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(Topic ID: 257774)

Thoughts on restoring this backbox


By Blackbeard

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 40 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by cottonm4
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 9 months ago

    Just looking for your thoughts on this. My plan is to sand this down. Use bondo to correct the corners and dings, and a thin layer over the sides where some planking is. Then use a sprayer to paint the top, sides, and back a color matched to the decals I have here. Then apply the decals.

    Thoughts? Tips?
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    #2 9 months ago

    On the corners at least, use the Bondo resin, not the regular stuff. They will hold up better

    #3 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    On the corners at least, use the Bondo resin, not the regular stuff. They will hold up better

    Any thoughts on the planking? I thought about skimming a fine layer of bondo over it.

    #4 9 months ago

    Is the planking more than what primer will handle? It's hard to see in the pics.

    #5 9 months ago

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cabinet-restoration-vids-guide#post-2546324
    vid is the man--- I think. I use fiberglass resin for the edge/corner damage. Bondo or spot putty works great as filler for the flat areas but just doesn't hold up on the edges

    amazon.com link » I like this stuff also ,mix it right into the resign. does just what it says makes it a little easier to sand

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    #6 9 months ago

    Oh, and definitely fiberglass resin for the edges and corners. It flows well so it'll fill in the whole area that you dam off. It worked better than i thought it would on my whirlwind. I was thoroughly impressed. The stuff stinks though.

    #7 9 months ago

    for minor surface stuff bondo works, i also like spot putty, It's alread mixed, and you can use a little out of the tube at a time. Auto filler primer (sandable) works good as a finish coat

    #8 9 months ago

    I'd rather have it original with some degree of planking than restored. I'd fix the corners but only if you're very confident or practiced. You could also sell me that old scratching post!!

    #9 9 months ago
    Quoted from Elvisinmypants:

    I'd fix the corners but only if you're very confident or practiced

    It's actually extremely easy. Dam off the corner with something rigid, pour in the resin, wait a few hours then sand.

    #10 9 months ago

    I feel like I'm right in between either using bondo or the resin for the corners. They are too bad, and the missing wood is basically very surface. Just seems like an easier solution.

    #11 9 months ago

    The resin flows better. Here's an edge like one of yours.
    IMG_20190808_205558 (resized).jpg

    #12 9 months ago

    How did you make the dams to hold things? Where does one get strips of scrap metal?

    #13 9 months ago

    Search metal flashing on any big box store web site. Lots of cheap options. You might also need tin snips.

    #14 9 months ago

    Yeah, a piece of flashing would work. So would plexiglas. Just put a coat of wax on whatever you use so the resin doesn't stick. It makes a huge difference. I just happened to have metal scraps sitting around in my shop.

    #15 9 months ago

    What material should I use on the sides that seem planked? Light coat of bondo?

    Or is the planking just in the paint?

    #16 9 months ago

    Sand down a portion and see what it looks like under the paint. You're going to repaint the entire thing anyways.

    #17 9 months ago

    One other question, and I know i'll be met with pushback, but...

    I am planning on not removing the light board or electronic behind it. This isn't a high end restoration of the inside of the backbox. Just the outside.

    I am just going to tape off the area well.

    #18 9 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    I am planning on not removing the light board or electronic behind it

    Totally up to you, I'd just be careful to keep excess dust out.

    #19 9 months ago
    Quoted from RWH:

    Totally up to you, I'd just be careful to keep excess dust out.

    oh yeah. Bascially plan on screwing the light board closed and taping/masking off the front.

    #20 9 months ago

    I skimmed the above advise, did not see it referenced, while this is for CAB repair, same techniques should hold true for your BB.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cabinet-restoration-vids-guide#post-2546324

    #21 9 months ago

    You can try using tape for the dam. I have seen pictures from people on here use tape as a dam for the resin also. I was previously led to believe tape wouldnt hold, but it probably works just fine.

    #22 9 months ago
    Quoted from Flipper_McGavin:

    You can try using tape for the dam. I have seen pictures from people on here use tape as a dam for the resin also. I was previously led to believe tape wouldnt hold, but it probably works just fine.

    Depends on the tape and epoxy resin used, some combos will work, others won't.

    #23 9 months ago

    I use blue painter's tape for fiberglass resin to make a dam to hold resin in place works great peels right off when the resin dries up.

    I'm actually doing that right now on my Fireball 2 restore

    #24 9 months ago

    If you use tape, just make sure that it doesn't cave in slightly. Make it bow out and then sand the edges sharp.

    #25 9 months ago
    Quoted from timab2000:

    I use blue painter's tape for fiberglass resin to make a dam to hold resin in place works great peels right off when the resin dries up.
    I'm actually doing that right now on my Fireball 2 restore

    Interesting.

    Do you just use a few layers of blue tape? Is the layer that touches the resin a sticky side, or the other side?

    #26 9 months ago

    Sticky Side toward the wood and the repair. Just use one strip. I know it sounds crazy but it works
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    Here's a picture of a larger repair
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    #27 9 months ago

    Wow, I may try that. I don't think my spots are large enough for having to use screws Vid mentioned in his how-to.

    #28 9 months ago

    Yeah I look at those same posts that Vid posted, and wondered the same as far as getting metal for the dam, and then just thought I'd try the tape and haven't looked back since.

    #29 9 months ago

    For the planking use a razor blade to cut, if needed (along the "planking" line) enough to lift and place glue under the planked area. Then clamp till dry. Otherwise if only try to paint over it the water in the paint will just lift the planking further.

    #30 9 months ago

    Pulling the tape off....

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    #31 9 months ago
    Quoted from Pintopia:

    For the planking use a razor blade to cut, if needed (along the "planking" line) enough to lift and place glue under the planked area. Then clamp till dry. Otherwise if only try to paint over it the water in the paint will just lift the planking further.

    I can't tell if it's just the paint that's cracked/planked, or if it goes deeper. I guess I won't know until I sand. Nothing is really flaking off. I was thinking just to use bondo, in a thin layer, scraped across the sides, hoping the bondo will basically fill in any cracking/planking areas. Then sanding...

    #32 9 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    I can't tell if it's just the paint that's cracked/planked, or if it goes deeper. I guess I won't know until I sand. Nothing is really flaking off. I was thinking just to use bondo, in a thin layer, scraped across the sides, hoping the bondo will basically fill in any cracking/planking areas. Then sanding...

    If the planking is deeper and doesn't come out with sanding, I would fill it and clamp it with glue before adding bondo on the top surface. The planking is from moisture, and if there is still any moisture buried in there, it will still continue to plank a bit more, and that may actually cause the bondo to crack on the surface.

    #33 9 months ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    If the planking is deeper and doesn't come out with sanding, I would fill it and clamp it with glue before adding bondo on the top surface. The planking is from moisture, and if there is still any moisture buried in there, it will still continue to plank a bit more, and that may actually cause the bondo to crack on the surface.

    This makes me so nervous to even attempt restoring the backbox.

    #34 9 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    This makes me so nervous to even attempt restoring the backbox.

    Don't over think it. You can "what if" yourself to death. You've got a good plan. Follow it and you'll be fine. If issues pop up along the way, you just fix them. There's nothing that you can do to that backbox that can't be fixed.

    Just don't start it on fire.

    #35 9 months ago

    Planking: Your wood veneer is old. The adhesive used to bond the top layer of veneer is old. It needs to be glued/bonded on again.

    This is not the cheapest way to fix planking but I wanted wavy, planked cabinet sides locked down tight. Because it was a cabinet with both sides planked I had to get serious. I bought a large 8 oz. bottle of super glue. I laid the cab on its side and flooded the side with light viscosity fast setting superglue. The super glue flows under the planked areas and bonds everything super tight and it will never plank again. Then I did a light sanding, applied any Bondo to smooth things out, sanded again and then painted.

    EDIT: I should add that I used one 8 oz. bottle of superglue per each cabinet side. At $27.00 a bottle, the fix was $54.00. But it stays fixed and is cheaper than a new cab.

    CAUTION: If you do the super glue flood method, either make very sure you have enough fresh air or wear a mask. Super glue in quantity will knock you on your butt.

    Broken cab corners: You have gotten many good suggestions.

    I prefer to get out my wood chisels and cut the broken wood away, then bond on a piece of replacement veneer. Some hobby shops sell veneer in different sizes and thicknesses. Some stores like Menards sell veneer. Home Depot of Lowes might sell veneer, but I am not very sure.

    If you have a friend with a table saw, a piece of 2 x4 can be cut into various thickness of veneer. If it is a small repair area you can use a popsicle stick or tongue depressor ( a box of 100 depressors costs $1.00 at Dollar General ).

    If you go the resin route, try to get some fiberglass cloth. Start cutting the cloth into short small pieces like hair (the smaller the better). Mix these small pieces of fiberglass into your resin. Resin by itself does not have much strength but with glass hairs mixed in it is almost bullet proof.

    1 week later
    #36 9 months ago

    So I started sanding The backbox paint today with 80 grit. Seems to be taking forever.

    If I’m repainting this prior to decals, how much of the old paint needs to be removed? Should this go down to bare wood?

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    #37 9 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    So I started sanding The backbox paint today with 80 grit. Seems to be taking forever.

    If I’m repainting this prior to decals, how much of the old paint needs to be removed?

    I always sand with 60 grit. Takes a little time, but not bad.
    No, it doesn't need to be sanded down to bare wood. By rubbing your fingers over the
    area(s), you'll just want to make sure that all is smooth and you don't feel any edges.
    Bondo with small fiberglass strans is good stuff. It doesn't shrink. Also while sanding
    the Bondo, you'll want to feel to make sure all is smooth. The Bonda can take more
    than one application after sanding..
    I usually use like an inch wide puddy knife when applying..

    #38 9 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    So I started sanding The backbox paint today with 80 grit. Seems to be taking forever.
    If I’m repainting this prior to decals, how much of the old paint needs to be removed? Should this go down to bare wood?[quoted image]

    You do not need to remove all of the paint. Some of the best surface for new paint adhesion is old paint. However, with the cabs I have been repairing/restoring I fail to follow my own advise and sand them to bare wood.

    If you are sanding by hand, just bite the bullet and go buy a vibrating sander. A Google search shows you have all kinds of pawn shops around you. Try to get one with a hook and loop style sanding pad. Don't get some pee-wad size palm sander. Get a larger size sander for the big jobs.

    This sander will work for smaller jobs and tight places. But if you get something similar then you can buy your sanding media at Harbor Freight and save a little money. Abrasives are not cheap.

    You will most likely find all styles of sanders in the pawn shops.

    I start with 80 grit and then move to 220 grit sand paper and then move to 320 and then 400.

    I am not endorsing this particular sander but these types of sanding pads are hook and loop style.

    amazon.com link »

    #39 9 months ago

    Well I took both sides down bare. The wood is good underneath. It was just the paint that was planked fortunately.

    I plan on purchasing a paint gun sprayer and using an oil based paint to match the decals.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to thin the paint? Like what proportions of paint to thinner?

    #40 9 months ago

    I would ask the shop that is going to mix up your custom color paint for you.

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