(Topic ID: 125742)

Removing Side Rails - Vid's Guide

By vid1900

9 years ago


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  • 81 posts
  • 43 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Mthomasslo
  • Topic is favorited by 211 Pinsiders

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There are 81 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 6 years ago

Whomever tried this gave up after removing about 4 nails and leaving the rest partially pulled it is a bit more mangled than the pics show

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1 month later
#52 6 years ago

Tacoo pointed out some flush cut nippers that don't need to be ground flush.

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@ $13 where have you been all my life?

http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/luthier-tools/pliers/fastcap-fret-cutters-flush-cutting-end-nips/

#53 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Tacoo pointed out some flush cut nippers that don't need to be ground flush.

@ $13 where have you been all my life?
http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/luthier-tools/pliers/fastcap-fret-cutters-flush-cutting-end-nips/

Sure would have been handy yesterday before I ground mine down.

#54 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Tacoo pointed out some flush cut nippers that don't need to be ground flush.

@ $13 where have you been all my life?
http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/luthier-tools/pliers/fastcap-fret-cutters-flush-cutting-end-nips/

Found it on ebay for $15.29 shipped:

ebay.com link: itm

1 month later
#55 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

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.

HF didn't have flush End Nipper Cutters and Lowe's/HD only have semi-flush. Where do you get these? (NM, I see the one on eBay from Forceflow. Will order it. I didn't finish reading this topic to the end)

I plan to use a Picture Framing Brad Setter to push the nails back in.

Something like this.

http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=32117&cat=1,43293

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1 week later
#56 6 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

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.

Is this the best tool for raising the nail up on these metal ball guides?

I've tried wiggling mine behind the guide and can't seem to budge the nail. I don't want to damage the metal guide.

This is what I'm working with. The donor game has good metal guides. I want to remove them from the donor game without damaging them so I can use them on this game.

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#57 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

Is this the best tool for raising the nail up on these metal ball guides?
I've tried wiggling mine behind the guide and can't seem to budge the nail. I don't want to damage the metal guide.
This is what I'm working with. The donor game has good metal guides. I want to remove them from the donor game without damaging them so I can use them on this game.

If you absolutely can't get a scraper behind the guide, then remove the rail and drill off the head:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/removing-side-rails-vids-guide#post-2409994

#58 6 years ago

Ouch ok. I'll try that as a last resort if I have to. I'm able to get the scraper behind the guide but wiggling it doesn't budge the nail. Maybe stick a piece of metal behind the scraper to protect the wood and wiggle the scraper a little more vigorously?

Thanks,
Bruce

#59 6 years ago

The scraper only needs to open up a millimeter of space for the cutters to grab the head, so it does not take much

It's so fast to drill it, don't waste any time fooling with a scraper if the nails are rusted stuck.

4 months later
#60 5 years ago

Any tips for removing the rest of the siderails and in particular the double sided tape?

I recently took the side rails off my Fish Tales and with the rails came a lot of cabinet wood. I also bent the rails in the process. Admittedly I wasn’t very careful because I was replacing the decals and the siderails anyway (and I had a new tube of wood filler), but I was thinking there’s got to be a better way. I used a hammer to hit the scraper up under the siderails and did a bit of pulling.

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#61 5 years ago
Quoted from branlon8:

Any tips for removing the rest of the siderails and in particular the double sided tape?
I recently took the side rails off my Fish Tales and with the rails came a lot of cabinet wood. I also bent the rails in the process. Admittedly I wasn’t very careful because I was replacing the decals and the siderails anyway (and I had a new tube of wood filler), but I was thinking there’s got to be a better way. I used a hammer to hit the scraper up under the siderails and did a bit of pulling.
[quoted image]

Apply heat to soften up the tape... and make sure you aren't digging into the cabinet when scraping. Use less force.

2 months later
#62 5 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Apply heat to soften up the tape... and make sure you aren't digging into the cabinet when scraping. Use less force.

Absolutely. You don’t even need a heat gun...a blowdryer is something I commonly use. On the Hot setting gives off more than enough heat.

1 month later
#63 5 years ago

The side rails on our Gottlieb Swing-Along wrap around a piece of plywood making it impossible to slide a putty knife underneath to loosen the nails.
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One solution mentioned here is to drill out the nails... I opted for another method that worked very well for me. I used the putty knife to loosen the nails at each end of the side rail and then created a long wedge which I tapped down the side of the rail. Once the nail was driven out a bit, I would remove the wedge, extract the nail and repeat for the next nail further in.
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The wedge was made from a thin plywood strip I had lying around. I mitered the end and wrapped the wedge in UHMW tape (mostly because I also had that lying around). I’m not sure the slick tape was really necessary, but it did make it easy to insert and remove the wedge.
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It doesn’t seem like there are many games with the wrap-around side rails, but thought I’d post this to document another option. Perhaps there is a circumstance when using the putty knife against the cabinet artwork is undesireable... the wedge method could be used to keep all the prying at the ends of the rail and underneath.

6 months later
#64 4 years ago

Ok, read through this whole post, and it helped me get my rails off no problem, so many many thanks for that. However it's only half the equation. What is the best tool for reinstalling the rails without damaging them? Most of the holes are dimpled inwards, so any regular hammer is going to hit the rail trying to get the new nails flush, since the heads will sit somewhat under the main surface due to the dimple. A rubber mallet seems like it will get gouged by the small nail, and also could dent the rail. Using a small punch seems like it could slip of the nail head, or scratch and mar the nail head as well.

What is everyone doing for re-installation?

Also I saw screws mentioned as an option, but what size are people using?

2 weeks later
#65 4 years ago

3rd time in 3 years I've come back to this thread!
In review why I came back.
What size and style? Poking around pinside pinball life sells a rail tape, 3/4 inch double sided.
I'm also seeing 1/2 is fine. 3m @ Lowes is about the same cost as pinball life.

4 months later
#66 4 years ago

Thanks everyone for your help. Going to try tomorrow

1 week later
#67 4 years ago

Left is heat and peeling carefully with fingers
Right was naptha/goo gone/heat and putty knife - took twice as long and made a mess, would not recommend

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3 months later
#68 4 years ago

I’ve removed several side rails over the years. I’ve tried putty knives, razor blades, etc. Through trial and error I found this little tool does the best job for me. It a label peeler mostly used in supermarkets to remove shelf tags. It can cut from 3 sides, can be sharpened like a knife as needed and it flexible enough to keep it away from the side art. I’ve been able to remove side rails in minutes without any damage.

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#69 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

A question about siderails reminded me of this thread.
I've used vampliers to extract the nails:
amazon.com link »
[quoted image]

I ordered this tool on your advice - I wanted to remove the rails from my Space Shuttle. I struggled with a scraper at first, but I quickly found that since the nails have spiral threads, all I had to do was grab the head with the Vampliers, twist to the left slightly, and the nail would easily “unscrew”. No other tools needed.

Great tool - Thanks for the tip, Force. Flow. Sorry, Mr. Flow. Mr. Force?

1 week later
#70 4 years ago

Vid,
You’ e given me great advice in the past, so extra thanks!

Wanted to say that I’m looking to replace my original FH side rails with brass rails (that I have from a 2 yr. ago anticipatory purchase). Read through badically everything I could find from you. Any idea where
i find brass plated (or it’s best imitation) threaded nails (or just screws) to match the new installation in USA or anywhere else for that matter)?

Then, how do I install a threaded nail without damaging the brass finish?

I love how you can almost always quote or hyperlink your own material on this site, btw. I looked awhile and never found info on it. Saw one person was planning a picture
Frame brad or rivet press, but wanted your insight before I screw this up. I have more money into my FH resto than I actually paid on the game when I got it.
The resto is not a sale item (ever), and so if there is a “right way” to do it, I know you are the one to ask. Thanks in advance even if you have no experienced advice for me. I want to avoid using screws if possible (to retain the original concept), but maybe that’s the only way to do this with brass rails and by non-mechanized means.

Josh

4 weeks later
#71 4 years ago

Following the advise on this thread I got the rails off the pin I’m working on. One thing that I could not find a clear answer for is how to re-attach the rails. Do I use screws or do I use new nails? Also, do I need to fill the old nail holes to give the new nails something to bite onto?

Thanks!

9 months later
#72 3 years ago
Quoted from Nighttraindj:

Then, how do I install a threaded nail without damaging the brass finish?

You can put the nail through the center of a business card, to help keep you from damaging the rail. Tear out card afterwards.

Since there is already a hole, the spiral nail goes in easily.

Quoted from Peruman:

Do I use screws or do I use new nails? Also, do I need to fill the old nail holes to give the new nails something to bite onto?

If the game is home use only, you can use screws - no one is going to break into the game.

Nails will bite because they are spiral. No need to fill holes.

2 months later
#73 3 years ago

Can anyone post pics of the removal of side rails from an afmr? I am of the understanding that tape is not used in the instillation and that they are easy to remove. I am somewhat apprehensive in that I don't want to damage my side art.

#74 3 years ago

Not sure if this is a good place to ask. If anyone is replacing a late model Gottlieb's rails with new, I would be interested in the used set. My Strikes 'n Spares came with no side rails at all.

3 months later
#75 2 years ago

Has anyone ever tried to see if modern Stern side rails/armor will fit on an older pin? I'm removing my MB side rails and would love it if I could use side armor from Munsters or Batman 66. I'm getting it all powder coated the same color so color match wouldn't be an issue.

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4 weeks later
#76 2 years ago

thank you for the guide .

1 year later
#77 1 year ago

What if the nails were rusty and the head broke off. How to I get the nail out?

#78 1 year ago
Quoted from Magicchiz:

What if the nails were rusty and the head broke off. How to I get the nail out?

Same question here, I decapped at least 4 or so.

#80 1 year ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Either one of these tools should be able to grip the nail:
amazon.com link »
amazon.com link »

I got those, and those were the tools that ripped the head off. Now the remainder of the twist nail is a couple of millimeters below the surface and i can't reach it with that anymore.

#81 1 year ago

I use a dowel cutter to undercut the broken nail, then you can get a pair of pliers on it to remove it. Complete the repair by gluing a piece of dowel to plug the hole, and cut it off flush. After reinstalling the rail, use it as a guide to drill a small pilot hole into and drive in the new nail.

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