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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

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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...
 
 
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...
 
 
Xyron Creative Station
The Xyron 5" Creative Station is a cold laminator that can be used to apply adhesive or laminate (see Image 1). This is about the only reasonably priced way to consistently laminate stock without getting bubbles. It's available at Amazon for about $30 or at your local crafts store. It comes with a matte laminate/permanent adhesive cartridge. This cartridge laminates the front side of the label and applies a permanent adhesive to the back side, which works well for warning labels. The matte laminate gives a good approximation of the original look of...
 
 
Mylar, Decal and Label Cutting Tools
Fiskars makes a couple of great products for cutting mylar, labels and decals. They will provide a much more professional cut than trying to do it by hand and are reasonably priced. Both products are available at most craft stores. The first is the Fiskars Circle Cutter (see Image 2), which costs about $20. It will cut circles from 1" to 8" in diameter and is perfect for cutting mylar for pop bumpers or slingshots. The second product is the Fiskars Paper Trimmer (see Image 2), which costs about $15. It...
 
 
Rub On Transfers
Got an older machine with worn decals on the inserts and can't find replacements?  Rub on transfers are a good option for solving this problem.  They're available in a variety of fonts and sizes.  You can find them online at several sites including ezrubontransfers.com. After rubbing on the letters just spray on a little clear paint and you're all set.
 
 
Replacing Ramp Decals
With a couple of cheap tools and some adhesive tape it's easy to migrate your ramp decals to a new ramp. In Image 1 in the Image Gallery you can see the original ramp from a Hook pinball with a large chunk missing. Sidenote: The right ramp was in the same condition and upon looking closer I found someone had installed over-powered flipper coils. Brilliant! Along with an X-Acto or sharp knife you will need a bray (used to roll out ink) or a wallpaper seam roller. You can use a plastic...
 
 
 
7 results - showing 1 - 7