Ahoy Matey! There be a SEAWITCH a restoring...

(Topic ID: 146353)

Ahoy Matey! There be a SEAWITCH a restoring...


By seshpilot

3 years ago



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  • 114 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by mof
  • Topic is favorited by 23 Pinsiders

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There are 114 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 3 years ago

Another grail pin found. Stern's "Seawitch" from 1980, the year I was born. I love this game so much: the artwork is gorgeous, the theme is incredible, the sound of the waves memorizing, and the gameplay blazing fast! I sold my Funhouse to generate funds to restore this baby, and won't be looking back.

I grabbed this off of a KLOV ad. She has been hanging out in California probably since the day she came off the assembly line. She's definitely seen plenty of arcade action, and some home use as well. I probably overpaid for this example, but these just don't come up for sale very often, and the seller seemed like a cool dude. Shipped her back to the Midwest this past week, and she arrived yesterday (12/9/15) via STI (another happy Michelle customer):
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I loved coming home to this site!
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Overall, I'm super pleased with what I've purchased. It's not horribly beat and is a great candidate to restore!
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Now I have 2 questions to ask myself:
1. Do I restore this playfield, or go with a new John Greatwich one?
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#2 3 years ago

And question #2: do I restore the original backglass or buy a Greatwich repro?
IMG_3495.JPGIMG_3496.JPG

There's a number of scratches and flaked areas of the backglass, but it's really not too bad. Would love to hear some thoughts. I haven't done anything to her just yet, but am enjoying playing as is and listening to the sweet sounds of white noise imitating waves crashing in on the share.

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#4 3 years ago

I tell you I was very impressed with John's backglass. I had no choice because mine was junk plus it shattered on me. I bought mine having never played one now I play it daily.

#5 3 years ago

Top three classic Stern for sure. Congrats. Now get in there and repaint that coin door and legs

#6 3 years ago

+1 on the Greatwich glass. His stuff is really well done and I prefer his backglasses to those being released by the other reproductions place. Congrats on the purchase, sesh! Seawitch is a game that has to be played to truly appreciate. I was totally taken aback by how well this deck plays...a real screamer!

#7 3 years ago

Awesome, that is a great machine, I am following thread to see how it comes out.

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

1. Do I restore this playfield, or go with a new John Greatwich one?

I would go with a Greatwich playfield. The blue in the flipper area fades to a seafoam green, inserts will be cupped and loose. Unless you're doing the work yourself you're better off financially to buy one of John's.

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

I would go with a Greatwich playfield.

Dothedoo is right. I've seen it in person and it looks great.

#10 3 years ago
Quoted from PappyBoyington:

Dothedoo is right. I've seen it in person and it looks great.

I hear you. I'm just concerned with how many times the playfields have been delayed. Any word on an official release date?

#11 3 years ago

Seawotch is fantastic. I restored mine a few years back. It is a great game for sure. I have the repro backglass and it is beautiful. Your original backglass is nicer than mine was. If you can place a couple strategic leds and make the backglass look good, Id keep it original. The gameplay never gets old chasing purples and the riptide. I put post lights under each post on either side of the spinner. I wired the post lights to the riptide insert. So when the riptide is lit the spinner is flashing. It is a nice touch.

#12 3 years ago

Now that we have the three year mark since the Seawitch playfield project was started I am hoping we will get them by spring of 2016. I am wanting to get my restoration going. I am sure they will be great once they are done.

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from nocreditdot:

I wired the post lights to the riptide insert. So when the riptide is lit the spinner is flashing. It is a nice touch.

Awesome idea! Will take you up on this. Think I will try and keep the back glass original.

#14 3 years ago

Love the delivery truck, nothing that sexy over here, mainly flat fronted Scania or volvo's.

Nice to see another pin getting restored...

#15 3 years ago

Not anything sexy being done right now, but last night I managed to get the boards all out, the head off, and the inside of the cab cleared out for restoration. I've got a few pics to update the progress.

Here's the head taken apart:
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The inside of the cabinet with 35 years of neglect:
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Just an example of how nicely some of this wood will clean up. On the left, you'll see the untouched side; the right shows what it looks like after light sanding:
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The inside of the cab with everything cleared out. Man I freaking love the COLORS on this game!
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And just for fun...the other Stern that's in the garage getting a full restore as well:
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#16 3 years ago

Looking good!

#17 3 years ago

It's been a good week to get some work in on this old girl!

For my standards, the cabinet is pretty much done. Out of all the pieces, the head probably came out the nicest:
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I did a full sand of certain areas, repainted any areas that were static colors, used wood filler on spots that had significant damage, and touched up any damaged areas. While not as consistent as a full re-stenciling, I'm very pleased with the results and personally like keeping the original art whenever and wherever possible.

For the inside of the cabinet, I decided to get a little creative after sanding the inside:
IMG_3566.JPGIMG_3567.JPG

I love the contrast of the dark blue against the light wood grain and light blue inside the cab (not that anyone ever looks inside). I still need to clean and refurb many of the components that go in the bottom of the cab, so for now that's about all to show besides the coin door (which needs new plastics) and legs:
IMG_3568.JPGIMG_3570.JPG

All in all, not a bad week's worth of work. Up next I'm going to start pulling everything off the playfield. Very soon I'll need to decide if I want to wait for the new repro playfields or just send in my playfield to HSA for a Stage 1 or Stage 2 restoration. While it might be a bit more expensive, I have a feeling HSA's turnaround time may be quicker, and I love the idea of keeping the original playfield if at all possible. Thoughts/opinions?

#18 3 years ago

Want me to drop mine off so u can just kill two birds with one stone. Side by side restore!

#19 3 years ago

Lookin great! HSA will want you to pull out and reglue all of the inserts, they are often loose. That's what I was told when I asked them about classic Stern playfields.

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Want me to drop mine off so u can just kill two birds with one stone. Side by side restore!

Tommy, I'm pumped to see your restore as well. You need to start posting stuff as well. Dude's got his playfield at Kruzman's, which will look uh-mazing. If you really want me to do something with yours, let me know. I'm really enjoying working on this classic Stern (vs the classic Gottlieb System 1 from hell previously this year)

Quoted from dothedoo:

Lookin great! HSA will want you to pull out and reglue all of the inserts, they are often loose. That's what I was told when I asked them about classic Stern playfields.

Yeah, Brian already informed of that. Never reglued inserts, but they seem to come out easily enough...

#21 3 years ago

Today's progress:

Now you see it...
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Now you don't...
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Tore down the entire backside of the playfield. My hands are absolutely disgusting. So much dirt and grime. I've got a few questions about this part:

1. I had to label every cut wire so I know where everything goes. That said, I want to clean the wiring harness. I've heard some folks putting it in the dishwasher, but I can't have my labels/writing falling/smearing off in the wash. Any tips of best way to clean this?
2. The stapled ground braid on the playfield sucks. I'm concerned about redoing this part when I jump back in. It's such a tangled mess right now too. Any tips on handling this part? So far, I haven't cut the braid, but unstapled it and have it all jumbled with the rest of the harness (bonus points for naming the libation on the floor):
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Here's where I am with the topside:
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Throw any tips my way. This certainly isn't my first playfield tear down and rebuild but I'm getting smarter each time, and welcome advice!

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

(bonus points for naming the libation on the floor

Yuengling Lager! Nice job so far, i will be following.

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

I had to label every cut wire so I know where everything goes. That said, I want to clean the wiring harness. I've heard some folks putting it in the dishwasher, but I can't have my labels/writing falling/smearing off in the wash. Any tips of best way to clean this?

Dishwasher.

I even put the still attached coils, and leaf switches in the dishwasher.

Anything I need to label I just use one of those Brother labelmakers. Stays stuck through the Pots and Pan cycle.

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#24 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

The stapled ground braid on the playfield sucks. I'm concerned about redoing this part when I jump back in. It's such a tangled mess right now too. Any tips on handling this part? So far, I haven't cut the braid, but unstapled it and have it all jumbled with the rest of the harness (bonus points for naming the libation on the floor):

You can also use copper foil for the power braid

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#25 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Dishwasher.
I even put the still attached coils, and leaf switches in the dishwasher.
Anything I need to label I just use one of those Brother labelmakers. Stays stuck through the Pots and Pan cycle.

Why didn't I think of this?? Thanks Vid.

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

2. The stapled ground braid on the playfield sucks. I'm concerned about redoing this part when I jump back in.

If you need the correct copper staples to put on new ground braid, it would only take a short while to fix you up. Just bring your new braid and playfield up to Kokomo and we could knock it out (assuming you have not already bit the bullet and bought the air stapler and staples).

Mac

#27 3 years ago
Quoted from Sheprd:

If you need the correct copper staples to put on new ground braid, it would only take a short while to fix you up. Just bring your new braid and playfield up to Kokomo and we could knock it out (assuming you have not already bit the bullet and bought the air stapler and staples).
Mac

Mac, PM me. I'd love to get some help with this when the time comes. Plus, I'd love to catch up and see your collection!

#28 3 years ago

Alright, well since I'm probably going to send my playfield off to HSA, I figured that should take priority right now. Within this post, you'll get to see some before and after pics of Magic Eraser. This is in attempt to prepare the playfield for HSA to focus on repainting and fixing, rather than cleaning. Regardless, here's what we've got...

Before I did anything to the playfield:
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Here's a side by side comparison (basically, this is me cleaning the left side of the playfield with ME and not touching the right side):
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Same thing here (notice especially her hair):
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As you can obviously tell, while the ME really does do wonders, it certainly doesn't eliminate ALL ball swirl marks. I'm sure I could have attacked the playfield harder, but I really didn't want to get into the paint and cause more work/headache for the restore.

Here's some final pics from this evening after I cleaning the ME up with some Novus 2 and a clean rag:
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#29 3 years ago

looking good so far. when you get it back from brian and start to re-assemble it, I'll be curious to see it all prettied up.

when I get around to starting my restoration (after receiving the playfield from greatwich john), I'm still determining on whether or not to patch up my existing cabinet or just have noah fense build me a new one and use jetsy's stencils and repaint it (I supplied him with the scans to create the stencils)

#30 3 years ago

Sad to see it go, but PUMPED to get it back!! Playfield is to HSA for a legit restore...
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Meanwhile, I've got plenty to restore myself besides the playfield. More after the holidays. Merry Christmas!

#31 3 years ago

Just got a Stern Lectronamo and a Bally Night Rider done by HSA. they are legit and look beautiful. I'm working on the Night Rider swap now.

#32 3 years ago

So while the playfield is away, I couldn't help myself: I decided to redo some of the artwork on the cabinet. I thought I could live with the planking happening, but I guess I couldn't. Here's what it looked like on the worst side:
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After Friskett was applied, here's the 1st coat going down:
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By the way, in case anyone is interested, here's the color matched paint for my cab. My guess is that (by now) every Seawitch has aged slightly different, but I brought my cab head in and this is what the darker blue came out to for me (Lowe's Valspar):
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In other (but related) news, I cleaned up the drop target mechs to look shiny and new again!
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#33 3 years ago

Cap kits performed
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#34 3 years ago

Just found this thread. Very impressed. You are tearing through this restore. Great work, seshpilot. Looking forward to documentation of your HSA playfield.

#35 3 years ago

I'm watching the thread as well! Very impressed so far, keep up the good work. You'll be happy when it's done!
By the way, I own one too...
Chris

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#36 3 years ago
Quoted from chrisjens2:

By the way, I own one too...

Very nice Chris! Mine actually spent the majority of its life in California too actually. Now she's back home in the Midwest.

A few more shots:

1. All drop targets and housings cleaned up. All but 3 originals survived (these 3 just didn't make the cut)
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2. New buttons and housings
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3. The difference between new and the original coin drop plastics. Not incredibly accurate, but look much nicer (purchased from Marco Spec)
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4. Finished coin door
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#37 3 years ago

I bought mine as a junker and got her playing good. I haven't played the famous Stargazer yet, but this is what I'd consider the best classic Stern of the ones I've played

#38 3 years ago

More sexy electronic nerdery: rebuilt the rectifier board.

Here's one of the connectors that needed to be replaced. The brown prongs are probably acting more like resistors than conductors at this point!
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Now bullet-proofed with new connectors installed, new bridge rectifiers, heat sink, and actually correctly rated fuses:
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LOVE the way it's looking inside the cab! Is it wrong that I find this shot incredibly sexy? Take a look at that before and after shot!
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#39 3 years ago

Also, I caught myself saying to my wife, "I just love seeing that virgin wood come back." Something may be wrong w me...

#40 3 years ago

Lookin good!!

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

The brown prongs are probably acting more like resistors than conductors at this point!

THANK YOU for providing some clear photographs!

Quoted from seshpilot:

LOVE the way it's looking inside the cab! Is it wrong that I find this shot incredibly sexy? Take a look at that before and after shot!

That IS dead-sexy. Nice work.

I love the comparison shot and the great photography! Keep it up!

#42 3 years ago

Forgot to post the new shots of the cab after the repaint:image_(resized).jpeg
image_(resized).jpeg(Sorry about the difference in lighting but at least you can see how the scratches were filled and painted)

Also installed LED boards. Unless these are installed on classic Bally/Stern games, LEDs flicker like crazy
image_(resized).jpegimage_(resized).jpeg

#43 3 years ago

She's looking good Sesh. I like how you did the blue base inside the cab and left the rest of the wood au naturel. What do you have planned for LEDs?

#44 3 years ago

Busy work week for me. Cleaned and rebuilt the pop bumpers with many new parts today though! I have worked on almost all the pinball brands, and have to say that Classic Stern's way of putting their pops together was the best! I love how you can unscrew 4 screws and the entire unit comes out. Awesome!
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#45 3 years ago

Lookin' great! I love Seawitch, hope to own one someday.

#46 3 years ago

looking nice. I'm dying to see your playfield when you get it back from brian (he does really nice work).

I'm also curious to see the positioning of your upper right flipper. for some reason, on mine, there doesn't appear to be enough room for the ball to [sneak] under it (back to the shooter lane), and I can't figure out why

#47 3 years ago

Nothing sexy to post but did wire up brand new GI light sockets. Didn't do it the quick way as I didn't have any stranded wire, but this will work just fine. Definitely need to get some lead-free solder as the stuff I have stinks and can't be good to breathe in.

In related news, I'm so stoked about this Seawitch that I've started to hunt for a decent Nine Ball...FullSizeRender_(resized).jpg

#48 3 years ago

Really nice work. Yep, I love those pop bumper assemblies too. I've had my cabinet repainted but I'm thinking about doing something like yours on the inside.

#49 3 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

Definitely need to get some lead-free solder as the stuff I have stinks

It's not the Lead you are smelling.

Lead Free solder sucks ass.

Use a cheap fume extractor, or just a 12v computer fan gently blowing across your work.

#50 3 years ago

vid's right.

additionally, you don't want to mix leaded and lead-free solder. if you ARE going to switch to lead-free, make sure that you remove all of the old leaded solder and clean the parts well before re-soldering

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