rtype8088 (rtype8088) wrote,

three lock box

So I have my little arcade collection now... 3 video arcade machines and 9 pinball tables total. Each of the twelve machines has a lock to the coin door. Additionally, each of the pinball tables has a lock for the head unit and backglass. Video arcades have a lock in the back to access the monitor and circuit boards.

In other words, each game has two locks. That's 24 locks total for my present "collection." Some were missing their locks. Worse, some still had locks but were missing their keys so I had no immediate access to this inside of the machine.

Recently I found out what some other "home arcade" people do: they order multiple locks all keyed alike. I emailed an arcade parts dealer and got a price then asked if he had a volume price and he did... at 30 locks. I would want a couple extra anyway so that was just about perfect and a little while later I found my heavy little UPS package filled with these little barrel locks on my front door.

The machines that I didn't have the keys to still had their locks on them. You may have thought that I'd have already been curious enough to open the machines up sooner and not worry about the locks. Having cats changes things. The cats love to climb on and inside just about everything. Pinball tables give a nice little platform for them to jump up on before launching from the glass covering the playfield to the top of the head unit. Apparently, this is a great place to sleep and hang out if you're a cat. There is one place they seem to like even better and I got reminded of that every time I accidentally left one of the coin doors open.

Pinball tables have very high voltage. They're not really even safe when they're powered off if they're still plugged in. Under the right circumstances, we could have ended up with one less cat, a horrible mess inside a pinball table, and a smell that would require chemical treatment on the table and the room both. I really like the room, the pinball tables.... AND the cats, so I've been very careful about keeping these doors closed.

In an arcade games, the lock is often the only mechanism for keeping the door closed. At any given moment, one of the machines that didn't have locks would have an open door until I started lodging things in them or taping them shut. This was annoying enough that I decided to just wait to take the locks off the other machines until I got the new locks.

Last night I started doing exactly that. I attached a drill bit to the power drill and quickly drained the first battery pack. And then the second. I bet that metallic dust is just great for my chronic sinus infection and we just haven't gotten around to picking up a DustBuster (portable vacuum) yet. I only had two battery packs; they take too long to charge. Surely had this been work related, I'd have found this to be an awesome excuse to procrastinate.

This wasn't work--this was different. Once I started this, determination set in with the kind of enthusiasm that I can only seem to muster for things that hardly matter. I found my Dremel (rotary tool) and started figuring out all over again how all the little bits attached. I had believed that safety goggles were more than just a dorky fashion statement since the day a family member lost most of his vision in one eye when the grinding wheel he was using to sharpen a knife suddenly exploded. Still, I didn't know where mine was and since this wasn't urgent, important, or work related, I had to look danger in the eye and continue.

Dremel cuts where drills fear to tread... or something. Small metal chunks flew off the lock as it turned the drill melted metal globs to dust. I hid behind the side of the pinball table and peered around like a villain in an old western. When fear of flying debris talked my brain into thinking a Dremel is a safe thing to operate without looking at it, I even closed my eyes altogether. In a blink, one of the cutting wheels broke and flew into the wall behind me.

I survived all of that without cutting myself or launching anything into my eyes or any other orifice or crevice. But when I stood up again, I plowed my knee into the leg of the pinball table creating a deep bloody wound. Typical.

After two drill batteries and two Dremel wheels, I found myself prying at the lock and trying to force it to turn with a large flathead screwdriver. It didn't turn but when I slipped a little, the door came open. I hadn't successfully drilled the lock out... but all of that vibrating shook the lock until the bolt holding it on from the inside came completely off. Maybe I should just bring a sex toy next time.
Tags: arcade, dremel, locks, pinball, power drill
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