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(Topic ID: 237130)

Newbie Starting


By rspilman

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by GnarLee
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 1 year ago

    So I'm doing a little research prior to me getting my first pinball. This is going to be a long winded post as I am seeking a lot of information.

    So to start, what tools should one have to work on these things, any special type of tools needed?

    I see a lot about "shop" /"serviced" and things like "best performance". What does this exactly entail / mean?

    When cleaning the play field, what should be used to clean it? I'm sure you don't want to use harsh chemicals such as 409 or something of the like. Same goes for cleaning rails/ramps? And for that matter overall basic cleaning recommendations.

    When dealing with the play field, I see alot of mention about waxing. Can I use any old type of wax or does bowling wax work or is that not a good idea?

    Well this should get me started. Thanks for the start.

    #2 1 year ago

    Best thing to do is find a local pinsider or fellow enthusiast to connect with. I’ve made some good friends and connections that are willing to help with any questions and problems. They could also possibly show you their pins and explain this all to you and show you a few tips. You really only need some basic hand tools to do most minor repairs. There’s lots of how to and repair threads here on Pinside too. I’ve also used a few YouTube videos for reference

    #3 1 year ago

    Finding a local friend / collector is good advice.

    If you prefer to read stuff yourself ...

    http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Beginner%27s_Notes
    http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=General

    #4 1 year ago

    I do have one local pinsider, who has been a great resource but I try not to burn him out.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from rspilman:

    I see a lot about "shop" /"serviced" and things like "best performance". What does this exactly entail / mean?

    Problem with this is ..... all have different meaning to people so it’s always best to go and see/play the game before you buy it.

    As for cleaning..... basic cleaning get yourself some Novus 1. Good for basic cleaning and also good for cleaning plastic pieces.

    As for wax .... use something that doesn’t have any abrasives in it. 100% carnoba wax or you can go Mill Wax.

    #6 1 year ago

    Todd Andersen wrote a good tool article on Pinball News : http://www.pinballnews.com/learn/toolkit/index.html

    Learn as much as you can, you'll be better armed when looking at a machine to purchase.

    Best advice I can offer is don't get caught up in have to drag that first game home no matter what.

    Welcome to the fun that is pinball.

    LTG : )

    #7 1 year ago

    There's a BSD for sale in your town at what seems to be a really decent deal given the condition of the game. I'd say that's fortuitous!

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/75616

    BTW, absolutely everyone will have differing opinions on products but Novus to clean and a high percentage carnauba (carnauba is like concrete in it's natural state so the actual percentage of the product isn't likely to get above 40 but the percentage of wax in the product can be 100%).

    #8 1 year ago

    Play as many games at local places as you can to get an idea of what you really like.

    Focus on your pricepoint and a game you think you will like long-term. Wait for it and pounce.

    Check all the usual things (boards, playfield, working condition) and ask questions. Bring along a pinball friend if possible.

    Clean with novus 1 and novus 2. I also like simple green (in place of novus 1, occasionally).
    There are tons of wax...and you can certainly find many forums on it. It seems that pinside has agreed recently that blitz one grand wax is the best. I also like mothers and maguires, however.

    Do you have any idea of what games you might be interested in or what budget you are wanting to work with?

    #9 1 year ago

    My opinion...

    For your first pin buy a 100% working one from an experienced local collector with a good reputation. Yes, a working one will cost more but you’ll still have enough to do learning how to fix when issues come up (and you might be surprised how quickly ‘saving’ a few hundred will be eaten up in parts and shipping). The big advantage is that you will have a pin you can play right away. For your 2nd pin, of course, save money and buy a nonworking one if you wish.

    #10 1 year ago

    You are kind of putting the cart before the horse? Figure out which era of game you are most interested in and then we can get into tools and such.

    "Best performance?" Never heard that one. Shopped is supposed to mean the game has been gone through and tuned up and refurbished but it could also mean a dirty rag has been run over the game and a couple light bulbs replaced.

    Don't worry too much about buzzwords.

    -4
    #11 1 year ago

    I was a new owner just 2-3 years ago. I was in your shoes and know how you feel. Here's the answers I wish I had:

    Quoted from rspilman:

    What tools should one have to work on these things, any special type of tools needed?

    Soldering iron. Don't worry yourself on what brand to get, they're all the same. Some people have ones they like, but I've used 4 different ones and they all do the same thing: get hot.

    The purpose of the iron is to melt "solder", which is the stuff used to connect wires to places where they fall off, among other things, but 99% of the time this is the main purpose of solder. Wires fall off sometimes, even from new machines, so this is a must have. If you need more tools, you can buy it as the time arises in my opinion.

    Quoted from rspilman:

    I see a lot about "shop" /"serviced" and things like "best performance". What does this exactly entail / mean?

    That's referring to machines that have been gone through and cleaned, and rubbers replaced so it's looking as new as possible.

    Quoted from rspilman:

    When cleaning the play field, what should be used to clean it? Same goes for cleaning rails/ramps?

    Novus 2. Google it. It can do it all.

    Quoted from rspilman:

    When dealing with the play field, I see alot of mention about waxing. Can I use any old type of wax or does bowling wax work or is that not a good idea?

    I wouldn't worry about waxing. Waxing slows the ball speed down. It's an added layer of protection to the playfield, but I've been around machines that's been played for 2 years and 20 years, and you can't really tell the difference between one that's been waxed and one that has not.

    ===========================

    A little added tip. Most of the time.... 98% or more.... if you have an issue with a machine, chances are that it's an incredibly small and easy fix. Something needs to be tightened, or cleaned, or a wire fell off, etc. It's rarely a big issue. And the newer the machine you have, the fewer problems/aggravation you'll come across. From my experience, anything early 90s and beyond is usually pretty simple to take care of.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from MEuRaH:

    I was a new owner just 2-3 years ago. I was in your shoes and know how you feel. Here's the answers I wish I had:

    That's referring to machines that have been gone through and cleaned, and rubbers replaced so it's looking as new as possible.

    Novus 2. Google it. It can do it all.

    I wouldn't worry about waxing. Waxing slows the ball speed down. It's an added layer of protection to the playfield, but I've been around machines that's been played for 2 years and 20 years, and you can't really tell the difference between one that's been waxed and one that has not.
    ===========================
    A little added tip. Most of the time.... 98% or more.... if you have an issue with a machine, chances are that it's an incredibly small and easy fix. Something needs to be tightened, or cleaned, or a wire fell off, etc. It's rarely a big issue. And the newer the machine you have, the fewer problems/aggravation you'll come across. From my experience, anything early 90s and beyond is usually pretty simple to take care of.

    Just a couple of things I would clarify (or just do differently than you), Novus 2 is only used to get really dirty spots as it is slightly abrasive. Use Novus 1 for general cleaning. As far as wax, I have never had the ball go slower because of wax. If it is done correctly (which is just wiping it on waiting a few minutes to dry and wiping it off), the ball travels a lot faster. Also you won't hear the ball rolling on the playfield as much. Whether wax is needed or not is an entirely different discussion. I wax mine just to be safe.

    #13 1 year ago

    There really is not much to it. These are commercial machines so they are made to be hammered on all day. No special tools are needed. You will need a soldering iron and multimeter at some point but you can get those as you get more comfortable working on machines. Nothing special needed to clean pins either. Novus1 and microfiber cloths works well cleaning playfield and plastics. Just avoid anything water based when cleaning playfield. Wax is optional. Older games that do not have a clear coat on the playfield need it more to protect. Modern games (90's on up) don't really need it imo. Just keep an eye on the balls and replace them when they start to get dinged up.

    "Shopped" or "serviced" can mean different things. It should mean the game was gone through, cleaned, and everything fixed. That's not always the case so it really doesn't mean anything. It might mean someone just wiped the playfield with a rag or one burnt bulb replaced. Other acronyms/terms are used to describe condition but they really don't mean anything. Condition is the important thing.

    No need to overthink all this stuff. Play as many games as you can and figure out what kind of game you want to get and what your budget is. If you have the funds, I brand new pin should be something you can just set up and enjoy for a long time. For a beginner, I recommend starting with cheaper games so you can build up a collection of 3-4 pins faster and learn as you go.

    For older games, ignore most of what seller says. They could claim it's mint or that they restored the game but condition tells all. Condition determines price more than anything. For a beginner, I would focus on finding a game that is working 100% and looks like it was maintained well. If pin is filthy dirty, broken plastics, dry rotted rubber, and some things are not working then walk away. Seller will of course tell you everything is an easy fix and it was working fine yesterday. Try meeting some people in your area and see if they have any pins for sell.

    #14 1 year ago

    Im doing the same thing myself with no prior knowledge. Basically I found a f14 for next to nothing and am rebuilding her. Tools I have been using are phillips head screwdriver, needle nose pliers, soldering iron, solder sucker, flux, small flat head screwdriver, simple green, and a magnetic 1/4 nut driver.

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