Am interested in pinball restoration, how to get started

I am looking for a hobby, have always wanted to restore a pinball machine but I am a novice. What is the best way to get started? Are there regular times where a group is up at the makerspace either talking or working?

Any advice is appreciated.

1 Like

Paging @Team_Vector.

1 Like

Hi there, welcome!

What’s your experience with pinball? Honestly I didn’t have much at all before I thought it’d be fun to have one in the house for a party about 5 years ago… now I have 13 living here full-time. :stuck_out_tongue: Just beware they have a tendency to multiply!

Secondly, are you inclined in any of the areas of electronics, mechanical devices (including cleaning up such mechanisms), or painting/artwork? If so, you might wish to check Craigslist, Pinside, or Pinballowners to find machines lacking in whatever area you’re interested in so you can work on it and get it done. Now, getting a good deal on a machine could be a class in itself. :joy:

If you aren’t proficient in these areas, we convene once in a while to go over general procedures in cleaning and debugging mechanisms. Old games (40+ years old) are electromechanical in nature, thus relying purely on mechanisms actuated by basic solenoids, relays, and ladder logic to manage the game. New games have a lot of digital logic with microcontroller code to run the game logic/scoring and to control power transistors to actuate mechanisms.

Houston Arcade Expo is coming up this weekend, so most of us will be out there and are busy preparing for it now. But stay tuned to the calendar for our events!


If you are looking for a entry level project game to get started with I have a bunch of games that I am selling as I thin out my collection. Need to figure out what type games you like best. Electro-mechanical games are generally 1977 and older and have mechanical relays and score reels. Solid-state games use more modern electronic systems and generally have gas plasma displays.

I will be headed to Houston for the Houston Arcade Expo show that is on Friday and Saturday. I should be back up at the space several afternoons next week after work. is the link to the Houston Arcade Expo show website.

1 Like

Consider me a beginner. I have an engineering mind but not a deep knowledge of electronics. The Era of my first project isn’t as important as finding one that is good for a beginner.

Have fun in Houston, we will hook up next week.

1 Like

Now that the expo is done I would love to get started. Are there any scheduled worktimes coming up soon?


Our next event isn’t so much a workday but our committee meeting on 12/5 at 7 PM, before or after which you’re welcome to hang out and work. Do you already have in mind something to bring in, and is it big enough to require a bay?

1 Like

I don’t have enough knowledge to really understand what it is like to restore a pinball machine. Will come out on the 5th and see if I can get some direction.


1 Like