(Topic ID: 136868)

Williams 1960 Nags Restore Complete

By SteveinTexas

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by SteveinTexas
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • Nags Williams, 1960

Topic Gallery

There have been 36 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).


#1 4 years ago


Harry Williams rolled out this unique game with innovative rotating bumpers coupled with the successful moving horse mechanism. This was and still is probably the best version of the popular horse semi gambling games. It’s a beautiful simply a peach of a game aesthetically with its vibrantly colored playfield and cab.

From a players perspective however it’s not an easy game to keep the ball in play, with its lower playfield being a ball drainer probably to keeps it a game of chance. To play well requires good nudging skills. I have relaxed the tilt plumb to see if I can turn this game more in my favor. Op’s choice right!

Back story; I picked up this game from ‘Dirtflipper’ last year over Halloween along with a Centigrade 37 from ‘leckmeck’ and a baseball game from ‘Denis Dodel’ as part of a 1,400 mile road trip from MN to St Louis back to South TX. I reasoned that a road trip with my wife would compensate for the cost of flying to Minneapolis and the one way hire of a minivan back home, which it totally did. Leckmeck had the Centigrade 37 running perfectly when I came to pick up and on my return home I simply plugged it in and played it constantly while restoring the non-playing Nags project. ‘Dirt’ had collected parts including back glass, bumper caps, and a second playfield to replace the one in the game that had deteriorated beyond repair. It still needed new pop bumpers and some lane dividers that are available. Luckily Dirt is a Gottlieb man and has a lot of projects so he was willing to part with it. He recently sent me score cards and schematic scans out of the blue and these were used in the final restore activities. I was able recently to buy an original schematic to go with the game papers (actually this is the only game papers I have).

After considering the pros and cons repainting the cabinet and fixes to the playfield of this particular game leaving the cabinet patina wouldn’t work for this game for me. Especially as some of the carving weren’t just of someone’s loving initials or scores but at least one curse word and other mindless surface damage. So the cabinet paint was color matched with my Pantone color book and had the auto paint mixed perfectly. It was not too evident until I removed the front door frame and flipper guards but it has a pink splatter everywhere except the cabinet bottom and board. I made some stencil masters and from them working stencils (I really hate this part), put up my booth and this gets done over a couple of weekends, no rush. This game was stripped, patched, primed and sprayed a base yellow inside and out. Protected the surface with clear and it gave the matt color a good gloss. This gloss will dim back over the year but good protection for another 25+ years.



The coin denomination plates came out very well. I used the original plates and repaired the reverse side with clear and decals. Didn’t the ball lifter and shooter parts buff up well!

I will upload the restored playfield pictures and highlights next.

#2 4 years ago

Very well done indeed!

#3 4 years ago

The playfield was cleaned with ME and alcohol to remove the ball swirls. The colors came back somewhat, not the white of course. I had to exchange the inserts from the donor playfield and there were a few bare spots that needed repair with waterslide decals and luckily the donor playfield art was ok to scan where needed.

The playfield rework was the biggest research and learning experience that I have taken on to date. I am not that keen to debate the merits of EM’s with cleared surfaces. For me it is a decision based on each games condition and whether it is worth it to the individual as it’s not a minor cost and it is permanent. What I can tell you is I experimented with different finishes before choosing the method I took.

The playfield arch side and associated wood was sanded bare and sanded up to a 400 grit. It was recoated with multiple coats of a lacquer gloss. They came out very well.

The new platter is looking good! I did not match the wood so well. Just give it 20 years and it will look the same.

A few isolated Bondo and waterslide decal repairs were necessary around all the lower line inserts and lane dividers and then general paint touch ups in the lower playfield. Challenge with painting over some colors is you end up doing other areas with no issues so it all blends together. It all came out well so all was ready to be cleared. Probably not the playfield to do your first clear coat on but well it needed to be done.

The finished clear coat is quite thin and very flat, and I am very pleased how it came out, especially over the inserts and the decals. I wet sanded through 2000 grit, and finished with a swirl removing polish with a buffer. It is not a mirror finish per Vid’s EM recommendations and looks very good. The colors are vibrant again with no ball swirls.

View from the top.

Internal highlights next

#4 4 years ago


#5 4 years ago

Looks incredible! A labour of love for sure.

Can you provide some details on what you used for paint, stencil material and clear coat?

#6 4 years ago

Estimated total time invested?

#7 4 years ago


#8 4 years ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

Looks incredible! A labour of love for sure.
Can you provide some details on what you used for paint, stencil material and clear coat?

Here is the stencil material; GRAFIX Clear-Lay Film 0.005" thick, http://www.texasart.com/paper-boards/paper/tracing-and-graph-paper/acetate/grafix-clear-lay-plastic-film.html.

Use .0003” OR 0007” thick film if all you can get.

Making a clear master film stencil for a simple art EM game.

Step 1.Making a Stencil Master.

1. I assume that you have the art or most of it on the cabinet.
2. I then cut a piece of clear film and tape to the cabinet side that I want to copy.
3. I use French curves, circle templates, straight edges etc. This is the easy part so take your time and get a good master.
4. Trace the art with a black fine sharpie.
5. Make sure that the edge of the cab is marked so accurate placement later during painting is key to a professional job.
6. Usually one cabinet side, one light box side and the cabinet front is all that’s needed. I add the game and date and the master is complete.

Step 2. Making the Working Stencils.

1. The base topcoat color and followed with any speckling or webbing is completed then...
2. You need to check the different colors hopefully usually only two maybe three at most so you know the number of stencils you will need, obviously one stencil per color.
3. The number of total stencils per color will be 1 per cabinet side, 1 per light box side and one for cabinet front = 5 per color. Two colors =10 stencils total.
4. I stick the first master down on the kitchen table. (Be so nice to your wife as she will want you to totally clear the table for lunch and dinner and you aren't finished as this is a long day!).
5. I trace the single colors as needed until complete. This is about 4 hours.
6. I then use my stencil cutter Lenk L125C Stencil Cutter over a piece of glass so you don’t destroy the table. Use an old playfield glass or go to Lowes (one that cuts glass and get a piece as big as they have). This take another 3-4 hours.


Step 3. Painting your Cab.

I use auto paints. You need to seal the wood and or prime as this minimizes the paint you will need (I have not seen the need to use 2 part epoxy primer for EM paint jobs). Of the shelf auto primer (cheapest) is fine for a EM cabinet. I use a Pantone color book to get the correct color shade and have a paint store (AJ Foyt in Rosenberg, Texas) that mix the paint for what I need. Two ways I have done this.

Get paint put in spray cans, (this is expensive $25 a can) and you will need 4-6 cans for the base. And possible 1 to 2 cans for each stencil color. Auto paints are matt and you need only a 1K paint added to the spray can with a of the shelf 1K clear (don't waste money on 2 part spray can mixes for a cabinet).

The way I have evolved to now is to spray with a HVLP system. I have a quart mixed of the base and pints for the stencil colors and this is less than $100 for paint. If spraying with a HVLP gun then its a two part mix operation for the paint (simple) and the auto clear gloss or semi-gloss coat. I use gloss. Remember the paint is a matt so the clear provides the shine as well as protection.

1. I use a fresh temporary tacky glue spray from Michaels and spray one side of the stencil and place on the cab.
2. Lightly sand the area to be painted.
3. Spray the color
4. After about 15 minutes I remove the stencil and discard.
5. Following day add final stencil, lightly sand the area to be painted area.
6. Spray 2nd color.
7. After about 15 minutes I remove the stencil and discard.
8. Spray the clear soon after and you are done.

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from wayout440:

Estimated total time invested?

I started after my last project in Early March this year.
Say 1 hour most evenings through the week and 12 hours at weekends total 15 hours a week for about 20 weeks is ...wow 300 hours.

Extra things in this project were researching how ;
1. 'Vid' does his playfield restoration and others with different clears.
2. Then a rudimentary Illustrator crash course for decal making.
3. Finally researching and making the platter playfield and side bars.

Should not need to do this all again! and was probably 100 - 120 hours of the total.

I still got to drink beer, listen to music and did not have to suffer playing golf with my buddies (I am crap now) plus my wife knew where i was even though she could not actually see me!

#10 4 years ago

The internals were all cleaned, tumbled and Re plated if required with my Eastwood ‘home plating’ kit.

All shiny now. The score reels were very dirty and the ‘tens’ metal frame had been beaten with a hammer once, so was easier to change out with a spare I had. I have a credit stepper secure box to add back now all is working properly.

The Horse mechanism was fine, cleaned, rebuilt and detailed here. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/you-need-a-cow%E2%80%99s-help-to-move-a-horse

Internal views. All clean and shiny. Re-plated the bank and the cab board relay covers.

I clean the harness in the ultrasonic cleaner, rinse in clean water and blow dry with compressed air. I strip and clean the score motor every time including all the switch leaf banks.

Ball trough and associated hardware cleaned up well.

Liberal plumb tilt setting during set up. Only 496 total plays as I reset it to zero, during the restore. It has only 4 reels not five. Guess that is not original. I tried as best as possible to refurbish all parts and not change anything unless worn out. I will clean including re-plate whatever is needed. This re plate included the cabinet corner brackets, ball lift parts, play counter, the ball gate and cigarette holder.

The back door that had been broken open but I was able to fix the wood and fill prior painting. The flipper protectors were reversed and look pretty good. Other major change as my previous threads have highlighted probably ad nauseam https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-1960-nags-platter-replacement was the platter remake.

How to install it is described here. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1960-williams-nags-new-platter-assembly

Hacks and repairs next.

#11 4 years ago

Some of the hacks were amusing. Wires instead of fuses are somewhat concerning however.

The soldering up of a connector shown below as shown was irritating and a bad hack.

I wondered how someone was able to lean over the cab side and solder this. With the harness out of the game it was straightforward to repair and do a continuity check on the work, go figure why this was fixed so badly.

Anyway, all good now as shown below.

I am playing the game on hot tap while working the ball counter issues. If it works on high tap it will work better on normal tap, I think. Will change back to normal soon.

What is it from 1960-62 with Williams and their poor soldering on the score reels. I have read that this was a problem and the wire connects were so fragile like the solder was not hot enough to stick to the solder tab on the switches. I had to remake nearly all the joints on this game too.


The mechanisms and hardware under the donor playfield was rusty but generally in good condition. Just needed cleaning waxing and resetting. The platter mechanism appeared to be in good working order. Interesting switch leaf fix?

Again it works but really! Just take the leaf switch arm out and hammer it back in shape, rebuild it and done.

I am always a little apprehensive when stripping down and rebuilding a game that I never saw working. You need the correct schematic with these horse games as they are fiddley especially the bank relay and lane switches as all need to work perfectly or you get horses running everywhere and zero replays. Over the last year or so people have asked for help on Pinside with trouble shooting these old horse games but never report success. Either they are fiddley as I say or my advice was bad, not sure which.

I had an issue with the rotating platter motor when the output shaft gear broke loose. Steve Young (PBR) had Multi-products make a new shaft and gear cog. He said that these gear wheels never break, he doesn’t know me. In the mean time I pressed it back on and temporarily soldered it in place, worked fine until the new one appeared. The new assembly is in comparison a heavy duty 60 tooth cog, I think Steve maybe is getting to know me.

The last issue was getting the replays to pay properly. These Williams gambling games all seem to have an issue and pay short! The ball count is the culprit this time. It’s very clean now and works perfectly without power to the coil, stepping easily mechanically through the 5 ball count. However, in a game it wants to make multiple steps. We need this working properly so it activates the bonus relay to pay 10 replays when you get your horse to the win line on the first ball. It’s a very simple circuit, no trough switches involved just the 5 rollover switches at the top to activate and the counter EOS switch to shut off. Currently it’s adjusted the best I can but still wants to step over the ball 5 position. Possibly if I change the pawl springs it may improve though it shouldn’t matter. Other than that just a flickering bumper light now and an occasional bumper shot not always registering to keep tweaking and it will be there. I find with constant play these issues seem to go away. This is not a scientific reason why but the game moving parts may gain a memory over many years playing correctly and it is just settling back after I rebuilt everything.

I have made parts to fix this game and have some spares as usual. I am still trying to make new bumper caps that are acceptable this maybe a future thread if I am prepared to use them. I don’t have very high hopes but getting closer to something that may work. The ones I have are complete but could be a lot better. Any one got a spare No 3 or # 4 hoss bumper cap?

The new fabricated mirrored sidebars are a great improvement over what I had or didn’t have so that is a plus, I have three additional sets if anyone wants to spruce up their game ($45 + $10 PP).

Also three lovely spare platters left as well ($85 plus $15 PP).

I have a Slick Chick or a baseball game next. I have only tinkered never restored a Gottlieb yet only Williams and a Bally Bingo. Frankly my Gottliebs in the lineup work well so I just play them.

The Slick Chick is a diamond in the rough and will get the full restore treatment so looking forward to that job and getting to understand Gottliebs.

#12 4 years ago

Nice restore & nice looking lineup!!

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from poppapin:

Nice restore & nice looking lineup!!


I think these older games cabinets are quite beautiful and colorful in the line up.

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from SteveinTexas:

Only 496 total plays as I reset it to zero, during the restore. It has only 4 reels not five. Guess that is not original.

My 1960 Williams 21 also had a 4 digit meter. I believe that is original.

#15 4 years ago

Beautiful! Great job on a deserving machine.

#16 4 years ago

I know all about Nags. I'd love to play one. I'd kill to play this one! Excellent work!

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from AlexF:

My 1960 Williams 21 also had a 4 digit meter. I believe that is original.

I had a feeling it was Alex. Good information. Maybe some other other guys with the game could confirm?

#18 4 years ago
Quoted from mot:

I know all about Nags. I'd love to play one. I'd kill to play this one! Excellent work!

It is playing so well now. I can't get the horse win in one ball without the glass off! However, this sort of is how I roll on my other games too, pretty average player.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from WeirPinball:

Beautiful! Great job on a deserving machine.

I so agree, it is really a peach of a game to look at.

#20 4 years ago

I got a tip you'd posted this over here, so am just now seeing it finally (I rarely venture out of the EM forum!).

Very, very happy to see this come to fruition, and it looks fantastic! (Even more happy I didn't have to do it.)

Just wow though.

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

I got a tip you'd posted this over here, so am just now seeing it finally (I rarely venture out of the EM forum!).
Very, very happy to see this come to fruition, and it looks fantastic! (Even more happy I didn't have to do it.)
Just wow though.

Rod, wow so glad you liked it. It is a keeper, and the best restore I have done yet. Plays very well. Thank you for the parts you collected and the surprise doc scans, they were used to finish the game.

#22 4 years ago

I love nags. One of the few wood rails I actually enjoy. Looks fantastic. Wish it was mine.

#23 4 years ago

Neo, thank you for the compliment, it means a lot truly. It's not for sale.

#24 4 years ago

You have heard me say it before. There is no such thing as not for sale.

#25 4 years ago

But when it is...

Much as I am tempted to envy your having this pin, what I truly envy is your skill set. I'd love to be able to restore pins at this level. Great work!

#26 4 years ago

thanks again Steve for the side blades they look great! the decals and he front stencils will make the nags restore much easier

#27 4 years ago


You are very welcome.

Still got two sets of side bars left and a couple of platters.
Side Bars (3 off) Left, right and front. $45.00+ $10 packing and postage. Sold another set 9-02-2015, so only two sets left.

Platters (2 off) $85.00 + $15.00 packing and postage. Sold another platter and sent out 9-15-15, so only one left!

You want to make Nags Coin Plates , just reverse the plate and add my complementary decal clear and wow!

2 weeks later
#28 4 years ago

Update on the bumper cap remake attempt.

Bad news; I am not making the bumper as insufficient interest. There are about 30 games either Williams 60% or Gottlieb 40% on IPDB that used the white caps between 1951 and 1957. Nags was the last game in 1960.

Good news; I found some NOS white bumper caps and made decals. I cleaned off the old lettering and using 500 grit wet and dry paper smoothed out the surface in a few minutes. Re-polished and they were perfect blanks. Added the decals and they look great. Pictures are on this other thread linked https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/williams-nags-bumper-caps#post-2693514
I have only one left if some one wants it just tell me the color lettering and number you want. $15.00

I also can provide the decal art ready for printing the set on your own paper. Its free just send me your email and its yours. Note the Hayburner and Spark Plugs art are available too. Probably make the Jalopy and send also. Just ask.

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