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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Tools and Supplies

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Unicatch Long Nose Stapler
The best stapler solution I've found for redoing ground braids and other pinball tasks is the Unicatch Long Nose Stapler.  The long nose allows you to get into tight spots like bumper leads and under-playfield wiring.  Requires an air compressor providing 60 PSI and .36 CFM. Pinrestore.com sells both the silver and copper staples, for this gun, that are used on most modern pinballs.
 
 
Magic Eraser
The magic behind the Magic Eraser is the fact that its one and only ingredient, melamine foam, has a structure like fine fiberglass strands that gets down into cracks and removes dirt and grit. This allows for removal of that infamous black grit with less abrasion than other techniques. This product is great for cleaning up ball swirl marks, planking and ball tracks. In the case of planking or ball swirl marks the area will need to be coated with lacquer (older machines) or clear coat to prevent further damage. Magic Erasers are...
 
 
Pre-Wax Cleaners
Automotive pre-wax cleaners are designed to remove contaminants that normal cleaning leaves behind (see Image 1). They also do an unbelievable job on pinball playfields for deep cleaning and removal of that infamous black grit. Most, including the ones listed here, are non-abrasive. For enamel and lacquer finishes Collinite Liquid Sapphire PreWax Cleaner is a non-abrasive cleaner that will remove old wax, ground in dirt, film, discoloration and wax stains. For playfields with automotive clear coat Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Solution uses a combination of gloss-enhancing oils and micro-fine fillers to polish your...
 
 
Dolphin Glaze
Dolphin Glaze is a two part polyester putty used for the final skimming of minor imperfections. Since it is auto-leveling (the standard version) easy to sand and can be brushed, poured or applied with a squeegee, it's great for playfield and cabinet finishing repair. Dolphin Glaze High Viscosity is a thicker version that can be used on vertical surfaces. The high viscosity version has more strength than the standard version. In general think of Dolphin Glaze as a smoother, softer and easier to use version of putty. Kind of like a thick...
 
 
Microfiber Cloth
I frequently suggest using microfiber cloth, or towels, when cleaning your pinball game. The reason is they help lift away grit that other towels won't, and therefore prevent scratching your playfield, plastics or cabinet. A combination of ultra-fine fibers and static (technically Van der Walls force) make this magic happen. See this article if you want to learn more about how they work. While they can be cleaned and reused there are a few caveats to ensure they don't loose their magic. Pre-soak in a bucket of warm water and...
 
 
Clear Coat Scratch Remover
There are several clear coat paint scratch removers on the market that do a great job of repairing playfield cracks caused by raised wood grain. These products are appropriate when the playfield is clear coated and the crack does not extend beyond the clear coat. These products can also be used with deeper scratches where you want to seal and protect your touch-up paint. My favorite is the Turtle Wax Scratch Repair Kit. It includes a clear coat pen, spray lubricant, four sanding pads (2400, 3200, 3600 and 4000 grit) and paint clarifying...
 
 
Mothers Clay Bar Kit
Mothers Clay Kit is used to remove surface contaminants from car paint that normal cleaning won't get off. It is non-abrasive and won't harm a painted surface in good condition. The kit comes with a surface lubricant, clay bar and microfiber towel. Where I use it in regards to pinball is to remove particulate matter that is embedded in small cracks in the playfield created by raised wood grain (also called planking). While it won't always get the job done (depends on the depth and width of the crack) it's always a safe first...
 
 
Solderless Quick Splice Connector
While it is best to solder splices when adding a pinball mod requiring a power source, a quick splice connector is a good alternative. The connector uses the same approach as an IDC connector and is a good choice when soldering is not your strongest suite. The wire you are splicing onto is placed in the first groove on the connector (no cutting of the wire required) and the new wire is inserted into the second groove. Squeeze the connector shut and your done. You can find them at Amazon or most auto stores....
 
 
Papilio Supplies
Normally I introduce specific products here, but Papilio Supplies has such a great range of graphic supplies that I thought I'd cover them all, or at least some of my favorites. For printing water slide decals with an inkjet or laser printer they sell clear and white water slide decal paper. In addition you will want to get their fixative (completes the waterproofing process), decal mounting fluid (improves bond and allows repositioning of decal) and squeegee for applying the decal. For those cases where you need a thicker decal they offer an inkjet white...
 
 
VuPoint Magic Wand Scanner
The best way to recreate detailed pinball graphics is with a wand type scanner (see Image 1). Wand scanners provide a much cleaner image than a camera and do not induce perspective problems. Therefore the image is much easier to work with and requires less processing. I got the VuPoint in the photo on sale for $75 and it will scan at 300, 600 and 900 dpi. I have not tried other brands, but they are all priced under $100 and work similarly. I have found 600 dpi more than sufficient for creating...
 
 
 
40 results - showing 11 - 20 1 2 3 4