Any way to CENTER a Playfield in the Cabinet

(Topic ID: 229009)

Any way to CENTER a Playfield in the Cabinet


By Cheeks

4 days ago



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  • 12 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by DNO
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#1 4 days ago

I have a STTNG that I want to add mirrors to, but the playfield is not centered. One side has plenty of room and the other is literally scraping on the side. I sanded out that side of the cabinet, but there is NO room to add anything. Even if I don't add anything, it will eventually scrape up the inside of the cabinet again, so is there any way to get this thing centered so it's not touching either side?

20181108_152004 (resized).jpg20181108_152011 (resized).jpg

#2 4 days ago

Sounds like your cab has warped over the years.

You can run a felt strip down each side of the playfield.

But trust me, you will love your game a lot more if you don't have to gingerly raise the playfield; always worried about scratching those blades.

#3 4 days ago

Agreed. Warped cab

#4 4 days ago

If it’s super tight, felt strips would probably come off pretty quickly.. I’ve had mine stripped off and gave up on them.

#5 4 days ago

Try using these....

https://www.pinballlife.com/interior-cabinet-protector-blade-set.html

Even if they don't work with STTNG there great to have on hand for mirrored blades

#6 4 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Sounds like your cab has warped over the years.
You can run a felt strip down each side of the playfield.
But trust me, you will love your game a lot more if you don't have to gingerly raise the playfield; always worried about scratching those blades.

Quoted from cottonm4:

Agreed. Warped cab

So, is there anything realistic I can do about this, or am I pretty much SOL?

#7 4 days ago

I thought some old games had metal shims on the inside of the cab to center the playfield

#8 4 days ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

So, is there anything realistic I can do about this, or am I pretty much SOL?

You could buy a new cabinet.

#9 4 days ago

If its tight front to back and top to bottom on one side its likely not warped. Id look at the hinge pivot and see if you can shim it over.

#10 4 days ago
Quoted from Slim64:

If its tight front to back and top to bottom on one side its likely not warped. Id look at the hinge pivot and see if you can shim it over.

This is possible, but you would need to run a straight edge along both sides to confirm the cab is not warped. If it is not warped then shimming the pivot bracket might work.

There is also the possibility that the cabinet is not longer square. But I really don't think that is what is happening here.

Quoted from Luckydogg420:

I thought some old games had metal shims on the inside of the cab to center the playfield

Shimming, as you are suggesting, would help center the play field in its rest position but as soon as you go to lift the play field you will be dealing with the dragging problem.

Quoted from Cheeks:

So, is there anything realistic I can do about this, or am I pretty much SOL?

There are a couple of things you might be able to do. However, "realistic" is a subjective term. STTNG is a valuable enough pin that "realistic" can cover a lot of bases. One pinsider's suggestion of buying a new cab is not out of the question. Cheap? No. But it is a simple solution.

I have a cab with a sidewall that is warped inward as I think yours might be. I have researched the problem. I know how I will fix mine when it is time to be restored.

1) Either Bally, or Gottlieb, had a crossbar mounted in one of their cabs. I saw a pic of one on Pinside. It sat below play field level and had a jackscrew that could be adjusted to push on the sides of the cab and push them out a little bit. I don't know what they were called and I don't know where you could find one. You could have one made easy enough but now you are talking about hiring a welding shop for fab one up for you---for a price. And there is the possibility that it could cause other problems while it is solving the one you are trying to fix. What kind of problem? I don't know. But sometimes when fixing one problem, another will crop up.

You might also have to add some side bracing which would involve putting some new screws into your cabinet.

2) I don't know if you would want to go this far but I'll tell you how I will be fixing my cab. My right hand sidewall is warped inward. The play field scrubs the side of the cab when being raised and has scraped off two strips of paint. It looks ugly. This pin is going to be restored. The cab has a nice real wood floor from the factory as opposed to hardboard.

I'm going to fix this wall and keep this cab. What follows is how. This will be an option you can use if you want to go that far.

A) The cab will be stripped and laying on its side with the warped wall in the air.

B) I have already mapped where the warpage is. Using a Skill Saw, I will be making 5 cuts in the side wall from top to about 6 inches from bottom. These are relief cuts to overcome the pressure from the warp and allow the wall to flex.

C) I'll make a 2 x4 frame to place inside and then using an automotive floor jack, I will jack up the frame which will apply upward pressure and force the wall to straighten. Using a squeeze bottle, I will shoot one line of water into each saw cut and let the cab sit for a couple of days to dry. The water is to soften the wood a little bit and to help relieve pressure from the warp.

D) Next step will be to take my router and rout the saw cuts into 1/4" grooves. The cab wall is 3/4" inch thick. I'll make my grooves 1/2" deep.

E) I have a table saw so I will make my own filler shims. And I like Gorilla Glue. I'll be applying the glue and tapping the shims into my cuts. The shims will hold the wall in its new straight position.

F) After that, I will be doing the body work of sanding and filling to get ready for new paint.

You can do all of this with your STTNG. You would need to buy new cab decals. Not cheap. But doable. And STTNG is probably worth the effort if you really want those blades.

Here is a youtube video showing how to straighten a wall in a house prior to dry walling. I'll be doing the exact same thing to my cab wall.

#11 4 days ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

So, is there anything realistic I can do about this, or am I pretty much SOL?

Like any problem, how much effort do you want to throw at it?

You can rout out 3mm of wood and recess the blades safely out of harms way, remove some material from the sides of the playfield, or just get a new cab.

#12 3 days ago

ALWAYS start with making sure both sides are tight in the hinge/pivot point.
I see these loose a lot, making the playfield off center.
The round bushing loosens off the bolt, and droops downward.

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