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Adapting old machines

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:02 pm
by loramarsden
Hey! I know I've only just got here, but I'm super keen to some help, and clearly, you're the people to help!

Basically, I'm an art student and for my degree show I really REALLY want to adapt some amusements... when i was 17 and on my art foundation course, I made my own amusement show thing based on myself, with non of the machines working, just made to look the part... (some pictures below)
and now I want to get serious! I want to alter real working machines and perhaps have them vend my own work... a similar idea to Tim Hunkin... but without me getting involved in any of the mechanics... I guess it's more like the Art-O-Mat company who basically re-vamp old cigarette machines and have 100 or so artists making small pieces of work for them to vend (some examples below).
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So yeah, I was wondering where would be the best place to get hold of my own machine, and how much money are we talking *will student loan cover it*?

I get so excited going to Southport Pavilion and Bygone Times and playing on their machines and I'd just love so much to have one of my own to love and care for!

In terms of something that would easily vend my own creations I was thinking of something similar to the machine on the right of this picture...
Any suggestions/help would be MASSIVELY appreciated, and if anybody knows any good places to visit for amusements and that in the Northwest it'd help no end!
Thank you xxx

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:55 am
by malcymal
Something like this maybe, vends tarot cards. Sure you could overlay something on the dial and vend mini artwork??

Full Link to the Brenco Human Analyst here, might be for sale if you contact poster

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:23 am
by coin-op
Hi Lora, well this is a second attempt at replying to you as a whole reply with pics etc has just been wiped out :GRRR:

Anyway, it was great to see your art project; really very good [sure you got a LOT of interest and top marks!] interesting also to see the reference to Art-o-mat. I hadn't heard of them, but again, very interesting. So thanks for having made those contributions to the site.

Regarding vending machines for your project, well I guess ebay is the most obvious initial choice. However, it may be that some member is sitting viewing your posting and thinking about a big old lump of a vending machine in their garage that really they aren't going to do anything with (any takers??).

As to the last picture you posted and the ''...machine on the right..''. Well, unfortunately, unless you have lady luck on your side and a strong wind behind you I don't think you will pick one of those up easily or cheaply. More easily accessible are 60s and 70s vending machines. Particularly wood grained Formica 70s cigarette machines. Now I know this might be disappointing, but I'm sure with your art skills you can look beyond the finish and make it more like a colourful Art-o-mat machine. A couple of obvious things to consider with any machine is the size of the dispensing aperture and the coin the machine works on (I presume you want to get ''proper money'' for your artwork). Generally, the earlier the machine the more simplistic is the coin mechanism. At first they were purely mechanical (i.e. you deposited a coin and the coin tipped the coin release mechanism which allowed the coin drawer to be pulled out), later, electrical coin mechanisms were included. You just need to consider the implications of what you might have to alter with either type of mechanism.

Below are pics of some machines which sold recently on ebay and I think would be within a student budget (on a non- drinking week ;-) )

Nestle 60s vending machine 190319583664 (£51)
Harting cigarette machine 110414159857 (£45) [not too nice, but I'm sure utilising your art skills you could have made this look like an Art-o-mat machine]
Embassy cigarette machine 320397306041 (£47)

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:36 am
by loramarsden
ohhh thankyou so much for the replies so far, i've been popping on here every couple of hours to check... HOW exciting :D

i'll have to really look into this more... cos i guess i was probably being pretty unrealistic wanting to go for some of the older stuff, i mean, a cigarette machine is probably a really good choice...and suprisingly cheap from what you've posted!!! of course, there is the worry that it could ultimately end up looking tooooooo much like the art-o-mat...
but yeah, i guess a cigarette machine would be much less work i presume? but i'd still probably be rubbish if it needed fixing... in fact, i wouldnt have a CLUE! SkEpTiCaL

if i had tons of money i'd to do a full arcade of stuff for my degree show, but i think i'm thinking above the limits of my mechanical knowledge here, not to mention my wallet.

hmph... there's clearly ALOT to think about :mad:

but thankyou so so much for your help and hopefully i'll get lucky :lucky:

x lora x

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:29 pm
by pennymachines
Coin-op wrote:well this is a second attempt at replying to you as a whole reply with pics etc has just been wiped out :GRRR:
That happened to me so many times on various forums I installed Lazarus, a great little add-on for the Firefox browser which "auto-saves all forms as you type, so after a crash, server timeout, or whatever, you can go back to the form, right click, 'recover form', and breath a sigh of relief."

Great to see your work Lora - your exhibition looks fascinating. Can you explain a bit about what triggered your interest and enthusiasm for coin-operated machines?

I would certainly rule out the early wall-mounted fortune-teller you posted, not only on grounds of cost, but you wouldn't want to revamp such rare, historical pieces and, besides, I doubt they would suit your purpose. These machines are all flash - what little mechanism they have is only capable of dispensing a small card. If it's the visual aspect that appeals, I'm sure with your artistic background you could build something from scratch emulating their visual style.

As Coin-op said, there are many later period vending machines available for comparatively little cash - as a rule, the larger - the cheaper.

Don't be intimidated by the mechanisms - once you get your head inside some of these machines, you'll see they're not difficult to understand and figuring out how they work is half the fun. Most of the ingenuity is confined to the coin detecting apparatus.

Some places you can see vintage slot machines

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:48 pm
by loramarsden
I'm glad you like the exhibition, it was only for our little art foundation show, like, a-level standard really... i was so disappointed i hadn't the skills to make anything work.. but i had a lot of fun decorating everything and secretly becoming abit of a whizz in the wood workshops!... :o
as for what triggered my interest, i've got NO idea! i guess like most people i always found seaside arcades and stuff exciting as a kid but never really played on them...i dunno, as i got older i just became sort of fascinated by them, wanting to understand how they worked , and as artist i fell in love with alot of the decoration and artwork, and alot of the humour, particularly on the fortune teller cards and stuff.... :mrgreen:
a girl i met at college lives in churchtown in southport and whenever she offers to come to mine for a visit i insist on going to hers so i can go to the pavillion and waste the little money i have on fortune teller cards and buying cheap reproductions of donald mcgill postcards and novelties from the jokeshop. long story short, i have no idea, i just love them... and i'm sure when i'm older and maybe have my own home i can fill it with fortune tellers and crane machines and all sorts of fun stuff!

i have sketchbooks and sketchbooks full of the cards i get from fortune tellers and stuff, i just love the artwork, and would love to cut etching blocks or make screenprints of my own work so i could easily reproduce them to be put in a similar machine...
as for the wall-mounted one i put in the post, i figured it'd be SUPER expensive to get hold of one, but i was wondering how easy it would be to change the art work on it, because on that particularly example i presumed you could simply remove the panel inside with the picture and artwork and simply make a template and make a new one, and temporarily put it in place, and surely it would be easy enough to put my own stuff in it? i certainly wouldn't want to alter anything else about it, they're perfect as they are!

I think its imporant for me that whatever i make works; after doing my foundation show i want to 'step it up' for my degree show and have something that works, that the viewer can really interact with, rather than just look at. i want people to maybe feel the same excitement i do putting a penny in and not knowing what i'm going to get. and just having that nice object to take away, its like there's not like gambling, there's no way you can lose when you get as nice picture or a funny letter or something!

as curel as it sounds, its been really good recently, because my mum has been off work following an operation, so i've been taking advantage of her boredom and making her drive me to bygone times at a weekend, just so i can look at there collection of stuff and take pictures of them and draw them and record the mutoscopes and hopefully get some cards i haven't got for the collection; though i keep multiples regardless.

oh, and as for the mechanisms, i guess i'm intimidated simply because i haven't actually seen any 'in the flesh', only on youtube clips and stuff... so its difficult to really get what's going on... but who knows, hopefully i'll get to learn a lot more through this forum and stuff… 8)

x lora x

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:59 am
by operator bell
Heh, the mechanisms are the easy part - they're mostly sheet metal, and simple to make if you have an example to measure and copy. Electric machines like the Rotofruit are even easier to reproduce with modern electronics. It's the artwork most of us have difficulty with. Do I sense a synergy here?

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:40 pm
by loramarsden
you could be onto something there! hehe :idea:

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:47 pm
by malcymal
Lora, I love your enthusiasm for our hobby...I shall do some hunting for you, im sure all the guys on here will do the same.

Re: HELP!...please :-)

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:12 pm
by malcymal
Here is one that needs some rubbing down and general TLC, glass easily replaced by a glazer!! ... 7C294%3A50

And another ... 7C294%3A50

If you are flush with £400 quid ... 7C294%3A50