(Topic ID: 172861)

Is High End Restoration Worth it?


By smiley

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 78 posts
  • 51 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by CaptainNeo
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    There are 78 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 2 years ago

    Why only gold plate when you could have solid gold wire forms? Or is gold too soft?

    More seriously, have not just the wire forms brass plated but also the ramps flaps and the gates.

    #52 2 years ago

    I have a high end restoration being worked on at the moment and another 3 in the queue.

    The machines I have chosen will never be sold as they are my grail machines.

    It is no different from someone ordering an NIB LE.

    #53 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Better to have one perfect grail game, than a basement full of crap.

    As if these were the only two choices. I would rather have a basement full of well-shopped players than one perfect grail game any day.

    #54 2 years ago

    I'd personally rather have a super-nice unmolested survivor than a high-end so-called restoration. Same goes for classic cars.

    That being said, I would take a high-end restoration any day of the week if you were to give me one. I prefer to do most of the work myself though. That's the hobby part of the hobby (even if you have to outsource some of the work).

    #55 2 years ago

    I wouldn't kick a HEP game out of my game room.

    Chris' work is first class and so are some the others here on Pinside. I had an AFM that was beautifully restored by Bryan Kelly for it's prior owner. I paid a lot for it and it was great. It was my grail of grails... Then I sold it. No comment on the restoration. I was just ready to have something else.

    Deep down, I prefer an original game, in really good shape, with some parts replaced if needed. I don't mind replacement plastics etc. Once you get past replacing anything original, you cant really say you are a purist. I don't mind a little of wear on the cabinet etc and love the lower price.

    #56 2 years ago

    I have no experience restoring games so I look for machines that are in pretty good shape. I've had repro playfields installed on a couple machines but never further.
    A full blown resto would be very expensive in my situation but would be very rewarding for the enthusiasts who have the experience.
    Never took the "baby steps"

    #57 2 years ago
    Quoted from lb1:

    Why only gold plate when you could have solid gold wire forms? Or is gold too soft?
    More seriously, have not just the wire forms brass plated but also the ramps flaps and the gates.

    gold is way to soft and should not be used in applications where the ball makes contact with it. You will have to clear over it, which kind of defeats the purpose of doing it then.

    #58 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Better to have one perfect grail game, than a basement full of crap.

    That seems extreme. I have a great collection of games that all work perfectly with no errors and are fun to play. I would rather have a wide selection of games than just one grail.

    #59 2 years ago

    Patina is a good thing to a certain extent. Knowing a game has been in the wild and wondering about its voyage gives the game history.

    #60 2 years ago
    Quoted from lb1:

    Why only gold plate when you could have solid gold wire forms? Or is gold too soft?
    More seriously, have not just the wire forms brass plated but also the ramps flaps and the gates.

    Yes, it's too soft for a solid piece and not cost effective either.

    Having it flash plated in conjunction with an aftermarket hard clearcoat is a good compromise whilst still maintaining the "upsell" feature of using genuine gold on a pinball machine. Those pics uploaded are with the hard clearcoat applied and it is very difficult to even see the clearcoat.

    Had my first ramp gold plated over 4 years ago which I onsold to a client and it still looks as good as new thanks to the hardcoat. A HUO low play environment probably plays a large part in that but these are machines purchased by people that are highly unlikely to ever put them out on site.

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    #61 2 years ago

    In reference to any restoration:
    "Do it well or don't do it all all."

    There are too many examples of work that looks like machines were colored with crayon in kindergarten.

    A poor restoration effort makes a game worth significantly less.

    This is why many vintage pinball machines are best left in their original untouched state, beyond restoring proper functionality.

    #62 2 years ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    But this argument doesn't really work if you're out of space. Most collector's only have a finite amount of space dedicated to their pins. Once they've reached their limit, they continue to enhance their collections by upgrading to nicer examples.

    "Upgrade to private storage."

    Easier than finding another example of a quality machine title.
    Many collectors rotate their lineups periodically.
    It really works and it is like Christmas all over again.

    #63 2 years ago

    I have had the opportunity to play smiley's games 3 times. His games are top notch and not just players games!!
    Great selection, pinballs are always is great shape and T is a pleasure to talk to and a great host.

    He does not have any junk games. I look forward to playing his machines. I could spend a week at his house and never be tired. One of the best collections in Western Canada and he lets fellow pinsiders enjoy his games. One that I really like is Champion pub.

    If you have one game out of your collection that you love, I would do a restore. How do you chose from all the great titles!!

    #64 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinsanity:

    Yes, it's too soft for a solid piece and not cost effective either.
    Having it flash plated in conjunction with an aftermarket hard clearcoat is a good compromise whilst still maintaining the "upsell" feature of using genuine gold on a pinball machine. Those pics uploaded are with the hard clearcoat applied and it is very difficult to even see the clearcoat.
    Had my first ramp gold plated over 4 years ago which I onsold to a client and it still looks as good as new thanks to the hardcoat. A HUO low play environment probably plays a large part in that but these are machines purchased by people that are highly unlikely to ever put them out on site.

    That's exactly the colour and finish I will be after when I begin my restoration, thanks for the advice and images they are extremely helpful thank you

    #65 2 years ago

    To me yes high end restoration is well worth it.

    I enjoy playing games that are completely dialed in and play perfect. I have become somewhat of a perfectionist and enjoy games that play 110%. Sometimes playing on location will drive me crazy because of the lack of maintenance and issues the game may have. It is hard dropping coin on location when the games play like shit and are not dialed in. It is a great feeling when you are playing a game that plays perfect and looks fantastic-some would say priceless.

    #66 2 years ago

    just because it's restored doesn't mean it's dialed in and playing perfect. You would be surprised how many nice games i've seen that play like shit, because the person setting it up or putting it back together doesn't know the fine are of fine tuning a game. Takes a lot of time to adjust rails, ramps and everything else to make sure shots are smooth.

    #67 2 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    just because it's restored doesn't mean it's dialed in and playing perfect. You would be surprised how many nice games i've seen that play like shit, because the person setting it up or putting it back together doesn't know the fine are of fine tuning a game. Takes a lot of time to adjust rails, ramps and everything else to make sure shots are smooth.

    Hmmm I wonder if there's a thread showing the fine art of dialling in a pin?

    #68 2 years ago

    My only comment here is on the question of trying to do a high end restoration yourself. While my family and I can't really justify (now) paying a restorer to do this professionally, my son and I are modeling our work after bryan_kelly (not that we can come close but we are trying). No, we don't need to go to that level, but we want to, because when we are done, every time that game turns on, my son and I will look at each other and smile. That is worth every extra sanding, coat of paint, plating, tie wrap, tumbled mech, and new plastic. In fact, we do extra work just because. When we are done, this game will be priceless to us. We plan on hiding a flash drive with photos of the restoration someplace deep in the machine. Definitely worth every penny.

    #69 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinball77:

    I have had the opportunity to play smiley's games

    Thanks for the kind words. Always a pleasure to have folks over to play.

    #70 2 years ago
    Quoted from Toads:

    Hmmm I wonder if there's a thread showing the fine art of dialling in a pin?

    I wonder if there is a pin that is dialed in?

    #71 2 years ago

    pends if you want to just stare at it for art purposes, or actually play the game.
    i have seen some beautiful restored games that play clunky, weak kick outs, flippers that cant back hand ramps, etc= right after the fresh restore.
    to some people looks are everything.
    id rather have a game that plays tight, fast and strong and everything working as it should over bling and looks any day.

    #72 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I wonder if there is a pin that is dialed in?

    yea, all of mine. maybe i'll do an in depth write up on what it takes to adjust a pin to play smoothly.

    #73 2 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I wonder if there is a pin that is dialed in?

    Not sure what dialed means, but i'm sure you know level, strong flippers and everything working makes for a better experience.

    #74 2 years ago

    If you plan on keeping the pinball and can afford a Restore, then yes. But, if there is a possibility down the road that you may want to sell, then no. Most of the time you will loose money.

    #75 2 years ago

    Dialed in is all the small stuff ball returning to the flipper properly from the orbits, slings and pop bumpers sensitivity set right, flippers aligned properly, kickouts and upkicker sending the ball where it's supposed to go with the proper force, all feeds moving smoothly ball not hopping or bouncing off edges etc

    #76 2 years ago

    Grails, Grails, Grails

    These are the only games that should be considered for a high end restoration. To be kept for the indefinite future.

    And yes, like people have noted less is more with a pinball collection. Better to have a few games that truly speak to you than a bunch of stuff that is more or less accessory.

    #77 2 years ago

    all of mine are dialed in as well including location games. thats first most important over looks IMO. these are made to be played, not just shoved in a corner and looked at.

    #78 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mitch:

    Dialed in is all the small stuff ball returning to the flipper properly from the orbits, slings and pop bumpers sensitivity set right, flippers aligned properly, kickouts and upkicker sending the ball where it's supposed to go with the proper force, all feeds moving smoothly ball not hopping or bouncing off edges etc

    Mitch understands. Exactly right. Moving those guide rails and metal walls slightly to make the ball path smooth. Shots are smooth and flow like they should. All of that stuff. Takes a long time to get a game playing super smooth.

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    There are 78 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.

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