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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Cabinet

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Restoring Cabinet Graphics - Overview
There are several techniques available when restoring damage to cabinet graphics. Which one you use depends on how the graphics where originally applied, the type of damage and the complexity of the graphics. The purpose of this article is to help you decide which is the best approach for your situation and link to the appropriate techniques. This article is oriented towards major graphics repair requiring creating decals or stencils. For repairing cabinet graphics damage by painting with a brush or airbrush see this article. Types of Cabinet Graphics Many...
 
 
Repainting Cabinet Screens
Nothing worse than a freshly painted cabinet or backbox with a dirty, oxidized screen (see Image 1). The screens were originally zinc coated using a process called hot-dip galvanization. It is possible to have them redone this way, but since most galvanizing shops charge by the bucket it's rather expensive if you only have a couple of pieces. In the case of cabinet and backbox screens a good solution is to use a zinc-rich cold galvanizing compound (you can buy it in a spray can at Home Depot). While you do get a patina...
 
 
Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage
I'm always amazed when someone goes to the trouble of doing touch-up paint on a cabinet but doesn't properly prepare the surface (see Image 1). No matter how well you match the paint and gloss, the repair will stand out like a sore thumb if you don't level and smooth the surface. On the other hand, if you've ever tried to repair shallow cabinet damage (a divot) or scratches with wood putty it is not easy and requires fairly aggressive sanding. Which of course we would prefer to avoid in order to preserve the surrounding...
 
 
Removing Rust From Pinball Legs
Here's a couple of techniques for removing rust from pinball legs. If you don't mind a little scrubbing you can use the Coke and aluminum foil approach. Dip a small square of aluminum foil in Coke and use the dull side to rub the rusted legs. This works for a couple of reasons. The rubbing action oxidizes the aluminum to produce aluminum oxide, which leeches oxygen away from the rust. Also, the microscopic grains of aluminum oxide created produce a fine metal polishing compound. While the liquid is mostly to add lubrication,...
 
 
Saving Backbox Warning Decal
This is the second part of my cabinet repair on a Williams Terminator 2. The first part is covered in my Backbox Restoration article. Just to quickly bring you up to date, the game was purchased from someone who kept it in a garage and the humidity had completely trashed the backbox. Because of the condition of the backbox warning decal I couldn't use painters tape to mask it off without peeling up chunks of the decal so I had to take a circuitous route to finish and repaint the back. The first step was...
 
 
Cabinet Touch-Up Paint (Hook)
I recently did a cabinet touch-up on a Data East Hook pinball that required a different technique than I would normally use. In Image 1 you can see a large black smear on the left side of the cabinet front. The black area appears to be a manufacturing defect; either the black color ran or later colors weren't applied properly. Since I needed to cover the black with yellow, which is absolutely the worst color as far as coverage, I decided to first paint the entire area yellow and then come back and redo the...
 
 
Cleaning Inside of Cabinet
Cleaning the inside of a pinball cabinet is always a challenge because while this is typically one of the dirtiest areas on any game you need to minimize the amount of water the wood is exposed to. The best solution I've found is to use a foam carpet cleaner. My preference is Resolve High Traffic Foam and a stiff bristle scrub brush. Spray the foam on the inside area of the cabinet and then scrub briskly with the brush. You can use a couple of brush sizes to help reach corners and other hard...
 
 
Removing Cabinet Scuff Marks
It's not uncommon to find scuff marks on your pinball cabinet where paint from a doorway or chair or a brunette with a bad dye job (don't ask) has rubbed off on the cabinet. In many cases you can remove the unwanted paint without damaging the cabinet paint. The key is to go with a mild cleaner. The first step is to evaluate your chances of success. Rub your finger across the scuff mark and you should feel a slightly raised area. If you don't, or you feel gouges when running your...
 
 
Repairing Backbox Corners
Remember that Samsonite commercial where a gorilla jumps up and down on someone's luggage at the airport? I just picked up a Data East Hook pinball that must have been moved from location to location by the same gorilla. Every corner on the backbox was heavily destroyed (see image 1). In addition, on several corners the top layer of plywood was de-laminated (see image 2). Normally if the wood was only slightly de-laminated (as compared to warped out about 1/2 an inch as it was on the Hook) I would use wood glue for...
 
 
Backbox Restoration
I recently picked up a Terminator 2 that a guy was keeping in his garage. Normally the garage thing would make me walk away, but I really like T2. In my opinion this is one of Steve Ritchie's best games. The problem is that pinball manufacturers don't seem to believe in wood primer and any exposure to moisture or humidity does a real job on the cabinet. In this case the backbox was trashed (see Images 1 and 2). Well, I needed a project at the moment, so what the hell. ...
 
 
 
11 results - showing 1 - 10 1 2