(Topic ID: 293157)

My 2021 Addams Family restoration

By uncivil_engineer

6 months ago

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  • 42 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 days ago by Tophervette
  • Topic is favorited by 24 Pinsiders


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#1 6 months ago

I picked up this Addams Family last summer. It is your pretty average 'players condition' Addams Family, one of over 20k built that did time in America's arcades and pizza joints. I fixed a few things on it, and got it running pretty well. So at least this one I am starting with a functional machine.

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Judging by the mess that I found inside the bottom of the machine, I think this one spent most of it's life in a pizza joint, and regularly had soda spilled down the front of it.

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At some point in its life, it had a magnet stick on, and the poor playfield show the marks from that incident. However, overall ive seen worse playfield on TAF machines.

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It's been through the hands of a few of my friends, and for the most part, the machine left them in better condition that when it arrived. You can tell there are touchups on the cabinet, and there are some corners missing that will have to be addressed.

This will be my 6th full up restoration, and my third WPC game. I am hoping to build on what I learned in those restorations to make this one go smoothly. So here is what I have planned:

1. replace the playfield. With the burn marks around the left magnet, there is no getting around this one. Lucky for me I picked up a CPR gold last year.

2. Re-finish the cabinet. I have a set of next-gen cabinet decals ready to install. My plan is to sand down the cabinet, address any nick and missing corners, and then prime it with high-build primer, block it flat, and then apply a coat of gloss black single stage automotive paint. This usually creates a very smooth base for the decals to go on to. The inside bottom of the cabinet will be painted a satin black. I would prefer to have it be a natural wood color, but the bottom is so messed up with stains, it will look much better painted.

3. Install a ColorDMD. I'd be crazy to go this far an not install one.

4. Upgrade the cabinet speakers, and install a level control for the bass. Ive done this to all the WPC games I have worked with, and this simple upgrade makes a huge difference it the way the game sounds. You can read more about it here: http://dziedzic.us/wpc_speaker_replacement.html

5. Clean, clean, and clean..... This machine looks like it more than served its time on route. It will take me a little more time than usual to go through every mech and wiring harness to clean them up. I may have to bribe my wife to go away for a week so I can take over the dishwasher to get wiring harnesses done.

So here we go..... IT'S SHOWTIME!

#2 6 months ago

Good Show old man!

Looking forward to seeing this TAF being transformed.

#3 6 months ago

Good luck! I’m sure it will look great when it’s done! Can’t wait to see it!

#4 6 months ago

So the tear down of the machine is complete. I didn't find any real surprises in the process. The cabinet appears to be in overall good shape with the exception of some water stains down near the coin door. There isn't any real moisture damage in the bottom of the machine, it is just stained.
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One thing I did notice was the wear on the playfield pivot pins. This may be a testimony as to how much play this machine got back in the day. I've never seen one worn down like this.
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#5 6 months ago

Love your work, subscribed for sure.

#6 6 months ago


#7 6 months ago

Great stuff, will be watching this one with great interest!

#8 6 months ago

So this weekend I was able to get some shop time. I got one side sanded down, and found and applied bondo to all the imperfections I found. This cabinet is not too dinged up.
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#9 6 months ago

Wow! Nice job!Did you try to sand the stains further?

2 weeks later
#10 5 months ago
Quoted from Zartan:

Wow! Nice job!Did you try to sand the stains further?

I did try some more sanding on the bottom. You can still see where the liquid stains are. I’m debating leaving it as-is or painting the bottom a simi-gloss black.66269053-0825-4FC2-9B63-17F5131590E2 (resized).jpeg

#11 5 months ago

The cabinet needed bondo in all the usual places, especially around the legs. I’m not worried about the legs tearing up the new paint and decals because I will be using metal standoffs with the legs.

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2 weeks later
#12 5 months ago

Well it was a productive weekend.

Painting with an HVLP setup has a bit of a learning curve. Ive had my share of disasters but experience is starting to pay off for me.

The first step for me is setting up my paint booth. I am blessed with a shop that is large enough that I can put the booth in nearly one corner, and have the exhaust end pointing out a door. I have gotten to where I can setup the booth in about 3 hours. The booth will now serve until painting season here is over, which should be sometime in October when it gets too cold to paint.

The booth is basicaly a 3/4" pvc pipe frame with plastic sheeting over it. The pipe has lasted me now for three years, and when its not in use, the pipe fits neatly in the corner. The plastic is 3.5mm plastic commonly found at Home Depot. An old box fan (in a box!) serves to push air into the booth, and a filter taped to the other side is the air exit. Over the years I have found that it doesn't take too much duct tape to make the thing pretty air tight.
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Now on to the cabinet! I decided not to paint the bottom of the cabinet. I spent a few more hours on it, and got It cleaned up better. I am going to paint the interior of the cabinet with a semi-gloss oil based enamel. So the bottom is getting taped off.
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The cabinet came out all right (the head was still drying when I took this). And next I will block sand the exterior, and give it one good sanding on the inside as well.
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#13 5 months ago

Loving this as always when you do a game.

#14 5 months ago

That booth is fantastic. How do you get in and out of it?

#15 5 months ago
Quoted from Walamab:

That booth is fantastic. How do you get in and out of it?

The red line you see on the side next to the fan is a zipper. It’s made to stick to the sheeting and then be cut open. They are used when setting up plastic sheeting for facility abatement.

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#16 5 months ago

Well here is something I’ve never seen before. This looks like it was stamped into the wood. I’m guessing an operator did it.

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#17 5 months ago

So much sanding…. This is perhaps my least favorite part of the restoration. However it’s probably one of the most important steps. Block sanding the sides of the cabinet makes for a level surface for the paint and decal that will go over it. I’m hoping to shoot color next weekend.

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#18 5 months ago


#19 5 months ago

following as well. I recently picked up a TAF that had been sitting in a home unused for a few years. It is in great shape overall. looks to have been on route at one time but no major issues. The usual wear on chair hole and stripped out mechanic holes under playfield. Boards in great shape. Cabinet also in great shape, no extra holes of any kind.

I did a light going through: New ramp, Molex all the mechanics and switches for future full rebuild, cleaned playfield, replaced a few other parts.

Got it back up running 100%.

Going to enjoy playing it for a few months then will be doing a playfield swap.

Always enjoy seeing threads like this.

1 week later
#20 4 months ago

Well the color went on this weekend. The exterior is a single stage black (I use ppg defleet gloss black), and the interior is an oil based enamel satin black I picked up a few years ago for my TZ restoration.

The exterior went on great! I had one minor run in the head, but it looks pretty good.BA276423-3359-4F53-A173-8D953B28B47C (resized).jpeg62BFBBD1-B195-475C-906B-F3FBDAE1CF70 (resized).jpeg.

I like the finish the gloss gives for lay down decals over. It may be a bit of over kill to paint the whole cabinet, but I’ve used less than 20 oz of paint on the whole cabinet.

The interior didn’t turn out so hot. Painting the inside of cabinets is tough. It’s hard to see what your doing, you have to hold the gun at funny angles, and over spray can be a real problem. I was using a new spray gun, and I think I had the air pressure too high. I ended up with very uneven coverage and bad accumulation of overspray in the corners.

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All is not lost. I will sand out the inside, and try again next weekend. Some guys don’t pay much attention to the inside of the cabinet, I just like the inside to be clean looking when I’m done.

#21 4 months ago

So after an hour or so of sanding, I reshot the interior. It’s not perfect, but it is much better.

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1 week later
#23 4 months ago

I think like most people, this summer has been pretty busy. To that end I haven't gotten as far as I would like to be on this restoration. I was hoping to apply the decals to the cabinet this weekend, but the schedule doesn't look like I will get much shop time this weekend. However, some progress has been made.

I did finish stripping down the old playfield this week.
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Ive seen worse playfields on TAFs before. The main reason I elected to replace this one is because it has burn damage around the left magnet. It is also missing some paint around some of the inserts that came off when the mylar was removed last year.

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Once this playfield fulfills it's duty as my reference material for populating the new playfield, it may join my growing collection of old playfields I have going up around my shop.
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#24 4 months ago

So I was able to get at least the decals on the head today. The edges do still need to be sealed.

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1 week later
#25 4 months ago

Cabinet decals are now on! My SOP for cabinet decals involves sanding the cabinet down with 600 grit wet/dry paper to knock down any imperfections in the paint. I then use the wet method to apply the decals.
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One of the key things to keep in mind is you have to keep everything very clean (both the decals and cabinet) even when using the wet method. Dust under the decal can leave marks that show through.
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1 week later
#26 4 months ago

So I managed to grab a little shop time this weekend. The ground strap is in, and I installed the new leg plates. You will notice I only installed three new leg plates. This is because the power box interferes with the front plate on the plunger side. So that one gets a regular leg insert.

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#27 4 months ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

So I managed to grab a little shop time this weekend. The ground strap is in, and I installed the new leg plates. You will notice I only installed three new leg plates. This is because the power box interferes with the front plate on the plunger side. So that one gets a regular leg insert.
[quoted image][quoted image]

You can drill another hole for the Power DPDT switch in the power box moving the box towards the back of the cabinet just enough to get a sturdy Leg Plate in there. Did it in my The Addams Family. Works Great.

Here is a pic. This is a mid-install pic but you can see how the power box has been moved enough to clear the heavy duty leg bracket.

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#28 4 months ago

Looking good buddy.

#29 4 months ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

So I managed to grab a little shop time this weekend. The ground strap is in, and I installed the new leg plates. You will notice I only installed three new leg plates. This is because the power box interferes with the front plate on the plunger side. So that one gets a regular leg insert.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Nicely done. I can’t remember where I got the idea but you can use a saw to remove one side of the sturdier leg plates. Pictured here.

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#30 3 months ago

Thanks guys, I will go back and consider my options on that corner.

1 week later
#31 3 months ago

I admit, this one is going slower than my last restoration, but sometimes have 7 kids in the house means time in the shop gets rare. I did manage to sneak into the kitchen today and used one of the dishwashers (yes, we have 2) to get my wiring harnesses cleaned up.
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I was also able to get my power box and transformer mounted up.C9866333-3405-492C-8397-C307AEEB4F1B (resized).jpeg

#32 3 months ago

Looking good mate.

3 weeks later
#33 86 days ago

I’ve been taking advantage of the long weekend to try to make some progress on my restoration. The good news is the cabinet is nearly done.

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#34 85 days ago

I was able to get some shop time today, and I made some progress on the playfield. I had installed the tee nuts a few weeks ago, so today I waxed the playfield, put on the rails, and then installed the ball guides. So with all the hammer work out of the way, the playfield will go on the rotisserie next to start the process of populating it.ABF1EEF3-38B2-4E88-A0A6-EB35E671C29F (resized).jpeg
I’ve learned to install ball guides, the best way is to use a 7/64 drill bit to get the clear out of the hole, and the drill out the hole with the same diameter bit as the ball guide (3/32 in most cases) to within about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the playfield. I don’t use the drill bits in a drill, I actually hand twist the bits for more control. I get nervous using power tools around new playfields. Drilling the holes out reduces the amount of hammering you have to do to get the guide to stay in place.
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#35 84 days ago
Quoted from uncivil_engineer:

I’ve been taking advantage of the long weekend to try to make some progress on my restoration. The good news is the cabinet is nearly done.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Wow! Looks AMAZING!

1 month later
#36 38 days ago

I haven’t forgotten about this restoration. It is just going slow. The playfield is comes along, and I’m to the point that I’ve got most of the machinery cleaned up and mounted, and am working on the lighting wiring harness.

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So what has held me up (other than that whole ‘job’ thing). Well my shop isn’t heated very well, and I’ve got a paint season that ends at about October/November of every year because it gets too cold to paint. So I’ve been rushing to get a cabinet finished for another project.

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Well now that cabinet is painted and I can set it aside and work on TAF.

#37 37 days ago

Cool, i was just wondering a couple days ago how you were going with it.

3 weeks later
#38 16 days ago

I’ve made some progress during the last few weeks. The wiring harnesses were installed on the playfield and I got it back in the cabinet today!

After the harnesses were reinstalled, I took the playfield off the rotisserie and put it on saw horses to attach the last few mechs. In this case that was the thing hand and the thing eject assembly.
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I then put the back wall on and the front playfield hangars. These can’t be mounted while the playfield is on the rotisserie. I also installed the plastics along the back wall because these are hard to get too when the playfield is in the cabinet.
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I then removed the thing mech, the bookcase mech and the thing eject mech to lighten the playfield to make it easier to install. With the help of my eldest son and wife we were able to get it back in the cabinet with no issues.
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#39 16 days ago

Looking great mate!

#40 14 days ago

The playfield topside is starting to come together.

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1 week later
#41 6 days ago

The playfield is almost finished. I’ve just got a few more of the plastics that require riveting to go. Then I will move on to reworking the audio, and installing the color dmd.

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#42 5 days ago

I like your explanations of your resto and clear photos! It is an inspiration. I have played TAF many times over the years and still enjoy it, when I find it at an arcade. Art work that never gets seen is clearly shown in your pictures at the back of the playfield. I had never in all my years seen that bottle of acid next to Thing Box. Nor had I seen the whole train, that is covered up usually. Thanks for sharing.

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