(Topic ID: 102021)

Bally 1961 Can Can Bingo Machine Restoration by a Newbie.


By SteveinTexas

5 years ago



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  • 37 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 52 days ago by bwave_dave
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    #1 5 years ago

    All,

    Last year I bought a 1961 Bally Magic Screen Can Can Bingo Machine in Nebraska from a fellow collector and brought it back to Texas. It was complete and semi working. The Can Can was the first ‘pinball’ that I bought and since have further acquired a few electro mechanical (EM) pinball’s and a bat game.

    DSC02842.JPG

    Restored Game

    DSC02806.JPG

    Restored Front of Cabinet

    I grew up in the UK, a teen in the 70's and saw bingo’s locally in cafes and played them enjoying the challenge of winning some cash which unfortunately happened so rarely. I also played pinball’s in arcades from time to time mostly were Gottliebs from the 60’s and early 70’s. As I grew older I had the idea of finding a bingo game for my game room and it was a pleasant surprise to find this site and games on eBay for sale. I had recently converted my garage into a games room complete with A/C for me and my son with space for me to do overhauls.

    Starting on a restoration of a bingo is a big undertaking. Until I got my machine home I had never looked inside the back of one not even when I bought it. Dumb, yeh...maybe.

    DSC02802.JPG

    When I reassembled the game and started it up it blew a fuse immediately, I needed help. I found this site on the web www.bingo.cdyn.com. The web site provides a place to get acquainted with these games and even schematics to start trouble shooting. I asked a few questions of Phil Hooper the site guru and I was able to locate the short eventually under a clamp, fix it and fire up the game. However, it still occasionally blew a fuse when the magic screen was operated and was erratic on other plays. I originally had no spare parts for the game not a fuse, leaf blade, or the experience of how, what or where to buy. This site and the Richard Gerlitz videos provided everything a newbie needs to fix one of these machines.

    If all I had was the bingo machine to look at then I was way over my head in planning to restore it. But with this site I had the keys to succeed along with my blind confidence. What I needed was a hands-on bingo machine repair course. That wasn't going to happen but I had the next best thing; a straight forward EM pinball machine that needed some restoration and the Gerlitz videos.

    I had bought a 1951 Williams Jalopy Pinball from the same collector with the bingo game. It worked and needed mostly a cabinet repaint as it was now white not as originally painted. It had no coin door parts or replay credit wheel. I placed wanted ads for the credit wheel and for the heath coin chute in the 'Pinball Classifieds' site and a pinball supplier in New Jersey 'Neil Nagy' answered the call. Neil seems to be able to find odd older parts and he has been a great help for other parts.

    As I worked on restoring the Jalopy I was also researching and learning about the bingo and I started to find it easier to understand and tinker with the bingo. The Jalopy restore was a huge success both mechanically and cabinet wise. On reflection, if I had bought machines with more issues and many missing parts this article may not have been written for a long time if at all.

    I found out mostly via the pinside site where to buy parts and to get the tools to fix EM games. You soon understand that you need when trouble shooting a long jumper wire with alligator clips a, multi-meter to test circuit’s continuity and more importantly voltage drops. The multi-meter tool needs practice and must be mastered. I got bingo parts from Joe Shope in Salt Lake City, Utah www.bingo55joe@hotmail.com and The Pinball Resource (PBR) www.pbr@pbresource.com in New York mostly. I also have found parts on EBay especially a box of bingo odds and ends for $1 from a person clearing out his basement.

    So with the Jalopy complete and the Gerlitz videos at hand it was time for the passion project of getting my Can Can bingo machine fully functioning. The game was filthy inside and it smelled. On review of the electro-mechanics I found issues with the bingo that I did not cause. Broken leaf blades in a stepper, ground wire jumper broken, missing springs and worn out switch contacts. Also fuses were blowing infrequently. The cabinet paint was flaking badly and there was mold inside the cabinet along with splits at the front cabinet wood. The playfield was good along with the back glass. This was a typical bingo game that had been routed.

    The game needed a major overhaul that included a strip down and switch by switch examination along with a serious cleaning. The practice with the pinball was valuable as I had caused as many problems as I had fixed. I also needed to paint the cabinet and head; the Can Can dancing girls deserved it. I know some people balk at repainting a cabinet but there is a line where this has to be considered. Again the Can Can dancing girls deserved it. And the game is for me.

    I started the overhaul with the lower cabinet because frankly the head or stinker as it was getting known as was intimidating. I took pictures continuously during the strip down because I was unsure how long this would take to put back together. I started in December 2013 and finished 4 months later. The pictures were invaluable and a digital camera has become my number 1 tool ahead of my multi-meter and jumper wire for this type of work.

    I found that most of the bingo metal was probably black oxide finished not zinc electro plated that when I cleaned the rust from all but disappeared. I experimented with metal polish and or a zinc electroplating kit as a final finish with good results. By the time I came to overhaul the head I was using the electro plating kit exclusively followed by a polish of all stepper metal frames, and any other bracket that I found. It is easy and fast to dip. It takes some work to shine up but all worth it.

    By this method I learned so much about my machine. I found broken leaf blades, bad solder joints, worn out electrical contacts missing springs and burned out bulbs. I discovered eventually an error in the wiring under screen left and right buttons. A dirty blue wire and black wire were crossed and was the root cause of the screen operating problems. This could only have been found with a multi-meter when the machine was working during a voltage drop switch by switch hunt.

    After reassembling the lower cabinet I put the game together again and fired it up. This is when I found the issues with trough switches and how finicky they can be. Again the help was on the site and eventually with a jumper wire I isolated the #4 trough switch and although the switch appeared to make good contact it wasn't. So all was made fine and the first part of the restore was complete. Now for head or ‘stinker’ overhaul.

    I again stripped down the head in parts taking many pictures before dis-assembly and during. This was quite the project. I again stripped cleaned, tumbled, plated and shined everything I could. The reflex unit on examination had seized and needed a careful re install to get right. The pictures were invaluable. The relay bank also was a serious endeavor but all came out well. I found two broken leaf blades that were not clearly noticeable without the strip down.

    I disassembled the magic screen and it all seemed OK mechanically so after some repainting it was reassembled. The positions of the screen and it’s the magic screen Unit rivets are critical, so the alignment of each part when re installing the chain drive has to be correct. There are red markings on the rivet moving part and the housing to help so it is quite straightforward in the end.

    I used auto paints mixed to the original paint found under the trim or the front buttons. I made the stencils from a Mylar film material. When all was complete it did not smell anymore. However, I as part of my overhaul had one final touch I had to get some Neatsfoot oil to lubricate all the leather clutches. A few days later the smell was somewhat back. Neatsfoot oil is made from the cow’s shin and foot bones. It is great for leather but frankly, phew!

    I am very happy to have this machine in my new collection and owe a debt to Phil Hooper and his site for all the information to get it working. www.bingo.cdyn.com. I also thank Dennis Dodel and Tim for helping me trouble shoot the remaining operating issues a few weeks ago. Cool hobby this so much help available on the pinside site and around the globe,

    Regards Steve J.

    I have put together a little video for people that asked me to post when the restore was complete so here it is;
    http://s129.photobucket.com/user/steveintexas/library/Bally%20Can%20Can

    Post edited by SteveinTexas: Placed photos

    #2 5 years ago

    very nice. Ioved working on my bingo.
    such cool machines

    -- Jeff

    1 week later
    #3 5 years ago

    I have been playing the game a bunch lately and it is such much fun. I make sure the game is in its loosest condition (reflex fingers are wound back to be on the rivets). Pour in nickels to get the odds way up and as much features lit and off we go.

    I get the magic screen sometime to stall and need to go around the back to reset but I hope by playing it that might go away. Possibly it is the screen edges catching each other that will stall the motor for sure. Other than that it's a blast.

    #4 5 years ago

    Steve,
    bing it to the Houston Show in november!!! Id love to play it

    --Jeff

    #5 5 years ago

    Jeff, we might be the only two that can play it!

    #6 5 years ago

    That is some beautiful work! I love screen games. One question: I thought Bounty was the only game with a white button. What does the white button on can can do?

    #7 5 years ago

    The white button lights the red and yellow super sections. In these sections that are striped if you get 2 balls it pays 3, 3 balls pays as 4 balls and 4 as 5 balls. This is my favorite feature to light as it can win you many replays.

    #8 5 years ago

    Oh, excellent. In later machines, it was a random award.

    #9 5 years ago

    Wait wait wait - just thought of something else... If the screen isn't lit to 'D', are you able to play the white button? Will it light the screen automatically if it gives you a super section?

    #10 5 years ago

    The feature will still light up by hitting the red ( odds and features) and the green button ( features only) so it is random. I need to play the machine to check what you ask. It will let you press it and take your money! Let you know.

    #11 5 years ago

    Nick,
    The white button still operates it seemed to favor stepping up the odds and secondly the features. Once the 'D' is lit it alternates with the red button light on the screen. I am not sure what difference it is to the red button. Perhaps the odds of getting the red /yellow super section to light are better. Whether it lights the magic screen when it gives you a super section I cannot answer definitely even I played for a while. I need to play it more I think!

    Steve J

    #12 5 years ago

    Steve, I talked with my bingo buddy (two in one city!), and he told me that Lido, Can-Can, and Bounty were the only three white button game the white button on Bounty (which I have fixed up), plays a skill shot - on the first ball you have to hit the indicated number to earn a separate skill shot odds.

    I figured it would just play as red until the 'D' was lit, and my buddy confirmed, but I am curious how it differs from red once 'D' is lit - is there a separate cam or relay that actuates to provide another path through the mixer just to those features? The only machines with super sections I've stuck my face in contain a relay in the trip bank for each, and is activated through feature play (red or green). Just cool to find a new feature!

    Again, my compliments on your restore. Beautiful, beautiful work. Love to see bingos get this attention. There is so much drama on each ball - a different thrill than pin games.

    #13 5 years ago

    Nickrooster,

    I confirmed in Jeffrey Lawton's book that the white button allowed the super sections to light more often. Both Can Can and Lido only can light both super sections at the same time. It also lights randomly if you never press the white button. If you can't win big with them lit you are really unlucky.

    On a separate subject while testing out the white 'pick and play' button ( just found out that is what the front buttons were called) I got the red letter game to work finally. This happens when the OK is lit and you get 2/3 balls in the orange section. I pressed the R button for replays and nothing was counting. If you keep the R button pressed however suddenly the balls dropped and every thing lights the odds shoot up all features light and the game is ready to play a very special game. I thought the game went haywire and I did not play it but turned the power off! I have since read in the fore mentioned book that is supposed to happen. I felt such a fool. However, I will be ready the next time.

    The bounty was the last magic screen game and yes you have the skill shot. I see on the Back glass three OK features. You have a super and extra OK. What does this do as it is not explained in the book?

    In between the 61 Can Can and the 65 bounty there was another feature building on the Red letter feature called the futurity game and the golden gate seems to have a gold game. Does your machine have these features?

    #14 5 years ago

    The game with the futurity feature by Bally is called Bikini.I just finished the restoration on my Bally's Silver Sails and i'm really enjoying the game play and fits in nice with my five other Bally bingos too.. In the past i have owned a Bikini with the futurity game and regret selling it. Bikini could be at the "top of the list" of best bingo ever. Great work on your Can Can and nice looking game too.
    SSplayfield 038.jpg

    #15 5 years ago

    Vic, I've played quite a bit of S's bikini and golden gate in town, that you have famously played Those are both great games. Your Silver Sails is beautiful, as with all your games.

    Steve, the red letter game should be spelled out on a separate score card (you can see it peeking out on Vic's pic under the ball return). Super and extra OK give you extra positions on the screen to move the orange section. Super OK let's you move the screen 3 positions.

    It's quite fun to have OK lit, and an extended time tree. Getting a hit in multiple colors and collecting a red letter game on your fifth ball is an experience!

    I need to re-read Jeffrey's books. I didn't realize that you could light both super sections at once!

    1 year later
    #16 3 years ago

    I just found this thread Steve. Impressive restoration on Can Can. You got it incredibly clean inside and the restoration and paint of the cabinet and head is extremely well done !

    #17 3 years ago

    Thanks, it was quite the project. Taking the bank relay apart and putting it back together on my first machine was interesting. Found two broken switches though and now the games is quite reliable. It is my favorite game.

    #18 3 years ago

    I played a Can Can that was restored at the Gameroom warehouse in PA and it blew my mind. I think I have a video tape of it somewhere. I always thought the artwork and coloring on this bingo were beautiful. Your a lucky guy to own such a treasure.

    3 years later
    #19 7 months ago

    Steve,
    I know this is an old post, but I have a Can Can that's been sitting up for years that I recently started to restore. Your pictures are awesome and quite impressive. My biggest problem on my machine is that some one many years ago decided to paint it with polka-dots instead of the original graphics so I have nothing to go by for the original Can Can girl images on the machine. I've been doing my own "amateur" bingo machine restorations for a while now and have a few other notable games including Miami Beach, Lido, Hawaii, and a few others but I have never had to repaint a whole machine with nothing to go off of to make stencils. Any ideas or suggestions on this? I have searched the common (and not so common) normal spots, Marco, ebay, etc... and no one seems to have a stencil set for this machine. Any help would be much appreciated.

    #20 7 months ago

    You might want to check with Coos in The Netherlands. See the "Juli 2013" entry on this web page:

    http://www.coos.net/bingo_e/index.html

    I didn't find a list of games available, so you might have to send him an email to get further details.

    #21 7 months ago
    Quoted from bwave_dave:

    Steve,
    I know this is an old post, but I have a Can Can that's been sitting up for years that I recently started to restore. Your pictures are awesome and quite impressive. My biggest problem on my machine is that some one many years ago decided to paint it with polka-dots instead of the original graphics so I have nothing to go by for the original Can Can girl images on the machine. I've been doing my own "amateur" bingo machine restorations for a while now and have a few other notable games including Miami Beach, Lido, Hawaii, and a few others but I have never had to repaint a whole machine with nothing to go off of to make stencils. Any ideas or suggestions on this? I have searched the common (and not so common) normal spots, Marco, ebay, etc... and no one seems to have a stencil set for this machine. Any help would be much appreciated.

    I make a master stencil graphic of every game I paint. So I should have the can can. Don't have a good way to copy them, but I will give it some thought and get back to you in a few days.

    #22 7 months ago

    if you have a flatbed scanner (ideal) or can hold a camera pretty squarely to the surface, scribble some reference lines or stick some painters tape on the stencil and take scans/pics that overlap at least 20%. Freeware microsoft ICE program can automatically stitch the pieces together assuming enough unique reference points to make one big image.

    take the images to a office supply place, some fedex or ups stores, blueprint shop, etc. and print them on a single sheet, or use software that will correctly print the big image onto multiple pages that can be taped together.

    whether you use the paper as a stencil or xfer/cut stencils from something heavier steve probably has some advice on. Kinda depends on what paint you use, whether you use spray tack on the back side to minimize curl, how heavy you apply paint, etc.

    the factory probably used metal stencils and the borders of colored areas has some bleed so they looked a bit fuzzy.

    depending on the kind of paint someone used on your can-can, you may be able to strip it off and see the original artwork underneath well enough to draw your own stencils.

    1 week later
    #23 6 months ago
    Quoted from bwave_dave:

    Steve,
    I know this is an old post, but I have a Can Can that's been sitting up for years that I recently started to restore. Your pictures are awesome and quite impressive. My biggest problem on my machine is that some one many years ago decided to paint it with polka-dots instead of the original graphics so I have nothing to go by for the original Can Can girl images on the machine. I've been doing my own "amateur" bingo machine restorations for a while now and have a few other notable games including Miami Beach, Lido, Hawaii, and a few others but I have never had to repaint a whole machine with nothing to go off of to make stencils. Any ideas or suggestions on this? I have searched the common (and not so common) normal spots, Marco, ebay, etc... and no one seems to have a stencil set for this machine. Any help would be much appreciated.

    I finally found my cabinet art stencil masters. It was when I was developing how.

    I used tracing paper and progressed to acrylic clear plastic sheet that can be reversed cutting the number needed. So I can get copies made at a printer I guess if you still need. Let me know.

    #24 6 months ago

    That Can Can is in great shape! BTW, do you own the jalopy in the photo. That’s an awesome game and rare.

    #25 6 months ago

    I bought the pair together. That Jalopy game started my pinball restoration obsession. Works perfectly and as a car race it makes it interesting I think.

    #26 6 months ago

    Steve, Sorry for delay I've been out of pocket. Yes, I definitely still need them, I don't want to put you through too much trouble. Any way I can get you to mail them to me? I will be happy to paypal you for your costs/trouble.

    #27 6 months ago

    Ok, I will work this all out and get them to you. Please pinme your address please.

    #28 6 months ago

    Thanks Steve, PM sent.

    1 week later
    #29 6 months ago
    Quoted from bwave_dave:

    Steve, Sorry for delay I've been out of pocket. Yes, I definitely still need them, I don't want to put you through too much trouble. Any way I can get you to mail them to me? I will be happy to paypal you for your costs/trouble.

    The stencil masters were sent this morning. I have PM you a personal message with some information you requested. Below are some sample pictures that you should follow to get the art right. The more time you take to prepare the actual stencils (good curves on the cut outs) the better the game will look.

    Good luck with your painting.

    Regards Steve

    3a Can Can General Final (resized).JPG3c Can Can General Final (resized).JPGPic 2 (resized).jpgPic 3 (resized).jpgPic1 (resized).jpg
    #30 6 months ago

    ****** Very Nice Job *********
    I have done a few stencils, but I would not like to attempt this one.

    #31 6 months ago
    Quoted from JKnPA:

    ****** Very Nice Job *********
    I have done a few stencils, but I would not like to attempt this one.

    Come on the dancing girls are worth it!

    Time consuming as I remember but it is actually simple enough using the acrylic clear plastic.

    #32 6 months ago

    Duplicate

    #33 5 months ago

    Steve,
    Thanks so much again for all of your help with this, I sincerely appreciate it. You really did an incredible job on this machine and the others you've posted on. I've attached a couple of quick pics I took last night to give you an idea of what I'm working with, I've got a long way to go. I was able to start stripping down the back last night and you can see the faint remnants of the original art work. Not sure why anyone in their right mind would have painted polka dots over it.

    20190515_220158 (resized).jpg20190515_220204 (resized).jpg
    #34 5 months ago

    You have some of the green cabinet stripe and that is the most important can can color to match. The other colors are straight forward to match.

    Possible there is some lower cabinet colors under that crazy paint over but as you have the master stencils this is going to come out great.

    1 month later
    #35 4 months ago

    Steve,
    Can't thank you enough for your help and the Master Stencils, without them I don't know what I would have done. I don't have the space, a setup, or even the talent to properly paint like yourself, so I did everything by hand. Of course, I had some bleed through around the stencils because of that method, and color-wise I just matched the best I could using the pics you sent me, but overall I'm relatively happy with the end result. I finished it up a few weeks ago, I just haven't had the time to post. This certainly isn't even close to the level of yours, but as I said, I'm moderately happy with it. Again, I can't thank you enough. After tracing stencils multiple times, cutting multiple times, painting multiple times, I realize the insane level of work you put into yours. I've touched up and even re-painted machines before over the faded paint, but this was my first from the ground up using stencils.

    20190608_194542 (resized).jpg
    2 months later
    #36 57 days ago
    Quoted from bwave_dave:

    Steve,
    Can't thank you enough for your help and the Master Stencils, .[quoted image]

    I was away from Pinside for a while and just back and saw the stencil results . You did a fine job with the dancing girls. I was in Paris last week and wanted to go to the Moulin Rouge Theater to see the dancing girls but missed them to.

    #37 52 days ago

    Thanks Steve, you've been a tremendous help.

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