Please understand that as with many of you, I only get to spend small amounts of time on my pet projects like this. As such, I’m afraid the episodes might not be the most compelling or lengthy, but hopefully that will inspire you to take the 5 – 10 minutes and just check out what I’m doing as mundane as it may seem.
In this episode, we tackle cleaning out the base of the cabinet. Petrified mud nests, mummified mouse and a plethora of quarters. I mean, a lot of quarters. I was surprised, first of all, that the money box was still inside the machine. This is the first machine I’ve purchased in which it was still in place. Unfortunately for me, the mouse had apparently decided that George Washington’s metallic presence was a great place to go to the bathroom. So, before we get to count our treasure, old George needs to have a good bath.
I also hit a lot of the plastics with some rubbing alcohol to see what yuck I could pull off. It wasn’t cutting it, so we removed all of the ones we could, there is one that is fused with a rusted screw into the playfield. I’ll probably have to drill out the screen to free it. Initial inspection of the rubber bumpers indicate that they could be salvaged, but the cost to replace all of them with new ones is so minor, I’m just going to toss them since they have yellowed so much from the environment they’ve been left in.
I hope you enjoy the progress. Little steps and we can possibly get this beast back on its feet.
Welcome to this first of a series of blog posts which will hopefully document my attempts at resurrecting this corpse of a pinball machine that I purchased recently at an auction. During the COVID years, lucked into a 1978 Bally Harlem Globetrotter pinball machine that needed some work. I decided to take the chance and started my adventure down the road to pinball machine restoration. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. My love the era and the machines has grown as has my respect for what goes into the designs.
This machine is in much worse shape than that one or the 1991 Data East Phantom of the Opera machine which I purchased less than a year ago. While neither of those machines were functioning, they had not sustained the kind of neglect and damage that my current project has endured. The good news is, its one of the highest produced machines in existence, which should translate into easy access to parts. The bad news is, I’m going to need a lot of them and the superficial damage to the cabinet and playfield may well prevent it from ever landing in someone’s collection.
In this first episode, I basically document the total condition of the machine as I have received it from the auction site and my initial observations of the machine. The one glimmer of hope that I have is that the back box is not in bad shape and the electronics look to be fairly solid. I will need to go over each board and verify key solder points and chips connections, but we have at least a 30-40% chance of powering up with some basic TLC.
Enjoy the video. Please let me know what you think.
2023 is a New Year, and with the New Year comes new shows, new products and new goals for Silverwood Wood Designs and our associated products, Silverwood Chronicle Books and Silverwood Tableworks. We’ve kicked the year off with 3 new shows in Frankfort KY, Atlanta GA, and Butler County OH. Frankfort and Atlanta we both disappointments on many different levels. CincyCon at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Ohio, was moderate success. The show by our normal standards was relatively small, but because of the gaming nature of the show, we managed to do well.
Spring brings more new shows in new locations which we are very excited for and hoping for a positive response to our product offerings. With these new product offerings we have just showcased our newest items at the last two shows a modular game master screen and accessories and new dice sword case. Response has been very positive for the game master screen so much so that we sold out in Atlanta and sold half of our stock at CincyCon. The dice sword case has received much less excitement (certainly gotten some ooohs and aaaaahs), but our first two are still in our inventory.
Silverwolf Illustrations has been busy working on new images to sport on our products which we will be introducing in the shows to come. Let us know what you think and check out our Super Bowl commercial that didn’t quite make it to prime time!
So far, 2022 has been a break-out year for me and our ventures, The Silverwood Chronicles and especially Silverwood Wood Designs. At this point last year, I was ready to give up. I had thrown numerous things at the wall hoping something would stick, and all we seemed to get was stained walls. It wasn’t until I started looking at the details, that I saw a glimmer of hope.
I had told my family that unless we could demonstrate that the shows were profitable, or at least breaking even, that I was done. There was no since being upside down on these adventures any longer if they were not going to carry their own weight. Going into Q4 2021, it didn’t look good. We had poured a lot of capital into building out Silverwood Wood Designs and so far the performance had been just okay. Our two final shows, one of which was a startup convention, had to provide some serious lift to meet the predetermined objective of breaking even for the year.
After the dust had settled, we managed to eek out a small profit for the year. The final two shows had done it, and the startup convention really opened our eyes to what potential there was with Silverwood Wood Designs.
Starting in 2022, we decided to pull out all of the stops to see just what we were capable of. This meant more shows, new destinations and bigger risks. Keep in mind, we had been limiting ourselves to a key group of shows and central Indiana to help minimize costs. This we knew had to change and so we started looking for shows in surrounding states. We have so far done shows in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Florida this year. Next year, we are already looking at shows possibilities in Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Washington DC.
We had some great shows in 2022, and a few that were not so great. One thing I have found out about this business is that you are always learning. You can always see where we are headed next by visiting the Events page. While we continue to grow and expand, I’m doing what I can to maintain the fiscal standing that the business needs to continue to pay for itself and not tap into personal resources. By the end of 2022, we will have participated in 17 events. In 2023, we are hoping to hit 20-24 events.
I would be remise in mentioning that during this year, we have launched several new products in our Silverwood Wood Designs catalog. As such, this has limited my ability to write and design new games. That doesn’t mean there are projects on my mind or in development, it simply means that they currently are not taking precedence due to the fact that SWD’s products is what is creating the draw and paying the bills.
As I mentioned earlier, we are expanding our shows into other states and moving to add some larger shows. A few that are already on the books for next year include the Midwest Gaming Classic up in Milwaukee and Atlanta Comic Con. It has been a wild ride this year, but we are looking forward to what is in store for 2023. Please tell your gaming friends about us and check out our new shop at http://www.silverwoodwooddesigns.com/shop
Hi everyone. It’s been a while, I know. We’ve been terribly busy with lots of things, and we get to share with you part of what has been keeping us busy. For the longest time I was really unhappy with the shopping cart that we had on our website. Many of you have used it and purchased through it, but commented that was clunky and for our woodworking, it really did not showcase the options well.
Well, we’re exited to announce that our new shop has just been launched! Silverwood Wood Designs is our new storefront where you can browse our woodworking, games and books. Look around, check out some of the new wooden gaming accessories we’ve made, and leave us any feedback/reviews on items you’ve already purchased whether it be through the website, Amazon, Etsy or from us directly at one of the shows.
Tampa Bay Comic Con is coming up right around the corner, and we will be taking a little road trip to showcase all of our products in sunny Florida. We have a new deck book design we will be showing off at the Con as well as a few new images by our very own Kat at Silverwolf Illustrations.
In total we will have almost 200 wooden gaming accessories in 17 different species of wood on display at the show.
Any of our FL friends should hit us up while we’re there. I’d love to catch up with you. You know you who you are Rob.
Until next time. Thanks for checking out our new shop!
What a fantastic time we had at the Indiana Comic Con! My biggest regret was that it was on Easter Weekend and I was unable to spend that time with my family. I hope that Imaginarium will be a little more conscientious of this in the future.
Beyond that, had an awesome time. We met a lot of super people, and made some new friends. One of the funniest moments of the convention was when someone came up to our table and remarked about why there were so many dice towers around the con. We obviously didn’t think there were that many, but our response was that it was the item most requested the previous con.
Speaking of dice towers, we started out the show with 22 unique designs and ended with 7 towers. Dice trays and deck boxes were also a very popular item this show. All in all, I think we brought 104 items and returned with about 30. We were blown away by the response. Kat with Silverwolf Illustrations, is currently working on some new images and I have some new ideas for products that we will be working on for the next time around.
We also ran into some Silverwood Chronicles friends. It was wonderful to talk to many of you that had started the series and wanted to continue it. One of the challenges I have is trying to balance out the focus of our booth. I guess the bottom line is I am a creator and I love creating things. Books, games, accessories and the like. As such, I want to make available all of those things with our friends.
Right now, we have a pretty busy schedule this summer. Currently we have six shows coming up over the next 4 months and we have committed to going to Tampa Bay Comic Con in July. We’re always looking for smaller one day shows that we can squeeze in over a weekend, so if you know of one that is not currently on our events tab, please message or email me and I’ll look into it.
So, big thanks to all of the Imaginarium team, especially Lexie. It was a great show. Everything was very well run and it looked like everyone that was there had a great time! Looking forward to Tampa.
2021 has been an interesting year. We started out with the wonder if there would be many if any conventions to attend, and we finished the year with a total of six events under our belt. Not a record by any stretch, but still a good showing given the circumstances.
2022 looks to be trending more favorable as everyone is growing accustomed to what I guess we are going to call the “new normal”. This means more conventions and more opportunities to get out, see people and share my books and products with you.
Since we began this journey back in 2016, we have confined ourselves to our familiar territory of central Indiana where we are based. This coming year, 2022, we are going to start moving out into strategic areas. We are currently looking into some convention opportunities in the south-central part of Florida including none other than Tampa Bay Comic Con.
This event takes place the last weekend of July, just one week before our big show Gen Con in Indianapolis. We’ve put in an app, so we’ll wait and see.
We are also exploring some events on the East Coast near the Washington DC area. At this point, I have not applied for any events, but if you know of a good event that would fit our books and products, please let me know as I do not know the convention scene in that area like I do Indiana.
2021 also saw the launch our newest endeavor Silverwood Tableworks and Wood Designs. I’ve enjoyed working with wood ever since I was a pre-teen. I credit my grandfather and even my great grandfather, whom I never knew, with getting me into wood working. So this year, we launched a line of custom wooden gaming accessories and tables.
Currently these products can be purchased at shows, online via our own website or through our new Etsy store linked above. Right now, we make dice towers, dice trays, dice chests (coming soon), several styles of deck boxes, game storage cases, and we crown it all off with custom gaming tables/dinning tables.
As someone who spends their most of their professional time on a computer, having an outlet to work with my hands is a great life balancer.
Silverwood Tableworks and Wood Designs
The gaming tables have started to take off since Indy Comic Con. If you’re interested in checking one out in person, you can stop by our friends at the Spartan Gaming Lounge on the southside of Indianapolis.
I still have plans for books. I’ve got several that are in different stages of development right now including a science fiction novel, a mystery, a college anthology of works, and a non-fiction book about board game design. I am having a lot of fun with developing the wood working side of things right now, so the books are taking a lot longer to get done.
Hi everybody. Our busy schedule continues as we make our way to a brand new gaming convention, ItsNotACon, hosted in Indianapolis. See our event section for details and locations.
For this show, we’re adding some much requested dice towers to our accessories line up. Below are some pre-finished shots of three of the towers. The tower’s stand 8 inches tall and can attach to any of our solid wood dice trays. We’ve also introduced a new exotic wood, Zebra wood. You can see the Nightfury dice tray and tower set pictured below. The wood’s natural striping is beautiful. I was originally worried that our etching would not show, but the presentation at this stage is really surprising me.
We are also experimenting with adding a small clear epoxy base to some of the dice trays. A couple of Kat’s designs, the Wolf head and the Phoenix Dragon, can create a measurable level difference in the wood that it could impact dice rolls. The epoxy layer would go on top of the finish to provide not only a harder surface for rolling (good for metal dice users), it should also level everything out.
Come see us this weekend. Its our next to last show of the year, and the last one in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, so I hope to see you there.