Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

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Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby prebans » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:12 am

Hi!

A client just gifted me a slot machine as a thank you for a job well done. It's really interesting, but I have absolutely no clue what I have.

Click for a larger photo- don't want to eat bandwidth here unnecessarily. Image

So far, I know three things.

1. It was gifted to me with no key. Any ideas of where to find a spare key without calling a locksmith? It's full of nickels, which I may need for...

2. I played it for a little while. It definitely does its job- very few payouts! But the payouts I did get didn't spit any money. (A trio of one cherry on the left side which should have been two nickels each.) Everything else seems to work- is this a major repair or just a sign of a minor jam?

3. The handle is still attached fine but wiggles both toward and away from the machine. It's also VERY stiff to pull. My guess is that the stiffness is either normal or that the mechanism needs oiling and that the wiggle is some screw loose or missing.

How old is this thing, too? It's HEAVY and the metal has a texture that feels like cast iron. Is the wood on the bottom and sides appropriate or were prior metal panels replaced with wood?

Thanks for ANY help you can offer. I don't know where to go for repairs or what it'll cost to have repaired.
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby Imyourcaptain » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:38 am

Hello,

Welcome to the forum, you have a Mills high top from most likely from the 1950’s

Appears to be all original, and a really nice original! Wood sides and bottom are original, that’s how they made them.

As far as lock goes, locksmith would be a good route but can be expensive, could save the lock and get it rekeyed. Also you could drill the lock out and buy a new one on eBay. Might be the cheapest route.

Where are you located? Maybe someone on here could swing by and help you out. As far as mechanical goes it’s hard to say much without seeing the insides.

Randy
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby radiorich123 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:04 am

HI

Have an original Mills lock and key for 100.00 and free shipping in the USA.

Rich in NJ.
REPAIRS ANTIQUE RADIOS AND COIN OPERATED MACHINES EMAIL
radiorich123@yahoo.com
WEB SIGHT www.technician.50megs.com
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby prebans » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:50 am

Hello!

Thank you! I sent some photos to a locksmith friend, but he wasn't very high on the project at all. He said that the rear has some sort of steel shield in place and that the lock may be resistant to picking or drilling. His thought involved grinding/cutting off the anti-drill shield, drilling the lock, and finding an original replacement shield and lock. I'd really like to avoid that.

Sounds like I need to get it unlocked first. Once that happens, the insides can be evaluated.

Unfortunately, I also just learned that my home state wouldn't be happy if they knew I had this thing. I'm going to have to move it to my second home in another state (verified it's fine there) to avoid the appearance of running a casino in my basement rec room. #-o I'm sure they'll be lining up out the front door for a 5 cent chance to win the huge $7 jackpot, but..... So for now, I'd prefer to stay silent on my location until this eeeeevil machine is removed to a less ridiculous state.

Another question- I'm willing to drive it to a repair place or to someone who knows these things. Any good places I should consider? Any manuals or dvds I should consider getting?
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby prebans » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:17 am

radiorich123 wrote:HI

Have an original Mills lock and key for 100.00 and free shipping in the USA.

Rich in NJ.


Thank you! I'll definitely email if the lock can't be picked.
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby Imyourcaptain » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:31 am

I just drilled one last night. Use a 3/8 cobalt bit and take your time. Plenty of videos on how to do this on YouTube. Where are you located?

Plenty of Good books on eBay. I like this one on there now.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 2824993952

Randy
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby oldslotman » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:15 pm

prebans wrote:Hello!

Thank you! I sent some photos to a locksmith friend, but he wasn't very high on the project at all. He said that the rear has some sort of steel shield in place and that the lock may be resistant to picking or drilling. His thought involved grinding/cutting off the anti-drill shield, drilling the lock, and finding an original replacement shield and lock. I'd really like to avoid that.

Sounds like I need to get it unlocked first. Once that happens, the insides can be evaluated.

Unfortunately, I also just learned that my home state wouldn't be happy if they knew I had this thing. I'm going to have to move it to my second home in another state (verified it's fine there) to avoid the appearance of running a casino in my basement rec room. #-o I'm sure they'll be lining up out the front door for a 5 cent chance to win the huge $7 jackpot, but..... So for now, I'd prefer to stay silent on my location until this eeeeevil machine is removed to a less ridiculous state.

Another question- I'm willing to drive it to a repair place or to someone who knows these things. Any good places I should consider? Any manuals or dvds I should consider getting?

If your in Nebraska I can help.
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby prebans » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:23 pm

Here's a close up and overall view of the locking mechanism.

Image Image
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby Imyourcaptain » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:59 pm

That is a common Mills lock
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Re: Was just given an antique slot machine. What do I have?

Postby prebans » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:04 pm

Rich (or anybody), could you please post a picture of the lock and key? My locksmith isn't familiar with these locks and wants to judge whether he can pick or drill the lock.

Thanks!
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