(Topic ID: 246769)

My first restoration: Mata Hari with a Hardtop


By HoakyPoaky

6 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 235 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by HoakyPoaky
  • Topic is favorited by 39 Pinsiders

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“Which alternative color scheme do you prefer? See Post #17”

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There are 235 posts in this topic. You are on page 5 of 5.
#201 31 days ago

I would think you would need to get those nails flush or even countersunk. I would find a suitable spacer and tighten the nuts on the backside slowly pulling the nail into the wood. You could remove them and then try to use a drill bit to create a counter sink area as well. they should tap out fairly easy... Easy for me to say!

-Jim

#202 25 days ago
Quoted from jim5six:

I would think you would need to get those nails flush or even countersunk. I would find a suitable spacer and tighten the nuts on the backside slowly pulling the nail into the wood. You could remove them and then try to use a drill bit to create a counter sink area as well. they should tap out fairly easy... Easy for me to say!
-Jim

I had to install all of them on my newly clearcoated MH playfield... VID covers this in one of his topics on playfield restoration... I used a new brad point bit just slightly larger than the head of the new screw, and hand spun the brad point around the existing holes to cut through the existing clear without splitting or chipping... then countersunk the hole a bit with a small countersink bit... then just used the nut on the backside to pull the screw snug to the playfield.

#203 25 days ago
Quoted from Dono:

I had to install all of them on my newly clearcoated MH playfield... VID covers this in one of his topics on playfield restoration... I used a new brad point bit just slightly larger than the head of the new screw, and hand spun the brad point around the existing holes to cut through the existing clear without splitting or chipping... then countersunk the hole a bit with a small countersink bit... then just used the nut on the backside to pull the screw snug to the playfield.

I just put a washer under the playfield and tighten the nut until the head of the screw is pulled into the clear flush with the top side of the PF.

Before doing that I will screw the nail in all the way down to the fin. Once the fin is touching the playfield and lined up with old slots in the hole I give it just a little tap with a hammer to get it started. The nut on the backside of the playfield does the rest of the work.

Of course I got my technique down AFTER I screwed up clear coat trying to drill counter sunk holes.

What’s going on with the project lately?

#204 23 days ago

Well a new game arrived (Deadly Weapon) & I've was distracted by that this week. Unique layout & it's SUPER CHEESY. Really enjoying it.

But when I have time I've just been slowly tinkering with the playfield. I ended up tapping out the old nails which were pretty easy to remove. I was able to remove the old mylar at the slings & around the pops. Used a heat gun to get them to pull up, but the real pain was getting all that glue off before starting to sand. Used the flour & alcohol method which worked, but it was really a mess. I didn't want the old glue mucking up my sanding pads.

But it's all prepped & ready to sand now. Going to sand the entire playfield down & get the inserts flat, sand the inserts to gloss shine with fine grit. Hopefully I will have some time on New Years Day.

#205 21 days ago

Progress. Do people wet sand the inserts up to 3000 grit, or do it dry?

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#206 21 days ago

Wet sand

#207 21 days ago

With like just a few drops of water On the insert right? Figured too much water on the playfield isn’t the best idea.

I was also expecting the color of the wood after sanding to be more uniform. That’s sanded to 360 grit. Lots of lighter areas everywhere. Not too concerned since installing a hardtop, but not sure how the shooter lane areas going to look after getting polyurethane

#208 21 days ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

With like just a few drops of water On the insert right? Figured too much water on the playfield isn’t the best idea.
I was also expecting the color of the wood after sanding to be more uniform. That’s sanded to 360 grit. Lots of lighter areas everywhere. Not too concerned since installing a hardtop, but not sure how the shooter lane areas going to look after getting polyurethane

I just soak the sand paper in a dish and I wipe the wood area as I go doesn’t take much sanding with each grit. It’ll be ok just don’t pool a bunch of water on the playfield. As for the color of wood pour some alcohol or Naphtha on a rag and wipe the areas. That’ll give you a real good idea what it’ll look like.

#209 21 days ago

I dry sanded thru 320, then wet sanded 600, 1000, 2000, 3000 using Naphtha instead of water. Followed with a quick polish of Novus 2, with one more final wipe down of a Naphtha to remove any Novus residue. Before and after wet sanding pics attached:

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#210 21 days ago

Crazy how clear the inserts can go! I just found this thread last nite and I'm all caught up!! Had a good laugh when i seen the cabinet eventually going yellow!! Great work man.. i have a silver ball mania ill send over when your done with this one!! Haha, cheers!

#211 21 days ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

I dry sanded thru 320, then wet sanded 600, 1000, 2000, 3000 using Naphtha instead of water. Followed with a quick polish of Novus 2, with one more final wipe down of a Naphtha to remove any Novus residue. Before and after wet sanding pics attached:[quoted image][quoted image]

Wow thanks for the details. That's what I'll do then. Looks fantastic. I even bought up to 5K grit sandpaper just in case.

1 week later
#212 9 days ago

Slow going this last week, but getting very close to hardtop install.

Polished the inserts using the method described by aukraut & it worked beautifully. They are nice & reflective now, although most the inserts on MH are opaque, so I don’t think it will be that noticeable after the hardtop goes on.

I also countersunk the pop bumper nails with a drill bit, which chipped away at some of the upper veneer. Again this should be fine & hidden after the hardtop is put down. It was more important to me to countersink the nail heads & have a completely flat surface.

Speaking of the hardtop, I did a test fitting. Many of the inserts & switch cutouts are misaligned, which was more than I expected. These old playfields vary greatly. I had to cut an 1/8 inch strip off the bottom of the hardtop just to give me some leeway to adjust the position while on the rotisserie.

With it positioned as best as I could, I could still see wood edges in some of the inserts. So I decided to paint with Createx black around the edges. In hindsight, I should have used a paint pen. I would have had much more control & precision. Is what it is. It will all be covered by the hardtop anyway.

Started applying the wipe on poly. Coat & then lightly sand with 220g, then the next coat. Just progressing through this step over the next few days. The hardtop should be ready to apply this weekend.

And regarding that scoop: debated this endlessly after seeing others horror story fixes. The wood was slightly chipping & breaking down at the back of the scoop. I experimented with various wood filler products on wood scraps that I could mold & sand down, but nothing matched the playfield wood color. So if I used them, I was going to have to paint the scoop & clear it, which has problems of its own. I ultimately decided to just sand down the scoop gently & get chipped areas as smooth as possible, without altering the size & grade of the scoop too much. It will be protected with the wipe on poly. I just did not want to clear it & then see it crack under the hardtop with no way to repair it. If this method does not hold up, at least the scoop can be sanded & polyed carefully again.
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#213 9 days ago

Looking great. Almost there!

#214 9 days ago

I’m surprised how nice the wipe on poly is. Looks better in person.

mrm_4 Was your hardtop misaligned much? The hole for screws I don’t care about. I’m talking about the inserts & switches. I’m going to have to shave down some of the switch areas with a knife or dremmel after it’s secured I think.

#215 9 days ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

I’m surprised how nice the wipe on poly is. Looks better in person.
mrm_4 Was your hardtop misaligned much? The hole for screws I don’t care about. I’m talking about the inserts & switches. I’m going to have to shave down some of the switch areas with a knife or dremmel after it’s secured I think.

Mine wasn’t too bad the only thing that was off was the 5X arrow on the right side of the dagger. Did the paint trick to help there. Everything else was really close. Didn’t have to trim luckily.

#216 9 days ago

I had no insert or switch alignment issues on my MH. I had about a dozen and a half holes for posts that were mis-aligned and needed to be reamed out with the dremel, and the holes for the apron brackets were orders of magnitude off. All easily corrected, and understandable given the 70's manufacturing variances on something like this.

#217 9 days ago

Did you guys mark & predrill hole adjustments before securing the hardtop to the playfield, or did you just drill as needed once it was already secured?

The only thing I'm bumed about is that some of the switch holes need to be widened. Not by much, but I don't want to shave too much off either. That's why I was going to wait & adjust holes precisely with an exacto knife after the hardtop was secured in place.

Edit: Actually I just remembered I had a rotary cutting tool for my Dremel. Might use that?

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#218 8 days ago

You have to make the adjustments after the fact. the only correction I had to do on my FG hardtop was that one of the lower playfield inserts was covered by the 3M adhesive. Careful cutting with the XActo knife corrected that. Luckily someone else had posted that error before so I knew to look for it. Would have been PO'd if I had discovered that after installation.......

On my FG hardtop the lower playfield matched up 100%, really looks fantastic. As for the upper, the best I could do was to get the inserts and the front edge lined up, everything else was off 1/16th to 1/8th in terms of holes and edges. Broke out the dremel and went to town.....

#219 8 days ago

Thanks for the tips guys. Looking like install will happen this weekend. Big milestone to finally pass. Then it's time to enter the home stretch & put this beauty back together

#220 8 days ago

I used a small rotary dremel after I laid down the hardtop. I first tried widening the mis-aligned holes with an xacto - it did ok but it was work. Went to the dremel, easy-peasy did all 12-16 holes in less than 20 minutes.

#221 8 days ago

Come on man install that thing!!!!

Cant wait to see this game completed!

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#222 8 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

I used a small rotary dremel after I laid down the hardtop. I first tried widening the mis-aligned holes with an xacto - it did ok but it was work. Went to the dremel, easy-peasy did all 12-16 holes in less than 20 minutes.

I think that's why I bought the dremel rotary kit. I must have seen someone else do that in another thread.

I think one or two more coats of poly & I'll be good to go. So cold in the garage that I'm giving each layer a full day to cure.

#223 8 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

I used a small rotary dremel after I laid down the hardtop. I first tried widening the mis-aligned holes with an xacto - it did ok but it was work. Went to the dremel, easy-peasy did all 12-16 holes in less than 20 minutes.

Which Dremel Bit did you use?

#224 8 days ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Which Dremel Bit did you use?

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#225 4 days ago

Doing hardtop install today. Just noticed a couple things...

There’s no adhesive on the thin strip in the shooter lane. Is this a change on newly manufactured hardtops? Because all the videos I’ve seen have adhesive there. The wood side rails will keep it secured I guess, but I’d be happier if the adhesive was there.

Also noticed that the shoot lane cutout is shorter and the actual groove. I was expecting some difference, but I wasn’t expecting the cutout to be half the length of the grove. Looks funny to me.

Are these normal issues?

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#226 3 days ago

Hardtop is installed

Relatively easy to do with 2 people. Used air compressor, wiped with tack cloth, secured the bottom third, then laid down the rest. There will be some area cleaning up & drilling to do, but I’m really happy with the results. It’s amazing when you pull that protective layer of plastic off.

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#227 3 days ago

Wow. That looks amazing!

#228 3 days ago

Great job man!

#229 3 days ago

Looking fantastic!

#230 3 days ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

Which Dremel Bit did you use?

This one....

amazon.com link »

Dremel Bit.jpg
#231 3 days ago

How does the groove on the shooter lane look and feel?! Did u end up cutting it? Nice job tho!

#232 3 days ago

I think the long shooter groove probably just a manufacturing variance due to different suppilers in the 70s? Who knows. I'm not worried about it now. I debated cutting the plastic to avoid getting dirt caught underneath there, but one slip of the knife could have made look even worse. Then I'd be obsessing that I didn't cut the plastic correctly. I just installed the hardtop as is.

The fact there is no adhesive on the thin strip is an advantage now. If dirt gets under the groove, then the side rail can be unscrewed, and that flap can be easily lifted, blasted away underneath with the airhose & wiped with novus 1 dipped q-tip. But I don't expect much dirt to get under there at all in a home environment.

That said the playfield looks fantastic now. Very thrilling pulling off the protective sheet & seeing the vibrant colors/shine for the first time. It's got a coat of carnuba wax now. Fixing & drilling the holes is next. Might have to look into those dremel bits mentioned above

#233 3 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

This one....
amazon.com link »[quoted image]

So those bits will just cut away at the hardtop & not cut into the wood underneath? They look like they are blunt tipped.

#234 3 days ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

So those bits will just cut away at the hardtop & not cut into the wood underneath? They look like they are blunt tipped.

The bits look bigger in the picture. With the dozen or so holes that were mis-aligned on my MH, part of the playfield hole was still accessible. So I just shaved the excess hardtop, widening the hardtop hole, without touching the playfield hole sides.

#235 3 days ago

I bought a set. Thanks for the tip

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