(Topic ID: 208174)

Future Spa: Father and Son's Second Restoration [COMPLETE]


By jsa

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 11 months ago by Bryan_Kelly
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There are 682 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 14.
#51 1 year ago
Quoted from jibmums:

I had the same problem with my Space Invaders, exacerbated by the swing-open frame with two glasses in it. Four L-brackets screwed to the neck and the back panel, inside the cabinet so the repair is invisible, made it rock-solid.

I was thinking of just pulling the long nails out, doing the clamp-and-glue method, then replacing the nails with long screws and counter-sinking them.

#52 1 year ago

Repairing the cabinet has begun. We're starting with the separated front corners. Insert glue, camp, repeat.

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While it dries, time to give the lamp panel some TLC. We were thinking of just doing the front:

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Then when we saw the nasty back, with flux everywhere, decided to give it a once-over with 80 grit.

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We must not forget about the recessed lamp panel for the Future Spa logo:

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The panel will eventually get painted with a bright white and the recessed panel with a matte black.

We were also just reviewing various plastics. Unfortunately, as captainneo is learning happened with the playfield under the star posts, it seems the white plastics also leached red dye from the posts where they made contact and were never moved for 40 years:

IMG_0770 (resized).JPG

I'm going to keep these plastics, though. I may replace the red posts, but the white ones are original with the Bally logo that you can't get anymore. I'll dress them up with some small shiny washers and you won't see the red.

#53 1 year ago

Neck repair. The base of the neck was somewhat warped and the whole unit was lifting off the cabinet. We replaced the two rear nails with screws of the same length, glued everything back and clamped it down. This thing is never coming apart.

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#54 1 year ago

Nice project!

#55 1 year ago

Today we're starting some of the under-cabinet repairs. We start with this large area under the coin door:

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First step is to drill some small holes to give the wood some bite to hold onto our repair:

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Here is the area with the holes:

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We then need to construct a dam. The proper way to do this is to make a right angle that goes underneath the lip of the cabinet and folds up to form the dam. We were being a bit lazy, so we started by waxing the aluminum and sliding it underneath:

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We then took another piece of aluminum, waxed it, and placed it against the side with some clamps, putting some painter's tape underneath at the floor seam and on the backside of the aluminum.

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Then we pour in the fiberglass resin. I love this stuff. I find that if you wait about five minutes it gets to a consistency that won't just seep through and drip out.

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What you often will find is that as the resin seeps slightly into the holes and cracks, the surface will sink down. Since we want to be above the surface, you take your thicker resin and drip it over the top, so you end up with a slightly convex surface.

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Then, while this larger repair dries, we insert wood glue into any separating plywood around the edge and clamp tight.

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#56 1 year ago

Finishing up the last of the fiberglass resin repairs on the bottom of the cabinet. Yes, we'll sand off the over-spills.

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The finished product looks pretty slick.

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You may be asking, "Why are you bothering to repair plywood that no one ever sees?"

That's just it; What we learned last time is that it's not so much what everyone else sees, it's what we know. When we're done, we want this to be better than new, that's what we strive for. I know high_end_pins not only restores, but sometimes makes some personal aesthetic upgrades to the original. bryan_kelly may stick to the original colors and finishes, but it definitely looks better than new when he's done. I think we strive for something like that, in that we restore the cabinet/playfield to its original glory, then amp up the exposed stainless to chrome to just pimp it up a tiny bit more. Watching high_end_pins re-do a stencil line by hand...Well, I don't think we've got that kind of skill, but I get it. You can see how original stencils were not even close to perfect!

Anyway, these little details matter to us...We don't talk about it when we show our pin to our friends, we just know.

#57 1 year ago

One more:

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#58 1 year ago

Here are a couple examples of the "corner sharpening" method. Again, this is done with a right angle aluminum dam. The surface is prepared by drilling some small holes. If the corner was larger than a centimeter square, we would embed a screw or something similar to give the resin something to hold onto. It's stronger than Bondo, but it can still come off in one chunk if you're not careful. What's nice about the fiberglass resin is that it seeps into cracks and crevices so it's going to bond with a more perfect fit.

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#59 1 year ago

vid1900 would be proud!
You guys do those repairs the right way!
Keep it up.

#60 1 year ago
Quoted from jsa:

Anyway, these little details matter to us...We don't talk about it when we show our pin to our friends, we just know.

This line is the best... love this thread!!

#61 1 year ago

Ok, looks like one more tack rag and we're ready to flip this bad boy over and begin the Bondo (well, not Bondo, Half Time) work.

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Side note: This isn't the first time I've seen initials on a coin door electronics base plate. Has anyone seen these before or have any thoughts on if these are done in factory or after? Most of all, I'm super curious about the word "Bang."

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#62 1 year ago
Quoted from jsa:

Side note: This isn't the first time I've seen initials on a coin door electronics base plate. Has anyone seen these before or have any thoughts on if these are done in factory or after? Most of all, I'm super curious about the word "Bang."

Fascinating... I see on high_end_pins Voltan restoration some of the same initials, so I guess I have an answer to my question!

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#63 1 year ago

Damn, nice work. You guys are becoming pros. I can tell you have more confidence this second time around.

I too love the small little odd details of things that came out of the factory.

#64 1 year ago

Zombie apocalypse or pinball restoration?

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#65 1 year ago
Quoted from jsa:

Repairing the cabinet has begun. We're starting with the separated front corners. Insert glue, camp, repeat.

While it dries, time to give the lamp panel some TLC. We were thinking of just doing the front:

Then when we saw the nasty back, with flux everywhere, decided to give it a once-over with 80 grit.

We must not forget about the recessed lamp panel for the Future Spa logo:

The panel will eventually get painted with a bright white and the recessed panel with a matte black.
We were also just reviewing various plastics. Unfortunately, as captainneo is learning happened with the playfield under the star posts, it seems the white plastics also leached red dye from the posts where they made contact and were never moved for 40 years:

I'm going to keep these plastics, though. I may replace the red posts, but the white ones are original with the Bally logo that you can't get anymore. I'll dress them up with some small shiny washers and you won't see the red.

While you sanded the lamp panel back you should clear it, your OCD will love it. I did it to my Jackbot (it has a real wood panel too) and it turned out great. One coat then sand another coat and sand then a final coat no buffing. Easy to clean now, not perfect but looks great.

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#66 1 year ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

While you sanded the lamp panel back you should clear it, your OCD will love it. I did it to my Jackbot (it has a real wood panel too) and it turned out great. One coat then sand another coat and sand then a final coat no buffing. Easy to clean now, not perfect but looks great.

That does look pretty slick. The Future Spa panel also has the Future Spa recessed logo area, so I might get that set up and re-attached and do a clear coat. I think I'd want it to be white, though, as it was originally.

#67 1 year ago
Quoted from jsa:

That does look pretty slick. The Future Spa panel also has the Future Spa recessed logo area, so I might get that set up and re-attached and do a clear coat. I think I'd want it to be white, though, as it was originally.

What Paul is showing is the backside of the panel. I would never do that to mine, but I'm one who likes originality.

#68 1 year ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

What Paul is showing is the backside of the panel. I would never do that to mine, but I'm one who likes originality.

That was our consensus (my son and I) after we had a look at it. We're going to stick with the standard white (not the speckled white). I don't think a matte clear buys us anything.

#69 1 year ago
Quoted from jsa:

I don't think a matte clear buys us anything.

Mines a gloss clear, easy to clean when it get's dirty. My camera does not do it justice.

#70 1 year ago

More corner sharpening. Unlike decals, which benefit from a bevel for both cutting the decal and other reasons, the stenciled cabinet will start with sharp corners. Advice from high_end_pins is that by the time you’ve primed, sanded, base coated, sanded, cleared, sanded, etc etc, the corner will slightly bevel itself.

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#71 1 year ago

Can anyone here identify if this is normal for a '79 Bally cabinet?

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Note the hole on the inside upper right corner of the coin door opening. When we removed the coin door parts, there was a "recessed" nut on a shorter bolt there. Presumably, it's recessed for clearance of the lock down bar, but I'm not entirely sure it's supposed to be that way. Anyone?

#72 1 year ago

I thought the same thing when I first saw it, but it is like that on all the old Bally’s I own. I attached a pic of my in process xenon cab.

image (resized).jpg

#73 1 year ago
Quoted from Grnrzr:

I thought the same thing when I first saw it, but it is like that on all the old Bally’s I own. I attached a pic of my in process xenon cab.

Thanks! At least yours doesn't have a completely destroyed wood beneath it! Thanks for confirming.

1 week later
#74 1 year ago

Ok, now we're getting too obsessive. Ok, to be fair to my son, I'm being too obsessive. Cabinet is ready for 220 grit then it will find a quiet corner to await priming without getting dinged.

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#75 1 year ago

As I sit here staring at this photo I wonder about the black neck, if it should be painted first, or last. On one hand, it's the easiest to fix up, on the other hand, if I got masking tape lines on my white cabinet I'd lose my mind. During our BoP restore, I kept having to touch up paint that was ruined by the tape.

Of course, that was before we were spraying with automotive paints with hardeners. Maybe the cure time will be so much faster this won't be an issue?

1 week later
#77 1 year ago

Backbox repairs continue. We had to fill some gaps, fix some separating plywood layers underneath the top, sharpen some corners. Almost ready to sand with 220 and start building our spray booth.

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#78 1 year ago

Our process works kind of like this: We mark with a pencil, apply grey muck, sand muck away, sand more, sand again with 120, realize we missed spots, repeat.

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#79 1 year ago

While all this sanding is going on, which can go on forever if you're obsessive like I am, it's best to get your hardware tumbling.

Lately, I've been putting a few squirts of this stuff in with the fine walnut shells and really like the results:

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Honestly though, after our last restoration and thinking about things I wish I had done differently, one big piece was sifting through the tumbler with my hands to find parts. My sifter I had at the time was too large to stop very small parts from falling through. This has been corrected! I found these on Amazon:

amazon.com link »

What's great about this particular product is that it fits perfectly on top of those cheap, Home Depot buckets:

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This makes recovering even the smallest parts way easier:

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Another area open for folks to debate, our version of a restoration has a few characteristics. For one, we try to keep the original parts if we can make them look pretty. If we can't and they are beyond repair (like plastics, or glass channels, or other stuff like that) we swap it out. For our BoP, the playfield was beyond repair, so we swapped it. I still count that as a restoration. If the plating is gone on a tilt bob, we would consider replacing it. For paper or cards, we like to create new ones, then we use a laminating sticker generator to replace them with laminated versions that resist the elements. I've seen other folks use an eraser to make them whiter... We're not so dexterous to do that, so we went with our method. For coils, we've found a way to nicely reproduce the wrappers, so we'll probably clean them and re-wrap them.

You may have seen earlier, we tried to keep the serial numbers (which matched by the way) on the backbox and cabinet, but it became way too difficult and we ended up sanding/bondo-ing over it. However, the tilt hardware backplate with the signatures we are keeping. We sanded it up and kept the signatures on the upper right as best we could:

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Maybe we'll hit it with a coat of matte clear once we get to that stage to preserve the signatures.

Ok the backbox and cabinet is are prepped for priming. Only thing left is the light panel and some wood plates (speaker, power switch) that need a little cleaning up before they end up getting painted as well. We'll need to create new coin door guides... Or skip them? TBD.

1 week later
#80 1 year ago

Booth building prep.

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#81 1 year ago

Skeleton is up.

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Decided to treat the booth kind of like a toy hauler. The back will have intake filters and fans blowing air from the rear windows of the garage into the booth. The nose can fit through the garage door a foot or two where there will be outbound filters for exhaust. Haven't decided if I want outbound fans... If I do, I'll need to make some kind of baffle so I don't blow myself up. The nose wall also tilts open inward, as it's a positive pressure booth, so that wall folds in allowing you to bring large items (and ourselves) in and out. When it's closed, the pressure should also help keep it shut.

I have no idea if this is going to work. I've stolen various tricks from spray booth ideas I've seen here and all over the Internet.

Note to self: Make sure you can turn off fans from the inside.

#82 1 year ago

That looks like it's gonna work great. Hope you have enough light inside.

#83 1 year ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

That looks like it's gonna work great. Hope you have enough light inside.

We purchased a lightweight LED-based shop fixture we intend to suspend from the ceiling of the booth on the inside. I was looking for a fixture less likely to serve as an igniter for an explosion, this one seems to be pretty much what we needed:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-Lighting-FMLWL-48-840-4-ft-White-LED-Flushmount-Wraparound-Light-FMLWL-48-840/205570126

We will see.

Our booth has all the vertical posts glued into the junctions. The horizontal (floor and ceiling) are not glued, so we can disassemble it later. Debating on adding cable ties to reinforce those, though honestly I don't think it's necessary. Since it's mostly an indoors booth, there isn't any wind or elements to push it around, just us. Anyway, next step is to disassemble the walls enough to wrap plastic around them and then re-assemble them.

#84 1 year ago

Joints reinforced, fans and filters installed. Added a shop light. Next up, wrap it up.

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#85 1 year ago

Now this is a respectable spray booth.

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I should ask everyone I know if they need something painted. Assembly is enough of a PITA that I can't imagine taking it apart until I know I'm not painting anything FOR A LONG TIME.

1 week later
#87 1 year ago

Ok, next step will be priming all the painted wood parts. We'll start that on Monday.

Meanwhile, some goodies arrived today. Thanks to Chris at Hot Rod Arcade / PinballPlating.com for amazing work, once again.

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Seriously, this Future Spa has no idea how lucky it is that it landed with us.

#88 1 year ago

A brief pause from our restoration, my son and I spent the weekend at Golden State Pinball Festival in Lodi, California. What an excellent group of people. We discovered a whole new set of favorite machines. Naturally, we spent a lot of time on Bally's from the Future Spa era.

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About a year after Future Spa, there came Embryon, another widebody Bally with a really fun and engaging playfield. It was interesting to see how Bally evolved in just a year between those two machines. I could see owning one of these one day.

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Everyone has their personal taste...and my son is no different. After an entire weekend of playing a diverse set of machines, he made a case that his new favorite was a Gottlieb!

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Now that is a site to behold. Many, many thanks to fellow pinsider mof who gave us tips and tricks on how to play Black Hole...and for his generosity with my son! What a fantastic community we have here.

Ok, now back to the restoration...next stop, priming.

1 week later
#89 1 year ago

Masking the cabinet complete:

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Now final setup for our HVLP primer sealer. The challenge is it's a new (cheap) HF HVLP gun. Unfortunately, we have no experience with so we'll need to do some practice runs first. Also, last time we learned we need to have all our cleanup supplies ready to roll because you have to clean your gun immediately after a painting session. I'm presuming this is done with mineral spirits, but we've never worked with these automotive paints before so we'll have to see.

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#90 1 year ago

Great thread! Embryon and Black Hole are fun games. I forget sometimes there's more to pinball than DMD and newer games. Arcade Expo was a great place for my family to play games from all eras.

#91 1 year ago

Ok, our first experience with the new HVLP setup. Mixed bag. We managed to get a light first coat of primer sealer on most of the cabinet.

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Honestly, though, I was led to believe that 1 Quart of the speed sealer would be plenty for a couple solid coats of primer on everything. We were barely able to cover one pass of a super thin coat.

I wonder if our HVLP gun is pushing paint to fast? I have the $12 Harbor Freight gun and a regulator at the gun. When the trigger isn't pressed, it reads about 90 PSI. When the trigger is pulled, it varies between 38 and 45 PSI. I wasn't able to get much of a difference adjusting that regulator (it drops off too fast). However, I can adjust the HF inflow adjustment, as well as the pattern. I went with a tall, narrow pattern, per the instructions, and did some sample runs. It seemed to go on evenly, and in the few areas of orange peel, that peel "flowed out" in a minute or two. The whole thing was dry in ten minutes.

This is the stuff I was using:

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The instructions say we'll need to sand (like with 800 grit) before any other coats or paints will go on since I ran out of primer and we're days away from getting another can. Any tips? I know vid1900 talks about CFM being too low is more of a problem, so I don't think that's an issue. Plenty of air! By comparison, using one of bryan_kelly's rattle cans last time could cover two large sides of a cabinet.

#92 1 year ago

For the record, it sucks that they don't make safety goggles large enough for glasses. Come on. I have to buy special lenses? Not going to happen. (I guess that's what my son is for.)

#93 1 year ago

Primed.

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I'm already seeing the appeal of the automotive paints. They go on very flat (and flatten out if not), dry in five minutes, can be sanded in ten, and generally are faster to work with. That being said, the clean up is a royal PITA, and the fumes are deadly.

#94 1 year ago

If your Tyvek suit doesn't have long enough arms (or you have freakish long arms like me), here's a trick. Cut off a couple old socks.

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#95 1 year ago

Looks like the paint booth is working good.

#96 1 year ago

Base coat. We chose Toyota's brightest white.

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#97 1 year ago
Quoted from MustangPaul:

Looks like the paint booth is working good.

It's doing two parts of its three jobs. 1) The job of keeping the paint off the rest of the garage, check. 2) The job of keeping dirt, dust and pollen off the paint, check. 3) The job of moving air over the cabinet with enough velocity that fumes are pushed out the filters, FAIL. Basically, box fans can create a positive pressure, but unless you have egress fans, I think it's mostly just a big balloon.

#98 1 year ago

Speckles added. We used Chrysler's metallic silver for this, as we feel it fits better with the rest of Future Spa.

We used a brass brush to flick the paint. It completely sucked, as sometimes it would accidentally drip a major drop and that would run, which is freaking hard to clean up. However, we got it done.

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#99 1 year ago

Super job! It's nice to see the matching of original paint effects like speckles and webbing. Not everyone does it, but it's that level of detail that makes me appreciate a skilled artisan.

#100 1 year ago

The fans should be pulling air out only. And pulling air thru the filters.. should be no positive pressure at all.

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