The Sands Mechanical Museum

The Sands Mechanical Museum contains many mechanical wonders, including pinball machines, nimble cars like the Super Seven and Elise, and unusual time pieces.

The goal is to reference the wonderful world of mechanical marvels, to astound and amaze you with the things mechanical, both old and new.

The Sands Mechanical Museum

Michael Sands and wife
1652 Kennewick Drive
Sunnyvale, California 94087


You can also contact us using the email form.

Web site, articles:

My pages will always be work in progress. So is my life I guess. Hopefully they can keep up with each other.

My mother is a watch and clock repair person and is active in the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. I joined the association because I like mechanical things and was happily surprised by their publications. The articles and reviews, published in the NAWCC Bulletin are thorough and complete. They document the history of clocks and watches. I attempt to be as complete and thorough and hope these articles will help preserve some of the history of coin operated games. I have started doing game reviews, documenting my restoration techniques, and providing hints on how to restore games.

My site was awarded a recommended site by, a super site for kids.

Website Design Objectives

I have been developing websites, both commercially and personally, for over ten years. (Actually I had an email address in 1972 when I was working at NASA!) During that time, I have tried to keep up with technology and develop website most people can view. This has become more and more difficult as people try to make their sites more interesting with dynamic content, browser wars result when companies either conform or do not conform to the web standards, and technology marches forward. I have created some design guidelines that help me.

Attributions and Contributions:

We welcome content contributions covering subjects pertinent to the Museum website. Contact us about the content for more information. It can be in web form or we can do the conversion for you.

We attribute all direct contributions to the author, and in a format consistent with the rest of the contributions to the site. The author's name, website, and other contact information are typical.

We attempt to attribute all other information published from outside sources. We generally ask permission when we can contact the author and where we cannot, indicate a willingness to attribute the content at the request of the author.

Restoration services available:

I am available to do museum quality restorations of antique coin operated equipment. I have restored many old coin operated games, including pinball machines, Seeburg equipment like the Ray-o-Lite Shoot-the-Bear, and gambling machines. I can evaluate the condition of games, provide appraisals, and even help you restore your own games. I can also provide sources for games, parts and restoration materials.

Browser choice or lack thereof:

These pages best viewed with a browser, any browser. Why would one browser do it any better than another, especially if the entire standard is implemented? And why do I want to author a page where features are not visible to all viewers?

I said that long ago. Since then I have designed a set of style sheets and am in the process of converting my table driven site to use Cascading Style Sheets.

The learning process was difficult, which probably says something about the design of CSS. Browsers are not created equal and do not confirm to the standards, with Internet Explorer for Windows being the worst offender. While I would never suggest that you change, it sure is tempting!

I wanted a liquid and elastic set of pages, with the content occupying the first and most important column. The navigation occupies the right column. Semantic markup of the content was difficult and the images often break most two column layouts.

My thanks to Georg Sørtun, Christian Montoya, and others who prefer to remain anonymous for help during my CSS formative months. My thanks to A List Apart, Owen Briggs, Felix, Holly and other websites for containing the information I needed.

And a disappointed glance towards Microsoft, for thinking they knew better. While IE may be the most-used browser, it is also by far the worst when it comes to compliance with the Web. Everyone, users and developers alike, suffer as a result. I can only suggest using a browser, any other browser than IE.

If you are unable to view the pages or see strange behavior, I want to hear about it. Please let me know what browser and platform you are using and a bit about the problem.


I am currently self employed. I restore coin operated games. As my resume shows, I have a diverse knowledge of computer technologies, gathered over the last 30 years. I am available for consulting, providing due diligence, and helping evaluate technologies. I love to help get new companies staffed up and started, and the first product to market.

My resume is available online, if you are curious.

I am a member of National Watch and Clock Collectors Association (NAWCC), Music Box International (MBSI), and a former member of American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWI).

Email address encoding, Spam:

All email addresses have been encoded to prevent spam. Please help rid the Internet of these scum.

Comments appreciated, please!

I recently optimized my site, striving for load times of less than 20 seconds. I substantially reduced the quality of the images in an effort to compress them. Previously, my goal was two minutes or less a page. I never received any feedback. Perhaps it is self limiting, with visitors only staying if they have a fast path.

So now I am trying the other extreme by letting some of the images get larger and including some small movies. Please let me know if you appreciate my efforts towards speed or if you are frustrated with my poor quality, over-compressed images.

email address image

Please send comments to me at the above address or use the mail form.