Quoted from Toucanf16:
I really enjoy following your restorations. You're production rate is phenomenal! Can you share a few facts; such as how many pins have you've restored, when did it become a full-time gig, favorite and least favorite aspect of restoration, do you ever tire of doing the same pins, most challenging aspect (electronics, PF, cabinet, etc.), what's your average throughput, is there an apprentice or prodigy in the wings to pick up when when you retire?
Nice to hear.
I lost count of how many games I have restored. Close to 500 would just be a rough guess based on how many years I have been doing this.
In 2004 I started doing this full time but I think of only the branded games as truly HEP examples. Those started around 2013 and I guess the reality is it took almost nine years of daily practice to get to that point.
My favorite and at the same time least favorite aspect of the restorations are the cabinet and playfield repaints.
They are my favorite because I am a highly skilled auto painter by trade and I love putting that ability to use in this hobby but they are my least favorite because it is a time consuming aspect of the process that can be tough to factor in time wise. I lose much more than I win there in time and financially but if all I could handle or took on were new playfields and cabinet decal jobs it wouldn’t be much of a restoration service.
Second Is hard to find parts. This often means calling in favors,paying a premium for something,having it made or doing the best with what you have up work with.
I don’t ever tire of the process regardless of the title but I will say I have more internal enthusiasm for doing the first ever Dr Who than the fiftieth AFM for example.
There is a sweet spot there also where it is the fourth or fifth time you are doing a title and you are familiar but not bored with it. That said I am really just trying to make the owner of the game happy and that is the most important aspect. I mean that sincerely. No bullshit. We all have to work hard for our money and it is a luxury for most that needs to meet expectations.
I average two games a month. Three would be more ideal financially but it is just me working and quality comes first so I would rather turn out two excellent jobs than three good ones.
No apprentice so far. The oldest son is 20 and works at a factory and is a great kid but still finding his way in this world. .
The youngest is 18 and special needs. His school actually made headlines today unfortunately with the shooting. He goes to Butler High here in Matthews. Luckily he is a challenge to get to school on time so by the time my wife arrived with him it was already locked down.
Lots of things go on in the background here when it comes to that stuff.