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Author Topic: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)  (Read 81739 times)

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thatpurplestuff

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That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« on: March 29, 2009, 01:32:46 am »
Well, Iíve been looking for an affordable used Skeeball machine for over 6 months and Iíve had no luck.  Itís time to build one.

This thread is going to be a little strange at first, since I actually started building and documenting this thing in early March.  I didnít want to be one of those people that announce a project and then drop off the face of the planet, so I figured Iíd get past the point of no return before I posted any of my progress to be viewed by fellow zany arcade enthusiasts.  Iím nervous about this thing getting to the point of being playable but not finished, because thatís what happened with my MAME cabinet that is essentially a 2x4 frame with a control panel screwed on the front.  It was (is!) going to be a beautiful birch cab, and then I loaded up Rolling Thunder.  That was 5 years ago.

Throughout this build, I hope to make a list of all of the things that Iíve found that worked well and all of the things that, well, didnít.  My design is based solely off of the information that Iíve picked up from helpful posters here (UncleT, RandyT, Ixliam, Jayhawk, and plenty of others), so I figured I would try to help out any future builders that are crazy enough to build one of these things.  Anyway, hereís the build log so far.  Iím going to post each build day by itselfÖ otherwise my first post would be ridiculously long.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 02:13:57 am by thatpurplestuff »

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 01:33:56 am »
Day 0 (well, a few weeks of contemplating)

Iím going to start this project by creating the two parts that I feel will be the most difficult: the rings and the sloped area at the end of the ramp (from here on known as the hop-ramp).  If I can get these parts done and looking great, I think the rest of the machine will come together easily.  Yes, I am aware that I probably just jinxed myself.

Iím planning on using 4Ē white rubber wall base for the rings (ďBabyís BreathĒ is the Flexco off-white color description, which makes about as much sense to me as ďFrost Glacier FreezeĒ as a Gatorade flavor.  Seriously, how many Gatorade flavor names are actually just different ways of describing plain water?) and Iím planning on using a similar technique to the one Ixliam did to create the ramp, only I plan on using dowels and a router table to hopefully speed up the process.  It may work well, it may fail spectacularlyÖ time will tell.

Iíve emailed RandyT at GroovyGameGear inquiring about his JumpBall software and he was incredibly quick getting back to me.  Unfortunately right now the software doesnít work with the newer GP-Wiz boards (the kind I currently have), but he kept my hope alive by saying that he might modify the code to work with the newer boards.  I would love to have a LEDWiz+GP in this thing to control things like the ball release, ticket dispenser (maybe), and ring lighting (maybe).  Anyway, Randy was very helpful and has high quality merchandise over at his site.  If any of you havenít dealt with him, you should.  And no, he didnít pay me to say that.

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 01:38:32 am »
3/6/09
Purchased molding.  No turning back, although Iíve made some seriously fugly rings. I didnít even bother taking pics of the finished ring from my first attempt because it was so awful.  I had imagined that using a round metal base would perfectly stabilize the rings while also providing a perfect way to attach them to the board.  I was very wrong.  The rings ended up making just enough of a gap between the two layers of rubber so that the pieces never quite lined up right and had gaps spread throughout.

 This wall base has potential, but everything Iíve tried so far has looked like hammered dog poop.  Iíve found myself just staring at this rubber thinking ďDamn you, rubber wall base.Ē

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 01:39:55 am »
3/10/09
I own a rivet gun.  I brought it home with high expectations, and so far Iíve made another badly warped, ugly, and essentially worthless 100 ring.  $25 well spent!

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 01:42:08 am »
Thursday 3/12/09
Sometimes, it's the most simple solutions that are overlooked (at least for me).  It's not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, but I've found that by simply coiling the rubber molding and then riveting it in place I am able to achieve a near perfect circle without experiencing any warping.  I've decided that I'm going to suck it up and have some overlap in my rings... doing it so there is no overlap seems to be more trouble than it is worth, and quite frankly I was not able to get even one ring to look right without an overlap.  I've got rings that I think look pretty good, and more importantly I think will play great.  The only drawback from this method is that Iím guessing the rings will get dirty a lot faster than standard rings, because the inner part of the ring that the balls will be rolling on isnít the smooth surface but the textured side that is supposed to be glued to the wall.

Iím also the proud new owner of a 4Ē hole saw.  Weíve got friends coming into town this weekend, so the project will be put on hold until sometime next week.  Onward and upward!

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 01:44:02 am »
Saturday 3/14/09
We played makeshift Skeeball tonight while drinking beers with our buddy Sean.  We were taking turns bouncing rubber dog toys into the rings, and it was surprisingly fun.  It actually motivated me even more to get this thing built.

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 01:45:06 am »
Monday 3/16/09
My 3Ē white birch balls just got here today, and Iím stoked.  These things are going to work great. 

The wood for the rest of the Skeeball machine was expensive.  $130 later and I *hope* Iíve got all the wood I need to get the frame of this thing built.  I honestly think I winced a bit when I ran my card at Home Depot.  Surprisingly, the Girlfriend-Outrage-Meter was only about a 4 when I told her how much I spentÖ I was expecting at LEAST a 6.5.

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 01:45:59 am »
Thursday 3/19/09
I have the middle holes for the score section drilled out, but I donít know if Iím just not reading the plans correctly or what but I canít nail down the exact location for the 100 holes.  Tomorrow is Friday, and I really want to make some headway this weekend.

Since I didnít get much done today, I figured Iíd write about what would like to get done at some point.  I would love to get RandyTís software running on this thing, but at some point I would also like to take this machine to another level.  Having a 2-player game on one ramp would be the first thing I would like to make.  Another option that I thought would be pretty killer is to wire each hole with RGB leds, and then use an LEDWiz to control the lighting effects.  In this manner, I could have a bonus mode in Skeeball, where every once in a while a random hole would light up and if you hit it the ring your score counts for double or something.  For those familiar with the dart game 301, I also thought it would be cool to make a skeeball version (310?) that would have players competing to see who could be first to get the exact score of 310Ö if you go over you lose whatever points you rolled.  Not sure how this would work with the ball release, but Iím just thinking out loud.  This is also all big talk from someone who was never a good coder, and hasnít done anything coding related in over 6 years.  Weíll see.

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 01:46:58 am »
Sunday 3/22/09
So I spent all day Sunday drawing, redrawing, and otherwise agonizing over the dimensions of the part of the frame that holds the scoring section.  I knew that the scoring area is attached at roughly a 45 degree angle, but each time I drew out the frame my angle never ended up anywhere close to that.  I was at the end of my rope and I figured I might as well try to get a hold of UncleT and ask for clarification on a few items. 

This guy is awesome.

Just a brief timeline for youÖ I sent him an email at nearly 11pm and he responded within 5 hours.  He was so quick that I didnít even have time to respond before I left for work.  On my lunch, I wrote a reply asking him about the areas that I was having difficulty with and by 6:30pm I had the answers in my mailbox, along with a zip file containing 11 pictures of the areas I asked him about.  Iíll say it again: This guy is awesome.

So anyway, here I am on Monday night messing with Sketchup and I think Iíve got the angles ready to rock.  Iím pretty awful using Sketchup, so I think Iím just going to use it to get the basic shapes of the frame and then just draw out everything on the MDF that Iíll be using. 

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 01:49:57 am »
Thursday 3/26/09
I bought fake wood vinyl for the ramp and scoring section.  Some Skee fans may think itís a bad idea, but for my budget it was by far the best option.  To get the legit cork is upwards of $150, and I spent just over $30 and it will cover both the ramp AND scoring sections.  It is cleanable, padded underneath, and will be perfect as a cushion and sound-dampener.

On to the ramp.  I was expecting the creation of the hop-ramp to be surprisingly unpleasant, and I wasnít pleasantly surprised. 

Getting the initial curve wasnít too bad after tracing out UncleTís pictures and then plotting them on vinyl.  I have access to a vinyl plotter through work so this may not be feasible for many people, but it was really nice just sticking the exact angle to the wood and then cutting around it.  Finished it with a sanding and I ended up with a nice template to flush trim with.  Now the fun part.

Iíve logged 3 hours with my jigsaw / router table and Iím a little over halfway done.  I lied earlierÖ this part of the build is not fun at all.  I have a garage covered in a fine toxic dust and Iím the proud owner of a broken flush trim bit.  Iím not sure if I was pushing against the bearing too hard while guiding it along the table or if it is because I have relatively cheap Denali bits.  Either way, breaking a bit the first time it is used is not good.  Also, wearing the face mask and eye protection for that long was really smothering and I was dying by the end of it. 

The good side of all of this is that it was more time consuming than difficult.  Cutting out a rough cut with the jigsaw and then running it through the router table with a template attached was actually really simple.  If it wasnít for the nasty, dangerous dust that MDF creates this technique would be awesome.  One thing I would do differently (I will do it for the last 11 pieces) is that I was really lazy in lining up the dowel holes, and it actually has made a few pieces a TINY bit off.  A light sanding will make everything even, but if I hadnít tried to save time with the dowel holes these things would all be perfect.  Anyway, 15 down and 11 more to cut!

My girlfriend and I are going to a surprise party in Sacramento on Friday night, but Iím hoping to have the hop-ramp done on Saturday and maybe (?) make some headway on the actual frame of this beast on Sunday. 

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 01:51:24 am »
Saturday 3/28/09
Iím finally done with the hop ramp.  Cutting these pieces was really repetitive.  I actually found myself kinda zoning out a few times, which is not good when youíre operating a machine that has sharp metal spinning at over 25,000rpm.  After every couple cuts I started just walking around the yard for a bit to get some air and clear my head.

In retrospect, I REALLY should have taken the extra time to make sure my pilot holes were dead-on.  The time I saved speeding through that step isnít worth the time Iím going to spend sanding this damn thing to get it evened out.  Either way, once Iíve smoothed it out and the vinyl flooring is placed over the ramp I think itís going to be perfect.

I didnít use wood glue to secure the pieces together, but I donít think it will be necessary as they seem to be very snug as they are.  Iím also not planning on gluing the vinyl down, just laying it over the surface and then clamping down the top and bottom to hold it in place.  Weíll see how that works on the sloped area.

One last thingÖ after further inspection I donít think my flush trim bit actually broke on Thursday.  The tiny little cap at the top of the bit that holds the bearing came off and I think it got sucked into the shop vac.  I already purchased another bit, but I just might brave the insides of my powdered-MDF-filled shop vac to see if I canít retrieve that little guy.

My buddy is coming over tomorrow to help out and Iím hoping to get the entire ramp at least cut out and who knows, maybe even halfway put together.

Thanks for reading my ramblings thus far.  From here on out, my posts will be current.  Also, if anyone has any suggestions on how to do things better/easier/whatever donít hesitate to chime in.

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.

ivwshane

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2009, 04:27:27 am »
Looking good! I think the extra game modes would be awesome!

I have a couple of questions though. Is there a reason why you didn't make a frame for the ramp and just lay 1/8 hardboard over it?

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2009, 01:45:32 pm »
Hey ivwshane, thanks for taking interest in the project!  To be honest, I have zero experience in shaping wood like that and I thought the angle of the curve was too sharp to actually make by bending thin wood over a frame.  I could be totally wrong though, since like I said I really have no experience doing that.  I also considered taking the Bondo route but one of my friends who is in construction talked me out of it.  Not that he has anything against Bondo, he was just saying that I'd be sanding for hours trying to get the curve right. 

In the end, I'm very happy with what I ended up with but it WAS a huge pain in the butt.  Hopefully now with the scoring section and curve done, the rest of this build is going to seem easy... knock on wood.

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.

Ralman

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2009, 03:28:12 pm »
Looks great.

The ramp came out great!.  A lot of work for that, but it should be worth it. 

My guess is that it would hold up better than curved hardboard.  With the balls repeatedly hitting it I would worry the hardboard  would crack from the stress.  There will probably be less flex too from laminating all those pieces together.

And yeah, it looks like you just lost the screw and maybe a washer that was holding the bearing on the flush trim bit.


thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2009, 04:00:56 pm »
Thanks Ralman!  I actually found the washers (there was one larger one and one smaller one) along with the bearing, so I think if I can find that screw I'll have an extra working flush trim bit.  I'm 90% certain that I vacuumed that thing up thinking that it was a piece that broke off the bit, rather than just a part that unscrewed itself.  Scrounging through all that MDF dust makes me a bit nervous, though.

It's REALLY windy here today, so I think I'm gonna pass on cutting the frame today and spare my neighbors from having MDF particles flying all around the neighborhood.  I'm probably being overly cautious, but all of the cancer warnings on that stuff gives me the creeps.

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.

SavannahLion

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2009, 02:17:01 am »
Thursday 3/12/09
Sometimes, it's the most simple solutions that are overlooked (at least for me).  It's not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, but I've found that by simply coiling the rubber molding and then riveting it in place I am able to achieve a near perfect circle without experiencing any warping.  I've decided that I'm going to suck it up and have some overlap in my rings... doing it so there is no overlap seems to be more trouble than it is worth, and quite frankly I was not able to get even one ring to look right without an overlap.  I've got rings that I think look pretty good, and more importantly I think will play great.  The only drawback from this method is that Iím guessing the rings will get dirty a lot faster than standard rings, because the inner part of the ring that the balls will be rolling on isnít the smooth surface but the textured side that is supposed to be glued to the wall.

I know you built those bands, but I was thinking about what you said and had a look at one of those smaller skeeball clones (actually, I have no idea if it's made by skeeball... moot point anyways). It's smaller than your standard long skeeball. I figure no more than eight or nine feet in length. Looking at how it was done, the circles are actually rolled end to end. Around the smaller scores, there's an outer band (with a score label) and it's either overlapped around the back forcing the ring to hold the shape. Another technique on the larger rings is a partial outer band that wraps over the joint.

The main ring is constructed of something similar to what you used. The outer bands look like they're comprised of a heavy gauge material. It looks to be of the material as thick gauge vinyl from the NOS CP overlays. Probably stiffer. The end to end joings look like some kind of staple and the outer bands are attached via rivets. Since each joint is staggered from any other layer, this appears to force the rings into um... true rings.

I know it doesn't apply to you since you got so far, but it's an observation I made of a skeeball-like machine in the wild and someone else might benefit from it.

ivwshane

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2009, 03:20:18 am »
I don't know if this will help or not but here is a pic I found:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/valerierenee/286541694/sizes/o/

Wade

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2009, 11:36:16 am »
Looking pretty good.  If you want a free skeeball, there is one local to me in WV that doesn't work.  You could probably at least use a lot of the parts from it, like the metal side rails and coin mech area and stuff.

Wade

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2009, 01:23:25 pm »
Looking good so far.  Great work on the hop-ramp.    :applaud:

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2009, 04:25:03 pm »
SavannahLion- Even though I already constructed the rings, I appreciate the input.  Hopefully this thread can serve as a source of information for anyone planning on building one of these things in the future.

Wade- Unfortunately I live in California, otherwise I would be ALL OVER that Skeeball machine.  I'm looking for the metal side rails, coin mechanism, and even a ball release solenoid if I could get hold of one.  I haven't seen anything like that for sale around here though.

ivwshane- Thanks for the photo... I went through Google images for over an hour grabbing Skeeball pics, so I might zip them all up at some point and post them here so other people can use them as references.

unclet- Thanks!  If it weren't for your measurements, I wouldn't even be attempting this build.  I thank you, but my girlfriend probably doesn't share the sentiment.. hahaha.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 04:26:53 pm by thatpurplestuff »

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.

urbecrisch

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2009, 11:37:35 pm »
Can't wait to see the progress and end result.  Such a cool and unique idea.  I've been pricing some skeeball machines for my basement and I cannot justify spending the amount they go for.  When it's all said and done do you mind sharing the ballpark cost for it all?

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2009, 11:47:43 pm »
urbecrisch- I will absolutely share the total cost at the end of the project, and give a rough estimate as to how much I've spent so far.  In regards to justifying paying a lot for Skeeball, after this project is done I might write a tutorial on how to spend this much money on a project while not getting murdered by your significant other. 

Materials:
$130 for MDF, wood, etc
$30 for vinyl flooring
$30 for rubber molding
$50 for 3" birch balls
$40 for screws, bolts, washers, L-brackets, rivets, door stops, misc hardware

Tools:
$20 4" hole saw
$30 rivet gun

As many people have said in other threads, if you can get your hands on a used Skeeball machine that doesn't break your bank you should buy it and refurbish it.  This project is going to end up being more expensive than I anticipated, but I've got to say that it has also been really fun planning and working on so far.  I still haven't purchased anything for the legs, net or net frame, ball release solenoid, paint, or plexiglass.  I'm hoping to use some pushbuttons that I have lying around for the scoring triggers, but if those don't work I'll also have to shell out another ~$40 for Cherry wire switches.  Some of these purchases can wait, but the scoring, legs and net are pretty crucial to a fun game of Skeeball.

I got my cut lines drawn on to the MDF tonight, so I'm hoping to get the ramp frame cut out after work tomorrow.  If I do, pictures will follow.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 11:51:43 pm by thatpurplestuff »

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2009, 12:11:06 am »
I got the ramp sides cut today, sort of.  I cut 1 of the 4 exactly how it needs to be (my template), and I got the other 3 pieces cut roughly before it got to be too late to be making a ruckus in the neighborhood.  I don't want my neighbors to be eating dinner to the sounds of my circular saw and router, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to use my flush trim bit on the other 3 sides.  I wasn't sure exactly what size I wanted the rounded front edge to look like, so I just took my roll of duct tape and went for it.  I'm happy with the result.

I have a half-day at work tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get a lot done in terms of getting this thing looking like an actual Skeeball machine.

Quick question if anyone feels like helping me out: I am having trouble deciding on what to use for legs for this thing.  If you take a look at the Sketchup screenshot (I've only designed the side, so a 3-dimensional shot isn't available) you'll see the predicament I'm facing.  I'm building this in 2 sections: the ramp in one section and the scoring area in another, so I'm thinking I probably need to make each side have it's own set of 4 legs... otherwise I'll be the first person to die underneath a half-built Skeeball machine while trying to put it together.  This thing is going to be pretty heavy when all is said and done, so what are my options for legs?  I was hoping for some nice strong metal legs but I don't know where to find any, so I'm thinking my only affordable option is 2x6's or something.  Any ideas?

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2009, 10:51:10 pm »
After a really busy weekend with no time to work on Skeeball (other than flush-trimming the sides of both the ramp and scoring area), I finally got some structural work done on the ramp today.  I was actually hoping to get more done today, but after my really slow start this afternoon where absolutely nothing seemed to be coming together correctly, I'm really happy with how much I actually completed.  At one point while attaching the braces to the inner parts of the ramp, I attached and had to subsequently remove the wood 4 times.  After the rocky start, the Skeeball legs went on easy enough and I was able to get all of the supports screwed on and ready to go.

I decided to go with 4x4's for legs simply because I couldn't think of anything else that I knew would handle the weight of this thing once it is all together.  I may use the 1/4" thick mdf to cover the legs and paint them, or if that sucks I figure I can always chop them off and add replacements later on, but for now they'll do.

Tomorrow night, I'll hopefully get the hop-ramp attached, the legs for the other half attached, and the 1/4" mdf actually nailed down to the supports.  If I get that done early enough, I may even start putting together the scoring area.

As a side note, I was browsing craigslist today and felt like I got punched in the stomach when I saw TWO Skeeball machines being sold for $100 each in Santa Cruz, CA.  They are about 4 hours from my house, but I've already spent more on my build than it would have cost to buy both of them AND rent a UHaul to bring them home.  After the initial shock, it kinda motivated me to build this thing even more... at least that's what I'm telling myself haha.  If any of you are interested in Skeeball and live near there, you should pick them up!

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.

drventure

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2009, 11:10:41 pm »
Ah, don't feel bad about the machines you came across. Heck, half the fun for me is in the building (that's why mine is taking 2 years and counting :) )

I'd hazard a guess that a lot of the scratch built machines here could have been had from an old cab and a little paint/resto work, but then, you couldn't say +you+ built it.

Certainly not meaning to dis any of the restos though :cheers: There's plenty of work that has to go into those (not the least of which is messing around with a bare-backed monitor, something I've yet to bring myself to do).

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2009, 01:01:23 am »
Thanks drventure.. yeah I agree that the build is half the fun, plus building this machine from scratch is allowing me to make things exactly like I want them.  It was just a shock to see 2 complete machines for sale considerably cheaper than what I've spent so far on a machine that can't even stand up on its own yet.. haha.

By the way, I've been following your build for a while now and I can't wait to see how it turns out... very cool concept for a cab.  Great idea with the lights with letters in them.

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.

mayhem

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2009, 08:58:02 pm »
All though this build is not what i would own my self, it is just so dammed good. I Think like most things today to build it your self is more expansive but hell when you finished you feel more proud about what you have achived then just buying a pre built system.

I bet no ones put as much effort or soul into it as much as you ...

Think of it that way ..

Keep up the good work and well done. Love it.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2009, 10:27:55 pm »
Thanks for the kind words mayhem!

I wanted to get more done tonight, but I got home later than usual so I only had about an hour of cutting time.  I was able to get the top part of the ramp cut exactly to size (yesterday I left it a bit long because I wasn't sure how far the hop ramp would go) and I got to see what the slope looks like attached to the ramp.  I threw a tennis ball down the ramp a bunch of times to test it out, and it plays great.  I also cut a little edge molding to put at the base of the ramp where it starts.  All in all, not much progress but it is nice to start seeing this thing take shape.  I should have around 4 hours to work on it tomorrow, so I'm hoping to get the ramp legs and hop ramp attached, and maybe the scoring area started.

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.

unclet

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2009, 07:12:28 am »
Progress looks real good so far.   Good cuts and measurements.

Have you rolled some skeeballs on the white rolling ramp yet to see how it will take the abuse of balls being rolled/thrown on it?  You would not want the rolling surface to break or become dented up due to the balls slamming into it.    MIght be the perfect time to test this out for real before you decide to put it all together.

Ralman

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2009, 09:26:45 am »
Looks great!  Nice and clean.

Are you going to be putting a ball return on? If so, with the legs on the outside of the ramp, will they be in the way?

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2009, 10:51:32 am »
Unclet- Thanks again for the detailed measurements... I really owe you.  This thing would be a LOT more difficult to build if I was having to fudge some of the numbers.  I haven't tried wooden balls on it yet, but the white 1/4" MDF seems really tough.  While working with it I've dropped misc tools on it and it didn't ding or scratch.  Once the padded vinyl flooring is placed on top, I don't think I'd be able to dent this thing if I tried.. haha.  I have a feeling that the wood edge I put on the corner is going to get destroyed though.

Ralman- Yeah it'll have a ball return, and that's one of the issues that I've run into by adding the extra 4 legs to the design.  So far I don't see any issues with the legs in the front since they are far enough forward to avoid the ball area completely.  With the legs in the back, I'm either going to attach the legs so they are low enough that balls can pass over them, or put them on the inside of the ramp and re-route the missed ball chute to go around it.  Once I get the hop ramp screwed in and ready to go, I'll be able to see which method will work best.

Thanks for the comments and questions, guys!  I'm hoping to get some real work done today, but we'll see!

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.

ivwshane

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2009, 05:11:16 pm »
Looks great!  Nice and clean.

Are you going to be putting a ball return on? If so, with the legs on the outside of the ramp, will they be in the way?

I don't think they will be, in fact I think it will help with the design and act as a ball stop.


thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2009, 10:12:35 pm »
Wow I just wrote a long post and it disappeared.  Let me type it again... haha.

So I attached the legs to the ramp, and then attached the outside left side to get an idea as to how the ball return on the right side would work.  The great news is that the legs will not be a problem for the ball return at all, but after looking at the ramp frame for a while I think I want to build the frame for the scoring section before I make any permanent decisions as to how the ball return will work.  After deciding to hold off on that, I figured I would just lay a plank in and see how deep I want the balls to rest in the side of the machine.  I'd be lying if I said that I didn't shoot a couple tennis balls off the ramp while it was together.

I'm actually proud of myself for how little I did today.  I have a tendency to just charge ahead with a build even when I am unsure of the measurements, and that usually makes things a lot harder down the road.  I ran into a snag today and instead of continuing on, I decided to call it a day and sit down to plan things out.  One thing I decided is that I'm going to glue all of the hop ramp pieces together instead of just using a dowel to attach them.  By doing so I can use the hop-ramp to actually provide stability to the back of the ramp, as well as make sure none of the pieces shift during gameplay.  I'm going to start building the scoring area tomorrow after work (well hopefully... I've been saying that for a few days now).  I'll only have a few hours of build time, so we'll see how much progress I make.

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2009, 10:17:18 pm »
Almost forgot!  Does anyone out there have any experience with electrical solenoids?  I believe this is the exact solenoid used to control the ball release on actual Skeeball machines: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/4X240 .  What I don't know is how in the hell it would work and how to provide power to it.  I literally have zero experience with stuff like this.  If anyone has any helpful information, I would be incredibly grateful.

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.

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2009, 01:25:38 am »
This thing is actually starting to look like a Skeeball machine!  I had some setbacks today... broke off a drill bit in part of the scoring section and I also ran into a problem with the upper left brace for it... I ended up sorting it all out but it slowed me down towards the end of the day.  I also forgot to take a picture with my camera of the machine with the ramp attached, but I did take one with my phone so there's a low quality version.  Going to watch a movie with the girlfriend, but I'll post more about the build later. 

I'm hoping to get this thing playable on a very basic level on Monday.  I still need to glue the hop ramp pieces together, get the bottom part of the scoring area sorted out, and route the ball return.  Anyway, here's the pics of my progress today.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 01:31:19 am by thatpurplestuff »

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.

solorbob

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2009, 12:56:55 pm »
Looks good so far.  I've been wanting to build one of these too, so it is very motivational watching your build.  What are you going to use for the scoring system? 

I was thinking I could use a micro controller, but I have zero experience with them.  I'm also a bit new to the whole electronics side of things too. 


Trebeck

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2009, 06:44:07 pm »
I'm very impressed!  :cheers:
And very jealous you have space for that......

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2009, 01:13:51 am »
Trebeck- Thanks!  It's coming together slowly but surely.  I've been wanting a Skeeball machine forever but never had the room, so when we moved out of our cramped apartment and into a house a few months ago I instantly started thinking of things to fill all the new space we had.. haha.

solorbob- I'm hoping to use the Jumpball Software that RandyT created.  Randy was kind enough to send me a copy earlier today, and I just skinned it to go with the blue theme that I'm hoping to use for the entire machine.  The display area is going to have a printout covered in plexiglass, with a monitor in the middle and speaker holes on either side.  Attached are a few pictures of the software running in "attract mode" since I don't have the energy tonight to wire up some buttons and actually try it out tonight.  I considered a micro controller as well and I still wouldn't rule one out completely, I just figured a PC would be so much easier to interface for a person like myself who knows little to nothing about... errr... micro controlling?  Haha.  At some point I think it would be fun to write my own software to add additional game modes and such, but for now Randy's software looks like it will be absolutely perfect for what I need it to do.

I didn't get any build progress done today other than doing some measurements for the ball return and researching nets for around the scoring area (and realizing that sports stores and home improvement stores give you blank stares when you ask for plain old fabric netting).  I found some black "pet screen" that is like standard screen for doors and windows except it is slightly thicker and the holes are a bit bigger.  I think it could potentially look really nice, although it might not.  The only other options I saw were plastic outdoor fence stuff, some of which actually looked somewhat promising but overall I don't think I want to put plastic on this thing.

So far as the ball return is concerned, I tested out placing some wood inside the chute and it makes the balls come down in a perfect line rather than a scattered clump.  I think either tomorrow or Wednesday I'm going to actually start assembling the ball return side of the machine.  I'm also still completely lost in regards to electrical solenoids, so if anyone could help me out I would appreciate it.  On a side note, I got a huge clamp today on clearance.  For some parts of this build (the scoring section in particular) I was actually having to string together 3 of my clamps to reach all of the way across.  This new clamp easily clamps over both sides of the Skeeball machine, so it should make the last few things I need to do to the scoring section a lot easier.


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.

mpm32

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2009, 03:45:45 pm »
You must be a lefty, no?

thatpurplestuff

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Re: That's How I Roll! (Skeeball build)
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2009, 08:28:02 pm »
mpm32- Haha nope... I am just laying everything out on the left hand side because I don't want to start attaching anything on the right side until I have the entire ball return laid out.  The ball return and coin/start buttons will all be on the right hand side.

I'm off to do a little bit of work on this beast.  Updates later.

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.

  
 

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