(Topic ID: 161108)

PMD - Bally 1980s Pinball Restorations


By PinballMikeD

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 249 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by PinballMikeD
  • Topic is favorited by 95 Pinsiders

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There are 249 posts in this topic. You are on page 5 of 5.
#201 1 year ago

Wow looking great. Nice detailed documentation. Are all backboxes having same dimensions or EBD backbox having extra depth?

#202 1 year ago
Quoted from kursiv:

Wow looking great. Nice detailed documentation. Are all backboxes having same dimensions or EBD backbox having extra depth?

My EBD is the same depth as Centaur and Medusa. It's my understanding that Bally did two different sized back boxes for that machine, not sure why.

#203 1 year ago

The '84 Bally/Midway version had the folding head and a slightly smaller back glass.

#204 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

It's my understanding that Bally did two different sized back boxes for that machine, not sure why.

Oh ok, only seen the deeper version around here. Not a big deal as long as stencils fit.

#205 1 year ago
Quoted from kursiv:

Oh ok, only seen the deeper version around here. Not a big deal as long as stencils fit.

PinballPimp does both stencil versions

4 months later
#206 1 year ago

Anybody have some coin door plastics they'd be willing to sell me? Looking for the standard "1 Quarter 1 Play" and Susan B. Anthony plastics.

Thanks.

4 months later
#207 1 year ago

It's been awhile, so let's talk palyfields

IMG_0151 (resized).jpg

These are all repros, so no artwork touch ups required. The EBD is an old IPB palyfield and the other two are CPR gold editions. Before I tackle the clearcoats, let's address the bottom of each playfield.

IMG_0152 (resized).jpg

Luckily, only the Medusa needs a ton of sanding.

Sanding off buffing compound residue on EBD:

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I'm using 220 grit for my initial sanding.

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Sanding off excess insert glue on Centaur:

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Sanding off.... well every dame thing on Medusa:

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The prep work is done, so now it's time to seal these beauties. For that I'm using Arm-R-Seal. I prefer a satin finish for this application.

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I love Arm-R-Seal. I've used this many times and it always turns out nice. It's easy to apply, just mix thoroughly and wipe on with a rag or foam brush, like so:

IMG_0173 (resized).jpg

The key is to keep the product from puddling. Spread it evenly across the working surface and remember that a little goes a long way. Let the playfield dry for 8 to 12 hours, lightly sand with 300 grit paper and you're ready for the next coat. Here's a look at EBD after 3 coats:

IMG_0178 (resized).jpg

Not too shabby right

This gives the bottom of the playfield a nice finished look that isn't over the top. Plus, this makes it possible to clean the bottom of the playfield in the future - no more dirt getting embedded in the wood grain.

#208 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

Anybody have some coin door plastics they'd be willing to sell me? Looking for the standard "1 Quarter 1 Play" and Susan B. Anthony plastics.
Thanks.

I should have some if you still need them.

#209 1 year ago
Quoted from Pbpins:

I should have some if you still need them.

Great, I'll shoot you a PM. Thanks.

#210 1 year ago

The most common issue with reproduction playfields is simply the fact that they are sprayed with too much clear. This adversely affects the game play, changing the physics of the pinball movements (sliding, backspin, etc.). It's nice to have a beautifully restored pinball machine, but if it plays like shit - well what's the point?

Anyway, the good news is that this is a pretty easy fix, it just takes patience and a little elbow grease (and like anything pinball related - it requires money).

So, here we go.....

IMG_0188 (resized).jpg

Checkout the #8 insert. Can you see the raised boarder? All of the inserts on this Centaur look exactly the same - makes for some nice click clack game play

Like I said, this is a simple fix, just need to wet sand the playfield flat. Once you start sanding the imperfection will jump out:

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I start with 600 grit paper. You can use a store bought sanding block or make your own, just make sure your homemade block is level I clean the paper with a metal wire brush to remove excess clearcoat residue. Keep your paper clean, mist the playfield with water and use a micofiber cloth to wipe the playfield down regularly.

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10 to 20 minutes of work and you'll see the difference:

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Sand uniformly and in the same direction. Once the clearcoat looks uniformly hazed across the entire playfield you're ready for the next step. I used a high intensity LED light to inspect the playfield, looking for any defects or areas that need more sanding.

#211 1 year ago

Moving right along....

Here's a better picture to illustrate the hazing that sanding will generate (you can see where the clear is still shiny and un-sanded in the lower areas where the finned post through holes are located):

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Now I'll address the star rollovers before advancing any further with the sanding/polishing process. To do this, I cut strips out of used 220 grit festool sanding papers. Run the paper strips back and forth to remove excess clear in the star rollover inserts:

IMG_0217 (resized).jpg

A star switch actuator must move freely up/down in the insert without binding up, otherwise it will be virtually impossible to dial the switch in for game play later. I'd also recommend testing each rollover insert with a reproduction star.

Ok, time for more sanding...

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I step up from 600 grit to 800 then follow that up with 1500 grit paper (same sanding process as previously described). Finally, I wet sand with 3000 grit pads on my my random orbital sander.

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Hooray, now we can start buffing. If you're in the market for a new buffer, I highly recommend the FLEX 3401 (she's a beast):

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I use the 3M Perfect-It kit with Lake Country 6.5" foam buffing pads.

1st - Orange Pad for the Rubbing Compound
2nd - White Pad for the Machine Polish (for swirl removal)
3rd - Black Pad for Ultra-fine Machine Polish

IMG_0201 (resized).jpg

FYI - make sure to use designated microfiber cloths for each step in the process and clean the playfield prior to advancing to a finer grit paper or polish. When it's all said and done, you'll spend less money on a quality buffer and the supplies needed to fix 10 playfields than you would sending one playfield off to (fill in the blank). There are numerous guys that do great work, but if you want to take the plunge - I hope this help

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Nothing to it - just a little money.

#212 1 year ago

Thinking of taking up a career in foot modeling....

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All kidding aside, here are some finished playfield pics:

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Man, you can't beat the art package on these 80s Bally playfields.

Well, that's enough fun for one day.

1 week later
#213 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

Thinking of taking up a career in foot modeling....

except that you didn't show that photo before you got the foot surgery

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#214 1 year ago
Quoted from j_m_:

except that you didn't show that photo before you got the foot surgery

Oh holy hell.

#215 1 year ago
Quoted from j_m_:

except that you didn't show that photo before you got the foot surgery

4 ingrown toenails and 2 surgeries later, I'm happy to say I now have the confidence to wear flip-flops at the beach

#216 1 year ago

I hope that pic with the compressor isn't real.

#217 1 year ago
Quoted from Joey_N:

I hope that pic with the compressor isn't real.

I think JM has more than one problem. You should see his eharmony profile picture!!!!!!!

JM at 2AM (resized).PNG

#218 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

I think JM has more than one problem. You should see his eharmony profile picture!!!!!!!

btw, that's my "okcupid" profile and you said that you liked it (and thought that I looked cute in that mismatched manzere

#219 1 year ago

Waking up, drinking my morning coffee. Perusing my nicely nerdy hobby, photos of playfields, line filters, coin door repairs... and then you guys.

#220 1 year ago
Quoted from jsa:

Waking up, drinking my morning coffee. Perusing my nicely nerdy hobby, photos of playfields, line filters, coin door repairs... and then you guys.

glad that we could make your morning
mike and I are actually really friends mortal enemies in real life and all of these posts are 1000% true

#221 1 year ago
Quoted from j_m_:

glad that we could make your morning
mike and I are actually really friends mortal enemies in real life and all of these posts are 1000% true

With friends like JM who needs mortal enemies?

#222 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

With friends like JM who needs mortal enemies?

at least that's a lot nicer (and family friendly) vs. what you told me that you were going to post

#223 1 year ago

Just caught up on this thread. Really appreciate your explanations of sanding and buffing!

#224 1 year ago
Quoted from radium:

Just caught up on this thread. Really appreciate your explanations of sanding and buffing!

I just got a new 4k video camera, thinking about producing some more pinball restoration videos (just have to find the time to edit all the footage).

#225 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

I just got a new 4k video camera, thinking about producing some more pinball restoration videos (just have to find the time to edit all the footage).

as long as you promise to keep those godawful feet of yours out of frame!!

#226 1 year ago

Started working on EBD. This playfield has a variety of issues:

1. Globs of clear around the slingshot GI holes:
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2. Planking:
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3. Low inserts (example #2 ball):
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And as always - raised clear around virtually every insert (except the low inserts of course).

So, how do all these imperfections come about?

1. Poor clear application - nothing sanding can't fix

2. Remember wood expands and contracts based on the humidity and temperature of the surrounding air. Wood fibers swell as they absorb moisture and shrink as they release moisture, thus expansion and contraction. The good new is that this "planking" can also be fixed by sanding

3. This insert wasn't glued in place flush with the top of the playfield. The opposite of #1 and #2, here we need to add more clear to fill in the low spot.

Here's a look at the playfield once I started sanding with 600 grit:

Raised clear around the 8 ball insert:
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Planking is getting better:
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To save time I stepped up to 400 grit paper - planking is gone
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Just like Centaur, I'm wet sanding (going with the grain) with a block.

Now I can either fill the lowered insert or spay a new coat of clear on the entire playfield. Then the process is exactly the same as previously outlined on Centaur.

#227 1 year ago

So this thread interests me because I'm working on a Strikes and Spares playfield and a Fathom

The S&S was NOS. I get why it was culled from the herd as NOS - some keylines and black stripes in the art were very thin and nearly missing in spots. Besides touch ups, I used the advice on here and:
-sprayed a light coat of 2 part clear
-scuffed the whole thing for 'bite' incl the very dished inserts (3M grey pad)
-using disposable medical droppers from Ebay, filled the inserts with clear
-block sanded the whole thing, making inserts dead flat as glass
-prepped for final clear, sprayed 2 or 3 coats
-was surprised to find that it wasn't as flat as I thought, had to do a tiny bit more work
-whole pf is block sanded perfectly flat and ready for final clear

I think I need/what sounds like best is a couple of coats of clear, and that being enough to allow me to block sand and polish as you did above!

The Fathom pf was the original run Halifax repro. Biggest issue was a broken rollover insert that I had to replace. Then..I found a few flubs in the screened art where there were defects in the wood. Similar to above, I cleared it, and still have to block sand the whole thing flat to blend touch ups, inserts, etc, then will get the final clear, sand, and polish.

Thanks for posting the info. I find the hardest thing to figure out and easiest waste of time with sandpaper sometimes is what grit to use and how to progress through it.

2 months later
#228 10 months ago

I've been busy with everything other than pinball as of late, so it was nice to play around in the work shop and build something for my Medusa

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It sure beats the original.

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The chamfered edges give it a nice finished look and they gave me a reason to play with the router table

A little Arm-R-Seal topcoat and it'll be ready to go.

#229 10 months ago

Thanks for turning me on to arm-r-seal. I used it on a non-pinball wood project and really like how it turned out.

#230 10 months ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

Thanks for turning me on to arm-r-seal. I used it on a non-pinball wood project and really like how it turned out.

Cool. Glad it worked for you. What was the project?

#231 10 months ago

I love arm-r-seal! Try doing your base coats in high gloss and do only the last coat in satin. Gives a nice depth. Their stains are great too.

#232 10 months ago

Want perfect coin slot plastics - who doesn't?

NOS parts are virtually impossible to find, so you'll just have to restore the ones you've got. Big thanks to Pbpins for hooking me up with some nice plastics to refurbish.

Starting point (not bad, but room for improvement):
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My new favorite sanding block:
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Wet sand with 800 grit paper until all scratches are removed:
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More sanding.... then buffing:
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Finished plastics:
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Brand spankin new baby.....
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Bling bling.....
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You got to admit those plastics pop

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#233 10 months ago

How are you buffing these without launching them across the room?

#234 10 months ago

Very carefully

The Flex buffer is a variable speed unit, so set it to a lower speed 2-3. Then hold the buffer, pad side up, with your left hand. Turn it on and use your right hand to hold the plastic against the buffing pad. You can’t buff the whole plastic at the same time, so change your grip and rotate the plastic around as needed. I used the edge of the pad to give myself more room to hold the plastic.

#235 10 months ago

you could always make a jig with a slight recessed routed area to hold the plastics in place. that would make both sanding and buffing a little easier

#236 10 months ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

Very carefully
The Flex buffer is a variable speed unit, so set it to a lower speed 2-3. Then hold the buffer, pad side up, with your left hand. Turn it on and use your right hand to hold the plastic against the buffing pad. You can’t buff the whole plastic at the same time, so change your grip and rotate the plastic around as needed. I used the edge of the pad to give myself more room to hold the plastic.

Makes sense, thanks.

Well the whole assembly looks great. I just want to put a gold chain on that thing and wear it around my neck.

#237 10 months ago
Quoted from j_m_:

you could always make a jig with a slight recessed routed area to hold the plastics in place. that would make both sanding and buffing a little easier

I thought about building a jig, might do that for the next round.

#238 10 months ago
Quoted from radium:

Makes sense, thanks.
Well the whole assembly looks great. I just want to put a gold chain on that thing and wear it around my neck.

I was thinking belt buckle

#239 10 months ago

Those plastics are looking sweet! Nicely done.

#240 10 months ago
Quoted from Tbgolfen:

Those plastics are looking sweet! Nicely done.

Thanks. One could apply the same approach to refurbishing any plastics, but it’s obviously easier to replace them when possible - not much choice in this case though.

#241 10 months ago

Nicely done Mike. This is the era and the exact game that got me into collecting pinball. EBD is a perfect pinball all around in my opinion!

#242 10 months ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

Thanks. One could apply the same approach to refurbishing any plastics, but it’s obviously easier to replace them when possible - not much choice in this case though.

Mike, I always cringe when looking at a speaker panel. Have you had the same luck referbing those?

#243 10 months ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Mike, I always cringe when looking at a speaker panel. Have you had the same luck referbing those?

Here's Whitewater:

http://s437400854.onlinehome.us/?page_id=123

I just buffed it with the 3M Perfect-it kit as the scratches weren't too bad.

It all depends on how deep the scratches are, but just about anything is fixable. It's a matter of time vs. money; sometimes it makes since to refurbish and sometimes it makes since to just pony up the $ and replace the part.

1 week later
#244 9 months ago

This brass coin door has sure been a pain in the ass to reassemble.

The problem with brass plating is that it requires a clear top coat to prevent the brass from tarnishing, which effects the tight tolerences on the coin mechs. Plus, I had to re-tap all the 4-40 screw holes for the coin switches and Dremel various parts of the coin chutes to get this thing back together. Next coin door will be chromed

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Picked up these beauties from PinRestore:

Only needed the hand riveting tool, but couldn't resist the set of larger dies for my press.

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Anyway, here's the coin door as it sits. I still need to rebuild the switches and install new light bulb sockets, but it's coming along

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All new or recondition screws/hardware, powder coated back plate and coin trough, zinc plated coin mech switch brackets, new coin mechs, reconditioned coin insert plastics, and a ton of brass plating = an expensive, but beautiful coin door.

#245 9 months ago

You forgot to do the lock

#246 9 months ago
Quoted from pinplayer01:

You forgot to do the lock

Then the key wouldn’t kit

3 weeks later
#247 9 months ago

Time to make some side rails.

This gave me a chance to use my new bandsaw

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I like to use poplar for my rails. I rip 4'x2"x2" blocks down and then plane the rails down to the exact thickness as the originals. Then I cut everything to length on the chop saw.

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These are fun to reproduce:

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Well, I don't have an oscillating spindle sander, so a sanding drum on a drill press will do the trick

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A little routing work and that's it.

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#248 9 months ago

Looking great! I have plenty of ideas for you if you need some more excuses to use those tools.

#249 9 months ago

Ha. That’s why this is taking forever, too many other project to use the tools on

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