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Stiga Table Hockey Tips!
Here you will find some tips and tricks to improve the looks and playability of your
Stiga Table Hockey Games.
Please email me if you have a tip to add to the page!
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- The Stiga BubbleDome... "Let's Get It ON!"
- Left Wing Link Separation.
- A better Puck Ejector.
- How Slick it is.
- Lubricate the Rods.
- Hold the game Still (1).
- Hold the game Still (2).
- A REAL Goal Net.
- Keep the Rod Holes Like New.
After the games are recorded in the score books and the last puck is found under the stove, table hockey players usually sat around in conversation to replay the games over and over.
The Stiga BubbleDome!
When everyone gets tired of that, the "How to make our game better" idea lights pop on.
Over the years I have heard some good ideas and a couple of Great ideas.
The last Great idea I heard came from Len Mecca.
Len had talked to a lot of the Bubble Boy players to get their opinion on playing the Stiga table hockey games.
"A what hockey game", was the reply of not most... but ALL of them.
The only table hockey players that get national attention (US) had never even seen a Stiga game.
(exception, Kenny Dubois)
This caused Len's idea light to brighten then glow like the sun!
"What we need is a BubbleDome for the Stiga!"... Len said to himself.
But... Unlike most ideas that come and go, Len followed through on his great idea.
He designed and developed and has produced the Stiga BubbleDome.
Click here to purchase the Stiga BubbleDome straight from Len Mecca.
As soon as they were available, I got my hands on them.
The Stiga BubbleDome is not just good... it is GREAT!
We play our
Nashville Table Hockey League (NTHL.ORG) games at the local Pizza Hut and I did not want the pucks landing on someone's plate.
I fitted 2 games with the BubbleDomes and we rarely have a "puck out of play" call.
I liked the BubbleDomes so much I permanently attached them. It was very easy to do and the pictures below show how I did it.
All that is necessary is to cut off 2 of the Stiga goal counter attachment tips, the inside tips work best, and drill a small hole to accept a #8 sheet metal screw about 3/4 inch long.
With the dome attached in this manner it not only holds the BubbleDome firmly in place it makes the Stiga frame much more rigid.
So... "Lets Get It ON!"
The pictures below will show how Len's BubbleDome looks and how I installed it.
Eliminate the Heart Break of a Separation...
Stiga picked up my suggestion of using 2 washers to lock the long rod in place and all rods made after September 2003 will have the double washers on the long rod.
I am still waiting for the check for my game improvement idea. LOL
Right in the middle of a fast and furious game it happened.
The long left wing rod pulls right out of the link!
Just when the momentum has swung your way and the next shot would have surely tied the game up.
This is the kind of thing that just kills the action whilst the rod is repaired or replaced.
Well... For about the price of a piece of chewing gum you can stop this cold.
This is an easy, and cheap, way to fix the link separation once and for all.
The Stiga left wing link is comprised of 4 parts, not counting the two rods.
The normal link, seen in the top picture below, works very well under normal play.
- The link slide or housing which is made of molded plastic.
- The link spring, and
- 2 washers that fit on each rod end next to the spring
When the big kids come over and play really gets furious, the long rod can pull off the end of the link spring if pulled back very hard.
The long rod is held in the link only by the coiled force of the spring on the rod end. The original washers are on the spring sides of the rod knurls. If the long rod is pulled out hard and fast there is nothing to keep the spring from slipping off the rod end.
(You will have to remove the left wing rod from the game to do this)
With the rod in your hand.
Snap the long rod out of the link and place a new washer on the rod from the handle end.
The new washer must be exactly like the original Stiga washer to fit the link housing properly.
Slide the new washer all the way next to the knurl on the long rod.
Now is a good time to make sure the rod ends are seated on the spring properly.
The spring should be up against the washer and the washer should be against the rod knurl.
To properly seat the spring on the rod ends,
hold the spring with one hand whilst turning the rod counterclock wise and pushing the rod into the spring with the other hand.
A pair of pliers can be helpful to hold the spring but be careful not to squeeze too tight and distort the spring.
When everything looks right, snap the rod back into the link housing.
Your link should look like the bottom picture.
Now when the rod is pulled out hard the new washer will stop against the link housing and the knurl on the rod will stop against the new washer.
The rod can not pull out! This works great.
I also tried just moving the long rod washer from the spring side of the knurl to the housing side.
This will work but this lets the short rod knurl hit the link housing causing a rough feeling link.
A Better Puck Ejector!
One of the most aggravating game slow downs on the Stiga hockey game is the time it takes to dig the puck out of the net!
"Hit the puck ejector", you say... We all know that the puck ejector is about 50/50 at best.
The problem is, the hammer or kicker protrudes out into the goal cup when at rest as seen in picture #1.
Picture #2 shows what happens to the puck when it comes to rest against the side of the ejector kicker.
It just stays there as you flick the puck ejector rod again and again.
Thats when you get frustrated and dig the puck out of the net with your hand...correct!
All that we need to do is to make the puck ejector kicker retract out of the goal cup.
I first thought of a spring on the ejector rod but came up with a better idea.
A rubber band about 1 inch in diameter and 2 paper clips.(picture #3) Total cost... about nothing for both ends.
I do not like to modify the Stiga game if I can keep from it so this works great.
Just turn the game upside down and locate the puck ejector mechanism.(picture #4)
Push the puck ejector rod out of the kicker.(picture #5)
Place the rubber band with the 2 paper clips on the rod.(picture #6)
Push the rod back into the kicker then place the paper clips on the slots in the frame as shown.(picture #7)
and position the rubber band on the puck ejector rod.
You will probably have to play with centering the rubber band on the rod to hold the kicker in the center of the opening.
As you can see in (picture #8) the kicker is now held back out of the goal cup.
Now when a puck enters the goal cup (picture #9 & #10) it will slide to rest in the center of the cup ready to be kicked out with the flick of the puck ejector!
There is much discussion about putting stuff on the ice sheet of the Stiga games to speed up puck movement and game play.
I personally do not do it. I think keeping the ice surface and puck clean is all you need for great game play.
If you want to experiment with speeding up your game here is what some people have tried.
- Remove the players and nets. Spray silicone lubricant on the ice surface and puck, then wipe them dry. If you leave too much lubricant on the ice surface you will have a real mess.
- Car wax. Yes... Maguires carnuba car wax works good. Get the one that has NO abrasives. I like this better because you have more control of what you apply to the ice surface. Since the clear coat on most of today's cars is plastic, I would think this would be easier on the ice sheet.
- Pledge (and other) furniture polish... I have tried this and Endust too. It does speed up the puck but, you have to keep wiping off the dust and dirt the oily stuff attracts.
Once you start using some of these "speed up" techniques... you have to keep using them!
When you take your Stiga game from the box, you may find some of the rods a bit stiff. What I mean is, the rods can be sluggish to move up and down the slots.
This is especially true with the left wing rod because of the link used to enable the player to go behind the net.
After a few games the rods will get faster and smoother. To help movement and make the rods really smooth and fast I (and others) have found silicone lubricant to be the best.
By applying as little as possible to the player slides and slots, the game will take on a new feel. The rods will move effortlessly up and down the ice!
Use the silicone sparingly. If it gets on the ice you will have slick spots here and there on the ice which is not good.
The best rod lubricant I have found is a GE silicone lubricant that has the consistency of honey. I brush it on and it stays put and so far has lasted over 3 years on my games.
Jeff sent me these suction cups to try on my Stiga. Thanks!!!
You will have to drill a hole in the post to accommodate the Stiga leg shaft.
I can only say "Get these suction cups if you have a soomth table surface."
You will not believe how good they work! You will probably pop the legs off the game before the game will move on the table!
Hold Still... 2!
I have tried rubberized shelf mats to hold the Stiga game secure on tables that can not use the suction cups.
The 4 inch square pads work pretty good but...
I purchased this tool box mat from Harbor Freight tools (SUPER TOOLMATE NON-SLIP PAD ITEM 33555-2VGA) it's perfect... and cheap!
Just place it under the Stiga rubber feet and your done
If you don't have a smooth table to play on try this stuff. It is great.
Stop the "In and out" goals.
Here is a photo of a REAL hockey net for the Stiga!
In the "old days" we would cut the back out of the Coleco net then sew one of mom's hair nets in place
I made these nets with some brass welding rods and netting from a beach shell bag.
They help... they do not stop the in and outs completely.
Keep the rod holes like new.
Here is how I eliminated the rod hole wear problem on my Stiga.
The brass eyelets are glued into place using Loctite Plastix # 82565.
The eyelets are about $2.00 per 100 at the local Mart stores.
I don't remember where I got the Loctite Plastix (glue).
The stuff is great. It has an activator and bonder but you don't have to mix it.
I figure about $.38 per game for 8 eyelets with the glue.(+/-)
You don't even have to remove the rods to do this. Just pull the black knobs off and clean the eyelet and rod hole with the activator and apply a TINY amount of the bonder to the edge of the eyeley and slide into place. Don't get the bonder on the rod or your fingers!
I only put the eyelets on the 4 middle rods at each end. The goalie and right wing have too much of an angle to use the eyelets.
Try it and let me know what you think.
I have been told the quick setting epoxy glue works better at holding the eyelets in place.
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