(Topic ID: 337277)

Rebuild Centaur....

By Ten31

1 year ago


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  • Latest reply 17 days ago by Ten31
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There are 76 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 1 year ago

Somebody destroyed a Centaur. At least it was a Centaur 2.

About 20 years ago I acquired a beat-up Centaur 2 playfield. When CPR reproduced the Centaur playfield, I decided to do a rebuild to a standard Centaur, but only recently have I had the time to start the project.

I've acquired other cabinet parts and stuff over the years. I have the harnesses from a Centaur 2 but only the cabinet harness will work. The head harness is routed differently, but I should have everything except the head harness and the knocker (someone cut that off).

I've been building a cabinet from scratch and plan to paint it in the reversed colors similar to this:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/centaur-silver-cabinet

There are a few tweaks to make it look the way I want though. I wanted to keep the girl and the symbols next to her the original colors. PinballPimp made some modifications to the side stencils on request:
Modified stencilsModified stencils

Most of the parts:
Playfield and cabinet partsPlayfield and cabinet parts

CPR playfield:
IMG_3407 (resized).jpgIMG_3407 (resized).jpg

#2 1 year ago

The first task is to build a new cabinet. I wanted to keep the original Bally design but add some improvements where necessary. But, in general, the Bally cabinet isn’t’ the most efficient thing to assemble. It’s somewhat of a puzzle. I imagine they used lots of jigs to get these things together.

I am using 3/4” Baltic birch. Well, not quite. You’ll find out that 2023 plywood isn’t the same dimensions as 1980 plywood. I am using an old blown out Vector cabinet as my template and each piece is exactly ¾” thick. But plywood is now 18mm thick which is about 1mm thinner. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it can add up when you are trying to piece together this cabinet puzzle and you find pieces don’t match up. You don’t want your glass binding because you were 2mm off on your dimensions. The key is to determine if you are more interested in matching inside dimensions or outside. Metal brackets and glass aren’t easy to adjust if your wood is off.

An annoying part of the early Bally cabinets is the constant angles. Because the body is sloped at about 3.5 degrees everything on top of that must be cut at 3.5 degrees or the compliment. And I mean EVERYTHING. Even the metal hinges need to be adjusted. I can see why cabinet designs use a plateau for mounting the head these days.

The first to be cut are the cabinet sides and the evil 3.5-degree slope. The easiest way to do this is with a handheld circular saw. It’s easy to do with a sharp blade. First, I cut the entire panel to length, then marked the front height and the back height and aligned a guide rail for the saw. The back panel was small enough to fit on my table saw.

Cutting side panelsCutting side panels

For the front panel I used my CNC router since it has a couple of cutouts. This was probably overkill since the cutouts are not that difficult to do with a handheld router.

CNC routing frontCNC routing front

There are some dados cut into the sides for the bottom and head supports.

Finished sides and frontFinished sides and front

I am using a double rabbet joint to join the corners. And then glue and screw it. A rabbet joint would probably have been fine though. The original joint is too complex for what I am trying to accomplish.

The bottom piece is a piece of 1/4” (or 6mm) birch plywood.

Using some old cabinet parts to do a sanity check is required to make sure I am not too far off on any dimension.

Sanity checkSanity check

If you have a sharp eye, there is a flaw...

#3 1 year ago

Added the cross braces to the cabinet and glued and screwed it all together. This is where you need to double check everything because there is no going back. The cross braces are dadoed into the sides and so is the cash box area. And make sure the T-Nuts for the transformer board are secured to the bottom of the cross braces because there is no getting them in if you forget.

Body assembledBody assembled

Bossy assembledBossy assembled

Next is drilling the leg holes. I designed and 3D printed a jig. You start with a 1/4" bit to get things started and then move up to a 9/16" bit.

Hole jigHole jig

Like I said earlier. I'm trying to replicate the cabinet as closely as possible but add upgrades where they make sense. So I'm adding metal leg protectors.

Leg protectorLeg protector

We have legs:

IMG_3387 (resized).jpgIMG_3387 (resized).jpg

#4 1 year ago

Kinda lonely in here so I'm gonna follow along.
Looking nice so far. Centaur is such a great machine, you held on to it for 20 yrs? Wow
-Mike

#5 1 year ago

Impressive work so far! Can't wait to see how this progresses.

#6 1 year ago

I like your spirit, but you joinery choices on the cabinet corners are little painful. Are you planning to bondo over the screws and endgrain?

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from jgreene:

I like your spirit, but you joinery choices on the cabinet corners are little painful. Are you planning to bondo over the screws and endgrain?

In my limited experience locking mitre joints are tough! Need a good setup to get those cuts right. I tried with a cabinet I made once, couldn't get it perfect, if you have a nice lift with fine incremental lift control that would be one thing, trying to dial that in manual I found quite difficult. I was using decals for my cab and ended up just doing butt joints.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from jgreene:

I like your spirit, but you joinery choices on the cabinet corners are little painful. Are you planning to bondo over the screws and endgrain?

They will be sealed. I've done a lot of joinery over the years and haven't found it to be an issue. You would really need to abuse it to get the glue to fail and open the seam. The end grain will be sealed and should show after sanding.

#9 1 year ago

Probably not necessary but for completeness I added the vandal plate. But upgraded it to diamond plate.

IMG_3416 (resized).jpgIMG_3416 (resized).jpg

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from Ten31:

They will be sealed. I've done a lot of joinery over the years and haven't found it to be an issue. You would really need to abuse it to get the glue to fail and open the seam. The end grain will be sealed and should show after sanding.

I agree the joint will be plenty strong. Comment was purely on the cosmetics of the end grain.

If anything, the production style lock miter is more prone to separation over time.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from roar:

In my limited experience locking mitre joints are tough! Need a good setup to get those cuts right. I tried with a cabinet I made once, couldn't get it perfect, if you have a nice lift with fine incremental lift control that would be one thing, trying to dial that in manual I found quite difficult. I was using decals for my cab and ended up just doing butt joints.

I used them on a scratch build cabinet. Setup took a lot of trial and error and a bunch off scrap pieces to dial in. More than anything it felt sketchy running parts on end over that monster bit.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from jgreene:

More than anything it felt sketchy running parts on end over that monster bit.

Yep, the thing just doesn't look friendly.

#13 1 year ago

With the body done, this creature now needs a neck. This is where angle hell starts. Every piece needs to be cut at 3.5 degrees. The goal is for the top to be parallel with the bottom and the back to line up with the back of the cabinet. So, every piece is either ripped at an angle or beveled at an angle. Even the hinges are bent at a 3.5-degree angle.

IMG_3408 (resized).jpgIMG_3408 (resized).jpg

To get the front trim parallel with the front and back of the cabinet, it has to be beveled. The rabbet should be too in order to get the best glue joint. After taking apart a Vector cabinet, that seems to be what they did back in the day.

IMG_3409 (resized).jpgIMG_3409 (resized).jpg

If everything is angled right, the back should line up.

IMG_3450(Edited) (resized).jpgIMG_3450(Edited) (resized).jpg

IMG_3451(Edited) - Copy (resized).jpgIMG_3451(Edited) - Copy (resized).jpg

And the front trim should line up with the slot which is parallel to the front and back. It's not super critical since most of it is covered by the playfield and glass trim, but I know it's there.

IMG_3453 - Copy (resized).jpgIMG_3453 - Copy (resized).jpg

These are the hinges I yanked off of a Vector cabinet. I thought they were bent because the head had to be bolted on with a steel plate and looked like it had fallen off the back of a truck. So, I assumed the hinges were damaged. But apparently, they were bent at the factory to square up when the head is attached.

IMG_3452 - Copy (resized).jpgIMG_3452 - Copy (resized).jpg

Now it needs a head.

#14 1 year ago

I’m glad I found this thread. I was going to try making a Bally cabinet, but…damn. It looks hard.

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from swampfire:

I’m glad I found this thread. I was going to try making a Bally cabinet, but…damn. It looks hard.

It is, mostly because it's a bit of a puzzle. Feels like playing Jenga. I'm not even sure how they came up with this design. The head has some weird things going on too.

#16 1 year ago

On to the head. We are out of the angle zone now so it's pretty much just a square box. Except for the face frame which has and angled cut but that isn't too critical.

The difference in the plywood thicknesses comes into play a little bit. If you take the original outside dimensions, then there is a little too much slop for the back glass and the lock bar. I went with the inside dimensions.

IMG_3426 (resized).jpgIMG_3426 (resized).jpg

The back is a 1/2" piece of Baltic birch cut to fit inside the opening. There is some glue holding it in but it's mostly secured by the inside corner supports.

IMG_3424 (resized).jpgIMG_3424 (resized).jpg

The face frame is cut from poplar. which seem to be what they used originally. Ther are also two pieces of molding that were custom cut. One goes on the top piece of the face frame, the other acts as the bottom of the face frame. I used clear pine which is pretty soft and ran them through my table saw until they looked like the right profile. They have slight round overs which I did with some 150-grit sandpaper. I found bits that makes these, but they are expensive and look very scary.

IMG_3423 (resized).jpgIMG_3423 (resized).jpg

There are a lot of notches in this thing to accommodate the lock bar. If you don't add them before assembly then it will be difficult to fit the lock bar later. The lock bar must have caused some headaches during design. It requires the main part of the head to have two notches cut out. Then the top of the face frame needs a recess routed out. And then, finally, the top trim needs a hidden slot. All of this allows the lock bar to rotate and not hit anything. There is also a dado that runs the length of the top of the frame that is slightly wider than the thickness of the backglass plus it's plastic edging. This is critical or your backglass isn't going in.

IMG_3427 (resized).jpgIMG_3427 (resized).jpg

If all goes well it should look like this. All of those notches should be hidden.

IMG_3430 (resized).jpgIMG_3430 (resized).jpg

Always test your Centaur head with a Vector backglass. Centaur doesn't have a lift channel yet and I don't want to drop it either. Vector and Centaur have the same thickness (1/8"). Older backglasses can be 1/4". Make sure you get the right thickness for your machine. You can see what I call the "awkward notch" (it just looks weird) on the side of the frame for the lock.

IMG_3429 (resized).jpgIMG_3429 (resized).jpg

Now make sure the head actually lines up with all the mounting holes and hinges.

IMG_3442 (resized).jpgIMG_3442 (resized).jpg

IMG_3443 (resized).jpgIMG_3443 (resized).jpg

The light panel is cut on the CNC router out of 1/2" MDF.

IMG_3403 (resized).jpgIMG_3403 (resized).jpg

#18 1 year ago

Nice work!

#19 1 year ago

Following

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from Ten31:

Somebody destroyed a Centaur. At least it was a Centaur 2.
About 20 years ago I acquired a beat-up Centaur 2 playfield. When CPR reproduced the Centaur playfield, I decided to do a rebuild to a standard Centaur, but only recently have I had the time to start the project.
I've acquired other cabinet parts and stuff over the years. I have the harnesses from a Centaur 2 but only the cabinet harness will work. The head harness is routed differently, but I should have everything except the head harness and the knocker (someone cut that off).
I've been building a cabinet from scratch and plan to paint it in the reversed colors similar to this:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/centaur-silver-cabinet
There are a few tweaks to make it look the way I want though. I wanted to keep the girl and the symbols next to her the original colors. PinballPimp made some modifications to the side stencils on request:
[quoted image]
Most of the parts:
[quoted image]
CPR playfield:
[quoted image]

Cool project.
I did silver there.
White here
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hep-this-week-9-17-18/page/91#post-5169664
Red here
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hep-this-week-9-17-18/page/179#post-6193790
I think Red was the closest complete because prior to that I had to make all the color changes manually off an original set.
When I did the red I had Jeff make stencils for that but still had to do some manual cuts and changes.
Centaurs black and white playfield make it pretty easy to reinvent the cabinet color wise.
I also converted a Centaur 2 into a regular Centaur and found it to be much more complex than I anticipated.
The head harness was a big part of that.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from High_End_Pins:

Cool project.
I did silver there.
White here
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hep-this-week-9-17-18/page/91#post-5169664
Red here
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hep-this-week-9-17-18/page/179#post-6193790
I think Red was the closest complete because prior to that I had to make all the color changes manually off an original set.
When I did the red I had Jeff make stencils for that but still had to do some manual cuts and changes.
Centaurs black and white playfield make it pretty easy to reinvent the cabinet color wise.
I also converted a Centaur 2 into a regular Centaur and found it to be much more complex than I anticipated.
The head harness was a big part of that.

Yep, that was the inspiration. I don't have the ability to do the finer shades that you used so it will be a basic 3 paint finish. Mostly thinking about what finishes might work with the armor. Playing with ideas in Photoshop helps.

A Centaur 2 to Centaur conversion is more than just a cabinet swap as you mentioned. The head harness just won't work other than salvaging it for some wire or connectors that may be hard to get. I'm looking into getting one made but if that falls through, I can route it myself. It will take a while, but I have the time. The cabinet harness is similar but appears to have some updates to the connectors where it joins the head harness. But those can be swapped out. But it's a learn-as-you-go things which is part of the fun.

#22 1 year ago

You sharp eyed folks were able to see my screw up. There's always one, hopefully just one but I'm prepared for another.

I'm using a blown-out Vector cabinet as my template. It looks like it fell off the back of a truck, so I took it apart for measurements. I know each cabinet probably has some small differences, but I forgot that Vector has a much different playfield. It's got an upper playfield which makes the playfield sit lower. I used the front panel as a template which made the shooter rod hole too low. When test fitting the playfield, the rod would actually shoot UNDER the playfield. I guess it could be used as a manual multi-ball launcher.

Two options. Throw away the entire cabinet and start over. Or just plug the hole and route a new one. I'm not one to do it the hard way so I plugged the hole. Just cut out a plywood plug roughly the shape of the hole. A little smaller because you want a good amount of glue slop. The glue helps expand the plug and fill the seam all the way through. Wait until it dries, then sand smooth.

IMG_3435 (resized).jpgIMG_3435 (resized).jpg

Then make a new template out of MDF and use a pattern cutting bit on your router. But probably get the actual measurements off of a real Centaur first.

IMG_3440 (resized).jpgIMG_3440 (resized).jpg

Hole where it is supposed to be.

IMG_3439 (resized).jpgIMG_3439 (resized).jpg

And double check with an actual rod.

IMG_3436 (resized).jpgIMG_3436 (resized).jpg

Repeat for other screw ups.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from Ten31:

Yep, that was the inspiration. I don't have the ability to do the finer shades that you used so it will be a basic 3 paint finish. Mostly thinking about what finishes might work with the armor. Playing with ideas in Photoshop helps.
A Centaur 2 to Centaur conversion is more than just a cabinet swap as you mentioned. The head harness just won't work other than salvaging it for some wire or connectors that may be hard to get. I'm looking into getting one made but if that falls through, I can route it myself. It will take a while, but I have the time. The cabinet harness is similar but appears to have some updates to the connectors where it joins the head harness. But those can be swapped out. But it's a learn-as-you-go things which is part of the fun.

The white version you have up there with the black background is the missing link to make it look most complete when changed.
I had third coast make me a head harness even though I could do it myself it just wasn’t practical given the extra time it would add to the project at the time.
Can’t remember all the differences I ran into. Some were obvious others last minute or not as much. I may have documented it in the thread.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from Ten31:

You sharp eyed folks were able to see my screw up.
...
Repeat for other screw ups.

Screw-ups are part of what makes it real. I like seeing those included as guideposts for the next guy. I support your easy fix; it'll be invisible once the cab is painted. Nice recovery.

#25 1 year ago

One missing piece for the cabinet is the metal playfield supports. I never actually use these since I just rotate the playfield back to the head and secure it with bungie cords. But they are in the original and I wanted them. My Vector cabinet has something similar, but they are much bigger and would probably interfere with the drop target mechs that are located on the sides of the playfield. I think Centaur had to use a modified version.

I took some 3/4" aluminum L-bar and bent it in a vice break.

First, I cut a couple of 90 degree notches where the bends are.

IMG_3418 (resized).jpgIMG_3418 (resized).jpg

The vice break makes pretty quick work of it.

IMG_3413 (resized).jpgIMG_3413 (resized).jpg

Looks like a pretty close match.

IMG_3414 (resized).jpgIMG_3414 (resized).jpg

If all looks good, make another one.

IMG_3419 (resized).jpgIMG_3419 (resized).jpg

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from Ten31:

Or just plug the hole and route a new one.

Even Bally did it sometimes:

IMG_0002a.jpgIMG_0002a.jpg

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from Quench:

Even Bally did it sometimes:
[quoted image]

I strive to be authentic.

#28 1 year ago

Playing around with some painting ideas. Centaur was silver on black. Reversing that makes it black on silver. I think the side rails can be black. I would like to add more red, maybe in the form of some metal flake in the side rails.

render (resized).jpgrender (resized).jpg

3 months later
#29 10 months ago

It's been a while. I've been experimenting with different paints. Painting silver is not for the lighthearted. Especially large areas of it. I went with the Molotow spray paints. The silver adheres well and is very shiny in the sun. Ther were other silver paints that looked slightly better, but they lifted when an adhesive was applied so they stencil would have just ripped the silver right off. Silver paint has a lot of silver flakes in it to give it the metallic look and that doesn't always bind with the surface well. I sealed the silver layer first with some Montana Gold gloss varnish. I needed a fairly uniform surface for the stencil and silver is difficult to lay down uniformly because of the flakes.

The overall effect if pretty cool. It's difficult to photograph silver paint without it look like gray but in the sun the silver really shines. The head worked out well but I imagine the cabinet is going to be a lot harder.

IMG_3612 (resized).jpgIMG_3612 (resized).jpgIMG_3613 (resized).jpgIMG_3613 (resized).jpg
#30 10 months ago
Quoted from roar:

In my limited experience locking mitre joints are tough! Need a good setup to get those cuts right. I tried with a cabinet I made once, couldn't get it perfect, if you have a nice lift with fine incremental lift control that would be one thing, trying to dial that in manual I found quite difficult. I was using decals for my cab and ended up just doing butt joints.

Use some scrap wood until you get height correct for each bit.

Then mark and save the 2 pieces of correct scrap.

Now you can set up the router height in seconds, any time you need locking miters by using the scrap as your alignment gauge.

(Even if I did not have a router available, I would cut 45° miters to avoid the end grain being exposed from butt joints. Not only does this make a cosmetically nice joint, you also get more surface area for glue)

#31 10 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Use some scrap wood until you get height correct for each bit.
Then mark and save the 2 pieces of correct scrap.
Now you can set up the router height in seconds, any time you need locking miters by using the scrap as your alignment gauge.
(Even if I did not have a router available, I would cut 45° miters to avoid the end grain being exposed from butt joints. Not only does this make a cosmetically nice joint, you also get more surface area for glue)

I would add to this, your setup blocks are accurate *so long as the thickness of your material is exactly the same as the setup block material.*
If I’m running lock miters in plywood, I use pieces from the same sheet my final part is made from, and caliper to verify the thickness of my parts if I have to use multiple sheets. It really is an exceptionally tight Woodworking tolerance.

It’s a very good idea to use feather boards in order to keep the piece from wandering. The first time I made a repro cabinet it was white-knuckled, as you have to run the largest parts (lower cabinet sides) on end, up in the air, in the worst possible use case for that setup. It worked but I think I held my breath the whole time and was VERY FOCUSED. It might be slightly less of a pain with a shaper, as the fence is taller, but there’s still no great way to do it. (Why not run the sides laying flat? Because you’d have to clamp front to back when assembling, and you can get consistent pressure that way because the back is higher than the front.)

I’ve considered ways of using miters without the locking joinery; I have a Lamello Zeta-p joiner which might work really well. But the issue there is spacing the connectors appropriately and not having to drill through them for leg bolt locations. Theoretically you could just biscuit a mitered corner, but it seems like it would be a real pain to get those joints to close, and messy. The Lamello Clamex connectors are easy to control and you can do a nice setup before glueing very easily.

Still, there’s nothing as good as a locking miter. It’s a supremely satisfying joint when finished, utterly sharp and beautiful with o my light post-glue up sanding, and it’s wicked strong. Having said that, I have a local CNC shop working on a repro classic stern cabinet for me and I’m having them just use drawer lock joinery. The locking miters really are just too time consuming and high-stakes for my liking, and I’m saying that as a professional cabinet maker who’s been doing high end loony stuff for the past 15 years.

So, for me I’m pretty convinced a drawer lock detail, well fitted using high grade plywood will be a perfectly good choice. But if I was making just one cabinet reproduction for myself I might bust out the lock miter bit again. I’d have to have not much else in my plate though, lol.

7 months later
#32 79 days ago

Ok, I now have a new least favorite thing to do, paint silver cabinets.

Sorry for the long delay but I was struggling with some detail on painting the silver base coat. In general, it went pretty smoothly but there is always something that can go wrong and when it's silver pain, it gets magnified 100x. On one side, when I was removing the stencil, a small patch of paint dislodged. I'm not sure why. It could be I didn't clear the sanding dust completely or I touched it with my hand which made the paint adhesion less firm in that spot. Regardless, no matter how I tried to patch it, it was just too noticeable.

Silver paint is a tricky beast because of the silver particles. They don't add any adhesion as far as I can tell, and they need to be dispersed in the medium so it blends well. Maybe a pro can do it but the more I tried to feather using an airbrush, the more obvious it got. In the end I just stripped that side, ordered a new set of stencils for that side from PinballPimp and started again. This time it worked. There were some minor flaws that could be dealt with but the key to silver paint is to know when to quit. I added two coats of clear and put it to bed.

I don't know how High_End_Pins does it, but it will take years off your life.

But it turned out really well. It's hard to see in photos because the camera doesn't pick of the particles all that well, but when the sun hits the cabinet, it really lights up.

Now I can get on to the more exciting stuff like repopulating the playfield.

IMG_3728 (resized).jpgIMG_3728 (resized).jpgIMG_3729 (resized).jpgIMG_3729 (resized).jpgIMG_3743 (resized).jpgIMG_3743 (resized).jpgIMG_4374 (resized).jpgIMG_4374 (resized).jpgIMG_4379 (resized).jpgIMG_4379 (resized).jpg
1 week later
#33 72 days ago

Time to move on to populating the playfield. I have some Yoppsicles on order so while I'm waiting for those, I am cleaning the wiring harness. On first inspection it doesn't look that bad but like all used harnesses it has some dirt. Read on...
IMG_4422 (resized).jpgIMG_4422 (resized).jpg

First thing to do is find something that can hold the harness. A 5-gallon bucket will do.
IMG_4423 (resized).jpgIMG_4423 (resized).jpg

I filled it with hot water and some dishwasher detergent. I put a lid on it and made my own dishwasher by rocking the bucket back and forth to agitate it. Good upper body workout. After about ten minutes of this the dirt reveals itself.
IMG_4424 (resized).jpgIMG_4424 (resized).jpg

I dumped out the dirty water then refilled with some more water and PurplePower degreaser and repeated the process. Then did a final rinse with some clean water. After that I used compressed air to get the water out of connectors and sockets and even between the wires.
IMG_4425 (resized).jpgIMG_4425 (resized).jpg

A final blow down with a DeWalt blower. This isn't a leaf blower; it has a more concentrated blast of air.
IMG_4426 (resized).jpgIMG_4426 (resized).jpg

Finaly, I put it in a solar oven to dry out completely. In this case, the back of an SUV with the windows up on a sunny day.
IMG_4427 (resized).jpgIMG_4427 (resized).jpg

#34 72 days ago

For some smaller harness I'm going to try my ultrasonic cleaner. I'm not sure if these things really work but I got a jenky ass one from some shit company that I will never deal with again. I'm pretty sure they just label slapped their name on some generic unit anyways.

But the cables will fit in the basket.
IMG_4429 (resized).jpgIMG_4429 (resized).jpg

I added some PurplePower and turned on the heat and let it go for 30 minutes.
IMG_4430 (resized).jpgIMG_4430 (resized).jpg

Gave everything a final rinse and into the solar oven.
IMG_4431 (resized).jpgIMG_4431 (resized).jpg

#35 71 days ago

Nice project. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

#36 71 days ago

Moving on to the backbox. Since I'm reusing a Centaur playfield cable for a regular Centaur cabinet, the cable harness has a few minor differences. To get that sorted out I need to get the boards for the backbox in place. The first thing to do is get the ground plane fitted. I had the idea to reuse the grungy old Vector ground foil that I had. It's pretty nasty and that stuff is basically tin foil on cardboard. I decide to make a new one out of roof flashing.
IMG_4436 (resized).jpgIMG_4436 (resized).jpg

This stuff can be cut with a utility knife since it's so thin. But use gloves and deburr the edges with a deburring tool because it will turn into a razor blade.
IMG_4437 (resized).jpgIMG_4437 (resized).jpg

Once it's cut to size, I made a 45-degree block of wood to do the bends. Again, this stuff is thin, so no fancy jigs are required. Just line of the block and hand bend it.
IMG_4439 (resized).jpgIMG_4439 (resized).jpg

Do a quick test fit. I will secure it with some flat head screws instead of staples.
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#37 71 days ago

A lot of people bash the Centaur 2 cabinet. When re painted I think it fits this title very well .

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#38 71 days ago

And changing the paint scheme can certainly improve the look of the game. Was not fond the EBDLE gold cabinet base color

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#39 70 days ago

On your silver paint - are you using automotive paints?

I had to build a new head for a Centaur and sanded/repainted the lower cabinet. It was my first time using silver paint, but I didn’t have any issues. One thing it have started to do is first use a light misting of white base before applying any color I’m worried about covering well. This makes a night and day difference. It’s really hard to get, say, a truly rich yellow when you’re painting over black. But a little bit of white first makes it possible to cover decently and without a ton of buildup.

Since using auto paints I haven’t looked back. The way those layers cross-link results in zero paint lifting or tearing at the edges. I will say, the stencils really are hard to remove, like all that solvent activates their adhesive or something, so that adds to the time you spend (I don’t know if HEP has any tricks for speeding that process up; removing stencils is my least favorite part of cabinet painting.) But, the extra work removing them is made up for by the clean result. I haven’t had to sand high edges at all, there usually aren’t any. What little I get at the bottom I can usually just gently rub down smooth by hand. By the time you get 3 applications of matte clear coat on, it’s very smooth and looks absolutely professional.

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#40 70 days ago
Quoted from Ten31:

The first thing to do is get the ground plane fitted. I had the idea to reuse the grungy old Vector ground foil that I had. It's pretty nasty and that stuff is basically tin foil on cardboard. I decide to make a new one out of roof flashing.

Yeah, I can’t stand that lousy foil face cardboard junk. The sheet aluminum at the local lumberyard is great.
If you want to be a little bit lazy, you can always just slice the sides separate from the back and run a ground jumper between the planes.

#41 70 days ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Yeah, I can’t stand that lousy foil face cardboard junk. The sheet aluminum at the local lumberyard is great.
If you want to be a little bit lazy, you can always just slice the sides separate from the back and run a ground jumper between the planes.

I'm using Belton rattle can paints. It goes on pretty easily with the right nozzle. Since the art is inverted, the silver goes down first, then the read and finally the black so the colors get darker as you progress.

#42 65 days ago

Test fitting all the boards in the backbox. I will be using all new boards, but I wanted to make sure the original boards would still fit correctly.

There's always something to watch out for. The clearance for the Say-It-Again board is very small with the light panel closed. The diagonal supports for the head in the back corners on my build are slightly larger than the originals. Fortunately, there is still clearance with the panel closed but it's not something obvious when you start building.
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Both the SIA and Aux light board use short PCB mounting rails. I guess there are long, medium and short versions. The long and medium are available still, but I don't see the short ones listed anywhere. I just took a couple of mediums and cut them down to size.
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#43 65 days ago

For the light panel I needed new light baffles. I have some old yellowing ones, but they look pretty unsightly. And pulling the staples out of those is annoying. I didn't see any exact replacements for sale. There are some that are close but not quite the same, so I just printed my own out of TPU.
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I'm using the Pinitech LED score displays. I've test fitted the PCBs to get everything aligned.

The light baffles look good.
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Door closes, SIA is happy.
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#44 65 days ago

Are you painting the light insert white? It'll help reflect/disperse G.I. lighting onto the backglass.

#45 65 days ago
Quoted from Quench:

Are you painting the light insert white? It'll help reflect/disperse G.I. lighting onto the backglass.

The panel will be painted. I need to get all the screw holes drilled so I can fill any errant ones. And drilling into MDF always causes some slight mounding around the drill hoe so I want to sand those flush before painting.

#46 65 days ago

Making sure the playfield harness matches up with the boards.
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Test fitting a new backbox harness from @mk1mod0.
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Adding cable clamps. I have bayonet sockets on order from PBR for the LEDs.
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#47 64 days ago

Made a new tilt board or whatever it's called. The originals always look like an afterthought with leftover plywood. I'll probably paint it silver. Now that everything is in place it's time for the cabinet harness to go into the cleaner.

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#48 63 days ago
Quoted from Ten31:

Made a new tilt board or whatever it's called. The originals always look like an afterthought with leftover plywood. I'll probably paint it silver. Now that everything is in place it's time for the cabinet harness to go into the cleaner.
[quoted image]

I installed a system 11 box to remove the high voltage from being exposed like the way that service outlet is...also installed an IEC style plug at the rear of the machine like in the later Williams games...Not exactly original but I thought a good improvement. Looking good though...I'm waitng on painting my cabinet to finish my game...just can't seem to get to it...

#49 63 days ago
Quoted from monkfe:

I installed a system 11 box to remove the high voltage from being exposed like the way that service outlet is...

Yeah, that part has always bothered me. I'll probably 3D print a cover to keep things more isolated.

Quoted from monkfe:

I'm waitng on painting my cabinet to finish my game...just can't seem to get to it...

Painting is the biggest time suck on a build. Building the cabinet was fairly quick but I've been painting for 6 months.

#50 62 days ago

Other than Wedge in Star Wars, I really hate wedges. Wedgies are a close second. So, I'm replacing all the wedge sockets with bayonets. I ordered a bunch of #4762 sockets from PBR. These are the closest to the original wedge socket as far as clearance goes. Using the flush mount bayonet sockets places the bulb 1/4" higher which would hit the back glass in this case. One of tabs is elevated in the new sockets so I will either daisy chain insulated wire or run flush mounted braid and just solder a vertical jumper for each socket. The insulated wire seems simpler.

Now that all the sockets and cables are routed, I will strip everything off and paint the board. Then reassemble and solder.
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Clearance looks good.
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