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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Pinball Restoration

Pinball Restoration includes articles that cover generic topics (apply to all manufacturers) like removing playfield mylar, restoring cabinets, replacing cabinet decals and much more.

 
50 results - showing 21 - 30 1 2 3 4 5
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Creating and Applying Vinyl Decals
This article covers using vinyl decals to repair cabinet graphics that are so severely mangled there is no choice but to cut away the damaged area. The same technique is appropriate when a portion of decal has been peeled off during moving, or some other such misadventure. Since the graphics in this case are dithered (small colored dots used to create the illusion of more colors used in the printing process) it's impossible to recreate the look with paint (see Image 2). When replacing graphics that have to be cut-out it's best to use...
 
 
Creating and Applying Water Slide Decals
You will find many cases where a water slide decal is the best way to repair pinball cabinet or playfield damage. This approach is appropriate where the substrate (playfield or cabinet decal) is in good physical condition and you want to minimize the thickness of the decal. For example, when the colors on a cabinet decal are faded. Although you could do this repair with a stencil or silk screen it would require one stencil for the red and one for the black. Plus I had a brand new wand scanner I'd purchased and...
 
 
Recreating Plastics
There are times when your only choice is to recreate a plastic for you pinball. If no replacement parts are available you have no other choice for heavily damaged or yellowed plastics. In my case I've got two yellowed plastics from a Bran Stoker's Dracula that need to be replaced (see Image 1). Nothing too dramatic needed as far as tools for this project (see Image 2). You'll need a Dremel tool with a cylindrical high speed cutter and a buffing wheel, some white rouge (buffing compound), a coping saw with a fine blade,...
 
 
Repairing Cracked Plastics
Cracked plastics are a common problem on pinball games and the type of crack you're dealing with will determine the type of approach to use. If the two plastic pieces have broken cleanly and fit perfectly back together, use a low viscosity super glue. In other cases where you don't have a good fit and need to fill a gap you'll want to use a gel product (see references). The first thing to do on any crack is to clean the area with a toothbrush and your preferred plastic cleaning product (Novus 1, Mean Green,...
 
 
Repairing Stripped Screw Holes in Plastic
I've always struggled with a good way to repair stripped screw holes in plastic ramps until watching the product video for the Plastex Repair Kit. The Plastex product is a two part plastic resin, consisting of a powder and liquid catalyst. All you have to do is enlarge the stripped hole slightly, apply some light oil to the screw, apply a ball of Plastex to the screw threads, place the screw in the stripped hole and clean up any excess plastic. The result is a nice strong joint since Plastex fuses with the...
 
 
Re-Graining Metal Ramps
On some games the stainless steel metal ramps are grained rather than polished. While there's a quick and easy method for ball guides using an abrasive ball (see this article), this approach won't work on a u-shaped ramp. Instead you can typicall do the bottom part of the u-shape using a nylon or wire abrasive wheel (I prefer the nylon). The wheel should be held perpendicular to the ramp and rotate in the same direction as the grain. Start out with a medium grit like 180, if necessary, and move on to a...
 
 
Re-Graining Ball Guides
The stainless steel ball guides on most pinball games are grained rather than polished. Over time the pinball will wear away the grain and leave shiny ball tracks (see Image 2). Here's an easy method for returning them to their factory look. All you need is a couple of 4 inch abrasive balls; one medium (180 grit) and one fine (400 grit). Harbor Freight sells them for $10 and they will last through multiple games (see Image 1 and ignore the blue nylon drill brush, it didn't work as well as the abrasive...
 
 
Cleaning and Polishing Plastics
For basic cleaning of playfield plastics I use Mean Green, which you can get at Dollar Tree (for a dollar in case you're not good with math). It's not as good a cleaner as Simple Green, but it's safe on plastics and since I spray it on heavily to flush off dirt and grit, the cheaper the better. It's important to flush the grit off of the plastics using a heavy amount of cleaner. That black stuff is actually very small granules of metal that will scratch the plastic if not washed off before...
 
 
Repairing Broken Ramp Mounting Tab
This procedure works great for replacing (as compared to reattaching) a broken mounting tab on a ramp or plastic. The product I'm using, Plastex (see references) is a two part resin kit consisting of a powder and a liquid that when mixed together turn magically into plastic. The kit also includes a molding bar, which is hard at room temperature and pliable at 170 degrees, for replicating the replacement part from a sample. A video included in the package thoroughly explains the techniques used to recreate your part. This product has been used for years...
 
 
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,...
 
 
 
50 results - showing 21 - 30 1 2 3 4 5