Introduction: Star Wars Penny Pusher

About: Have built several Home Made arcade machine - virtual pinball, camel racing, coin pusher, skeeball, prize machines, Star Wars penny pusher and a replica Bells Cascade machine. In coming months I will be plann…

This is my instructions on how I build my home made Star Wars themed Penny Pusher. This game began construction with the intention of been themed like the inside of the tomb from Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark. However none of the kids born after 2000 in our circle of friends knew who Indiana Jones was, so the theme was changed to Star Wars. Some photos will show red\brown colouring before the change to Star Wars was made.

See the finished build on Youtube


Motor & Housing
12V DC 12RPM High Torque Worm Drive Motor
Universal Mounting Hub for 5mm shaft
Various washers for Motor\Drive
Kitchen Cabinet Jointing Screw M4
4 x fixing brackets

2 x 600mm x 600mm x 12mm MDF (base and playfield)
12mm MDF for sides
Miscellaneous 12mm MDF (60mm, 100mm & 110mm widths)
6mm MDF (for infills around playfield and for top)
44mm x 30mm timber for frame and cover. Pieces used were scrap pieces so total used not known

1200mm x 600mm x 2mm Clear Acrylic\Perspex Sheet (for cover, prize door and back board)
Pack of 2 A4 Flexible mirror sheets (for areas above playfield and for bottom of prize collection)
600mm x 600mm x 1mm stainless steel sheet (for playfield)
250mm length of 22mm x 22mm L-shaped steel (for lip at front of playfield)
2 Black Metal Handles (one for each side to carry\lift game)
2 hinges for prize door
Various screws for screwing frame and various bolts
PVA Wood Glue
Panel pins for back board
Tie Fighter toy and X-Wing toy for decoration (inside game)
Plasti-Kote Black Spray Paint - for sides. Tougher durable paint.
Cabinet lock for cover\lid

4 way power supply
5m 0.75mm weather resistant cable (rubber on outside helps protect from bangs and bumps)
LED lights (2 lengths, on above back board and one under front cover of game)
12V line driver for LEDs

Photo Paper (Glossy) for printing decals
Black Matt Paint
Black Gloss Paint
White Gloss Paint
Permanent Markers (for detailing Storm Trooper and R2D2 on sides)

Step 1: Motor

A couple of washers (that came with shipping restraints for washing machine) were used to connect an offset spindle(bolt) to the centre of the motor. Two washers were used to provide rigidity to the Universal Mounting Hub. These were all bolted together and Mounting Hub fitted to motor spindle.

The offset spindle is the mechanism that will force the penny pusher board back and forth.

Step 2: Motor Housing

I created a motor housing (glued and screwed) that would fit underneath the main playfield. This housing held the motor in place with brackets

The last three photos show this housing fitted to an old piece of MDF to test this pushes (pink) playfield back and forth between two pieces of 44x30mm timber. As the motor turns. the offset spindle slides back and forth across the groove in the playfield forcing it back and forth.

During testing the thread on the offset spindle caused the bolt to unthread (when motor went clockwise) and the bolt to cut into the MDF (when motor went anticlockwise). This bolt was replaced with Inter Connect used in kitchen cabinets as this was smooth and gave no issues.

Step 3: Dimensions and Base Board

The dimensions where key pieces were to be joined were marked out on the base board. Dimensions on the board are shown in mm.

Step 4: Frame

MDF pieces around the prize area were glued into place. The height of the MDF (left and right) is 100mm high. The pieces towards the middle are 60mm high and the piece glued to the back of them is 110mm high.

The pieces for the main frame are 44mm x 30mm. The 4th picture shows supports (44x30mm) that go across so main playfield can be screwed to that. Two 12mm spacers were used so bottom of playfield is 112mm above base.

Step 5: Playfield

Same dimensions from base unit were transferred to the playfield (see first two photos above). Holes were cut out in playfield for where the coins will not return to player. Third picture shows underside of playfield with wood glued in place to ensure something to screw into form above as I do not want to screw into MDF only.

Further pictures show the 1mm stainless glue and screwed to playfield. Same dimension marked on 1st photo were copied onto stainless steel using masking tape to show pencil marks.

Holes in stainless steel were made by cutting with Stanley knife as metal is thin enough to cut with new blade. Flaps of steel were folded down into MDF hole to keep this in place.

An 22mm L-shaped lip (250mm long) was fitted at front of the playfield (two coin depths down from the playfield). This is copied from the design of the machines in the arcade as not all coins fall and gives the illusion more coins ready to fall than there actually is.

Step 6: Fitting Motor Housing

44mm x 30mm pieces were then fitted over playfield (see first picture above) and 12mm MDF cut to fit between them. The angled pieces had 4mm notched routed to allow coins to slid under and into hole.

The rear of the gap had pieces of 1mm stainless steel added to allow this to be level under the sliding plate and to reduce rubbing. In hindsight this would have been better to have been one solid piece.

The sliding base had two grooves cut to avoid the nuts from the motor mounting and a grove was routed for the offset rod (copying test setup). Two pieces of 12mm MDF were then glued to this sliding piece and 1mm stainless steel glued to that to form the upper playfield.

The Connecting barrel was finally joined to the motor offset hole. Later on in the build stainless steel piece was fitted over edge of slot to provide longer term protection to MDF.

Step 7: General Building

The backs of the machine were build using more 44mm x 30mm framing. 6mm MDF infills (pink in photos) were glued into place. 12mm MDF was glued to provide slope form sides down towards the prize area.

The inside of the machines was painted white. The sides were primed with white paint and painted with gloss paint on the inside panel, with black plati-kote on the rest of the sides.

Decals for the underside of the sides were printed to look like Star Wars lights. These decals were glued on.

The front of the sliding base was painted white and black magic market used to create oval shapes in the Star Wars style.

Step 8: Back Board

The back board was made from 12mm ply. This was painted with gloss white paint. A montage of Star War films was printed (on glossy photo paper) and glue to the board and sheet of Perspex placed over that; Perspex used here to stop coins scraping the photo background.

1mm holes were drilled into perspex and panel pins nailed (to stick 2mm proud). 2mm holes were drilled to bolt a second sheet of perspex over the panel pins using 2mm thick bolts as spacers.

Step 9: Coin Slot

Slots were routed into the brace bar. Perspex with countersunk holes was screwed to provide smooth entry for coins.

Step 10: Cladding

The sides cut so that they would overlap the game, including the cover.

Simple boxes were made from MDF to slide into the left and right areas so they are long enough to collect coins that fall from holes in playfield.

A piece of 44mm x 30mm was cut at an angle to provide a slope away from the prize door.

6mm MDF, for the front, was fitted for size and holes cut, using a jigsaw, for prize door flap and coin boxes. The prize door flap was measured so that the bottom would not allow door to open more than 90 degrees to stop little hands putting their hands up the prize door.

Step 11: Prize Door

The prize door was made from a piece of Perspex. Hinges were bolted to Perspex and screwed to underside above the flap.

A flexible mirror effect tile was glued over the bottom of the prize area.

Step 12: Lights

LED light strips were fitted above the backboard and over the prize area.

Step 13: Cover\Lid

The frame for the cover was made from 44mm x 30mm. Edges were routed for persex to fit in. Section was routed to fit cabinet lock so lid can be locked.

Step 14: Decals

Both sides were sketched in pencil to get an outline for the image. This was filled with white gloss paint. When dry, details were added using permanent markers.

The front of the machine had Star Wars logos printed on glossy photo paper and glued to the coin doors. A key hole was drilled into each coin door to give the illusion of a lock but to open this, insert key and pull to open :)

Step 15: Final Touches

Mirror effect tiles were cut to fit over the area just above the playfield. An X-Wing toy and an Tie Fighter toy were added for decoration inside the machine.

To see the machine in all it's glory, with lights switched on, see my YouTube video.

Thanks to everyone who reads this.