Cabinet Restoration - Vid's Guide

(Topic ID: 132130)

Cabinet Restoration - Vid's Guide


By vid1900

3 years ago



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    Topic index (key posts)

    6 key posts have been marked in this topic

    Post #1 Wear a respirator when sanding old paint Posted by vid1900 (3 years ago)

    Post #2 Repairing large missing wood chunks with fiberglass resin Posted by vid1900 (3 years ago)

    Post #24 Primer and Paint commentary Posted by vid1900 (3 years ago)

    Post #103 Repairing separated corners Posted by vid1900 (2 years ago)

    Post #145 Wood selection Posted by vid1900 (2 years ago)

    Post #273 Steps to replace a cabinet bottom Posted by vid1900 (1 year ago)


    Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

    There are 533 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 11.
    23
    #1 3 years ago

    This post will start a guide about restoring wood cabinets.

    I will preface this guide by saying it is often cheaper to just buy a brand new CNCed cabinet from one of many sources. I'll post an assembly guide latter in the thread.

    Commercial equipment continued to be painted with paint containing Lead well into the 2000s, so assume all cabinet paint is highly toxic. The 1978 ban on household Lead Paint did not apply to commercial equipment. Sanding should only be done OUTSIDE OF THE GARAGE and WITH A LEAD RATED RESPIRATOR, downwind from your garden. A "dust mask" is absolutely worthless. You will never be able to clean all the Lead out of a Garage or Basement if you sand there.

    You are going to need one of these:

    698382_AltrntImage-1-2_P.jpg

    #2 3 years ago

    REPAIRING LARGE SECTIONS OF MISSING WOOD

    ===================================================

    Usually the first job is to fix any large sections of missing wood.

    Most amateurs are going to reach for Wood Putty or Bondo.

    Wood Putty is too brittle for a missing corner like this. Bondo is too lightweight and fragile.

    If you bump a corner repaired with a big chunk of Bondo, a whole chunk is likely to pop off.

    If you are going to take the time to sand and repaint the cab, you don't want all of your worked ruined instantly.

    So for a serious repair, we are going to use Fiberglass Resin.

    -

    Sand off any flaky paint that could keep our repair from adhering.

    We want our repair to have some "tooth" so we start by deeply scoring the wood with a razor knife.

    1.jpg

    #3 3 years ago

    Even the deep scoring with the knife might not be enough to insure a permanent repair.

    So next we put a couple of small screws into the missing wood.

    Leave the heads proud of the wood, so the Resin will be able to flow all the way around them.

    Make sure you drill pilot holes, we don't want to split the wood from screwing so close to the edge.

    2.jpg

    #4 3 years ago

    Resin is thick like syrup.

    So we need to build a Dam to hold the Resin in place until it cures.

    Here, I have scored and bent a scrap of aluminum to use as our Dam.

    Scoring the aluminum before bending ensures a crisp corner bend.

    Wax the inside surface with auto wax to ensure the Dam will not stick to our Resin once cured.

    Don't get any wax on the wood!

    3.jpg

    #5 3 years ago

    Staple the Dam in place.

    The Resin gets hot when it cures, so tape will not hold it. If you insist on trying tape, get ready to clean up a giant mess.

    Large Bar Clamps could also be used if you run out of staples.

    4.jpg

    #6 3 years ago

    From the front side, this should be all starting to make sense about now....

    5.jpg

    #7 3 years ago

    Here is some Resin made by the Bondo company.

    You need a clean cup, the Resin, and the Hardener.

    Make sure the cup you use is not going to melt from the Resin. A foam cup will melt into an awful mess.

    The reaction of the Resin and the Hardener is temperature based. The warmer the Resin is, the faster the cure time. If it's hot outside, put a little less hardener in - and work quickly! If it's over 85*F, save this repair for another day.

    6.jpg

    #8 3 years ago

    Level the cabinet, and pour the Resin into the repair.

    Just **slightly** overfill the hole.

    Because it's so much stronger, Resin is much harder to sand than Bondo filler, so don't make a bunch of hard work for yourself.

    If this repair was over an inch in size, we would add some Chopped Glass Fibers to reinforce the Resin. Don't take shortcuts here, if anything is going to get banged around in a game, it's going to be the corners.

    Clean up any spilled Resin with Acetone before it cures.

    7.jpg

    Chopped_Glass.jpg

    #9 3 years ago

    Left over Resin can be used to fill other holes, like these from coin door lock bar.

    These holes will get scratched up for tooth, and feathered out with Bondo filler.

    8.jpg

    #10 3 years ago

    Pry out the staples and remove the Dam when the Resin is almost dry.

    The wax will allow it to pop right off.

    Once the Resin is completely dry, sand flush with the wood.

    You now have a durable, permanent repair.

    9.jpg

    You can see the screw heads imbedded in the Resin:

    10.jpg

    #11 3 years ago

    Another excellent guide Vid as usual. You Da Man!!

    #12 3 years ago

    Great guide!

    I like using resin as well for cabinet repair. Depending on the application, I often mix it with microballoons to make sanding easier. amazon.com link »

    #13 3 years ago

    Nice Post as always Vid. Where was this when I was repairing cabs?

    BTW.. I have had good luck with Bondo even on larger sections and corners. The mistake many make, is not allowing the bondo to have something to bite into. For large areas, a few small holes in the wood help it stay put. If you have done it correctly, it wont fall out.

    #14 3 years ago

    Added to favorites. Just like all of your other guides. Joe

    #15 3 years ago

    I had no idea this was a recommended approach. I always thought bondo or JW Weld were the go-approaches, since I never really read about folks trying other techniques.

    Another useful and informative guide

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I always thought bond or JW Weld were the go-approaches

    Don't get me wrong, Bondo Filler is great for flat or small areas.

    But it's not tough enough to take a blow on a corner without losing a chunk of material.

    We will be using Bondo Filler in the next section of the guide.

    2 weeks later
    #17 3 years ago

    Vid, would love to see detail on replacing the bottom of the cab (when u get to it...)

    #18 3 years ago

    Dammit. Wish I had saw this before I did a rocking chair leg repair last weekend. That resin trick would have been perfect.

    Really looking forward to more posts to this guide. Especially general body work... fill/sand/feather process. There is a lot of technique in the gap between the "repair" and "refinish" stages that is hard to get right on your own. Even the best finish job on top of a poorly prepared piece will not look its best. I'm not happy with my process yet.

    1 month later
    #19 3 years ago

    So, what's the best way to fix a cabinet that's wobbly? I've got a Paragon that has angle brackets holding it together.

    #20 3 years ago

    We use 3M two part epoxy to fill holes on cabinets. It hardens in 10 min or less. You can use tape for your dam. It works really well but looking at it online, it looks expensive. I thought we paid 8.00 a tube but online it is 27.00.

    #21 3 years ago

    Please continue wise pin god.

    1 week later
    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    So, what's the best way to fix a cabinet that's wobbly? I've got a Paragon that has angle brackets holding it together.

    So the cabinet is flexing? I'm assuming the sides are coming apart? Use a strong wood-glue, and clamp the sides together until dry.

    If your going to be repainting the cab, run some small screws (counter-sunk) to give extra support. Fill in the holes (Where the screws are) with bondo, resin, or etc...Sand flat and repaint.

    #23 3 years ago

    What type of paint and primer is best suited for a pinball cabinet application? Given that we are painting in layers, and may want to topcoat the whole job with a clear of some type, I think some guide lines on which type of paints can cover other types without issues is in order. Having the ability to get a custom color made at your home supply store is nice, but which paints to buy?

    Mac

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from Sheprd:

    What type of primer is best suited for a pinball cabinet application?

    You want a sealing primer so that rusty staples or Knots in the wood don't bleed through light colored paints.

    KILZ Original would be an example.

    2 part auto primer is good, if you have the correct safety equipment.

    Quoted from Sheprd:

    What type of paint is best suited for a pinball cabinet application?

    2 part auto paints are good, if you have the correct safety equipment and can find the right color.

    Createx paints, although pricey for large scale painting, are another excellent choice - and are already thin enough to spray.

    Custom tinted hardware store paints can be good - but make sure you buy top of the line. You will need to thin the paint to spray it, and cheap, thinned paint does not cover worth a crap. If you have to put down a bunch of layers to get satisfactory coverage, you will feel the paint edge with your fingers and it won't look factory.

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    So, what's the best way to fix a cabinet that's wobbly? I've got a Paragon that has angle brackets holding it together.

    Prop the game up on some milk crates and pull the front legs off.

    Open up the corner joints with a flat screwdriver and and fill the gap with Titebond III glue.

    tightbond.jpg

    Put ratchet straps around the game and close up the gaps tight.

    Wipe up the glue squeezeout with a damp rag, so it does not glue the straps to the game.

    Allow to dry overnight.

    Using a 3/8" drill, drill out the glue from the leg bolt holes.

    Replace old, crappy leg brackets, with newer style:

    pbl_01-11400-1.jpg

    http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=144

    Put some leg bolts through the cab and into the leg brackets - before you put the bracket wood screws in - you don't want the bracket misaligned, believe me.

    I'll post some pictures of the process soon.

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    2 part auto paints are good, if you have the correct safety equipment and can find the right color.

    I have good safety equipment.

    cool.jpg

    I use 2PAC for clear coating playfields, but for some reason was thinking 2PAC would be a bit overkill for cabinets. 2PAC would also make for much more difficult setup, cleanup, and cost a lot more.

    Most of the paints listed by users on the old Pinball Pal web site seem to be oil based enamels. If one use those, could there be an issue clear coating with 2PAC over the top?

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Wipe up the glue squeezeout with a damp rag, so it does not glue the straps to the game.

    You could also place wax paper between the straps and the cabinet as an extra measure.

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from Sheprd:

    Most of the paints listed by users on the old Pinball Pal web site seem to be oil based enamels.

    Oil Based Enamels turn yellow (even if they say Non-Yellowing Formula).

    Quoted from Sheprd:

    If one use those, could there be an issue clear coating with 2PAC over the top?

    Too many different oil formulas to possibly know, but Testors bleeds like a SOB into the clear.

    I'd use anything but Oil Based.

    Createx or Latex paint takes 2PAC just fine.

    #29 3 years ago

    Vid- Prior to painting or stickering, how would you prep a pinball cabinet surface to be plank free, and stay plank free ?

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from MarcelG:

    Vid- Prior to painting or stickering, how would you prep a pinball cabinet surface to be plank free, and stay plank free ?

    Never store a game in a garage - that's the best way to keep the wood from planking.

    -

    You can fill all the dent's and dings, then spray 2 Part Auto Primer or 2PAC and sand it flat.

    The 2PAC works good when you need to see the old stenciling to cut frisket for restoration.

    The 2PAP works good when you are using new stencils.

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Never store a game in a garage - that's the best way to keep the wood from planking.
    -
    You can fill all the dent's and dings, then spray 2 Part Auto Primer or 2PAC and sand it flat.
    The 2PAC works good when you need to see the old stenciling to cut frisket for restoration.
    The 2PAP works good when you are using new stencils.

    will the 2PAC sag immediately if sprayed to a vertical surface (ie the sides of the box)?

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from MarcelG:

    will the 2PAC sag immediately if sprayed to a vertical surface (ie the sides of the box)?

    If you lay down too much it will sag - just like shooting a car.

    It cures so fast, that if you think you will apply too much (or need to "flood" some planked or dented areas) just do one side at a time; spraying flat surfaces.

    The pot life is about 2 hours in the gun, so you could shoot one side of the cab, one side of the head; then rotate and hit the other side.

    #33 3 years ago

    I don't know Vid. As far as guides go this one aint looking so good yet. Where's all the step by step and pictures and graphics on top of pictures saying what not to do.
    I was counting on you for this one.
    I hate painting.
    But I just need to know how to touch up cheap and get away with it guide. As I can't afford no 160 $ for one time use stensil kit and well my cab is not real bad. But the door way scrape and by flipper the warn to wood character that just will not look nice if I add light up flipper buttons and draw your eyes to that area.

    Keep up the awesome posts no hurry.

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from CNKay:

    I don't know Vid. As far as guides go this one aint looking so good yet. Where's all the step by step and pictures and graphics on top of pictures saying what not to do.

    LOL, I only have so many hours in the day.

    There will be sections on decal repair, building an entire cab from scratch, commercially produced stencils, Frisket repairs, clearcoating, water damage....but it will take a while.

    I started this guide with replacing large chunks of missing wood, because I had someone ask about it, and I had photos of just such a repair on my phone.

    The playfield repair guide is up to 2400 posts, this one is an infant at only 35 posts.....relax.

    #35 3 years ago

    Oh I know! I start seeing 2pac ? Whatever that is. Sounds professional and expensive. Frissket. ??? Cat food what does that have to do with painting.

    Funny story.
    I had a friend that could draw like Boris and I had a van with a blank white tire cover. I gave it to him and asked for him to do an evil looking something. Like aa demigod of death power and destruction. He had drawn a cool mean elvish wizard looking guy holding a staff. Mainly a head shot. Anyhow he didn't own an airbrush and well from 25 it looked killer but the closer you got the worse it looked with all the brush strokes and bumps. Looked like an oil painting on canvas.

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    If you lay down too much it will sag - just like shooting a car.
    It cures so fast, that if you think you will apply too much (or need to "flood" some planked or dented areas) just do one side at a time; spraying flat surfaces.
    The pot life is about 2 hours in the gun, so you could shoot one side of the cab, one side of the head; then rotate and hit the other side.

    Do I understand correctly, that once you mix the 2pac and load the gun, you have about 2 hours to use it? I was thinking that it has to get sprayed within 5 minutes...

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from songofsixpence:

    Do I understand correctly, that once you mix the 2pac and load the gun, you have about 2 hours to use it? I was thinking that it has to get sprayed within 5 minutes...

    that's epoxy...

    1 week later
    #38 3 years ago

    Vid, we just finished repainting this Genie. Was contemplating a flat clearcoat to finish it off, what do you recommend?

    We sprayed the aqua/orange using Montana WHITE

    http://www.montana-cans.com/products/Cans/Montana_WHITE/Montana_WHITE_400ml_High_Gloss/158

    We did the base with BEHR MARQUEE Enamel and Kilz oil based primer.

    458105.jpg

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from songofsixpence:

    Do I understand correctly, that once you mix the 2pac and load the gun, you have about 2 hours to use it? I was thinking that it has to get sprayed within 5 minutes...

    Depending on the brand/hardener, you have about 1.5 to 2 hours to use it.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from iwantansi:

    Vid, we just finished repainting this Genie. Was contemplating a flat clearcoat to finish it off, what do you recommend?
    We sprayed the aqua/orange using Montana WHITE
    http://www.montana-cans.com/products/Cans/Montana_WHITE/Montana_WHITE_400ml_High_Gloss/158
    We did the base with BEHR MARQUEE Enamel and Kilz oil based primer.

    The original game did not have a clearcoat on the cab.

    So it depends on how original you want it to look.

    Lightly sand the paint when fully dry (could be weeks if the paint came from a rattle can) for tooth, and spray the topcoat of your choice.

    The original finish was probably semi-gloss.

    #41 3 years ago

    Hi Vid-

    I'd like to hear your method of removing the sharp edges of the color layers after stenciling a cab.

    #42 3 years ago

    Vid,
    I have a United shuffle-targette machine I am going to repaint. I know it's not a pinball machine but I figure the steps would be about the same. I am planning on sanding to bare wood, fixing any imperfections in the wood, and priming with Kilz primer. I was planning on using latex for the main color coat and spray it using a harbor frieght HVLP gun. I know the paint will need thinned but what do you recommend for a thinner? Most I've read online so far say to use water. I worry that the additional water will cause issues with the wood. I did see one guy that used windshield washer fluid. Not sure on that one but seemed to work ok for him.

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from MarcelG:

    Hi Vid-
    I'd like to hear your method of removing the sharp edges of the color layers after stenciling a cab.

    I knock the edges down with 800 or 1000 grit wet sandpaper

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from feveredpinhead:

    Vid,
    I have a United shuffle-targette machine I am going to repaint. I know it's not a pinball machine but I figure the steps would be about the same. I am planning on sanding to bare wood, fixing any imperfections in the wood, and priming with Kilz primer. I was planning on using latex for the main color coat and spray it using a harbor frieght HVLP gun. I know the paint will need thinned but what do you recommend for a thinner? Most I've read online so far say to use water. I worry that the additional water will cause issues with the wood. I did see one guy that used windshield washer fluid. Not sure on that one but seemed to work ok for him.

    You've got to seal the bare wood first, before using any water based paints/primers on it - or else you will "raise the grain" of the wood.

    This is where you would use 2 part auto primer, or Original Kilz (never ever buy the latex Kilz - total garbage).

    I thin latex paints with water all the time - just don't try to thin cheap latex paint, because you can't. Always buy the most expensive latex if you need to thin it.

    #45 3 years ago

    Ok. So my plan of priming with Kilz original (oil based stuff) is a good one. That's good to know. I have some satin black latex paint (wasn't cheap) that I was planning on spraying on some scrap. Just to practice a bit before I spray the actual machine. Thanks.

    #46 3 years ago

    What is the best way to prep a cab for new graphics, sand first? Spray a primer on?

    #47 3 years ago

    What kind of black paint should be used for touch up? Should I brush it on?

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from T2play:

    What is the best way to prep a cab for new graphics, sand first? Spray a primer on?

    Depends on the cab.

    If there are scratches and holes, you have to fill them.

    New paint will make every flaw jump out at you.

    You should sand to give the new primer and paint some tooth.

    -1
    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from T2play:

    What kind of black paint should be used for touch up? Should I brush it on?

    Semi gloss black is what was usually original.

    Spray is better than brush.

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    This post will start a guide about restoring wood cabinets.
    I will preface this guide by saying it is often cheaper to just buy a brand new CNCed cabinet from one of many sources. I'll post an assembly guide latter in the thread.

    Curious on places that sell cabs. I've got a Joker Poker cabinet that is pretty rough, must have sat in water or something. I might need to take it apart and re-glue and brace, but if i can just get a new cabinet for a decent price, might go that route to. I fully intend to repaint it anyways.

    Thanks.

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