(Topic ID: 25425)

Ever Flossed Your Siderails Off?


By NM

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 33 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by markmon
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

#1 7 years ago

Have to remove the siderails on my AFM to send to Alex Levy for Black Chroming.

The rails have no dents and I'd like to save them.

The quandary is my AFM has mint original cabinet screening--and I obviously can't take any chance on damage (would rather see the rails go down in flames).

Heard about the dental floss removal approach to "saw" the double-sided tape (old Car Guy trick for removing body molding)...anyone every tried this?

Would like to aid the process with some heat: is a heat gun too risky; use a hair dryer instead?

TIA.

#2 7 years ago

I use a heat gun pointed at the top of the rail, while working a sharp wide putty knife in between the rail and tape. Take your time, no art damage, rails come off fine.

#3 7 years ago

Understand that rear nail is a Beeotch.

Heard of someone who used a Dremel cut-off disc to score it--then twisted it out with a flat blade screwdriver.

#4 7 years ago

The procedure I posted with a putty knife, dead blow hammer and blue painters tape works real well with no damage.

I've used a braided bike cable to remove a car windshield in a similar fashion to what you describe in the past. It worked OK!

#5 7 years ago

Arent new side rails like $50 bucks? Sure seem like a pain in the ass & a lot of work to save yourself $50.

#6 7 years ago
Quoted from smassa:

Arent new side rails like $50 bucks? Sure seem like a pain in the ass & a lot of work to save yourself $50.

I used the heat and a wide putty knife and saved mine in less than 30 min.
30 min at $50 = $100/hr don't know about you but at that math I'll spend the time.

#7 7 years ago
Quoted from smassa:

Arent new side rails like $50 bucks? Sure seem like a pain in the ass & a lot of work to save yourself $50.

They have to come off none the less. Why not take a few extra mom and take them off right.

#8 7 years ago

Even on car stuff I try to avoid the floss method because its just sloppy. You need to wear gloves because the floss will end up cutting into your skin. Not really sure how you are going to work the floss down the side rails because of the 90 degree angle.

#9 7 years ago
Quoted from smassa:

Arent new side rails like $50 bucks? Sure seem like a pain in the ass & a lot of work to save yourself $50.

+1

#10 7 years ago
Quoted from smassa:

Arent new side rails like $50 bucks? Sure seem like a pain in the ass & a lot of work to save yourself $50.

Yes, they're $47 at PBL.

Trashing them is indeed percentage-wise of little consequence relative to the big picture of this restoration I'm working on, but I figured why waste $47 if it's unnecessary?

Even if you approached the job from the mindset of trashing the rails, it doesn't seem to me like you'd save that much more time--because as I mentioned, extreme caution has to be exercised because of the mint original screening.

So if I did trash them, how do you remove rails without risking damage to the screening? Take a set of needlenose pliers and perhaps a putty knife and start prying, bending, and pulling.

Doesn't seem like that much less of a pain in the ass to me--or all that much of a time savings.

Please LMK if I'm missing something.

#11 7 years ago
Quoted from johnwartjr:

The procedure I posted with a putty knife, dead blow hammer and blue painters tape works real well with no damage.

John: where is this posted?

Thanks.

#12 7 years ago

Floss would never work, the tape is tough and you have a 90 degree bend to contend with. Heat gun, putty knife and patience is probably your best bet.

#13 7 years ago
Quoted from John_in_NC:

Floss would never work,

I was equally skeptical about this too; but believe it or not, I definitely recall reading a thread on RGP where some guy claims it cuts through the tape like "a knife through butter".

Exaggeration? Unknown.

Another guy suggests piano wire.

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from smassa:

Arent new side rails like $50 bucks? Sure seem like a pain in the ass & a lot of work to save yourself $50.

40 bucks from terry.

#15 7 years ago
Quoted from NM:

I was equally skeptical about this too; but believe it or not, I definitely recall reading a thread on RGP where some guy claims it cuts through the tape like "a knife through butter".
Exaggeration? Unknown.
Another guy suggests piano wire.

When you send them please remove the tape residue

#16 7 years ago

I would definitely try to remove the originals if they are in good shape. Heck, if even *one* of them is in good shape. The aftermarket replacements are not always bent exactly the same, and if you have 1 good original rail, I like to save it, in case another cabinet has only 1 bent rail.

Cheap? Perhaps. Anything is worth doing with care, though, even if the originals are bent, I try to remove them carefully as you don't want to tear up the cabinet etc.

I showed a few pics and detailed the process here:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gnr-side-rails

The nail may present an additional challenge, or it may not. On a couple cabs I've changed rails on, the nail pulled right out with a small pair of vice grips, without scratching the rail.

#17 7 years ago
Quoted from Pinchroma:

When you send them please remove the tape residue

Will do Alex; lacquer thinner should do the job in no time...wish the same could be said for the residue on the screening!

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from johnwartjr:

I would definitely try to remove the originals if they are in good shape. Heck, if even *one* of them is in good shape. The aftermarket replacements are not always bent exactly the same, and if you have 1 good original rail, I like to save it, in case another cabinet has only 1 bent rail.

Great point John--always best to go with original factory parts on any restoration.

#19 7 years ago

BTW, just learned piano wire is available in diameters as small as 0.006".

The analogy of using this approach would be one of those cheese slicers with the wire strand used to cut blocks of cheese.

Something about the physics of this seems to make sense.

In the end, I'll probably use John's tried and true method--but the piano wire approach seems interesting in theory.

Thanks for everyone's input thus far.

#20 7 years ago

I used the putty knife on my side rails, worked perfect.

On my cars I use braided fishing line. 10lb works like a champ. I have debadged all my cars this way.

#21 7 years ago

I think I may have accidentally just come up with an interesting removal approach:

I was in my garage poking around and observed my bandsaw blades are 59 1/2" in circumference. Went and measured the rails and they're 47", and a comfortable working wingspan seems to be about 60". Bandsaw blades are actually thinner than putty knives. The math looks promising.

So the plan is to rip a bandsaw blade in half and see how that goes.

Thinking it'll saw through the tape in no time, and this may be an ideal tool for the job--by posing zero risk to the screening. Duct tape over the ends will act as makeshift handles.

May not get around to this for a few weeks, but will report my findings back in the thread at that time.

Thanks to all once again.

#22 7 years ago

Get a good puddy knife ($5-6 version with a good soft handle) use a grinder to make it razor sharp.
Do the blue tape line just below the rail and work it off.

After its off:
I use a heat gun to warm the tape left on the cab and rail and roll it off.
Not fun couple of hours average...you may get lucky and do it in an hour....I'm just not that lucky.

#23 7 years ago

Just buy new rails from pinball life. They don't really cost that much. Mine as well save yourself a ton of time and just do it proper the first time.

#24 7 years ago
Quoted from jrivelli:

Just buy new rails from pinball life. They don't really cost that much. Mine as well save yourself a ton of time and just do it proper the first time.

The old ones still need to come off. What is the sense of wasting money when he still needs to get the old ones off? Also not everyone has money to burn.

-1
#25 7 years ago
Quoted from jrivelli:

Just buy new rails from pinball life. They don't really cost that much. Mine as well save yourself a ton of time and just do it proper the first time.

This was covered in the initial post and discussed subsequently in the thread: the cost of the rails is insignificant--the chief concern is not damaging the unfaded original AFM silkscreened cabinet.

John Wart Jr pointed out reproductions many times don't fit as well as original factory parts.

KCpinballfan, myself, and others have noted that the original rails still have to be removed carefully to avoid damage to the screening even if reproductions were purchased.

#26 7 years ago
Quoted from johnwartjr:

Anything is worth doing with care, though, even if the originals are bent, I try to remove them carefully as you don't want to tear up the cabinet etc.
I showed a few pics and detailed the process here:
http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gnr-side-rails
The nail may present an additional challenge, or it may not. On a couple cabs I've changed rails on, the nail pulled right out with a small pair of vice grips, without scratching the rail.

I removed some No Fear rails yesterday using mostly the same technique.

I use a knife like this one:
http://www.mitre10mega.co.nz/shop/handtools/pliers_wrenches_cutters/stanley_folding_knife_136034/

And I find it gets in close enough to the edge of the rail that it cuts through the tape nicely. No need to use the hammer or scraper at all Just get the blade up as high as you can and run it along the edge of the rail.

I had both rails off (without any damage to rail or machine) in 5 minutes. No heat, nothing.

Cheers
Dave.

#27 7 years ago

I would also like to add that for the tape residue removal, you could try using some of the old tape you took off that still has stickiness to it or duct tape. Believe it or not, I've had excellent luck using "sticky" to remove "sticky" in the past on many different objects. Nothing sticks to tape like tape, especially its adhesive. The acetone thing might take longer than you want and you'd want to re-conditioner that stainless afterwards to be safe. But using tape finishes nice and clean.

Just something I've had decent luck with over the years.....

#28 7 years ago
Quoted from NM:

This was covered in the initial post and discussed subsequently in the thread: the cost of the rails is insignificant--the chief concern is not damaging the unfaded original AFM silkscreened cabinet.
John Wart Jr pointed out reproductions many times don't fit as well as original factory parts.
KCpinballfan, myself, and others have noted that the original rails still have to be removed carefully to avoid damage to the screening even if reproductions were purchased.

Oh, gotcha. My bad didn't read every single reply. I have removed them loads of times very easily without damaging the cabinet or decals. I usually destroy the rails though.

To the guy who said no money to burn. Then don't get new side rails. They are purely cosmetic and don't affect gameplay. Get new rails, especially if you are going to get them powder coated. Anyways, no need to complain about price of an item that is purely cosmetic. If you can't afford it, don't get it.

#30 7 years ago
Quoted from Toasterdog:

I have debadged all my cars this way.

Oh, so you are one of THOSE guys huh?

I've always removed mine with a thin putty knife. Make sure to angle the blade towards the rail and not the cabinet.

#31 7 years ago
Quoted from jrivelli:

Oh, gotcha. My bad didn't read every single reply. I have removed them loads of times very easily without damaging the cabinet or decals. I usually destroy the rails though.
To the guy who said no money to burn. Then don't get new side rails. They are purely cosmetic and don't affect gameplay. Get new rails, especially if you are going to get them powder coated. Anyways, no need to complain about price of an item that is purely cosmetic. If you can't afford it, don't get it.

You're welcome to your opinion, just like everyone else - but saving 40 bucks in one place allows you to spend 40 bucks somewhere else on this pin, or towards another pin, etc.

I don't think NM wants to reuse perfectly good OEM parts because he doesn't have 40 bucks to spend.

Folks replace a lot of parts during their 'restorations' that could easily be reconditioned to 'good as new', with a little bit of elbow grease. If the restoration part is the fun part, why short change yourself on fun? Some parts, I change out, like star posts, pretty much regardless of the condition, because I've not found a way to make the originals sparkle like new, they are often foggy, chipped, etc, but I see a lot of things that get replaced in a lot of restorations that are perfectly fine - I wouldn't mind getting the cast-offs from some folks as it would save me a lot of money

The area where some of the aftermarket rails don't match is the corner where the 'side' of the rail meets the 'top' of the rail. Some are rounded, some are squared off. It may not be OEM vs aftermarket, it may just be that the mfg used 2 different types of rails through the years - but they are NOT all the same.

#32 6 years ago
Quoted from johnwartjr:

You're welcome to your opinion, just like everyone else - but saving 40 bucks in one place allows you to spend 40 bucks somewhere else on this pin, or towards another pin, etc.
I don't think NM wants to reuse perfectly good OEM parts because he doesn't have 40 bucks to spend.
Folks replace a lot of parts during their 'restorations' that could easily be reconditioned to 'good as new', with a little bit of elbow grease. If the restoration part is the fun part, why short change yourself on fun? Some parts, I change out, like star posts, pretty much regardless of the condition, because I've not found a way to make the originals sparkle like new, they are often foggy, chipped, etc, but I see a lot of things that get replaced in a lot of restorations that are perfectly fine - I wouldn't mind getting the cast-offs from some folks as it would save me a lot of money
The area where some of the aftermarket rails don't match is the corner where the 'side' of the rail meets the 'top' of the rail. Some are rounded, some are squared off. It may not be OEM vs aftermarket, it may just be that the mfg used 2 different types of rails through the years - but they are NOT all the same.

I agree here. A restoration involves taking old parts, spending time and effort combined with your personal skill and making old parts look new again unless its not possible because the part is in unusable condition. I love taking the time to make an old crappy looking part look brand new again. That is where the pride really kicks in after all is said and done. I've seen lots of people over the years "restore" and pinball machine with a new cabinet, new playfield, all new metal parts and assemblies, etc. I've wondered why they call it a restoration when it's really just a recreation using the old harness and board set.

There's plenty of times when new parts are the answer but not as often as a lot of guys opt for them. I take pride craftsmanship not just replacing parts because I can.

#33 6 years ago
Quoted from smassa:

Arent new side rails like $50 bucks? Sure seem like a pain in the ass & a lot of work to save yourself $50.

Yes, and since you have to ship them anyway, you could directly order and ship from pblife to alexlevy.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 50.00
From: $ 9.99
Eproms
Matt's Basement Arcade

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside