(Topic ID: 147356)

Williams 1963 Major League Restoration - Complete

By SteveinTexas

3 years ago

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  • 217 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by SteveinTexas
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    There are 217 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 5.
    #51 3 years ago

    Me too! I think it's called getting older. Haha. Good luck on getting yours working good. Thanks Steve. I will take a look at it this weekend.

    1 month later
    #52 3 years ago

    I have been working to complete the lower cabinet including the play field, relay board, side rails and doors. I started first on the play field as I had some surface damage and they looked straight forward to get sorted as the pitching unit and bat unit had already been overhauled.

    Looking at the play field the field diamond graphics are covered by a thin hard laminate coat that is pressure glued onto a wood substructure. It is a hard wearing surface and looks like it could handle another half century rolling a chrome ball. However, if the play surface does gets damaged it is not feasible to invisibly repair. So protect it from scratches by keeping the play field glass on.

    1. Polished and restored Play field.
    I had a repair to make where a pitching unit wrong length screw has pushed through. I was able to make a bondo repair and sanded smooth. Luckily the bondo is close to the laminate color. There is little you really can do to improve the appearance further without painting and clearing as I can see.

    The outfield has a single metal chromed ramp for flipping the ball into the home run chute. The play field has green rubber rebound strips on either side. At the lower play field metal there are metal guides to direct the return ball into the return chute.

    I stripped the remaining metal parts from the playfield and put in the tumbler. The plastic and wire harness were cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaner. The play field has a nickel plated ‘handle for lifting the playfield and four ball guides that were in need of some love. It was simple to use a dremel with a 120 grit sanding attachment to quickly remove the ball groves but now they needed plating as I had removed the nickel plate.

    2. Play field prior striping down.
    2a. Play field underside.
    3. Notice the cool decal from the time. I will scan and try to reproduce this decal from the time.
    4. During sanding out the ball groves from the guides. Bottom guide has not been sanded.
    5. Ball guides after plating.
    The handle part also need sanding and re-plating. I have had a recent topic on plating at home using a simple kit with good results. These parts as they would be seen needed to be preferably bright nickel plated but I don’t have this set up yet. I have recently bought the nickel anode and the electrolysis solution but have not worked this all out yet. So I used my zinc/tin solution and they came out really well.

    6. Nickel coated handle. Original on top lower was tin/zinc plated.
    The chromed ramp received a battering through the years and all games seem to have some damage on the right side from deflected shots. But this is not a reason to change it. One of mine had some chrome lifting damage so I bought two that ‘PBR’ had on their special when lit section for $5 each. Got the last two, Steve probably thought they would never sell. The plastic post and lane dividers also cleaned up good as new in 5 minutes in the ultrasonic cleaner.

    7. Original ramp and plastic parts before stripping.
    To improve the play field underside appearance after the wood parts were disassembled for cleaning the underside was sanded and painted grey again. Some of the screw holes for the batting unit and pitching unit needed filling with wood and glue so they could take a screw again.

    8. Play field parts disassembled
    The playfield oak side rails are restored by removing the screws similar to the pinballs or the period. The wood needed a new lacquer finish so stripping the wood bare was the first action. I use a 120 grit in a sander and finally with a 220 grit to smooth out. I like to use wood gloss clear lacquer by the spray method. Brush is fine to, after about 6 coats you will get a nice luster.

    The nickel plated ball chutes appearance is usually quite shiny. Inside however it was another story as the return balls over the years have bashed it and had worn through the nickel plate leaving a trail. I put it in Evaporust to soak and it cleaned them up inside pretty well. Re-plating the nickel plated ball chutes was not an option this time so to protect the metal I waxed and polished the surface and it should help quite a few years.

    The rebound rubbers are quite brittle by now so care needs to be taken if removing them from the game. A replacement black neoprene rubber is available from Scot Webb, currently there is no green strip available.I babied the green rubber off the game and gently dropped into the ultrasonic using ‘Arts’ Ultra dust cleaner. In seconds it had them so clean and looking like they were ready for the game again. I lubed them with a clear silicon lube I use for my pool seals and carefully reattached to the game.

    9. Reinstalled Cleaned Green bumper
    It was now time to reassemble. The harness was dry, all the switch leaf blade contacts were dremel wire brushed, coils wrappers fixe, all parts as shiny as I can currently accomplish.

    10. First part is this pitcher arm deflector.
    I think this part is to protect the flap and force the ball down the field not airborne through the glass perhaps. There are two parts so make sure you assemble the correct way as shown.

    11. Pitching Unit next.
    12. The bat unit
    I needed to lengthen the bat solenoid wires as they were way short. I made new Bat EOS switches similar to the replay and pitch buttons arrangement. All these switch build parts I get from PBR.

    13. So there it is with new labels, ball chute, bat rheostat, relays and wiring.
    14. Topside View
    The card holders cleaned up in the tumbler. I don’t re-plate usually these as most of the holder in covered by the instruction card. I was lucky to get original cards in the holders on one game so it was a simple job to remake passable copies on the PC with ‘Word’ for both games. I use glossy photo paper to print out the cards and I cannot spot much difference between the originals and the copies except they are cleaner.

    15. View from 1st base
    16. View from the batter box
    The playing surface should be cleaned with soap and water only and polished preferably with Gel Gloss available from Home Depot. Gel Gloss is a recommended polish for laminate and as we know does a good job on older painted playfields found on bingo games.

    17. Gel Gloss Polish is recommended for the laminate playfield
    This may be a good time to discuss the ball size, I recently made another topic but it needs to be here too. Per Clay Harrell this game should have 3/4” Ø balls not 7/8” Ø as it has a plastic bat. If we use the larger heavier balls it will eventually lead to a broken bat. I personally like the larger ball so I have spare bats.

    Next is the lower relay board.

    #53 3 years ago

    How am I just seeing this now?!? Amazing work as always, Steve. Makes me want to work on another pitch and bat.

    #54 3 years ago

    You are only seeing this now as you have been running a first class promotion of bingo games that I think is superb. A bingo with a baseball game along with our pinballs is recommended in my opinion.

    #55 3 years ago

    Question: Maybe I missed it but were your playfields in nice condition? Did you have to re-paint them or did you just clear coat? The playfields are normally wrecked thus the reason I'm asking.

    #56 3 years ago
    Quoted from Tomahawkjim:

    Question: Maybe I missed it but were your playfields in nice condition? Did you have to re-paint them or did you just clear coat? The playfields are normally wrecked thus the reason I'm asking.

    One is in very good condition and the other is fair. I decided they were both acceptable with a good buff. One has minor paint touch up.

    As not a wood top surface we have an issue to repair a laminate surface. If they are scuffed up and you need to repair the fix is actually in my opinion straightforward. Bondo repairs for any gouges, water slide decals for the men caricatures and damage to the non green areas, frisket the green areas and paint hunters green and 2pac auto clear coat all the playfield.

    I have done this for the front mouldings and the results are very good.

    Steve J.

    #57 3 years ago

    Before we get further into the restore let’s take a moment to look at the changes to the game playfield over the games before. It’s a single player similar to the previous year World Series game. It has the first target unit that the ball passes through after hitting a target before falling into the back of the game to a ball return chute. Not a hole in the play field that the ball drops through activating a switch to make a single, double, triple or possibly an out. This allowed Williams to simplify the playfield accordingly. This simplification can be best seen by the view of the playfield underside.

    62 World Series Play field Underside
    63 Major League Play field Underside
    The game however with the target unit has a different scoring challenge with a bigger focus on grand slams and winning an extended inning that’s a lot of fun.

    Playfield showing the target Unit and home run hopper.
    On review on the Major League game instructions (previous games had no instructions that I have found) the operator had more adjustment control than previous games over all replays including a zero replay option for; top score to beat, number match and grand slams. The game also has a random setting for the high score to beat that was fully operator adjustable extra innings light Indicator liberal/medium/conservative setting and of course a completely off setting.
    So it is my opinion that it was a good new variation of the proven baseball game, very popular with people at the time and was another hit for Williams.

    #58 3 years ago

    Nice work!

    #59 3 years ago

    The next area to tackle was the cabinet Relay board
    The bottom relay board eventually becomes home for most of the dirt, debris, labels, oil and grease from what happens above and eventually becomes quite unsightly. So after taking a bunch of picture of how the switches are arranged and what wire goes where its time to strip it down and clean everything. I noticed when I removed the parts for cleaning the board underside had screw dimples for a different game of the period. I wonder which one maybe the Extra Innings novelty version?

    All metal, brackets, screws, springs etc. are piled into the tumbler. Parts with grease or oil are first put in the ultrasonic and cleaned then added to the tumbler.

    The board and relay etc. labels are carefully removed and kept for making copies. I make new labels using Word and once saved they are easy to print and use. This improves the appearance of the game. Williams were not overly concerned what font they used on this baseball game after review of the labels so we need to only get it close and it will work out perfectly. I keep the original labels in a plastic bag and put in the cabinet so they stay with the game.

    On this game there are so many different fonts, colors standard labels and special game labels. The file is available to anyone that wants it. Just print on the paper color of your choice and stick using a paper glue. Oh on the white paper with red letters I used some Avery full size label paper it was satisfactory but not needed.

    b. Labels made for the games.
    The board is sanded to bare wood as we wait on the tumbler load and then given minimum of three coats of clear poly. This will help keep it clean in the future.

    c. Yucky board.
    Not original to coat but with the time it takes to restore one of these games it really enhances the appearance and will protect the wood in the future. Check the edges of the board for any delaminating and re-glue if necessary. The game relay boards were fine this time. After the tumbling period the parts can be examined to see how the plating is holding up and re-plate if they look too bad.

    Currently doing two games means I need to spread out in different work areas. This means outside but the weather must cooperate and usually does in South Texas especially at this time of year (Late winter/ early spring) which brings us our best climate of the year. I have forced myself into the habit of having the tools possibly needed to do a good job available and a surface clear to do different things. This all limits my procrastinating excuses when doing multiple activities and helps me do a better job overall.

    For example I have the plating kit set up with solutions and batteries available with necessary buckets and containers. I can have the first part in the mix in less than five minutes and its set up for the rest of the day. The tumbler is behind the garage so the noise only bothers the neighbors not me. The ultrasonic cleaner is on the bench in the workshop. I have a temporary table set up next to a power source as well as my proper bench free in the workshop to handle tasks. Power tools and hand tools are easily available so no excuse to skip on a job as I don’t have the tools handy. This has been a long struggle self-educating myself and my production and quality has much improved.

    The larger brackets steppers and or score motor were cleaned and inspected and again the plating was missing on some of the surface. One game stepper metal frames needed re-plating. I wonder, not for the first time am I at fault. I had soaked the frames in a weak Krud Kutter solution diluted with water for 48 hours. They seemed to be worse afterwards. I then gave them a good 120 grit sanding with the sander followed with a wire brush and some hand sanding with a red scotch brite pad. I re-plate them and polished as well as possible. They came out well and now look better than the passable non-plated frames from the other game. This is bad as I will keep looking at the re-plated frames now and will want to strip them back out and plate them. Need to resist......

    d. Mix and out Steppers
    The transformer was a rusty lump so it needed some love to its appearance prior to refitting. I remove its legs and tumble then plate as they would only rust again if not and I usually have the plating kit set up and takes only about 10 mins to plate and polish. I paint the transformer as I have a bunch of paint and it puts a personnel touch to the brute.

    e. Transformer
    The harness was quite dirty and the switch bank rollers were overly greasy. I put the harness in a large bucket of soapy water and a touch of degreaser for a day. The soaking gets a large amount of dirt of the harness looking at the color of the water. I then gave the harness a scrub with a nylon brush, rinse with clean water and blow the water off with compressed air. After a day two days it is quite dry, ready to have the coils re-wrapped or the existing ones reattached. The switch leaf contacts are burnished with a dremel wire brush. Make sure you brush parallel to your body to stop the brush as it strips not strike you. I like the result of the brushing but not the flying brush metal wires embedding in my face, so goggles are a must if not a full face guard when using this brush cleaning method. Also wearing shoes!
    I didn’t plate too many items but the Control motor top cam is one for appearance sake and a few other minor brackets that were quite rusty after a dip in the Evaporust.
    f. Control Motor
    It takes me the full weekend to refit everything on the relay board, check/ re-gap switches, re-solder, re-label and add a new power supply. However, the end result is worth it on a game.

    The year before Williams fitted the World Series with an isolation switch but not the Major league. I guess as they had reduced the running voltage to 24 V from 50 V they thought it was not required not the soundest cost cutting idea I think, so I will add a switch with a new power supply. These games will be in other people’s houses so an extra isolation is in order.

    g. Fuse and tilt bob secondary board
    The schematic on this game seemed to be overly complicated with a lot of 110V switches as well as lights. I found it easier to add the isolation switch downstream of the fuse holder on the hot wire. I ran it over to the right front side as usual and put the new switch there. I used 14 gauge wire as I had no 16 gauge available. I laced the wire to and from the switch connectors.

    h. Relay Board complete.
    I also finished of the doors with the correct 5/8” long locks and cleaned up the side rails and added back onto the game. For the rails I used my sander with 120 and 220 grit paper to clean them up. It took about 30 minutes per rail. I finished with a hand sanding with a red scotch pad to get a brushed finish and they looked surprisingly good.

    J All lower parts back in the game.
    I have still on order two fast pitch solenoid coils for the pitching unit and some new ball flap material. One of the pitching units came from a 61 Batting Champ 50V game and although the motor was changed to 24V the coil was overlooked. On the other game it was toast so I needed two. Somehow I order the wrong coil so I have spares now. I had purchased new flap material and cut out new flaps 7 1/4’ long by 2” wide from 0.004” blue spring material. It cuts with scissors as it’s so thin. I have a pair of shears so it was even simpler to cut out.

    I painted two hunters green and two a lighter green as a contrast. However from the jaws of success I found a way to ruin them all. I drilled the hold down holes a little too close and they did not fit perfectly. It was easy to drill originally however to drill larger hole was not possible as the material tears up every time. So be careful if you make them to drill the holes exactly correct.

    Next will be the Running man in a couple of weeks probably.

    #60 3 years ago

    The re-plating is really impressive!

    #61 3 years ago
    Quoted from cad-kid:

    The re-plating is really impressive!


    I have collected in the last couple of weeks the the bits needed to try Nickel Plating. I am hoping to use it soon and see how it comes out.

    2 weeks later
    #62 3 years ago

    Have made more progress on the game. Nearly completed the running man and it looks great. But first I had to circle back to the playfield to fix the ball flap.

    I had to remake the ball flap again after my drilling blunder on the first batch. This time the correct shim material in a can of eBay. More than enough material than I will ever need. The ball flap on the playfield is made from 0.004” spring steel. It is approximately 2” X 7 ¼” long.

    This go around I took the time to drill the holes for the rivets correctly. There is a connecting aluminum piece that the flap is riveted to that also have recessed holes for playfield hold down screws. The screw heads need to be flush as the flap needs to be level with the playfield surface. The playfield has a recessed opening to accept the connecting piece.
    I used 1/8”Ø X 5/32’long rivets on one connector and 3/32” Ø X 5/32 long rivets on the other as the holes were different…go figure. I used my rivet press to connect the flap to the connector and then placed the flap in position on the playfield.

    Materials and tools used to shape the flap
    They look good on the game. The picture below shows them a little darker than what the eye perceives. I used hunters green paint from a box store that I use on my lawn furniture. Make sure the flap screws are not tightened too much and the surface remains flush. You may need to adjust if the ball does not escape or is slowed during operation by the flap.

    New pitching ball flaps.

    #63 3 years ago

    On part of the running man I like to spruce up is the playfield in the back box. The paints fade over the years so I like to bring back to original as best as possible.

    Un-restored playfield
    On review of the Running Man playfield the green on all games has faded to an unflattering late summer stressed grass color and needs some figurative fertilizer and water. To accomplish the wood was sanded back with 120 grit and finished with 220 grit paper, for filling and repainting. The underside was repainted with a standard grey paint that I have for all playfields undersides.

    The ply sides were in good condition so were ready for masking prior painting of the playfield surface the original color.

    While the sander was out I cleaned up the playfield sides and coated the inside face with a few coats of polyurethane clear. It doesn’t need it but what the heck.
    There is evidence of the original color under the hold down brackets and I had a can mixed at my favorite auto paint store. The painting activities are straightforward as long as you paint over a few days.

    New Grass
    That there is a perfect match, my wife told me so that is that. If you use stencils and tacky glue It is important to wait at least a day or more before painting the sand color on top of the green or it will lift the green paint.

    On goes the sand. This color is a guess as there is none hidden anywhere to view.
    I don’t wait more than 15 minutes after painting before gently removing the Mylar stencil material and other masking material. We don’t want the tacky glue to fix to the new paint.

    New sand
    Finally we tackle the white lines, to get a sharp edge takes a further step than using a stencil. I still made a Mylar stencil and cut out the white line profile. This time however, I added Frisket to the playfield and traced the stencil white line onto the Frisket. Then using my exacto blade I was able to cutout a cleaner representation of the lines.
    The Frisket material is better than the tacky glue I use on the stencils but I still want it removed from the painted surface as soon as the white paint is touch dry. Time is not your friend when sticking things to fresh paint. I used a primer I had at hand for the white line as it will be all cleared later.

    Lines added
    The final result was pretty good and edges were sharp. As you will notice the auto paints I use are a matt finish so a clear coat will be added to make it all pop.

    Now it’s cool

    The clear really makes the colors pop.

    #64 3 years ago

    Would you sell a ball flap?


    #65 3 years ago

    Sure. What shade of green, size and show me a picture of the playfield connector.

    #66 3 years ago

    Running Man Unit
    This horizontal running man was first introduced in 1951 on the Super World Series #47. This arrangement has not changed much thru 1973.

    Unrestored Running men Assemblies (Men and background removed)
    The unit has a wooden playfield representation with a cardboard grandstand background. Below the playfield is an electro mechanical assembly with a running man motor that drives the runners onto the field that run the bases mimicking how the game is scored during the game. It’s real cool how it all works. When a base or a multiple of are scored the target switch closes a relay in the running man assembly and this actuates the motor to run. How many bases the men will run is actuated by individual base relays in tandem with a mechanical arm is released by a coil.
    A man is then rotated 90° onto the playfield driven metal post and runs the base or bases. On completion of a run scored the man then is mechanically rotated back to the original position ready to run again.
    There are four men on arms to indicate all the running men. It’s quite simple, robust and realistic.

    Disassembly Over view

    To disassemble the unit first remove the cardboard background and the player caricatures and carefully store before stripping the metal hardware for tumbling. I was able recently to get two full set of backgrounds from a pinhead off eBay here is the link. ebay.com link » New Williams Pitch Bat Pinball Play Field Background Panels 1956 67
    Name is Roundnose 58. Similar quality, less cost, all three parts and the correct dimensions.

    New and original Background sets

    Background drilled and riveted to installation brackets using 1/8” X 7/32” rivets.
    With the men and background removed we can invert the assembly to get at the mechanics of this interesting unit. See Picture below.

    Running Man Electro Mechanics

    The motor drives a double shaft. On one end the playfield pivots as the shaft rotates the running men on a ball bearing placed in the end of the shaft. The other end of the shaft rotates a triple cam and bases switches.

    The cams and the running men bracket are secured to the shaft by roller pins. The running man assembly mechanical parts have a motor connected to a U shaped metal frame with cams to drive the runners and a 4 legged running man metal bracket. To remove the roller pins you must drive the spring roller pins out of the holes with a suitable punch, the parts can then be removed. The fastening is the opposite.

    Motor Arrangement
    This was a simple to execute procedure except for one. I broke my removing tool when one just refused to budge. I could not see why and after purchasing another punch I was still unable to drive the pin out. Although I could not see any evidence I surmise that the hole may have been peened over the pin ever so slightly and this was trapping the pin. Usually we drive from one end so it comes out the way it goes in. I used a round ended dremel tool and ground the face of the hole and pin on both sides to remove any accidental peening. Success! The last pin was successfully removed and I could separate the motor from the running man bracket.

    Also not sure why or exactly when Williams started putting 27 Volt coils in lieu of 24 Volt coils. It was in the late 60’s for sure and it’s my opinion his was because of failing motors used in a transformer high tap voltage setting that was causing game issues for operators. My calipers measurements indicate the coil wire was increased from 20 to 22 AWG. No issue to use a 27 volt more in a 24 volt circuit. So a 27 Volt NOS motor I found with the identical spec to the 24 Volt motor will be used in the games. Same rotation speed just slightly different motor coil.

    All the metal parts removed were put in the tumbler and the wood playfield were set aside for sanding and repainting.

    The installation is the reverse of the dismantling. One point to be aware of the playfield center is quite vulnerable to breaking when dismantled due to the 300° running man track. When the parts are all reconnected there is a screw that needs to be tightened so the playfield center is level with the rest of the playfield.

    This screw touches the top of the motor shaft rounded rotating end and effectively supports and locks the playfield to the metal frame. If you over tighten the screw the center wood raises too high if you under tighten it is too low. Need to get it just right. Simple and very effective.

    Large Tumbler makes short work of two running men metal parts
    48 hours in the tumbler with walnut shells and some ‘Scratch Out’ will have them shining up like nearly new. Don’t know why I am showing a picture of a tumbler.

    #67 3 years ago

    Men caricature replacement next.

    #68 3 years ago
    Quoted from way2wyrd:

    Would you sell a ball flap?

    Sent you a pm as I am in Austin on Saturday.

    #69 3 years ago

    Beautiful work! Thanks for detailing this.

    #70 3 years ago
    Quoted from presqueisle:

    Beautiful work! Thanks for detailing this.

    Thank you for the nice words. I hope others will look at these games and say yes I am going to save one of these games. I am trying to give small details like rivet sizes and where to get bits so we don't all have to work it out the hard way.

    #71 3 years ago

    I had fun making these men. Finding suitable cardboard material was not as hard as I thought but a tip is do not get over ally thick material as you need to still cut it with an exacto knife.

    Men Caricatures Replacement
    The on field men’s heads, feet and the batter’s bat seem to get damaged over the years. I have some spare men from a parted Line Drive that having been outside were well damaged by the elements. So they needed replacing for spares or trading. The men are made originally of a tough cardboard that is riveted to a 2 piece metal stand support. Using the decals shown below I was able to find various suitable replacement material at the Texas Arts and Supply store and cut out the caricatures to make replacement men.

    Decals courtesy of ‘Mark Gibson’ (Note; print at 110%)
    I found that they are printing small so if you use Mark’s JPEG decals set your printer to print at 110% and they are perfect size. I cut out with an exacto blade and clean up with a dremel and a sanding attachment. Leave as is and do not clear coat as they will immediately darken, best to leave natural. Guess you can figure I had a few practice runs.

    To change out the man if damaged you first drill out the top of the old rivet.

    Two Part Brackets

    A 3/32” X 5/32” rivet is placed threw the man and bracket as shown.

    Using a hand punch tool and hammer the rivet is persuaded to close.

    Front side with Hanson rivet punch.

    They look exactly like the originals, you decide.

    The running figures are made of aluminum and are also riveted onto a metal bracket. They seem to hold up pretty well. However mine have some paint missing. I needed to do something to spruce them up. Additionally I have a spare set of these guys to repair for possible call up or trading but they needed their brackets replating. I decided to scan a man and clean up with Photoshop before make a waterslide decal to replace the current painted men as needed.

    I have a set of men saved as a suitable PDF for emailing if required shown below.

    Running Man Decals

    The cardboard stationary caricatures and the running men riveted with 3/32”X 5/16’ long tubular rivets. If replacing or plating as a fix I recommend you to drill out the rivets to separate the men from their brackets. Before fixing the decal you need to repaint the aluminum runner white as the decal does not print. Clearing is optional.

    To remove the man from the bracket, first separate the caricature from its bracket. You need a drill bit and a punch.

    Drilling the 3/32” rivets ‘turned’ side and then use the punch to drive the rivet out.
    I then removed the remaining paint of the aluminum man caricatures and painted all a base white color prior applying the decal. When using Photoshop the off white hue of the original man is picked up by the printer and changes the fresh paint to a more time realistic off white.

    Men ready for decaling.

    Decals added both sides.

    Ensure you put the man on the bracket as shown or they may be running backwards!

    Use 3/32”X 11/64” rivets for the running men connection. I again used the Hanson punch and a hammer to close the rivet.

    Re decaled Men riveted to their brackets.

    #72 3 years ago

    More amazing work Steve........... thanks!

    #73 3 years ago

    Nickel Re-plating

    While this work was being carried out the brackets were being tumbled and the rust removed. So now we need to re-plate a few pieces. I recently gathered of eBay the materials to try nickel plating. I am quite proficient at zinc/tin plating but Williams nickel and cadmium plated small parts and I would like to use a more original finish.

    Materials needed.
    I borrowed a Pyrex dish from the kitchen and I had some D batteries so all set I think. Then I stripped some solid 18 gauge wire to hook up the clips to the battery holder and that’s it ….oh plus a quart of boiling water to mix half of the reagent with. I had cleaned the parts before the plating in Evaporust, the tumbler and with a wire brush.

    To start wearing gloves, I dipped the parts in a prep solution that removes finger grease etc and rinsed in clean water and now am ready to plate. Frankly I knew there is more to it than this but I fight procrastination by jumping in and seeing what happens. The battery red positive side (+) is connected to the nickel anode. I mixed in the dish half of the reagent in the boiling water and most of the crystals dissolved to create the green solution. The parts to be dipped in the solution for about 20 minutes by securing with the copper wire and clipped to the black battery cathode (-).
    The part below was pulled from the bath after about 20 minutes. The solid copper wire that I had stripped from its plastic insulation did not coat, I am not sure why possibly it had a lacquer coating. The first part dipped was not an ideal examples to plate and polish out due to its shape. It was one of four running men brackets that had been out in the elements for a long time. Quite rusty with pitting when I got hold of them but they are all definitely worth restoring.

    After Polishing
    I polished the parts seen below first with a metal polish but it didn’t help much. I then tried buffing however due to their shape were not suitable so I went for the dremel with a wire brush attachment. They improved a lot in appearance. Still not great hopefully they won’t rust again and look fine.

    Below is the backside of the brackets that originally were pitted with corrosion. The new plating seems to have held well. There is actually more than enough material to grind the pits out for appearance but this is unnecessary work.
    Another part that I dipped originally looked beyond repair due to corrosion. But looks can be deceiving. It was dipped with the other parts in Evaporust for a couple of days and then wire brushed. It still looks bad after the plating which appears uneven. However, the dark parts have nickel underneath and the lighter colors may be original plating that had not been removed properly.
    Below is the part to plate for a comparison with an original part after polishing. The part on the right was originally pulled from a Line Drive running man assembly and was very rusty and the underside pitted quite badly. I soaked in Evaporust and, wire brushed then pickled before plating and polishing.
    The underside above is quite pitted but the platting seems to have covered well. I will leave this part outside for a couple of months to see what happen to the pitted area as I have my doubts that it is all covered in nickel. We will see.

    Quality wise the finish was not bright enough and the plating coverage was spotty overall. Worth the money spent no…. not yet.

    The power supply may not have been sufficient, the batteries work but need to be fresh.

    The original cadmium or nickel plating was not properly removed looking at the pictures of the parts when first removed from the bath.

    The bath solution needs to be hotter for longer for the process to work well, even if you boil the water it cools too quickly before the plating is completed.

    I need to do a bit more research before I replace my trusty Eastwood tin/zinc plating kit.

    I can only get better with this, I learned somethings and need now to modify my approach before I run another batch and report back again.

    So going forward I plan to find a cheap slow cooker pot with a heating element to keep the bath solution at a constant temperature closer to 140°F.

    I need to soda blast the parts to clean off the old plate and not rely on chemicals and wire brushing.

    Find a way to possibly agitate the solution while plating. Investigate an alternate power source such as a DC phone charger instead of the batteries. I will report back when I have done this.

    Finally if you try this don’t waste your money on a 100g pack of reagent. Get the 500g pack minimum so you can make a few baths as you work on finding the strength that works best.

    This was my first nickel plating attempt and it was acceptable overall. Ten pieces in all were plated including some other simpler wire brackets and they all plated to some degree of quality.

    #74 3 years ago

    Really amazing stuff. Thanks so much for taking the time to document. I've learnt a lot. Thanks again and it all looks spectacular. I thought my IJ resto was hard.

    #75 3 years ago

    I wonder how a heated ultrasonic cleaner unit would work? The harbor freight unit heats to 150 deg then shuts off the heater. You could put water in the main vessel then have a second insulated vessel with the plating solution (beaker for instance). Just wondering

    #76 3 years ago
    Quoted from cad-kid:

    I wonder how a heated ultrasonic cleaner unit would work? The harbor freight unit heats to 150 deg then shuts off the heater. You could put water in the main vessel then have a second insulated vessel with the plating solution (beaker for instance). Just wondering

    I guess it that would work. A cook pot would be cheaper and simpler IF we can find one.

    Out of the box thinking...priceless.

    #77 3 years ago

    Goodwill / thrift store to the rescue!

    3 weeks later
    #78 3 years ago

    We are finally approaching the completion of the last major assembly to be refurbished the light box. We still have the back glass, home run plastic and troubleshooting to go but that will not take too long.

    Light box refurbishment

    The light box contains score reels for runs scored, high score to beat and the number of grand slams. It has a credit wheel switch banks and a run unit that is operator adjustable. The game has operator adjustable plugs in the box so plenty to get cleaned and re-adjusted. Each stepper and reel was gummed up and locked solid so the course needed was clear as usual. Take many pictures, strip down, clean tumble and repaint and varnish where appropriate.

    After cleaning, painting and re-adjusting.
    After cleaning and new bulbs and shiny reels
    Pre clean operator setting jacks.
    Pre Clean Run Unit –take a couple of pictures especially of adjustment screws positions.
    Grand Slam Reel Unit partially stripped.
    Score to Beat Reel Unit partially stripped.
    The message is take plenty of pictures before you start as there is a lot of adjustment required and differences between the reels with small clips to be removed and replaced.

    It takes a good evening to strip all down this assembly and load up the tumbler, sort out the small amount of plastics parts and get the wire harness free from the reels for soaking.

    I did not remove the lighting ground wires and sockets this time as the small staples used removal would have damaged the wood unnecessarily and look unsightly. I wire brushed around the wire and cleaned the bulb sockets.

    Extent of frame strip down

    Lighting System

    Some bulbs as we know cannot be removed or fitted in place without the rubber tool due to the recessed holes they are placed. I cannot find my rubber bulb remover, however I found something that is actually better. The top of a ‘brite liner’ (Highlighter) is perfect to remove 44 bulbs. The magic marker fine tipped pen is perfect to put the fatter 47’s back in and to remove old 44 GE bulbs.

    Bulb removal and fitting

    I think I read this on a thread here not sure…anyway something prompted me to try the pen tops. The bulbs are a snug fit. So now I don’t need to find the ‘proper tool’. However, Murphy’s Law will make it turn up in the tool box later this week.

    The light sockets were chalky from the southern Texas humidity and needed a good wire brushing.

    Chalky light bulbs
    One of the first thing I read when coming into this hobby was how to fix the continuity of old bulb holders. The first part is to solder the bulb holder to the metal ring as the fiber washer has usually shrunk and possibly compromised the electrical connection. See the picture below to show where to solder.

    Soldered light holder
    Finally I tighten the swiveling metal connector that is connected to the bulb center contact by squeezing the tab with my vice (mole) grips. I have not had any issues with bulb sockets on any of my restores after this procedure.

    Vice (Mole) Grips about to distort the tab and add pressure to the contact point.
    Distorted and contact is now good.

    #79 3 years ago

    Next is cleaning the Wire Harness

    Most of my time was spent removing the reels from the harness, cleaning the harness and switches and the subsequent rebuilding. All this is a good exercise and a good opportunity to examine the reels functionality and the solder connections whilst not in the game. I am so used to bad soldering on Williams reels from the early sixties but these guys were all fine…go figure.

    This electrical harness is surprisingly large and dirty. I like to soak the harnesses for 24 hours in dish soap and water and I have a 5 gallon bucket that works just right. I have stopped adding other stronger detergents as I am unsure what they are doing. I leave on the coils and banks of switches using a nutted existing hold down screw to keep the Bakelite spacers intact.

    After 24 hour soak in dish soap and water.
    After I remove from the now dirty brown water I scrub the harness using a tooth brush or nylon brush to clean a bit more before rinsing and blowing the water out with air. It all dries in a couple of days. While it is drying I clean all the switches and other metal parts with dremel brushes and repair anything I find that looks worn.

    While the harness was soaking the tumbler was doing its thing.

    48 hours in the tumbler and here is the result.
    The lightbox front is repainted white and the floor sanded and coated in poly to enhance the finish. I found at Lowes several white paint sample pots for a dollar each to paint the light reflecting side. These paint sample pots will last for years for this purpose. Very white, flat and most important the cost is just right!

    Wooden frame all spruced up.
    Stained and poly coated frame.
    I found it easier to completely rebuild the harness with reels, switches and steppers and get them working properly.

    Be aware that there is two types of coil stops. The deeper stop is part of the reels and the shallower one goes in the steppers.

    Coil Stops for steppers and reels
    I use the 15 watt smaller bulbs in the game, they are bright enough, and better than the bigger more powerful bulbs as they are an unwelcome heat source.

    #80 3 years ago

    To reinstall it is now quite straightforward. Put the reels in their position and screw the switch Relays in place. I found it easy to re-solder the lighting power connections at this time, followed by adding finally the run stepper and Jones plugs and jacks. The new 47 bulbs are fitted next and finally the labels.

    Assembly rebuilt and operating perfectly

    I replace most of the labels as they get torn, dirty or missing by this time. I like keep the originals in a bag and they can go in the cabinet as are part of the game’s history.

    Run Unit with Replay Jacks
    Match Unit
    Operator adjustment jacks.
    Score to beat Reels
    Time to put back in the game and hook it all up. Where is the schematic?
    Games near completion

    #81 3 years ago

    Really nice job Steve. Which one was mine?

    #82 3 years ago

    Hi Dennis,

    The one that is nearly complete in the picture. It was in nice shape, solid cabinet, perfect door and good mechanics. Has a brand new NOS pitching motor fitted. Only got the works as the other was so so bad and easy to do two at the same time. I have actually mixed up some trim but it all fits.

    Hopefully have it trouble shot and working by the end of the month. I am not doing two games together again as way to much work. Every time I complete a major refurb of an assembly the other assembly seems to be staring at me.

    This is a very good game and I hope others restore their games. All the parts are available now and its a great time to be restoring baseball games. Like a bingo everyone should have a baseball game.

    #83 3 years ago
    Quoted from SteveinTexas:

    . Like a bingo everyone should have a baseball game.

    Yup. Plus a bowler and a gun game.

    #84 3 years ago

    Excellent work Steve! - "looks like it rolled out of the factory".

    2 weeks later
    #85 3 years ago

    Game Start up Troubleshooting

    Here is a list of issues I encountered over the last couple of weeks that were fixed. Nothing that unusual but the same issues were found sometimes on both games so they probably are worth detailing out if you are working on rebuilding this game and similar games.
    Before I start its worth mentioning that I added new 3 prong power supplies and isolation switches. I added the isolation switch before the 110V 10 amp fuse similar to the 62 World Series location. In this position however, it will not power the lights you need to start a game to do that.

    Isolation switch schematic
    Let’s start.

    On review of the schematic to power up the game you need to add a coin or have credits and press the replay button. This will initiate the reset sequence by energizing the coin relay. The coin relay energizes the control motor to rotate and the reset sequence begins. The coin relay powers stays on long enough to energize the lock relay and the game will remain powered on until the game is switched off.

    Problem 1
    The fuses were re-placed and all new 47 bulbs installed. So time to power up the game. On powering up the 6 &110 Volt lights are on but the 24 volt power circuit is not activating. Turns out the new fuse was a dud not a good start.

    Problem 2
    The Control motor now rotates and the reels started to reset yippee…..but they do not finish as the motor cam after multiple attempts stops in the same cam position. I can now see the lock relay is not pulling in. The lock relay was not energizing as the kick off switch was open. Duh…. I had transposed the kick off and the tilt switch labels and the kick off switch was open not closed powering the lock relay. I had to change the tilt switch to open also. We won’t talk about this again.

    Problem 3
    At the end of the reset sequence both the tilt and game over trips are supposed to activate. The tilt does but the game over does not. Both are feed from the same source so this is odd. The game over trip is part of a Type M interlock which has the smaller coils and switches which I find fiddley to make work as there is so little switch movement to work with.

    It has to be a mechanical issue. I reflowed the solder joints but it was not that. I changed the game over armature spring with a slightly weaker spring still no success. The relay armature seems to have too much resistance to closing. I bent the armature pin so it was closer to the coil and realigned the switch leaf blades that the armature moved so they were not pushing up on the plastic actuator and that solved it. See the picture below to explain the issue and the fix.

    Type M Interlock Switch
    That does not happen on 50 volt operating games that I have recently restored.

    Problem 4
    So now the game can reset and is ready to play. The pitcher unit fires the ball (rather weakly) and the bat lever swings the bat at the ball but hold on the bat lever can swing the bat continuously that’s not right. The bat relay should activate once only cutting power to the bat lever as soon as the bat EOS switch closed.

    This one took me some time to analysis. After checking all the switches …twice it was time to stop for the evening. The next evening with the power on I tweaked the bat EOS switch with a pencil when it actuated. If I held the contacts closed it energized the bat relay to close. Turns out the EOS switch needs a moment longer to actuate and energize the bat relay. Also as I had rebuilt this switch I have learned to always suspect my handy work. I reflowed the contact joint but it did not solve the contacting issue. So I bent the leaf switch blades back towards the closing pin so they contacted the actuating pin earlier and stayed closed longer. Success!

    See the picture below of the issue.

    Bat Unit EOS Switch
    Problem 5
    The game now plays. I took the pitching unit of the game to tighten the spring tension on the bench, I find this easier. I remove the motor quickly and after screwing out the stop pin I hold the pitching arm and rotate the cam clockwise until it locks. However it would not turn this time, something was wrong. I released the spring tension by carefully lifting the cams followers from the dwells and letting the cam rotate anti clockwise a couple of turns.

    What can happen is the spring gets ‘pinched’ under the cam rotating collar as it is tensioned. It is important to keep this rotating face flat as we tension the spring. I had added two thin washers under the E clip and I guess this was the wrong location as at least one should have been under the collar as I was pinching the spring. This time everything was fine and the pitching unit now pitches way to fast so I need to take some tension off. I will do this later.

    Pitching Unit Spring Pinch Point
    Problem 6
    Another observation is the 6 Volt lights in the target assembly are not on. Per the lighting schematic there are four switches that needed to be closed so they would. Light switches for the target and light box game lights are on the Start, Tilt, Game over and Inning relays with the power on I tweaked the closed switch pairs and the game over switch was not making good contact and this fixed the lights to the target assembly. 6 Volt systems are fickle!

    Lighting Schematic

    #86 3 years ago

    Further issue just resolved.
    Problem 7
    I played the game making sure it worked every time as it should. I found an intermittent problem. About every tenth game the game seemed to stall. It would not power the pitching unit. Dennis had told me that the pitching unit stalled occasionally so I replaced the motor so this was not the problem.
    The pitching unit however has a switch located on the target motor No 1 cam that needs to be closed. The target motor driven cams rotate once every time a target is hit to move an arm to reset the targets. The motor would occasionally overshoot the cam dwell stop position after the power was cut off. The power was not cutting off when the switch cam roller opened the switch in the stack.
    Target Motor Issue
    On review the motor rotor is not releasing its gear drive pins quick enough. I will need to take to the bench and check the spring condition. Basically it seemed to be clogged up and the spring was acting sluggishly. It seems to be behaving properly after another clean.
    The pictures below show the rotor powered and unpowered.
    Powered Rotor
    Unpowered Rotor
    The second game had a similar issue to above but it kept cycling and its issue was there was no spring. I added one from a spare motor and this fixed the issue. To do this however I had to drill out the motors rivets to clean and add the spring. I have learned there is a few variables when Multi Products made these motors. Getting a similar motor and using it seems straightforward but you need to ensure especially on a Williams’s game that there is a rotor with a separate rotor shaft and whether it needs a spring to break the driveshaft. Different manufactures had different specifications.
    Saying all that, no older game should be down long because of a problem with a motor as there is plenty on eBay and other sources wanting a home and we can make most work.

    Added over 4 years ago: Brake not break the drive shaft

    #87 3 years ago

    Great update and fixes!

    #88 3 years ago

    The gain from totally rebuilding a game in this depth is that it should be straightforward to get it working flawlessly and consistently. The problems above with the exception of the fuse and my mislabeling error were a little troublesome on both games so they are probable tricky areas where others may need some guidance. Tonight I fixed a bothersome running man misalignment issue and still have a jones plug connection issue but that is minor so getting these games close to perfect is close.

    I really hope people restore these baseball games and this topic will be useful to them. I won't do this level of documenting again as it takes a lot of time on top of the actual work. Leave the next one to someone else.

    #89 3 years ago
    Quoted from SteveinTexas:

    Tonight I fixed a bothersome running man misalignment issue

    could you expand more upon this. I have an overrun issue on mine as well and am not sure how to approach the issue


    #90 3 years ago
    Quoted from way2wyrd:

    could you expand more upon this. I have an overrun issue on mine as well and am not sure how to approach the issue

    On the running man motor there are on my game 3 cams. On yours I believe there may be two.

    The outer cam controls the motor to stop after the runner reaches the correct base please see diagram below. I believe the motor cycles to the same position each time. One of the switches cam roller is adjustable so you can shut the motor down before or after the base to a degree. Mine was stopping sometimes with the man half way through the playfield. I adjusted the roller so it was further from the cam dwell forcing the motor to rotate a little more and this sorted every thing out.

    See switch 5 below.


    #91 3 years ago

    Will check it out. Thanks..


    #92 3 years ago

    Great info as usual Steve!!

    I've been meaning to ask if you found a source for the larger diameter spring for the pitching mech used in this game. I haven't tried PBR again and like you when I ordered a few I got the smaller one which was fine as I can use them in my 1956 game.

    Here's the pic you posted in the other very benificial thread for P&B restore.


    #93 3 years ago

    No I have not got another source. I found a pair of similar sized springs in a bingo pile that I think I could re shape so I may have a solution personally.

    We need a new source, maybe I need to call Steve as Jimmy inferred in his response to me he pulls parts from bins and a spring is a spring.

    Thanks tor telling us what the smaller spring is for.

    1 week later
    #94 3 years ago

    Finally reaching the finish line, don't know what was the hardest the games restore or this boring topic. Any way here is the final troubleshooting with some, if I may say fine pictures of a fine game, hope it helps someone that wants to restore a baseball game.

    Problem 8

    I was having an issue getting the extra inning lighting to operate continuously. It was mechanically working but if the ‘EXTRA INNING WHEN LIT’ arrows pointing to the home run target funnel do not activate you are never aware of the special.

    Extra Inning Arrows
    When scoring a home run with the extra inning arrows lit an extra inning is awarded and the extra inning sign below will light.

    Back glass Extra Inning Lit Feature
    I knew it was a contact and soon found it on the Inning relay with some probing with a pencil the lights occasionally worked. The core issue was not enough physical actuator movement to make the 3 way switches contact open and close properly. It looked perfect but looks are deceiving. I stripped out the relay including the bracket and found the bracket actuator stop arm was slightly bent.

    Relay Armature Stop Bracket
    Straightening this out give the switch leaf gaps a little more movement so necessary due to the close tolerances of these switches and this solved the issue. I don’t think this switch bracket was bent before I got the game but was due to me throwing everything in the tumbler and it probable got bent in there. Either way the stops position is critical to getting the switches to activate properly.

    Problem 9

    The 0-9 run scoring drum in one of the games was not adding runs properly and struggling to move to the next run. Additionally on the sixth run moved from 05 runs to 16 runs. This was one issue that exasperated me no end and I eventually moved onto other problems that I could work out and progress work. From time to time I would go back to it and pour over the schematic and game but to no avail. Finally it was the one of the last issues issue to solve before the game could be played and all the replay features checked off. I had to resolve it.

    The score reels are quite delicate in how they operate. There is not much room for the wiring, linkage and switches and circuit board under the reel. This makes it hard to see what is happening during operation and there lies the rub. Two things I eventually found watching the drum work manually. The circular copper contact was not making a good contact with the circuit board. Every time you take it apart you remove the circuit board to access the switches. The last time I had removed it I had not checked the contacts were properly aligned. This took only a few seconds to loosen the two screws and position the circuit board, it took me days to figure out to actually do it.

    Copper Contact Ring on Circuit Board
    Secondly the upper switch that pulses signaling the adjacent 10-90 drum step up coil to activate was brushing the 5th to 6th run circuit board solder blob and probably shorting out the switch making it operate prematurely. Again positioning the switch cam roller a little lower and away from the solder points solved this issue. I had played with this drum over and over without noticing this misalignment as it is so difficult to see unless you move the reel.

    Drum 10-90 Run Switch
    I guess this type of experience is what moves you from a newbie to a seasoned fiddler. Seems so simple now but I had to learn to be much more studious when troubleshooting.

    Problem 10

    The last issue was with the Grand Slam feature again on both games. The Grand Slam feature activates when as you would expect when a home run is scored with three men on base. The Grand Slam drum is operated by a Grand Slam Relay which was not firing when it should.

    Backglass Grand Slam Feature Score Reel window and Light
    The schematic as shown indicates a bunch of switches and jones plugs must be closed and on review they all seem to OK. Additionally the Grand Slam light flashes due to the mix stepper stepping up and activated by a switch on the Grand Slam relay.

    Grand Slam Relay Schematic
    I, as usual suspected my handiwork so to review this meant taking out a running man assembly and moving to the work bench for examination and tweaking. I improved the switching even going so far as turning some switch leaf pairs 180° blades as the contacts were very worn . I also soldered the back of the contact to ensure a good connection. I put it all back in the game but no success. Sure now it was not my assembly mistake I could looked at the game wiring. I made a jumper from the Grand Slam Relay contact to the No 4 re switch and the circuit worked. A few more changes of jumper position isolated the Motor Relay switch as the issue.

    It turned out the Motor Relay was not closing when it needed to be during operation. I could see no way to adjust the timing of the running man cams to make this switch close and eventually closed the switch with an alligator clip to see what happened and the game worked flawlessly. The second machine was the same and worked only with the alligator clip closing the problem Motor Relay switch permanently. I don’t know if originally this switch was closed and I readjusted to the schematic during the restore or what.

    I am going out on a limb here but I think the switch is redundant and serves no purpose. I have now closed the switch contacts permanently and see no issues in how the game works. This was the first drop target game and Williams tweaked this target assembly a fair bit over the next few games streamlining the circuitry and removing a 3rd Cam from the running man that was not used before or after I believe.

    So we have completed the six month restoration journey, plenty of research and pre planning before the restore , collecting information, parts, schematics and information. These machines have no boards or any thing digital. Cloth wiring all analogue and built to last. With some help could last into the next century as long as you have 110 V still available in your house that’s the real risk.

    Both games are now working 100% and look fabulous. They will get played over the next month or so to ensure they work flawlessly before going to their new homes for hopefully another generation to have fun with.

    Here are some pictures enjoy.
    One game for a nickel three for a quarter, come on get your money ready!
    Games cabinets came out well
    Game Art Side View
    Three Dimensional Running Man

    #96 3 years ago

    Bravo Steve!

    Thanks for documenting. Will come in handy if I ever find the time to do mine.

    #97 3 years ago
    Quoted from hoov:

    Bravo Steve!
    Thanks for documenting. Will come in handy if I ever find the time to do mine.

    I expect the same level of restoration also for sure! Remember I have decals for the targets that look great, decal for the front moulding and a bat unit and front mouldings with bat levers assemblies that need a home.

    #98 3 years ago


    Please pm me a price for all those items when you get time. No hurry. I know I can use the front moulding decal for sure.


    #99 3 years ago
    Quoted from hoov:Steve,
    Please pm me a price for all those items when you get time. No hurry. I know I can use the front moulding decal for sure.

    I got a pm after writing that. However, I have duplicates of what was requested.

    I will dig them out . Only need to cover my purchase cost.

    #100 3 years ago

    I have made most if not all the labels found throughout the game. There is one instruction card stapled to the back box that eludes me. Can any one help with a picture of it so I can replicate.

    Happy to offer anyone a word document of all the labels.

    Here is the missing label location.


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