(Topic ID: 81349)

First cab decals - which leg protector should I use?


By MMP

5 years ago



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  • 27 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by MMP
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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    Stern Decal Protectors.jpeg
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    Pincab Damage To New Decals - Installed Only 1X.jpg

    #1 5 years ago

    Happy to say that I'm finally finishing up with my first cabinet decal project. Many thanks to the helpful Pinside forums - I found a lot of useful information. My boards are out for repair, but I am nearly ready to put the playfield back. Overall I'm pretty satisfied with the results.

    I'm currently using the plastic PinGuard protectors on my other pins and haven't noticed any additional wrinkling since. I recently saw a comment saying these weren't good for decal pins. I've already ordered a set for my new game - should I pull these off and use the metal cabinet protectors? I really kind of like how the PinGuards look.

    Thanks for your input.

    #2 5 years ago

    If it were me, I'd use the metal cabinet protectors.

    http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=2711

    #3 5 years ago

    Never put Pincabs on decals--they can cause impression marks immediately and eventually wrinkling.

    Install the new Stern stand-offs from PBL instead: ingenious design, because they never come in contact with the cabinet.

    Pincabs work nicely on original silk-screened cabinets, not replacement decals. Pincabs also serve to cover existing wear--but on games that were screened on white vinyl sheets applied first to the cabinet, using felt under the Pincab is cheap insurance.

    Here's a photo I saved of what happened to someone who unfortunately wasn't aware of this--and the resulting damage from being applied just one time on fresh decals.

    Pincab Damage To New Decals - Installed Only 1X.jpg

    #4 5 years ago

    personally, I'm not a fan of the pinguard protectors unless you've got a machine with painted, stenciled art. the edges of the pinguards will cause indentations on the vinyl stickers and will not prevent them from stretching/distorting/tearing under normal nudging conditions.

    edit: NM beat me to it. see above

    for what you put into the machine with a new set of decals (both time and money), do yourself a favor, spend an additional $15 and pick up the metal leg protectors from terry @ pinball life
    http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=2711

    #5 5 years ago

    Ahhh crap, well I probably should place another order then. Hopefully I haven't damaged anything yet since there is no big weight on the cab. Here are a couple of before & after shots.

    01.JPG IMG_8958.JPG IMG_8957.JPG
    #6 5 years ago

    Place another order for the metal cab protectors from Pinballlife....it will be cheap compared to buying new decals and installing those, yet again.

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from NM:

    Never put Pincabs on decals--they can cause impression marks immediately and eventually wrinkling.
    Install the new Stern stand-offs from PBL instead: ingenious design, because they never come in contact with the cabinet.
    Pincabs work nicely on original silk-screened cabinets, not replacement decals. Pincabs also serve to cover existing wear--but on games that were screened on white vinyl sheets applied first to the cabinet, using felt under the Pincab is cheap insurance.
    Here's a photo I saved of what happened to someone who unfortunately wasn't aware of this--and the resulting damage from being applied just one time on fresh decals.

    Excuse the stupid question, but how exactly do the ones from the link posted not come into contact with the cabinet/art?

    To me it looks like it is just a metal plate that installs between the cabinet and legs, in which case would it not touch the cabinet - or am I missing something here?

    Thanks

    #8 5 years ago

    You screw it into the cabinet. That way, it can't move relative to the cabinet and damage the decals. Then, the leg is spaced apart from the cabinet and unable to apply pressure. Sure, you put two screw holes through the art, but it is completely covered by the leg and you don't see it.

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from LongJohns:

    Excuse the stupid question, but how exactly do the ones from the link posted not come into contact with the cabinet/art?
    To me it looks like it is just a metal plate that installs between the cabinet and legs, in which case would it not touch the cabinet - or am I missing something here?
    Thanks

    As shown in the photo below: the decal is trimmed back from the protector and removed.

    Then the leg then sits on top of the plate and covers the trim line--and "stands off" from the cabinet.

    Hence no contact: brilliant design.

    Stern Decal Protectors.jpeg

    #10 5 years ago

    I'm in the same boat. Putting on decals this weekend and I have the plastic protectors. Can't I just trim the plastic protectors, trim the decal around it and screw it into place like the metal versions?

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from NM:

    As shown in the photo below: the decal is trimmed back from the protector and removed.
    Then the leg then sits on top of the plate and covers the trim line--and "stands off" from the cabinet.
    Hence no contact: brilliant design.

    Thanks for that and I understand it better, but the bracket would still 'press' into the wood when the leg is attached although it would be hidden by the leg.

    What we would need is the inside bracket assembled with sleeves welded to them that pass through the wood (ideally threaded the full length) but extend out just a bit so that when the leg is attached there would be a bit of a gap (say a few thousandths) between it and the wood/art.

    #12 5 years ago
    Quoted from LongJohns:

    Thanks for that and I understand it better, but the bracket would still 'press' into the wood when the leg is attached although it would be hidden by the leg.
    What we would need is the inside bracket assembled with sleeves welded to them that pass through the wood (ideally threaded the full length) but extend out just a bit so that when the leg is attached there would be a bit of a gap (say a few thousandths) between it and the wood/art.

    That's not necessary.

    The leg never contacts the decal or the cabinet--it only contacts the metal "Stand-Off" protector itself.

    Think of them as built-in protectors you have to do nothing to but attach the legs.

    Just go look at any new Stern and you'll see what I mean (starting with ACDC IIRC).

    #13 5 years ago
    Quoted from amiga500:

    I'm in the same boat. Putting on decals this weekend and I have the plastic protectors. Can't I just trim the plastic protectors, trim the decal around it and screw it into place like the metal versions?

    No, then your trim job would show--because Pincabs are bigger than the legs.

    The Stern Stand-Offs are smaller than the legs--so the cuts don't show.

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from NM:

    No, then your trim job would show--because Pincabs are bigger than the legs.
    The Stern Stand-Offs are smaller than the legs--so the cuts don't show.

    That's why I said I would "trim" the plastic protectors. I should be able to just cut them smaller. Only issue might be the thickness of the plastic. The legs might look a little funny with a gap between them and the cabinet.

    #15 5 years ago

    I actually trimmed a set of plastic protectors and installed them like the metal Stern protectors but like you said, the legs do stick out a little further from the cab since the plastic is thicker. Does not look bad, doesn't look great either.

    #16 5 years ago

    I wish Pinball Life would begin selling the plastic version of the Stern protectors that Stern has switched to. It is a better solution for providing protection to both the cabinet and the legs. I know I feel better with plastic up against my powder coated legs on STLE than metal. For any cabinet restores I do in the future, I will be looking for plastic or cutting my own from Pincabs.

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from amiga500:

    That's why I said I would "trim" the plastic protectors. I should be able to just cut them smaller. Only issue might be the thickness of the plastic. The legs might look a little funny with a gap between them and the cabinet.

    Man that's a lot of work versus ordering a set of Sterns for $14.95 and keeping the Pincabs for a screened game.

    But if you have to ship the game out and that's your only option, then yes, that would certainly obviously work just like the Sterns (although as you said the spacing may be cosmetically too wide).

    #18 5 years ago

    I like the metal stern style for what its worth.

    #19 5 years ago

    I've placed an order to see what the metal cab protectors are like. Still on the fence about them because I'm not sure I will like the hovering look, or potential damage they might do to the powder coated legs.

    #20 5 years ago

    I have them on black powder coated legs with no issues. No hovering either. The metal ones are about the thickness of a credit card. They are a no brainer and a god send. I keep a spare full set on hand. Any new game that comes in get them as well as new leg bolt plates. Essential for setting a game up in my game room.

    #21 5 years ago
    Quoted from MMP:

    I've placed an order to see what the metal cab protectors are like. Still on the fence about them because I'm not sure I will like the hovering look, or potential damage they might do to the powder coated legs.

    You'll notice no hovering with the metal ones.

    #22 5 years ago

    The metal protectors work well, and as mentioned you won't notice any "hovering". You can however slip a piece of paper in between the leg and the cabinet once installed which is a good thing.

    #23 5 years ago

    Thanks for all the feedback! I'll wait on the playfield until the new cab protectors arrive. Bryan, your IJ restore post was very helpful to me... I was able to do quite a bit more with this than simply replace the decals.

    #24 5 years ago

    I've had a request to post some of the decal methods I used, so here are some things to consider for first-timers.

    Cabinet prep is important and time-consuming. I used a heat gun and scraper to get the decals off, and then just sanded until the glue was gone.

    This first video was somewhat helpful but I didn't use all his techniques.


    and Bryan Kelly's IJ restoration post has a lot of good detail. I tried to follow this method closely whenever possible.
    http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ij-restoration-started

    Regarding decals I used a method similar to this guy in the second video.


    After laying down the decal I used a flashlight to get it lined up, then used painters tape to hold down one end. I took the other end and cut back some of the bottom to lay the other side down and make it stick, using the flashlight to check alignment. I took the tape off and had a helper hold that side up while I slowly peeled the backing and used a bondo spreader to smooth the decal on. After the decal is applied use a pressure roller or press down hard everywhere with a soft cloth. I took a sharp razor blade and made the initial trim, then used a straight edge and fresh razor for the final cut where just a tiny bit of cab shows.

    I'm still adding to my shop log, but there are some pics here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pls3ds3294oy4tf/zUeCxzLDzU

    #25 5 years ago
    Quoted from NM:

    That's not necessary.
    The leg never contacts the decal or the cabinet--it only contacts the metal "Stand-Off" protector itself.
    Think of them as built-in protectors you have to do nothing to but attach the legs.
    Just go look at any new Stern and you'll see what I mean (starting with ACDC IIRC).

    I understand, but with the metal protectors there is still the possibility that the protector can press into the wood surface. The act of bolting the leg on in itself would apply pressure to the plate and as such press (mark) the wood along it's (the protectors) edges. Granted the mark would be hidden by the leg, but I am sure the potential still exists that the wood can be marked.

    Now take the method I mentioned, if through hole standoffs were used, then nothing would touch the outside of the cabinet at all. Just saying.

    I use the plastic protectors myself as my cabinets have leg damage already and the plastic covers this up, I would consider trying the metal Stern ones if I had a minty cabinet.

    #26 5 years ago
    Quoted from LongJohns:

    I understand, but with the metal protectors there is still the possibility that the protector can press into the wood surface. The act of bolting the leg on in itself would apply pressure to the plate and as such press (mark) the wood along it's (the protectors) edges. Granted the mark would be hidden by the leg, but I am sure the potential still exists that the wood can be marked.
    Now take the method I mentioned, if through hole standoffs were used, then nothing would touch the outside of the cabinet at all. Just saying.
    I use the plastic protectors myself as my cabinets have leg damage already and the plastic covers this up, I would consider trying the metal Stern ones if I had a minty cabinet.

    Yes, the protector will press into the wood (it's screwed into it).

    Point is with the new Stand-Off design: the leg not only covers the protector--it never touches the cabinet (it floats over the cabinet).

    But if you don't trust the Stern engineering on this and want the extra security of adding a Pincab underneath, it obviously sure won't hurt.

    1 week later
    #27 5 years ago

    Thanks again for the input. I got the metal cab protectors and really like them a lot. I'll be ordering a spare set the next time I get a package from Pinball Life.

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