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(Topic ID: 265079)

1971 Gottlieb Lawman


By radial_head

8 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 32 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 days ago by poppapin
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders

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#1 8 months ago

Recently I was lucky enough to snag a good deal on a Gottlieb Lawman from 1971. I have been on the lookout for a decently priced Atlantis for a while, so when I saw this come up, I said good enough and would look nice along with some of my other western themed EMs.

First observations:
Cabinet - painted an ugly blue color, but seemingly pretty structurally sound.
Playfield - Terribly dirty, but really no dramatic paint loss to speak of, luckily.
Backglass - Mostly good but has some flaking on the leg and some fading on the well dressed lady to the side. All else looks good.
Mechanics - Present, but not pretty. A few replacement wires here and there, but upon doing a quick plug replacement and turning it on, a game did start, reels all rest, and most (or rather, many) things worked.

The Plan:
Cabinet - I'm excited that this one is totally wrecked paint wise, because I'm excited to strip it down and start from scratch. No "this will be good enough and won't bother me" attitude. It NEEDS to be changed.
Playfield - I am planning on completely stripping the playfield, cleaning it furiously, getting it pretty, and doing my best at the "vid's playfield restoration" guide using a Spraymax setup rather than a gun and mixing my own clear. I will have lots of questions for all of you along the way.
Backglass - I could live with the backglass, but I will start a search for a NOS or a better condition one than this. If I feel its necessary, I may hit up BGResto to do a reproduction.
Mechanics - Do a spotless shop job, obviously.

Since this will be my first job, this will NOT be a restoration thread where I will be waving my flag around looking for attention. I will be doing a lot of asking for your opinions and a lot of (safe) trial and error. I will accept and take any criticism or suggestions to my work at any time during this process. I look forward to it actually.

I'm posting this thread before I've done almost anything so I can stick to my plan and get working on some opinions.

Giddy up partner. Let's do this.

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#2 8 months ago

From the limited pictures it seems you have a solid game to start with. The playfield looks very good. Spraymax is a great product. I’ve done three playfields with it and they turned out great. Good luck with your project and share lots of pictures. Most of us like to follow the process and don’t consider it “waving my flag looking for attention”. I enjoy the details.

#3 8 months ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

Most of us like to follow the process and don’t consider it “waving my flag looking for attention”. I enjoy the details.

I guess this was me more saying “I am about to make 1 million mistakes, let me know if you see me doing something wrong”

#4 8 months ago

Topside playfield teardown has begun and been (almost) completed. Playfield is pretty dirty, but not terrible. Shooter lane needs a lot of work!

I am going to be very gentle and take my time with those wire lane guides on the right. I am absolutely scared shitless with almost every part of this process, but I am most afraid of that part.
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#5 8 months ago

...

#6 8 months ago

Is the entire cabinet painted blue? Yikes!!

#7 8 months ago

Decided to drain my last post and reupload it. I do photo/video work for a living, so goddamnit, I’m going to take some beautiful photos of all of this for you guys. You deserve it.

Bottom side playfield is in fairly good condition but the big problem is the drop targets and flipper mechs. Both flipper bushings are cracked and the coil sleeves were ruined (although every coil sleeve on the game will be replaced)

Some kind of crappy work done on the drop targets over the years and almost all of them are blackened, broken and cracked. Each coil needs a new proper sized sleeve and new coil stop nuts. The unit has been removed and I am beginning to clean it and do my best to diagnose what will need to be done.

I’ve heard of people tossing the whole playfield harness into the washing machine, drops and all. Anybody had good experience with this?

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#8 8 months ago

Tonight I begin the under playfield teardown. Out of an abundance of caution switch, coil, gi, ground, and anything else has been tagged with masking tape so I know where it goes later. The playfield guts arent nearly as dirty as the machine board, but they all need to be cleaned all the same.

Everything goes into a militantly organized baggie for later population. Coils will be removed so hopefully the whole harness can go in the wash. Maybe its overkill, but its been methodical none the less.

In other news, my girlfriend and I were both informed that a large amount of our paychecks have been cut due to Covid19 issues. While we’re still employed which is a lot more than a lot of our friends, it is a huge blow. So tonight, I’m having a few glasses of this Finlaggin scotch. Got it on mega-sale. At the liquor store. Your basic smokey Isley. On the record player we have the final stage of The Caretaker’s “Everywhere at the End Of Time” through the Ohm Walsh 2s. Great speakers, better record.

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#9 7 months ago

Onto the in-cabinet equipment board. I have successfully removed it, give it a basic wipe down (exploring options for cleaning the entire harness, any opinions are welcome! Very curious about washing machine tricks!)

Quite a few wires have been snipped and reconnected with wire nuts, undoubtedly to allow for free play as most snips are done on chute and player reset relays (which boggles my mind as there's plenty of easier ways and less destructive ways to do this). As going through the schematic and finding each relay switch and its color assignment seems extremely tedious, I've been making a guide which has been pretty helpful. I made an extremely high res scan of the schematic that I got from Pinball Resource and I've been going through and making a layer mask in photoshop for each relay with all of its associated relay switches (and a different shade of the same color for each playfield switch that will fire this relay coil). Even though I've been at it for over an hour now, I can easily see this saving me boat loads of time down the road. Anybody else do this?

Working in the very funny home-office tonight. I've had Bad History Month's record "Dead and Loving It: An Introductory Exploration of Pessimysticism" a lot of listens tonight and have been enjoying some Wild Turkey 101 on on the rocks.
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#10 7 months ago

I am curious how you are tagging things for later reconnection. I’m doing the same on a miss-o and I am really worried I will not get a pic or document what goes where we’ll enough, especially with wire colors being so dirty... is this the brown-grey wire that went to the lamp close to the upper left pop bumper?

#11 7 months ago
Quoted from mark532011:

I am curious how you are tagging things for later reconnection. I’m doing the same on a miss-o and I am really worried I will not get a pic or document what goes where we’ll enough, especially with wire colors being so dirty... is this the brown-grey wire that went to the lamp close to the upper left pop bumper?

For the most part, the playfield teardown was easy because I didn't desolder anything. Everything was just unscrewed and removed incrementally. Everything stayed in its harness, so it "should" make sense going back in even without the tags. For tagging the playfield I made a set of rules and stuck to them (as arbitrary as they may have been). The Rights and Lefts would be referred to from the paint side up (i.e. everything is mirrored). If I were desoldering every socket and getting just raw wire, I'd be a little bit more meticulous than I already have been but since the wring harness is staying together (with the exception fo a few Playfield relays) everything stays together.

For the equipment board.... that's another story. That's the reason I've made the full photoshop map of of every switch and its corresponding relay coil. I'll be able to judge what is "supposed to be brown" from the context clues of the wires around them.

4 weeks later
#12 6 months ago

I’m also working on a Lawman here in Australia during lockdown! Here’s a couple of pics of my customers game.
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#13 6 months ago

Whoops!

Well, this didn’t go as smoothly as planned. I feel like one of the weaknesses in the vast number of responses and counter arguments in Vid’s guide is that there are some “simple things” that get a little glossed over. Getting rid of playfield grit dirt and grime. Did a full wipedown with naptha with both rags and magic eraser and got nowhere. Used some rubbing alcohol to wear down some of the top coat and went a little too far.

Feeling a bit like a fool and I’ll have to fix it in the painting stage, but we all learn from our mistakes. Any tips for how to not do this again are welcome!

Tonight I finish off my work with a bit of Vida Mezcal and watching Paradise Lost. Pretty interesting documentary if you haven’t seen it.

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1 month later
#14 5 months ago

Cabinet and backbox are completely stripped of all metal, paper, and anything else. I will be stripping the cabinet of its god awful paint this week and starting from the ground up. PinballPimp Stencils came in a while ago and I’m itching to apply them.

Whoever painted this blue... why I aughtta....

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1 month later
#15 4 months ago

Long time no update!

This blue paint has really been an absolute pain in the ass to get off. I tried to use Jeff at Pinball Pimp's suggestion of acetone drenched paper towels, but this blue paint is really tough shit. Latex based or something like that. Ended up having to use some chemical paint stripper and it crumbles off beautifully. Would definitely be overkill for an original paint job but a necessity for this one. The original paint pattern shines through on the wood, which is always fun.

Once this is all done, the sanding and corner finishing will commence. I've also finally cleared out space in my parents attic that will have proper ventilation and a 5x10 paint booth. Looking forward to getting to work on the playfield.

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#16 4 months ago

Acetone only works on the original factory painted cabinets. It will not remove latex paint.

#17 4 months ago
Quoted from PinballPimp:

Acetone only works on the original factory painted cabinets. It will not remove latex paint.

Oh trust me, I found that out the long, hard way.

It did actually work to some degree, just not as well as it needed.

#18 4 months ago

Following this thread.

Saw your earlier post on how to keep paint from coming off. Work a small bit at a time and check the cleaning rag or ME piece you are using often for paint bits. Unless you are doing a re-paint and clear, sometimes it's OK to live with some ball swirl.

One of the Pinsiders on this EM board has a great quote, "The biggest enemy of good is better." I still have not learned this lesson.

#19 4 months ago
Quoted from Peruman:

"The biggest enemy of good is better."

That's a really poignant quote. I think also some of the "ball swirl" was just bad cracks with gun in it unfortunately. Luckily, all the areas that I rubbed the paint off of should be easy to color match and feather out, but we will see!

Thanks for the follow. Sometimes I feel like I'm talkin' to the wind. Not that out of the ordinary for me though.

When one is trying to get ball swirl out, I've been using some isopropyl, but should I try using naphtha? Seems like a weird idea, but one of the things that I think gets lost in translation about cleaning a playfield is what to use with what and when...

#20 4 months ago

I’ve tried both for removing ball swirl. Alcohol does a better job but it’s because it removes some of the clear coat. I don’t have the space to spray clear coat so I tend to stay away from using alcohol for cleaning.

I’m in the naphtha camp

3 weeks later
#21 3 months ago

It’s been exceptionally hot here and work has been crazy so I had to take a bit of a break from this project. But we’re back at it.

Latex paint be gone. The cabinet has been sanded down to 180 with the belt sander then the orbital sander. No true casualties in the process with the exception of a chunk of the pedestal which is being glued back together (a nice clean break). I solemnly swear to never pick up another project that has been painted over.

Next week I will be filling in some nicks to get it ultra smooth with some fiberglass and then some more fine sanding then this baby will be ready to prime.

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3 weeks later
#22 82 days ago

I turned 27 today! No better time to try two new things:

Triple Thick'ing the backglass and priming the cabinet for painting its base coat tomorrow. The glass wasn't terrible as there is very little of this glass that is translucent, but the entirety of it is flaking. A lot of it game off just from taking the glass out and transporting it. Seemed to go okay, but I have definitely learned a lot. One lesson is not to panic when it looks like the triple thick is clouding up. It DOES dry clear and there is no need to worry. Two of the frames for the score reels went wiggy and I decided to try and cut the triple thick out before it hardened. Ended up chipping some paint away. For a restoration, I'm doing a pretty bad job at the PRESERVATION aspect of it.

The cabinet on the other hand is looking pretty. Filled some of the nastier gouges with wood filler. 3 coats of Kilz original sanded in-between and it's looking good. I'm a huge fan of bare wood so I love the details and intricacies of the material and didn't feel the need to sand out/fill every defect and detail of the wood itself. If I were putting decals on the game, I would demand it be smooth as steel, but I feel find leaving a little bit of the grain showing for this one.

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1 month later
#23 40 days ago

Long time no talk!

So now we're getting into the real of it. My updates have been slow because I've had a surprisingly busy summer and also I'm entering the point of this restoration where I'm trying to be extra cautious and not screw anything up (although this whole first restoration is going to be a true learning experience for me). So, here we go:

Truth be told: I should have done slower, more graduated sanding while trying to remove the blue paint. According to my father who has been helping me out a lot, and still mind you has yet to come through on his claim of "knowing everything there is to know about sanding and painting surfaces", the raised grain shown in the last photo would smooth out with more primer, base coats, and sanding in-between coats. Turns out, he was wrong on that. I regret not sanding it down smoother and slower at the beginning, but at the time, only a hand belt sander and a sand block were at my disposal and I took the easy route and regret it now. Lesson learned!

At first, I started out using a base coat of Krylon Gloss Dover White because it game recommended in the pinball pimp stencils instructions. After 4-5 base coats, I found that for some reason, possibly with the theme, it felt just too white for me. So I decided to go with the Rustoleum 2x Almond, which was also not it. Too dark, and not saturated enough. In the end I went with the Rustoleum 2x Gloss Navajo White. Bingo. The perfect warm white that I was looking for and I feel great about the decision to stick with that color.

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It was also my first time doing webbing of any sort. I ended up trying the Montana Black Marble effect that is readily available from your local art supplier. While it was great, it definitely is thicker than the original cabinet webbing. However, given the simplicity of it, I'll take a slight imperfection over me trying to figure out how to do the paint gun trick myself. Given the change in thickness, it's also kind of hard to tell how much and how close to do it to one another. There's a good chance I went a little heavy handed with the webbing, but it's fairly even in my eyes so I'm happy with it.

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Last, since I'm going to be using stencils, I put down a light layer of clear on the cabinet to help seal in the webbing. I've heard a few reports of the stencils adhesive taking off details like this and I didn't want to risk it. In some areas, it did smooth out the cabinet as well so I'm happy to do it.

The next restoration on my plate is a Slick Chick (my mother's all time favorite game) and I will hopefully have a better paint setup and can try the method described by so many at length.

Drinking some Peroni's tonight. The worlds best beer. I recommend you try it.

2 weeks later
#24 24 days ago

So I know I said no cell phone photos but I was beat after doing all this painting and got a little lazy. Cabinet is painted. Big thanks for PinballPimp for having all the clear documentation on his site and for making a good product! A few notes:

A few things I've realized is that I still have a lot of practice and training to do when it comes to spraying out of a can. I found that the Rustoleum 2X looked a lot better for the base coat, but when it came to painting larger areas, it balled up and dripped fairly quickly. I think next time I will not rush it and shoot each side facing down and let it dry. It's getting cold up here and we have had a few nice days of weather so I figured this was my last chance to do it. You know another piece of technique that isn't my strong suit (yet)? Really big stickers of any kind. So with those things in mind, I'm fairly happy with the final outcome. There are a few small areas of overspray some that will be easier to fix than others, I also keep trying to remind myself that this looks one million times better than a cabinet painted blue with house paint!

For reference, I ended up using Navajo White as my base color, Montana Marble Black for the webbing, Spraymax 2k for the clear in-between the webbing and the stencils to avoid the stencils lifting the webbing, Rustoleum 2x "Real Orange" for the orange and Rustoleum "Chestnut" for the brown (both gloss).

I was hoping that at this point, I would have been far along enough in the process that I would have been able to have set up my paint booth, laid down some sold layers of clear on the playfield, and then be able to spend some of the winter working on painting/restoring the playfield. No dice. That will have to wait til next spring/summer. For now I'm going to move onto the equipment board and the backbox score board. Cleaning, polishing, replacing fucked up wires. Things of that sort.

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#25 24 days ago

That cabinet looks good. I recently finished restoring a 1968 Domino, also did a cabinet repaint using Rustoleum. Laying the cabinet on it's side and doing one side at a time, although time consuming, did away with any drips from the spray paint.

The photos are of the Domino, it started wallpapered, rusty, and moldy.

Regards,

Alberto

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#26 24 days ago

WOW yeah you really did a great job with that one. We're in similar boats it seems.

Truth be told though, the walnut veneer is pretty sick

#27 24 days ago

Nice job Ty.

#28 24 days ago

There's a good number of NH residents in the EM board, good to see.

Alberto

#29 24 days ago
Quoted from Peruman:

There's a good number of NH residents in the EM board, good to see.
Alberto

Someday we'll all be able to get together again and throw some ball. Really missing the local community.

Also Alberto, if you haven't peeped at any of Erik's work, it's really impressive. Really remarkable skills and attention to detail.

#30 24 days ago
Quoted from radial_head:

Someday we'll all be able to get together again and throw some ball. Really missing the local community.
Also Alberto, if you haven't peeped at any of Erik's work, it's really impressive. Really remarkable skills and attention to detail.

I agree - we could have a good gathering.

I'll have to look up his stuff here on Pinside. I have only been at this for 1 year and I'm always looking to get better.

#31 24 days ago
Quoted from radial_head:

Someday we'll all be able to get together again and throw some ball. Really missing the local community.
Also Alberto, if you haven't peeped at any of Erik's work, it's really impressive. Really remarkable skills and attention to detail.

Thanks for the kind words Ty.

2 weeks later
#32 9 days ago
Quoted from Peruman:

That cabinet looks good. I recently finished restoring a 1968 Domino, also did a cabinet repaint using Rustoleum. Laying the cabinet on it's side and doing one side at a time, although time consuming, did away with any drips from the spray paint.
The photos are of the Domino, it started wallpapered, rusty, and moldy.
Regards,
Alberto
[quoted image][quoted image]

Why do people wallpaper their pins? AARRGG!! It's WALLpaper, not PINpaper!

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