(Topic ID: 253978)

Starting a restoration on a 2001

By calla76759

4 years ago


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  • 88 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by calla76759
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders

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“Starting a restoration on a 2001”

  • Shut up and play it! 3 votes
    19%
  • Fix what you can, and leave the rest! 11 votes
    69%
  • Tear it down to individual pinball machine molecules, and carefully polish and restore each one! 2 votes
    13%

(16 votes)

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#1 4 years ago

I bought a Gottlieb 2001 a few weeks ago that plays well and looks ok. It’s not a basket case at all, but could use some love. I am thinking about how to approach it and thought I would start a thread to get peoples’ thoughts.

There are a few things well within my grasp that I will certainly do. I will do a full shop job on the playfield, rebuild the pops, flippers and slingshots with new parts, and remove and clean the drop target assemblies. The drops work but are a bit numb, especially when the ball hits them obliquely (i.e. always). I think if I clean them well, they’ll be more responsive. I'm not really inclined to put in rectifiers, orange dot coils, etc. I want to rebuild it and get it back to factory spec.

I already cleaned the coin door and coin accepter with Barkeeper’s Friend. That was very satisfying. I am kicking myself for not taking “before” pictures, but trust me when I say the coin door was quite rusty and ugly. I know people here love their Evap-o-rust, and I look forward to trying it. But BKF is terrific stuff that has kept my pots and pans looking new for years. Turns out it’s great for coin doors too- this result took about 90 minutes at the kitchen sink. In terms of hardware, I will get some coin rejector rods/plugs from PBR to finish up the coin door. And a red start button.

Some new legs would spruce up the front-side, too. Maybe I’ll borrow the back legs from my JITB and swap them into the front on 2001…or just buy new ones.

There is some playfield wear between the pop bumpers, probably from the kickout holes. I initially thought I would try filling/painting this area as in Clay’s example http://www.pinrepair.com/restore/2001pf.htm But I’m worried about screwing it up, and the wear between the pop bumpers doesn’t bother me so much any more. The rest of the playfield looks pretty darn good. Look close, though, at the blue circles around the pop bumpers. Those aren't paint--they're some kind of stickers that you guys may recognize. What horror lurks beneath?? No telling how bad it looks under there! If I decided to fill and paint the wear between the pops, it would only make sense to tear down the pops are see what's underneath those circles.

My biggest concern about 2001's appearance is that the backbox has some conspicuous (but shallow) chipping on its lower front edge. The chips go beyond "patina" and into "looks like someone dropped that on a curb on its way into your house.” The question is, can/should I fix those chips without repainting the whole backbox, and then how would I repaint the backbox without repainting the cabinet? I am pretty gunshy about the whole affair- I feel very confident with any electrical or mechanical job, but not so with painting. Plus, with my apartment lifestyle, I really have no place to sand/spraypaint stuff, so it's basically moot unless I take some big steps to procure a separate workspace here in San Francisco. Or pull some sketchy paint-outside-on-the-sidewalk-at-night gambit. I could be the first person in history to get mugged for a paint-wet Gottlieb backbox! Seriously, though, if I thought I could bondo the backbox chips and hand-paint them to look ok, I would. But I fear it would look so conspicuous as to be unhelpful. What do folks think?

Obviously, the whole cabinet could use a repaint. But per the above, that is outside my capabilities right now, unless I get really creative.

Maybe I’m answering my own question and I should just shop the PF and enjoy it. As you can see, it’s located in a dank storage room and doesn’t really have pride of place. But someday it will, when I have more space. And I do love projects.

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#2 4 years ago

I'll be watching this post as I'm really wanting a 2001. Congratulations on getting this great game!

#3 4 years ago
Quoted from calla76759:

I'm not really inclined to put in rectifiers, orange dot coils, etc. I want to rebuild it and get it back to factory spec.

That's a good decision. If you rebuild all the playfield components and give it a real good clean and wax, it will play just fine.
I just picked up a project "2001" myself, but mine is missing the backglass and has a couple of broken plastics. I am going to use the original cabinet for my "Dimension", and so I'm not certain what will eventually happen with the "2001".

#4 4 years ago
Quoted from calla76759:

In terms of hardware, I will get some coin rejector rods/plugs from PBR to finish up the coin door. And a red start button.

2001-coin-door (resized).png2001-coin-door (resized).png

I noticed your coin entrance plate is for an AAB game. That’s one of their unique characteristics: only one coin chute. Later AAB games centered the chute, which prompted my friend to call it “cyclops.”

2001 originally came with two or three coin chutes. PBR sells nice reproduction plates, but the graining is a bit more conspicuous than factory originals. And, of course, they are shiny and new. Unless you’re feeling particularly puritanical, keeping the AAB plate is sensible.

I would forgo the reproduction start button from PBR. I’ve learned that it seems to fit their reproduction coin doors better than factory original coin doors. In the latter, the fit is tight and the button rubs against its slot. This friction gradually erodes the paint. I have one of these repros in a factory original coin door. After 30 months, the red is about half gone. On another game, the repro button is in a repro coin door. It’s been in that game longer than the other one, and the red looks bright and new.

One thing you can do to improve the start button’s appearance is to chuck it in a drill and polish it with Mother’s. It’ll shine up famously. Same with the shooter rod. Same with the flipper buttons, some of which (on games earlier than 2001) were also painted red.

#5 4 years ago

Another nice touch for your coin door is to fill the etched Gottlieb logo with acrylic paint. Factory doors had this done.

Flood the etching, smear the paint into the recesses with your finger, then squeegee away the excess with a credit card. Detail the remainder with care using a Q-tip and toothpick. It’s easy for the paint to get away in these shallow channels.

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#6 4 years ago

I would leave the head be. The chipping is unfortunate, but a repair will look conspicuous given the cosmetic context.

Make it play great is what I’d do.

#7 4 years ago

Thanks Leckmeck. I noticed the coin door and acceptor plate on your Dimension (in the thread “A New Dimension”) are cinched close together. Mine are gapped, showing some tired wood beneath. Is there play in the coin door? Can’t remember if those screws are recessed or not.

#8 4 years ago

I say make it factory fresh again with Orange Dot coils.

#9 4 years ago

Gee. I've never seen a 2001 game in such badly worn condition.
My Stern Playboy was made in 2001 and its still in great shape.

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from calla76759:

Thanks Leckmeck. I noticed the coin door and acceptor plate on your Dimension (in the thread “A New Dimension”) are cinched close together. Mine are gapped, showing some tired wood beneath. Is there play in the coin door? Can’t remember if those screws are recessed or not.

I think the machine screws (with the hex heads) on the hinge can be loosened, allowing you to reposition the coin door vertically. Similarly, the slotted wood screws that go into the cabinet allow for some lateral flexibility.

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from leckmeck:

I think the machine screws (with the hex heads) on the hinge can be loosened, allowing you to reposition the coin door vertically. Similarly, the slotted wood screws that go into the cabinet allow for some lateral flexibility.

Not much movement allowed by the wood screws on the cabinet side of the hinge. I align the coin door by loosening the four button head allen screws which attach the hinge to the door itself. There is a very small amount of up and down adjustment via these screw slots, and it may vary from game to game. I get the door to close flat against the cabinet opening by snug tightening the screws just enough to allow movement of the hinge against the door. Then, I shut the door (no need to lock it really), and firmly tap it along the edges with the side of my fist until it's flush on the opening. Then I gently swing the door open again and tighten the four button heads to secure the setting. Check it again after doing all this, and repeat the process if needed. The key is to snug the screws firmly enough so that it holds the setting when you reopen the door to finally tighten the screws.

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

That's a good decision. If you rebuild all the playfield components and give it a real good clean and wax, it will play just fine.
I just picked up a project "2001" myself, but mine is missing the backglass and has a couple of broken plastics. I am going to use the original cabinet for my "Dimension", and so I'm not certain what will eventually happen with the "2001".

I know someone looking for one

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Not much movement allowed by the wood screws on the cabinet side of the hinge. I align the coin door by loosening the four button head allen screws which attach the hinge to the door itself. There is a very small amount of up and down adjustment via these screw slots, and it may vary from game to game. I get the door to close flat against the cabinet opening by snug tightening the screws just enough to allow movement of the hinge against the door. Then, I shut the door (no need to lock it really), and firmly tap it along the edges with the side of my fist until it's flush on the opening. Then I gently swing the door open again and tighten the four button heads to secure the setting. Check it again after doing all this, and repeat the process if needed. The key is to snug the screws firmly enough so that it holds the setting when you reopen the door to finally tighten the screws.

but not too tight that the corners gouges into the wood. Seems I need to bondo these areas on ever paint job I do.

And on a lot of total paint jobs I do I get the head plywood face replaced, makes a world of difference. If you dont replace this invariably it will crack again at some point right Xerico ?

#14 4 years ago

fix it n play it
learn from my mistakes.
unfinished project 10 years in the making

#15 4 years ago

How about a donor backbox that's in better shape? If I find another wedgehead of similar vintage (but not a 2001/Dimension/Galaxie), can I expect the backbox to fit my backglass and internals?

How odd that I have an AAB coin acceptor plate. That explains why there was a second bulb underneath it, shining away completely enclosed by wood/metal.

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from calla76759:

How about a donor backbox that's in better shape? If I find another wedgehead of similar vintage (but not a 2001/Dimension/Galaxie), can I expect the backbox to fit my backglass and internals?
How odd that I have an AAB coin acceptor plate. That explains why there was a second bulb underneath it, shining away completely enclosed by wood/metal.

yes, the heads had over 10 years of compatablity

#17 4 years ago

Hi @calla76759, I recently got a 2001 - had been looking for one for a while as had one back in my 20's when I lived in the UK. I think it's a great machine, very addictive. Anyway thought I'd throw my 2c in:

1. The blue circles under the pop bumpers may just be painted Mylar. I've actually used that trick when a playfield is very worn underneath and I (like you) are wary of playfield touch-ups. If they lift of carefully you can see what things are like below. You can always replace with painted Mylar, its easy, spray paint works fine. If you want to remove them and they are stuck then inverted can of compressed air freezes them off - plenty of posts here on that trick.

2. My backbox was a mess too. I went the plywood replace route, just for the bottom section, but I had already decided to repaint the whole cabinet. Not sure another back box is the way for you, given you'd have to repaint that, and sounds like you don't have easy way to paint.Here's some before and after pics

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3. As I knew I was going to keep this machine, I splurged for the new door, coin plate, shooter surround, buttons, legs, bolts - I agree at least two new legs at front would look good - I think they are good value at PBR. By the way. the shooter rods clean up great by putting them into an electric drill and pushing into a scotch brite scouring pad.

4. Overall if you cannot paint the cabinet, then personally I would just clean up everything else as you say, and leave the cabinet - at least you can then say the cabinet is still original, something I feel I have lost with mine, even though I'm happy the way the paint job turned out - each to their own and all that.

Good luck!

#18 4 years ago

Thanks 4Max - impressive work on your machine. Did you find another thread detailing the plywood replacement?

I’m pretty well persuaded to hold off on any cabinet work and just focus on playability. If I had a suburban garage where I could sand paint and spray paint I would dive in, but I live in just about the least amenable place for that. I have a friend with a large basement area, but even that is low airflow and would pose issues for cabinet work.

I think I’ll place my PBR order for playfield stuff and get that process going.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from calla76759:

Did you find another thread detailing the plywood replacement?

This is one that most people go by:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cabinet-restoration-vids-guide

#20 4 years ago

I’ve often thought of sacrificing my Road Race to use as a replacement for my 2001 cabinet. Road Race is in great shape but is a very very boring game.

9 months later
#21 3 years ago

Update on this project. I did some cleanup on the playfield, including rebuilding the flippers and cleaning up the kickers (both sets) and overhauling the drop targets. The machine plays pretty nicely, although there is more to do- I want to overhaul the pop bumpers, and probably replace some kicker parts because they're still a little weak. And do a full shop job, perhaps replace some plastics. Plus, there is paint work to do on the playfield, which I'm postponing. And I could clear coat...

My bigger work has been on the cabinet. Even though I live in an apartment and don't have an ideal place to paint, I decided to forge ahead and find a way. I bought an extra wedgehead light box from JethroP and swapped the guys of the 2001 head into it so I could keep playing the machine, and so I would have a light box to practice on before cutting into the 2001. Then I took the 2001 head and made a replacement faceplate for it. I borrowed a friend's router and made a copy of the faceplate using the info in the thread "Gottlieb wedgehead backbox wood replacement." Actually I made three faceplates from one 48" by 96" sheet of birch plywood. The first was rough, because I had pre-sawed the wood into a rough approximation of the wedgehead shape. (see pictures.) My sawing caused the plywood to splinter out. Some of the splintering was extreme enough that it went past the margin cut by the router. The second faceplate was about a B+, and the third was an A-. There were a few bumps that I had to sand out. On the third (A-) faceplate, I really hadn't done any presawing, but the router successfully cut a channel through the wood on both sides. I had been worried about that part, and I'm sure it put extra wear on the bit. But that faceplate was my best.

Another lesson: on the A- faceplate, I not only clamped the fresh plywood down to the lightbox, but I also nailed it down with finishing nails. I think it's worth filling those holes with Bondo later, because nailing down the workpiece helps guarantee that you don't lose registration between the old faceplate and the new one when you're moving the clamps around to make space for the router. I dont think I ever lost registration with my first two faceplates, but having the nails in place for the third faceplate just gave me more confidence when leaning on the router that I wasn't going to displace the workpiece.

This was my first time using a router, and it's no joke to hand-hold these things. They are scary powerful. You have to be 100% committed and thinking ahead. I was kind of glad to return it to its owner.

After I'd routed the faceplates, the router left lots of thin stray fibers in the wood that I sanded out with 220 grit.

Next, I stripped the paint from both light boxes using Jasco paint stripper. Kind of a nasty job, but pretty satisfying to get all that stuff off without sanding. I backed my car out of the condo garage and did the work late at night in my parking spot, which gets good ventilation because the garage is at ground level with open fencing all around.

I rebuilt the "extra" wedgehead light box with the lesser of the two good faceplates, getting some practice along the way. Last night I built up the actual 2001 light box with the replacement faceplate. I am happy with how it turned out and glad that I took it slow. I don't have an air stapler, so I used little finishing nails with a nailsetter to secure the faceplate, with Titebond III glue underneath.

Another painful lesson: there is a minor "bulge" in the A- faceplate on the actual 2001 light box. (see pictures.) I'm not sure if there was an old glue buildup underneath...or what. I sanded the light box before attaching the faceplate, but apparently missed whatever caused that bulge. Dang it. I'm sure I will remain irritated with myself until my dying day for letting that happen, but it's not the kind of thing that people will spot once it's all painted. And there's no going back now.

Next I will remove the motor board, hardware, siderails and playfield from the 2001 body. I will paint-strip the body and then sand out any imperfections while wearing a respirator. Once I have the body stripped and prepped along with the light box, I will prime them both before painting. I'm planning to spray paint the white coat using Rustoleum Heirloom White, but I haven't decided which primer to use. I am inclined to use traditional Kilz primer, and apply it with a roller. Everyone loves Kilz primer. The alternative would be to use a spray paint primer. Anyone have advice here?
Another decision I haven't made is whether to apply any clear coat on the cabinet after all my painting is done. Curious to get people's take on that.

The biggest wild card is going to be painting the webbing layer. I think I'm going to have to go buy a compressor and a paint gun to get good results on the whole cabinet. I am doing most of this work on the cheap, but I've put enouh time into it that I want to do the webbing the right way with an HVLP gun. I think I could probably get away with a little pancake compressor since the webbing seems to be applied in short bursts...but it might make sense to get a larger (20 gallon) compressor so that I can clear coat the playfield if I want to. I've located a few 20 gallon iron-head compressors on Craigslist for about $100.

Many thanks to leckmeck for his guidance and support on this project. His thread "A New Dimension" gave me the inspiration to take the plunge and repaint this 2001. My other machines (JITB and Monaco) are good enough and don't need repainting. But 2001 is a special machine and it was in wolfish condition when I got it.

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3 weeks later
#22 3 years ago

There is disagreement about factory clearcoating on cabinets, and the consensus seems to be that it wasn’t done.

My sense of things is different. I’ve used Novus 2 to polish away cabinet blemishes and the surface shined up uniformly across webbing, stencil paint, and base paint. No color came off the rag. One time, however, I was too aggressive with a magic eraser and color started to come off the ME. So it feels like there is some protection there, and I just can’t imagine Gottlieb shipped their fine commercial products without it.

The sheen on the cabinet has to be uniform for me to be happy, so all my repaint jobs get clearcoated.

1 month later
#23 3 years ago

Word to the wise: cabinet repair is time consuming.

When I last posted 55 days ago, I had completed the carpentry work on the 2001 light box and my "extra" light box. Since then, I have turned to the cabinet itself. I pulled out the playfield and score motor board. Removed all the associated hardware. Removed the chimes, tilt board, and coin door. Removed the side rails based on the excellent guide by @vid1900, which worked well. Removed the legs.

My boss helps me with the disassembly.My boss helps me with the disassembly.

Once I was looking at the empty wooden box of the cabinet, it was clearly not in good shape. The bottom panel was swollen and nasty. Apparently the swelling of the bottom panel "sprung the ribs" or cross-members beneath the score motor board. Those cross-members were simply floating around in the bottom of the cabinet, unglued from the side walls. Also, the front of the cabinet (the coin door side) was not well seated and seemed loose on one side.

The empty cabinet.  The 'ribs' at the bottom are unanchored.The empty cabinet. The 'ribs' at the bottom are unanchored.

Close-up of the first two ribs.  The bottom panel is swollen and popped the ribs' glue joints.Close-up of the first two ribs. The bottom panel is swollen and popped the ribs' glue joints.

I cut the bottom panel down the middle and kicked it out of the machine. If I could do it over again, there would be less kicking. Unfortunately, some of the wood around the groove that receives the bottom panel chipped and splintered out. More on that below.

After kicking out the bottom panel, this was the first of many repairs to the lip around the bottom of the machine, which splintered in several places.After kicking out the bottom panel, this was the first of many repairs to the lip around the bottom of the machine, which splintered in several places.

You can see what a large splinter-out this is.  Sure wish I hadn't kicked that bottom panel out.You can see what a large splinter-out this is. Sure wish I hadn't kicked that bottom panel out.

I got some nice pipe clamps on craigslist (which was its own saga, mostly stopping my progress for about 2 weeks) and re-glued the "ribs" or cross-members at the bottom of the cabinet. Then I turned to the front panel. I tapped it out with a dead-blow hammer, which caused some minor splintering of the joints. It wasn't nearly as bad as the splintering around the bottom panel. I chiseled out the corner gussets that receive the leg bolts. I glued the front panel back in place with a good deal of clamping pressure, to get the joints flush. Then I cut and drilled new corner gussets and glued them in place, ensuring that the bolts would still fit. (side note: I am much more comfortable with electrical stuff than with carpentry, so even these basic woodworking steps feel like I'm pretty far out over my skis.)

Notice below that the lip around the bottom of the front panel is completely gone. Much of this is deterioration, not necessarily my kicking out the bottom panel.

Reglued front panel with new gussets.  Notice the lip for the bottom panel is completely gone on the front panel.Reglued front panel with new gussets. Notice the lip for the bottom panel is completely gone on the front panel.

After doing the front panel, I agonized over whether to remove the back panel. It wasn't loose, but I sort of wanted to remove it so I could re-glue it with TiteBond III and have confidence that it'll be in place forever. But the back panel had a lot of small nails holding it in, at least under the legs. It looked pretty solid. Ultimately I didn't have the stomach for removing it. I was concerned that I would get worse splintering than with the front panel. And I was thinking about the risk vs. reward … it is the back of the machine, after all.

The back panel is secured with a bunch of nails under the legs, and hopefully some glue as well.  Not sure if the nails came from the factory or another repair.The back panel is secured with a bunch of nails under the legs, and hopefully some glue as well. Not sure if the nails came from the factory or another repair.

I removed the "scarf" or neck piece from the cabinet, removed the staples and nails holding it together, and glued it square.

The neck piece.The neck piece.

Then I set about stripping all the paint off the cabinet. It was much easier this time than when I stripped the paint from the heads. I actually just used Citri-strip, and left the nasty Jasco stripper on the shelf. I really worked the stripper with a paintbrush, getting the stripper to engage with all the layers of paint before I started stripping it with the knife. Almost all of the paint came off straightaway. I have a respirator for doing post-stripper sanding. I have been working particularly on sanding the front edges, trying to get them clean and flush so that the paint will be uniform all around the box.

I spent a few nights re-gluing sections of the bottom of the cabinet that had partially splintered out when I kicked out the bottom panel. I had a new bottom panel cut at the lumberyard.

There are three sections at the bottom of the machine where the lip or groove that receives the bottom panel was completely gone. These were at the back of the machine, the front of the machine, and a span of about 20 inches on the side. I noodled on what to do with these. Arguably, once the bottom panel is glued in place, the slot or groove doesn't matter. But I hate the idea of the bottom of the machine being all ragged- it just invites splinters or paint damage when the machine is being lifted or slid into an SUV later in its life. And after reading and re-reading the leckmeck thread "A New Dimension," I am much more focused on tiny details.

So, I set out to use Bondo fiberglass resin to rebuild the lip, based on @vid1900's cabinet repair guide. So far, I have only done this for the front panel. I hammered in a row of small nails to serve as anchors along the bottom inside edge of the front panel. Then I drilled partial holes between the nails. Finally, I shot staples over the holes. All of this creates a row of anchors for the resin, kind of like a bone screw for a dental implant. I took a 1/4" plywood section and made a dam to go into the slot for the bottom panel between the two side panels. I slathered this plywood section with Johnson's wax to prevent the fiberglass from sticking to it. (side note: Vid's guide recommends using "aluminum stock" as a mold for the fiberglass, but I couldn't find this at my lumberyard or hardware store, so I decided to forge ahead using wood.) Then I made a dam to go in front of the fiberglass. I nailed it in place with tiny nails, which ultimately didn't work as planned.

Building an implant for the missing bottom lip on the front panel.  I started by driving in tiny nails, like a primitive dental implant.Building an implant for the missing bottom lip on the front panel. I started by driving in tiny nails, like a primitive dental implant.

Next I put a wooden dam behind the nails, where the bottom panel would go.  Slathered it in wax.Next I put a wooden dam behind the nails, where the bottom panel would go. Slathered it in wax.

I drilled partial holes between the nails, and drove lots of staples to further anchor the fiberglass resin.  Added another wooden dam in front of the nails and staples.  The resin will be poured into the slot.I drilled partial holes between the nails, and drove lots of staples to further anchor the fiberglass resin. Added another wooden dam in front of the nails and staples. The resin will be poured into the slot.

Close shot of the nails and staples.Close shot of the nails and staples.

I mixed up the fiberglass resin and poured it between my wooden dams so that it ran down onto my row of staples and nails. I added enough resin to provide the correct "slot" beneath the bottom panel. About 3 minutes later, resin started leaking slowly out between my outer dam and the front panel of the cabinet. I considered my options, none of which was great. I decided to stay the course; I let the resin leak slowly for about 30 minutes, after which it stopped. I probably lost about 15% of the total resin. After that, I mixed up a small batch and just "topped off" my pour. At this point there was no further leaking because the resin had cured between the cracks. I waited another 30 minutes or so, then cut off the drips with an exacto knife. After another 30 minutes, I was getting worred about the resin curing to my dams despite the Johnson's wax. I removed the inner dam with a sharp upward tug using vice-grips. It actually pulled free right away, leaving a clean inner edge in the resin to eventually accept the bottom panel. Then I pried off the outer dam with a claw hammer, again leaving a clean edge. Remarkably, my wax-on-wood approach worked well.

After pouring in the resin.After pouring in the resin.

After removing the dams.After removing the dams.

Before sanding.Before sanding.

After sanding.After sanding.

Cleaned up.Cleaned up.

Now that I've done the fiberglass resin once, it makes sense to use it again for the section of the side panel where the "slot" is missing. This fiberglass approach is probably overkill for the bottom of the machine- my dad referred to it as "like a sculptor working on the part of the statue that only God can see." Ultimately, I will probably end up just cutting a piece of wood to glue in at the back side of the bottom panel. But for the front side, I wanted a nice clean replacement.

Another lengthy section where the lip splintered away, along the side of the cabinet.  This needs a fiberglass resin implant, too.Another lengthy section where the lip splintered away, along the side of the cabinet. This needs a fiberglass resin implant, too.

Going forward, once this fiberglass resin work is done, I will be further sanding the cabinet and applying regular Bondo to fill in the various divots and scrapes. Then I'm planning to apply KILZ primer with an HVLP gun. I got a 20-gallon compressor from Craigslist, ostensibly for doing the paint splatter step. But as long as I've got it, I want to use an HVLP gun for the primer to avoid using a roller or brush. I expect it will be somewhat challenging to get the KILZ to spray. I will err on the side of buying an HVLP gun with a larger nozzle (1.7+ mm) and then apparently you can cut KILZ with up to 10% water. I'll try it on a dummy surface before I get out too far over my skis.

I might try to build some kind of lazy Susan to let me rotate the cab while spray painting it. I think I'm going to want to minimize handling the cabinet between coats. And I will probably just use Rustoleum rattle cans for the heirloom white base coat and the red and blue stencils. I have toyed with the idea of spraying those layers with the HVLP gun, but not sure what paint I would use. We'll see.

Again…this cabinet work is just time consuming. A year ago I was swapping a new Wade Krause playfield into my Jack In The Box. I thought *that* was a big task (and it was). But at least when I was doing that job, every day brought measurable progress in the right direction.

I think what this teaches me is to be really picky about the pins I work on. Fortunately, 2001 is one of my favorites. The labor is such a personal investment that I probably would have given up on a title that was not as special to me. But then again, it's always a good time to acquire more apocalypse skills. Now that I know how to use the fiberglass resin, I could find my way through a boat repair if I needed to.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from calla76759:

Again…this cabinet work is just time consuming. A year ago I was swapping a new Wade Krause playfield into my Jack In The Box. I thought *that* was a big task (and it was). But at least when I was doing that job, every day brought measurable progress in the right direction.

Yes, it is a lot of work.

Funny coincidence, the cabinet for my Dimension also had loose “ribs” rattling around the bottom of the cabinet. And check out the bright white rubber on the shooter rod. It’s an arresting contrast to the filth and murk surrounding it.

Original Cabinet (resized).JPGOriginal Cabinet (resized).JPG
#25 3 years ago

Alright you’ve done it. I need a winter project and my 2001 needs a repaint. Although it doesn’t really need a new bottom I’ll probably replace it with a little heavier duty bottom than the 1/4” factory ply that’s there.

#26 3 years ago

Going back to my photos, I don't think I damaged the "lip" of the cabinet as much as I thought. This photo shows the bottom of the cabinet before I kicked out the bottom panel, and the lip is already gone in the same sections I'm working to repair with the fiberglass resin.

Lip is missing at bottom and right of this pic, taken pre-disassembly.Lip is missing at bottom and right of this pic, taken pre-disassembly.

#27 3 years ago

Ok, I have to say not only impressive but motivating too!

We have a 2001 that was routed in the early 1970s and then has been in our family every since it came off route. It plays well with a few minor glitches, and has some minor playfield issues that I have been on the fence for doing a playfield swap for years now, but the cabinet was painted over by the original operator to cover some graffiti...would be nice to restore the cabinet to its original glory, so following along with keen interest!

#28 3 years ago

I completed the other large fiberglass resin repair on the bottom lip of the cabinet. This time it was much quicker, though not without issues. First I drilled a row of holes in the area to receive the Bondo fiberglass resin:

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Then I shot narrow staples between the drilled holes:

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Then I realized the narrow staples were longer than the regular staples, and they were shooting all the way out the other side (facepalm):

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I removed all the staples that breached the wood. Used regular bondo to fill the holes on the outside. Used shallower "regular" staples, along with tiny brads/nails to supply the anchors for the fiberglass resin:

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I made a front-side dam for the resin pour, slathered it in Johnson's wax, and stapled it to the cabinet:

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Added a back-side dam, slathered in wax, and began the resin pour:

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Pulled off the dams easily after about an hour. Again I was irrationally worried that the fiberglass would eat through the wax and bond with the dams, but the dams actually pulled away easily, leaving the nice clean fiberglass implant:

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The fiberglass was not entirely level. It's so viscous that it doesn't entirely level out when you pour it into a narrow spot, especially with all the nails and staples slowing it down. I worked on sanding it:

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All in all, pretty satisfying. If I had a woodshop with a band saw, table saw, etc., I might have decided to make these repairs by cutting replacement pieces of wood and gluing them in. Since I only have hand tools (I borrowed the router for the lightbox repairs) this fiberglass resin approach is more approachable.

3 months later
#29 3 years ago

I rebuilt the last missing piece of 2001's underside using Bondo fiberglass resin.  The back lip of the cabinet was heavily deteriorated, with little wood left to grab onto.  I'm sure this owes to 50 years of the cabinet being rocked back into a vertical position during moves.  I wanted to rebuild that lip, but the remnant was an odd, jagged edge and I lack the woodworking tools to do it using wood alone.  I've been having good luck with the fiberglass resin, so I decided to use it one more time on this more substantial fill-in job. Here's what it looked like before the repair, along with some pictures where I flooded the crevices with wood glue to prevent the resin from leaking:

Bottom panel before any repairs - no back lipBottom panel before any repairs - no back lip
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I sunk wood screws and nails into the back, similar to my earlier postings but with heavy 3" wood screws as the primary anchors.  I built wood forms for the resin.  As before, I waxed up the wood forms to contain the resin.  Sorry I don't have a better picture of the work before pouring the resin, but this one gives you the idea:

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This time, I added chopped fiberglass as filler to help stabilize the resin.  Then I went ahead and poured.  As before with my wooden forms, there was a little bit of leakage but it was very manageable. 

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The result is a hefty lip at the back of the machine's underside. I also spread fiberglass onto the intact wooden lip around the machine, to help seal and protect it. Here are a few pics:

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I am happy with it because I know the machine will get moved, and that's the primary spot for lifting it and setting it down.  One potential issue is with heat expansion - this piece of resin will get painted, unlike the bits I installed earlier that are just on the bottom of the machine and not the sides.  That was part of my motivation for adding the chopped filler this time.   But in any event, it's never going to be a highly visible part of the machine.  

I did this work in early December and am now posting it in mid-January 2021. Over the last month, I have been working on the slow process of adding Bondo and sanding out the cabinet and the backbox. I got an orbital sander, which has been a crucial tool. I'm not sure what I was doing without it - I have spent hours sanding even *with* the power sander. Over the holidays, I also bought a Gottlieb Melody that has a ratty backbox. So, in addition to the 2001 cabinet and backbox, I'm prepping the "extra" backbox discussed in my earlier posts. I will primer that backbox along with the 2001 parts, and then set it aside. Once I have painted 2001, I will double back and paint up second backbox in Melody's colors. The Melody cabinet itself is in decent shape, and I don't have the appetite to start this whole process over again on another cabinet.

I'm trying to be just as patient with the sanding/Bondo process as I was with the fiberglass resin. Frankly it deserves a lot more time since the resin is on the bottom of the machine!

I bought an HVLP gun with a 2mm tip which is supposed to be suitable for primer. I am planning to spray KILZ primer on the cabinet and the two backbones. I am nervous about doing this as my first spray gun project, but I'll be sure to do some practice sessions to get everything working properly. After the primer, I want to paint with "heirloom white" spray paint which seems to be the consensus for white Gottlieb wedgeheads. I could just use the rattle cans, and may well do so. But there are some interesting videos on YouTube about "decanting" spray paint cans, i.e. removing the paint from the rattle can so it can be loaded into an HVLP gun. That seems worth exploring, since the HVLP gun is able to deliver a much more even finish. But of course it's also horribly overcomplicating what should be a straightforward process. Oh well.

It is nice to be past the endless process of rehabilitating the cabinet, and on to actually finishing it. I am not an experienced painter/finisher by any means, but one thing I do understand is that the "work" is the preparation. The actual painting is the last 1% of the job. I want to get the whole cabinet nice and buttery smooth with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper, to the point where it almost hurts to paint it. Since I do most of my work at night, I really need to get the cabinet outside and do a final inspection under bright sunlight, so that any final flaws will really jump out. It's very painstaking work to find all the little dings and dents that require bondo. I expect that the KILZ will smooth over some small dings, but at the same time the paint will expose any imperfections that remain. Again, if I had more experience, I would have a better instinctive feel for dings that require Bondo versus dings which should be left alone.

I'm also conscious that when this is all done, 2001 is going to be a piece of "fine furniture" that requires more white-glove treatment than I typically show my pins. That will be interesting...

3 weeks later
#30 3 years ago

Since my last update, I’ve been prepping the 2001 cabinet and the two lightboxes for painting. Primarily I’ve been using bondo and my orbital sander to smooth out the flat surfaces after decades of scratches, dents, and other indignities. I’ve used fiberglass resin a few more times to fill major gaps or dents oriented at the corners. In particular, the pedestal or “neck” of the machine had some significant wood missing at the corners. The corners are where the tougher decisions come up: Should I leave them as is? Try to rebuild them so they’re sharp and angular? Or sand them down so they are gently rounded? I’ve taken a mixed approach, trying to keep the most visible corners sharp but not obsessing over rear-facing ones. I also realized I needed to strip the paint from the inside of the cabinet where it'll be visible above the playfield.

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In order to nitpick the details of sanding and refinishing, I brought both lightboxes into the house so that I could see them in bright sunlight.

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My pins and tools are in a dark, dank basement workspace. That workspace is really not conducive to detail work- especially finishing. It was nice to sit with a cup of coffee in bright Saturday-morning sunlight and mark up the lightboxes with a pen and some post-its, instead of squinting at them at midnight in a dark room with a single 75-watt lightbulb overhead. That made me want to upgrade the light in my workspace. So I looked online and found a great LED screw-in replacement fixture with several separate LED panels that can be separately oriented to direct light toward the work surface. It has made a world of difference- now the basement is lit like an operating room. I can now see small defects that would’ve been invisible under my old lighting arrangement.

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I have also been prepping for the paint phase. I live in a condo building that is not great for spray painting. So, I have been spending time on prepping a "special" space for painting the cabinet - most of that has nothing to do with refinishing the 2001 per se. I fixed an issue with my $35 Craigslist compressor that was causing it to blow the breaker when it cycled back on (the one-way valve was stuck open). I’ve been gathering the right gear to dry the air going to the spray gun, filter the paint, clean the gun, etc. Luckily these expenses are in service of a game I really like. As they say in poker, I’m pot-committed. And to be fair, everything I’ve bought for this project (wood, router bit, clamps, sander, old compressor, bondo products, new light fixture, etc etc) still cost much less than the replacement playfield I bought for my Jack in the Box. And I'm mostly buying *tools* that I can use for future projects. (This is what a professor of mine used to call “justificatory rhetoric”).

It’s all good fun. And during COVID it’s great to have a project to focus on, apart from work obligations.

#31 3 years ago

Awesome to see some progress!

#32 3 years ago

After months of noodling around with cabinet repair and sanding, I primed the 2001 cabinet and back box this weekend, along with my extra back box. I spent much time vexing over this because there’s no great place to paint in my apartment complex. But I found a solution. I put the compressor in the room where my pinballs live. I had originally planned to do my paint spraying right there in that room, but I hated the idea of it because I thought it would make an enormous mess. For various reasons, the pinball room is the best place in the parking garage area for making loud noises like running an oil-free air compressor. I am lucky to have access to that space. All my tools are there, along with the playfield, bottom board, and everything else from the 2001. My Monaco and Melody machines are set up there too. (Jack in the Box is on pandemic-loan to another family). Anyway, I was just dubious about painting in that room. I thought I would have to shrink wrap the other pinballs and all my stuff. Plus, the compressor is brutally loud so I wasn’t excited about being in a concrete room with it running.

Then I started thinking about the trash room. In the middle of our condo building is a 14 x 14 windowless concrete room within the parking garage. It contains a rolling dumpster sitting at the bottom of a three-story trash chute. Generally people just throw their tall kitchen bags full of chicken bones and coffee grounds down the trash chute into this dumpster. Nobody really ventures into the trash room, except for the sanitation man who rolls the dumpster out to his truck every Monday morning to collect the garbage.

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There is enough extra space in this room for a pinball cabinet and a paint sprayer. I had to roll out the composting container and some other random stuff, and I put some big cardboard boxes against the walls to guard against overspray. It smells terrible in the trash room, especially on Saturday when the dumpster has 6 days’ worth of trash in it. But once I put on my respirator, I couldn’t smell anything anyway.

I bought enough air hoses to run all the way from the pinball room to the trash room- about 120 feet, through the parking garage. I set up an air drying station in the room with the compressor.

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Friday night was a test run on scrap wood.

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On Saturday night, I set everything up and put the 2001 cabinet in the trash room with the cardboard backing for the overspray. I latched two clamps onto the dumpster as a bracket to hold the HVLP gun. I moved my super bright LED bulb into the trash room temporarily. I opened up a trash chute 2 floors above the trash room, and chocked open the door of the trash room by about 6 inches. This created a chimney effect where my windowless concrete spray booth had a slow breeze running through it. Then I held my breath and turned on the compressor.

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The task was applying KILZ primer to the cabinet and back boxes. All in all, It went very well. I was able to apply substantial coats of primer. The KILZ primer is very thick and cheesy, so these coats were not exactly smooth and flat. But based on my test run, I anticipate being able to sand them down with 220 grit. Hopefully this will get everything ready for the rustoleum heirloom white paint.

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I used up all the KILZ primer that I had on hand. I think the 2001 cabinet and head have a single coat of primer. The other head and the 2001 pedestal probably have less than a coat- it’s pretty thin. I could probably add another coat of primer all around, but all things being equal I would rather be done with this step if possible.

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Using the HVLP gun was somewhat stressful because I kept worrying that the noise from the compressor would rouse my lower-floor neighbors late at night. The building is heavy concrete, and the parking garage is heavily insulated against noise transmission to the first floor, but noise still carries. Luckily no one was bothered. No cars even came or went during the 4+ hours I was doing this. But most of all, the HVLP gun was just good fun. It is such a satisfying feeling to blast primer onto the smooth clean pinball cabinet. I did a project about six months ago where I applied KILZ primer with a brush to a table and chairs. It was miserable. The KILZ does not spread very well and demands a lot of attention with the brush. The HVLP gun mostly neutralized this, yielding pretty uniform coats. Again, the KILZ is a high-build primer and therefore comes out sort of chunky, like soft cheese. I think it will be straightforward to sand it down flat and move forward to the paint phase.

The next question will be whether I simply use the rustoleum rattle cans to paint the cabinet directly, or whether I decant the rattle cans into a jar and use an HVLP gun for the paint phase as well. I think my 2mm HVLP gun is suitable for primer and latex, but I’ll probably need to buy a finer-tip gun to spray the paint if I go that route. A 1.3mm tip is probably the way to go. The guns are dirt cheap, less than $20 online. Makes sense to have the right one.

When I broke down the compressor setup, I was kind of surprised to find water dripping out of the hoses when I disconnected them. This is despite the moisture separator I installed at the compressor. I think the long hose run (through a cold garage) tends to bring additional moisture out of the air. In the future, I’ll add a second moisture separator at the base of the HVLP gun itself. That will hopefully capture any residual water before it mixes with the paint. Some paints apparently can not tolerate any moisture at all (e.g. automotive paints and clear coats). I don’t think it matters very much with the KILZ primer- the can says you can actually thin it with water, so obviously a little moisture won’t ruin it.

I might have gotten a smoother consistency with the KILZ if I’d thinned it with water or something else. But I was trying to keep everything as simple as possible since I haven’t done this before.

My initial concerns about overspray turned out to be overblown. There really wasn’t much. The cardboard behind the pinball cabinet barely got any paint on it. Maybe there would be more overspray with thinner paint, compared to the thick primer I used? But this is obviously why people love HVLP guns for spray painting- they’re very efficient.

If you’ve read all the way through this rambling post, you have my appreciation and my sympathies. On to the next phase!

#33 3 years ago

Very nice jog indeed!
I see a Melody too. Nice!

#34 3 years ago

No further progress yet. I'll review my work (probably this weekend) and decide whether to spray more KILZ primer, or whether to sand the primer flat and call it done.

I've been thinking about the paint phase, and I'm reconsidering using the HVLP gun to spray paint decanted from rattle cans. There are numerous postings on Pinside where people experienced issues with Rustoleum 2x spray paint wrinkling when it's not sprayed in very thin coats (right @mrm_4?). That's the kind of paint I'm hoping to use (Heirloom White). If I need to apply super-light coats over a period of time, I really don't want to set up my trash-room HVLP paint booth and clean the gun out for every light coat. Once the compressor's going and the gun's filled, there's too much pressure to spray thick coats. Instead, I'm going to want to mosey in and spray a thin dusty coat, leave it alone for a day, then mosey in and do another light dusting. The rattle cans seem well-suited for that. I might not get the perfect spray pattern, but I'll probably maximize my chances of overall success.

I still plan to use the HVLP gun for the Gottlieb webbing. I assume my 2mm primer gun can achieve the webbing effect (with the correct lacquer paint) just like a smaller-tip gun. It seems like the paint atomization/aerosol dynamics of the gun tip don't really occur when it sprays webbing- the gun just kind of stalls/spatters out the paint. Under that theory, I'm hoping the tip diameter won't matter.

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from calla76759:

After months of noodling around with cabinet repair and sanding, I primed the 2001 cabinet and back box this weekend, along with my extra back box. I spent much time vexing over this because there’s no great place to paint in my apartment complex. But I found a solution. I put the compressor in the room where my pinballs live. I had originally planned to do my paint spraying right there in that room, but I hated the idea of it because I thought it would make an enormous mess. For various reasons, the pinball room is the best place in the parking garage area for making loud noises like running an oil-free air compressor. I am lucky to have access to that space. All my tools are there, along with the playfield, bottom board, and everything else from the 2001. My Monaco and Melody machines are set up there too. (Jack in the Box is on pandemic-loan to another family). Anyway, I was just dubious about painting in that room. I thought I would have to shrink wrap the other pinballs and all my stuff. Plus, the compressor is brutally loud so I wasn’t excited about being in a concrete room with it running.
Then I started thinking about the trash room. In the middle of our condo building is a 14 x 14 windowless concrete room within the parking garage. It contains a rolling dumpster sitting at the bottom of a three-story trash chute. Generally people just throw their tall kitchen bags full of chicken bones and coffee grounds down the trash chute into this dumpster. Nobody really ventures into the trash room, except for the sanitation man who rolls the dumpster out to his truck every Monday morning to collect the garbage.
[quoted image]
There is enough extra space in this room for a pinball cabinet and a paint sprayer. I had to roll out the composting container and some other random stuff, and I put some big cardboard boxes against the walls to guard against overspray. It smells terrible in the trash room, especially on Saturday when the dumpster has 6 days’ worth of trash in it. But once I put on my respirator, I couldn’t smell anything anyway.
I bought enough air hoses to run all the way from the pinball room to the trash room- about 120 feet, through the parking garage. I set up an air drying station in the room with the compressor.
[quoted image]
Friday night was a test run on scrap wood.
[quoted image]
On Saturday night, I set everything up and put the 2001 cabinet in the trash room with the cardboard backing for the overspray. I latched two clamps onto the dumpster as a bracket to hold the HVLP gun. I moved my super bright LED bulb into the trash room temporarily. I opened up a trash chute 2 floors above the trash room, and chocked open the door of the trash room by about 6 inches. This created a chimney effect where my windowless concrete spray booth had a slow breeze running through it. Then I held my breath and turned on the compressor.
[quoted image]
The task was applying KILZ primer to the cabinet and back boxes. All in all, It went very well. I was able to apply substantial coats of primer. The KILZ primer is very thick and cheesy, so these coats were not exactly smooth and flat. But based on my test run, I anticipate being able to sand them down with 220 grit. Hopefully this will get everything ready for the rustoleum heirloom white paint.
[quoted image]
I used up all the KILZ primer that I had on hand. I think the 2001 cabinet and head have a single coat of primer. The other head and the 2001 pedestal probably have less than a coat- it’s pretty thin. I could probably add another coat of primer all around, but all things being equal I would rather be done with this step if possible.
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]
Using the HVLP gun was somewhat stressful because I kept worrying that the noise from the compressor would rouse my lower-floor neighbors late at night. The building is heavy concrete, and the parking garage is heavily insulated against noise transmission to the first floor, but noise still carries. Luckily no one was bothered. No cars even came or went during the 4+ hours I was doing this. But most of all, the HVLP gun was just good fun. It is such a satisfying feeling to blast primer onto the smooth clean pinball cabinet. I did a project about six months ago where I applied KILZ primer with a brush to a table and chairs. It was miserable. The KILZ does not spread very well and demands a lot of attention with the brush. The HVLP gun mostly neutralized this, yielding pretty uniform coats. Again, the KILZ is a high-build primer and therefore comes out sort of chunky, like soft cheese. I think it will be straightforward to sand it down flat and move forward to the paint phase.
The next question will be whether I simply use the rustoleum rattle cans to paint the cabinet directly, or whether I decant the rattle cans into a jar and use an HVLP gun for the paint phase as well. I think my 2mm HVLP gun is suitable for primer and latex, but I’ll probably need to buy a finer-tip gun to spray the paint if I go that route. A 1.3mm tip is probably the way to go. The guns are dirt cheap, less than $20 online. Makes sense to have the right one.
When I broke down the compressor setup, I was kind of surprised to find water dripping out of the hoses when I disconnected them. This is despite the moisture separator I installed at the compressor. I think the long hose run (through a cold garage) tends to bring additional moisture out of the air. In the future, I’ll add a second moisture separator at the base of the HVLP gun itself. That will hopefully capture any residual water before it mixes with the paint. Some paints apparently can not tolerate any moisture at all (e.g. automotive paints and clear coats). I don’t think it matters very much with the KILZ primer- the can says you can actually thin it with water, so obviously a little moisture won’t ruin it.
I might have gotten a smoother consistency with the KILZ if I’d thinned it with water or something else. But I was trying to keep everything as simple as possible since I haven’t done this before.
My initial concerns about overspray turned out to be overblown. There really wasn’t much. The cardboard behind the pinball cabinet barely got any paint on it. Maybe there would be more overspray with thinner paint, compared to the thick primer I used? But this is obviously why people love HVLP guns for spray painting- they’re very efficient.
If you’ve read all the way through this rambling post, you have my appreciation and my sympathies. On to the next phase!

#36 3 years ago

I’m impressed that you pulled this off in an apartment building. I can image the building owner walking in asking “what the hell are you doing?” Every time I read this thread it reminds me I need to repaint mine and unfortunately it’s on the back burner at this point due to other projects.

#37 3 years ago

You got it @murphdom- yes I was worried about someone busting in, especially since much of this was after midnight, with me wearing a respirator mask and goggles and the compressor wailing. Folks here talk about the various aspects of the hobby that appeal to them- searching for games, haggling on price, fixing, playing, entertaining.... Well, add skulduggery from the condo board to that list!

#38 3 years ago

I once paint a Gottlieb Target Pool at my job. It was in the outside Generator and Cooling Tower building. I thought for my boss was going to walk in on me, but he didn’t.

You for sure have the award for the most risk place to paint a cabinet.
Great story and keep up the fantastic work! 2001 is a killer drop target game.

#39 3 years ago

Thank you Vic. I appreciate that compliment coming from a tremendous collector like yourself. I have learned a lot by watching your videos. I know you are not a huge fan of repainted Gottlieb cabinets. Any advice for avoiding the pitfalls?

1 week later
#40 3 years ago

I did another coat of primer to make sure I had enough coverage before sanding.

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I also did a sample spray of the Rustoleum paint on my scrap board, to which I had first applied primer. No issues with the paint adhering. The color is great.

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After the second coat of primer dried on the cabinet, I nitpicked it and found a few isolated thin spots that I wanted to hit yet again with primer. I bought a rattle can of KILZ spray primer for this purpose, so I wouldn't have to use the whole HVLP and compressor setup again just for these small areas.

I have to say: after using the rattle can of primer, I really do not want to use rattle cans to paint the cabinet. The spray pattern is just very narrow and it almost guarantees drips, especially since I'll be painting the vertical surfaces of the cabinet. I am a complete novice painter, but I have gained a lot of confidence using the HVLP spray gun. I don’t want to go backward and muck things up with spray cans.

I think I am going to go whole-hog and remove the Rustoleum paint from the rattle cans, then spray it with the gun. The YouTube videos make it look easy. (famous last words...)

I still need to sand the cabinet and the light boxes first, though. I’ve been too busy with work to make that happen in the last couple of weeks.

#41 3 years ago

Coming along nicely. It's always refreshing to read about a restoration with details of how it's being done.

1 week later
#42 3 years ago

Nice to hear you’re gaining confidence with the spray gun. It’s a handy skill for these old games.

#43 3 years ago

I sanded down the primer on the cabinet and the 2001 lightbox. Messy job, but it basically went well. I could probably sand further to get a super-flat finish, but I don't want to burn through the primer. And I think the way it is now is appropriate for this machine.

I have a few spots to fill in with bondo and re-prime before I can paint. One that's visible in the pictures is the nail hold to the right of the plunger. Somehow I thought that was part of the plunger assembly, but it's a hole from one of the original nails in the cabinet.

I guess one benefit of moving so slowly on this project is that I'm more likely to catch these little glitches.

IMG_7301 (resized).JPGIMG_7301 (resized).JPGIMG_7304 (resized).JPGIMG_7304 (resized).JPGIMG_7308 (resized).JPGIMG_7308 (resized).JPG
#44 3 years ago
Quoted from Vic_Camp:

I once paint a Gottlieb Target Pool at my job. It was in the outside Generator and Cooling Tower building. I thought for my boss was going to walk in on me, but he didn’t.

i painted over 60 games at work. come to think about it i do 90% of all my pinball work at WORK.

3 months later
#45 2 years ago

I applied the splatter-paint last night. I used the technique from this posting: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/lacquer-for-em-cabinet-webbing. I bought Krylon webbing spray, then sprayed it into an HVLP gun, and cut it with about 20% lacquer thinner. Thin to win. I found it very tricky to work with and am glad to have it (mostly) behind me. Parts of the webbing on the cabinet are wispy like a spider's web, so I've been gingerly going over the cabinet with a dry paintbrush to weed out the bits that aren't actually painted on.

Since I last posted, I painted the cabinet and the head with Heirloom White, and I painted the pedestal first with Apple Red and then the middle with Heirloom White.

This project has stretched out much further than I anticipated because we moved houses in June. Moving the 2001 in pieces was *not* the original plan! I actually postponed my painting until after the move, out of a fear that the cabinet would get dented. I figured it would be better to hold it at primer so I could Bondo up any dents afterward. Luckily there was no damage. Given how delicate the webbing is, I think my next step is a coating of Polycrilic to protect it. Then I'll do the stencils, and then another coat of Polycrilic to protect the whole shebang.

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2 weeks later
#46 2 years ago

The bulk of the stencil painting is done, although I need to do some tweaking with a razor blade and/or solvents to clean up some splotches. Stencil painting is tricky and very time-consuming. Many thanks to leckmeck for the stencils - I never could have made them so cleanly, and I would have spent many hours getting lesser results.

I used Elmer's craft spray adhesive from an art store to stick the stencils (which have been used before) to the cabinet. I followed the instructions for a "temporary bond" and waited 5 minutes or so after spraying before applying the stencils to the cabinet. This provided good adhesion and let me peel off the stencils without any risk of tearing them. But it did leave gobs of residue (like rubber cement) on the white paint.

I started out by applying very light, dusty coats of paint to the stencils. This resulted in a lot of overspray somehow getting under the stencils. Perhaps the paint lifted the stencils slightly because it was airborne, dry and turbulent by the time it hit the wood. I switched to a heavier, wetter paint technique, which reduced the overspray somewhat. There is a fine balance there that I don't pretend to understand.

Leckmeck recommended applying a layer of clearcoat after painting the webbing. It seems obvious in hindsight, but that was incredibly valuable advice. The stencil-painting process puts a lot of wear and tear on the surface beneath it. The webbing was incredibly wispy and delicate, and the clearcoat (Polycrilic in my case) really sealed it in so I had a good substrate for stencils. Leckmeck also recommended using Naptha to safely clean off the residue from the spray adhesive. Happily, the Naptha doesn't eat away the Polycrilic, so I was able to use plenty of elbow grease with it. The Naptha is also useful for tidying up overspray and other paint artifacts, although it's easy to overdo it. It's a strong enough solvent to essentially wipe away the stencil paint if you want to do so. California stores do not sell Naptha, but eBay is a wide marketplace.

It's great to be so close to finishing up this cabinet. If I had known how long it would take me (both in hours and in months) I probably would not have undertaken it. The paint stripping, glue work, fiberglass resin, and sanding…all that was a prelude to the slog of primer/paint/webbing/clear/stencils. Thank goodness I like 2001 so much - with another game, I might have given up. It really did make my 2019 playfield swap on Jack In the Box seem like a quick task!

I'm going to clean up the stencils and clear-coat again. The playfield needs some light work too, but I plan to reassemble the game and enjoy it a little before diving into that. 13 months is a long time to have the backglass, playfield, top glass, score motor board, and score reel board leaning against the wall.

paint (resized).jpgpaint (resized).jpg
#47 2 years ago
Quoted from calla76759:

The bulk of the stencil painting is done, although I need to do some tweaking with a razor blade and/or solvents to clean up some splotches. Stencil painting is tricky and very time-consuming. Many thanks to leckmeck for the stencils - I never could have made them so cleanly, and I would have spent many hours getting lesser results.
I used Elmer's craft spray adhesive from an art store to stick the stencils (which have been used before) to the cabinet. I followed the instructions for a "temporary bond" and waited 5 minutes or so after spraying before applying the stencils to the cabinet. This provided good adhesion and let me peel off the stencils without any risk of tearing them. But it did leave gobs of residue (like rubber cement) on the white paint.
I started out by applying very light, dusty coats of paint to the stencils. This resulted in a lot of overspray somehow getting under the stencils. Perhaps the paint lifted the stencils slightly because it was airborne, dry and turbulent by the time it hit the wood. I switched to a heavier, wetter paint technique, which reduced the overspray somewhat. There is a fine balance there that I don't pretend to understand.
Leckmeck recommended applying a layer of clearcoat after painting the webbing. It seems obvious in hindsight, but that was incredibly valuable advice. The stencil-painting process puts a lot of wear and tear on the surface beneath it. The webbing was incredibly wispy and delicate, and the clearcoat (Polycrilic in my case) really sealed it in so I had a good substrate for stencils. Leckmeck also recommended using Naptha to safely clean off the residue from the spray adhesive. Happily, the Naptha doesn't eat away the Polycrilic, so I was able to use plenty of elbow grease with it. The Naptha is also useful for tidying up overspray and other paint artifacts, although it's easy to overdo it. It's a strong enough solvent to essentially wipe away the stencil paint if you want to do so. California stores do not sell Naptha, but eBay is a wide marketplace.
It's great to be so close to finishing up this cabinet. If I had known how long it would take me (both in hours and in months) I probably would not have undertaken it. The paint stripping, glue work, fiberglass resin, and sanding…all that was a prelude to the slog of primer/paint/webbing/clear/stencils. Thank goodness I like 2001 so much - with another game, I might have given up. It really did make my 2019 playfield swap on Jack In the Box seem like a quick task!
I'm going to clean up the stencils and clear-coat again. The playfield needs some light work too, but I plan to reassemble the game and enjoy it a little before diving into that. 13 months is a long time to have the backglass, playfield, top glass, score motor board, and score reel board leaning against the wall.[quoted image]

Hey, that looks really great. Nice work!

#48 2 years ago

Looks good! Glad you were able to wring one more use out of those stencils.

#49 2 years ago

Thanks Leckmeck and JR!

#50 2 years ago

I cleaned up the head and cabinet stencil designs tonight with naptha, paper towels, toothpicks, and the back of a ballpoint pen. The naptha is powerful stuff and acts like an eraser for the paint. I forced myself to throw away each paper towel away early, because the paper towels go quickly from dissolving unwanted paint to smudging it around.

My main goal was cleaning up the residual spray adhesive left on the cabinet by the stencils. I also tidied up the edges of the stencil designs where there was clumped paint. I did clean up some overspray, but I took a light hand on that both because overspray was tougher to clean up, and because it’s part of the Gottlieb look.

I am happy with the stencil designs on the light box. The chevrons on the front and the designs on the sides are pretty crisp. On the cabinet itself, the left side is fuzzier than I would like. I definitely leaned from my mistakes as I was going- I think holding the paint can too high lifted up the stencil and led to some overspray. Re-reading leckmeck’s Atlantis thread, I saw that he holds down his stencils by hand in some instances. Maybe that would have helped here, but again I think my spray technique was most of it.

Anyway, I am happy because I feel like there were no real disasters. There are a few places where I‘ll do some quick supplemental painting to fill gaps. But I think I’m done with the naptha solvent. Any restraint that I have, I credit to the influence of the folks here. In my life before Pinside, when I undertook projects without enough research, I feel like this project would’ve gone sailing off the rails by now!

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