A build-it-yourself pinball coffee table

Photo of the DIY coffee table made from a pinball playfield
This project is both functional, attractive, and sure to be a conversation starter.

If you’ve got a spare pinball playfield sitting around and need a coffee table, this project is for you. I’ll even go out on a limb and state that if you’re into pinball, this project is probably for you also!

Using an old-stock stuffed pinball playfield, this clever crafter built a frame which holds the playfield and a piece of glass to create the basic table design. Following that, the table was wired so that the playfield toys and gadgets would light-up, which provides a nice ambient lighting in the room.

This is a project you could even build with a classic playfield as it remains protected under the glass and will experience no wear since the table is not a functional game. It’s also a great way to use some of the playfields that nobody seems to want because the games that used them were pretty lame.

I think it would be pretty cool to wire-up a simple microcontroller to blink the lights randomly. I’d put it on a switch so you could select either on, off, or blinking since having your coffee table flashing while watching TV might be rather distracting. It could also be fun to mount the internal playfield at a slight angle and rig it so you can launch a ball (plunger or solenoid) which would just bounce randomly down to the drain.

What a great idea – it’s functional, looks really neat (even to non-pinheads), is easy to build, and fairly cheap. Now, I just need a spare playfield that’s still wired with its goodies…

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