Mr. Pinball Tip:

I have an less damaging alternative to drilling out a lock. The least damaging method is to pick the lock and then remove the rear lock nut to take out the lock. Most pinball locks are not very high tech and are pretty easy to pick, if you have a little patience. Simply use a screwdriver and an opened paper clip. Turn the screwdriver in the direction the lock should open until resistance is felt. Keep the screwdriver off to the side so that you can reach the lock pins, while keeping slight tension on the lock. Make sure that you are turning in the right direction. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to pick a lock and then finding out that you have been turning the wrong direction. Then keeping tension on the screwdriver rub the paper clip wire end over the pins on the lock. Slightly increase the tension on the screwdriver. Then rub on the pins again with the paper clip. Continue doing this until the lock opens. The idea behind this method is to trap the pins above the point where they engage the lock by keeping them tensioned with the screwdriver. Once the lock is open, simply remove the nut on the back of the lock and replace. I was able to get my first lock open in a matter of minutes, once I figured out which way the lock rotated to open. If you have been trying for a while without success, try going the other way. If you would like more detailed instructions, do a search on Google on picking a lock. There are tons of websites that describe how to do it. That way you won't risk damaging your classic pin with a drill.

Mike Damson

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