(Topic ID: 296744)

1979 Stern Meteor Project

By Mathazar

65 days ago


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  • 123 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by Mathazar
  • Topic is favorited by 17 Pinsiders

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  • Meteor Stern Electronics, 1979

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There are 123 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
#101 32 days ago

Had another "oops" moment this evening. As I finished up putting the wire harness in, I noticed that I forgot to put the two T-Nuts in my CPR playfield (they secure the apron). Obviously the best time to put those in would be first, before you do anything to the playfield, so you have a nice, flat surface to hammer them in. Haha! This playfield swap is almost done, and I've got to get the T-Nuts in. At least there are only two, and they're near an outside edge of the playfield.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I propped up the playfield and used a c-clamp to apply enough pressure to set in the T-Nuts. Worked like a champ.

T-Nut (resized).jpg
#102 32 days ago

I found a Comet LED strip in my lighting case and temporarily rigged it up behind the drain. Here's a shot of where it is, and what it looks like with the apron sort of on (clamps on the rotisserie prevent the apron from fully resting on the playfield, but you get the idea).

I think I like it and may keep this.
Light Test 02 (resized).jpgLight Test 04 (resized).jpg

#103 31 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Taking a break from the playfield for a bit to see what I'm going to need in the lower cabinet. Pretty much all the parts seem to be there, but the knocker looks odd.
From what I can tell, aside from the wrong coil (I have a new, proper N-26-1200 in my parts bin), everything looks correct except for the plunger. Shouldn't there be a plastic tip at the end of the plunger to hit the strike plate? Unfortunately, the Stern parts catalog for that part isn't particularly helpful in that regard. Marco's has a blow-out Classic Stern knocker diagram that doesn't seem to show the complete parts list (no spring, washer, or e-clips on the plunger) but it does show some sort of tip at the end of the plunger. However, I'm having great difficulty in finding that plunger part or an equivalent online.
Any suggestions? What do your Classic Stern knocker plungers look like?[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Here's a $6 bet that paid off.

Determined the classic Stern knocker in my Meteor project is missing the nylon tip. I searched hi and low, new and used, and have been unable to find a replacement plunger. Knowing the classic Bally knocker plunger is shorter and doesn't have the groove at the bottom end (for an e-clip that holds on some washers), it looked to be the same diameter as the classic Stern so I added a new one to my last PBL parts order. Came in today - using vice gripes and pliers, I was able to pull the nylon tip out of the Bally. And with a heavyweight hammer, I pounded it into the Stern. Bingo!

Knocker04a (resized).jpgKnocker05 (resized).jpg
#104 31 days ago

Thanks for the tip, I’m gonna need it

DE03611C-348E-435B-9ED4-9FF8B3CF68BD (resized).jpeg
#105 31 days ago
Quoted from play_pinball:

Thanks for the tip, I’m gonna need it

I see what you did there.

#106 30 days ago

With the playfield more or less done until I can reassemble everything and see how my swap went, my attention is moving to the cabinet.

While structurally sound and surprisingly with very little dings or gouges, both sides and the cabinet front suffer from some pretty decent planking. The ridges are fairly deep and rough to the touch. The ridges are present only below where the side rails went....the wood under the side rails is nice and smooth. This pin must've spent a lot of time in a garage or some other non-climate controlled area.

I'm experimenting with one of the sides to see how I'm going to approach the rest of the cabinet. I took the first layer of paint off with acetone and then used an orbital sander to see how the cabinet side would smooth out. While visually it still looks like there are ridges, the side is now totally smooth to the touch.

So now I'm wondering....if I proceed to the primer/paint stages, will this ridge/planking problem re-emerge at some point? Or possibly show thru the new paint and primer? I was thinking of putting down a thin layer of bondo but I hate working with bondo and would like to avoid that if at all possible.

I may section off a several square inch area of the cabinet side, put down some primer coats, and then put down a paint coat and see what it looks like. Fresh paint like that will come off in seconds with acetone when it comes time to start over for the Pinball Pimp stencils (or if I decide to put down a layer of bondo).

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#107 30 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

With the playfield more or less done until I can reassemble everything and see how my swap went, my attention is moving to the cabinet.
While structurally sound and surprisingly with very little dings or gouges, both sides and the cabinet front suffer from some pretty decent planking. The ridges are fairly deep and rough to the touch. The ridges are present only below where the side rails went....the wood under the side rails is nice and smooth. This pin must've spent a lot of time in a garage or some other non-climate controlled area.
I'm experimenting with one of the sides to see how I'm going to approach the rest of the cabinet. I took the first layer of paint off with acetone and then used an orbital sander to see how the cabinet side would smooth out. While visually it still looks like there are ridges, the side is now totally smooth to the touch.
So now I'm wondering....if I proceed to the primer/paint stages, will this ridge/planking problem re-emerge at some point? Or possibly show thru the new paint and primer? I was thinking of putting down a thin layer of bondo but I hate working with bondo and would like to avoid that if at all possible.
I may section off a several square inch area of the cabinet side, put down some primer coats, and then put down a paint coat and see what it looks like. Fresh paint like that will come off in seconds with acetone when it comes time to start over for the Pinball Pimp stencils (or if I decide to put down a layer of bondo).[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Try using Durham’s Rock Hard putty rather than bondo. You can mix it thin to use it to fill the grain smooth and it sands down nicely. I got this tip from Jeff Miller (Pinball Pimp)

#108 30 days ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

Try using Durham’s Rock Hard putty rather than bondo. You can mix it thin to use it to fill the grain smooth and it sands down nicely. I got this tip from Jeff Miller (Pinball Pimp)

Thanx for that....never heard of it, and just started reading up on it. Certainly looks easier to work with vs. bondo. Looks like a trip to Home Depot will be on my errand run tomorrow.....my local store shows more than a dozen in stock.

#109 29 days ago

Sadly no shortcuts IMO to making a cabinet look nice. If your going to go through the trouble of cabinet restoration, you'll be thanking yourself later when you did it right.

Remove paint---Sand.
Rebuild corners/edges with epoxy---Sand.
Fill dents & large grain with Bondo---Sand.
Prime with sandable primer---Sand. Repeat step.
Final primer---Paint
Then seal with clear.

Your products may be diffrent but the process is the same. It's the worst part of any restore, but it's worth so much in the end. Specially if you go it sell it someday. The sandable primer is the key, because it fills most of the small imperfections & makes the surface flat & smooth.

#110 29 days ago

24hrs in a tumbler with walnut media - nice difference, especially the bolts and washers that secure the head to the lower cabinet.

Tumbled Parts 00 (resized).jpg
#111 29 days ago
Quoted from bigguybbr:

Try using Durham’s Rock Hard putty rather than bondo. You can mix it thin to use it to fill the grain smooth and it sands down nicely. I got this tip from Jeff Miller (Pinball Pimp)

I picked up some Durham's today and practiced on some spare plywood with different mixing ratios for viscosity, from thicker putty for filling in holes to thinner glaze to smooth out scratches. Not too bad. It's more flexible than bondo in that way, and more importantly it does not set as quickly as bondo giving me more time to work. Within 20 minutes it was set hard and touchable. In under an hour, it was sandable. 4 hours later, hard as rock.

Going to finish stripping the paint this weekend and then working on rebuilding some edges with wood epoxy. After that, and perhaps a little more practice on scrap plywood, I think I'll try Durham's for smoothing out the cabinet sides (and front and rear) to cover up that planking.

#112 29 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

I picked up some Durham's today and practiced on some spare plywood with different mixing ratios for viscosity, from thicker putty for filling in holes to thinner glaze to smooth out scratches. Not too bad. It's more flexible than bondo in that way, and more importantly it does not set as quickly as bondo giving me more time to work. Within 20 minutes it was set hard and touchable. In under an hour, it was sandable. 4 hours later, hard as rock.
Going to finish stripping the paint this weekend and then working on rebuilding some edges with wood epoxy. After that, and perhaps a little more practice on scrap plywood, I think I'll try Durham's for smoothing out the cabinet sides (and front and rear) to cover up that planking.

This trick might help you with the corners & the epoxy resin.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/my-2nd-restoration-quicksilver-scratch-build#post-5790793

#113 28 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

I picked up some Durham's today and practiced on some spare plywood with different mixing ratios for viscosity, from thicker putty for filling in holes to thinner glaze to smooth out scratches. Not too bad. It's more flexible than bondo in that way, and more importantly it does not set as quickly as bondo giving me more time to work. Within 20 minutes it was set hard and touchable. In under an hour, it was sandable. 4 hours later, hard as rock.
Going to finish stripping the paint this weekend and then working on rebuilding some edges with wood epoxy. After that, and perhaps a little more practice on scrap plywood, I think I'll try Durham's for smoothing out the cabinet sides (and front and rear) to cover up that planking.

Glad it worked out!

#114 28 days ago

That’s my new favorite way to do large corner repairs. Really worked wonders on my Trident.

My only advice is if you fill a large flat area, like a patch where the plywood delaminated and came off, is to periodically stop sanding and let it cool. You can heat it enough that the resin can let go if you aren’t careful.

2 weeks later
#115 10 days ago

It's been a few weeks since my last Meteor update - life gets in the way, you know? Plus....I had a long, drawn-out multi-week saga with JB Weld's QuikWood.

I've been a user of this product for years and like many others here who have recently reviewed KwickWood on various websites, I was beginning to wonder what happened with their quality control. I'd purchased 6 different packages over the last 5 months at Lowes, Home Depot, and Walmart and all had the same issue - the center/core was yellow-ish instead of white-ish, and fresh out of the box it was already hard in spots and very granular. It could not be kneaded or mixed without it falling apart and crumbling in my hand, and it would never seem to "set" or "kick" (it's supposed to be sandable in an hour). In the times that I could actually kneed it smooth and apply it, it would crumble at the lightest sanding even after letting it sit for more than 24hrs.

I contacted JB Weld through their corporate website complaining about their product's performance as of late and the next day, a customer service person emailed me back and explained that they indeed had an issue with their "chemical process" earlier this year and that there are bad batches floating around (and apparently still sitting on store shelves even today). No announcement or recall from them, no notices of how to identify the bad batches or how many date codes are affected, but at least an acknowledgement of a manufacturing issue. They took my shipping address and 4 days later I got a box of twelve 3.5" KwikWood sticks! Sure enough, these work fine and I'm back in business filling in small gauges and cracks in my Meteor cabinet.

#116 10 days ago

I'm sure I'm late to the party, but a few weeks ago I discovered a little flex-tube thingy that allows me to hook up my shop vac to my orbital sander. Not sure I'd want to use this indoors, but it really does improve the saw dust / bondo dust collection while sanding.

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#117 10 days ago

Here's some bottom edge work on the left side of the cab along with some filling in some of the deep gouges. The bottom edge has been sanded and blended in nice and smooth while the gouge-fills still need to be sanded down.

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#118 10 days ago

So here's the back of the lower cab. I stripped as much paint off as I could, repaired some rotten/delaminated wood in the lower left corner, and used Durham's to put down a thin layer to get a good, sandable surface that hides/protects the aging wood.

Durham's seems pretty good and easy to use for small areas, but I don't want to use it for the whole cabinet....just too hard to work with. I like the fact that you can change the consistency as you're using it (add more powder to thicken it or add more water to thin it) and it doesn't kick to quickly. But for spreading it out over large areas, I didn't care for it.

IMG_0523 (resized).JPG
#119 10 days ago

So, back to bondo. I've used it in the past with a lot of success, but I didn't like how much work it was to get it sanded down smooth (lots of pin holes and what-not that needed to be sanded down and blended). I've since discovered I was mixing it wrong - with my last two cabinets, I was using a porous surface and mixing the putty in circles with a wooden paint stick. Wrong. I've since gotten a non-porous mixing pad and am now kneading in the hardener with the bondo spreader before applying it to the cabinet. Much better.

In this photo, I experimented with bondo in the center and sanded it down smooth (white-ish color). Then for the second application, I put it down (gray-ish) around the first application.
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#120 10 days ago

Sanded and feathered smooth and flat. I think I got enough coverage here and will move on to the cabinet sides sometime this week.

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#121 10 days ago

Inspiration arrived from CPR last week - a brand new repro backglass. Can't wait to put this on a newly refurbed and freshly painted and stenciled cabinet.

CPRBG0 (resized).jpgCPRBG1 (resized).jpg
1 week later
#122 2 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Inspiration arrived from CPR last week - a brand new repro backglass. Can't wait to put this on a newly refurbed and freshly painted and stenciled cabinet.[quoted image][quoted image]

looking good are you going to use oil base paint? if so make sure you give the wood some 220 sand paper to bite on. and after your first coat of black, if you roll the paint on use a mohair roller, so no lint let the oil base dry a least 24 hrs depend on weather condtion between coats.

#123 2 days ago
Quoted from Sawyer10702:

looking good are you going to use oil base paint? if so make sure you give the wood some 220 sand paper to bite on. and after your first coat of black, if you roll the paint on use a mohair roller, so no lint let the oil base dry a least 24 hrs depend on weather condtion between coats.

Yes - I typically use Rustoleum 2x Cover rattle cans (oil based). I've gotten good results with it on my previous cabinet projects and it works well with Pinball Pimp stencils. After repairing/prepping the cab with 180/220, I'll put down a couple coats of Kilz primer, sand 320, then base color, then the other two colors, sand stencil edges 800, then clear (all rattle cans). I usually do this work on the weekends, so there's at least 4 to 6 days between the primer, base, color 1, color 2, and clear stages.

Right now, at least for the lower cab, I've gotten the corners, edges, and gouges repaired. The sides were planking pretty good, so I've sanded them smooth and put down a layer of bondo (one side so far, plus the back). The back turned out fine, but the left side needs to be leveled out (got some highs and lows that need to be flattened). Hopefully can knock that out this weekend and start the same procedure on the right side, then the front.

Bondo'd Side 01b (resized).jpgBondo'd Side 02b (resized).jpgBondo'd Side 03c (resized).jpg
There are 123 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.

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