(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 328 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 7.
#251 47 days ago

You have the effect correct, the collapsing magnetic field when you release the flipper induces a pulse throughout much of the playfield. If that pulse lines up with when the MPU reads the switches if can get a false reading, including in your case a slam switch. It is more common for a pop bumper to fire.

Your problem is probably going to happen the odd time, just less often. I would strongly suggest if it happens again that you pull the flipper wires out of the long cabinet harness from the back box all the way down. I snip them near the driver board connector and pull it out one zip tie at a time, no tie cutting needed. It requires splicing in just a few inches of extra wire.

It is terrible practice to bundle lighting, power and switch matrix wires all together. Conductive powder from the coil stops slowly gets embedded throughout the harness.

#252 46 days ago

Paragon Backglass Comparison Day -- I know everyone is on the edge of their seat.

Right off I will say there are differences. The CPR version seems to highlight the cooler colors (blues) while the original has more pronounced reds/browns. The original also has "Credit" in the credit window and CPR's does not. Here is a side by side laying flat on a table in the shop lighting.

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The next three pictures are the original in the game with 1. the game off, 2. game on with shop lights on, and 3. game on with shop lights off.

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The next three pictures are CPR in the same order (game off, game on/shop lights on, game on/shop lights off).

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My in person eyeball's opinion is mixed. I would prefer the replacement capture some of the warmth that the original has. I do not know how to explain it but the CPR glass actually looks better in the game than it does flat on the table. It looks very nice in normal lighting but when the lights are off there is less "shading" on the CPR glass. While I feel there is definitely something missing from CPR's version I will be content with what they provided. Since taking pictures several more chunks of art fell away from my original -- perhaps at some point I may consider sending it off to BGResto to see what they can do. For now I will thank CPR for providing an alternative to my compromised glass. CPR's work really is well done and I probably would never know a difference without placing the two glasses side by side. I hope they never stop tweaking for perfection though!

#253 46 days ago

My CPR Backglass looks terrible when its lit up in the machine and I wouldn't use it.
The BG backglass looks a lot better but when lit up it doesn't bring the light thru very well and looks dark and I wouldn't use it either.

#254 46 days ago

Your thread has inspired me. I have been looking at getting one, and i finally have the opportunity to see one tomorrow!

#255 46 days ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Your thread has inspired me. I have been looking at getting one, and i finally have the opportunity to see one tomorrow!

Great to hear! I hope you like it as much in person as I have thus far.

Having about 50 games in (just one more. . . ) I can say it was worth the wait to play. Sure I love me some ramps, modes, flashers, and animations from time to time but more often than not I gravitate to these early SS games. The spinner rip on Paragon is right up there with Meteor as far as one of my favorites, especially when the ball zips across the playfield and into the waterfall. Loving the inline drops, forgot how much I liked them on Flash Gordon. The pop in the left outlane adds a fun element of chance -- I find myself holding my breath waiting to see where the ball will end up.

I think Paragon will fit nicely into the game room lineup. A few more details here and there before taking outdoor/daylight pictures of the finished product, then it is taking everything apart again to fit up some stairs and around some corners.

Not trying to get too far ahead of myself, but I am already thinking ahead to the next project. Rather than start a new thread I will probably continue this one with some revisions to the title and initial post -- making it my "official" game refurbishing thread. Hope everyone will stick around for more fun, here is a hint of what is to come.

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#256 46 days ago

So Fathom is next? Awesome!
I can’t wait to see that Medusa, too.

#257 46 days ago

I second what Cletus said

#258 46 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Great to hear! I hope you like it as much in person as I have thus far.
Having about 50 games in (just one more. . . ) I can say it was worth the wait to play. Sure I love me some ramps, modes, flashers, and animations from time to time but more often than not I gravitate to these early SS games. The spinner rip on Paragon is right up there with Meteor as far as one of my favorites, especially when the ball zips across the playfield and into the waterfall. Loving the inline drops, forgot how much I liked them on Flash Gordon. The pop in the left outlane adds a fun element of chance -- I find myself holding my breath waiting to see where the ball will end up.
I think Paragon will fit nicely into the game room lineup. A few more details here and there before taking outdoor/daylight pictures of the finished product, then it is taking everything apart again to fit up some stairs and around some corners.
Not trying to get too far ahead of myself, but I am already thinking ahead to the next project. Rather than start a new thread I will probably continue this one with some revisions to the title and initial post -- making it my "official" game refurbishing thread. Hope everyone will stick around for more fun, here is a hint of what is to come. [quoted image]

I will still buy yours too though!

#259 46 days ago

Regarding the backglass thickness... I think I saw in another thread that you can order different thicknesses from CPR.

Did you get to specify a thickness or you got what they had available?

Is there an option to get it with the metal lift rail, or did you need to get your own or swap with the original?

Thanks!

#260 45 days ago

Would you mind showing me some pics of the boards? I just got a paragon and i need to make sure everything is plugged in correctly.

#261 45 days ago
Quoted from srcdube:

Regarding the backglass thickness... I think I saw in another thread that you can order different thicknesses from CPR.
Did you get to specify a thickness or you got what they had available?
Is there an option to get it with the metal lift rail, or did you need to get your own or swap with the original?

I had read about different thicknesses (somewhere) as well. I had sent an e-mail back to Kevin asking if there was an option for the thicker style original but did not receive a reply back. The glasses may just be standard blanks that they can pull off the shelf and do their "one-of" treatment to.
Sometime back I had ordered a lift rail and plastic trip pieces for another Classic Stern back glass that was never installed (1/8" thickness) from Marcos. The trim fit without modification and the lift rail snugged up with a couple layers of electrical tape.

Quoted from Daditude:

Would you mind showing me some pics of the boards? I just got a paragon and i need to make sure everything is plugged in correctly.

Look back on page five -- there are several pictures of the boards in the upper cabinet with the harnesses installed. The wires usually have some memory to them and tend to bend back to their home spot. There should also be keys in the connectors that line up with a missing header pin on the board (double check in case some are missing) -- that should help ensure everything is in the correct location. If you need to see something specific you can send a PM and Ill take a pic/send it over.

Quoted from cletus:

So Fathom is next? Awesome!

Could be!

#262 43 days ago

HUGE Update! Notice anything different?

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That is right -- I applied the coin door decal. I usually reserve that as the last thing to cross off the list before sticking a fork in the game. . . even though they are never really "done."

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I've seen there are two styles of the diamond shape Bally decal -- the "circle" version which I've applied here or the "arrow" version with Susan B. Anthony on it. The Susan B. version is probably more appropriate especially because I have the center dollar coin option -- but I like the "circle" version better.

No luck getting outside for final pictures today. Too much rain, but there is always tomorrow!

#263 43 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

HUGE Update! The Susan B. version is probably more appropriate especially because I have the center dollar coin option --

It probably shouldn’t be said, but Susan isn’t much of a looker anyway.

#264 43 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

HUGE Update! Notice anything different?
[quoted image]
That is right -- I applied the coin door decal. I usually reserve that as the last thing to cross off the list before sticking a fork in the game. . . even though they are never really "done."
[quoted image]
I've seen there are two styles of the diamond shape Bally decal -- the "circle" version which I've applied here or the "arrow" version with Susan B. Anthony on it. The Susan B. version is probably more appropriate especially because I have the center dollar coin option -- but I like the "circle" version better.
No luck getting outside for final pictures today. Too much rain, but there is always tomorrow!

Do you know anything about the version below?

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#265 43 days ago
Quoted from Daditude:

Do you know anything about the version below?

Looks like the standard version to me.

15
#266 41 days ago

Ready for picture overload? The sun revealed itself yesterday so I rolled Paragon out for some pictures in the light. In retrospect I could have plugged it in so the displays were lit. . . oh well. Very happy with how things turned out -- if you are ever in the neighborhood stop by to play a few games!

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1 week later
#267 28 days ago

So while I hesitate to ever say a game is "done," Paragon is just about there. All I have done is play games on it the last two weeks.

Today I took some time to clean/organize the shop and focus a little time on the next big thing -- a Bally Fathom.

As mentioned earlier I will make this my personal thread devoted to reviving games rather than starting a new topic. Hopefully it will simplify where I need to go when I want to look up past details or pictures. I will change the title and update the first post to accommodate the new game (Paragon will always show up in the browser bar or if cut/pasted). I doubt anyone will care one way or the other. With that lets begin:

Chapter Two: Diving into Another Classic Bally -- I Cannot Fathom what Might Go Wrong!

It was a dark and snowy night many months back when I stumbled across this game. The wife was out of town for the weekend and I had been working on a tractor in the shop before coming home for my nightly time online. A recent and local craigslist posting had "pinball" in the title, curiosity had me click the listing and amongst the collection of stuff from a fella's man cave was listed one word that caught my eye -- Fathom. Could that be the pinball advertised in the title? I called the number and left a voice mail inquiring about the pinball machine. Five minutes later the seller calls back and confirms the pinball was indeed Fathom. I asked a bunch of questions about the game to show my interest level and after a few minutes of back and forth I asked the price. Upon hearing the seller's number I think I caught him off guard when I said that I had cash in hand and could come pick the game up -- now! This was about 8:30pm on a Sunday. He told me he had to look to see if he could find the storage locker key where the game was at and that he'd call me back.

It was a long 10 minutes but he did call me back to say he found the key. He gave me directions and I ran to the car with a handful of tools/money to make an even longer 20 minute drive to the storage unit facility. I looked the game over (with a flashlight) and we talked back and forth for a bit; he mentioned that this game must be popular as he'd received several calls after mine. I tried not to be too eager but I could tell the game was in good condition and wanted to get the seller paid so I could load up. I would cringe every time his phone would ring or signal that he'd received a text!

Once the game was safely loaded I could finally relax -- I must have had an adrenaline rush as I think my heart rate stayed elevated the entire drive home. A couple pictures from the night while/after unloading.

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I bought this game well enough that I can justify investing in some nice things for it. More details to come on that but to begin with lets look over our starting point.

#268 28 days ago

The cabinet is in fair condition. There is some planking, some scuffs, some dings. One of my first tasks will be to pull everything from both the upper and lower cabinet so I can take both to a local Amish cabinet maker to have new cabinets made. There are some perks to living in the middle of nowhere and working on these fella's horses.

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The playfield has mylar covering the bottom half. Some wear is present on the upper region without the mylar. I would not be against some touch up work but the color difference in the blue between mylar to non-mylar areas is just too significant. Luckily I was able to score a CPR Gold Playfield that will be used as a replacement.

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Underside of the playfield looks good and unhacked. The drop target mechs even have a bit of shine to them.

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The inside of the lower cabinet holds obvious differences from Paragon including the speaker size, brackets that support the playfield, and power supply board.

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First thing to do was pull the playfield from the cabinet. I am simply going to have to build a rotisserie should I ever get serious about this stuff.

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The upper cabinet looked about as worn as the lower. All original boards were present (including the original battery! ). The backglass is in excellent condition with no bubbling or flaking that I could find.

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That is where I will leave things for tonite. Next steps will be to completely remove the components from both cabinets. This project may move along even slower than Paragon at times -- but I have the desire to finish something nice and hope to take the proper steps to do so. Hope you'll stick along for the ride!

#269 28 days ago

What's your high score on paragon so far?

#270 28 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

-- I must have had an adrenaline rush as I think my heart rate stayed elevated the entire drive home.

I got this feeling just reading your post. Whew!
I love that new project in the pin hauler rush!
Can’t wait to watch (and comment on) another restoration.

#271 28 days ago

Imagine the worth of THIS paragon if Doc got a hold of it!

ebay.com link » Paragon Pinball Machine 1979 Classic

#272 28 days ago
Quoted from Daditude:

What's your high score on paragon so far?

So far looks like 345660. I've been trying to work on my flipper passes but more often than not I'm either too strong or to too weak (and the ball drains!).

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Quoted from cletus:

I got this feeling just reading your post. Whew!
I love that new project in the pin hauler rush!
Can’t wait to watch (and comment on) another restoration.

It was an intense evening. Doubt I'll get that lucky again but this blind squirrel found a nut at least once in his life!

Quoted from Atari_Daze:

Imagine the worth of THIS paragon if Doc got a hold of it!

Hmm. Quoting the seller: "Could use a couple of new fuses." Sounds a lot like the game I originally started with. . . only I paid a fraction of that price. Doubt I could make it worth much more -- I'm learning that pinball machines don't necessarily appreciate in value in a way that correlates with time and money invested!

#273 28 days ago

Had a friend over the other day and he dropped a high score that will be tough to beat.

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#274 28 days ago
Quoted from John_I:

Had a friend over the other day and he dropped a high score that will be tough to beat.
[quoted image]

I scored 795,300 yesterday, but i have only had the game a couple of weeks. It is certainly a tough game with a lot of nuances
Tractordoc mentioned flipper passes draining...that is a common occurrence for me as well. I can score hundreds of thousands one game and then 30000 the next

#275 26 days ago

Todays efforts focused on the bottom cabinet. Pictures were taken and items were bagged/tagged as they were removed. A summary of everything that came out is pictured below, all boxed up to store until later.

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All that is left is to remove the side rails (maybe tomorrow?) and this part of the cabinet should be ready to take to the wood shop to use as a pattern.

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One of the most interesting things (to me) was the presence of the orginal manufacturing tag. It will be preserved and hopefully carried over to the new cabinet.

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I have some ideas on how I want to paint the new cabinet -- it will be original but at the same time not. That is all I will say for now, let you imagination run wild!

#276 26 days ago

Can’t wait to see what you have in mind. I could see some iridescent paint on the lettering to make it look ‘underwaterish’

#277 26 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Todays efforts focused on the bottom cabinet. Pictures were taken and items were bagged/tagged as they were removed. A summary of everything that came out is pictured below, all boxed up to store until later.
[quoted image]
All that is left is to remove the side rails (maybe tomorrow?) and this part of the cabinet should be ready to take to the wood shop to use as a pattern.
[quoted image]
One of the most interesting things (to me) was the presence of the orginal manufacturing tag. It will be preserved and hopefully carried over to the new cabinet.
[quoted image]
I have some ideas on how I want to paint the new cabinet -- it will be original but at the same time not. That is all I will say for now, let you imagination run wild!

Is it early enough for me to get my name in for this when it is completed?

My goal is to own a tractordoc restored pin!

#278 26 days ago
Quoted from JayDee:

Can’t wait to see what you have in mind. I could see some iridescent paint on the lettering to make it look ‘underwaterish’

Yeah, Doc! Make it sparkle!

I'm experimenting with glitter, florescent, and pearlescent paints for my future Paragon restoration. Nothing too crazy, but enough make it stand out in a crowd.

#279 26 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Todays efforts focused on the bottom cabinet. Pictures were taken and items were bagged/tagged as they were removed. A summary of everything that came out is pictured below, all boxed up to store until later.
[quoted image]
All that is left is to remove the side rails (maybe tomorrow?) and this part of the cabinet should be ready to take to the wood shop to use as a pattern.
[quoted image]
One of the most interesting things (to me) was the presence of the orginal manufacturing tag. It will be preserved and hopefully carried over to the new cabinet.
[quoted image]
I have some ideas on how I want to paint the new cabinet -- it will be original but at the same time not. That is all I will say for now, let you imagination run wild!

I love labels! Glad this is in such good shape. I just recreated the manufactures tag for my shangri-la restoration.

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#280 25 days ago

Suggest a new thread instead of renaming... peeps are gonna want the full Paragon story and Fathom story to review in years to come...don’t wanna confuse people with thread names that don’t follow the content... just a thought.

I’ll be following the Fathom story too regardless.

#281 25 days ago
Quoted from srcdube:

Suggest a new thread instead of renaming... peeps are gonna want the full Paragon story and Fathom story to review in years to come...don’t wanna confuse people with thread names that don’t follow the content... just a thought.

I figure 99% of Pinside will never read my thread anyway, so I might as well write it as I like. If someone really wants to find my work I'm sure they will.

Today I pulled the side rails from the cabinet. I have it down to about a ten minute process at this point. Starting at the flipper buttons I slide a firm scraper under the rails and work the spiral nails out just enough to grab with a pair of wire cutters. I remove the bottom row of nails first then move on to the upper row.

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Ten minutes later. . .

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The glass channels were snug in place and removed easy enough via screwdriver.

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I also opened the upper cabinet today, the original board set still in place.

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The display board has an auxiliary lamp driver on the back that was not present on Paragon.

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The innards were removed and packed up for later.

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The grounding/backing of the upper cabinet is nothing more than a shiny silver paper. I will try to replace that with a thin gage of sheet metal.

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Bare cabinets ready for a road trip.

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My goal is to get them to the paint shop to color match and pick out my paints. Then the cabinet shop to create a clone.

#282 24 days ago

A longer than usual lunch hour afforded me the opportunity to stop at the paint shop today. I am a long way from painting but fun stuff like picking out colors gives me something to look forward to later.

My original idea (as some of you also suggested) is to go with the factory stencil in near factoryish colors but with some metallic sparkle. I'm sure the paint on the cabinet has faded/aged since it was first applied so I allowed myself a little artistic license with my choices. Pictures of the paint chips will give you some idea of what the colors look like, but the effect changes depending on the light/angle you are looking at them.

First, the Base Blue color. It is slightly lighter than the current cabinet blue but I went with the top center color (G4740).

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The Lighter Bue:

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The Green:

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The green is a bit more bold than the original but it was the closest I could get. This will be in a basecoat/clearcoat system -- a little overkill for a cabinet perhaps but half the fun for me in pinball so far is adding my personal touch. I hope it all looks right together in the end. . .

#283 24 days ago

I really enjoy watching you jump in with both feet on these projects. The depths you go to are an inspiration!

#284 24 days ago

That’s going to look sharp! Are you still going to have the hatching in the lettering?

#285 24 days ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

I really enjoy watching you jump in with both feet on these projects. The depths you go to are an inspiration!

Those depths include admiring your work -- I just hope I have the lung capacity to make it back to the surface!

Quoted from JayDee:

That’s going to look sharp! Are you still going to have the hatching in the lettering?

Still planning to have the factory hatching -- my thought is the pearl/metallic would mimic the effect of reflective fish scales.

#286 24 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Those depths include admiring your work -- I just hope I have the lung capacity to make it back to the surface!

Thank you, I've yet to see you get in over your head!

#287 24 days ago

It will make quite a splash on here when it’s all done!

#288 24 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I figure 99% of Pinside will never read my thread anyway

We are the 1%

#289 24 days ago

Just amazing work Doc!!!
Your Paragon thread has been just amazing to read through. Just breathtaking what you've been able to accomplish...and I've learned a ton and appreciate you being so specific with the tools that you have used and how you've gone about your process.
Can't wait to see what you do with the Fathom!

#290 24 days ago

I follow this thread daily. Gives me hope that I can do this level of quality someday.

#291 24 days ago
Quoted from edward472:

We are the 1%

You underestimate the value of your information! I followed the Paragon story so I’ll know where to find it when I need it (and I assume with the machine linked to the thread it should pop up in a search... just thinking some peeps may skip it since the title isn’t Paragon... oh well their loss not mine keep on journaling!

#292 24 days ago
Quoted from srcdube:

You underestimate the value of your information! I followed the Paragon story so I’ll know where to find it when I need it (and I assume with the machine linked to the thread it should pop up in a search... just thinking some peeps may skip it since the title isn’t Paragon... oh well their loss not mine keep on journaling!

Both are linked games for the topic. Hopefully, future people will be able to enjoy a long topic that is Titled “How to restore every single early Bally SS machine ever made”.
I really hope that’s where Doc is going with this.

#293 23 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

I figure 99% of Pinside will never read my thread anyway, so I might as well write it as I like. If someone really wants to find my work I'm sure they will.

I think you might be surprised how many pinsiders have favorited your thread and follow it with great interest (me included, of course!) I know that, on top of the restores, documenting it for others takes a lot of extra time. Thank you for doing so!

#294 23 days ago

All of you guys make my day.

Quoted from cletus:

Hopefully, future people will be able to enjoy a long topic that is Titled “How to restore every single early Bally SS machine ever made”.

There are a couple other Bally's that I have my eye on, but I think an Earthshaker might be next. . . you know, to shake things up a bit.

Quoted from ReadyPO:

I think you might be surprised how many pinsiders have favorited your thread and follow it with great interest (me included, of course!)

Everyone's comments and follows are appreciated big time. I make a lot of the posts to keep a journal for myself but knowing that someone else could benefit makes stopping work for all the pictures worthwhile.
Out of curiosity I looked up the community page and it says there are 57862 Pinsiders (how many active or real? Anyone's guess). As of today we have 41 favorites on our thread -- 41/57862 = 0.07% -- we have a long way to go just to get to 1%!

Anyway, as far as the project at hand goes. Yesterday I spent a lot of time looking over the cabinet. To be honest it really does not look that bad and feels rather solid. There is some mild planking to the sides, some bumps and dings here and there, and some ugly scratches to the bottom. I had simply thought that "new" might be a better starting point than what I have but now I am having second thoughts. It may not be too difficult to clean and reuse the original. I like that idea for several reasons including that I know every hole is where it should be and all measurements are correct. It may be a time saver as well; I can probably sand/clean up this cabinet quicker than my guy can make one (Amish have their own pace at working on things and while my guy does good work you never know when he will be done -- could be next week or six months from now!). Lastly these cabinets are original and have the serial number stamped into them --- I do like retaining some part of originality when possible.

So the next couple days I may be getting the sander out to see what kind of trouble I can get into. I will be sure to post what I find!

#295 23 days ago

I follow everyday, but I dont use the favorite option.

#296 23 days ago
Quoted from Mitch:

I follow everyday, but I dont use the favorite option.

Ditto. Sure there are many others..

#297 23 days ago
Quoted from TractorDoc:

Lastly these cabinets are original and have the serial number stamped into them --- I do like retaining some part of originality when possible.
So the next couple days I may be getting the sander out to see what kind of trouble I can get into. I will be sure to post what I find!

Agree - keep the original if at all possible.

#298 23 days ago
Quoted from Mitch:

I follow everyday, but I dont use the favorite option.

Quoted from Quench:

Ditto. Sure there are many others..

Quoted from TractorDoc:

As of today we have 41 favorites on our thread -- 41/57862 = 0.07% -- we have a long way to go just to get to 1%!

Ditto to what Mitch and Quench said. But I just favorited it now to help you reach 1%

#299 22 days ago

I too am a keen follower of your excellent work.

#300 21 days ago
Quoted from Mitch:

I follow everyday, but I dont use the favorite option.

Quoted from Quench:

Ditto. Sure there are many others..

Quoted from JayDee:

Ditto to what Mitch and Quench said. But I just favorited it now to help you reach 1%

Quoted from Pinslot:

I too am a keen follower of your excellent work.

I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to do a read thru -- no more worrying about statistics!

Quoted from dasvis:

Agree - keep the original if at all possible.

With those thoughts in mind I gave the cabinets a closer look today.

Upper cabinet first. There are a couple small dings and scuffs that should be easy enough to compensate for. Not big enough to fill with resin, but big enough to notice!

5J5A9981 (resized).JPG5J5A9979 (resized).JPG

Across the bottom is a rather large scuff just below the backglass area. The plywood gaps will be easy enough to fix on the part behind the backglass.

5J5A9978 (resized).JPG

One of the upper corners will need a bit more attention. I know it is very minor compared to some of the repairs others have had to do.

5J5A9977 (resized).JPG

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