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I Did it my Way

Welcome to My World.
On this page I hope to show you some of my own work and creations both past and present. I have been an engineer all my working life, thats some 40 plus years and have always been more interested in how the old mechanical slot-machines work, than trying to collect them, although I have owned and restored a few nice machines over the years, my only regret is that I did not take many photographs of them at the time,but what I have is shown here, please enjoy them.

My Erie Digger

This is my Erie Digger(or it was as I no longer own it) I made this 10 years ago, I made every part from scratch, even the gears which were turned and then filed by hand,it took me well over a year to complete, it works in the same way as the original machine and is constructed from recycled/scrap wood and steel from local businesses,in the early days they used to think I was quite mad when I told them what I was doing, but over the years they have been a good sourse of materials and spare parts for my projects. and I was after all recycleing in the days before it became "cool & pc" to do so. I am sorry about the quality of the photgraphs they were taken in the days before I had a digital camera and have been scanned from poor quality photographs.

Personality Love Meter

The two photographs above show an Oliver Whales Personality Love Meter,I had the pleasure of restoring this rare machine about 8 years ago. It was in a very sad state when I came across it in the back of a garden shed in Normington.The artwork is original and it had a pressed brass front covering what was left of the door, this was beyond repair and had to be removed, luckily this brass front had held together all the other parts so nothing was much was missing, I had never seen another like it so I had to give it a new case of my own design,the only main parts that needed replacing were the 8 lamp holders which had corroded away. The last time I heard of this machine was when I was told it was in a vintage arcade on the Isle of Wight. (could it be the same one?)

My Clown Catcher

This is my attempt at a classic Clown Catcher type wall machine, again it is a poor photograph taken in my pre digital days. I dont know what has happened to the photograph of the mechanism for this one but if I find it I will add it at a later date,the mechanism was built loosely on the designs of an original machine. I do remember spending a lot of time getting the ball lift arm to work correctly every time without the ball making the return trip back to the bottom of the machine. And as with all my projects every part of this machine was made by hand from whatever materials I could beg at the time.

My Six Cup Allwin

When I made this machine I decided not to use a gallery for catching the winning ball and used 6 cups instead, and because I like to make all the parts myself I constructed a small press tool for forming the cups from 1.5mm thick brass sheet, I did the same when I made the payout cup which was then soldered in to its back plate, the coin slot is handmade in the style of a "Wondermatics" 1d coin slot. All the knobs and track are also handmade from brass, the only parts I had to buy were the spandrels. The back of the playfield is red velvet. The mechanism is of all steel construction and quite basic, and on winning the player gets his penny back and a free ball. The case is made from 16mm furniture grade plywood with wood veneer edging, the door is softwood, all of which was stained and polished.

My (Grandsons)Laughing Sailor

It all started about five years ago when we had a day out at Bridlington with our two year old grandson Ben. we called in at the vintage penny arcade to have some lunch and play on the old slotmachines,well it was not long before we came across the laughing sailor and every time the sailor started laughing so did ben, he thought it was great, after that Ben went on about the sailor every time he came to our house,one day he said Grandad can you make one for me in your shed?. that was over five years ago and the rest is history.It took me seven months to plan make, it works from a 12volt battery so it is safe and portable,infact I took it to a local fate last year and made £25 for the charity by selling old pennies for 20p each. I am going to have to find time to service or replace the laughs sound system as it has started to get a lot of background noise and buzzing when it plays.

Happy to report that I have now replaced the sound system and Jolly Jack is now back in fine voice!

Why not make him laugh

My Haunted House


The theme for this model is the Haunted House, it is not based on any particular vintage machine, it is my own interpretation of what the Haunted House should be like. The main cabinet stand about 6 feet tall and is about 25 inches square, it is constructed from good quality pine, and all the joints are correctly fitted with mortise and tenons, the infill panels are made from faced plywood, and each panel has been rebated into its own framework, the cabinet has five hinged and lockable doors with which you can access the mechanism and cash box, the working model sign on the front of the machine, was made in two parts, with the white lettering being cut with a fretsaw, and then overlaid onto a solid black background, the effect is quite realistic, the mechanism/model when required can be removed from the cabinet via the rear door, and was designed as a standalone unit, this is ideal for when you have to work on the model, as it will run quite happily on the work bench in just the same way as it runs when fitted in the cabinet, it is powered by a 24 volt ac motor, via a mains transformer that is built into the mechanism, this transformer also powers several 12 volt lamps that help to provide the special effects for the model, the only concession I have made to “modern” technology is a small microchip wired to a pair of computer speakers that are located in the lower half of the cabinet, this provides a loud sinister rumble of thunder as the model run through its sequence, this effect was more of an afterthought, but it does add to the feel of the machine. The model is made to accept the old British penny,