(Topic ID: 130632)

Williams 1960 Nags Platter Replacement

By SteveinTexas

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by SteveinTexas
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


Linked Games

  • Nags Williams, 1960

Topic Gallery

There have been 17 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

16. Close Up of a Finished Platter.JPG
15. Finished Platters.JPG
14. Decal Set and Sol.jpg
13. Using ink pens  as guide pins.JPG
1. Platter in aPlayfield.jpg
12. Clear coat prior decals.JPG
11. Frisket and cut out for the white background.JPG
10. Shellac Finish.JPG
9. Shellac Bare Wood Finish.jpg
8. Nags Darkened Wood.jpg
7. Cutting 2.25 inch recess in back.JPG
6. Ready to use a router with original template.JPG
5.  Seven Blanks  Remaining.JPG
4. New Birch Wood Platter Markout.JPG
3. Platter Artwork.jpg
2. Existing Platter in Game.JPG

#1 5 years ago

As recently discussed one of pinballs most innovation features imagined by Harry Williams was the rotating bumpers found on the 1960 Williams Nags.
1. Platter in aPlayfield.jpgTypical Platter in Good Condition

A little background. I was able to get such a game from Dirtflipper last fall. It is a complete project and Rod went through what it would entail to get this game restored and working. He had located a replacement playfield for the one I bought without another platter. The original platter was well worn both the paint and wood, but the mechanics were fine underneath.

I needed to fix amongst other things discrete issues with the playfield and platter. The platter was the most difficult and at the least needed a lot of paint repair and or possibly multiple decals. Following Rods advice I decided to make a new platter and leave the original as a backup for the time being.
2. Existing Platter in Game.JPGPlatter in Game

I purchased illustrator/ paint shop to learn how to make artwork for decals. Without a background of this type of work it is quite a steep learning curve. So I reached out to Mal (Hyperball91) for some advice. Mal advised me to learn the illustrator software not Photoshop for these kinds of artwork creation using vectors and also asked for a large scan to tinker with. Mal to my surprise made a new rendering in Photoshop (he doesn’t use illustrator) of the artwork and this was part of an earlier topic this year. Here is a link to Mal’s thread; https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/nags-platter-repair
3. Platter Artwork.jpgNew Artwork against Original

Sadly Mal suffered a bereavement in his family and was unable to finalize the last 1% of the project but if you are still following Mal the project is now complete. I am able to make simple modifications with illustrator to correct colors such as the green and mauve colors per the Pantone numbers feature for example and also create simple decals so it was finally finished.

I have added links in this thread for products found still in local stores. I know they are located in the Houston area but if we have the stores here you might have similar stores in your area that carry stock. I always seem to spill or run out of things lately when I am ready to use them and it’s a weekend or something.

To get the project started I needed playfield quality wood. The original playfield & platter wood in the game is I believe a maple veneer 5 ply and ½” thick. I was able to get locally ‘A’ grade Russian birch 5 ply and 12mm thick veneer from a specialist supplier in Houston called “Clarks Hardwood” http://www.clarkshardwood.com . As the original platter was planed level its thickness matches up perfectly. The game for information has adjustable leveler rollers so a small change in thickness can be accommodated. The birch grain is not always as ideal as a playfield as maple when staining but this sheet was very good quality and it did accept the finish quite well.
4. New Birch Wood Platter Markout.JPG
5. Seven Blanks Remaining.JPGNew Birch Plywood marked for New Platters

I wasn’t sure that I could make a perfect platter because of all the construction and preparation steps including correct choices of finish, decaling methods etc, and I wasn’t wrong. So as I had a 5’ square sheet I made easily 8 blanks. I used my circular saw to make the blanks and immediately through my haste dropped one splitting the top ply layer, shoot! So seven left.

I then used a jigsaw to get them close to round and followed with a router using the original platter as a template to finish of the basic shaping. On inspection I lost another one carelessly to a nasty gouge to the finished surface of one. Birch is quite soft and I had piled them on top of each other whilst I worked without cleaning off a wood chip. So now six left.

6. Ready to use a router with original template.JPGReady to router the blanks to actual size

We had to cut a 2 ¼” dia recess in the back ¼” deep for connecting to the rotating hardware support. The wood was then sanded smooth with 220/400 grit sand paper. I decided to put one away for future at this stage just in case. So five now left.
7. Cutting 2.25 inch recess in back.JPGBlank prepared for Rotating Hardware recessed connection.

The new platters needed careful predrilling for the bumper holes and an underside recess for the rotating mechanical brackets. This was completed again using the original as a template with various bits I had on hand. A mylar template was made of the underside of the master platter to assist accurate predrilling of all the screw holes later in the project.

The wood on a Nags seems to have darkened and yellowed more than other games from the period. Williams seems to have used different finishes over the years and some were more resistant to UV light then others, not the Nags however! Does anyone know how to lighten the wood color, I sure don’t, I did try bleaching the old wood surface but got no real improvement.
8. Nags Darkened Wood.jpgTypical Nags Wood grain darkening over 55 years.

So what to finish the wood with so it matches the original playfield? I did not find much on the RGP site nor Pinside or the internet on this subject except ‘Vid’s recommendations to use Shellac. I bought two different shades from Home Depot or the like, clear and amber and also tried other stains I had on my shelves as an experiment on scraps of the wood. However, no color blend seemed to match. I eventually use both clear and amber Shellac finish on the platter wood top and bottom. They came out well. 4 clear blanks and one amber.
9. Shellac Bare Wood Finish.jpgShellac Bare Wood Finishes Used
10. Shellac Finish.JPGShellac clear finished platter

The next part is tricky and I am not referring to vinyl or waterslide decals placement but the accurate painting of the white background under the decal artwork…actually ivory white after 55 years to match the playfield.
11. Frisket and cut out for the white background.JPGFrisket used to help prepare white background

After the painting of the ivory white paint the platter needs to be prepared for the decals to have a smooth surface to stick. I used a 2PAC clear coat on all the platters.
12. Clear coat prior decals.JPGEach Platter clear coated with 2PAC auto clear prior decal placement

#2 5 years ago

While making the platters I had a Fastsigns make a vinyl decal of the artwork. Having the artwork completed means paying only for three decals. I was not sure if such a large decal would work but it was worth a try. The vinyl decal is difficult to lay. I eventually used paint pens as guides and lowered the decal onto the blank and smoothed out the air bubbles as best I could. I needed my wife to help with this step as it needed multiple hands and it turned out OK.
13. Using ink pens as guide pins.JPG13. Decal fitted using ‘Pens’ as guide pins- Dry run.

When Mel made the artwork he told me that there was a geometrical misalignment in the platter artwork that he had to ‘fix’ to make the artwork appear correct. The upshot of this is the vinyl decals do not quite line up with the white paint as you will see below, Sigh. Very close.

I also made waterslide decals. However the largest I could make was 8” X11”. I saw on the internet that 11” X17’ waterslide decal paper is available in minimum of 100 sheet packs, no thanks. I was able to prepare more accurate background painting for the three remaining platters using waterslide decals and cutting them up a bit. This was trial and error to print with a laser printer different rotations from a pdf so I ended up printing quite a few copies for the three blanks.

I ran out of paper twice but was able to find waterslide decal paper even on a Sunday at “Texas Art Supply” http://www.texasart.com . So now to try and put decals on the blanks. I found out a very large water slide decal is quite easy to place if you have a bunch of decal set on the receiving surface and on the decal. However, if you add a second waterslide decal over another decal the colors darken significantly so this is an unpleasant trade off. Lesson the decal needs to be complete if at all possible. So now I have 5 platters two with vinyl decals and three with waterslide decals that all need a protective hard wearing coat.

I was able to find plenty of the “Microscale Decal Set and Sol products at ‘Papa Bens’ (train Hobby stuff), Houston http://www.papabens.com/ Train hobby stores are in most large Cities and have products we need from small screws to decal set etc. Worth a visit.
14. Decal Set and Sol.jpg14. Decal Set and Sol

Choices of a clear coat for protection the artwork seems to boil down to either a Varathane / Minwax Polycrylic type product or 2PAC auto clear. Both have supporters and detractors for an EM playfield application. I decided to try both. Other finishes over decals like lacquer is a no-no as they are too hot and will destroy the decal quickly. How dark the Varathane type product would make the decals would be seen soon. To add a clear coat over decals either vinyl or a waterslide version is quite delicate so follow either ‘Vid’s excellent 2PAC tutorial see link https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/6#post-888391 or for Varathane or similar this is a good link that ‘Stashyboy’ kindly attached to a relevant topic recently. http://www.passionforpinball.com/jjresto2.htm.

I followed ‘Vid’s instructions and was careful to to only lightly dust the auto clear on for a couple of coats so not to destroy the decals. I sprayed the Minwax Polycrylic semi-gloss clear the same way to be safe.

It was not all perfect for a few reasons. The vinyl decals trap minute air bubbles and you need to prick open and push down as best as possible. The waterslide decals dried with a few minor ridges where there was multiple pieces overlapping. This happened because I had such a large area to cover and could not butt pieces together. This results in additional repair and re-coating with the clear coat steps until they are sanded down and covered with the clear. You need to be patient with these repairs as they always seem to happen…. to me anyway.
15. Finished Platters.JPG15. Five Finished Platters

Finally I had sufficient clear on the platters and was able to quickly move through the multiple sanding steps up to 2000 grit. I use Novus 2 and a good wax as the final steps and the surface is very smooth, level and clear.

They all look very good, none are perfect for different reasons but they are all usable as a replacement. I want to say the Polycrylic finish is the same as the auto clear but it is not, it is a hair less clear and smooth. None of the platters will currently buff out very shiny by hand probably until the clear hardens completely in a few weeks or I buy a buffer but even so I am very pleased.
16. Close Up of a Finished Platter.JPG16. Close Up of a Platter Finish

For me with this review I am happy to accept either clear for an EM playfield if laid on well. I believe that if I did not tell anyone which was which no one will know definitively without a very close examination. So to finish I will use the platter in the game that best matches the restored playfield surface. the rest will be wall art and I think this game will look terrific when completed later this year.

So thank you to all that help people with restore tutorials and advice here at Pinside and RGP, you make this possible for me and others. Keep it all positive.

Steve J.

#3 5 years ago

Great job Steve, but not everyone has your talent so if you offered up your other platters for sale, even if they are not perfect, I'm sure you would sell them all.......might help with some costs of making yours as well.

Thanks for sharing

Just my 2 cents.

#4 5 years ago

Thanks Ken,

I always make things available. I made a few. As you well know there is always things we could have done better the next time and I did not want a next time. Surprisingly for me I got things more correct this time than usual.

#5 5 years ago

Really cool project, thanks for the great writeup.

For your shellac match, pickup an assortment of shellac flakes. You can really nail the color match with some experimentation.

#6 5 years ago
Quoted from radium:

Really cool project, thanks for the great writeup.
For your shellac match, pickup an assortment of shellac flakes. You can really nail the color match with some experimentation.

Yes good point for the future. Much still to try and to learn.

#7 5 years ago

Wow Steve this is amazing. Both your talent and your product!

#8 5 years ago

Thanks Steve, from you that is a quite a compliment.

#9 5 years ago

I'm still happy I was able to place that game in the right hands (rather than having it sit in my project queue for who knows how long...).

Very exciting to see the results! Great job, Steve.

#10 5 years ago

Thanks Rod.

I hope I remember how to put all the platter rotating parts back together. Should have the bottom half with the play field ready in a few of weeks. Then start on the light box mechanic's. Shame after all this work there is a problem there!

#11 5 years ago

We've been following your journey on this project for quite some time. Wonderful job and your attention to detail is outstanding.
Best of luck with it!


#12 5 years ago

They look fantastic! Really fantastic job - bravo!

Don O in MD

#13 5 years ago

That's just beautiful work. It kind of makes me a little choked up to see it.

#14 5 years ago

Great work Steve! I look forward to seeing futurwe Nags machines with your work. Will you be bringing your final results to TPF in 2016?

#15 5 years ago

Spectacular work. Very nice

#16 5 years ago
Quoted from Rat_Tomago:

Great work Steve! I look forward to seeing futurwe Nags machines with your work. Will you be bringing your final results to TPF in 2016?

A ways to go yet. See how it all comes out.

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from JoeNewberry:

That's just beautiful work. It kind of makes me a little choked up to see it.

Steady Joe,

I see you enjoy fixing old games too.

#18 5 years ago

That is just amazing. Really looks fantastic. My original platter is not nearly as nice as that but probably too nice to make a switch because then my play field would look shabby by comparison!

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from SteveinTexas:

I hope I remember how to put all the platter rotating parts back together.

As somebody that doesn't have access to a Nags and may never see one, it would be interesting to see how all that works. By the way, great job!

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from heatwave:

That is just amazing. Really looks fantastic. My original platter is not nearly as nice as that but probably too nice to make a switch because then my play field would look shabby by comparison!

Yup, the playfield was reworked too. That's what a new platter can do! However, PF repair has been discussed a bunch here so will leave that to others. Others have shown interest privately so you know.

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

As somebody that doesn't have access to a Nags and may never see one, it would be interesting to see how all that works. By the way, great job!

Took a bunch of pictures as I stripped it down. Needs some rollers remade so this might take a week or so longer. Might need a tutorial if others want to change one out so maybe.

#22 5 years ago

I am hoping when you get this all finished that you can post a video of game play. *SO* curious to see it in action!

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from SteveFury:

*SO* curious to see it in action!

Ditto. Would love to see it in action.

#24 5 years ago

Happy to guys. Still rebuilding the cabinet parts today until the kids came visiting for Fathers day. Played a bunch of pinball. Life is good.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
From: $ 18.00
Apparel - Men
Pinside Shop
Machine - Wanted
Grand Rapids, MI
$ 10.00
Apparel - Unisex
Lee's Parts
$ 48.00
Cabinet - Other
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 89.99
Lighting - Led
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 72.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 25.00
Playfield - Decals
From: $ 38.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
From: $ 9.99
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 6.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
UpKick Pinball
$ 25.00
$ 19.99
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 69.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
From: $ 220.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
CzTV Mods
$ 149.00
Boston Pinball Company
$ 20.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
UpKick Pinball
$ 2.00
Playfield - Decals
Doc's Pinball Shop
$ 29.95
Gameroom - Decorations
Pinball Photos
$ 29.99
From: $ 4.00
Playfield - Decals
UpKick Pinball
$ 369.00
Cabinet - Decals
$ 96.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside