Monday, December 28, 2009

The Measuring Gremlin Strikes Again

We hope everyone survived the holiday season so far and wish everyone a great 2010! Within the next few posts we should have the blog caught up to our current progress and be able to update you with the very latest progress inside the studio.

After Pinball Expo we spent a lot of time thinking about our future plans and about the business side of it all - or even if there would be a business side of it all. We connected with a great group of people after the show and started talking in terms of how to go about moving this idea from the original "one-off" approach to a potential limited series; much like the world of fine art. Gathering opinions from different sources started making our combined heads spin in a different direction than they are used to spinning so we made sure to get back to the task at hand and keep our combined noses to the design grindstone. (BTW - I actually had a summer job in my college days whereby I worked 9-5 at an actual grindstone but fortunately my nose never made contact - but my knuckles sure did.)

Dennis figured out the original problem with the backbox measurements and corrected them just after Expo. However, when going to the next step of attaching the backbox to the main cabinet, the measuring gremlin that haunted Dennis' shop stepped in again, and the hole that was cut to allow wires and cables to pass from backbox to cabinet was cut too large. Dennis called me to vent his frustration but inadvertantly came up with our first "notable quotable" for the project when he said (paraphrasing for a wider audience):

"Oh well, tomorrow I'll fix what I f'd-up today."

I told him we now have a great "hook" for a country song and have since trademarked the line and started writing more lyrics.

Dennis placed the new backbox on the cabinet and called me out for a milestone review. We also invited our good friend and colleague, Roger Sharpe, out to the studio for his impressions since we didn't get to talk to him much at Expo. For those readers that may not be familiar with the people of pinball, Roger is a major league pinball historian, player, designer, author, license magnet and negotiator, and we value his opinions on all subjects related to pinball.

By this point Dennis had also made progress on the front trim of the main cabinet and filled holes in both the front and coin-door area. We discussed locations for the start button and how we would decal the front of the game. The photo below also shows the maple lock-down handrail that Dennis created but still had to figure out how to make it work with the lock-down mechanism inside the main cabinet. We also discussed the best location for the flipper buttons with Roger.

We had a great conversation with Roger and he offered up some great opinions and ideas to help move our ideas forward.

Dennis next had to tackle some of the more hidden inner-workings of the cabinet including the lock-down mechanism and the re-routed ball lift channel. But in order to accomplish this he had to order a special router bit. He also further defined the insert panel inside the backbox after we made some larger decisions about the overall direction of the game.

More to come. Happy New Year!

G & D

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