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Thread: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

  1. #1
    Blind Shooter SibSr's Avatar
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    Default Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    Like cars, Pachinkos have multiple manufacturers all working within a set of guidelines regarding certain aspects like frame size, shooting handle and finger rest location, general layout of the playfield, etc. But also like cars the manufacturers had a lot of leeway in designing their own machines to fit the guidelines. While they all look very similar, when it gets to the details of how parts fit on a certain machine compared to others, there is a lot of variation. If you work with vintage Pachinkos, sometimes what seems like a complete machine at purchase my be missing an important part like the track cover. The part that covers the top of the dual ball delivery tracks going to the payout dispenser. Being a separate part these are frequently missing from otherwise nice machines, and are required to play the machine, as balls will eventually jump on top of one another in this location and cause jams.

    dualballtrack.jpg

    3D replacements for this part have been showing up online, with several models covered these days which is great. But what if you don't want to spend $30+shipping to get one on your machine you only spent $25 at a garage sale? And if you have an obscure model, there may not be a 3D replacement available.

    Here is a $2 + 2 hours + wood glue solution for you. I use a hobby shop razor saw and miter box now to get better cuts, but the first one I just used a set of nippers to make cuts.

    santoolsandmaterials.jpg

    This was my first attempt at making one, as I didn't know where to get a replacement. Its a little clunky compared to the latest version.
    sanyotrackcover.jpg
    side view sanyosideview.jpg leading end leadingedgetop.jpg latching endlatchendshow.jpg in place latchendinplace.jpg


    Next Post - version 2
    Last edited by SibSr; 05-13-2022 at 10:49 AM.

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  3. #2
    Blind Shooter SibSr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    The first version fit a Sanyo machine.

    Version 2 was for a Sankyo machine

    The track covers are essentially 2 flat parallel surfaces I'm calling "decks" connected with a small spacer to raise one surface above the other.
    Here are two popsicle stick "planks" for the "lower deck" showing how well they fit in the ball paths.
    sanlowerdeckplanks.jpg


    Once the front attachment point is determined, the length to the step up point is the next important measurement. the curved ends of the sticks have been cut off here for that.
    Then the cross braces are added. They touch the backboard in the back and are long enough to span across to the front edge of the ball track assembly. This holds the track cover above the balls slightly.
    All assembly is done with Elmer's Carpenters Wood Glue. Same consistency as regular Elmer's but is yellow in color, dries in 15 minutes and is very strong once cured.
    sanlowerdeckassembly.jpg

    The "rear deck" required planks to be widened on the lead edge to latch properly.

    sanreardeckaddedd.jpg

    An additional layer of stick was added between the lower deck cross brace and upper deck planks to get the right height difference.
    the white object is pointing at the important step-up point where alterations may be needed if lower deck planks were cut too long.

    sanassembledsideview.jpg Installed you can see that spot is where the balls drop down from the upper to lower "deck" sanheelareacloseup.jpg

    Not pretty but functional saninplacetopview.jpg This latching setup required something that extended from the cover into an opening to hold it in place.
    sanfrontlatchcloseup.jpg

    So with some scrap plastic and stick pieces I made a retractable latch that I superglued into place.
    After playing the machine I found that I need a small screw as a stop to keep the latch from vibrating out of the socket.
    sanlatchscrew.jpg
    Last edited by SibSr; 05-13-2022 at 02:27 PM.

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  5. #3
    Blind Shooter SibSr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    Version 3 was done recently and is a little better looking.
    This one was made for an older Maruhon machine I just finished

    Measuring upper and lower deck planks upperdeckstart.jpg lowerdeckback.jpg and cutting (after measuring a second time of course) lowerplanksaftercut2.jpg

    Measuring cross brace size trackwidth.jpg lower deck with cross braces lowerdeckhighview.jpg and upper deck test fit upperdecktestfit.jpg


    Lower and upper decks joined with wood glue glueuppertolower.jpg with the A/C running in a small room, this glue dries almost before you can get the next pieces cut to size.

    side view finishedsideview.jpg and in place with front lug for latching, and extra bracing at mid point inplacesideview.jpg

    There are some machines that have longer than average track covers and perhaps popsicle sticks would not work, but there is also plastic that could be used as a substitute for them.

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    Blind Shooter SibSr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    The 3rd track cover was made for this old Maruhon machine that had been hanging on the wall of a barn in Oklahoma.
    Not only was the track cover missing, but to make it hang right they removed the upper tray also.

    originalfront.jpg toprear.jpg


    The front has been finished...pics to follow. The back will be done soon now that I found a plastic container recently to use as a replacement for the tray.

    That is the next DYI thread on my list. Repairing damaged trays..... and now a way to deal with no tray at all.

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  9. #5
    Blind Shooter Ahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    Great job!

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    Fever Hunter sparky kilowatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    MacGyver would be proud! Seriously, A+ for creativity and function.

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    Pachi Puro Moparformances's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    i started with aluminum, cut with a Dremel and bent to shape..

    now i use plexi, cut with a Dremel and heated with a small torch to bend into shape

    the one thing that is important.. get a cover that works.. does not matter how ya get there

    nice work..
    Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, .......... /........ If your not going to stand behind our troops
    ...committed people can change the world. ............. /.................Please, Please stand in front of them
    .....Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has............./
    .........................................Margaret Mead

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  14. #8
    Stuey - The RADministrator MrGneiss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    That's pretty Rad!!

    "Blowing smoke rings at the moon."

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    I was thrown out of Top Gear Drunkenclam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    Did you buy the stick seperately. Or are you forced to eat the lolly?
    Ian #UKPachinko

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  17. #10
    Blind Shooter SibSr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    Quote Originally Posted by Drunkenclam View Post
    Did you buy the stick seperately. Or are you forced to eat the lolly?
    Actually I have a whole bundle of them I bought 20+ years ago for working on a model train layout. Don't even remember where they came from, but you can buy the sticks on Amazon of course!

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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    I recently obtained a 3D printer and printed my first usable pachinko part on Friday. Perhaps I'll be moving on from popsicle sticks soon!

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  20. #12
    Blind Shooter SibSr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popsicle Stick Track Covers

    I recently obtained a 3D printer and printed my first usable pachinko part on Friday. Perhaps I'll be moving on from popsicle sticks soon!<br>

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