A Fish Tales rebuild...


By cosmokramer

1 month ago


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  • 154 posts
  • 34 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 minutes ago by patrickvc
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There are 154 posts in topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
#101 28 days ago

Keep up the good work cosmo! Looking forward to seeing the final result !

#102 27 days ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Keep up the good work cosmo! Looking forward to seeing the final result !

Thanks, I have not been able to make any progress as my back problems have ramped up and its hard to move right now...Im hoping to get back to this project soon.
Once the cab is built it should go back together fairly quickly. However I think it would be a good idea to build the cab, then assemble the game just to make sure everything is cool with the fit and finish. Then I will take the game apart again and paint/decal the cab before final assembly.
Looks like the hardest part of cab construction is about done, I have a pretty dialed in set up for the miter joints now. This pic is the last test that still had a tiny gap, I did not take a pic of the final joint, but will do so when I post pics of the cab...

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I will probably start a second thread that will document the cab build so someone can use it without having to root through the other chatter in this thread to do so. Quite a few people have asked for a detailed how-to guide, I will try to outline it as best I can...

#103 27 days ago

Im wondering if it that small gap might be a good thing to allow some wood glue into the joint ?

#104 23 days ago

do how are going to do the 90 degree router cuts? that seems like it would be the hardest part of getting those joints ready.

#105 22 days ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

do how are going to do the 90 degree router cuts? that seems like it would be the hardest part of getting those joints ready.

I will start a seperate cabinet building thread to document the entire process. I have not been able to do any work lately so progress has stalled. As soon as I physically am able to continue, I will...

#106 22 days ago

I hope you feel better soon, and I look forward to the cabinet build thread.

#107 22 days ago

Hope your back on your feet and feeling better soon Cosmo !

#108 21 days ago

Totally...feel better bro, we talked at pinball madness..Took me 2 years to recover from from torn shoulder.
Your tough, youll be good soon

#109 21 days ago

Sorry to read this about your back @cosmokramer. I hope u feel better soon, I have had injections in my back and struggled with pain for a long time so I empathize with your discomfort

#110 20 days ago

Herniated disk ? I had that once , it was terrible , surgery fixed me right up though!

#111 20 days ago

Thanks guys, I was diagnosed yesterday with a "displaced nerve" and have to see a neurosurgeon. That sounds like fun.

I should have a bit more done on the cab this weekend. I have been getting the last few pieces of tooling and bought a second router to make things easier.

#112 18 days ago

Was able to spend a short amount of time in the shop today before I had to get off my feet.
I will go into cab construction in detail in a dedicated thread, but I thought I would post a few pics of what was done today, all the tools and methods will be documented later....

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These are the 4 sides cut and miter edjed...the are not glued, just testing fit...I just need to cut the front and back panel down, they stick up about an inch over the side pieces
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#113 18 days ago

This thread is awesome. I wish I had better woodworking skills. You are doing an impressive job so far. Fish tales is quickly becoming one of my favorite games of all time. I picked mine up because I got it for a steal of a deal but I’m not sure if it will ever leave

#114 17 days ago

The craftsmanship here is awesome! @cosmokramer

#115 17 days ago

This is a very impressive restoration project...u clearly have some mad skill sets

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#116 17 days ago
Quoted from Soulrider911:

The craftsmanship here is awesome! cosmokramer

Quoted from PtownPin:

This is a very impressive restoration project...u clearly have some mad skill sets

Everything I'm able to do today is because of the old man in the above photos. My dad started teaching me about tools and craftsmanship at an early age and, luckily for me, I still learn something everytime we work together. Time spent working on these projects with him are more valueable than what I have to show for it at the end...

#117 17 days ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

Time spent working on these projects with him are more valueable than what I have to show for it at the end...

That's what it's all about man! I'd give ANYTHING for one of them afternoons again! Your old man taught u well tho...your attention to detail is amazing! Great work!

#118 11 days ago

After working on a few other games this week, today I get back to the FT project. Today the cab should be assembled and glued. I bought 2 more sheets of 3/4 " MDO, 2 sheets of 1/4" ply (yes, I bought 1/4" again for the bottom instead of 1/2"...I will explain why in the cabinet build thread) and 1 sheet of 1/2" particle board. I bought all this extra lumber because why build one cabinet when you can build 3!

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Also spending time today on the coin door restoration...

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More to come...

#119 11 days ago

The top piece has an angle cut so the glass slides easily into the retainer...an easy cut on the table saw after making a new top piece...

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Testing dado blade settings...

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Cut cab for insertion of bottom and cross brace..

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Nice clean new bottom...

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Squaring these up can be a bitch, setting up a jig to help...

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Lets see how it fits...

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All cabinet pieces are cut and tested for fit and finish, so far so good...now its time to cut the back box pieces. I will be using 3/4" MDO again to reduce prep time for decal application, and using 1/2" particle board for the back of the head for an original look..

#120 10 days ago

Lets take a look at the coin door...

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The coin door is in great shape for the most part, pretty dirty on the backside...

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Buy luckily for me the main door skin is in perfect shape, all the texture is there and no dents...

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The bezel however shows what thousands of coins can do to the paint. The "tokens only" sticker residue must go as well...

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Almost there, Im going to retexture the bezel to match the door skin. Then paint the bezel, skin, frame and mounting bolts...

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#121 10 days ago

Looking good!

#122 10 days ago

Whats this part called so I can source one?
Its the metal shroud that attatches to the apron and covers the shooter lane coil. I found the decal, just need the base. I can fabricate one if needed but would prefer not to...

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EDIT: I found it...I swear I looked at every FT part Marco has and couldnt find it...then was looking for something else and found this part.

#123 10 days ago

Awesome work cosmo !

#124 10 days ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

Looking good!

Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Awesome work cosmo !

Thanks...
Got the coin door assembly prepped for painting. Since I dont have to do any bodywork, I dont have bead blast the paint off the steel. I just cleaned the parts with simple green, then dried them and wiped down wirh naptha. Nothin fancy here, just some plastic, some foam for the bolts and some custom stands for the coin door...

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I like to use a light color primer when I have to do any texturing, it allows me to better monitor the black laquer blobs as I try to match the original pattern. Although the bezel is the only component that I am texturing, I use the same light color primer on all parts. I found out the hard way on another restoration that primer color does change the primary color...starting with a light coat...

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And after final coat...I will hit it with some 800 grit and water very lightly to knock down a few pieces of dust...

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#125 10 days ago

Are you going to try and replicate the original finish ? If so, whats the plan ?

#126 10 days ago
Quoted from SUPERBEE:

Are you going to try and replicate the original finish ? If so, whats the plan ?

Yes, I use instant drying laquer that I chill in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Then with some practice you learn to just barely depress the nozzle and the laquer "spits" out in small globs, slowly building up the texture until it looks right. Then I paint the whole thing again with a coat of black paint...

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Heres one I did for my Pinbot 2 years ago...

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#127 10 days ago

Very cool. Looking forward to seeing the results.

#128 10 days ago

Awesome progress! How much for you to rip me a kit for me to assemble at home?

#129 9 days ago

Getting ready to test fit...

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#130 9 days ago

Just some pics for fun...

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#131 9 days ago

Fish tales is the best pinball ever made. Anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong.

#132 9 days ago

Good job man!

Quoted from screaminr:

Fish tales is the best pinball ever made.

That's debatable but it's sure a pretty art and sound package

#133 9 days ago

Tight work Cosmo! Love the idea of that weld bracket for support on legs. My Addams could use 2 of those in front.

#134 9 days ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Tight work Cosmo! Love the idea of that weld bracket for support on legs.

Im guessing that he is only using these to support the leg on the cabinet while he drills the holes but actually wouldnt be a bad idea for all legs. Just make them narrower so they dont show on the side.

#135 9 days ago

Wow! this is looking so awesome!! And this game is one of my fav's I love the color, callouts and music, just a fun game

#136 8 days ago

Checking fit and finish, not too bad. I had a bit of worry when I slid the glass in, when I grooved the top of the side panels for the glass channel the blade I used was a bit wider than they used originally. As a result the glass channels are about 1/8" farther apart than they should be. Not a huge deal as the glass would just have a bit of slop but overall would be un-noticed....But, when I put the glass in the channel it was VERY loose, and even sort of fell out of the channel. I measured everything twice comparing my new cab to my original FT cab and to my WH20 cab but just came up with a 1/8" difference and could not figure out why 1/8" would cause so much slop.
As it turns out I finally measured the glass itself and it was only 20 7/8" not a full 21" wide.. so instead of dealing with a 1/8" gap it was really 1/4"...I swapped glass with my WH20 and now it fits pretty good.
Pretty good is, well, pretty good...but Im going to try for better, I think this cab will just be used as a prototype and not get decaled. I will build a new cab to actually use for the project when it comes time to paint and decal...

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#137 8 days ago

Quick note on the side rails. After the are removed from the game the two sided tape used to hold the rails to the cabinet needs to be removed. I have tried to heat them up and scrape it off but that doesnt work, the only way I found is to moisten the tape with gasoline and let it break down the adhesive. Then I use a razorblade to remove the gummy mess. It takes 2 or 3 attempts to get it all off. Then I wash with soap and water, dry them off and they will be ready for re-finishing...

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#138 7 days ago

Man that's dedication!

What are your plan for the rails? From the pictures they seemed to have a few dings, good enough to powerder coat?

#139 7 days ago
Quoted from Plumonium:

Man that's dedication!
What are your plan for the rails? From the pictures they seemed to have a few dings, good enough to powerder coat?

I really want to powdercoat but I have yet to see a color on FT that doesnt look awful. If anybody has any suggestions I would like to see them.
As far as the dings go, I can usually get them back into shape. They look worse in the pics than they are. After straightening them out they will get regrained back to original finish if I dont powder.

#140 7 days ago

2 days for the primer to dry completely, now its time to put the texture. I'm going to try to replicate the original pattern on the coin slot bezel only....if I do it right it will match the coin door and both will get a finish coat of black. If it doesnt match then I will strip all components down to metal and texture it all.
I use Ace brand instant drying laquer ( pictured in a previous post ) and then chill in the freezer...this was a full can so I had to leave it in the freezer for almost 45 minutes, a partial can takes about 25. Then I practice on some cardboard, lightly pressing down causing the paint to splatter. Once I get the right feel its time to apply it ...

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First a light dusting, still working on tecnique. I find each can sprays a bit different, you have to find the sweet spot...

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Second pass. Luckily, Instant drying laquer is, well, lets just say it dries quickly...no time needed between coats...

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Now its starting to look right, the key is to progress slowly. Its easier to add more that to fix a big blob...

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I rub my finger on the original texture, then the bezel, when they feel the same I guess I'm done. I wont know if I got it right until I hit it with the black paint...

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#141 7 days ago

Very cool. Hopefully it matches.

#142 7 days ago

I've used a similar eraser wheel to remove 2-sided tape with good success and no chemicals:

amazon.com link »

#143 6 days ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

I've used a similar eraser wheel to remove 2-sided tape with good success and no chemicals:
amazon.com link »

I'll give it a try, I dont like using a chemical and would like an alternative...but I tried a sanding wheel and it would clog up instantly.

#144 6 days ago

I ordered an eraser wheel, looking forward to trying it on some other adhesives as well

Since I dont think I have spent enough money on this project, I grabbed a color DMD to put in it....

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#145 6 days ago

Nice! How much do they run for in the US?

#146 6 days ago

I love the color DMD in my fishtales

#147 5 days ago

Hey Cosmo, I JUST found this thread cuz I’m thinking of adding a Fish Tales to the lineup. So I’m following for sure. You’re really doing a bang up job! Regarding those cabinet corners, I use this set up block from MLCS to set up my router bits (also from MLCS) And, you’re right, do it in 3 passes or so. Take a little off at a time. Keep up the great work!

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#148 5 days ago

Hey Art! Good to hear from you buddy. Thanks for the heads up with the set up block. I kept a few pieces of scrap to reset the fence, but that block will work better. Im going to cut out the pieces for 2 more cabinets this weekend, but I think I'm going back to birch. I found that the MDO has a tendency to chip, I never had that problem when I used MDO for other projects but those didnt involve detailed corners. Its too bad because I was looking forward to not having a lot of bondo and sanding.
If you get the FT, let me know if you need any parts, I have some stuff I wont need.

I should have the coin door done and reassembled this weekend. The proto cabinet seems to be close to what I want, I will knock out 2 more cabs and get one in the gameroom for drilling and fitting. I have a buddy who is quite a bit smarter than me designing and 3D printing some custom jigs to aide in the drilling of the leg bolt holes, insuring the bit penetrates at a 45° angle. I plan on getting as much done before my back surgery but I doubt this project will be completed. If I can get the cab built, painted and decaled at least I can work on small details during recovery.

Again if anyone has any suggestions for powdercoat let me know...

#149 21 hours ago

Little to report, got pieces for 2 more cabinets cut, this time out of domestic birch...had to spend a little time perfecting the joint used on the back box. I used a locking miter joint for the lower cab because it is stronger than original and cant be seen once the side rails and lock down bar are on. I wanted to use an original back box joint because you can clearly see it after the game is assembled and it needs to look correct...

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Test joint ^^

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A Williams original back box joint^^

.

.
Next is a pic of the playfield hooked up to life support. I've got a weak pulse, condition is currently critical. If I can get the vital signs stabilized I can take care of switch test/adjustments, coil tests, lamp tests, board operations etc so that when the cabinet is done I *should* be able to just simply assemble it and hopefully just fine tune it...

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#150 21 hours ago

Great stuff! Can't wait to see this baby done! Such a fun game

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