Removing Side Rails - Vid's Guide

(Topic ID: 125742)

Removing Side Rails - Vid's Guide


By vid1900

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 63 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 42 days ago by justinnap
  • Topic is favorited by 136 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 41 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

7628B175-70E6-4633-A722-9FBC62D8F3E1 (resized).jpeg
D5FC6F78-A02D-44FE-B171-5254FBB1A029 (resized).jpeg
73B1E7F6-DE93-482D-8915-1B5E11048AC6 (resized).jpeg
08335E8C-ABAD-455A-B310-560AB0330F8A (resized).jpeg
Ball guide (resized).png
Brad Setter (resized).jpg
apice70gj__81012.1358283623.1280.1280 (resized).jpg
20180201_202209 (resized).jpg
20180201_202238 (resized).jpg
TOM # 9 (resized).jpg
TOM # 24 (resized).jpg
100_0113 (resized).JPG
pasted_image (resized).png
IMG_1717 (resized).JPG
IMG_1713 (resized).JPG
IMG_1716 (resized).JPG

There are 63 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
16
#1 3 years ago

There are two good ways to remove Side Rails from a game, and the way you choose depends on the finish of the rails.

Rails with their natural "brushed stainless" finish are the easiest, because we can remove any tiny scratches that occur during removal with fine sandpaper.

Rails with Powdercoat, Brass or Chrome Plating are quite fragile, and require much more care.

Let's start with Stainless, as that is what you will encounter 99% of the time.

1.jpg

#2 3 years ago

The first tool in any Rail removing arsenal is a Heavy Duty Scraper. We need a stiffer blade to wedge under the rail and raise the Spiral Nail up a millimeter, so we can pull it out.

Heavy Duty Scrapers have a flat and beveled side to the blade. For this job, the flat side goes against the cabinet, so we don't gouge the wood.

Light Duty Scrapers are super flexible, like the kind you would use for taping drywall. These Light Duty Scrapers are useful for cutting through double sided tape that we sometimes find under a rail.

2.jpg

#3 3 years ago

Make sure the edge of your Scraper is smooth, with no nicks or burrs. If the edge is damaged, grind or file it back to a nice edge. You can knock any sharp corners off with a file.

All we want to do at this stage of the game is raise up the Screw Nail head a millimeter, so don't get too involved scraping everything under the rail.

This game is getting re-stenciled so we don't have to worry about the paint, but if your game has good paint or Decals (the most fragile thing ever put on a pinball machine), you need to run a strip of 2" Blue Painter's Tape along the bottom of the rail, to protect the finish.

If you have a Decaled cabinet, you also need to run a razor blade just under the rails, separating the strip of decal under the rail from the rest of the body. This is so if you catch the decal with your Scraper under the rail, it won't tear down into the visible portion.

3.jpg

#4 3 years ago

The next tool you will need is a pair of End Nipper Cutters.

The jaws come together with the perfect trajectory for removing Spiral Nails that are almost flush with the rail surface.

4.jpg

#5 3 years ago

Even Nippers advertised as "Flush End" or "Flush Cut" are rarely flush.

Even when the picture shows them with a truly flush face, they usually arrive with recessed blade edges like this.

5.jpg

#6 3 years ago

We can easily grind the face flush on a pair of Nippers with a recessed set of blades.

Using a grinding wheel or metal file, carefully grind to the point where the blades meet.

Don't overheat the metal (if it turns blue, you have ruined the temper of the steel), don't press too hard - just let the wheel do the work.

Here is an old pair of Crescent brand Nippers with a chipped jaw. A perfect candidate for grinding.

Smooth your work with a fine file so the Nippers don't scratch the rails.

6.jpg

#7 3 years ago

If you ever tried to remove Spiral Nails with a pry bar, claw hammer, or oscillating cutting tool, you will die inside when you remove your first nail with the Nippers; it's that easy.

The jaws open at exactly the right angle to slip under the head, and out the nail comes.

In fact, about 80% of the time, you can use the Nippers without even prying under the rails with the Scraper.

Even if you get too excited and accidentally Nip the nail head off, you are still doing great. The rails will come off just fine with the nail shafts still in place.

7.jpg

#8 3 years ago

The worst adventure in Rail removal is when the Rails are Powder coated or Plated.

Those beautiful Mike Chestnut brass rails will look terrible with their shiny brass plating scratched off.

So we switch to a removal of a more surgical nature.....

First we need a Punch.

A Punch has a hardened tip that is much harder than the head of the nails.

8.jpg

#9 3 years ago

Next, hit the Punch squarely in the center of the nail head.

One good blow will do it; you don't need a bunch of little taps.

9.jpg

#10 3 years ago

Now that the Nail head is dimpled, the dimple will keep the drill bit from just wondering off and scratching the Rails.

10.jpg

#11 3 years ago

Although the Dimple is 99.96% effective in keeping the drill bit from wandering, we need 100% when dealing with a $400 set of Rails.

Using a BRAND NEW Drill Bit, drill a hole in a piece of scrap wood.

The Bit needs to be brand new to eat the head of the nail off. Used, dull bits will end up just making metal dust, or worse, slipping off the head.

A sharp Bit will get the job done in one second.

11.jpg

#12 3 years ago

Clamp the hole in the scrap wood, directly over the nail head.

See where this is going?

You can't slip off the nail head and scratch up the Rails.

If you started doing this for a living, and needed to make 100s of holes, you would use a Drill Bushing.

A Drill Bushing is a metal guide that keeps the drill bit "in line" and does not wear out like a wood hole would.

You just press the Drill Bushing into a piece of scrap wood and then never have to worry about the hole getting larger from wear.

12.jpg

drill bushing.jpg

http://www.mcmaster.com/#drill-bushings/=wxrhoq

#13 3 years ago

Again with a Brand New Bit, it takes one second to drill off the head.

A sharp drill bit makes CHIPS, and a dull bit makes DUST - remember that if your grandfather never taught you.

13.jpg

#14 3 years ago

14.jpg
#15 3 years ago

With the head now gone, the Rails will be free to be removed, leaving the Nail shafts behind.

15.jpg

#16 3 years ago

Your flush Nippers really come in handy gripping the little stub of a nail shaft.

They are also good for removing broken staples that only have a little bit of leg standing proud.

16.jpg

#17 3 years ago

When reinstalling the Rails, you might want to use small screws to reattach the Rails - Only using Nails around the flipper buttons.

This will keep the Rails in place on route, but make it much easier to replace them in the future.

17.jpg

#18 3 years ago

Another Vid1900 masterpiece!

#19 3 years ago

It's amazing when looking at side rails you think...how the hell, nah, I'll stuff it up.

This is way to simple and now gives me (and other hopefully) the balls to try it. Thumbs up to you good sir!

#20 3 years ago

I think you need your own channel.

#21 3 years ago

Are these the right replacement nails?

http://www.mcmaster.com/#screw-nails/=wxnj9z

#23 3 years ago

When your machine has side decals, one trick is to score the decal with a box cutter by sticking it under the rail at an angle. That way if you lift the decal, it will stop tearing at your cut.

To protect the side art use painters tape below the rail so your missed hammer strikes and putty knife does not make any oppsies..

To stop the area you already lifted to re-adhere, use shims.

DSC01085.JPG
DSC00749.JPG

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

When your machine has side decals, one trick is to score the decal with a box cutter by sticking it under the rail at an angle. That way if you lift the decal, it will stop tearing at your cut.
To protect the side art use painters tape below the rail so your missed hammer strikes and putty knife does not make any oppsies..
To stop the area you already lifted to re-adhere, use shims.

Yes, yes and yes.

Great pictures, BTW!

#25 3 years ago

If anyone ever deserved the Pinside immortal title it's vid!

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from mario_1_up:

I think you need your own channel.

Working on it

chanel.jpg
#27 3 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

To stop the area you already lifted to re-adhere, use shims.

I can't believe this never occurred to me.

#28 3 years ago

anyone have a link to get a pair of the flush nippers? Want to make sure since, as mentioned above, sometimes they say flush, but do not come that way.

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

anyone have a link to get a pair of the flush nippers? Want to make sure since, as mentioned above, sometimes they say flush, but do not come that way.

I've seen them at Woodcraft, but I could not find them on their website.

It's possible they don't carry them anymore, or they are in store only?

#30 3 years ago

I recently, and very accidentally, discovered that the 6" Milwaukee "vise grip" knockoffs that they sell at home depot have a very flat and flush tip with the perfect teeth at the end to grip those flush nails. I just repainted 4 cabinets in the last month and, using this tool, I was able to strip the siderails off in minutes. I slide the scraper under the rail to lift the head a tiny bit, clamp on with "vise grip" and twist as I pull out. I am now saving this tool to only use for siderail removal as to not ruin the tip.
As usual, YMMV, but they are way easier than anything else I've used.

milwaukee.jpg

1 week later
#31 3 years ago

Any tips for removing the metal rail at the very back of the playfield on High Speed?
Will try to photograph later today.
Thanks in advance!

7 months later
#32 3 years ago

Here's a trick I tried this morning and it worked easily and quickly. I put a small metal cutting disk in my Dremmel and cut a slot on the top of the twist pin. Then with a flat head screw driver, I backed it out just a pinch. Then I turned and pulled it out the rest of the way with a pair of pliers. Easy peasy.
Cheers.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from Enaud:

Here's a trick I tried this morning and it worked easily and quickly. I put a small metal cutting disk in my Dremmel and cut a slot on the top of the twist pin. Then with a flat head screw driver, I backed it out just a pinch. Then I turned and pulled it out the rest of the way with a pair of pliers. Easy peasy.
Cheers.

Nice idea. I might put down duct tape around the screw head just as a precaution if there is slippage from dremmeling or unscrewing.

#34 3 years ago

Please see my forum on my Bally eight ball restoration, I used the Milwaukee tool mentioned earlier with great results. I included pics.

Bally Eight Ball Restoration for Charity Event posted by packie1

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from packie1:

Please see my forum on my Bally eight ball restoration, I used the Milwaukee tool mentioned earlier with great results. I included pics.
Bally Eight Ball Restoration for Charity Event posted by packie1

Link instead of just the thread's title: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/bally-eight-ball-restoration-for-charity-event/page/2#post-2850296

#36 3 years ago

I'm going to Home Depot tomorrow and buying one of those Milwaukee 6" Locking Long Nose Pliers. The Home Depot SKU number is 1000044372 and sells for $12.97 (in stock at my local HD store too).

Milwaukee's model number for the pliers is 48-22-3406.

3 weeks later
#37 3 years ago

Thanks vid...going to remove pinbot rails today...

20160131_213230_(resized).jpg

#38 3 years ago

Are the new Stern's the same method? I am purchasing a premium Metallica but want to install the lollipop rails from PBL.

1 year later
#39 1 year ago

I've got my vid recommended tools for side rail removal. The scraper isn't as wide but it's stiff and has the nice bevel on one side. The nippers are flush. Here we go!

IMG_1710 (resized).JPG

#40 1 year ago

Working like a charm!

IMG_1711 (resized).JPG
IMG_1713 (resized).JPG
IMG_1716 (resized).JPG

IMG_1717 (resized).JPG

1 month later
#41 1 year ago

Has anyone tried pulling fishing line behind the rails to separate any old adhesion? Getting ready to change out my rails on Twilight Zone.

1 month later
#42 1 year ago

A question about siderails reminded me of this thread.

I've used vampliers to extract the nails:

amazon.com link »

pasted_image (resized).png

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from stpcore:

Has anyone tried pulling fishing line behind the rails to separate any old adhesion? Getting ready to change out my rails on Twilight Zone.

Did you ever go this? Any words of advice? I need to do my TZ too (head fell and severely dented the rails months ago. Sick of looking at it). I'd really like to preserve the visible side art

-1
#44 1 year ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

Did you ever go this? Any words of advice? I need to do my TZ too (head fell and severely dented the rails months ago. Sick of looking at it). I'd really like to preserve the visible side art

Good luck . I did my Theatre of Magic years before I was a member of pinside with a Brass Beauty kit from I got from Gene . I had no idea what I was doing and damaged the old rails . Now If I want By reading this thread I feel kike I could safely take off my MB side rails to be sent for chrome . I added thin weather dense weather stripping when I installed my Brass Beauty rail back on to my Theatre of Magic 11 years ago . What is the best way to put the rails back on??

100_0113 (resized).JPG

TOM # 24 (resized).jpg

TOM # 9 (resized).jpg

#45 1 year ago
Quoted from wxforecaster:

Did you ever go this? Any words of advice? I need to do my TZ too (head fell and severely dented the rails months ago. Sick of looking at it). I'd really like to preserve the visible side art

I'm hoping to change out the rails within the next 2 weeks. I'm switching out my stainless for powdercoated black. I'll post when it's completed and let you know how the fishing line theory went (if it's needed).

#46 1 year ago

Any ideas on how to fix a couple head dents in rails?
The rails i have are not available to buy.
Ive tried wood and screw driver to bend back up strait, no luck.

#47 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Any ideas on how to fix a couple head dents in rails?
The rails i have are not available to buy.
Ive tried wood and screw driver to bend back up strait, no luck.

You need a sheet metal brake/press to do a pro job.

An experienced bodyman might be able to knock it back with a hammer and backerbar

1 month later
#48 1 year ago

Would like to R&R my Paragon siderails. It looks like the nails are coming up on one side, which also is the side that has bends and dents in them. At some point, i'm going to pull off the nails and try my darnedest to straighten and flatten the rails. Any thoughts about using screws to reinstall instead of nails? I'll post pics when I can get them.

#50 1 year ago

Must have missed that! After looking at the rails a bit more, it appears that someone tried removing them in the past, and did it (very) incorrectly. I may just end up replacing them at the end of the day, since it's a little beat up for sure. Plus the bolt by the flipper button seems to be pretty seized, so getting it off will be a bit of an event.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
From: $ 13.00
Electronics
Third Coast Pinball
$ 7.65
Cabinet Parts
Third Coast Pinball
$ 40.99
Electronics
PinballElectronics.com
From: $ 45.00
Displays
PinballSolutions.eu
2,250 (OBO)
Machine - For Sale
Comox, BC
There are 63 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside