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Author Topic: Air Hockey Build  (Read 24805 times)

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ids

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Air Hockey Build
« on: May 18, 2010, 07:39:52 pm »
So... my mame cab is almost done, with no post about it - it's just a plane jane UAII, CP still a WIP, but here I go....

I got the bug to build an Air Hockey table.  After much googling and searching this forum, I'm rather empty handed at the  moment.  A lot of broken links, and not much to go on.  I just picked up what I am hoping is a decent blower - very similar to this this, but takes 115V (with related change in Amps).  Same mfr, same motor model #.  It's used, from a local "surplus" shop - runs fine.  Based on the specs of the similar device, guessing it's 350CFM.  I can't claim to know what is meant by the pressure in water thing.

This build is not a huge priority, and will probably take some time.  No overall design, not certain the hole size to use: 1/32, 1/16, etc.  Not sure how close together to place the holes.  Not sure how much pressure my blower can produce.  I have seen some things on the net w.r.t. hole size and spacing...it's all different.

At the moment, I'm thinking 8'x4' table, probably a bit less play area as the sides will probably overlap it a bit.  Maybe melamine or formica for the top play surface.  Yes, I know, at least 4000 holes to be drilled.  It's a fact I accepted before buying the blower.

Bottom line, this is a place-holder for building an air hockey table.  My hope is that others out there can contribute somehow.

I know I am submitting myself to an opinionated bunch, but there is also a lot of knowledge out there.  I'll post progress as it happens, and I hope help comes in before costly (time or money) mistakes.

Thanks all, in advance

thatpurplestuff

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010, 12:36:45 am »
I've got a roughly 7.5' long air hockey table that I bought from Costco about 4 years ago.  It was only about $250 so it is definitely on the low end of the spectrum in terms of quality, but if I can be of any help in terms of measurements or anything just let me know.  One random quirk about my table that is a HUGE drawback is that the 2 blowers are only strong enough to keep the smaller 2.5" pucks afloat.  I didn't think that it would be an issue, but smaller pucks tend to get airborn MUCH more frequently than the larger pucks.  The problem is bad enough to where we try to only play with triangle shaped pucks because they are the only ones that stay on the table for any length of time.

If I were you the one thing I would make sure of is that your blower is powerful enough to keep the bigger pucks afloat.  I'm attaching a picture of one of the two blowers on my machine, so it may give you an idea as to how much power you'll need.  Anyway, seems like a big undertaking but I'm curious to see how this goes.  Good luck!

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 10:43:02 am »
Thanks.

From my research, that type of blower is used on lower end models, and just doesn't have enough power.

The one I picked up is the squirrel cage type:


Since I got it so cheap, I'm thinking if it doesn't have enough power, I'll just have to pony up and get a good one ($300+).

Current plan:
  • get over to an "arcade" with a real commercial machine, measure hole size and distance between.
  • use formica for the top, glued to ply/mdf maybe 3/4"

Apart from all the holes, I think this will be an "easy" build - it's just a box after all.

javeryh

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 10:52:44 am »
Sounds challenging to me - how will you get the airflow to be even across the entire table?  I'll be following this build - I'm really interested.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2010, 11:30:41 am »
My hope is that the blower will be able to fill the "plenum" and thereby provide even airflow everywhere.  Seems to me like there is a balancing act; the blower is low pressure but high volume (~350cfm), need to make sure holes are not so big that all the pressure escapes from just a few, and not so small so as to defeat the blowers abilities to build pressure, etc.  I'm no physics major, so my plan is to leverage specs from commercial machines.

One thought, which comes from something I saw...somewhere... ensure holes directly above blower don't get too much flow:


And thanks to a member here, I got this Popular Mechanics link, fwiw

And fyi, the blower I have is surprisingly quiet - noise was something I was afraid of earlier, with thoughts of using something like a shopvac for airflow.

TheGameFan

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2010, 12:43:49 pm »
Maybe try smaller holes near the blower and larger holes farther away?
In the works: Full sized Capcom fighter cab, QBert Mini Bartop, Bartop JAMMA / MVS1, Centipede Cocktail restoration

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2010, 01:52:40 pm »
Edit: Puck is actually 3-1/4", making this mostly irrelevant.  There will be at least 8 holes under the puck.

That's an interesting idea.  Without any physics, tho, I'm scared.  It's an awful lot of holes - not easy to try something, then start again if it doesn't work out well.  I suppose I could start small, then expand.  It's a different challenge to shrink a hole once drilled.  Perhaps start small, and if some areas need more lift, either direct air underneath, or up-size the hole.

Playing with the idea of a 3" puck, 1/16" holes at 1" spacing, I came up with the following.

Worst case scenario (in terms of lift) 4 air holes pushing it up:


Typical (guessing) 7 holes:


Best case scenario, 8 holes:


The puck is thicker around the sides, giving itself an air-pocket of sorts.
And it will be moving.
(trying to convince myself it will all work out)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 04:30:48 pm by ids »

Shortbus

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2010, 02:01:04 pm »
awesome....along with skeeball and slot machine, add this to my list of things i wanna build....look forward to following this thread!

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2010, 02:06:41 pm »
Skeeball - what an awesome idea!  Don't know why I've never thought of that one.  Will put it on my list, right under shuffleboard table.

Shortbus

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 02:09:22 pm »
Skeeball - what an awesome idea!  Don't know why I've never thought of that one.  Will put it on my list, right under shuffleboard table.

check out thatpurplestuff, he's replied to this thread, he did a great job, still in the works if last time i checked....

not enough hours in the day....

Silas (son of Silas)

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2010, 02:21:11 pm »
That Popular Mechanics link was an interesting read, but the story photo on second glance looks a bit sinister. It's as though dad's been playing too hard and has had a stabbing pain in his chest, lets go of his goalie mallet and drops his hand to his knee as he bends over. Meanwhile blond daughter is calling out in horror and mom looks on thinking "where's that life insurance policy?"

Or am I reading too much into it?

" ਜਿਹੜਾ ਲਾਓ ਜਰਦਾ ਉਹ ਸੌ ਸਾਲ ਨੰਈ ਮਰਦਾ " (he who chews tobacco would live to be a hundred )

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Shortbus

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2010, 02:23:05 pm »
That Popular Mechanics link was an interesting read, but the story photo on second glance looks a bit sinister. It's as though dad's been playing too hard and has had a stabbing pain in his chest, lets go of his goalie mallet and drops his hand to his knee as he bends over. Meanwhile blond daughter is calling out in horror and mom looks on thinking "where's that life insurance policy?"

Or am I reading too much into it?



VERY FUNNY  :applaud: either a heart attack or took a puck to the twig and berries....for a minute there it looked like "threes company"....gotta love it....

thanks for the laugh, hit the spot!

Silas (son of Silas)

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2010, 02:26:58 pm »
I forgot to say, this is άber cool. I have often wondered how I could go about building an air hockey table. I will be watching this thread very closely. Should be fun!
" ਜਿਹੜਾ ਲਾਓ ਜਰਦਾ ਉਹ ਸੌ ਸਾਲ ਨੰਈ ਮਰਦਾ " (he who chews tobacco would live to be a hundred )

My Project MAME clone
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ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 02:54:13 pm »
That Popular Mechanics link was an interesting read, but the story photo on second glance looks a bit sinister. It's as though dad's been playing too hard and has had a stabbing pain in his chest, lets go of his goalie mallet and drops his hand to his knee as he bends over. Meanwhile blond daughter is calling out in horror and mom looks on thinking "where's that life insurance policy?"

Or am I reading too much into it?




lmao  :applaud:

but now that you mention it....kinda reminds me of life in my own home.  The wife pictured also seems to be planning how to spend that insurance money too - she has that deep thought look I get when I think of how to spend the lottery winnings I plan on winning soon.


Shortbus - thanks for the heads up, reading the Skeeball thread now, definitely on the to-do list.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2010, 03:58:13 pm »
Thanks for the kind words Shortbus!  Yeah Skeeball is absolutely still in the works, I'm in the process of revamping and adding multiplayer to the software as well as tweaking the ramp before I get things ready to paint.

That's one of the main reasons why I'm offering to help any way I can with this build... I know how difficult it is to build something that doesn't have a whole lot of documentation.  People like unclet (and many others) on this board have been invaluable in terms of getting information and dimensions that I normally wouldn't have access to.

Again, can't wait to see how this project turns out!

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2010, 07:34:55 pm »
I too am very appreciative of the members here, which is why I started this thread before I was in full build mode.  I was hoping for some input before spending time and money on dead-ends.  But based on the searching I've done.... not expecting a great deal.  The skeeball build...seems you had something to go on at the beginning?  Cant wait to see more progress on it.  I think I've bumped it up to my next project, above the cocktail cab, the dedicated vertical and dedicated horizontal, the bartop, the shuffleboard, the....  (my dream is to un-franken the panel as more cabs come alive).

Like I've read many times before - the mame cab was my first "real" project, and I immediately fell in love with the art of turning wood into sawdust (sorry trees).  I just love to build sh..stuff (sorry saint, caught myself there).  Mame cab delayed due to the dart board cabinet, the workshop bench, the...*(cutting wood to build sh-stuff)*..

tho I can't wait to complete things, I also need a place for them, another reason for delays.  Like most of you, I'm NOT living in a 40,000sq ft mansion.  Need to negotiate with the CFO, CEO, move stuff around, beg, plead, etc.

Sorry, not very project specific post...will stop.  All prior crap has been spottingly posted in my "blog" of sorts, rather than embarrass myself here.

Will take lots of pics and post anything relevant when I start drilling the four-thousand-something holes (sigh).

Also need to design the "goal" and puck return, etc...all in due time.

TheGameFan

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2010, 07:48:24 pm »
tho I can't wait to complete things, I also need a place for them, another reason for delays.  Like most of you, I'm NOT living in a 40,000sq ft mansion.  Need to negotiate with the CFO, CEO, move stuff around, beg, plead, etc.
That's why I've change to building "minis". Have you thought of a mini or bartop Air Hockey?
In the works: Full sized Capcom fighter cab, QBert Mini Bartop, Bartop JAMMA / MVS1, Centipede Cocktail restoration

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2010, 09:08:31 pm »
That's why I've change to building "minis". Have you thought of a mini or bartop Air Hockey?

Saw the mini's, very impressed (following the pinball lately), great work, but...mini air hockey...not sure about that.  Call me out on this if wrong, but much of the fun is watching the puck careen at the speed of sound across the large table.  A mini would have a certain cool factor to it, but would perhaps lose a bit in playability/fun.  Whereas Mame is great big or small (e.g. the GPWiz, still fun, even if the controls sometimes suck).

I do currently have "approval" for a games room, and space is being made (hence delay in project).  Only concern is ensuring enough power, but that's another adventure.  Oh, and getting 4x8 sheets of wood home (gave up the Grand Caravan for something that has no 4' hole in it :'( )

TheGameFan

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2010, 01:07:53 pm »
Saw the mini's, very impressed (following the pinball lately), great work, but...mini air hockey...not sure about that.

I've been following it as well, along his mini Galaga, which inspired my mini/bartop QBert (in planning stages). I'll probably do a mini skeeball, visual pinball and/or air hockey at some point, but I have 3 other projects to finish first.

Glad to hear you've got a gameroom in the works though. I just have to make room wherever possible. My (only) full sized cab is actually going in the dining room, since there's nowhere else to put it!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 11:08:55 pm by TheGameFan »
In the works: Full sized Capcom fighter cab, QBert Mini Bartop, Bartop JAMMA / MVS1, Centipede Cocktail restoration

Number21

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2010, 10:00:03 pm »
If you make a mini air hockey table you could use poker chips as the puck.  I like the idea of a homebuilt full size one, will be interested to see the results.

TheGameFan

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2010, 11:14:24 pm »
I like the idea of a homebuilt full size one, will be interested to see the results.
X2
It's definitely well thought out.
In the works: Full sized Capcom fighter cab, QBert Mini Bartop, Bartop JAMMA / MVS1, Centipede Cocktail restoration

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2010, 03:30:50 pm »
One possible plan I'm considering.  This allows the entire air box to be supported by the legs quite nicely.  Was thinking angled aluminum for the sides - for the puck to bound off.  Read something somewhere about  an air filter.  I might just enclose the blower in a box and use a normal furnace filter.  This might reduce noise at the same time?



Picked up some 7-segment led thingies (another Active Surplus bargain, tube of 15 for $5).  I plan to build a simple circuit to drive them.  Thinking to use optical sensors for scoring to drive it all.  Guess I'll need a 5V wall wart to power it.


The clock showing here will actually be the signal from the optical sensor.  Given that I have so many of these, I may allow for double digit scoring.

(my 7-seg LED's are common anode, unlike the linked article, so I'll adjust accordingly, swapping the 4511 for a 7447)

syph007

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2010, 03:37:29 pm »
How about this for a cheating fast way for a play surface.  White counter top laminate on pegboard.  You'd still have to drill through the laminate though, and probably build a support structure.  Just a thought.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 03:39:17 pm by syph007 »

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2010, 03:47:02 pm »
That's actually my plan - white laminate.  Saw a sheet at a local Rona for maybe $30.  I honestly can't think of anything better.

Was planning to use a sheet of pegboard to guide the drilling.  Clamp it on and go to town.  But was thinking to have something sturdier under the laminate for support.  However, I'll have to consider your idea, as I am concerned with how much airflow I'd get through 3/4" (mdf/ply) with such small holes.  I'd either have to drill larger holes in the wood (so we're up to 8000+ holes now), or hope it works as-is.  Using pegboard under the laminate would require more supporting pieces underneath...which may not be so bad.  In the pic above, the plan leaves 3.5" which just happens to match any *-by-4" piece of wood.

Surface markings: considering red sharpie for centre line, that sort of thing.  Paint would invariable add substance to the surface, which I want to avoid.  A permanent marker would not.

syph007

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2010, 05:36:15 pm »
Cool, I'm excited to see how this goes.   Laminate is fairly rigid on its own.  I was visualizing that on top, pegboard, then ideally a metal grating, something rigid and uniform, but air permeable.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2010, 07:07:58 pm »
Problem solved, got all i need from this site:laugh2:

syph - Given a 4'x8' sheet, and people leaning on it...correct me if wrong, but laminate, even if glued to pegboard....Now the metal grating, haven't thought about that.  I was wondering about rebar - a 4' length, here and there...  Overall, supporting the top has been the most vexing issue in my mind.  A sheet of wood that size will sag.  These guys go way too far...although, if one is willing to drill 4000 holes...hmmm.

I think the answer lies in some middle ground.  I'll look into metal grating.  Another option - occasional support..but under that support, probably some "joists" running fill width, hanging onto something even sturdier...or maybe it's all overkill....

It's definitely well thought out.
yeah, "well thought out" - it's that apparent?   :-[  Don't even know where to begin...well, begin with sheet goods, then...  ???

Saw a post somewhere mentioning the HomeDespot truck is only $20 - so maybe I'll start sooner than I thought.  Just need the CFO to approve the financing.  Since the mame cab isn't done, this will be a challenge.

syph007

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2010, 07:53:00 pm »
Yep I had to rent a home depot van to get my 4x8 sheets home.  It was 20 bucks for 2 hours I believe. 

Number21

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2010, 12:30:50 am »
If you use metal rebar or angle that thing will weigh a ton.  Why not just use a 3/4" x 2" boards laid out in a grid.  All the strength you need to support it and you don't have to be Superman to move it.  Just my 2 cents.  :)

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2010, 02:42:58 pm »
If you use metal rebar or angle that thing will weigh a ton.  Why not just use a 3/4" x 2" boards laid out in a grid.  All the strength you need to support it and you don't have to be Superman to move it.  Just my 2 cents.  :)

You mean like the instructables link I posted earlier?  What they do seems like overkill, but perhaps a smaller number of the supports would be ok?

OTOH, what is supporting the supports?  The bottom of the box will also be, say 3/4" ply, and will also sag.  That's why I was thinking of running some "joists" sideways, 2-3? of them.  Any opinions greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Number21

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2010, 08:21:30 pm »
My bad i did not see that link earlier.  That is an interesting way to do it.   I was thinking of something like a grid made of 3/4" x 3" pine with large holes.  That might be overkill also.  You may be able to get away with some 1/8" aluminum angle.  Just a thought.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2010, 08:51:15 pm »
Thanks again.  Every idea is food for thought.  So much to consider: weight, air-tightness, support. etc.  I really appreciate all the help, though.  I guess I need to plan for experimentation, and accept what comes.

Thanks.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2010, 11:38:54 am »
Edit: updated circuit diagrams and related commentary

Well, the G20 is offering me a few unplanned (and unpaid) days off, so the start date is now set - assuming I don't get veto'd on the home-front.

I've already started the soldering job to make the automatic scoring/display.  More work than I thought it would be, especially as electronics is not my thing.  Using this nice prototyping board for the main counter and decoder chips - socketed of course.  May not be obvious in the diagram below, but I'm going to chain the counters to allow for double digit scoring.  The displays will be on a separate board.  Thinking of linking them via DB15 connector or something.


You can get a more scalable view here.  If anyone knows anything about electronics, maybe you can validate this circuit before i cook something, or waste time.

Starting also to think about other options, for example, start the score at a certain point (10, 20, take your pick), and count down - first to zero is the winner.  That sort of thing.  The counters can be "preset" to a value, and count up or down, so some small variety of game options would be conceivable.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 11:24:27 am by ids »

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2010, 10:11:03 pm »
Started modelling via sketchup
 

Missing goals, legs, blower, 4000+ holes, etc.  This is just the main air-box.  Some dimensions seem to be off by just a little bit.  See attached model for more detail - shows an exploded view (as above) and regular (all put together) view.

Shopping list, so far:
QtySizeDesc
14’x8’white laminate
13/4”x4’x8’sheet wood (MDF, particle board, OSD, one-side-good ply, etc, to support laminate)
13/4”x4’x8’sheet wood (bottom of plenum)
31”x3”x4’straight edge wood (MDF or other, support playing surface)
13/4"x4'x8'plenum sides
14’x8’Peg Board (drilling guide) - not shown
32”x4”x4’support plenum from underneath
31”x8’angle aluminum (playfield vertical edges) - not shown
11”x8’angle aluminum (outside vertical box corners) - not shown
21”x8’angle aluminum (leg outside corners) - not shown

Will be starting within days, any opinions welcome at this point.

Oh - need a name for the project too - thinking of going with a basic black theme, but need to stamp a name on the side to break up the monotony.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 10:35:52 pm by ids »

ivwshane

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2010, 01:21:26 am »
Keep the great documentation going! If I ever get the space I would love to build one of these!

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2010, 11:14:04 am »
Thanks for the encouragement.  I'll document as much as I can, and take lots of pics along the way.  There are certain choices to make and mine may not always be right, but at least we can all learn from the attempt.

The look I am going for (until I change my mind) is like this:


If I can find blue laminate, I may go with that too.

Came upon the Dynamo Parts Catalogue recently - most interested in the Puck Drop Guide.  I may try to reproduce something like that.

Well, G20 weekend starts tomorrow, so unless the boss veto's my plans, I'll be off renting the HD truck in the morning...

Silas (son of Silas)

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2010, 12:11:14 pm »
There are a few home build air hockey tables on YouTube:

Air Hockey Table.MPG


DIY Air Hockey Table
« Last Edit: June 23, 2010, 12:16:32 pm by Silas (son of Silas) »
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My Project MAME clone
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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2010, 02:48:28 am »
Thanks for those links.  I do a lot of my research during....uh...the 9-5 hours, which means no youtube, and a lot of other sites.

I think I've seen the second one - isn't that the instructables build?

In the interim, I keep playing with the Sketchup model, trying to get closer to that dynamo table I linked earlier.  My lack of sketchup knowledge combined with those angles is killing me.  Which is also a segue into updates to the shopping list, which are pending.  I'll update when I get a bit more figured out.  I'll also add either estimated or real costs (will be Canadian$, so close to $US too)

I think I have a name for the project, which is the inspiration for delaying the start till now: G20

side note: watching what seemed like a couple hundred billion cops converge, then hearing protesters on their way, then the building shakes, seeing the "OMfG a Bomb" panic in everyones eyes (we had an earthquake at that very momemt, 5 on the Richter)...Open to other names, but for now, G20 is sort of stuck in my mind.

Cheers

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2010, 12:49:35 am »
Sorry for the lack of progress.

I had to work through most of the G20 weekend (from home, thank god).  I did get to take some measurements of a real dynamo in an arcade (looking like the fool).  I tried to incorporate those.  The angle of the sides is something of an estimate. 

The attached model, as shown above, no longer has an exploded view, which is easy enough to make, but does have a plain view as well as as view showing an early concept for mounting the legs (shown in this image). The model is not at a point where one could actually build it, but is getting close.  The sides are angled at 5 degrees, which makes measuring things a real pain.  The goals are not complete (stating the obvious?).  The 2x4 support at the end runs right through the goals - this need to be addressed.  I am also thinking of using steel as support at the top (shown), then bending a curve into another piece of metal to discourage bounce-out, .....

The goal is to paint it black, but sketchup sucks at rendering, so I chose grey for now.  Also, I'm thinking of using 5/8" particle board everywhere, whereas the model uses 3/4" sheets.  Open to suggestions on this.


Overall advice is welcome and encouraged?

Thanks for the patience  :embarassed:

updates to come

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2010, 06:05:31 pm »
Updated counter circuit (see below).  An SVG version can be found here.  It shows a single 7-seg display, but I am thinking of going with double-digit scoring per player.  The diagram shows how to add the second digit.  It also contains some LED's I've added for debugging, and which are otherwise not required.  The de-bounce circuitry is another addition.

Updated build plans also.  I guess details are not visible in the attached pic.  I can upload the sketchup model if anyone cares.

Working on a cutting diagram, updated shopping list (incl pricing), etc.

Decided (for the moment) that all supports will be 3/4" strips of ply.  Now that I have a table saw, this is quite doable.

Also, may adjust the rails - as it is, it's too easy to place a drink there....and hilarity ensues  :'(  I'm thinking maybe to add just enough slope (away from play surface) to discourage placement of beverages.

Fretting over decision for play surface itself:  Laminate/formica, or Aluminum Composite Panel, or....

Strongly considering using the real deal leg levellers too:


I expect the build process to begin with the next few weeks (months?) as most of life's other priorities have been dealt with.  Updates to come...

Edit: Fixed circuit diagram
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 11:27:27 am by ids »

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2010, 07:25:21 pm »
AWESOME PROJECT!

Any estimates on total cost?

For what it is worth, I considered making a shuffle board table due to the cost that they noramlly incur.  The high end tables are 9-18 feet long I think.  They get way expensive:
http://www.pooltablesusa.com/shuffleboard-tables/

The thing is, doing this kind of build would require alot of wood (ie: money) among other things.  It's on the short list of things I would like to build but I really have to determine design/cost related issues.  That deck needs to be thick to prevent warping, thus the higher costs to build.
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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2010, 07:37:07 pm »
I don't have my cost spreadsheet here but can update tomorrow.  The biggest expense could be the blower, a new high-end one is $300+.  Since I got a sweet deal on one, that seriously reduces my costs.  Otherwise, a few sheets of ply, a sheet of formica, something for legs etc.  You could always do some sort of manual scoring.  The circuit I am building was not too expensive; couple bucks for some chips (and sockets), the wire, resistors and caps I already have.  I'll post what I have so far tomorrow.

Shuffleboard is also a serious contended on my to-do list.  I don't have the tools though (probably need planer, jointer, etc).  That much maple (or whatever) would probably be somewhat costly too.  Though I imagine it to be much cheaper overall than buying a table.  Plus, the fun is in the building.  I've done a bit of research on this already...just need time, money, tools, approval, etc, etc

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2010, 10:41:13 am »
As promised, my pricing estimate:

Qty
         
Unit
Price
Total
Price
Size
                       
Description
                                                                                 
160604’x8’white laminate
166?Epoxy (hold laminate down)
135353/4”x4’x8’sheet wood, OSG, playing surface, covered w/ laminate
135353/4”x4’x8’sheet wood, OSG, visible sides (skirt)
125253/4”x4’x8’sheet wood (bottom of plenum)
125253/4”x4’x8’sheet wood, cut supports from this
115154’x8’Peg Board (used only as a drilling guide)
1886’ 4”x4”Legs, 4 @ ~15”ea
2015”x4’1/4”Steel, goal tops
20?sheet metal, to be rounded, encourage puck down in goal, rather than bounce out
38243/4”x8’angle aluminum (playfield edge)
155--J-Roller, for applying laminate
41248?Leg Levellers (optional)
10.450.454’ x 1/4”diamdowel, drive drill bit thru centre, helps drill many holes
35151/16”drill bits, expecting to break a lot of these
1350350300+ CFMBlower
248Mallets
2243 1/4”Pucks
                                                                                 
Total Project Cost $663.45



Note however, that the blower is about half the cost above.  Mine was much cheaper, which makes this endeavour affordable and worthwhile.

Note also that I am guessing at pricing here.  Some of the prices are ballpark/memory based on HomeDespot canadian pricing, others are wild guesses.  I've attached the original spreadsheet so you can plug in your own numbers.

The scoring circuitry is not included in the above table, but the costs there are quite minimal.  Check out digikey, mouser, sayal, etc for those parts.


ragnar - have you priced out wood for a shuffleboard deck?  I'm curious what that would cost.  There are many examples of such builds on the web, such as this one.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 11:09:54 am by ids »

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2010, 08:32:04 pm »
Just noticed your shuffleboard question now ....

I started a shuffleboard thread but it is pretty much dead:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=106578.0

If I did it, I'd probably go well over 12'.  Probably close to 20'.  As for pricing, I don't know.  It owuldn't be cheap though.  The way I estiamte, I'd expect $700 and up spending $1400.  There are always things that are missed like L-brackets when estimating.

The max length is 21'.  That is "competition" length.  They start at 9' in length.  So anywhere in between is acceptable for the casual player.  If one were to do a 12' table, you could get some 4x12 oak plywood to make the table.  The surface needs to be seemless which is the real trick.  The best method I have seen is to use hard wood flooring on top.

Anyways, if I were to guess, a 16' table would cost around $1000.  All that wood adds up in cost.  I should estimate it though.  If I do thoguh, I might end up spening money though.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 08:34:52 pm by ragnar »
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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2010, 08:53:10 pm »
ragnar - not sure how i missed your thread.  Really appreciate the cost estimates on shuffleboard, and your other info.  It's a fair bit more than I thought.  That may drop it a few notches on my list of to-do's.  I'm having enough trouble getting the air-hockey started (putting in a new kitchen right now).  Seems like so many projects here are delayed due to home remo's  :(

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Air Hockey Build
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2012, 09:52:45 pm »
Finally got started after a much greater delay than I expected.  The first thing I decided on was to drill 1/4" holes into 3/4" plywood using a sheet of pegboard as a template.  This seemed to solve a few issues for me.  One was airflow.  I could not imagine 1/16 or 1/32" holes passing a lot of air through so much wood (which I think is needed for support).  Another, given the first as an objective, was that the pegboard act as a guide; using standard "twist bit" drill bits, they found their way to the holes.  The last is drilling the final, small (1/16 or 1/32) holes into the final surface material (future benefit, i hope).  I had previously attempted this using 1/4" dowelling cut to length with a hole drilled in the centre.  This was to be a guide, with the pegboard, to ensure the small holes were drilled to 1" centres.  It quickly became apparent that the dowelling did not always fit well.  The 1/4" holes in the pegboard were a bit rough.  So, using this pegboard as a template for drilling 1/4" holes, I am assuming said holes will be clean 1/4" (or slightly greater) when the time comes to apply the dowelling again.  So, after drilling about 4300 holes, I get to start all over when I decide on the final surface material (either whiteboard, aluminum composite panel, or countertop laminate).

Early pic of the pegboard sitting on plywood, and a pic from underneath after all the drilling:

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2012, 09:24:41 am »
This is a fantastic project man and that is a lot of holes to drill!

I found it laborious drilling out a 2 player cp!

keep the good work coming.  :applaud:

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #46 on: March 06, 2012, 12:51:32 pm »
Those 1/4" holes are way too big... You are going to need huge blowers to float the puck. 

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #47 on: March 06, 2012, 12:59:12 pm »
Those 1/4" holes are way too big... You are going to need huge blowers to float the puck. 

The last is drilling the final, small (1/16 or 1/32) holes into the final surface material (future benefit, i hope). 

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #48 on: March 06, 2012, 01:14:18 pm »
oops my bad never mind...

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #49 on: March 06, 2012, 02:22:42 pm »
fwiw, a cut away view showing how the 1/4" holes will feed the playing surface.  Diagram uses 1/32" holes in the playing surface, which is a 3mm aluminum composite panel.  Holes are 1" on centre.

Another benefit of the 1/4" holes is that the surface does not have to align perfectly - there's quite a bit of elbow room for error here.

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #50 on: March 06, 2012, 02:37:23 pm »
Love this build!

You have to promise to put little metal strips on the edges so that it makes a musical ping when the puck hits the sides  :cheers:

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #51 on: March 06, 2012, 02:58:57 pm »
Thanks.


The plan is to have angle aluminum strips around the edges - so there will be music  ;D

There is a sketchup rendering near the end of the previous page if you want a quick visual.  Also, I don't know that wood could take the beating year after year, nor do I think it would bounce as well, so metal is a must, imho.  Question is - how high (to keep wobbly pucks in play)?  I've been toying with the idea of 3/4" to 1".

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #52 on: March 06, 2012, 09:58:17 pm »
Flipped it over and ran the random orbital sander over it to clean up all the tear-out.  In the foreground, you might be able to make out bits of dowelling I used to keep the pegboard aligned with the plywood.  Given the generous tolerances allowed, this was easier than using clamps.

Now, I need to decide what to use for the surface and start drilling all over again.  I've seen a wide range of prices for whiteboard, and different materials.  I'm not sure how much abuse from the paddle/mallet a melamine whiteboard could take.  OTOH, I have seen laminate countertops take serious abuse, but I haven't seen any in the big box stores which are smooth - they all seem to have a texture.  Aluminum composite panel comes in various finishes and prices.  I'm concerned about drilling, however.  Any metal splinters which stick up from the surface would have to be dealt with, and that probably means damaging the painted surface with sandpaper or something like that.

Opinions and advice welcomed.

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #53 on: April 03, 2012, 04:02:33 pm »
Ordered laminate sample, colour http://www.arborite.com/en/Products/Atlantic-Blue - the "gloss" finish looks fairly smooth, so this might be a viable option.

Heading over to http://www.lairdplastics.com now to check out the ACP.  Anyone know how to get clean holes drilling into this stuff?

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #54 on: April 03, 2012, 09:00:33 pm »
The aluminum composite panel sample I walked out of Laird with convinces me this is the right material.  And it's big enough that I can experiment with drilling.  I just need the means of transporting a 4'x8' sheet and I think this one is a go.

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #55 on: April 04, 2012, 09:48:45 am »
Which aluminum composite are you looking at?  Some of them look like the layer of aluminum is quite thin.  I'd worry that in the long term, the aluminum surface could wear away.
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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2012, 03:02:00 pm »
I'm looking to purchase "e-panel" - info here: http://www.graphicdisplayusa.com/e-panel/substrate/  It has .008" of aluminum.

Down side - it's made by 8 year olds using lead, melamine, aluminum dust, that sort of thing...guess where

Plus side - turns out .008" is actually a fair bit of aluminum.  I'm sure one could wear through the coating (not sure if that's paint or melamine  ;D ) but as thin as .008 sounds, i think it would take some time to wear through it with plastic air-hockey paddles -- if at all.  This stuff is fairly stiff as well, so it should easily tolerate imperfections in the sheet of plywood it will rest upon.  In fact, I'm wondering if that plywood is needed at all.  I'll have a better idea how much it flexes once I get the full sheet.

In an attempt to show the profile of metal/plastic, I tried taking crappy cell phone pics and succeeded -- crappy pics -- so no images at the moment.  I also looked at better stuff, "Dibond," which uses .012" of aluminum, and don't think paying twice as much is worth the trouble.  In time, the paint may wear, which would not be pretty, but I doubt I'll ever get much wear on the aluminum itself.  In fact, i doubt there will be much action on this when complete, so maybe no wear at all  :(

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #57 on: May 08, 2012, 07:28:00 pm »
I've had the sheet of aluminum composite panel (ACP) for a bit now.  I love this stuff for so many reasons and, if possible, would like this to be the final surface material.  But I am a bit concerned.  Using smallish samples of both the ACP and laminate, I have found disparaging results.  With ACP, drilling leaves something of a halo (bump) around the hole - using only a 1/32nd bit.   However, drilling laminate does not - it's the perfect drill hole.  These comments are ignoring the underside, which do not require a smooth surface, just air-flow.  Both are fine in that regard.  I am eager to get started on the drilling (oh joy, only ~4220 holes) but would prefer the effort to go towards a good end result.  I am reaching out here hoping someone can provide some info on how to clean up (level off) the ACP without damaging the pre-fab surface.  I've tried a variety of methods, with no luck to date :(.  I am starting to think I should just buy a sheet of laminate to put atop the ACP and drill both simultaneously as a contingency.  Getting sheet goods home is not easy, and adding a redundant sheet of material to this project is not without unwanted cost, but I find myself coming to this....

also, if there are any physics majors here, airflow: ~4220 holes @ 1.32nd inch -- despite what the total area is, does one need greater pressure to make it happen with small holes?  My squirrel cage blower seems great at airflow but a fair bit less so at dealing with pressure - is that ok?

Any opinion, advice, experience, anecdote, encouragement, disparagement, insult, etc is very welcome at this juncture.

stuck

need help

thanks

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2012, 07:34:35 pm »
Is this "bump" created from the downward pressure of the bit while the drill bit is cutting?

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2012, 07:41:18 pm »
Yes, I am that weak :) need assistance with drilling $2/hour - any takers :)

EDIT: duno what i was thinking when I wrote that.

On the bottom side there is some dimple like thing going on from the downward pressure.  On the top - not sure how to describe it, as its very difficult to see clearly - since it's a 1/32" hole - but I can definitely feel it.  I also tried clamping some wood to the bottom to try to stop tear-out, as one does when drilling wood, but it made no difference - still a dimple.  Maybe I need to clamp metal to metal?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 05:37:28 pm by ids »

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2012, 08:12:31 pm »
If you can find one to borrow, try using a magnetic drill press. Put the ACP on a steel top table and put an old t-shirt or something under the drill press. You should be able to drill the holes with lighter, more even pressure, which might keep those bumps from happening...

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2012, 10:00:00 pm »
Maybe a brad point bit would work?
If there's bees in the trap I'm catching em
By the thorax and abdomen
And sanding the stingers down to a rough quill
Then I dip em in ink, and I scribble a bit
But if it they wriggle then I tickle em until they hold still
Lemme say it again
In my land of pretend
I use bees as a motherf_kin' pen

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2012, 10:49:44 pm »
Look into using a tapered reamer instead of a drill bit.
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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2012, 11:27:18 pm »
You could try pressing the dimple back down with a nail punch, 4 thousand times

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2012, 01:40:09 am »
You need to drill it with a cnc router.  Big difference when the bit it spinning at 500 rpm vs 24,000 rpm!

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2012, 09:06:33 am »
Actually, using a plunge router may not be a bad idea.  Problem is cooling and lubricating the bit.  At high speeds the aluminum tends to get 'gummy'.
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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2012, 05:32:56 pm »
Thanks for all the replies!

1) Tapered reamer - I think such a thing just might do the trick.  Given the taper, unless I can find one with very particular sizing, i suppose this would not replace my drill bit, but rather be applied after the hole is drilled in order to clean up?  The panel itself is about 3mm thick - I think a tapered bit would leave much too big an opening if drilled all the way through.  Doing another pass after drilling ...that would be quite a bit of work, but what the hell, I've come this far....

2) Brad point bits - this also looks like a good solution - my preliminary search has so far come up short on 1/32" brad points, but I'll keep looking

3) Nail punch - sounds like as much work as #1 above.  Also, since it is very difficult to see what it is actually causing the...whatever I am feeling, it's hard to say if this would work - but I will give it a try.  I have a small sample piece I've been making a mess of, so its easy to try various options.

4) CNC - yes, as soon as I build my own CNC I'll....  ;D  sorry.  Actually, I think this would be a great option, but don't have access to one.  I imagine it'd be quite expensive to get it done professionally, and a bit of a pain as I do not have a vehicle to move it around.  (Had to rent a truck to get it home.)  As for RPM's, I've tried a dremel clone on highest speed with the same results.

5) Plunge router - I do have one of these.  I've sort of discounted this idea in the past because it seemed like a lot of work to line it up just right, that many times, and plunge.  Perhaps I shall reconsider - if I can find a way to get such a small drill bit mounted into it.  And I guess I need to go slow to keep things cool - thanks for that bit of wisdom.  When I did the wood support piece I just blasted away as quick as I could - that drill bit probably got very hot after 30mins.

I had also considered just leaving it - maybe with use it'll wear itself down.  Or maybe with use tiny fragments of aluminum will get knocked loose and begin to scratch the hell out the very surface I am trying to protect.  Too bad there's no "BYOAHT" site to learn from :(

thanks

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #67 on: May 09, 2012, 05:55:08 pm »
I should have thought of this before :dizzy: check the back side of the drill hole.

The ACP I work with generally has a 0.15mm skin thickness for the alloy layers. What your dimpling will be cause by is the flutes of the drill bit lifting the skin as they are removing the material. When I cut ACP on my CNC router I use an up spiral cutter, the flutes lift the material out of the groove like a normal drill bit, with the good side of the material down in your case you should be drilling from the back to the front so the flutes are pulling the alloy skin in to the polyethylene core of the ACP.

Finding a drill bit to fit the collet of your plunge router should not be an issue, you might just need to head to a specialists machine tool supplier, lathes and mills etc.

I am moving the machine today but if I can get it up and running I'll do a few tests on my CNC to see if plunge rate and RPM have any effect.

crashwg

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #68 on: May 10, 2012, 12:23:54 am »
McMaster-Carr has a "wire gauge" #60 brad point bit.  #60 is .04 whereas 1/32" is .03125. Their catalog number is 2828A899.

It is however, $14.53 and if you add to that the $6-10 or so they'd charge in shipping that's one expensive drill bit.  Being as small as it is you'd also want to buy a few because you're bound to break 'em.
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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #69 on: May 10, 2012, 12:36:06 am »
Don't you people sleep?

Thanks for the info crashwg - while the bit is expensive, i think I may not have a lot of options.  The pile of 1/32 drill bits I've invested in is nothing, in relative comparison -  and if they cant be used for this, so be it.  I'll check into it after the sun rises, and see how much more it costs to ship that stuff to Canada.

Someone distract the s/o while I place an order :)

And selfie - thanks for the info and offer to look into the CNC thing.  I'm humbled by this.  You've inspired me to do some googling for spiral cutter bits but so far I could not find any at 1/32.

I hope I am not unnecessarily limiting my options by sticking to the 1/32 thing, but from what I can tell, thats what the serious machines use.  I dont know how air can be pushed through such a small hole but... 

unclet

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #70 on: May 10, 2012, 08:57:38 pm »
I have a Dynamo arcade air hockey table.  I found some measurements pictures which might help you out.  

Notice how the "air chamber" cavity gets smaller the father is gets away from the blower position.  I think this is how it makes sure the little holes on the outer edges have enough pressure.

I do not even remembering making these measurements so it must have been a very long time ago.   I do not even know where the keys are to access the table anymore either   :dizzy:
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 08:01:25 am by unclet »

kahlid74

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #71 on: May 11, 2012, 09:06:53 am »
I have a Dynamo arcade air hockey table.  I found some measurements pictures which might help you out.  

Notice how the "air chamber" cavity gets smaller the father is gets away from the blower position.  I think this is how it makes sure the little holes on the outer edges have enough pressure.

I do not even remembering making these measurements so it must have been a very long time ago.   I do not even know where the keys are to access the table anymore either   :dizzy:


These pictures should be archived or something for anyone else that comes looking to build an air hockey table.  Great reference material.

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #72 on: May 14, 2012, 04:24:16 pm »
I have a Dynamo arcade air hockey table...

Thank you very much for the info - invaluable!  But, perhaps you'd like to trade up your used table for some brand new ACP?  It still has the protective plastic on both sides!  Since I've already bought paddles and pucks, you can keep those.   ;D

I'll update my sketch-up model to take your measurements into account.  If there's interest, I can post here when done.  Some reading I've done recently made it clear to me why the side rails are shaped the way they are - to discourage people from resting drinks there.  That would invariably end up with a spill and potentially damage your table.  I am now thinking of doing something along these lines for the same reason.

No progress (but I did finish my new drill press table and clean up the shop).  Ready to get back to it, but need to find the right bit.  I've discovered a lie in a prior post - I have not tried this with a dremel-clone.  I was setting up to try this (again?) yesterday, during which time I recalled the reason it was not done before.  The chuck locking mechanism is busted on that POS, so I cannot change bits.  (You get what you pay for.)  I also cannot find something to hold such a small bit, but that's another problem altogether, for which I may have ad-libbed a solution (e.g. wrap base with tape or something).

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #73 on: May 14, 2012, 05:17:09 pm »
unclet once again comes through with crucial measurements/information... you're the man, man!  I wouldn't have been able to build my Skeeball machine at all if you hadn't taken the time to measure your machine... thanks again!

ids- been lurking and watching this thread for a while... can't wait to see what you come up with!

So once again, we find that evil of the past seeps into the present like salad dressing through cheap wax paper, mixing memory and desire.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #74 on: May 14, 2012, 09:46:10 pm »
Thanks thatpurplestuff.  I've got all that skeeball stuff bookmarked....one of these days, just maybe.....

So, for the cost of all the crappy dremel clones that have died on me, I picked up the real deal, a dremel 4000, and a collet to hold 1/32".  I believe it to be overpriced, but I hope the quality makes up for it.  I played around with it a (starting to run out of room on my little sample piece of ACP).  It seems if I'm really steady, which is to say, moderately so (I'm no surgeon) while running the thing full tilt (35,000 rpm) the hole is fairly clean.  The steadier I am, the cleaner the hole is, to the point where I believe really steady will provide a near perfect or good enough hole.  Now, if i can just do this repeatedly a few thousand times....  I know dremel has a plunge base accessory.  I'll mull that one over for a bit.  I'm curious as to just how steady that one is vs these old hands.

Now I'm wondering how many holes before the bit is dull and needs to be replaced?  Time will tell...

fwiw, found this "breakdown" pic to be interesting as well: http://www.valley-dynamoparts.com/docs/AH_2010_Breakdown.pdf

selfie

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #75 on: May 14, 2012, 10:29:31 pm »
Sorry its taken a while to get back to you. Who'd a thunk moving a 10'x5' CNC router would be so much work...  ::)

RPM seems to be the most crucial factor which you may have figured already feed/plunge rate makes no difference. The higher RPM the better and as the bit blunts over time the finish deteriorates. @15000rpm there was no raising or dimpling of either side of the panel that could be felt.
 
For reference here is pics of a few spiral cutters. They are both 6mm but the theory is the same for different sizes.


The bottom is a single flute the top is a twin. The single flute is more suited to drilling as it goes to a point but the twin flute and triple flute cutters are more suited to cutting in a sideways direction because of the multiple cutting edges.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 05:55:58 pm by selfie »

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #76 on: May 15, 2012, 09:44:04 am »
selfie thanks so much - I've been eagerly awaiting your update.

Yes, speed does seem to make a difference, as does going in perpendicular and not moving around - something of a challenge freehand.  I'm going to keep searching for 1/32" bits like you've shown.  If that fails, I'll fall back to standard drill bits - twisty type is all I can find at this size so far.  I think, if asked, I'd recommend others go the laminate route - much fewer hassles, as it drill clean at low speeds.

unclet - I was wondering if you have any info about the angle of the "air chamber" bottom - even a wild-ass estimate.  Please don't go through any effort if you don't know - I can just wing it.  I was planning a simple rectangular box, so this one has me re-thinking things.  For example, to support the play surface, I'd need varying heights of supporting material, etc.

Thanks.

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #77 on: May 15, 2012, 01:48:05 pm »
Quote
fwiw, found this "breakdown" pic to be interesting as well: http://www.valley-dynamoparts.com/docs/AH_2010_Breakdown.pdf
based on this picture the Dynamo table does not look to have the same angled shape "air chamber" as my diagram I provided.   The image you provided show middle wood supports.   Anyway, although I believe my measurements in my image to be correct, I am now wondering if the inside (air chamber and blower) was a quick sketch I did of the inside of my older "Brunswick Blue Air hockey table" I owned prior to upgrading to the Dynamo I currently have.   This does make more sense since I cannot find the keys to my Dynamo.  Perhaps I never had keys to my Dynamo and just ever looked inside of this older Brunswick table only.  Sorry, it has been a very long time.  Anyway, perhaps the angled air chamber sketch I provided will give you an idea to mull over but perhaps you want middle supports like the Dynamo image you provided shows.

Here is my older Brunswick table for kicks:
http://unclet.arcadecontrols.com/BrunswickAirHockeyTable/BrunswickMain.html

Quote
I was wondering if you have any info about the angle of the "air chamber" bottom - even a wild-ass estimate
Sorry, no way to get into my Dynamo without me drilling the locks out and/or removing the complete table top.


Quote
I wouldn't have been able to build my Skeeball machine at all if you hadn't taken the time to measure your machine
Thanks for the appreciation, however, keep in mind, I just sold the Skeeball machine, so hopefully all the measurements I have provided in the past will suffice into the future.


Oh yeah, once you have completed your air hockey table, make sure you only ever clean the table top while the air is ON.  This should ensure nothing clogs up the holes when wiping it down.   I was told (by some air hockey table enthusiast a long time ago) to only ever clean my table top with rubbing alcohol while the air blower is ON.  The alcohol is a nice cleaner and will evaporate and not puddle on your table top.   You do not want warping and you want the liquid to be gone somewhat quickly after cleaning.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 01:51:06 pm by unclet »

Unstupid

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #78 on: May 15, 2012, 02:21:28 pm »
The top is a single flute the bottom is a twin. The single flute is more suited to drilling as it goes to a point but the twin flute and triple flute cutters are more suited to cutting in a sideways direction because of the multiple cutting edges.

No... single flute bits don't always start with the tip in the center (like your bit) so drilling with those would be problematic.  Also in your pic the 2 flute is on the top and the single is on the bottom.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #79 on: May 15, 2012, 02:58:08 pm »
Unstupid - thanks for the info - I was getting close to making a purchase, but the offset might be too much for me to deal with.  I'm sure with a stable CNC machine, it's not a problem, but freehanding, or even dremel plunge routing, it may be difficult to restrict movement and vibrations.

unclet thanks again for the follow-up.  Please don't bother trying to learn more about the guts of that machine!  Would you think the overall dimensions are otherwise close enough?

I have read/seen something elsewhere regarding the tapered air-chamber.  Since I'm not Stephen Hawking, I don't have the physics background to know the impact, but am considering it anyway.  I know that pic I linked shows level supports, but it also has no room for an air chamber whatsoever, so I was thinking it may be partly faked (to protect design details?).  That, or they are using grooves in the surface rather than an air-chamber.  I've seen a homebrew design something like that - i'd link here but it seems all my links are dead, and the wayback machine doesn't even have it.  The gist is a few grooves running width-wise on the bottom side, say just slightly more than half the thickness of the plywood, and surrounded by a mini air-box (full width, but not much length - just cover the grooves).  On the top, lengthwise grooves every inch, also ~half thickness, covering the entire top.  The bottom grooves feed air across all top grooves, which deliver air to all holes in columns drilled above those grooves (into something like ACP or laminate).  I have a hunch this is how they are made these days.  I am opting for the air-box idea in hopes in will provide equal pressure everywhere.

And thanks for the cleaning info - it matches what I've found on the dynamo site: http://www.valley-dynamoparts.com/docs/AH_Playfield_Care.pdf  The fear of liquids may also be a hint they use the groove style instead of air chamber, and/or they use laminate - which I would guess to be more susceptible to moisture from under the protective surface.  Also, the repair info therein also hints at the groove style.

...now I'm wondering if I'm going about it all wrong...

fwiw, various docs/info: http://www.valley-dynamoparts.com/dynamo_technical_updates.asp

selfie

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #80 on: May 15, 2012, 05:52:18 pm »
The top is a single flute the bottom is a twin. The single flute is more suited to drilling as it goes to a point but the twin flute and triple flute cutters are more suited to cutting in a sideways direction because of the multiple cutting edges.

No... single flute bits don't always start with the tip in the center (like your bit) so drilling with those would be problematic.  Also in your pic the 2 flute is on the top and the single is on the bottom.

My bad... every single flute spiral I've had has been like that. Post edited.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #81 on: May 16, 2012, 10:28:17 am »
Would a double-flute be good for drilling?  I've found this: http://www.sowatool.com/CDN/index.php?option=com_rokdownloads&view=file&task=download&id=72%3Aend-mills&Itemid=102&lang=en

Third page, first item at the top-left, they have what appears to be double fluted 1/32" bit - and it's just barely long enough (1/8" = .125" vs 3mm ACP = .118").  Opinions?  Would one bit be enough?

With the long weekend upon us, I was hoping to get started, but may just wait to get this bit if recommended.

selfie

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #82 on: May 16, 2012, 06:31:18 pm »
The two flutes like that aren't really suited to drilling ACM. The two flutes have the cutting tips at the same depth. If you think about how the nit will cut, the two points will cut the first layer of alloy at the same time and the offcut will be a disc the size of the cutter. If the disc doesn't clear from the bit you will have issues cutting the next hole. Checking the bit after each hole doesn't sound bad until you think about 4000 holes.


ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #83 on: May 16, 2012, 07:56:07 pm »
selfie, thanks so much for the details!  I guess I'll put CNC bits on the back-burner for now.

I picked up the dremel plunge router attachment and will try a few holes later when I get a chance.  Hopefully a regular twist bit and a really fast spin will give a good enough result.

On another note, I picked up another blower.  I was actually thinking of making an air cleaner for the shop.  The big ones I see (e.g. http://www.busybeetools.com/products/AIR-CLEANER-510CFM-CSA-CRAFTEX.html) are rather pricy.  All one needs is something to move air, a filter, and a box - all easy to come by.  This new one seems to move a lot of air, and may also be able to build more pressure.  It's something of a different design from what I currently have (pics to come).  I have yet to spend any time with it, so details sketchy at the moment.  When the time comes, I think I'll try both - the better one will remain, the other becomes the muscle behind the air cleaner.

Earlier in the thread was mention of a mini - I may just try that as well.  Some time ago i was given a pair of smaller blowers, so I might just put a mini on the to-do list.  And in fact, perhaps before drilling 4k holes, I'll try fewer with a smaller blower as a test.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #84 on: May 21, 2012, 10:38:10 pm »
~1400 holes in, not quite the progress i was hoping for.  About a dozen drill bits in - also, not according to plan.  Started getting into a groove, so the rate of losing drill bits has come down quite a bit - only lost one in the last half hour.  This is going to take while :(

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #85 on: June 26, 2012, 07:22:13 pm »
bigger update coming, but, fwiw, drilling completed - finally.  Went through about 15-20 bits, many hours, and a lot of four letter words, but the worst part of this is over.  The silver lining is I know where to get 1/32" bits should I need them again :).  Still working on final details for the design of the rest of it, but that's nothing compared to what I've done to date (and more about picking nits).  Pics to come.  I know there is still so much left to do, but after drilling more than 8000 holes in all, the rest seems like peanuts at this point.

many thanks to those who have provided info and encouragement along the way....it's the motivational difference between giving up and forging ahead - thanks

selfie

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #86 on: June 26, 2012, 08:56:36 pm »
Nice one ids.

I can imagine how easy it looks from here on in.

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #87 on: July 01, 2012, 04:15:43 am »
This quest to build your own air hockey table was quite a good read. And I didn't realise how much I wanted my own one until now :P

I will definitely be keeping an eye on this thread.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #88 on: February 25, 2013, 06:25:29 pm »
Been a while, lots of life's ups and downs since my last post and not much real progress, but some pics for now (this aint dead yet)...

ACP set up:


Throw pegboard on top as a template:


One of many ways to attempt to drill dead-centre within pegboard holes:


Some of the broken drill bits:


Still deciding how the rest will be put together, and also distracted by a dozen other projects  :-[

CaptainMarvel

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #89 on: October 11, 2013, 06:53:58 pm »
Any progress since your last posting in February ???

 :dunno
TOM

Understanding that you may not see success instantly, but that all your good decisions add up to a cumulative success over time is what separates those who "get there" and those who don't. Every day you either get further away from your goals, or closer to them . . . Its up to YOU."

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #90 on: October 11, 2013, 07:22:43 pm »
Sorry to report - no change.  I've had some acquisitions for my game room, and no longer have space for this if I finish it.  I do keep hoping to get back to it soon anyway, but "soon" seems to be stretching itself out quite bit :(
I've also got a pile of other half finished projects in need of attention.  Hoping to complete at least one before the new year.  It's sad actually to think that the worse of it is complete and now it languishes  :(

Thanks for the interest.   Soon.....

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #91 on: October 11, 2013, 10:54:37 pm »
Just a thought on the top layer support. What if you screwed 24x48= 1052 screws on 2 inch centers? Leave them as tall as your air chamber and support the top on them. plenty of air ciculation and the weight wouldn't be much. I think 1 1/2 inch drywall screws weigh about 1 pound per hundred.

I found a trashed air hockey table 3 years ago at a church flea sale and restored it.  When me and the wife play, the kids all duck and run. It's pretty vicious.

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #92 on: October 12, 2013, 11:09:00 am »
One of many ways to attempt to drill dead-centre within pegboard holes:


It's been a while since I read the entire thread, so sorry if it was mentioned before, but instead of using the paper grid to centre the router bit, why not install a guide bushing on your router base plate. I am almost positive you can get a bushing that is the same I.D. as the peg board holes. This way you can just plop it in the hole and plunge away.

Here is a link http://www.rockler.com/m/product.cfm?page=1522 to what I am talking about. I know you are done drilling, but it might save the next guy a ton of time.

ids

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #93 on: October 12, 2013, 04:27:57 pm »
Matt - my concerns with support were also largely with sagging over time.  So, any mechanism that supports the surface would also need to resolve sagging over time.  Is this a valid concern?  I'm not really sure.  I've since been reconsidering just how much to worry about it, and have a number of support ideas to go with, when I pick this back up.  The screw thing you mention would be pretty good for airflow, but the lazy ass side of me would look for alternatives ;)  My current thoughts are to have some minor internal support of some kind, and ensure there is support around all edges.

typefighter - seriously, where were you a year ago!  Brilliant idea.

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #94 on: January 05, 2015, 10:33:44 am »
Registered to post this. Sorry to pull this old thread out of hibernation. I just made my own air hockey table, and during my planning, this thread was an important source of information and ideas for me, and it is one of few sources of information that I could find at all. For this reason, I think it is good to contribute with my experience and ideas, so that others also looking for information will find it.
I took a lot of images of the process, and uploaded it to an imgur album: http://imgur.com/a/Dd1eQ
This I also posted to reddit.com, where I answered some questions: http://www.reddit.com/r/DIY/comments/2omui4/i_made_my_own_full_size_well_functioning_air/
I hope it will be of use to someone! :)

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #95 on: January 05, 2015, 02:26:32 pm »
That's a noble contribution Gnurke, and a nice looking table. I didn't see the table on Reddit so I'm glad you posted it here.

Air hockey tables, skeeball, shuffleboard, and video pins. I'm going to need more space if I ever get to build or own all the wonderful things this site makes me covet. Who knew that arcade cabinets were a gateway drug?

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Re: Air Hockey Build
« Reply #96 on: January 29, 2018, 03:33:11 pm »
Hello.  I also registered just to post on this topic.  I realize it is 5 years old, but I too found this thread while researching DIY air hockey table.  I also stumbled upon Gnurke's reddit/imgur thread.  Both are by far the most valuable and accurate resources on the topic.    Honestly, I have no intentions of building anything soon (lot's of other projects to do first), but I like to have things researched and planned out well before even attempting to start building.   Getting the right blower motor seems to be the first step, so here's my question: 

Will an in-line duct fan work, like this one?  It's listed as 440cfm centrifugal, which seems to be right.  Also low noise, low profile, has a plug end on it already, and variable speed control which I guess would help with various pucks.  I looked at a lot of the squirrel cage type and they all seem to be hundreds of dollars for the higher cfm.  This one is under $60.   I'm no engineer, so the stuff about static pressure vs air flow fans is mostly over my head. 


https://www.amazon.com/VIVOSUN-Inline-Variable-Speed-Controller/dp/B01CTM0JF2/ref=pd_sbs_60_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01CTM0JF2&pd_rd_r=3YMME9WS0FV7B8YTZSDD&pd_rd_w=Sd4qa&pd_rd_wg=SnIxM&refRID=3YMME9WS0FV7B8YTZSDD&th=1

Well anyway, even if no one responds, I at least wanted to bump this thread for anybody else scouring the internet for DIY air hockey.   Did the OP ever finish the build???
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 03:55:09 pm by walkerrosewood »

  
 

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