Cabinet Parts Guide

Getting all the parts for this project is half the battle. This guide shows what you'll need.

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Wednesday
Nov182009

Step 2 - Pinball Parts

The cabinet parts are taken from a real pinball machine. They help give you that authentic look and I believe are essential to a successful visual pinball cabinet.

Where to Buy?

All these parts are available through online pinball spare part operators. Google will have you finding one near to you in no time. www.pinballlife.com or www.bumper.com.au are two examples.

Lockdown Bar

The Lockdown bar sits at the front of the cabinet and is where your hands rest as you lean on the machine to play. It also helps "locks" the playfield glass in position on top of the cabinet when attached. Unless you make your own the width of the bar is a crucial important decision, check out this post regarding this.

The all important lockdown bar. This will define the width of your cabinet.

Desired Features

  • For my build a standard sized lockdown bar. (approx 22inch)

Other Options

  • Widebody sizes (approx 24-26inch) for larger cabinets to suit playfield of 40+ inches
  • Colour (Brushed chrome / Bronze / Black)
  • Various makes to suit Bally/Williams, Stern etc

Coin Door

The coin door give access to the front of the cabinet and you guessed it, allows a mechanism for you to add credits to the system. You can alternatively just use credit buttons but it's really a major part of the pinball "look" and thus an essential item in my book.

Bally / Williams coin door

Desired Features

  • Two coin slots for that classic look to match astandard sized cabinet.
  • Coin slots to match your country. (Mine holds US Quarters not Australian Dollars - oops).
  • Coin Mechanism (to accept the coins).

Other Options

  • Various makes and models.
  • Can change the coin slots.
  • Service buttons.

Side Rails

The side rails (like the lockdown bar) help hold in place the playfield glass that sits on top of the cabinet.  As most visual pinball cabinets are shorter in length than a real pinball machine you will end up shorterning (cutting) these to size. Searching for the exact fit for you cabinet is not going to be realisitic.

Side rails to hold the playfield glass in place.

Desired Features

  • Colour to match your choice of lockdown bar.

Other Options

  • Various shapes and models.

Plunger

While this is a visual pinball machine, you still need to simulate the experience of pulling a plunger and launching the ball. The plunger is the most common interface on pinball tables and is a good choice. With some simple wiring it can be hooked up to interface with the software, replicating a timed button press on the keyboard. (see youtube video)

You can wire a switch to a real plunger to give the software the impression of pulling back to launch the ball.

Desired Features

  • Colour to match your choice of lockdown bar.

Other Options

  • Various makes and models.
  • Wire up a toy gun for a shooter, or just a simple launch button.
  • Nanotech analogue plunger designed for visual pinball cabinets.

Pinball Legs

These Pinball Legs are quite common on this era of cabinet. Wooden posts were common on the older models, but for a modern cabinet these shiney chrome legs suit the need perfectly.

Chome leg with footing installed (right) shown.

Desired Features

  • 4 of these obviously.
  • Colour to match your choice of lockdown bar.
  • Foam protectors for mounting the leg to the cabinet.

Other Options

  • Bronze, Gold, Black legs
  • Can usually find the legs in packs of 4 with all necessary accessories for installation.

Pinball Leg Feet

Adjustable feet are used to change the tilt on real machines. They also are essential in the real "look" of a visual pinball cabinet and give you some control over the final playing angle.

These screw into the bottom of the Legs and are height adjustable.


Pinball Leg Brackets and Bolts

This essential item provides a durable backing for the pinball legs. It is essential to get these as they clamp the legs to the cabinet. As the legs the only interaction to the cabinet, the floor and people nudging the machine it's important you fasten the legs properlly, otherwise expect your cabinet to wear away fast!

Used to mount the legs to the cabinet from inside. Crucial for reducing wear and tear on your cab.


Playfield Glass Insert (Rear Moulding)

This plastic insert also known as the rear moulding is a tidy groove for the back of the playfield glass to sit into. As it is plastic it's not hard to cut so don't worry to much about getting a moulding that is too wide to fit your design.

This plastic guide runs along the back of the playfield to hold the glass in place.

Desired Features

  • Width to match your lockdown bar.
  • Suits 3/16 inch glass.
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