(Topic ID: 269980)

Whitewater - My second restoration attempt!

By arcadenerd925

1 year ago


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  • 87 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Elicash
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders

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There are 87 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 1 year ago

About two years ago I restored my Funhouse and documented it here (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/funhouse-my-first-restoration-help-me-not-botch-this). It was considerably more work than I thought it would be. In the end, I think it took me roughly 7 months? (mind you I have two young kids and I work a ton, so this was an hour-here-hour-there kinda deal).

That being said, it's still my favorite pin. It looks like I just un-crated it from the factory (with a lot of bling of course). Plays like a dream... I couldn't have asked for more. It was a struggle to get here, but I finished it some how and I am rather proud of how it came out.

Enough time has gone by that I have forgotten how much it sucked to accomplish, so why not do it again?

Enter Whitewater. My buddy Nick and I played the crap out of this super nice/clean WH20 at PAGG several years ago. It just had this "just one more game, nobody's waiting behind us" vibe going for me at the show. I knew at some point it would be fun to own one.

About a year ago or so I started seriously looking. I found a nicely restored one about two hours away. It was over-priced but super nice/clean. Right when I was about to pull the trigger I found out that it had a repro topper (seller claimed it was original, but I think he really thought it was). How about we agree to disagree? regardless, nice dude but I passed.

Next up, another one from a local arcade. It was pretty beat up but had a super nice topper. Unfortunately, this one was a lot more than I was willing to spend, so I passed.

I then of course spent the next month in a dry spell of local WH20's being available and wishing I had just gotten one of the previous two.... When out of the blue, a local pinsider reached out mentioning he had a players condition WH20 with a few minor issues that he was thinking of parting with. The price was fair, he had good feedback (and rightly so, he is an awesome pinsider) so I made a 45 minute trek and picked it up.

He was planning to restore it but just had too many projects going on. So I bought the parts he already had on hand (some ramps, plastics, etc). Win!

I was also able to fix the issues (a few switches out, etc) so at least I could enjoy it while I started buying the remaining parts I would need. This worked out well as I ended up procrastinating this restore for roughly a year now. I was waiting for the perfect time.. when work was less busy and I could take a few weeks off.. blah blah etc etc. Then covid19 came (and I am actually busier than normal now). I got tired of waiting around for the right time and decided its time to just go for it.

First things first tho, I owe Bryan_Kelly some beers! (for all his awesome advice during my FH restore) this is super late of course, better late than never I always say. So that is now on its way (I hope he still lives in the same place, lol)

Here are some before pics:

20200523_192605 (resized).jpg
20200523_192637 (resized).jpg

I am going to take a bit of a different approach this time. Not going to meticulously label every damn stinking part. Not sure if I am going to paint the bottom of the cab... For the armor I am going a bit of a different route. I am using rad cal's, so no crazy amount of sanding-bondo-sanding-bondo-sanding I hope. I also have some ideas for customizing the lighting that I am interested to try.

If I spend 7 months working on this, please shoot me.

#2 1 year ago

Exciting stuff!
Nice to see you having time to go for it.
Can’t wait to see it shine!

#3 1 year ago

I'm currently in the process of fixing up a player condition wh2o machine too, will follow you to compare your experiences with mine

Its a great game and I'm really happy to have added it to my small collection.

#4 1 year ago

Ill be watching. I just sold my Whitewater a couple of months ago and I do miss it a little.

#5 1 year ago

Made some good progress out of the gate. Removed everything top side with it still in the cab. I made sure to take pictures with the posts still on (and a tape measure) so I can match things up right when I populate the new PF.

20200525_204948 (resized).jpg

Next day, figured I would tackle the bottom side. Like last time I used my wife's label machine to tag each coil/lamp/switch. Took tons of pics and kept moving forward.

Got the majority of it removed in the cab and then pulled it off to get what was left.

20200529_203514 (resized).jpg

20200530_153758 (resized).jpg

After that I moved up to the head. I didnt label much there and opted to just take lots of pics before pulling all the wires. Boards look good! no hacks that I can see.

Next up for tomorrow, the part I hate the most... removing the stupid decals. Last time I tried sanding them off with an orbital sander, that was a total waste of time (unless you have one of those crazy fancy festool ones) after that I tried a putty knife with a heat tool, kinda sorta better? my wife swooped in for the win: heat it up and then carefully peel it back. I tweaked this slightly, I score it with a blade in strips so it peels off in a more predictable way.

Will keep at this tomorrow. Hoping to have the decals completely off by Thursday so I can prep for sanding/painting'rad-cal applying this weekend.

#6 1 year ago

Following! Will you be doing a Mirco playfield or restoring original? Will be interested to see the quality of the radcals. WH20 was my first game and I plan to restore it one day...

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from arcadenerd925:

About two years ago I restored my Funhouse and documented it here (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/funhouse-my-first-restoration-help-me-not-botch-this). It was considerably more work than I thought it would be. In the end, I think it took me roughly 7 months? (mind you I have two young kids and I work a ton, so this was an hour-here-hour-there kinda deal).
That being said, it's still my favorite pin. It looks like I just un-crated it from the factory (with a lot of bling of course). Plays like a dream... I couldn't have asked for more. It was a struggle to get here, but I finished it some how and I am rather proud of how it came out.
Enough time has gone by that I have forgotten how much it sucked to accomplish, so why not do it again?
Enter Whitewater. My buddy Nick and I played the crap out of this super nice/clean WH20 at PAGG several years ago. It just had this "just one more game, nobody's waiting behind us" vibe going for me at the show. I knew at some point it would be fun to own one.
About a year ago or so I started seriously looking. I found a nicely restored one about two hours away. It was over-priced but super nice/clean. Right when I was about to pull the trigger I found out that it had a repro topper (seller claimed it was original, but I think he really thought it was). How about we agree to disagree? regardless, nice dude but I passed.
Next up, another one from a local arcade. It was pretty beat up but had a super nice topper. Unfortunately, this one was a lot more than I was willing to spend, so I passed.
I then of course spent the next month in a dry spell of local WH20's being available and wishing I had just gotten one of the previous two.... When out of the blue, a local pinsider reached out mentioning he had a players condition WH20 with a few minor issues that he was thinking of parting with. The price was fair, he had good feedback (and rightly so, he is an awesome pinsider) so I made a 45 minute trek and picked it up.
He was planning to restore it but just had too many projects going on. So I bought the parts he already had on hand (some ramps, plastics, etc). Win!
I was also able to fix the issues (a few switches out, etc) so at least I could enjoy it while I started buying the remaining parts I would need. This worked out well as I ended up procrastinating this restore for roughly a year now. I was waiting for the perfect time.. when work was less busy and I could take a few weeks off.. blah blah etc etc. Then covid19 came (and I am actually busier than normal now). I got tired of waiting around for the right time and decided its time to just go for it.
First things first tho, I owe bryan_kelly some beers! (for all his awesome advice during my FH restore) this is super late of course, better late than never I always say. So that is now on its way (I hope he still lives in the same place, lol)
Here are some before pics:
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
I am going to take a bit of a different approach this time. Not going to meticulously label every damn stinking part. Not sure if I am going to paint the bottom of the cab... For the armor I am going a bit of a different route. I am using rad cal's, so no crazy amount of sanding-bondo-sanding-bondo-sanding I hope. I also have some ideas for customizing the lighting that I am interested to try.
If I spend 7 months working on this, please shoot me.

Interested in seeing the Rad cals. I've been thinking of doing those with my FH.
Courious to see if there is any bleed though.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from Elicash:

Following! Will you be doing a Mirco playfield or restoring original? Will be interested to see the quality of the radcals. WH20 was my first game and I plan to restore it one day...

Mirco, the original has pretty bad planking. Excited to try the radcals.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from mollyspub:

Interested in seeing the Rad cals. I've been thinking of doing those with my FH.
Courious to see if there is any bleed though.

My only concern with bleed through would be if i was trying to install the radcals over the old decals, but since I am taking them off, sanding and priming i think (hope) it should look fantastic.

#10 1 year ago

Oh decal removal, how I loathe thee

This is one of those convenient moments I neglected to remember vividly enough from my FH restoration. While I have settled in on my direction as far as how to remove them (score lines, heat tool and then peel off) it still totally sucks. Day one i did the right side over an hour or so. Day two I did the front. I had to take a few days off though, my fingers were just super sore peeling that crap up.

Today my better half took pity on me and swooped in for the win. She peeled off the left side decal in about 20 minutes. Ugh! I do not know how she does it. She is a crafter who works with vinyl so i suppose it's just her familiarity with it.

Note to self for next time: Just pony up the $$$ for a festool and just sand that crap off.
20200602_194157 (resized).jpg
20200606_203615 (resized).jpg

Now that the decals are off, I just need to take the topper off and sand sand bondo sand. Primer, paint and apply the radcals

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from arcadenerd925:

Oh decal removal, how I loathe thee
This is one of those convenient moments I neglected to remember vividly enough from my FH restoration. While I have settled in on my direction as far as how to remove them (score lines, heat tool and then peel off) it still totally sucks. Day one i did the right side over an hour or so. Day two I did the front. I had to take a few days off though, my fingers were just super sore peeling that crap up.
Today my better half took pity on me and swooped in for the win. She peeled off the left side decal in about 20 minutes. Ugh! I do not know how she does it. She is a crafter who works with vinyl so i suppose it's just her familiarity with it.
Note to self for next time: Just pony up the $$$ for a festool and just sand that crap off.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]
Now that the decals are off, I just need to take the topper off and sand sand bondo sand. Primer, paint and apply the radcals

One of the benefits of the rads is not to have the need to remove and prep. Why not go this direction ?

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from arcadenerd925:

Note to self for next time: Just pony up the $$$ for a festool and just sand that crap off.

I have Festool sanders and assorted tools and it is not that easy to sand things right off. I heat my decals and peel like your wife did and it works fine for me and then I sand.

#14 1 year ago

That looks like it went very easy. Is that a thick vinyl decal he is sanding off or is it paint?

#15 1 year ago

I spoke with micro on Rad cals and he advised of leaving old decals/paint on to simply paint over the art with matching cabinet color to prevent bleed through

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from fiberdude120:

That looks like it went very easy. Is that a thick vinyl decal he is sanding off or is it paint?

Those are decals Jim is sanding off. He is using a Festool Rotex sander. Festool is an expensive line of tools, but they save countless hours of work.

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from mollyspub:

One of the benefits of the rads is not to have the need to remove and prep. Why not go this direction ?

Quoted from Jmckune:

I spoke with micro on Rad cals and he advised of leaving old decals/paint on to simply paint over the art with matching cabinet color to prevent bleed through

if it was a screened cab I would probably just light sand, paint or prime and apply. But in my case, there are some dings and missing chunks to be addressed that would have caused the rad cals to not lay down flat from my vantage point. I suppose it depends on why your considering using them. For me its less about ease of installs and more about the durability and the that "clear coated" look.

My main other concern about applying them over existing decals would just be long term durability, the adhesion is only as good as the vinyl underneath. On my totan the corners of the decal are starting to peel up, I would be concerned about the rad cals pulling away in the corners if I just put them over top.

#18 1 year ago
Quoted from fiberdude120:

I have Festool sanders and assorted tools and it is not that easy to sand things right off. I heat my decals and peel like your wife did and it works fine for me and then I sand.

Thanks for posting that. It's something I am going to have to think about more. It's not like I do this often. Perhaps I barter with my wife next time for her to just do the decal removal, lol.

#19 1 year ago

Backbox is off on most of the pieces I plan to remove before sanding/painting are off (like the cab, I'm not removing everything this time, will mask/tape off as needed)

20200608_194303 (resized).jpg
#20 1 year ago

Tomorrow I need to address this corner. It's not terrible, but I think it needs some reinforcing (will probably bracket both corners like Stern started doing after the GB cab debacle).

20200608_195217 (resized).jpg

Also heading to my office to grab the rad cals and the mirco PF (with 2 young kids, my office was the safest place to stow that stuff, lol). After that, will stop by the hardware store (or paint store) to see how good I can match a color to the blue on the rad cals.

Progress is going a little slower than I would like but I'm getting there.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from mollyspub:

One of the benefits of the rads is not to have the need to remove and prep. Why not go this direction ?

When i used them on a whirlwind, i noticed that any exposed areas that weren't covered by the radcals needed to match the color of the radcals. Unfortunately the faded paint didn't match so i ended up repainting the entire cabinet with something that matched.

You can also decide if you want to recess all of the head bolts that are just for the internal supports and put the radcal over them. It's a cleaner look.
IMG_20190908_125851 (resized).jpg

IMG_20190909_193120 (resized).jpg

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

When i used them on a whirlwind, i noticed that any exposed areas that weren't covered by the radcals needed to match the color of the radcals. Unfortunately the faded paint didn't match so i ended up repainting the entire cabinet with something that matched.
You can also decide if you want to recess all of the head bolts that are just for the internal supports and put the radcal over them. It's a cleaner look.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

Pm sent

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

When i used them on a whirlwind, i noticed that any exposed areas that weren't covered by the radcals needed to match the color of the radcals. Unfortunately the faded paint didn't match so i ended up repainting the entire cabinet with something that matched.
You can also decide if you want to recess all of the head bolts that are just for the internal supports and put the radcal over them. It's a cleaner look.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

I like what you did with the bolts, I think I may give this a shot (thank you for posting!)

I am hoping to hit up the paint store today with a rad cal in tow to try to match the color the best I can. Any other rad-cal application tips worthy of sharing? I am hoping to apply them this weekend.

#24 1 year ago

You might have found this old thread on Wh20 paint matching already but posting just in case --

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/white-water-cabinet-blue-color

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from JimFNB:

You might have found this old thread on Wh20 paint matching already but posting just in case --
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/white-water-cabinet-blue-color

Appreciate you digging this up! I think the issue is that the rad cals themselves dont match the original decal color. So i figured I would just have to match the best I can.

#28 1 year ago

nice write up! this will come in very handy. thanks!

#29 1 year ago

Please do! having done this already yourself I could definitely use your advice.

#30 1 year ago

Ok so after I finished all my meetings for the day, I hit up lowes. I had planned to hit up benjamin moore but they decided to close early today. So I only had two paint samples. I also figured I would try two rattle cans I had from when i was testing paint for funhouse as well as some of the leftover paint I used on the funhouse that I settled on.

I think the second from the left matches the best actually. Thoughts? It's called "Homecoming Blue". The third from the left is the funhouse blue i used during my last restore, I would say thats a close second.

(i took pictures in some different lighting)

20200610_201646 (resized).jpg

20200610_210954 (resized).jpg

20200610_211340 (resized).jpg

20200610_211419 (resized).jpg

It's a little bit tricky as I believe the samples are "eggshell". But when the final version is glossy i think it will match up nice, or at least close enough for me to be plenty happy with it.

Curious to see what others think.

#31 1 year ago

Nice! Ya looks like far left is darn near the same. How would you apply? Paint roller?

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from Soulrider911:

Nice! Ya looks like far left is darn near the same. How would you apply? Paint roller?

I have a sprayer I bought when I did FH. I will have to thin the paint a bit though for it to work well.

#33 1 year ago

In my eyes (opinion) the far left too!

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from arcadenerd925:

First things first tho, I owe bryan_kelly some beers! (for all his awesome advice during my FH restore) this is super late of course, better late than never I always say. So that is now on its way (I hope he still lives in the same place, lol)

I talked with him the other day and yes, he still lives in the same place!

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

I talked with him the other day and yes, he still lives in the same place!

So you are now talking to yourself, Is this what pinball does to people?

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

I talked with him the other day and yes, he still lives in the same place!

Sweet. I will PM you the tracking number. Someone 21+ must be there to sign for it. Cheers!

#37 1 year ago

So with all the decals off, I took that sucker outside and:

Addressed the corners by adding a bracket on each side. I went ahead and just put a bolt through since I was going to sand/bondo next.

20200611_114149 (resized).jpg

20200611_114157 (resized).jpg

After that, sand.. bondo... sand... ooops, i missed a spot, more bondo, more sanding. Ugh.

#38 1 year ago

Next up... paint!

I am using a Wagner electric sprayer. I love this damn thing. It claims it can spray un-thinned latex, but the shit I buy for pins is THICK (high quality one coat exterior latex paint). I thin it with roughly (totally guess) 5% windex... yes windex. I have no idea why, i read hundreds of restore threads when I did my FH and i stumbled upon one where some dudes said that whats you should do to thin it. So i went with it. my FH paint job came out fantastic and I am very happy with this one as well.

20200612_141404 (resized).jpg20200612_142600 (resized).jpg
#39 1 year ago

Also, i know "why are you painting the whole thing blue when your just gonna put the rad cals over it".

I was going to prime it, make it nice and smooth for the decals, but then i was thinking about the areas where I would like to have blue underneath and figured.. I had the stupid spray gun out filled with paint from doing the head.. why not just use it.

#40 1 year ago

I did the latex paint on my Funhouse too and thinned it, but used water. I had a tough time knowing how much water-to-paint used in my mixture.

About how much windex did you use? 50/50?

#41 1 year ago

I think he mentioned only 5% windex.

#42 1 year ago
Quoted from Elicash:

I did the latex paint on my Funhouse too and thinned it, but used water. I had a tough time knowing how much water-to-paint used in my mixture.
About how much windex did you use? 50/50?

Holy moly, that would be a whole lotta windex. I wasnt exactly precise with my 5%, basically just enough to thin it enough to go smoothly through the gun.

#43 1 year ago

Time for the rad cals! I decided to do the head first.

First, I had to cut this sucker down an 1/8" on either side (my head has a top and bottom bevel)

20200613_082354 (resized).jpg

Holy crap, these things are not easy to cut. I ended up letting my wife take a whack at it with her German rotary cutter after I failed miserably with the exacto knife.

Wiped the surface down with a microfiber cloth blotted with a little alcohol to get any dust off. Put on the slip lock clamps and away we go.

20200613_085259 (resized).jpg

Pulled it up half way, peeled off half the backing and cut it. Brought it back down and used a roller to give some good even pressure on top.

20200613_085329 (resized).jpg

Came out perfect! (so easy my 7 year old did most of the work, lol)

20200613_095537 (resized).jpg

As you can see I recessed the bolts. I like it, looks cleaner, was super easy and it made applying the decal a breeze.

#44 1 year ago

I did the front of the cab next. The few videos I was able to watch others applying these that's where they started and it seemed to make sense. The decal on the front is slightly bigger than the cab on the left and right sides. The idea being, the side decals will butt up to the front for a nice looking corner.

20200613_112440 (resized).jpg

The one thing i did different than the suggestions I saw. I did not line it up based on the start button. For me it was more important that the left and right sides had the right position (with just a hair hanging over the edgese). The start button hole is nearly perfect, but that's why I painted it blue underneath, I dont think you will notice it. I did cut just under an 1/8" off the top, It was smidge tall and I did not want the lockdown bar to mess it up over time.

Next up, the sides. So far so good.

20200613_114513 (resized).jpg

Oooops, Houston we have a problem. I suppose I should have checked the fit of the leg brackets on the back before applying these guys, lol.

20200613_124015 (resized).jpg

My wife cut the excess away with a mini rotary blade (she is handy to have around, heh)

#45 1 year ago

Time to do some trimming.

You have to drill out the holes for the flipper buttons and bolts on the sides. This was actually super easy. I figured I would just use the dremel instead of trying to cut it away. First I drilled a hole through, then the dremel. It cut right through with ease.

20200614_070237 (resized).jpg

I shifted to a smaller bit to square the holes for the bolts

20200614_070233 (resized).jpg

Overall, I am VERY happy with these rad cals. They were very easy to apply, I had to do significantly less surface prep than when using vinyl and they just look awesome.

#46 1 year ago

Looks good!

A block plane works great on the edges as well.

#47 1 year ago

Nice work so far, i have the same task ahead of me in the next few weeks.
But i will get a completly new cabinet with the bolts already removed (head) or immersed where ever possible?

How about the cutout of the legs on the front and side - did they line up on yours?
Mine have a little difference on them.

#48 1 year ago

Nice work looking good!

#49 1 year ago
Quoted from arcadenerd925:

First things first tho, I owe bryan_kelly some beers! (for all his awesome advice during my FH restore) this is super late of course, better late than never I always say. So that is now on its way (I hope he still lives in the same place, lol)

Thank you, Steve!

A943CC3B-A53E-47F7-87BA-01C9BAAE1A0E_1_105_c (resized).jpeg
#50 1 year ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

Looks good!
A block plane works great on the edges as well.

Yea for sure. Cleaning up the edges is critical with rad cals, both sides. If you dont clean up the edges on the back side you will see little bits of the sticky backing on the edges. I'm just glad I watched videos of others doing their installs so I knew to do that BEFORE mine, heh. (Mirco should really include an instruction set with these)

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