Pegboard Pinball

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About: Hi! I'm Isaac Santos. I'm a 13 year old maker and entrepreneur who can't keep my hands still. I aspire to show all other young people out there that you can be a great maker, no matter how old you are.

(I really have to do something about my obsession with pegboards).

A while ago I posted an instructable about The Boardrun, a marble run made with a DIY pegboard. Some of you may recall that I said that I sold them at a craft fair. One of the people running the program bought one for his son, and when he picked up his son from the same day camp I was attending that week he told me about how they were attempting to make a pinball machine. That made my maker lightbulb turn on.

Without further ado, I present unto you... Pegboard Pinball!

It has all of the features of the classic pinball machine: Functional flippers, a plunger, all of that classic stuff. The magic is in the pegboard. With the pegboard, you can move around obstacles and make the game harder for a grown man and easier for a young child. Kids can make, play, make, play all day, and it only took my Saturday to build.

Why are you still reading this? Start making it!

Supplies:

You'll need:

A WOODEN artist's painting board. They should have small "walls" lining the back of the painting area.

A drill.

A foam cutter.

A pencil.

A glue gun.

Cardboard.

Skewers, skinny and fat.

Spray paint (optional)

Rubber bands.

Teacher Notes

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Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Pegs

Cut out lots of equal-sized pegs from the fat skewers with the foam cutter you have. These will be used for obstacles, flippers and other things.

Step 2: Pegboard

Drill holes in the artist's board. My holes were 1 inch apart. MAKE SURE that the pegs poke into them tightly. Also, you can spray paint it to look fancier if you like, which is what I did.

Step 3: Flipper Holes

Do you see those 2 portals? That's where the flippers will be. Poke a skewer in them and move it around until you can spin a skewer in it with minimal friction so the flippers will be easy to use.

Step 4: Flippers

Cut out 2 teardrop-like shapes for the flippers, and poke a hole through them. Glue them on a skewer/peg about a third from the end. Position them in the specific holes we made earlier, like this.

Step 5: Mark, Measure, Drill

Mark about an inch downward from where the flippers are. Drill a hole on that line. Repeat on the other side to get two button holes.

Step 6: Mechanism

Make this shape with a small cut skewer and cardboard. Drill a hole in it for a fat skewer, which I have marked in one of the photos. You'll need two of these.

Step 7: Stabilizer

Not THOSE stabilizers! I can't afford those. All you have to do it stack three small pieces of cardboard, and drill a hole right through. Make four of these things.

Step 8: Setup

Remember the flippers? They should be in their holes in this step. Place those big mech thingies you made on them, and glue. then, use the stabilizers and place two at the holes you made, and the other two lined up with the first two and touching the mechs. Place some rubber bands on the stick in the mech thingies, and glue a stick to the stabilizers next to the mech. Hook the other end of the rubber bands there. Cut some skewers and put them in the holes and test them. If you did this right, the flippers should work fine.

Step 9: Chute

The chute is where the ball comes out. Build this shape next to the flippers, and glue a piece of cardboard down at the bottom.

Step 10: Launcher

Drill a hole at the bottom of the chute. Use a cut skewer piece and a piece of cardboard to make a launcher shape, and finish the walls of the chute. Now, drill a hole in the skewer from where you want it to pull down, and thread a rubber band through by using sewing thread. Use small skewers and glue them to the bottom of the chute with the rubber band attached.

Step 11: Basic Setup

Here's a simple design I made with rubber bands. If you have a small child using the machine, place a single peg between the flippers to make it harder to lose.

Step 12: Finished!

Give yourself a pat on the back! You finally did it! You can make different obstacles and special moving parts like this spinning straw one I made!

Thank you for reading this! This was a big project, so appreciation, comments, and votes in the contest are all taken in gratitude by me :D

That's it for me!

zakbobdop out.

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    6 Discussions

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    hyperfocused72

    6 weeks ago

    Wow! That is cool! Great kids project plus if you get bored with the layout you can always change things around. Good job.

    1 reply
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    ka3ros

    5 weeks ago

    Lovely idea. A cool, configurable and space saving pinball. I see no reason not to build it with the kids.

    1 reply