(Topic ID: 189848)

Electro-Mechanical Cleopatra Restoration Project (Finished)

By Shiny_balls

2 years ago

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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by PinballFever
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There are 82 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 2 years ago

Sorry buddies, I took a break from Williams Fire! project for Cleopatra EM......started this week!

I wanted to make my machine looks new as it came out from factory like this.....
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But of course, cabinet will be much better quality finish than the factory.....

Both numbers from cabinet and backbox are matched but what the......looks different
Made from separate factories? Backbox has much more spatters than main cabinet......
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Bad sanding job at the factory.....will fill it with bondo to make it straight.....
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Bye-bye to old metal bottom
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Sorry, I didn't like masonite bottom panel (or MDF)....I'll change it to a nice plywood bottom....
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To like these....
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A spacer for backbox has wrong grain direction on front side.....probably bondo or wood veneer.....
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My playfield.....
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Damaged from right hole kick.....
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Left hole kick........
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Damaged from left slingshot....
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#2 2 years ago

I look forward to you progress reports. I love this game in the EM form. Can I ask how you remove the bottom board? Are they just glued in on Gottlieb EM's. Good luck.

#3 2 years ago

I'll be following this as well!

#4 2 years ago

Drew the artworks on tracing papers for homemade stencils later....
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No need tracing papers, just measurements....
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Cut off bottom at the back to remove bottom panel and make a rabbet with router for new plywood filler....
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Repairs loosely plywood...
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Straight edge as a guide for bondo......
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New plywood sheet for bottom and 3/4 ply with rabbet as a filler....
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#5 2 years ago

I'll use RustOleum Lobster Red spray can for red stencils (I did for Royal Flush and Super Spin) and createx paints to match purple....with an airbrush.

Close enough, I wanted a little lighter purple, tested with clearcoat.
Aged purple looks nice (green arrow) but I'll go for brand new looks.
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I'm done with purple mix before losing the original purple color forever...
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Top edge at the back not flushed, another small rabbet for wood filler....with a router.
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Filled with a pine wood......bondo, sand, bondo, sand, bondo....
Remember, sanding the old cabinet is dangerous, wear a Respirator Mask.
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Open the gap with chisel and filling in with glue, nail it with 18ga brads..... every joint around the backbox....
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#6 2 years ago

Bondo, sand, bondo, sand....OK, cabinet is done for now........
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Time to clear the bottom to avoid get dirty again.....with a HVLP spray gun.
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Put a straight edge guide on crooked edge and bondo......
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Bondo on back to metal door......
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Bottom edge of backbox....
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2 coats of clear dried and a bit of caulking.....
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#7 2 years ago

Sanding the surfaces of a backbox is done, see the nice, very sharp corners...but I'll sand very small round corners with 220 grit....
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Small round corners......
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Spacer for backbox, I added a veneer to rotate the grain direction by 90 degree on front side.
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Bottom side masked....
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A quart of oil-based primer...$8.88 from Lowe's.....one part of primer and about 2/3-3/4 of thinner to mix for a HVLP spray gun....
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I'll turn the cabinets up side down after dry, then to finish the rest of primer coats.
After priming job, I'll look for defects and bondo for the last time.

#8 2 years ago

Lots of small defects....hard to see without primer.....no problem, more bondo!
On the next day, sand off the bondo with 220 grit....
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Sanding job is done....
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Drill 1/16 holes for nylon cabinet glides...(not too deep)
See the filler I installed on the bottom? perfect flushed!
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Back of cabinet, can't see 2 fillers on top and bottom....
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Second primer coat.....
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Making stencils, on large glass top coffee table, tracing paper is under the poster paper...lamp is under the glass top.....
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#9 2 years ago

Sanding the fine orange peel finish primer into smooth surface with 400 grit
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A bit of caulking inside corners.......
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Sorry, bad picture, original 45 degree bevel on back edge of backbox was too large and rough, I had to bondo on all 4 edges, sanded off square and then smaller bevel...
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I'm going to paint the white base with Rust-Oleum "Painter's Touch 2x" spray cans... "Blossom White"
Firstly, spray the back edges of backbox and a bit inside to metal door...
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Half an hour later, I put temporary legs on with 18ga brads....
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Turn upside down to spray the rest....
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White base job on backbox is done.
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Cabinet done.
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Zinsser oil based primer and Blossom White are really almost same color, primer is matte, Blossom is satin finish.....less dirty when I move the cabinet around a lot....easy to wipe off.
One coat of Blossom is good enough for me, 2 and a 3/4 cans for one coat.
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Blossom White and a piece of A4 white paper folded in half together......
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#10 2 years ago

I use this half pint water based paint for splatter....flat black
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Add some water to make it thins and into a HVLP spray gun at very very low pressure.....
Testing, testing, testing....on a cardboard....
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All done in less than 2 minutes....fast! .....in nice cool early morning, because I don't want to adjust again and screw up...
I'm happy, it looked the same as my other machines...Royal Flush and Super Spin.
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I can remove unwanted spots easily with a razor blade.....
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I'm going to cut the stencils with a X-Acto knife all day today.....

#11 2 years ago

A drywall leftover....as a cutting board.....
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Poster paper isn't thick but easy to cut.....
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Red Lobster paint on cabinet....ahh.... all good
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I put large washers and nuts to hold down the poster paper.....
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Half an hour after spray job, I removed the washers and nuts but leave the stencil on....
Stencil raised slightly itself or stick on wet paint with your finger and lift.... and then spray it.... a quick, very very lightly....to get some under spray...
Not all of it, wherever I like....horse feet, ear, pyramid...
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Gloss paint is thick, it raised a bit....I don't like it....I'll take care of it with clearcoats after stencil job.
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Backbox.....Oh baby... yeah!.....looks good.
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some has very narrow stencil, I had to put pins in to hold down...
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A black spot on her lip...eww... tried to remove with a razor blade....
Will try again tomorrow, paint still wet.....
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#12 2 years ago

Beautiful work so far!

#13 2 years ago

Commenting to follow. Great work! Really appreciate all the close-up, in-focus, photography!!!

#14 2 years ago

Yeah! Fantastic pics and tips, thanks!

#15 2 years ago

Thanks guys.
I need another Red Lobster spray can but couldn't find it in stock, I had to order it at Home Depot.....
a case of 6 cans (sigh) and I have to wait few days to pick it up....

I still have 1/3 -1/2 spray can left but couldn't spray the large area face down....but I can do small red on coin door area and a red line on front backbox....

I have looked at purple sample to make sure if I like it......Yep, I liked it
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Paint it purple with an airbrush......
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Front backbox is done.
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Coin door front is done.
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A box of stainless steel screws has arrived.....for side rails.....no nails for me.
I'll replace the phillip screws for slotted on my other Gottlieb machines

ebay.com link » Slotted Pan Head Sheet Metal Tapping Screw Stainless Steel 4x5 8 Qty 100

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#16 2 years ago

While I'm waiting for Lobster Red paint, I'm doing the playfield a bit....

There is a lump under each facetted post, not going to sand flat.....just a drop of glue into hole and hit it right in the center few times until it flatted with a ball pein hammer.....and let it dry.....
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I'm done with magic eraser and alcohol, can't do anymore....or lose numbers and letterings...
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Nice lime green color, will repaint all.....also purple too....
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Glue covered the hole, may not find it after repaint and clearcoats.....drill it before paint job.
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Some #8 screws are little too long....(depend on what brackets) will see some lumps on playfield...I'll cut the tip about 1/16 off with a bench grinder before reinstall....some, not all of them....
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I'll change the inserts.....white and purple only.
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White inserts are hard to find....from 3 places...
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Old inserts need to be scanned for waterslide decals
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Bondo on some spots.....
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#17 2 years ago

GREAT work so far. Inspiring

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from Shiny_balls:

...also purple too...

Wow, that's quite the difference!

Still enjoying the Cleo show. Keep it up, Shiny.

#19 2 years ago

Bonus value area is done (inside blue line)
All hand painted....
Black - 10-25% (1 coat)
Yellow - 98% (3-4 coats)
White - 100% (3 coats)
Red - 0%
Purple - 99% (2 coats)
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Daylight pic...
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Old pic....
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Waterslide decals for black ring inserts after a coat of 2pac clear.

Going to Home Depot to pick up Lobster Red spray cans.....

#20 2 years ago

Working on the cabinets now......
All red stencils finished this morning....
Today, purple on large cabinet.....OMFG....looks fantastic!!
Yippeee!! Very happy!!
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#22 2 years ago

Better than new! Great job!

#23 2 years ago

Createx is water based paint.... the stencil paper can be buckled a bit if spraying a few coats...so, I painted the stencil paper to make it like a waterproof with any oil-based spray can....for Createx paint.
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Sometime under spray doesn't looks good.....scrub it out with wet cotton swab...(for Createx paints).
For oil based spray can....let it dry and then scrape it off with a razor blade. If you clean it off with thinner, it will stains the white base paint...permanently!
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I'm going to clear it with 2PAC, same stuff for playfield.....no, no, I'm not going to make a high end pinball cabinet.......just the stencil sides only...to knock down the stencil paint edges.....
One face up at a time, blue tape around.....
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Cover it up with papers....and check for defect black specks, remove with razor blade.....
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I paid $95 plus tax for both gallon and quart at the local store....(4 part and 1 part to mix)
Yep, it's toxic and very dangerous, read first on Vid's guide....
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Yeah, it has small orange peel finish...but I'm not worry, I'll wet sand it perfect flat and smooth.....
See the raised stencil edges? red is thicker than purple...I'll wait for a day before wet sand.
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#24 2 years ago

After 2 coat and wet sanded with 400 grit....the raised edges are going down but I'm afraid to sand any more......looks like I didn't spray thick enough....well, one more coat.
Just like my other projects, Royal Flush and Super Spin.... I did 3 coats each side.
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I sprayed this left side of backbox much thicker than the cabinet......after wet sanded, looks like almost done....with few unmarked spots....
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OK, on 3rd coat, I'll spray the cabinet more thicker and less on backbox.
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Final coat and wet sanding with 600 grit....
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Ah there's an unmarked spot.... sand more
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Carefully, sanding on bevel with fingers
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No more unmarked spots.... all gone!
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2PAC job done on one side...... perfectly flat and smooth.
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Turned over to other side to repeat 3 times....
Ewww...look at gloss red , matt purple and satin white.... looks awful without clearcoats....
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I will do the same thing on Williams Fire! project later....2PAC over artworks...to knock down the vinyl decal edges!!!!

#25 2 years ago

Wow what a great job. Keep the updates coming.

#26 2 years ago

I'm still salivating over here. Nice work. Any chance we could see a close-up of those pinholes left behind by the needles (the ones that hold the stencil in place) after they've been clear-coated?

#27 2 years ago

Close up masking tape detail....
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Second coat, wet sanded and cleaned up this morning........
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Third and final coat for right sides only this morning........
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Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I'm still salivating over here. Nice work. Any chance we could see a close-up of those pinholes left behind by the needles (the ones that hold the stencil in place) after they've been clear-coated?

Before and after pictures for Mr Ryan Clayor....

Before clearcoats......
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After clearcoats and sanded......hard to see with my own eyes.....
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Some pinholes has been touched up with Blossom White on brush......
EDIT: Maybe use some removable adhesives to hold down....better than pins???
This is on right side, not sanded yet....tomorrow
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I just finished cleaning up the coin door.....Yippeee!
With new lock, new red start button and white bushing....... also, new white entrance plates and label inserts.
New coin door decal will be installed at the end....
(I put cardboard papers in between frame and door to stop rubbing each other before install...)
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#28 2 years ago

Sides finished with 2PAC....going to front ends....
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Cut out masking paper and cleaning 2 edges with naphtha.....No sanding on any edge of 2PAC....not yet.
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Blue masking tape around...
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Cover up the sides with masking papers......
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The cabinet front end face up.....
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Cut and remove the masking paper....
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Cover up the coin door area and edges....cleaning 2 edges with naphtha (blue lines)
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Blue tape around and cover up the sides with masking papers......
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First coat done.
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After dry, paint clear inside coin door holes with brush, to prevent the wood from swelling up around the hole when wet sanding.... (I found 2 swelled next to holes on Super Spin project)
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#29 2 years ago

Second coat......
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After wet sanded, I don't see any unmarked spot....so I don't need a third coat...I'm done with 2PAC.
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Remove all masking papers and tapes....everything!
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Ahhh nice plywood bottom....I haven't seen it for a month!
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Sanding very carefully on corners where 2 clearcoated sides together.......to make round and smooth corners...with 600 grit.....Do not sand the rest of edges....no, not yet.
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Ahhh....a serial number....indeed
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Saved the original stamped numbers....
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Filled the nail holes.....
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Removed the temporary legs.....
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I made a post stand for backbox, to spray all sides and a bit insides at same time.....
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For Cabinet, just spray inside side rails for now.....
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#30 2 years ago

This is all just astounding. Thanks for your thorough documentation.

#31 2 years ago

There are lots of different kinds of clearcoats to choose from....I really don't know which is the best....
I choose this water based polyurethane....in a HVLP spray gun...
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I have tried on Royal Flush, I liked it very much, it's very smooth and totally flawless, no orange peel finishes....and I didn't do anything after 3rd and final spray job, no sanding or polishing...nothing!
Colors looks good.
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I add a little bit of water to make it thinner....to avoid an orange peel finish...but be careful.....easy to bleed!!
Polyurethane is very thin, at least 3 coats to complete.

It dries very fast, best to spray is on cool day (very early morning in So Cal), make sure the whole coat stays wet before finished spraying job.....otherwise, you'll see different sheens.

To knock down the artwork edges with polyurethane is probably 6-8 coats which is too much, that's why I choose 2PAC.

Testing on a kitchen sample door.....
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First coat of polyurethane......
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Close up detail of first coat....
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Inside rails.....see the fine orange peel finish? it's from the rust-oleum painter's touch ultra cover spray can - blossom white... not from clearcoat.
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On non-2PAC surfaces, I'll sand lightly between coats to eliminating orange peel finishes.

Ahhhh look at that 2PAC side...no orange peel finish!! ....and of course, no stencil edges!
It's a semi gloss finish.
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After dry, it's time to sand (dry) to deburr the edges of 2PAC....very carefully...hard to see, just feel it with fingers.....don't sand too much, will sand again on second coat.
(see blue lines)
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#32 2 years ago

Great work. I like your explanations ans step by step approach and tutorial.


#33 2 years ago

7:30am, 63F, 5 mph wind, overcast (June Gloom).....
Perfect morning for last coat on backbox...lots of pressure, high heart rate.....
I wanted the last coat to be perfect.... make sure enough paint and no rundowns because I really don't want to do another coat (whole thing) if screw up....I must wear optical glasses for last coat.
3rd and final coat.....
All good......whew!!!

Few hours later, new nylon cabinet glides installed.....
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Backbox is done!!! No sanding or polishing after that...nothing.
The sun's going down, I took the backbox outside for better pictures.....all good, I'm happy.
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Inside rails finished, now the cabinet is upside down on sawhorses.....
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I'll spray a bit under, on the edge...
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Cover up the coin door....
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Can't spray now....too hot....will do in the morning.....

#34 2 years ago

First coat on main cabinet.....
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After dry, sand to deburr the edges of 2PAC.... (blue lines)
Will do again on second coat if necessary.....
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#35 2 years ago

The cabinet is a work of art, a mona lisa showing much love and attention to detail.

I look forward to see what you do with the electro mechanical parts.

#36 2 years ago

Don't know if the splatter pattern is typical of this title, however you have done one heck of a job with this cabinet. The title deserves this type of detail only because of the rarity, and you have done well. Good luck with the workings of the game next.

#37 2 years ago

Thanks guys....

3rd and final coat on cabinet.....all perfect!!....Cabinet paint job is done, done, DONE!! Yay!!

I made leg protectors out of a 4ft long vinyl base....$2.38 plus tax at Lowe's....enough for 8 pieces.....
IMG_3811 (resized).JPG
Almost 1/8" thick, will prevent the legs from digging into cab....
IMG_3813 (resized).JPG
A sheet metal template.....to cut the vinyl with Stanley utility knife....
IMG_3815 (resized).JPG
IMG_3816 (resized).JPG
Drill small holes as a guide....
IMG_3817 (resized).JPG
Then a 1/2" speedbor.....
IMG_3818 (resized).JPG
Put them on BBQ ...yum yum yummy...Ha! just kidding, to make them soften......
IMG_3819 (resized).JPG
Fold in half and clamp them with 2 wood blocks.....ouch, a bit too hot with bare hands....sigh
IMG_3820 (resized).JPG
Cool down under tap water .....
IMG_3821 (resized).JPG
Bevel on holes with x acto
IMG_3823 (resized).JPG
Also, beveled edges with a tiny trimming plane.....
IMG_3832 (resized).JPG

#38 2 years ago

IMG_3824 (resized).JPG
IMG_3827 (resized).JPG
IMG_3828 (resized).JPG
IMG_3830 (resized).JPG
IMG_3831 (resized).JPG
When you remove the legs and vinyl protectors from cab....of course, you will see some blemish finishes on cabinet.......with minimal damage.

Legs installed......
IMG_3833 (resized).JPG
IMG_3834 (resized).JPG
IMG_3835 (resized).JPG
IMG_3838 (resized).JPG

Tune up the chimes with a rebuild kit from PBR...
IMG_3842 (resized).JPG
IMG_3844 (resized).JPG

#39 2 years ago

I like to use these metal cabinet protectors from Pinball life: http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=2711
but you did a great job with the plastic one. After spending so much time repairing the cabinet, it is essential to protect it in the best possible way.


#40 2 years ago

I did, bought the protectors and the new system 11 legs together for my very first machine, the F-14....not thick enough..... the cabinet got damaged by the sharp edges of new legs...
Bought another set of legs for my Williams Fire! but no more metal protectors for me.

#41 2 years ago

Hot, hot, hot, bloody hot!
hot (resized).jpg
Too hot to work in garage after 10am....so I took playfield to a cool dining room and do hand paintings...
Power went out for almost 12 hours last Saturday night.....then, I went outside....
Yikes!! I took this picture with my iPhone.....what happened? a plane crash??
IMG_1426 (resized).JPG

Here's the link......

Ok, top playfield area done by hand paintings.......Yellow, purple and black only...all Createx paints.
IMG_3858 (resized).JPG
Inside blue line....
IMG_3858a (resized).JPG
Middle playfield area......done with yellow, black, red, purple and a bit of white on bird's eye....
IMG_3859 (resized).JPG
Inside blue line......(notice: I repaired 2 damaged spots from hole kicks)
IMG_3859a (resized).JPG

#42 2 years ago

Did you thin the Createx paint before brushing?

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

Did you thin the Createx paint before brushing?

Nope, nothing. A drop of createx into ice cube tray and paint it with a good brush.
A drop lasts about 5 minutes before it gets too thick....so, another drop of fresh paint on next spot......
IMG_3860 (resized).JPG

Done with yellow and black.....original red is fine......
IMG_3889 (resized).JPG

Hand painted on purple, black and white on "500" and "Special"
IMG_3883 (resized).JPG
IMG_3884 (resized).JPG
IMG_3890 (resized).JPG
New lime green color.....
IMG_3877 (resized).JPG
Yellow, purple, green, red and black......all hand painted
IMG_3879 (resized).JPG
"Boomerang" shape is next.....with an airbrush and masking tapes....
IMG_3880 (resized).JPG

#44 2 years ago

Lookin' great! Do you have "before" pix?

#45 2 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

Lookin' great! Do you have "before" pix?

No....sorry, how about this one?
IMG_3565 (resized).JPG
Masking tapes and papers, to spray yellow.....
IMG_3891 (resized).JPG
Yellow is done.
IMG_3894 (resized).JPG

Next is green, I put masking tapes on every 2nd green triangle.....same thing what I did to yellow......
IMG_3895 (resized).JPG
IMG_3896 (resized).JPG
Repeat for the rest of triangles....
IMG_3897 (resized).JPG
Boomerang is finished......purple is next
IMG_3899 (resized).JPG
Before I put a masking tape, I paint the black line a little bit by hand....
IMG_3900 (resized).JPG
Circle Cutter is very handy!!
IMG_3892 (resized).JPG
A measurement for circle cutter....
IMG_3902 (resized).JPG
Ready to spray it purple....
IMG_3903 (resized).JPG
Blue tapes over the "Copyright" logo....do not spray over the blue tapes....just stay away from edges....
IMG_3904 (resized).JPG
Purple is done...
IMG_3906 (resized).JPG

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from Shiny_balls:

how about this one?


Uhm...yah. That'll do.

I like your work-around with masking off every other shape (to give yourself room for the tape/mask). Your registration continues to inspire. I can't spot even a hairline of a shape that's not in place. Flawless work.

P.S. Did you paint your bottom insert purple?

#47 2 years ago

I use a magnifying lamp to keep my works flawless!
$35 from Harbor Freight...
IMG_3915 (resized).JPG

Quoted from RyanClaytor:

P.S. Did you paint your bottom insert purple?

Paint over purple insert? No way!
New insert. (see post # 16)
IMG_3549 (resized).JPG

Doing the Egyptian crosses....hand painted white around "500"
IMG_3907 (resized).JPG
Then masking tapes around for airbrush....
IMG_3909 (resized).JPG
IMG_3910 (resized).JPG
IMG_3911 (resized).JPG
Crosses on lanes done.
IMG_3917 (resized).JPG
IMG_3919 (resized).JPG
I repaint the green triangles again....more lighter green.....
and sides on mid playfield at same time....
IMG_3914 (resized).JPG
IMG_3923 (resized).JPG
Inside blue lines...done today.
IMG_3923 (resized).JPG
For whole lime green color on playfield....hand paint (see blue areas) and then airbrush the rest.
IMG_3591 (resized).JPG

#48 2 years ago

The playfield is getting greener!!
I'm done with handpainted green........will finish the rest of green by airbrush later.
IMG_3931 (resized).JPG
Going to hand paint white (blue lines)
IMG_3933 (resized).JPG
Handpainted white is done, airbrush later.
IMG_3940 (resized).JPG
Purple color is done! 100% !!
IMG_3941 (resized).JPG

#49 2 years ago

To paint it green with an airbrush, top half for now......
IMG_3946 (resized).JPG
IMG_3947 (resized).JPG
See the hand painted green? Do not airbrush over blue tapes..(red lines)... otherwise, you can see raised paint edges from masking tapes...
IMG_3947a (resized).JPG
IMG_3948 (resized).JPG
Top half green done.....masking tapes for Egyptian crosses...hand painted white on bottom.....
IMG_3949 (resized).JPG
IMG_3949a (resized).JPG
More masking tapes for pop bumper rings.....
IMG_3951 (resized).JPG
Masking tapes for bottom half green......
IMG_3952 (resized).JPG
Green color is done....100%
Also Egyptian crosses and pop bumper rings......
Almost finished....just need to paint the white areas under playfield plastic set......
IMG_3953 (resized).JPG
Masking tapes top half....and bottom half later......
IMG_3960 (resized).JPG
Green -100%
Purple - 100%
White - 100%
Yellow - about 60%
Red - about 25%
Black - about 10%
Brown for wood - 0.005%
IMG_3962 (resized).JPG
IMG_3964 (resized).JPG
Clearcoat is next.....I'm using this product....
IMG_3631 (resized).JPG
Wiped off lightly with naphtha.....and a tack cloth......
First coat of 2PAC.........Flawless!!
IMG_3968 (resized).JPG

#50 2 years ago

I like it. Goodbye dingy yellowed whites. That fresh coat of white paint looks great.

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