It's the beginning of a new year, the perfect time to start a new project! Never mind the fact that I have three other Project Pins in various stages of restoration and dissasembly.
First things first. How did I find a Gottlieb 1952 Queen of Hearts?
I was given the name and number of an older couple wanting to sell an old woodrail machine here in Tucson. Mrs. Seller told me about the pin. It is called Queen of Hearts. I told her that woodrails typically go from $200 to $400.
I would like to own a woodrail but I wasn't sure if this was the one. I asked RyanClaytor and he said, in no uncertain terms, YES, buy it. Queen of Hearts is highly collectible.
Mrs. Seller and I arranged to see it. I told her that it is a desirable game for collectors. Later in the day I went over there to see it. Mr. and Mrs. Seller met me in the stall of their garage. The backglass was toast. The playfield glass had been broken by his neighbor earlier in the day. But the rest of the machine was in great shape. The playfield, pop bumper and passive bumpers are in exceptional condition for a pinball machine 65 years old.
I told Mr. Seller that he could probably sell it for more to a collector in Phoenix. He told me that "We want to sell it to you." I had sent a link of my Pecos Pinball Website to Mrs. Seller. She must have read some of it and seen my restoration work because that is why they wanted me to have the Queen of Hearts.
Not only did I get it for a very reasonable price, but Mr. Seller wanted me to take it home that day even though I didn't have the cash in hand.
This is how it looked on Day One:
And then, one of the Pinsiders offered to sell me his nice looking backglass for a very reasonable price. This was a no brainer. I could wait years and never find another backglass that looked this nice for such a reasonable price. I told him I would take him up on the offer. It seemed to be a fairy tale how this is all came together over one weekend. I am truly blessed!
I am beginning to think that I may now be a 'collector.' Such a nice game to be adding to Pecos' Palatial Pinball Parlour! But I prefer to think of myself as a restorer rather than a collector!
I want to include your names here:
Thank you! This thread is for you!
This backglass is incredibly nice for an original backglass that is 65 years old!
The first job was to get the ole Queen up on her feet. I had to move two other pins to make room for her.
I began by cleaning the leg bolts. They were neatly wrapped in tape but there were only six of them! And these are no ordinary leg bolts. They are extra long to allow for the width of the wooden legs. The bolts cleaned up nicely, but those washers are a complete loss - really hacked up.
The sides of the bolts will get the wire brush treatment, but not now. I am too anxious to get this game up and on its feet.
Next I worked on the bottom of the legs. This is my first time ever working with wood legs and I was curious how the 'feet' were attached to the legs. I was surprised to see regular 2" leg levelers used as the feet. I don't know if this is standard fare, but it sure makes my job getting the Queen of Hearts up on her feet again. I used a wire brush to clean the leg leveler receivers. Four legs and each one was different!
One leg had a tee nut. Another had a rectangular nut. The other two had round nuts - one screwed on with screws and the other attached with nails! This was sort of freaking me out. I haven't even gotten to the mechs yet and I'm finding all sorts of hacks! I didn't have a tee nut, so the old one would have to do, for now, but it was a foreboding start.
The legs went on pretty easily. One of the bolt plates had to be hammered back into place, but up on her legs she was!
This glass had to come off and, as I mentioned, it was broken. I have the pieces, I may try to put the puzzle pieces back together again and apply a piece of Mylar on each side of the glass.
The lockdown bar was somewhat of a mystery. No lever to push to unlock it! It is attached with two long bolts. There were no nuts on these bolts, so I just carefully pulled the lockdown bar up and off.
Well, here she is, part of her at least, in all her regal glory!
A place of honor!!