Amusement games created by industry pioneer Skee-Ball Inc. (Chalfont, PA) have long been renowned for the challenges they offer to players. However, for Skee-Ball, the challenges have been assembling these games.

Many skill games are built with a tubular steel frame, and accessibility to install fastening hardware is limited to only one side. Skee-Ball overcame this obstacle by using SpinTite blind threaded inserts from Atlas Engineering (Kent, OH). Because they can be used in blind-attachment applications, the inserts have enabled Skee-Ball to score additional points on the production line and with customers.

An example is the Super Shot basketball model, which features a moving backboard to create four different game options, linkability for up to six player competitions, a state-of-the-art sound system (with game music, announcers and crowd cheers), and a dot matrix display for game status and scores.

SpinTite blind threaded inserts (Type AEL) in thread sizes #10-24 and ¼-20 are attached to 1.75-inch steel framework on the game’s wooden side panels, wooden basketball flooring, front display and other components. Because the inserts have low-profile heads, near flush installation is achieved.

"These inserts speed our production and make the most efficient use of our workers," reports Bill Bing, vice president and general manager. "Only one screw is needed at each attachment point to complete the assembly, and only one pair of hands is required for the job.

"This would not be the case with other fastening methods," he adds, "where more hardware would have to be handled at spots virtually impossible for one person alone to reach."

The threaded inserts have a rib wall that provides all-around strength to meet demanding performance requirements. The inserts have proven to be an effective alternative to tapped holes, weld nuts, rivets, and self-drilling and tapping screws. "Drilling, tapping or other operations would be too time-consuming," Bing confirms. The threaded inserts in Super Shot are installed quickly and easily during frame fabrication.

With the fastener partially threaded onto the mandrel of an Atlas Series 800 spin/spin tool and then inserted into a predrilled hole in the tubing, the pneumatic tool draws in the insert and compresses the unthreaded portion of the fastener wall. The resulting bulge presses against the steel tubing and creates a clamping force that grips tightly. The insert is then permanently in place to accept a mating screw for final attachment.

"Our customers don’t have to worry about the fastener loosening or falling out during shipping," Bing notes. "There’s also no chance these inserts will loosen during game play from the vibration or movement that naturally occurs.

"The inserts also make for a professional-looking appearance, without the usual nuts or bolts that you would normally expect to protrude," he continues.

SpinTite blind threaded inserts have worked so well in attaching sections to the Super Shot frame that the fasteners are installed in an array of other Skee-Ball skill games.

For more information on blind threaded inserts, call 330-676-1006, visit or Reply 2.