Front and back

I cut out the front and back of the box last night. I also cut the playfield to its proper length. Assembly time! Also, I’m reconsidering making the corner joints miter-locked, it may end up more permanent than I plan right now. Yeah probably not. The playfield is 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood and comes in 5×5 foot (cabinet style) sheets. I had them cut it down to 20 inches wide, which gave me two 20×60 inch pieces and one 19 3/4×60 inch piece. Guess which one I’m using first? Yup, the narrower one. And while technically all I have to replace is the front and back, I probably won’t as I’ll damage the sides when I assemble the box.

The Box

So things have been busy, but moving forward. I scored some scrap 1″ plywood, pretty nice stuff but damn heavy, from a dismantled shipping crate at work. I have two of these panels and they’ll comprise my first pinball box. The panels had tongue-in-groove ends that I worked around. My design is based on a slight incline (6% or something like that). The length of the table will be 40 inches, and the width 20. The back is 4.75″ taller than the front.

Here is my layout before I started cutting. blank_slate.jpg

And here I am with this great little saw and clamp guides, making a cut.cutting.jpg

And finally, here are the sides all cut out. You can barely see where I totally screwed up.


When I build the final box, I’ll probably do a nice locking miter joint on the edges, but this iteration will probably just be butt-jointed with screws.

Flipper Mechanism

I’m excited to have so much progress today. I finished the aluminum bushing I started last week, made a new Delrin one, and drilled and tapped holes in a 3/8″ steel rod to hook it all together. Combined with the flippers I 3D-printed previously, I have a full flipper mechanism!

Next up: mounting it in a box with my solenoid, and powering it up! I hope to have that much done to show off at MOHAI this Saturday.


I made two bushings last night, one from 1.25″ aluminum rod and one from 1″ Delrin rod. The Delrin bushing will sit directly under the flipper with the flange on top of the play surface, giving it a slight lift and a smooth surface to rotate on. Under the wood, the aluminum bushing will connect to the vertical rod that turns the flipper. I have some holes to drill and tap on that part still, but I made good progress.

Here is a picture of the aluminum rod in the lathe.. I forgot to take an in-progress picture, I had just used the cutoff tool to part the bushing.


The awesome guys at Fast Pinball invited me to tag along with them to Maker Day: Pinball Mechanics at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) on August 27th. I had to think about it as this is the same day as my local Think Big Festival that I have so far managed to be out of town and miss every year it’s been going.

Well, mark up another missed year. Sorry, Think Big, I’m going with Pinball this time.

Now let me get back to making some cool parts! (I’m heading down to my makerspace right now to make some new parts I designed last night on paper).

Bus Bars

As I’ve been going through the Fast Pinball hardware documentation, I’ve noticed there are a lot of ground connections all over the place. Since everything from the wall power to the multiple power supplies to the individual parts in the machine will have a common ground, I’m going to make some bus bars out of aluminum, with drilled and tapped holes that I can use to attach leads. I can distribute these to a few places inside the table to  make trips back to ground shorter where possible. I may do the same thing with the 48v power, which needs to be wired to each coil directly after the power supply’s fused output.