A Basic Pinball Art Coffee Table

by Alan Lewis

Many pinball coffee tables are made using fully populated playfields.  Some are even functioning games.  While this is a great way to make one not everyone can find a fully populated playfield to sacrifice, and at an affordable price.

It is much easier to find bare or partially populated playfields.  These work just fine for a coffee table that will display the art of pinball.

I had a 1964 Gottlieb Sea Shore playfield that I picked up for $25.  I completely stripped what was left and cleaned and waxed it.


The table is painted similar to a pinball cabinet.  White base coat, black accent stripes, and silver spatter (like Williams cabinets).

The two ugly parts of the playfield, the apron and arch areas, are covered by a cardboard graphic of the actual metal pieces that would fit there.

Actual pinball legs, bolts, and glass top are used.

The playfield lit up

Oak trim has a “beer seal” installed into a routed channel to take care of spills.


Frame is sized slightly larger than playfield.  Corners are mitered.

A rabbet is cut along the top edge for the glass to rest flush.

The frame size needs to be slightly larger on the inside than a playfield but smaller than the playfield glass.  That way the glass will have a rabbeted step to sit into.


Frame is held together with the corner brackets, which also attach the legs.  The corner brackets have the same hole size as a pinball leg bolt.

After installing the corner brackets the two leg bolt holes can be drilled using the bracket hole as a drill guide.

Actual pinball legs cut shorter.  Pinball leg bolts fasten legs to frame (through the metal corner brackets).


Cleats support the playfield.

Lightbox is made just big enough to cover all the inserts.  Fasten with right angle steel brackets.