Harbor Freight 500 lb lift table modifications

For around $160, the Harbor Freight 500 lb lift table is great for moving and setting up pinball machines. However, it is not perfect. The handle gets in the way, and it will not fold down. Let’s fix that.

This wasn’t my idea, I got it from NoVArcade at the Pinside Forums.  I had some hinges on hand, I’d call them gate hinges and they are about 12″ in length. The holes line up so that the handle ends up high enough that you can lay it almost flat against the cart.

In order to have enough slack in the release cable to allow the handle to swivel past perpendicular, I had to flip the handle over so that the release lever is now on the left. This meant removing the cable end from the hydraulic jack, removing it from the metal loop on the cart on the right side, and zip tying it out of the way. You may or may not need to do this depending on how much slack your cable has and your hinge geometry.

Use the bolts that secure the handle to mount the hinges to the cart, get two bolts and nuts so you can use the existing holes and mount the handle to the hinge.

Folded flat:

I keep saying that I’m going to get out the angle grinder and trim the excess from the hinge top and bottom, but I haven’t done it yet. You can now get the cart all the way under the pinball machine, lift it, and pull it without the handle getting in the way. When you are done, you can easily store the cart under and machine and not have to mess with removing the handle.