1956 Chicago Coin Steam Shovel

Description: Steam Shovel, Chicago Coin, 6/56, 5 1/2 feet tall, 27 inches wide, 31 inches deep, move two levers which operate the steam shovel to scoop up as many beans as possible and dump them in the hooper in a given amount of time (one minute). Uses a converted Doepke toy steam shovel. Had multiple ratings for how much bean weight was put into the hooper. Used two levers to operate the crane. Very similar to Williams' Crane (2/56), but the Williams game uses four buttons to control the crane instead of levers (making the Williams Crane more difficult to control).

The operator rating weight scale works on two sealed ball bearings with a flanged end, .250" inside (shaft) diameter and .625" outside diameter (not flange diameter). If these two bearings are bad (from corrosion), the game just will not work, because the weight shaft (which the measurement needle attaches) won't rotate without friction. These bearings must work flawlessly, or the weight scale will bind, and the game is then unplayable. The Fafnir F4DD-C1 ball bearings seem to be unavailable. I replaced one of my seized bearings with a new Fafnir S1KDD7 bearing, which is a non-flanged variety ($10). This worked, but it took some washers and shaft/E-clip modifications to do it.

The bucket chain used for the shovel is nickel plated steel #3 Ball Chain (.0935" diameter balls), 6 feet length. Not that easy to find, but it's out there, like at www.generalfindings.com/ball_ch.htm (in Canada, with a nice price), or in the U.S. at ballchain.com (for a rip-off price four times the Canadian price). But in either case you will need to buy 100 feet, as they really won't sell less than that. Also get some connectors, which attach the chain to the motor's wheel. The connector is a an "End Ring Connector" or a "type A" connector. A box of 100 is about $5.

The beans in the crane are Lentil beans. I tried a lot of other types of beans, from Pinto beans to Navy beans to Black-eyed beans. The problem with any other bean than Lentil is the size; even small Navy beans would jam the hooper. Only the Lentils worked. Also the small size of the Lentil beans worked best with the crane's shovel. Anything larger than Lentil, and the bucket just would not pick up a sufficient amount of beans. I also tried plastic beads, in sizes 4mm, 5mm and 6mm faceted bead crystals. The 6mm size worked Ok, but the weight is different than beans. It took a lot more beads than beans to be the same hooper weight. The 4mm and 5mm beads were even worse in the weight department. So in the end, plastic beads just didn't work. I didn't like the idea of using a food (Lentil beans) in my game. But I talked to several people that owned the game and had no problems with it. But it is a good idea to change the beans every year or two so there are no insect problems (one person did have an insect problem with the beans). The game requires 25 pounds of Lentil beans, which costs about $15.

The author's restored CCM Steam Shovel:

The hole in the coin door shown below was chewed through by an
animal! This hole was patched before repainting the cabinet.

The paint used to repaint the cabinet. This Valspar Weathered Stone
#177297 "Mineral Dust" paint is a perfect match! But be sure to prime
the cabinet with white paint before applying this paint. This will
dramatically lower the amount of Valspar paint needed.

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