(Topic ID: 321452)

1958 Gottlieb Roto Pool Restoration

By Pudleduk

1 year ago

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#1 1 year ago

Well, here I go. Back in the late 1970's, my Uncle purchase a 'nearly functional' 1958 Gottlieb Roto Pool EM, with dreams of bringing it back to it's former glory. As a boy around kindergarten age, just seeing the machine lit up captured my heart, despite never having even launched a ball. It probably had a good deal of influence over my eventually choosing a career as an ElectroMechanical Technician! Well, as we all know, life doesn't always let you do the side projects you wished you could, and the machine got pushed to the side, and then pushed to the back, covered over with clutter. During a move in the 80's the machine ended up in my Uncle's horse stall barn. The barn at least had a roof without leaks, but it was basically open-air storage.
Every once in a while, I'd ask him about it; isn't it time to get it out of that barn? When his son eventually decided it would be too much of a project, I got the call... Within a week, I had it with me and I'm now the proud owner and newly starting pinball machine restorer!
I'm actually several weeks in at this point, and I'm behind in giving any details to the Pinside community on my project, so here the machine is, day one in my possession. ROUGH shape, but I think it is still worthy of a restoration project, (maybe only just barely worthy!)
Most of the metal is rusted, the backglass is mostly gone, no playfield glass that I could ever remember, and the playfield plywood has separated in several spots, some broken plastic, as well as the regular wear items that you might usually expect.
I've been working on this, and taking pictures along the way, so I'll share more with you when I have the time to post. Enjoy!

#2 1 year ago

First step was just rough cleanup. Here’s how that process turned out.

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#3 1 year ago

Then I pulled the back box and playfield from the cabinet to start taking a good look at what I have, and to finally get these indoors. The really panel is also out now too, but I need that photograph.

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#4 1 year ago

The playfield will take some time….

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#5 1 year ago

Wet tumbled the steel guards, and I kinda like how the finish looks without the rust remaining. They won’t ever be a high polish, and I’m weight out exact what level of restoration I want this to be. I think it will end up still rough looking, but 100% working.

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#6 1 year ago

Wow what a great project. I’ll be following.

#7 1 year ago

Thanks! This has been really fun intro to EM pinball so far.
I need to collect more pictures of the cabinet. Here are a few glueing pictures.

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#8 1 year ago

Lately I’ve been working on stabilizing the playfield. I’m injecting TiteBond Ultimate 3 under the raised sections and into screw holes, covering with foil before clamping them all flat. Slow going, but I’m thrilled with how this is working.

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#9 1 year ago

My Around the World playfield had the same debonding problem as yours. Titebond works great to keep the layers together. Keep up the great work.


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