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(Topic ID: 274545)

How would you repair this water damaged delmaminated plywood front?


By loomis

78 days ago



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  • 43 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 26 days ago by Jigs
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    #1 78 days ago

    Hello.

    Here's a late 60's cabinet, and the front edge under the plunger must've gotten wet at some point, and the top layers of the plywood have delamination and wood loss.

    The whole thing when repaired will be filled and sanded and primed and repainted, so no need to worry about preserving the artwork.

    Except for the delaminated area, it's all still sound, as the side wood's undamaged (and thus the leg bolt holes are fine). However, the top layers in that front area are too far gone to glue back down, and their warping upward so I don't want to epoxy either, etc.

    Would you guys somehow cut the top damaged ply layers out, and splice in a new section there? How would you go about that? I don't have the means to do those complicated cuts, but I could buy thin wood and rebuild the ply section by gluing in individual layers, perhaps?

    Or would you knock the whole front out and have a cabinet maker build a new front piece and glue a whole new front in? I'd rather try to patch in a new piece of ply if possible.

    Or do guys scrap / burn old EM cabinets and could send me a front section?

    Thanks.

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    #2 78 days ago

    I don’t see anything that could not be wood glued back together with plain old titebond 2 and clamps.

    #3 78 days ago

    In the first pic, it looks to me like it is a locking rabbet joint and broke at the rabbet. Appears as though the tab that fits into the rabbet broke off? If so, there really is no good way to fix it. If it were a valuable piece of furniture, I might go through the trouble of restoring; however, for this situation, I would just cut an entirely new piece. Same sort of situation in the second pic. It looks like you are actually missing the some wood between the two leg bolts. If you didn't want to cut a new piece, you could glue it and build up the missing area(s) with bondo.

    #4 78 days ago

    Yes, the layers have split and split away from the joints, so that you can actually pull up the top few plywood layers, and 1) no matter how hard you press, it won't go back down flat, and 2) there is indeed wood that's missing, for example in between the leg bolt holes.

    I was trying to devise a way to cut out the rotted area completely, as it's not all the way through, and then build back the ply layers that were removed somehow... ?

    It's not that I don't want to cut an entire new front, it's that I cannot cut an entire new front. Don't have the tools, don't know how, etc. But perhaps figuring out how to splice in a repair with new wood would be doable?

    Thanks.

    #5 78 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    it's that I cannot cut an entire new front. Don't have the tools, don't know how, etc.

    Never been a better time to learn.

    #6 78 days ago

    I recently replaced the back of an EM cabinet. You can recreate the joint with a router table. It is called a rabbet miter joint. Assuming you could get the front out in more or less one piece you can use a template bit to copy the cutouts. Mine turned out well but it pushed my limited woodworking skills.

    I’d try to glue it, sand it, dig out any really damaged bits and slather on the bondo or epoxy resin.

    #7 77 days ago

    If the layers lay back flat pump it full of glue using a syringe and clamp. If they won’t lay flat cut out the panel and fab a new one.

    Worst case a circular saw and router could be used. Projects are a great excuse to buy tools.

    #8 77 days ago

    I hate to say it, but you very likely will spend a lot of time and money gluing clamping and sanding, only to hate the results. Better approach is to find a cabinet maker in your area and let them make you a new front panel. It would be a 30 minute job for them, and you just replace the whole thing.

    #9 77 days ago

    I think you're right, in that I need to just have a local cabinet maker make me an entire new front panel. Now I have to figure out how to get it out in one piece?

    #10 77 days ago

    It would be best to take the cabinet to the cabinet maker so he can see what he's up against and be able to get the front panel out in one piece.

    #11 77 days ago

    You have a few options depending on what your uses are. Is it going to be the centerpiece of your living room or just functional so you can play it? How much money do you want to spend?

    1. Glue and clamp it-likely will cost very little and might be worth a try. If you like it bondo/epoxy it to get it to the contour that satisfies you. Use a nail gun and shoot a few nails in it as well.
    2. Replace the front panel-will require expertise (cabinet maker), will cost you some money. Might be difficult to find someone to replace it. Cabinet makers like to deal with stuff that they do all the time. A pinball cabinet is not that. I've had buddies replace a panel on a pinball cabinet in the end to tell me if they had it to do again they would just have replaced the whole cabinet. Brings us to option #3
    3. Replace the cabinet-This is the most expensive option. I would start by calling virtuapin.com and see if he would make you a cabinet. He specializes in WPC era cabinets but does make others.

    I like option 1. If its a total bust you can likely bail out and go another direction. Also if you go on you tube and watch some videos of how WoodEpox has been used its amazing. Good luck.

    #12 77 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    I think you're right, in that I need to just have a local cabinet maker make me an entire new front panel. Now I have to figure out how to get it out in one piece?

    Just bring the whole thing to the maker. The cabinet maker will see what will be left once he removes the front panel, and will come up with the best way to re-attach a new panel to the remaining side panels. If you bring the whole thing, it will guide him on what to do, the material thickness to use, etc. He'll cut the coindoor, shooter and button openings too. And he'll look at the attachment corners and replicate what he needs to. Sounds complicated, but to a wood worker cabinet maker, its a piece of cake. The only thing that may take him an extra day is to find a piece of the right material, since cabinet makers usually deal in solid wood like maple, pine or oak. (He could make it out of maple if he has a piece laying around, since it has very little grain to get in the way of whatever paint or decal you are going to put onto the surface.)

    #13 77 days ago

    Well guys, a few of these replies showed up *after* I got the front panel off pretty cleanly and took it to a local cabinet maker and asked them to just duplicate the panel in every way. They'll call me and let me know what they think. We shall see...

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    #14 77 days ago

    Might as well knock the corner supports and put in metal ones once the new front in on.
    I changed out a front panel, and I'm only somewhat happy with the results. I would definitely farm it out to a pro if possible,

    #15 77 days ago

    That One Dude, well since the whole thing's gonna be sanded down and the bad spots filled, and the whole thing primed and painted and stenciled, I should be good to go as far as cosmetics go. I'll look into new style the metal corner leg brackets. Thanks.

    #16 76 days ago

    I am sure you will be happy with this choice. The cabinet maker can replicate that piece easily with standard tools. Show us how it turns out....

    #17 76 days ago
    Quoted from Markharris2000:

    I am sure you will be happy with this choice. The cabinet maker can replicate that piece easily with standard tools. Show us how it turns out....

    Since woodworking is my main avocation/passion, I can second this. If you were local, I'd tell you to just drop it off. Heck, I probably have a piece of furniture grade ply lying around that is large enough. In fact, if you get a ridiculous quote, shoot me a PM.

    #18 76 days ago

    Any thoughts if said cabinet makers could replace the back panel of a game? I’ve got a nice original Fathom, and the art and side/front cabinet wood are actually pretty good. I’d prefer not to spray the whole game with new art but the bottom of the back panel has seen better days. Cleanest job would be to replace it.

    #19 76 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    Well guys, a few of these replies showed up *after* I got the front panel off pretty cleanly and took it to a local cabinet maker and asked them to just duplicate the panel in every way. They'll call me and let me know what they think. We shall see...
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    Just curious what one charges for a new front panel.

    #20 76 days ago

    You have a couple of options. You could replace the whole back panel of course. That's likely the best looking. Or, you could route out the damaged area and just replace it with a piece of ply. I did that, and it was OK looking at best.
    But, I also saw someone sand the hell out of it, gouge out all of the water damage and fill in with epoxy. They sealed the whole back with it and it was largely impervious to normal damage after that.

    #21 76 days ago

    Guys once I hear back from the cabinet guys, so on and so forth, I'll gladly post the cost and post photos eventually. I'm hoping it's not more than fifty or seventy-five bucks... We shall see.

    #22 76 days ago
    Quoted from Oldgoat:

    Since woodworking is my main avocation/passion, I can second this. If you were local, I'd tell you to just drop it off. Heck, I probably have a piece of furniture grade ply lying around that is large enough. In fact, if you get a ridiculous quote, shoot me a PM.

    I will gladly do so. Thank you.

    2 weeks later
    #23 56 days ago

    Making some progress. Received this back from a cabinet maker. $60. Looks great. Had to epoxy a little tear out by a couple of the leg bolt holes, but who cares, they'll be covered anyhow.

    You guys use those new-fangled metal leg brackets on old EM machines as well?

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    #24 56 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    Had to epoxy a little tear out by a couple of the leg bolt holes

    A cabinetmaker would never send something out with some tear out on it.

    #25 56 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    Received this back from a cabinet maker. $60.

    Looks like $60 well spent.

    #26 56 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    Making some progress. Received this back from a cabinet maker. $60. Looks great. Had to epoxy a little tear out by a couple of the leg bolt holes, but who cares, they'll be covered anyhow.
    You guys use those new-fangled metal leg brackets on old EM machines as well? [quoted image][quoted image]

    Really nice job for $60. I expected over $100, so you got a deal.

    #27 56 days ago

    Having to used a ton of paint stripper to strip the cabinet, as I'm trying avoid sanding as much as I can, ya know lead paint. Anyoo, yeah they did a nice job for sixty bucks. Thanks.

    #28 56 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    Making some progress. Received this back from a cabinet maker. $60. Looks great. Had to epoxy a little tear out by a couple of the leg bolt holes, but who cares, they'll be covered anyhow.
    You guys use those new-fangled metal leg brackets on old EM machines as well? [quoted image][quoted image]

    Now you have to convince them to make full cabs. Great price BTW

    #29 55 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    Having to used a ton of paint stripper to strip the cabinet, as I'm trying avoid sanding as much as I can, ya know lead paint. Anyoo, yeah they did a nice job for sixty bucks. Thanks.

    Use some acetone. The paint scrapes right off.

    #30 55 days ago
    Quoted from yaksplat:

    Use some acetone. The paint scrapes right off.

    Wow I had no idea. Hey what method and type of paint do you guys do the silver splatters with? Scrub brush and and some sliver Rust Oleum in a can?

    #31 55 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    Wow I had no idea.

    Here's 2 sides of a comet after a quick pour of acetone and a scrape.
    IMG_20200718_171520 (resized).jpg

    #32 54 days ago

    Yaksplat I just want to thank you so much for telling me to use acetone. I had no idea it would take old 1960's EM paint off, which I assume is some sort of nitrocellulose lacquer or whatever it is.

    I had been dicking around with nasty paint stripper and making little progress. Got out a roll of paper towels and a can of acetone, and got most of it off in few hours. Wow. Thank you again.

    #33 54 days ago
    Quoted from loomis:

    Yaksplat I just want to thank you so much for telling me to use acetone. I had no idea it would take old 1960's EM paint off, which I assume is some sort of nitrocellulose lacquer or whatever it is.
    I had been dicking around with nasty paint stripper and making little progress. Got out a roll of paper towels and a can of acetone, and got most of it off in few hours. Wow. Thank you again.

    You can sand that paint off in a few hours. You'll have to sand it anyway to get it ready for paint and you don't have to deal with any chemicals. Wear a respirator because of possible lead in the paint.

    This is a Wizard I'm restoring. I had to make a new back panel and pedestal plate and replace the bottom. Sanding the head and the cab clean took maybe three hours tops. I didn't make the tongue and groove because I don't have a router table. Done only with a table saw and a scroll saw and some high strength wood putty for filling where needed. The back was particle board and was junk. Plywood now.

    That is a great price on the panel.

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    #34 54 days ago

    But the nice thing about using acetone is the paint slides right off leaving near bare wood. The when you're sanding, you're just sanding wood. No paint dust everywhere. No clogged sandpaper.

    Paint stripper is typically nasty to work with and leaves a mess. Acetone is much simpler to work with, evaporates 100% and is cheap.

    I can't take all of the credit though. Jeff Miller at Pinball Pimp posted this a few months ago as a way to avoid sanding.

    #35 54 days ago
    Quoted from yaksplat:

    But the nice thing about using acetone is the paint slides right off leaving near bare wood. The when you're sanding, you're just sanding wood. No paint dust everywhere. No clogged sandpaper.
    Paint stripper is typically nasty to work with and leaves a mess. Acetone is much simpler to work with, evaporates 100% and is cheap.
    I can't take all of the credit though. Jeff Miller at Pinball Pimp posted this a few months ago as a way to avoid sanding.

    I've used acetone in a job I had. I'd rather not.

    If you use a sander attached to a vacuum no dust. I have never had the paper clog with paint.

    In these really gouged cabinets you're removing paint and getting the wood smoothed out in one shot. The paint is not very thick and comes off pretty easily. You spend time with the acetone then have to come back and sand anyway. That Wizard cab took less than 2 hours to sand clean. I'll fill whatever is left and maybe have another hour in it.

    I'll stick with sanding.

    #36 54 days ago

    I've done it both ways. I'll never sand paint again.

    #37 54 days ago

    Those photos are awesome!

    Hey question, do you use those new steel leg brackets on older EM cabinets? They work with the existing corner gussets?

    I cannot emphasize this strongly enough through typed words, but I will *never* sand through all that lead paint or use stripper again in this application, now that I've used acetone instead.

    Not only is acetone exponentially less work, even with my vac hooked to the orbital sander and a respirator, it's still kicking some lead dust out the exhaust and I gotta empty it at some point.

    I am enamored with how well the acetone worked on EM paint.

    I was able to get it down to near-bare wood. Probably just some light orbital 220 and I'm ready to primer.

    Thanks so much. I'll post some photos soon.

    3 weeks later
    #38 27 days ago

    Some progress photos... The camera makes the splatter look like I did too much, but really it's not as pronounced as the camera makes it look...

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    #39 27 days ago

    Looks like the box you wanted! Replacing the front make your life and the results 1000% better... Did you tape-off and spray the blue arrow pattern? Looks nice. Can you 'feel' the splatter with your fingertips?

    #40 27 days ago

    Definitely looks heavy with the spatter.

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/spatter?s=t

    #41 27 days ago

    spatter it is

    #42 27 days ago

    I removed the spatter pics in my previous post because the lighting in the garage made the spatter look way too heavy, and the new photo below, taken in the sun, is much more accurate. I went back and looked at the old cabinet, and the spatter that I applied is about the same density as the original. None of this is a big deal, as the cabinet was pretty beat up and had a lot of grain lines and splits, which need hiding as much as possible regardless. The spatter is Rust Oleum aluminum in a pint can, applied with a cylindrical spatter brush. Need to do the front next...

    FWIW lol, I have a Masters in English and Linguistics. "Splatter" and "Spatter," although originally quite different--in that you would have or create a large splatter versus a small spatter--are now for the most part considered synonymous when used in either their noun or verb forms.

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