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(Topic ID: 253978)

Starting a restoration on a 2001


By calla76759

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 35 days ago by calla76759
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“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)

This poll has been closed.

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#1 1 year 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 1 year ago

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

#3 1 year 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 1 year 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).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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year ago

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

#9 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year ago

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

#15 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 months 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 79 days 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 40 days 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 removing the dams.

Before sanding.

After sanding.

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.

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 38 days 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).JPG
#25 37 days 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 36 days 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.

#27 35 days 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 35 days 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:

IMG_6549 (resized).JPG

Then I shot narrow staples between the drilled holes:

IMG_6551 (resized).JPG

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

IMG_6553 (resized).JPG

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:

IMG_6555 (resized).JPG
IMG_6556 (resized).JPG
IMG_6558 (resized).JPG

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

IMG_6563 (resized).JPG

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

IMG_6564 (resized).JPG

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:

IMG_6565 (resized).JPG
IMG_6566 (resized).JPG
IMG_6567 (resized).JPG
IMG_6569 (resized).JPG
IMG_6570 (resized).JPG

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:

IMG_6571 (resized).JPG
IMG_6573 (resized).JPG
IMG_6574 (resized).JPG
IMG_6575 (resized).JPG
IMG_6578 (resized).JPG

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.

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