(Topic ID: 282014)

Suggestions for removing wood rails

By alb0711

11 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by alb0711
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    #1 11 months ago

    I’m refurbing my Bally big time and would like to remove all the wood trim to restain and varnish. There is a metal strip right under the wood rails that has been nailed on presumably to prevent thief’s from drilling holes for magnets. I’m pretty sure I’ll need to remove the metal strips so I can access the screws holding the rail to the cabinet. Removing the metal will be difficult but not impossible. Am I right to assume the rails are screwed to the cabinet under the metal strip? Anybody have a trick or 2 to remove the wood rails? Thanks!

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    #2 11 months ago

    I did once with a Williams wood rail. Nailed and glued, a risky proposition since the glue bond can be stronger than wood. I’d refinish with them left on.

    #3 11 months ago

    I once tried to remove the wood rails on a Night Club parts game I was breaking down. I used a rubber mallet to pound on the rounded outer edge from below. I gave up, and agree with dr_nybble that Bally used an adhesive so strong that you won't get the side rail to separate cleanly from the cabinet. I didn't care about the cabinet, and I still couldn't get the rails off.

    #4 11 months ago

    If you can remove the wood rails, you can do what I did and make new one's
    As long as you can do so without damaging the box, the wood rails are
    not that hard to make.
    Terry K

    #5 11 months ago

    the easiest thing is to use wide painters tape along the cabinet beneath the rails. That'll let you sand the old varnish off without sanding the cabinet paint.

    the metal pieces on the inside pry off pretty easily, tho if they have twist nails it's best to pry the metal just enough to raise the nail head so you can grab it with linesman pliers or vice grips and spin it while pulling.

    besides the glue, there may be horizontal nails attaching the rail to the cabinet. I forgot to try removing a rail off a parts game at the pacific pinball museum earlier today that has one rail end separated from the cabinet, so a prybar should answer the question.

    if you need big time parts, I think there's one in the parts pile.

    #6 11 months ago

    I didn't go thru all that work on my bingos. I think you can do a good job by prepping the area around the wood rails and go from there. You might discover more problems than you want to deal with.
    Just a thought!

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    #7 11 months ago

    Agree with several of the previous posters -- leave them on and refinish. I have done half a dozen wood rail refurbs and its easier to remove PF and mask off areas around wood and sand and refinish with on machine.

    #8 11 months ago

    Remove the metal from the inside, remove the nails holding the rails in place. I use a very thin 2-inch Utility spatula. Make sure it’s clean and no rough spots, I like it polished and waxed to have less friction, it will be tight.

    From the outside tap up with rubber hammer. Tap on inside but not the long way or you risk a split. The glue is really hard, you have to take your time and you do risk splitting the wood. You can go on an angle to use the edge with the spatula as you tap to break parts of heavy glued spot areas.

    If you use screws to replace the nails be sure not to oversize or the wood will split, pilot the holes if needed and make sure the head sits is flush or the metal won’t fit properly afterwards.

    I needed repairs to my box... I would not go this far every time it was extra work.

    #9 11 months ago

    Thanks all. I think I'll leave them in place and refinish them attached. My cabinet is in decent shape. I don't want to damage it. I was able to easily remove the wood around the backbox so will refinish them standalone.

    Is the metal strip on the inside of the backbox right under the rails original or was it added by an operator at some point? Mine looks like it was an afterthought. If it wasn't original then I think I'll remove it without replacing it.

    I really appreciate all the ideas! I'm having a great time restoring this old game. I can proudly say that I've got it working at 100% now. Got a new back glass now I just need to make the cabinet look new again and I'll be the proud owner of my first bingo!


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