(Topic ID: 154435)

A Boob Job: My "This Ain't No HEP" AFM Restoration-COMPLETE


By beelzeboob

3 years ago



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  • 344 posts
  • 51 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by balboarules
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There are 344 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 7.
#151 3 years ago

I just started with my cheapo hf ultrasonic this past weekend after having it the box for like 2 years

Do you guys normally have to rinse the items or wipe them down after a cycle?

#152 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I just started with my cheapo hf ultrasonic this past weekend after having it the box for like 2 years
Do you guys normally have to rinse the items or wipe them down after a cycle?

I'll let you know after I use it the first time.

Up until now, I was using the Bryan Kelly method from his white trash days using Purple Power and a paint brush. I'd no idea he'd upgraded in the interim and had joined the ranks of the fancy folk. That's what I get for following a 2-year-old IJ restoration thread religiously.

#153 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

I completed stripping in record time


"and then I labeled my manhood in case I forgot where it goes."

Quoted from beelzeboob:

Last off is first one, so right into the basket

I'm sure you heard this before, but, why do you have such a large basket when you have such small tool/parts in it?
{looks a lot like tool envy}

#154 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

how regular humans deal with the issues

index_(resized).jpeg
You have obviously not met BooB

#155 3 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

"and then I labeled my manhood in case I forgot where it goes."

I'm sure you heard this before, but, why do you have such a large basket when you have such small tool/parts in it?
{looks a lot like tool envy}

#156 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I just started with my cheapo hf ultrasonic this past weekend after having it the box for like 2 years
Do you guys normally have to rinse the items or wipe them down after a cycle?

Yes, I rinse well then blow dry with compressed air so I don't get any water stains on the metal parts.

#157 3 years ago

Day 6: Decals & Silkscreening (8 hours)

Well, this 8 hours went by pretty fast. Don't know where the hell it went, but I thought I'd have gotten a lot more done by this point. I spent a lot of time making sure of the details, and I was mostly successful. (There are a few things I'm not happy with, but I'm learning to live with them. Pinball ain't perfect!)

Because the pops are rebuilt THROUGH the playfield (rather than being isolated on one side), I always like to start with that. So I nearly completed the pop rebuild, but after doing some ultrasonic cleaning, I still have to run the metal parts in the tumbler so I can reassemble and mount the coils on the playfield. No pictures of that because it's far too boring.

I silkscreened the warning on the back of the back box, which came out great. I'll post pics of the finished back box after the decals are applied tomorrow, but here's a shot right before I ran the screen:

IMG_1861_(resized).JPG

After that, I turned my attention to the cabinet decals. To prep the cabinet, I sanded with 220, then 320, then red Scotch-Brite pads. Wiped it down with a damp cloth, then used tack cloth on both the cabinet and the paper underside of the decals to avoid contaminents being transferred.

IMG_1864_(resized).JPG

Note to single guys: Having a wife help you with the cabinet sides is a must. You can see said awesome wife coming to help me install the decal. She leans on the decal to keep it in place while I peel it back, then slowly pulls the paper back while I squeegee. Yes, I dry install because I'm a) ridiculously overconfident; and b) have balls the size of Manhattan (probably from the infection).

I Sharpie'ed SOME of the decal edges so that they blend with the painted surfaces, but still have more to do tomorrow.

It's worth pointing out that my decals smell just like Jim McCune's house. It's a certain brand of air freshener and has a lovely bouquet. I think the name of the smell is Utah Attitude. I'll leave it to you guys to ask him why they smell like his house (because they really do!).

Installed the cabinet protectors. And yes, it's essential to cut the decals to avoid the decals buckling when the legs are clamped down. It sucks after you put all that work into getting the decal just right, but necessary if you want to KEEP it looking just right...and as you can see, you can't even tell what's been done once the protector is installed.

IMG_1872_(resized).JPG

I finally got her up on her legs (powdercoated by Matt Reisterer of Back Alley Creations...thanks, Matt!) and called it a day...

IMG_1873_(resized).JPG

Up next: Back box decaling and rebuild, cabinet repopulation, and then it's on to the playfield full time!

#158 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Because the pops are rebuilt THROUGH the playfield (rather than being isolated on one side), I always like to start with that. So I nearly completed the pop rebuild, but after doing some ultrasonic cleaning, I still have to run the metal parts in the tumbler so I can reassemble and mount the coils on the playfield. No pictures of that because it's far too boring.

I would actually love to see this step - as I am intimidated by the fin shank screws being hammered through playfield. How did you do this step? I have heard you need to drill out a portion of the hole so the screw sits flush? This step scares me.

#159 3 years ago

You don't have to drill anything out to do the pops, and you really don't need to be nervous about it, nor do you need to see it done. Here's what I did: I simply pushed the fin shank screws through the playfield (from the top, of course), flipped the playfield over on the rotisserie, and with a matching nut and washer, used a drill to power-screw the nut/washer onto the screw. This pulls the nail all the way through the playfield, and it sits flush because the playfield (Mirco ones, at least) have the countersunk spots for the nail head to sink into. Then unscrew the nut/washer and repeat 8 more times. It's time consuming, but you do NOT want to whack those nails through, especially on a rotisserie. You're just asking to crack the clear coat...or worse. One of those things where patience really pays off.

#160 3 years ago

what was your method for trimming the decals to get consistent edges, etc

#161 3 years ago

Well, one of the reasons for a very small beveled corner is that it gives you a nice angle to slide the blade across. When I did Funhouse, I used a steel T-square (a big one), which I laid over the crease of the decal, which I pulled taut on the edge to see the edge of the cabinet. Then, I just gently cut along the ruler/edge of the cabinet and trimmed the parts I wasn't happy with.

This time, I used the Skypilot method....

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/attack-from-mars-restoration-the-beginning/page/2#post-1439483

...then trimmed the edges using the bevel until the decal wouldn't "catch" on my finger. Any areas that were causing me problems with that method (because ANY minor bump will affect your cutting line), I did with the T-square.

Hope that makes sense.

#162 3 years ago

yeah thanks. its hearing people's wins and failures in these more finer details that really make all the difference in knowledge sharing. Instead of group think, lets share what we're baseing these conclusions on

After all that work, and the cost of the decals themselves, the 'getting the tidy trim' part is the element I imagine I would over the most... and probably end up ruining by keep trying to make slight improvements.

I love hearing the trial and error parts.. that experience is invaluable. So thx

But your time tracking... it sounds like my wife's fitbit tracking... doesn't seem possible I take way too long on things. Stupid centaur this past weekend ended up taking nearly 6hrs just to swap out all the drop targets, mylar new ones, and install and level correctly. (I hate how much you have to disassemble in those assemblies..)

#163 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

You don't have to drill anything out to do the pops, and you really don't need to be nervous about it, nor do you need to see it done. Here's what I did: I simply pushed the fin shank screws through the playfield (from the top, of course), flipped the playfield over on the rotisserie, and with a matching nut and washer, used a drill to power-screw the nut/washer onto the screw. This pulls the nail all the way through the playfield, and it sits flush because the playfield (Mirco ones, at least) have the countersunk spots for the nail head to sink into. Then unscrew the nut/washer and repeat 8 more times. It's time consuming, but you do NOT want to whack those nails through, especially on a rotisserie. You're just asking to crack the clear coat...or worse. One of those things where patience really pays off.

did you tighten them fast or slow?

#164 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

But your time tracking... it sounds like my wife's fitbit tracking... doesn't seem possible

Do you think? I actually thought I was right on schedule until today. Now I'm thinking I'm a little behind. The ultrasonic and tumbler will be doing a lot of heavy lifting for me from here on out, but I still have to get the whole cabinet back together, rebuild every microswitch, and reassemble all the mechs and playfield top and bottom. Then there's the testing and troubleshooting (because nothing ever works 100% after you tear it down to wood and wire). Restorations (thorough ones) usually take around 100 hours if you're taking your time. I'm right on track for that, but AFM is regarded as an easier machine to do, and should have been done sooner. It was all the re-painting that padded my hours (but as I said, I haven't included all that extra time because that was just me being WAY too anal).

#165 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

did you tighten them fast or slow?

Fast. Doesn't matter because when the nut stops turning, the nail is sitting flush.

#166 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

After that, I turned my attention to the cabinet decals. To prep the cabinet, I sanded with 220, then 320, then red Scotch-Brite pads.

Is this a must? You make it smooth and nice, paint it satin and then you "scuff it up" and make it dull? (I know you can not see it as it is under the decal)

#167 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

Is this a must? You make it smooth and nice, paint it satin and then you "scuff it up" and make it dull? (I know you can not see it as it is under the decal)

I got this one boob -- Yes this is standard practice for Boobie. Spend an extra 60 hours making something perfect and then eff it up before proceeding on to the next step.

#168 3 years ago

How did you like working with those decals as apposed to the next gens on your funhouse?

#169 3 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

How did you like working with those decals as apposed to the next gens on your funhouse?

Skypilot and or Beezel

What is the definition of "next gen' and what are the alternatives?

Kidding aside - is it definitely necessary to skuff up your cab before decaling? I would think a nice smooth finish would make them stick better?

#170 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

Is this a must? You make it smooth and nice, paint it satin and then you "scuff it up" and make it dull? (I know you can not see it as it is under the decal)

True...if you spend a lot of time getting the paint just right on the sides, which are then covered up by decals...which makes no sense to me. I just coated it all so that it was black and relatively smooth, and spent less than an hour sanding it to near perfection. Time well-spent, and paint well-saved.

Quoted from Pinterest:

I got this one boob -- Yes this is standard practice for Boobie. Spend an extra 60 hours making something perfect and then eff it up before proceeding on to the next step.

F**k you.

#171 3 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

How did you like working with those decals as apposed to the next gens on your funhouse?

They were both Phoenix Arcade decals.

Quoted from Pinterest:

Skypilot and or Beezel
What is the definition of "next gen' and what are the alternatives?
Kidding aside - is it definitely necessary to skuff up your cab before decaling? I would think a nice smooth finish would make them stick better?

Next gen are the decals sold by PPS. The printing job isn't as good (IMO), but the durability is better from what I've heard. PA decals scratch REALLY easily, from what I've seen.

And it's not necessary to scuff, but it gives the sticky side a better grip. And if you only scuff with Scotch Brite (which you can do if you spend all your time painting decaled surfaces, which I choose not to do), it's microscopic scratches...doesn't show at all under the decal.

I tell you, guys...I spent at least 3 hours telling myself "sticky side down, sticky side down, sticky side down" only to f**k it up by putting the smooth side down first. Took me 10 minutes--and my wife--to figure out why it wasn't sticking.

#172 3 years ago

I'm not an expert on these decals but reproduction cabinet art before next gen was basically silkscreen on a vinyl base. Theses were considered to be as close to the original look due to it being the same process used on the cabinets when they were manufactured. Next-gen is a different/newer process using large printers. I'm sure someone can give the technical details better than me. My personal experience is they are both great looking,silk screening being only slightly more authentic but next gen slightly easier to work with. Less tear /chipping on the cuts.

Boobs working hard to level up this restoration. That said I waste paint sealing the entire cabinet as he has done. Many others will prime all expected surfaces and paint only the exposed areas.This saves quite a bit of produce and cost.Whether you use either method. You need to "lightly" sand the area getting decaled only for the purpose of smoothing out ant slight over-spray or debris that lands on the final coat.This insures no telescoping of the base imperfections associated with painting. IMO

#173 3 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

This insures no telescoping of the base imperfections associated with painting. IMO

Whoa....and he spelled it all right, too.

#174 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Whoa....and he spelled it all right, too.

Im amazed at two things, The shit that comes out of my mouth when I'm sober, and the rest of the time.

#175 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Whoa....and he spelled it all right, too.

Spell check!

#176 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Hey Bryan...not sure if you saw this in the previous pic. Is this too much?

1460507119751-1075097558_(resized).jpg

You mislabeled those, Boob. They are clearly ball bearings, not pinballs.

#177 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

They were both Phoenix Arcade decals.
PA decals scratch REALLY easily, from what I've seen.

Not sure what's up with the artwork you've got, but I've used lots of Phoenix Arcades artwork over the years and have never had an issue with scratching or durability. Darin's stuff has always been top notch.

#178 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

Is this a must? You make it smooth and nice, paint it satin and then you "scuff it up" and make it dull? (I know you can not see it as it is under the decal)

Based on my limited experience, painting in black in say semi-gloss helps highlight the smallest imperfection in the surface. And these will show up for sure after the decals are installed.

#179 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

Based on my limited experience, painting in black in say semi-gloss helps highlight the smallest imperfection in the surface. And these will show up for sure after the decals are installed.

Correct.

Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

Not sure what's up with the artwork you've got, but I've used lots of Phoenix Arcades artwork over the years and have never had an issue with scratching or durability. Darin's stuff has always been top notch.

I agree. But when I was doing Funhouse, even if I moved the straight edge a tiny bit, it left scratches down to the white in multiple spots. There were no sharp edges hanging off the straight edge or anything. I had to keep chasing it with a blue sharpie. All better now!

#180 3 years ago

I just finish my AFM last month turned out really good ,decals are not the easiest thing too do ,every little thing shows though if you don't sand good and clean well ,I like too use a light over it after sanding too make sure very nice job your doing so far keep up the nice work

1 week later
#181 3 years ago

Has it been 8 hours yet?

#182 3 years ago

You cant rush perfection...

#183 3 years ago

here's a question... I saw this inside an HEP restored AFM cab. Was this something that came from the factory like this? If so, anyone know where I can get a copy of the file to print? I've tracked down all the other stickers/labels... but this one is something I hadn't seen before. Thanks.

AFM_cab_card_(resized).JPG

#184 3 years ago
Quoted from ninjabones:

here's a question... I saw this inside an HEP restored AFM cab. Was this something that came from the factory like this? If so, anyone know where I can get a copy of the file to print? I've tracked down all the other stickers/labels... but this one is something I hadn't seen before. Thanks.

AFM_cab_card_(resized).JPG

http://www.actionpinball.com/paper.php#techcharts

#185 3 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

You cant rush perfection...

You can't rush imperfection, either.

I've got an additional 16 hours in, but I've been really busy (both with the restoration, and travelling). I'll try to post the update now, if I don't get disturbed halfway...

#186 3 years ago
Quoted from ninjabones:

here's a question... I saw this inside an HEP restored AFM cab. Was this something that came from the factory like this? If so, anyone know where I can get a copy of the file to print? I've tracked down all the other stickers/labels... but this one is something I hadn't seen before. Thanks.

AFM_cab_card_(resized).JPG

How many people have actually done this? It seems like just another thing to get dicked up at the bottom of the cabinet. If I need to look at that stuff, I have the manual nearby. But if everybody has it, I'll laminate a copy and staple it in. Maybe.

#187 3 years ago

thank you. Another question, what is the prep process for the bottom of the inside cab? Is that sanded down and then a clear coat (varathane?). I'm working on the inside of my cab this weekend. Have the right paint for the sides, back, etc... just not sure what to do about the bottom (like in this photo).

HEP_cab_1_(resized).jpg

#188 3 years ago

Days 7 & 8: F My Life... (16 hours)

Okay. The good news: The cabinet is done. The bad news: It wasn't without lots of setbacks. There were problems at basically every turn, which caused me to backtrack and fix errors or do things twice. But everything came out pretty nicely. Yes, you could rip on some of the stuff I did, but I've had extensive therapy with Skypilot and McCune and I realize that NO pinball machine is perfect. Ever. And it's just something I have to learn to deal with. (FYI: Skypilot is a MUCH gentler therapist than McCune, who generally says, "Stop being such a pussy" and sends me on my way. )

All the harnesses were run through the ultrasonic cleaner at 60 degrees Centigrade for 20 minutes, then touched up with Purple Power and half a paint brush. Circuit boards and light sockets were put in the ultrasonic with a small amount of Purple Power.

For the bolts, I put them in CLR, then in lacquer thinner, then painted the heads with semi-gloss black:

IMG_1876_(resized).JPG
IMG_1877_(resized).JPG
IMG_1881_(resized).JPG

And here's the promised shot of the back box after the silk screening and decaling:

IMG_1880_(resized).JPG

While cabinet stuff was drying and harnesses were being bathed, I started cleaning coils in the ultrasonic and tumbling metal parts. Then I used the Bryan Kelly method of heating the solder on the leads and tapping them off onto a block of wood to clean them off. I got a little overzealous and busted one lead. More money for Pinball Resource!...

IMG_1882_(resized).JPG
IMG_1878_(resized).JPG
IMG_1879_(resized).JPG

Finally, it was time to assemble the cabinet and staple in some ground braid. I soldered in the tabs on the end of the ground braid, the way it came from the factory...

IMG_1883_(resized).JPG

And then the ground braid and basic stuff was installed in the cabinet and back box and after a long day it looked like this...

IMG_1889_(resized).JPG

I then cleaned and rebuilt the speaker panel and back box tub/lighting (but forgot to take before and after pics) and repopulated the cabinet and hooked up all the cabinet harnesses. And voila!...

IMG_1899_(resized).JPG
IMG_1895_(resized).JPG
IMG_1896_(resized).JPG
IMG_1897_(resized).JPG

I'm particularly proud of the last picture...when everything comes together right (and it so seldom does!), that's what your back box should look like. I wish the rest of the machine was that good!

I have three issues with the cabinet: The launch button light isn't getting enough voltage, so the LED is just ghosting; the color DMD displays only intermittently; and the lights behind the Attack From Mars logo are wonky. I'll have to find the loose connection. But I've never heard of a restoration that didn't involve troubleshooting as a last step.

Next up: Populating the playfield, which has already begun...

IMG_1900_(resized).JPG

#189 3 years ago
Quoted from ninjabones:

thank you. Another question, what is the prep process for the bottom of the inside cab? Is that sanded down and then a clear coat (varathane?). I'm working on the inside of my cab this weekend. Have the right paint for the sides, back, etc... just not sure what to do about the bottom (like in this photo).
HEP_cab_1_(resized).jpg

Just sand it. Use 220, then 320. If you have really pesky stains, you might want to start with 80...but be sure not to sand too much! Everything should still be flat and even - no dips in the wood.

The bottom of the cabinet is left au naturel.

#190 3 years ago

Just for gits and shiggles, here's a quick before and after before the fourth quarter starts:

IMG_1478_(resized).JPG

IMG_1895_(resized).JPG

IMG_1502_(resized).JPG

IMG_1899_(resized).JPG

#191 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

Skypilot is a MUCH gentler therapist than McCune,

F ing hysterical Hey McCune next Boob job I get to play bad cop

Coming together nice Boob! I love the before and after shots.

#192 3 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Hey McCune next Boob job I get to play bad cop

You can see the next victim of The Boob in one of those latest pics...

#193 3 years ago

nice job... holy cow, I have my work cut out for me to match this project. BTW, how many feet of braid did you end up using? And, where did you source those tabs that you soldered on the ends? I worked in reverse, as my playfield is about 50% repopulated, but my cabinet needs a lot of TLC.

#194 3 years ago
Quoted from ninjabones:

nice job... holy cow, I have my work cut out for me to match this project. BTW, how many feet of braid did you end up using? And, where did you source those tabs that you soldered on the ends? I worked in reverse, as my playfield is about 50% repopulated, but my cabinet needs a lot of TLC.

Not sure how many feet. I got a whole roll of it from Pinrestore.com, and that's where I got the little tabs for the ends as well. It's an invaluable site for getting tough-to-find things during a restoration.

#195 3 years ago

On behalf of the community association I would like to ask you to please bring those ridiculous Easter decorations inside.

#196 3 years ago
Quoted from yzfguy:

On behalf of the community association I would like to ask you to please bring those ridiculous Easter decorations inside.

That picture was taken in early March, dorkus. It's a "before" picture. And my wife painted those, so you better wear a cup when you see her at Allentown.

#197 3 years ago

Damn Boob, you're setting the bar pretty high with this AFM...It looks incredible, you really should be proud

#198 3 years ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

Damn Boob, you're setting the bar pretty high with this AFM...It looks incredible, you really should be proud

Thanks, buddy. But you know how it is from your pinbot. It's like when you do your own crown moldings....you know every little flaw and they're all you can look at.

#199 3 years ago

Wow Boob! If your going for "better than new" you've definitely surpassed that mark. I'm too embarrassed and ashamed to post more pics of my cabinet restoration. ...and I thought I was doing so well... maybe I'll redo mine again

#200 3 years ago

It was worth the wait. Awesome job.

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