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(Topic ID: 196638)

First Timer w/ Gottlieb Sweet Hearts Project

By SilverWings

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by gmkalos
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 3 years ago

Howdy y'all from OKC! This is my very first post in your fine forum, my first pin, and first project: What looks like a completely original Gottlieb "Sweet Hearts" game that actually mostly works This was a pawn shop find from Fort Smith Arkansas (was listed in CL) priced at $550. Its in decent and definitely restorable mechanical shape. As found in pawn shop
The play field is actually quite good, but there's some kind of tape that was added under the pop bumpers most likely to try and slow down wear there. Actually all of the topside plastic could stand to be replaced. IMG_0026 (resized).jpg IMG_0027 (resized).jpg And the back glass is eroded away where the heat from the light bulbs affected it the most. The back glass is my biggest concern from what I read so far... hoping to find more guidance on restoration of the glass.IMG_0033 (resized).jpgIMG_0022 (resized).jpg
Inside the cabinet, its all just a little grungy but in good shape. IMG_0031 (resized).jpgIMG_0030 (resized).jpgThe exterior paint is flaking quite a lot and sports a number of scratches, a gouge or two and the ususal wear along the edges and corners. Metal trim is in great mechanical shape and will be an easy job to get back to new condition.IMG_0032 (resized).jpgIMG_0021 (resized).jpg

I will have lots of questions along the way, but am really looking forward to bringing this machine back to looking beautiful and working 100% again. A few more pics:

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#4 3 years ago

Alimerick - Wow what a great point-out on the Back Glass Repair!! As you can see, my BG has issues but I think a good candidate for restoration. Excellent!!

And "first game out of the neighbors trash ..." LOL thats priceless!!

The pics I posted above were of the game as-found in the pawn shop.

I'm now stripping the playfield getting ready for restoration and spending lots of time reading about PF restoration work.

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#7 3 years ago

Talking about back glass for Sweet Hearts: Decided to go with Steve @BGResto.

But while searching, I located a very very nice original glass over in the UK. Its in an art shop - and priced at £295 - or about $326 USD. Total cost to get it home would run around $450. But it IS nice...

#9 3 years ago

Alimerick - you're pretty observant. Metal working is my hobby.

The tables are my own design - 1/4' plate steel tops and yes very heavy duty. Built them 20 years ago for "what ever" projects I might get into.

The machine in the back-left side of pic is a hydro forming machine of my own design. It can take flat metal blanks and press them using liquid pressure over tooling masters to yield pressed parts with complex geometry. I use it to make aircraft ribs and bulkheads out of aluminum.

I also have a complete metal working shop: two CNC mills, and a very nice restored Monarch 10EE tool room lathe. Plus brake / shear / Syncrowave TiG / and tons of other stuff.

Link to 10EE restoration:

The Sweet Hearts game will be restored to like new - or better.


#13 3 years ago

P52 and PaintPins - are you guys talking about stencils for the play field?

#15 3 years ago

Alimerick- very much looking forward to your pics. Great story!

P52 yes I can wait for the cab stencils. Maybe a short road trip down from OKC to pick them up & see your games would be in order....

edit: UPDATE: I've made a playfield rotisserie and am now stripping the board top & bottom. BGResto glass now on order. The first (of many probably) PBR boxes has arrived - pop bump parts; replacement 3" bell unit; new legs; some score reel parts; and more I can't remember. Pulling the bottom board & related stuff soon...

#18 3 years ago

Alimerick - all I can say is WOW!!! What an incredible job you've done. I watched each and every photo - very very nice and definitely motivational for me. Thanks for putting those shots online!

Currently weighing my options - most of this decision seems now to be hinging on whether to have the playfield professionally done or not.

In that vein, I did speak with HSA Pinball restorations today. HSA does playfield restorations, and they've done literally hundreds to date. They have an impressive collection of high-res pictures on their website... check out the Sweet Hearts they did on the "Before/After" page.

HSA has a large backlog of work at this time. They advised it would be 6-8 months for turnaround on new work. Cost roughly $1000. Considering the time involved in doing a PF restoration such as I have, this is a pretty low hourly rate. So I will consider it...

Tom - My SweetHearts is probably in "average" condition for its age. The gobble hole on my playfield is pretty well torn up (photo attached). If I was to restore this PF, my thought on re-doing the gobble hole would be to completely replace the wood around it. Noting the entire area around the hole is painted over, it would be possible to rout out a circle around the bad hole, completely taking out the worn down edges. I probably would rout down 1/4 inch or so. Then replace that piece with a brand new insert of fresh maple. And finally I would router cut in a new gobble hole into the replacement piece. Press in flat and go from there with new paint and clear coat over everything. I wouldn't like to see this repair done with wood filler, or bondo - so that's why I'd personally do it in brand new wood.

My PF is now in the table top rotisserie I fabbed up and will be completely stripped by tomorrow afternoon. We'll see how it shapes up with more cleaning tomorrow.

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#20 3 years ago

OK - so as planned the PF is fully stripped and ready now for cleanup and the beginning of the resto work. Since I will be making a significant number of posts documenting this playfield work, I've started a new thread over in the "playfield restoration" sub-forum:

Y'all can head over there to see progress as I definitely will keep the thread up to date with lots of pics and information...


#22 3 years ago

Paul, thanks. I've done some homework and am strongly considering laminate replacement around the pop bumpers as the best way to go. Will document in detail over in the restoration thread.

I'm getting mixed reviews on the BGR glasses. Certainly the new colors will be a HUGE improvement over the faded & flaking art I have now. We will see...

Your glass looks superb.

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