(Topic ID: 231017)

Diving into another Classic Bally - I cannot FATHOM what might go wrong!


By TractorDoc

6 months ago



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There are 331 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 7.
#101 4 months ago

It seems I have the patience of a five year old. . . I had to see what some of my "new" decals would look like on a drop target or two.

The original beast/demon was never really to my liking, even without the visible ball wear.

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I am pleased with how my version turned out, hopefully others will find it acceptable.

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I may need to try some repositioning of my new explosions -- perhaps a touch higher? I will need to see how they look in the actual drop mechanism rather than just dropping them into the playfield hole.

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The decals have a slight degree of thickness to them visible at the top -- between the decal and drop target hood. I may try re-cutting a second set to better fit under the hood and eliminate the horizontal line effect.

#102 4 months ago

Those look fabulous to me Doc. The explosion could come up if it's messing with your OCD but, to me those are fine; when you view them from the natural standing position while playing you naturally see just below the edge of the playfield.

#103 4 months ago

Worked on getting the last of the preparation work in today before clear coating.

Shooter lane -- sanding out dirt and unevenness. The shooter lane in this game looked decent from the start. There were several areas of grime and a divit or two where the ball gets kicked out but nothing major. Vid mentions using several different diameters of pipe to help sand in his guide; I found that several different sizes of sockets from my tool drawer worked just as well.

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Bulb sockets. There is always a chance your bulb will be dim or constantly need tweaked to stay lit with original sockets. In a perfect world new ones would get installed but I am going to try giving the originals a good cleaning first before lopping them off. I took a small wire brush and rolled the handle back and forth between my hands (like they show rolling a stick back and forth between your hands in the movies to start a fire) with the wire brush in the socket. It cleaned the metal innards up to a nice shine to hopefully allow good bulb contact and function.

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Playfield. See how the wood area looks shiny? I took one of my scruff pads and gave the entire playfield a good rubdown to eliminate the shine and hopefully provide a good foundation for the clear coat.

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Picture attempting to show the matte finish present on the playfield after scruffing.

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Final Touchups. Sometimes I can be an aggressive scruffer and remove some thinner areas of paint -- especially where I have made touchups around the inserts. I am at an age where the naked eye needs a little help for focus on small details. To combat the rigidity in my eyeball's lenses I brought home my loupes from work. They magnify the details and have a great little headlamp that points directly where I am looking making paint touchups with a tiny brush much easier.

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Wife has some plans for the day tomorrow, but hopefully I can get the first coat of clear on this weekend.

#104 4 months ago

Before jumping in and spraying clear I thought it important to mention safety. Many of the tractor/automotive/and in this case pinball paints that I use contain noxious chemicals including isocyanates. In my younger days I always thought I was invincible and that health stuff need not apply to me. As I have become older I have hopefully become wiser and heed to manufacturer's safety warnings.

Full coverage clothing and respiratory protection are essential. I busted out the hooded/enclosed breathing unit -- it has seen some use in its day!

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The silver "box" sits outside the shop and a turbine delivers pressured air through the hose and into the hood. The sight window/clear opening has changeable lenses in case you get overspray in your view.

#105 4 months ago

With safety measures in place I gave the playfield one last wipe down with a tack cloth and started spraying.
Not much to show as far as action shots -- the main focus was getting the clear on the playfield. In addition to spraying I tried the technique of using an eyedropper to add a little more clear to each of the cupped inserts. The biggest challenge with the eyedropper was making sure to minimize air bubbles finding their way into the clear.

The first coat of clear is down -- a few after pictures.

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Next step will involve having some patience while the clear cures before I can sand it down and apply the next coat. So far so good!

#106 4 months ago

Yeah... looking good so far!

#107 4 months ago

Sanded down the first coat of clear today. Because the inserts are still have some cupping they retained their shine under the sanding block, but the scruff pad took care of that.

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Today I started with an initial coat of clear, then I focused on using the eyedropper to drip clear into each cupped insert in an attempt to flatten the playfield surface out. After dripping the clear into the inserts I followed up with one more coat over the entire playfield. You can see the cup/eyedropper on the table at the top of the picture.

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Not sure how well it shows in the pictures, but in some spots the clear over the inserts now looks higher than the rest of the playfield. It will shrink down as the paint cures and will hopefully sand closer to flat on the next sand down.

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#108 4 months ago

Up a bit early this morning so I took over the kitchen island with one of the drop target assemblies.
As it was pulled from the playfield:

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Quickly disassembled and cleaned -- glad I took the previous picture as even after a couple minutes I forget how things went together.

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Installed the three new drop targets with my explosion decals -- I rotated the 'splosions between targets to mix things up a bit. Again, I'm not completely sold on the new graphic. . . I like them but want to see what they look like popping up from the playfield.

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#109 4 months ago

Cleaned and reassembled the four bank drop target assembly this morning. Rather than drag you thru the little details again here is a pic of the result.

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While in the shop today I snuck the target assemblies under the playfield to get a feel for how they will look. The explosions are ok. I believe a bit more will be visible in the correct position, normally the targets would not be right up next to the playfield.

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I am really liking the winged lions.

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The inserts are looking a lot more level. Hopefully one more sand down and a third coat of clear later this week will be enough!

#110 4 months ago

Wow this is just looking amazing!!!

#111 4 months ago

Had some time to sand today.
Took a little more time and focused on flattening out areas around the inserts. Looking like one more coat just might do it. . .

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Ran out of time -- no clear sprayed today. Perhaps later this week.

One of the things I've been thinking about is swapping in red translucent pop bumper bodies (from pinball-mods.com, thanks zitt ) and skirts. Perhaps it will be too much red once all the posts are on the playfield and maybe new white bodies will look good vs. the old yellowed ones. I plan on keeping the original style caps (new ones); if I do decide to go with the red bodies I will have to make an adaptor for the caps because of a difference in the upper diameter/mounting. Stuff to think about while paint dries. . .

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#112 4 months ago

Squeezed in some time to spray the next round of clear today.

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The inserts are looking much more level after this coat. If everything sands flat and level we will be ready for polishing. . . will see how the insert margins are looking after the paint has cured a bit.

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#113 4 months ago

I have been looking for a paragon to match with my bally lost world.

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#114 4 months ago

Your thread has really inspired me. It's gorgeous!

#115 4 months ago

Thanks for the kind words!

Checked in this weekend and I still have a few divits around the big inserts as the paint has cured. No sanding done yet -- if I am lucky everything will sand down flat. . . if not one more insert focused coat may be needed.

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#116 4 months ago

I usually use an eye dropper to fill in the inserts. Applying a spray coat may not be enough.

1- Fill in using an eye dropper.
2- Sand carefully above the inserts.
3- When all the inserts are level with the rest of the playfield, go for a final coat of clear.
4- Wait a few weeks before re-assembling. You may discover some shrinkage around the inserts again. They never stop drinking the clearcoat....

Yves

#117 4 months ago

Looking pretty good. I may have to try to do this to one of my playfields. Keep up the good work!

#118 4 months ago
Quoted from Arcane:

I usually use an eye dropper to fill in the inserts. Applying a spray coat may not be enough.
1- Fill in using an eye dropper.
2- Sand carefully above the inserts.
3- When all the inserts are level with the rest of the playfield, go for a final coat of clear.
4- Wait a few weeks before re-assembling. You may discover some shrinkage around the inserts again. They never stop drinking the clearcoat....
Yves

Sound advice as always Yves.

I've been using the eyedropper approach with each coat. A couple pictures up you can see my dropper/clear cup near the playfield. Usually I lay down an initial coat, go over all my inserts with the eyedropper, spray a second coat, and give the inserts one more topping off with the dropper. Helps blend the overall coat with the droppings -- at least that is how my mind makes sense of it. I did not go as heavy with the first coat -- I wanted to make sure I was not going to melt any of the paint or insert details. Really made some improvements with the second and the third coat was looking flush prior to curing.

Funny -- when I have a low spot on some of my other projects sometimes the paint has a way of flowing/pooling there; not so much on these inserts! I will wait another day or two before sanding and will see what we have to work with then.

Quoted from timab2000:

Looking pretty good. I may have to try to do this to one of my playfields. Keep up the good work!

Thanks! The actual spraying of the clear is not all that difficult. . . in fact I find it is rather forgiving compared to some of my single stage projects. Biggest keys are safety and preparation. If you have the right approach and equipment I'd definitely give it a shot. . . of clear. . .

#119 4 months ago

I don't know that I will ever get used to taking sandpaper to a freshly painted surface -- but I know its the only way to get things nice and flat.

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All the smaller inserts are right where I want them with no edges or ridges.

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But there is still the slightest edge around the bigger inserts. I could probably buff/polish the playfield out at this point and most might never notice. . . but my eyes would go right to these areas.

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I will give it one more coat and focus a few more drops on the ridges.

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#120 4 months ago

I know pictures of the same old playfield get old after awhile. . . so here are a couple more.

Final coat of clear sprayed today. I am going to live with how things turn out this time provided there is not some unforeseen problems when sanding/polishing.

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Big inserts looked really good this time.

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People seem to like pictures of shooter lanes on pinside. . . so here is one from Paragon.

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#121 4 months ago

On this Episode of "As the Paint Cures. . . "

This afternoon I took a look at yesterday's results and the inserts look promising.

For fun I experimented with some pop bumper costume changes to see which is most pleasing to my eye.

Transparent Red Body with Clear Skirt. The clear at the bottom makes the bumper look top heavy.

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Transparent Red Body and Skirt.

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Standard White Body and Transparent Red Skirt.

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Looking at the playfield in person the White Body/Red Skirt Combo had the edge, but I like what I see of the Red Body/Skirt Combo here in the pictures. Now I am wishing I had ordered a set of clear bodies to try with the red skirt. . . mostly to allow more light to brighten up the playfield that the standard white body hides.

I am sure I will figure something out.

#122 4 months ago

Great thread !

#123 3 months ago

Love the pictures of the playfield process. Keep it up!

#124 3 months ago
Quoted from freezie:

Great thread !

Quoted from Tsskinne:

Love the pictures of the playfield process. Keep it up!

Thanks. I appreciate the feedback.

Paragon was ignored a bit this weekend -- we have a family run greenhouse and time this weekend was spent there getting plants planted so they will be ready for Mothers Day!

On the plus side the inserts look even this time and we should be able to sand/polish soon.

#125 3 months ago

Ready for yet more playfield pictures?

Sanded the clear again today -- after a good going over with 500 grit everything looks even.

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Worked with finer and finer grits up to 3000. There is a hint of shine after just sanding alone.

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To take things to the next level I used a series of polishing compounds. I've used Meguiar's 105, then 205, and finally #7 Show Car Glaze. No wax at this point -- still need to wait another month or so while the paint continues to cure.

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Shiny! Its no match for Kruzman's work, but I am happy with it.

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The light in the shop is not the best for capturing reflections and I did not have Vid's recommended crisp $100 to take a reflection picture with anyway. Maybe when I get a warmer day and spend less on pinball parts I can roll the playfield outside and take a couple.

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#126 3 months ago

O, you thought I was done? Almost.

One more overhead view of the "finished" product.

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And for fun let there be light.

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#127 3 months ago

Wow just wow. I'm jealous. Im waiting for a repo to be made but a repo will never be as good as a original.

#128 3 months ago

Very nice job Doc, the PF looks fantastic!

#129 3 months ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Wow just wow. I'm jealous.

Quoted from RWH:

Very nice job Doc, the PF looks fantastic!

Thanks Guys. One of my worries at this point is how fast this game might play. . . it may not be set very steep at the onset!

#130 3 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Thanks Guys. One of my worries at this point is how fast this game might play. . . it may not be set very steep at the onset

Live, love and play damn fast Doc, set it on six degrees and enjoy the ride!

#131 3 months ago

Looks really nice

#132 3 months ago
Quoted from timab2000:

Looks really nice

Thanks! Just sitting down for my Saturday Update.

So over the last day or so I've been looking at the playfield and cannot help but notice faint scratches in the clear. Likely poor sanding on my part, I was probably a little lazy with the 2000 and 3000. I know we are talking about a surface that will eventually have a steel ball rolling across it in the future so some scratches will be inevitable down the road. . . but these ones were bothering me now. So yesterday and today I went back to sanding polishing. I definitely improved what I was noticing before and still see the occasional imperfection, but these I think I can live with.

Once I had accepted my work I installed the outside wood rails (with screws ) so I could turn the playfield over to work on the underside. I was also able to give the work table a much needed cleaning.

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I took the time to install the four bank drop target unit to see how things lined up. There will need to be some slight modifications, but right now I'm just happy looking at the reflections.

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Speaking of reflections, still no crisp Benjamins in the budget but I was able to do a photoshoot with Mr. Washington.

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More details on the drop target adjustments next. . .

#133 3 months ago

So about those drop targets.

Yesterday when I installed the four bank I noticed the targets were well below the playfield surface in the down position.

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I had to make several spacer plates when a similar situation occurred going thru a Stern Nine Ball. Last night all sorts of ideas swirled thru my head about what kind of modifications I would need to make. As it turns out I just needed to adjust a plate at the bottom of the bank secured by the two arrowed screws. Much easier this way!

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Smooth rolling shall be experienced.

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The other issue I had noted was my drop targets were sitting a little lower than I wanted. I shoulda/woulda/coulda put the new decals on a bit higher but that is not an option at this point.

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I cut tiny spacers from some plastic and using my two part plastic epoxy I affixed them to the target ledge. Just enough to raise the target (farthest back) so we can see the beast's feet.

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Picture of the attached spacers. Will they stay in place for the long haul? We will have to wait and see.

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All adjusted and ready to take on some hits.

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Installed and adjusted the three bank targets as well.

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Still a lot to focus on under the playfield. More of that to come.

#134 3 months ago

Its hard to think about how everything will appear once installed. Its great that you are pointing these small, yet important details out. It is sure to help others out. Great job!

#135 3 months ago
Quoted from timab2000:

Its great that you are pointing these small, yet important details out. It is sure to help others out. Great job!

I know its probably overkill for some, but I like the details and do hope they can be useful to someone down the road.

A couple more observations from today.

Before the playfield gets placed back into the cabinet I want to test the lamp sockets for functionality. A flickering for non functioning socket is a frustrating find after spending so much time putting everything back together.

Being a hoarder and never throwing anything away sometimes comes in handy. I found an old 6V transformer that used to power something (an old desk phone?), cut the end off, and installed alligator clips to each lead.

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Each wired lamp will have to be checked individually, but the GI should work as one. Looks like I have at least one good one.

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I noticed the red standup target has a disc capacitor incorporated into it. I've read these capacitors can fail and cause switch problems -- supposedly they help the switch register with quick ball contacts -- a lot of previous posts I've read say they are not needed. This one may have been problematic in the past as it looks like one leg has been clipped (or just broke).

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Perhaps someone had done some maintenance previously -- the pop bumpers and upper playfield standup target look to have ceramic capacitors installed.

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If I can find the specs I will put an ceramic cap on the lower standup target as well.

#136 3 months ago

I've been wondering about those capacitors as well whether Bally use basically all the same ones on the late 70s early 80s Games and where they can be purchased

#137 3 months ago
Quoted from timab2000:

I've been wondering about those capacitors as well whether Bally use basically all the same ones on the late 70s early 80s Games and where they can be purchased

Cut/Pasted from Pinwiki:

Capacitors are used on switches that may open and close very rapidly, to lengthen the switch pulse that the MPU can read. Not all switches will have capacitors. Standup targets, pop bumpers, slings, and tilt mechanisms are switches that benefit from a capacitor. All switches that need a quick reaction can have switch capacitors added to them (such as rollover buttons). These are ceramic non-polarized capacitors with a value of .047 or .050 uf and 16 volts or greater. A commonly available cap is the .047 uf/50 volt.
The factory installed caps are often damaged by the high wattage industrial soldering irons used in manufacturing the games, or they succumb to the vibration over time and no longer serve their purpose of lengthening the switch closures so the MPU can read them. Often a repairman will clip the cap off to diagnose a stuck switch problem and not bother to replace it. The switch will operate in this fashion, but for more sensitive play, the capacitor should be replaced. A failing cap can also make a switch bounce, and cause machine-gunning of a slingshot or pop bumper.

Looks like we should be looking for 0.047uf / 50 Volt Capacitors -- should be available thru Great Plains Electronics or other suppliers.

#138 3 months ago

Was having some issues with the two rollover
switches in my horseshoe on SBM and had noticed
Several disc capacitors clipped including the rollovers.
Bought some cheap off ebay and now I never have
Any problems with the rollovers and I get my multiplier!

#139 3 months ago

Personally, I would change ALL of the ceramic disc capacitors on the switches, & all of the playfield light sockets. Seems like those old Bally pin light sockets are always loose & flickering.

#140 3 months ago

While I am waiting for a shipment of coil sleeves, lamp sockets, and flipper rebuild bits I worked on cleaning up some of the loose parts today. The new pop bumper rings look nice. . . but they can look better.

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I drug the compound wheel over from the unheated shop to the heated shop. I'm getting soft in my old age.

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Using a series of different wheels and compounds I was able to give the pop rings a mirror like shine. Cannot wait to see them installed.

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#141 3 months ago

More Cleaning. Polished up the guide wires on the compound wheel.

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I also unboxed a new toy. Rather than stand in front of the wheel and polish each individual screw/post/etc. I decided to see if a vibratory tumbler could help me out. I had a 25% off coupon a couple months back and this is what I came home with.

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I had picked up some coarse walnut shell a year or so ago to try using in my spot blaster -- it was too coarse/big for that purpose and sat on the shelf since. Will give it a go in the tumbler. Photobomb from Shop Cat.

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Can you tell which playfield plastic was cleaned and which was not?

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That looks better!

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Lamp sockets and flipper parts arrived today so I will have something more to do this weekend.

#142 3 months ago

I may be wrong but I thought those plastics were originally clear? Would be worth replacing while you're doing this.
ebay.com link » Clear Plastic Set For Bally Paragon Pinball Machine

#143 3 months ago

Or you can do the hydrogen peroxide/sun mix

#144 3 months ago

Are my plastics as clear as crystal or double distilled moonshine? No. I've been thinking of trying the peroxide/sunshine approach -- only problem is getting a good day of sun in the Ohio winter. Thanks for the reminder FatPanda -- I put a couple of the threads discussing the technique below my pic. Also a good topic to add to the restoration resources thread.

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https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/say-goodbye-to-old-yellowed-plastics

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/removinglessening-yellowing-in-the-clear-areas-of-plastics

#145 3 months ago

Todays time in the shop focused on the glamorous task of lamp socket replacement. After seeing how much wax, sanding remnants, and polishing residue had built up in the GI sockets I thought it best to replace them. A number of these sockets also had loose connections and would be nothing but trouble if left in place. I know it has been suggested to replace all the sockets, but after checking all the insert sockets they still feel, look, and light as new. Ok, maybe not new but definitely worth trying vs. replacing.

More or less this was the work area.

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After all the work was done I had a bowl full of crusty sockets.

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The soldering station and sucker earned their keep today. I also replaced that disc capacitor on the front standup switch target with a new .047uf 50V capacitor. In the future I am putting a desoldering gun on the new tool wish list. In fact there is one in my E-bay cart right now waiting for the next 15% off coupon to pop up.

Another accomplishment was replacing the coil sleeves and flipper plungers. Out with the old:

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A partial view of some of the new:

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A couple more things to do on the underside, but the big goal right now is being patient. I want to wait at least a month for the clear to cure before I apply a good coat of wax to the empty playfield. I just looked back and its only been a couple weeks. . . time flies by when you are having fun but takes forever when you are waiting for paint to dry.

#146 3 months ago

Damn those lamp sockets. I changed a bunch on my Supersonic. Should have changed them ALL!

I'm enjoying watching your progress. Good work.

#147 3 months ago

Literally just bought and used a desoldering gun for the first time this past week and now I feel like a moron for waiting so long, it is worth the money for sure.

#148 3 months ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Todays time in the shop focused on the glamorous task of lamp socket replacement. After seeing how much wax, sanding remnants, and polishing residue had built up in the GI sockets I thought it best to replace them. A number of these sockets also had loose connections and would be nothing but trouble if left in place. I know it has been suggested to replace all the sockets, but after checking all the insert sockets they still feel, look, and light as new. Ok, maybe not new but definitely worth trying vs. replacing.
More or less this was the work area.
[quoted image]
After all the work was done I had a bowl full of crusty sockets.
[quoted image]
The soldering station and sucker earned their keep today. I also replaced that disc capacitor on the front standup switch target with a new .047uf 50V capacitor. In the future I am putting a desoldering gun on the new tool wish list. In fact there is one in my E-bay cart right now waiting for the next 15% off coupon to pop up.
Another accomplishment was replacing the coil sleeves and flipper plungers. Out with the old:
[quoted image]
A partial view of some of the new:
[quoted image]
A couple more things to do on the underside, but the big goal right now is being patient. I want to wait at least a month for the clear to cure before I apply a good coat of wax to the empty playfield. I just looked back and its only been a couple weeks. . . time flies by when you are having fun but takes forever when you are waiting for paint to dry.

I read that the 15% off coupon popped up today. You should go check it out.

#149 3 months ago
Quoted from Daditude:

I read that the 15% off coupon popped up today. You should go check it out.

Saw that.

I don't think I've ever downloaded an app -- not even sure if I can on my flip phone.

Looks like I will just have to wait for one I can use the old fashioned way (Never thought I'd be saying that about doing something online!).

#150 3 months ago

As playfield work has progressed I've been putting some thought into the apron.

Sadly, mouses or just time/humidity have done a number on the apron and shooter guide to the point that they looked ok. . . but not good enough for me to put back on the playfield as is. Even after a good cleaning the rust, dirt, and fading were too obvious to me.

I bought my buddy in the graphics business another case or two of beer and we came up with a couple ideas. I know add on decals are available that cover the entire apron top, but I liked the idea of painting the entire apron a base color that matched the wood rails and tweaking it from there. We started with the shooter guide. A before picture with new decal:

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Blasting everything clean:

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And with new paint/decal applied. If I hadn't slightly put the decal on crooked I would be ecstatic with the result, but I'd say even as is I'm a notch or two above happy compared to the original.

5J5A9646 (resized).JPG

That leaves the main apron. I have been searching for another Bally Wide Body Apron via the marketplace to work with and still keep the original as a reference for the artwork. I've been quoted a couple at $50 plus shipping but that is a bit more than I am wanting to spend at this point for an experiment. If I cannot source a donor in the next couple weeks I may try bending some sheet metal and making my own.

I did want to modify the design a bit. Not sure why but "Bally" on an angle has always bothered me -- almost like it was put on that way just so it would fit. We scaled it down to horizontal and I tried cleaning up the other half by eliminating all the fine print, replacing it with "Paragon" in the playfield font. I will paint my new apron blue and add the cut decals on similar to this:

Paragon Apron (resized).jpg

Maybe not to everyone's tastes and that is ok, that is why I will tuck the original in the cabinet for a future owner to swap in should they wish.

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