(Topic ID: 159613)

Williams Fire! Project: Walnut Finish and Bell Cradle


By Shiny_balls

3 years ago



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  • 60 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Shiny_balls
  • Topic is favorited by 36 Pinsiders

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There are 60 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 3 years ago

Hey Guys,
I'm doing my third restoration project, a regular version Williams Fire! but this is unusually, with new wood veneers and some real solid woods.....like the Champagne Edition but no oak.........with more darker, beautiful walnut finish!

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I'll figure it out with artwork decals later.

No brass plating..... just same old brushed stainless siderails, lockbar and new chrome legs.

I wanted to change the bells from fixed to swing forth and back movement so I'm making a cradle, yoke and crank from scratch like this one.....
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I really liked the locomotive style bell.....
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Victory bell from USC Trojans football team.....(from locomotive)
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#2 3 years ago

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Open up the corner with chisels, fill it with glue, close up with 1 5/8" screws to make stronger, I don't want to see crack lines in the future.
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I'd like to have a new bottom panel, the original is made of MDF but I decided to put a new 3/8" 7-ply Baltic Birch....
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I cut a little more than 5/8" from the bottom edge all around four sides.....some plywood are damaged and loosely.....
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Ahh....a little rabbet.....nice!
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I cut the speaker hole with a router and homemade template....for a clean cut!
I drilled vent and switch holes with Milwaukee Dozer Hole Saws.
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Nailed the bottom panel to cabinet with 18ga brads and glue (nailed every 2 inches)
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#3 3 years ago

Masking tape around the base, stains little darker and a coat of clear....don't want it get dirty again with my dirty hands.
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Removed the masking tape for glue on bare wood.......to make a better bond with solid walnut wood.
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Cut 1x2 solid walnut in half.......
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Cut rabbet for bottom panel......
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Cut 45 degree angle for corner joint....
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Glue and 18ga nails on one side (nail holes will be covered up with veneer)
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#4 3 years ago

I had a beautiful "Champagne Edition" that I sold a year ago. I owned it since it was new. If I ever did one of these as a restoration project I would only do one with an oak veneer cabinet. They were simply stunning.

#5 3 years ago
Quoted from fordtudoor:

I owned it since it was new.

Really? why did you sell it?

#6 3 years ago

Looking forward to seeing how this goes and getting some inspiration, my Fire cabinet could do with some fresh artwork. Are you going to use the Fire cabinet art of go with just the plain wood finish?

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from Gerrard17:

Are you going to use the Fire cabinet art of go with just the plain wood finish?

Yes, with artworks...I have to find someone who gonna make them.
I do not want to buy equipments for just one project.

#9 3 years ago

I'm going to put a different bell topper..... 3/8" plywood into old bell topper, no nails, just glue. I can remove it with a router if I want do.
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Now, to cut up the backbox....I use a straight edge as a guide for circular saw...
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These are going to be replaced with real solid walnuts.
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1x3 solid walnut, 8ft long....prepare to cut into 5 pieces for back box
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#10 3 years ago

I love my router!
I use this bit to make groove on each side with a router, glue together with a masonite
strip (like biscuits) (or called "tongue")
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Glue and champs halfway.....will finish the rest tomorrow.
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I made a walnut trim for top of back glass....
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#11 3 years ago

Okay, I'm done filling the backbox with solid walnuts.....veneer is next!!
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Let's look at my custom bell.....
I bought one off eBay last year a while I was hunting a Fire! machine....
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The bell has arrived from Boston.....
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I did some measurements on my bell and make a design on plan....based from this picture.
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This 3/4" plywood has 11-ply, hard to break when filing to make a round shape with a rasp file.......I cut 3 pieces to make a model.
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Well, I think it looks good to me....all done!
Off to foundry in Spokane, Washington!
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#12 3 years ago

Steve of Lost & Foundry in Spokane poured super hot iron into cast.....
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Arrived back home......Looks good! He done an excellent job! Thanks Steve!
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#13 3 years ago
Quoted from Shiny_balls:

Really? why did you sell it?

My game was actually on location for three months in 1987. I owned it since that time and sold it last year. I liked the ragtime music but I am a pop bumper guy and it has none. If I get another game then something has to go first. First went "Speakeasy" and then went "Fire! CE". The cheap pseudo brushed brass plating tarnished in no time. I elected to powder coat the metal accessories in a gold finish. Still love the oak.

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#14 3 years ago

Wow, looks nice!
Walnut for me!

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from fordtudoor:

My game was actually on location for three months in 1987. I owned it since that time and sold it last year. I liked the ragtime music but I am a pop bumper guy and it has none. If I get another game then something has to go first. First went "Speakeasy" and then went "Fire! CE". The cheap pseudo brushed brass plating tarnished in no time. I elected to powder coat the metal accessories in a gold finish. Still love the oak.

It's bell has been polished up, a variety of leds, deep candy apple red metallic legs (old gold legs wrapped up very safely), red rubber rubbers throughout, have been carefully evaluating and adding to this most beautiful classic game

#16 3 years ago

Following. Can't wait to see how this turns out!

#17 3 years ago

Also following. Incredible all around but fabricating your own custom bell mount just takes the cake. Wow wow wow. Keep it up!

#18 3 years ago

I bought a big sheet of 49" x 97" veneer, 62 bucks plus tax.

Very close enough to cover the cabinets with one sheet but I have to put 2 pieces together for bottom side backbox...it took me a while to figure it out, drew a plan with a scale ruler....just to make sure before cut.

Wood grain direction is important.

No veneer on the back sides, just chocolate brown paint.

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2 pieces together on bottom of backbox....that's fine, better than buy another sheet.
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Leftovers...
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#19 3 years ago

I restored the speaker panel last month, I have no idea what they did on speaker grills...very dirty and some adhesive or glue....hard to clean off.
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One glass display was out of level.... I couldn't move it to make level, I had to desolder the pins.
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I noticed the display board isn't original...it's #552....from Space Station.
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When I removed one display, I see a date on the back....looks like it was a bad repair job.
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After I fixed one glass display, I do not like to see the non-lit displays throught the clear windows......I add dark tinted on back panel.
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Done! hard to see non-lit displays and new paint job on grills, with an airbrush and createx paints....and sealed with Miniwax satin clear spray can.
Polished with Novus.
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#20 3 years ago

The playfield inside the cabinet is really very tight, add veneers over the inside cabinet isn't a good idea......I decided to cut a bit with a router to make a flush with veneer......
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#21 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing your project. Following your thread.

#22 3 years ago

I have installed some veneers today.
I uses the original Weldwood contact cement, 1 quart is enough.
Not available in California, ordered from online....grrrr.
Small 1" brush this time.
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Put sticks on....to make it safe.
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To install the veneers in order from 1 to 7
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Put blue tape on installed veneer for glue on next surface.
Easy to remove glue with sandpaper but very hard in the corner.
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The thickness of veneer is almost 1/16 thick!
Wow, I didn't know.....Nice!
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Looks good! Flawless! I'm very happy.
I'll sand with 320 or 400 grit after veneer job.
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#23 3 years ago

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#24 3 years ago

Looking good
Nice work

#25 3 years ago

beautiful craftsmanship, well done - will be watching this thread.

2 weeks later
#26 3 years ago

3" roller for glue on large veneer areas.
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9" adhesive roller cover...... I cut it into 3 pieces.
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Veneers for backbox...... top and bottom first and then sides last.
For cabinet, put sides first and then coin door area last.
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Veneer job done!
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No plywood edges on base.
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#27 3 years ago

Fantastic work. Veneers can be difficult to work with. We install wood veneers as wall covering as part of my business. They have new veneers with a lightweight tin core that will take a outside 90 where flex woods will split. Great job.

#28 3 years ago

Wow! That is awesome!

#29 3 years ago

Incredible work. This is one of my favorite restoration threads.

Any reason why you chose not to veneer the entire sides on the inside of the cabinet? (I get that you don't see it when the game is together - just wondering how you choose to address the rest of the inside instead!)

#30 3 years ago

Thanks guys!

Quoted from beelzeboob:

Any reason why you chose not to veneer the entire sides on the inside of the cabinet?

Well, I don't want to buy another 4x8 sheet...hehe (Veneer inside cabinet is very difficult)

Veneer is 1/16" thick, total 1/8" for both sides, too tight to drop a playfield into cabinet....also I wanted to add black felt fabric strip on both sides of playfield to avoid scratches when lift or lower.

Hmmm look at Minwax stain colors....
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I have a couple of leftover pints...English Chestnut (233) and Natural (209)....... hmmmmm
I don't know..... I will buy 2 -3 more color samples this week.....
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#31 3 years ago

English chestnut, definitely.

#32 3 years ago

I like the Sedona Red

#33 3 years ago

I have learned something....
Yes, I like the dark cabinet but the open grain is really too dark and thick.... doesn't looks right with walnut.

Open pores filled with dark stain and it's impossible to wipe off with a cloth.....
With natural color stain, I see almost equal colors in open grain and the.....you know what I mean?

I think I'll go for natural.....sorry.
Stain the walnut is rarely, mostly done with tung oil or Danish.

For pinball machine, this is different...... stain, clearcoat, artwork decals and clearcoats again.

My walnut is medium color, I have seen darker walnut boards but not the veneer.
I bought solid and veneer separately.....I was worried about unmatched colors but not anymore.

Picture in daylight.....
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under a fluorescent light.....
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I restored a pair of 1970s walnut finish speakers 12 years ago.....just natural Danish oil, nothing else.....beautiful isn't?
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#34 3 years ago
Quoted from Shiny_balls:

I think I'll go for natural.....sorry.

I'm guessing you have the best understand of this, being able to see the results in person. From what I can tell, the natural finish you've chosen still looks pretty darn rich especially under fluorescent light (which is likely where it will be viewed). Nice choice.

Quoted from Shiny_balls:

I restored a pair of 1970s walnut finish speakers 12 years ago.....just natural Danish oil, nothing else.....beautiful isn't?

Mercy!

You're a magician.

#35 3 years ago

I drooled when I saw this picture.......
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I think I'm going to buy "Old Masters" Tung Oil Varnish and some wet/dry sandpapers to try out....

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/blog/tips-tricks/heres-a-secret-to-a-better-wood-finish-on-walnut/
(Trick #2)

"The wood dust mixes with the oil and creates a paste, so as you sand back and forth, the paste will compact into the pores"

That will make very smooth surface! Ding ding ding!

1 week later
#36 3 years ago

OK, no color stains.... just tung oil and wet/dry sandpapers.....4 coats so far, ( 2 yesterday and 2 today)
Well, it looks good!
I'll do one more coat some other time (no sandpaper)
First coat with 220 wet sandpaper and wipe off with clean cloth
2nd coat with 320
3rd with 400
4th without sandpaper
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#37 3 years ago

Sweet! Nothing like a quality wood finish!

#38 3 years ago

The sweet smells of innovation and dedication are ripe in this thread.
-mof

#39 3 years ago

*droolz!!!*

2 weeks later
#40 3 years ago

Too hot to work in the garage....sigh
I wanted to paint dark brown with Createx paint but not available for opaque brown....so I bought a large 8oz bottle of Americana Dark Chocolate from Micheal's store ...only $2.50 plus tax (50% off coupon)
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I mixed with some red and a bit of black to match the original brown ( tested with clear coat)....and added water to make thinner to use with an airbrush.
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I don't paint over blue tape a lot, because of raised paint lines...just stay away from it.

Little bit around inside.... includes backglass and speaker panel stoppers
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The warning silksrceen is still original....Magic!
It's matte finish but it will come nicely with a semi gloss clearcoat. (and more darker)
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#41 3 years ago

That's incredible.

#42 3 years ago

This thread is awesome! Can't wait to see the finished product.

#43 3 years ago

Masking tape and papers to protect the wood finish......
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Painted with an airbrush..........
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Removed the masking.......I like it, gonna seal it with clear soon because matte finish is easy to get dirty....
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#44 3 years ago

I painted the wooden model red and put a bell together with a wire to see what does it looks like.........Oh Yeah! Looks good!!

Yellow pinstripes? hmmmmm.....
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#45 3 years ago

awesome job, looks sweet

2 months later
#46 3 years ago

3 coats of clear and that's it for now, artwork is next.
Still haven't decide on cabinet decals yet....been busy and hot summer....
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Chocolate brown paint matched to original brown color. Backbox warning sign is original.
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Bell topper is a model, just for looks.
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Going to do some works on bell soon..... with an angle grinder, hand file and sand cloth to remove the casting edges to make smooth finish.
Mill and drill holes for pivot shaft pins, tap threads for set screws and a hex bolt to back box....
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After that, I'll do a workbench test for bell with custom L shape cranks and pivot bracket with 4-40 push/pull rod through a piece of 3/4 plywood as a top of back box ....... I'll start with the same 23-800 coil.....going to be a lot of tests and adjusts.
It not going to swing the bell a full circle, no way.
Just hit the clapper and return.....probably about 10-25 degree movement.....and it will not ring just once, sometimes twice.... triple...depend on the game.

#47 3 years ago

I put stainless siderails and lock bar on temporally to take pictures with the flash on........
OMG!.....OH YEAH! It looks fantastic!
Looks different from outside....Walnut FTW!!

Oh boy, I can't wait for the artworks!
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Edit: another picture of backbox
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1 week later
#48 3 years ago

Stunning!

3 months later
#49 3 years ago

Any new updates on this project? I have been following for awhile and have been amazed at the level of detail here. Would love to see the finished product someday.

#50 3 years ago

Thanks Jay.
Sorry, I'm busy.....doing 3 bathroom remodeling projects.....and other Gottlieb EM
Haven't got the artworks yet.... I think, I'll go for vinyl decals.....not the stencils from vinyl cutter machine.
Decals will be printed with a good machine like Roland.....

After the cabinet artworks and the bell, I'll swap the playfields with a new CPR and new plastic set......
At the end, I think I'll make a vacuum forming machine for buildings.

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