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Maintenance Sportsman (O.D. Jennings, 1934) payout pinball-- wanna see real flipperless pinball game restoration?


Pinball Player
Hello everybody...

My Yahoo! group is going to be demonstrating the complete restoration of
my original Sportsman payout pinball game as a blog! You will be able to watch me take my pinball game from 'as I got it' condition to restored and playing, step by step! Complete with pictures!

I will be tackling actual woodworking, metalworking, and electrical problems on this game as I find them!

If you're interested, you can join us at prewarpinball@yahoogroups.com,
the group for those who collect, restore, or just enjoy preWWII pinball games.

Prewar Pinball Yahoo! Group


PN co-founder
So Ken, will this be your first restoration, or have you done other machines in the past. Will you basically be simply giving it a good cleaning. or will you need to replace any parts. And how do you go about finding or fabricating parts for a machine that's probably 60 years old. And aren't you nervous about doing it, besides the excitement, of course.



Pinball Player
It is my first restoration of a 'flipperless' pinball, but I have worked on a few EM games before. My Sportsman needs not only a 'bath', but it has lotsa electrical problems, some of the wood is cracked, the legs and aluminum brackets are damaged a bit, the coin mechanism sticks and payout doesn't work, there are broken mechanical parts, basically, it's good looking, but that's all it is. It's been a 'statue' since I got it in 1991.

Parts for this machine are made of cubic 'unobtainium' - I couldn't afford them even if I could find them, so I will be doing as much actual repairs as possible. It's true that cleaning is going to be stressed too, I'm sure that many who are seeing this have never done anything like this before, and it's a good way to learn before you do it yourself.

Am I nervous? Not really. If I was nervous, I wouldn't have the guts to do it. So I will try not to think about it.

Besides, I have a confession to make - I have 24 years of experience in electronics, ranging from repairing radar/radio transmitters in the Navy in the early '80's to working in electronics plants either making printed circuit boards in one plant to repairing SMT circuit boards in another plant.

I am a machinist now because I have a son here in WI. My wife divorced me in '94 and I could have 'followed the money', but I wanted to see him grow up. There is no call at all around here for my specialty, but machinists are always working around here. So, I put myself through CNC machinist school at the local 'tech school'. As for the woodworking, one of my other hobbies is restoring antique (1930's) radios, and all the 'cool' ones have trashed cabinets for some reason.