value pipe as it is hard to get in.

Picture # 4

View of the Upper Playing Field … It is 37” Wide x 24” Long … 16” Long at the curved center.

This was put here for variety sake.

This is where the ball enters the Playing Field from the ball catapult (Cannon) (on the far right).

From here, it will bounce off obstacles, and fall onto the main Playing Field unless :

1) it runs down the Ball Bridge into the pipe, or

2) lands in the pipe surrounded by the red half-circle in the middle (another difficult shot).

The 2 pipe holes on either side of the ramp just drop the ball onto the main Playing Field.

There are 4 other pipe holes under the Upper Playing Field, with its own obstacles, and can be hit into this area with the upper levers.

Step 12:

Picture # 1

A closer view of the hardest pipe on the Playing Field … if a ball lands in this pipe, it falls straight down to the Ball Channel Box and does not re-enter the Playing Field.

The horseshoe barrier helps the ball to go into the pipe … it was installed because the force of the ball being shot by the Cannon oftentimes just ran over the top of the pipe … with great frustration from the kids … so I made it a little easier.


Picture # 2

Here the ball catapult can be seen … this is where the ball enters the Playing Field.

Depending on the length of the Cannon’s pull before its release will determine if the ball will wrap completely around the arc on the Playing Field’s upper panel, or fall somewhere in between.

Picture # 3

Here is a view of the Ramp … the front ball levers can sometimes hit the ball back up the ramp, but usually it is used to speed up a ball running down the ramp.

Rather than just one flat Playing Field, an upper panel was installed for variety. It also lined up with the ball catapult to provide a source of ball entry for it.

Picture # 4

View of Hippo and the ball catapult, Upper Playing Field, and main Playing Field.

Step 13: S E C T I O N # 4 : THE CANNON

Picture # 1

The Playing Field is framed with 1+1/2" W x 2" High wood borders to keep the balls from rolling off the table.

The basic Cannon is loaded onto the right of the Playing Field, and sits on top of the table border framing.

The Cannon is a spring loaded 2” dowel catapult which will shoot the marbles up and into the Playing Field.

The farther the Cannon is pulled back and released, the farther and faster the balls will be shot.

Why so big ? … Big things come in Big packages !!! … it looks and is powerful for the kids (and me too) !

Picture # 2

The Catapult itself is 60” L x 5+1/4” W … with the Cannon portion 5” W x 5” H x 27” L

The Catapult is constructed of plywood 3/4" Thick x 5+1/4" W x 60" Long, with a 2 High x1+1/2" Wide wood strip on both its left and right, mounted onto the plywood, to effect a 2+1/4" catapult run for the marbles.

This runs flush with the upper Top Panel (which is also 3/4" Thick and sits on the table border framing). Therefore, the marbles will have a smoothe run up the Catapult and onto the Upper Playing Field panel.

Picture # 3

This is the entrance point of the balls onto the Upper Playing Field panel ... Note the right side of the Catapult border frame meets the curved border of the Upper Playing Field panel (discussed earlier), and the left side of the Catapult border frame is tapered shorter to allow the balls to leave the catapult.

Step 14:

Picture # 1

Called the Cannon, it needs to ride on rails so it can easily slide back and forth with the springs.

Here a 36” steel open-box channel was cut into 2 18” pieces and routed into the framing sides of the ball catapult mechanism.

4 open ball bearings were screwed loosely into a 24” dowel measuring 2” in diameter.

Picture # 2

The frame was temporarily closed up to test the sliding ability of the dowel. The ball catapult will measure 5” Wide x 60” Long when done.

Picture # 3

2 Springs were attached to both the frame and the dowel. Slight tension is used to return the dowel to this closed position.

Picture # 4

This is the dowel in its open position.

It rides well with the ball bearings in the steel channel.

If it did not, I was ready to get a longer dowel and longer channels, but the current set-up proved satisfactory … any stronger or longer spring interaction and the balls could do some real damage.

Step 15:

Picture # 1

This is the Trigger mechanism with a structure for the Hippo to sit on … and covers a portion of the Cannon dowel and spring action.

Picture # 2

This is the Trigger mechanism with a structure for the Hippo to sit on …


Picture # 3

This is the entire catapult mechanism called the ‘Cannon’ upon which the Hippo sits … it is 5” wide runs 60” in length, the entire length of the Playing Field. Note the spring system and the ball bearing channels are now hidden for safety.

Step 16: S E C T I O N # 5 : THE HIPPO

14” L x 6” W x 10+ ½H

The Hippo is structured to load the balls into the Cannon.

Feed the Hippo by putting a ball in its mouth … the Hippo immediately ‘poops’ the ball out onto the catapult.

When the ball rolls back to the Cannon, it is ready to be fired. By pulling back on and releasing the Cannon, the ball is shot along the catapult and onto the Playing Field … definitely fun for the kids … (and the adults).

This is a side view. (Hippo was traced from a cartoon picture, then hand painted)

Step 17:

Picture # 1

Here is the hippo’s mouth …

Picture # 2

A ball is fed to the Hippo … it slides down its throat (a ramp that is at a little steeper angle than the entire Pin Ball table) …

Picture # 3

The Hippo ‘poops’ the ball onto the ball catapult …

Picture # 4

Here is the Hippo sitting on top of the finished Cannon trigger mechanism. It is enclosed to prevent injury, but easily accessible for spring or ball-bearing replacement, or simple maintenance.

Step 18:

The Hippo is mounted onto the Cannon.

Step 19: S E C T I O N # 6 : THE BALL RELEASE BOX

The Ball Release allows the balls to be released from the Ball Channel Box so another game of Pin Ball can be played.

Picture # 1

After all the balls in a game have been played, they appear in the Viewer section of the Ball Box, which extends 10” past the Playing Field. The points of the various balls in the ball channels are counted. Then the balls need to be released for the next game.

A ¾ “ Thick x 3” Wide board called the Ball Release Board sits at the end of the Ball Channel Box in the closed position, thus preventing any balls from exiting the Ball Channel Box. .

Picture # 2

When the Ball Release Board is raised, the balls roll out into the Ball Release Box.

Note : Three ½” plywood squares were sized to fit into the ball channel ball holes and attached to the board …

this is needed, otherwise the 1st ball in any ball channel could not be seen through the plastic viewing panel … these squares push the balls back into the plastic Viewer section.

Step 20:

Picture # 1

Hinged to the bottom of the Ball Channel Box, the Ball Release Board is spring loaded Closed at all times, until manually open by raising the black knob in the middle of the board.

Note the blue wedges in the ball channels … this guides the balls to the center of the channel so they can run out easier. Actually, they need to be longer, as balls tend to bunch up above the blue wedges.

Note the no-point ball hole where balls not scoring simply roll out of the Playing Field, over the Viewer, and directly into the Ball Release Box, thus avoiding registering any value in the Ball Channel Box.

Picture # 2

Here is a view of the Ball Release Board in the Open position … a cutout in the Ball Release Box Frame extension is wide enough to allow the spring to maneuver from the Closed to the Open position.

Picture # 3

Here is a view of the Spring mechanism, which is on both sides of the Ball Release Board, and anchored into the Frame cutout.

Step 21:

The Balls :

(1+ ½” glass Marbles purchased thru Etsy.com … search for Marbles Large)

The Glass is pretty strong, and does not appear to break, even after repeated use ... they are standard marbles !

Step 22: S E C T I O N # 7 : THE FRAME

Here is a view of the finished Pin Ball game.

Note the Ball Channel Box extends 10” beyond the Lever Box and the Playing Field, thus allowing the ball channels to be viewed for any balls in them, at which time their values can be manually added to determine each game score.

Note the Ball Release Box, which was nicely added at the end of construction, extends 8” beyond the Ball Channel Box. It tends to accent the overall frame nicely.

Pay attention to the 2 vertical Frame 2x4’s … 2 more on the other side, this is all that secures the Ball Channel Box, Lever Box, Playing Field, and ball catapult … with just a few screws.

For the main support, all this rests on the bottom frame which is only elevated 3° for this game.

(5+½° to 6+ ½° is the standard height range for traditional Pin Ball machines, but this proved to dramatic for this size game where the balls kept coming way too fast … after several very easy lowerings, 3° was found to be just right).

The overall height of the game was pre-determined for use with 5” casters.

Bottom support Frame dimensions is 42” Wide x 27” Tall in front and 34” Tall in back.

Step 23:

Picture # 1

View of the basic frame … at this point the Frame is the same Height dimensions front and back.

Picture # 2

With the vertical 2x4’s supporting the entire game with just a few screws, the riser supports under the game are used to raise it to 3° … conversely, the screws can easily be removed to raise or lower the game elevation risers for a different degree setting, if needed

Picture # 3

Here are the supports that raise the game … very simple and easy to replace.

With the front of the game resting on the basic Frame, three 3° riser boards are put in place to set the rise of the entire game.

Picture # 4

Actually the 2 riser boards on the back ends do all the work … the double riser board in the middle only serve as an anti-buckling/warping prevention.

Another set of 3 is measured and placed midway AFTER the back 3 are set … again these really serve as an anti-buckling/warping prevention.

Re-elevating the game anytime is made easy by simple replacement of these riser boards.

Step 24: S E C T I O N # 7 : THE FINISH

Picture # 1

From This ...

Picture # 2

To This ...

ITS TIME TO FEED THE HIPPO !

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