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Rotisserie for Black Hole Pinball

My black hole pinball machine worked and was in decent shape, but I had driven a long way to get it (HERE), my kids loved it, and it wasn’t leaving the collection anytime soon. Black Hole is a great game and worthy of a little extra TLC, so the damaged cabinet would get restored and possibly a re-stencil. Since the playfields would be out, I thought it would be fun to get them professionally restored as well. HSA pinball had done an amazing job on a previous Black Hole pin restoration and I had no doubt that my project would turn out just as good. Of course I’d have to strip the playfields first, and that was a nightmare, but I’ll save the story of that agony for another time.

black hole playfield

It didn’t take long before I had a beautiful set of restored Black Hole pinball playfields. You can check out the before and after photos at HSA pinball’s site HERE. Having those beautiful playfields done meant it was time to put the machine back together.

While taking parts off the playfield wasn’t fun, I imagine that putting them back on will be even less fun. I didn’t want to damage the newly restored finish and would need to be very careful. The BH cabinet wasn’t ready yet, and it was too cold outside to work, so I’d have to assemble the PF inside. I was going to need a rotisserie. I had made one before (HERE), but it was clunky and I didn’t like the way it worked. I needed something I could easily move around and would support the playfield for as long as necessary. I also wanted it to be adjustable to accommodate the two playfield sizes. This is what I came up with.

pinball rotisserie

I lost a bunch of photos I took during the construction phase, but a few of the key features are the adjustable mounting arms, the multi-position cradle and the height. The adjustable arms slide back and forth in a dado cut into the side rails. They are slightly narrower that the width and stay in place with just friction. The cradle can fully rotate or can be fixed at 7 different positions, depending on what is being installed or worked on. The height at the center of the lazy susan hardware is approximately 38″, this makes it easy on the back if standing but will also work if sitting on a chair or stool.

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The whole rotisserie is mounted on casters, two fixed and two swivel, to make it easy to roll around. There is space on the bottom to hold parts containers or tools. I couldn’t finish the birch plywood, but I routed the edges and used some extra arcade game t-molding to clean up the design and keep the splinters out of my hands. I went back and forth about how to hold the playfield to the adjustable mounting arms, but in the end decided plain old clamps would do the job just fine. So far it works great and I’m looking forward to getting my black hole reassembled.

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