Mini Shop Jobs - SURFER, CFTBL, Other

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Fifty

Fifty

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Jul 29, 2020
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Timmy B
I always have something on the go. I have a to do list that is a kilometer long. Projects, repairs, and stuff I just want to try.

This week I have a few things happening;

Creech apron cards have been finailised and have been sent to the printer. I've also started using Adobe Illustrator a bit more and have been trying to design some art for the bare walls of my little pinball room. In the garage I've been doing some woodworking (more on that on another day). Tonight I decided to start cleaning up another part of my Surfer. The crescent moon shaped piece of metal at the back. There are bits of rust on it that should be an easy enough fix. It bothers me every time I look at it so it needs to look better.

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There are only 9 screws holding it in place so it was easy to remove. There was a lot more rust underneath than I had suspected. No one will ever see this clean-up job, but I'll feel better knowing it is done and can't get worse.

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Neat little cut on the siderails that the metal slips into. It's neat to think that this piece probably hasn't been removed since it was built in 1976.

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White piece removed. A little rust underneath too.

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Off comes the rest.

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It's neat to see the playfield without the back on it. Little surprise underneath all of that metal for me to find. Silkscreened into the wood is SURF CHAMP 386 and SURFER 387. The numbers represent the model number of each version of this pin.

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Tomorrow I start cleaning up the metal with a brass wheel and then the Dremel for polishing. Kids are in bed and the noise emanates from the garage into the house and keeps them awake, so tomorrow it is.
 
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Fifty

Fifty

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Timmy B
Alright, a little more work on Surfer tonight. Inbetween making dinner and putting the kids to bed I managed to get 15 minutes to myself.

Grabbed the drill and a worn brass wheel and took off the white paint on the crescent piece of metal. Then took a new brass wheel and went over it again. I did both sides even though no one will ever see the belly of it.

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First coat of paint. Took a look at my stock and found this Tremclad Rust stuff. I think I bought it back in 2012. Good enough. I shook the can up for about 2 minutes and applied the first light coat.

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It's getting dark pretty early now, and the temperature has dropped quite a bit. This would have dried in about 30 seconds in July, but it was still tacky after 5 minutes in September. I set it up in front of my radiant heater to help it cure more quickly.

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I hit it with the spray paint again. Another light coat. Most of it is blanketed now, but I can see some imperfections. I'll probably take some 800 grit to it tomorrow after it has fully dried and then give it another light coat. Then I'll reassess and decide if another sanding and fourth coat are required.

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Again, I'm not looking for perfection here. This is not a complete refurb. I bought this pin completely busted up for $400.

I like my games to look good aesthetically, and I want them to play with zero errors. My games work 100%. No inconsistent lamps, no lamps out, all features work flawlessly, all mechanicals work flawlessly. I am the type of person that will notice a bulb burnt out in your game when you never even knew there was a socket for a bulb there. I'll notice the wrong type of screw, a loose star post, an incorrect coil or a dozen other things a normal person would be oblivious to. For me, it's all about the details.
 
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Fifty

Fifty

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Timmy B
Picked up the latest apron cards today. I'd say I'm 90% happy with them. The underlying shadows are gone, and the white text in the buttons is much cleaner, but some of the finer detail is still fuzzy. Unless I change the font, or the design more I don't think it will get better. For now I'm happy. So I cut the cards and go to put them in the pin and... they are the wrong size. I had selected DO NOT SCALE in the online order, so I don't know if the Printing company screwed up, or if I did something. My money is on the Printer though as I have had these printed out 5 times now and they've been correct each time. So, they don't fit. I'll have to send them in again. Sigh...

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I did up this wall art as my second Ai project. It printed out perfectly. No issues with the sizing or the actual print design. Ran into IKEA on the way home and picked up a 41cm x 51cm frame for it. I designed it specifically to fit this size frame with the included matte. I am pretty happy with it. Jerry McGuire is one of my favourite movies so it just made sense. I don't know if I've seen this saying floating around on the internet or not. Either way, this one was created from scratch by me. Please ignore the shadows of my drum kit reflecting in the design.

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Sanded down the white crescent moon for my Surfer tonight. I used 600 grit. Gave it another shot with the spray paint. The paint seems to be speckling. Maybe it's too cold in the garage, maybe I missed the seasonal window to be doing this type of work, maybe the paint is just too old. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow so I'll see what tomorrow brings.

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Fifty

Fifty

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Timmy B
Alright, more forward progress today.

Firstly, I mentioned I've been doing some woodworking. I am by no means an expert, but I'm able to follow plans, and I've accumalated the necessary tools in the 46 years of my life. So, I have been making cedar deck chairs. Our old ones are over 10 years old and are in very bad shape. The wood has fractured in critical areas. I've created some repair pieces to keep them alive, but they have turn into some Frankenstein's monster chairs. Today, I finished all of them. We had 4, so I had to build 4. This took about 3 weekends to complete.

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This is the colour they will be stained. It is a transparent stain called JUNIPER ASH. I wish I was paid to give regular colours interesting names.

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I also gave my Surfer crescent moon another sanding with 600 grit. It was looking great, but I'm dealing with outside elements. I left the piece outside in the sun to dry and a small blackfly decided to land in the paint. Bugger. So picked him out of the paint, sanded, then ran out of paint (of course) so off to the hardware store, and finally a final spray of white. (Sorry, no photos for this).

I started brass wheeling the second tier of metal too. This one is in bad shape.

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Here it is after the first couple passes with the brass wheel. The metal doesn't seem to be raw. There's a tin coating on it. It's the tin coating that has bubbled and rusted. There is quit a bit of pitting. I am not sure how to deal with this. I might have to cheat here and use chrome spray paint to make it look presentable.

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Fifty

Fifty

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Timmy B
I took some time away from the pins on the weekend to rip out the carpet, underpadding, tack strip, staples, baseboards, and moulding in my son's room. We are having our floors refinished and decided to go whole hog and finally update our house. We've been in the same place for 10 years now. The house was built in 1968, which is pretty old for Canada. I know over in the UK a house isn't even broken in until it is at least 100 years old, but in Canada, trust me the majority of people live in newly constructed homes less than a decade old.

I had been waiting to get some sandpaper from Amazon. You can't get anything over 1500 grit in stores here, so Amazon has been a Godsend. I ordered sanding discs that would attach to my power drill that go from 60 grit all the way up to 10,000 grit and also included various buffer pads.

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I bought these to try my hand at polishing metal (steel). Specifically the lockbar on my Creech which is scratch to hell (see images earlier in this thread), but I've always wanted to try to get a mirror shine out of steel. I have watched a bunch of YouTube vids on the subject and while they are all a bit different in method they all have similarities as well. I decided to try it out on the crescent moon metal and the straight rods that hold everything in place on my Surfer.

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The one on the bottom I have not sanded. The top one is my first attempt. I started with 60grit and slowly increased all the way to 10,000grit. I focused only on the side with the screw holes. As you can see I didn't quite sand the very top flush so the mirroring, as I increased in grit, only started to appear on the rounded edges. The results are really satisfying. Here's another photo side by side.

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Again, the one on the left is unsanded. The one on the right you can more clearly see the line up the middle where I didn't get it sanded well enough with the lower grits. Still though, look at that shine! I went to re-install everything in Surfer tonight but when I started re-assembling things I realised the side of these rails is what the player sees, not the bit with the screw hole. So I pulled it apart again and I'm going to try the sanding process again on one side tomorrow night. The side I'm going to face towards the player. The toothpicks are to help me line everything up with the holes in the playfield.

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Oh, and I bought some Flitz metal, plastic polish as well from Amazon. This stuff is pretty awesome. I dripped it onto an old rag, then stuck the old screws into my Dremel one at a time and turned it on. Rubbing the screw head into the Flitz. The screws came out sparkling! You can see the dirt still in the slot, but the head is super shiny!

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Fifty

Fifty

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Timmy B
Alright, assembly time! I think I figured out what was making that odd line in the middle of my polished rails. Here's how the rails look now. I only polished one side. No one will ever see the other side so why waste labour on it?

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And here are the money shots,

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Check out that mirror finish in the metal piece at the back! Woohoo! You can even seen the screw heads clearly reflected!
 
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Fifty

Fifty

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Yeah great results, I'm enjoying your log. I'm interested that you could sand to that high standard rather than using buffing compounds and mops similar to this
https://www.metalpolishingsupplies....ss-steel-3-x-1-2-metal-polishing-buffing-kit/
Thanks @astyy. I did investigate compounds. I even wasted a few hours of my life trying to use red compound to bring out a lustrous shine only to later Google what I was doing wrong and learn that red compound is basically jewellers polish and has a grit rating of zero. No wonder it wasn't doing anything!

I ended up buying two sticks of green compound, which has a grit rating of 6000 (thanks Google). I did try using it for this project, but honestly the stuff was difficult to work with. At least the stuff I bought was. It isn't a paste, it was a stick. It looks like green chocolate, but doesn't rub off easily. It's meant for rubbing onto a leather strop, which I don't have, so I was just trying to rub it into the buffing wheels and some of the low grit sandpaper wheels. That didn't really work well. Anyway...

You can't find a metal polishing kit or a bench polisher here in Canada. You would be surprised how difficult it is to find basic items here sometimes. If it wasn't for Amazon I wouldn't have even been able to get the sandpaper for this project. Amazon and eBay are often the only options. For example, the wood veneer that I used to repair my Creech earlier in this thread? Amazon. Home Depot here doesn't sell it, even though they carry it in the US stores. Water slide decals. eBay. Michael's (largest craft store here) doesn't sell them, even though they carry this item in the US stores. This is usually what happens.

[EDIT] Actually, Home Depot here does sell the wood veneer. I tried to order it from them originally. You can only order it online as it is not something they carry in store. I ordered it. 30 days went by and there were no updates. I cancelled. Ordered from Amazon, got the product the next day for half the cost of Home Depot.
 
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Fifty

Fifty

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Timmy B
So I'm at work, and I took a look at the Creech apron cards in Ai. The measurements in Ai is 152mm x 82mm on v6. The same for v5, v4, v3... Odd. I'm using the pinballrebel website for card sizing and it shows Williams as 152 x 82.

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Here are the properties in Ai.

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When I print them, I have DO NOT SCALE selected. If I measure them with a tape measure (in cm) they measure just over 15cm which is exactly right.

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For some reason they don't fit in the apron slots, while the other sets I have printed all do. So I took one off of the pin and measured it. The ones I printed out earlier are under 15cm! WTF is going on?!

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I don't know what the hell is going on. I don't know why the earlier prints were all the incorrect size but ended up fitting and the correct size doesn't. I will have to take a look at this again when I'm home in front of the pin. @Inkochnito should I be using the Williams sizing on a Bally?
 
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Fifty

Fifty

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Okay, so I'm an idiot and the apron cards DO fit. When I cut them, I liked how they looked with a skinny bit of white trim around the edges. This was enough on all sides to throw off the sizing and have it buckle in the apron slot when installed. I am glad that is solved. Easy fix. I trimmed off the excess white edges and voila.

Oh, and I installed my v5 Swink's Snackbar mod tonight! Holy guacamole! I had the v1 a long long time ago. Bought it when I didn't even own a Creech and admired it in the shipping box for years. I finally installed it years later in someone else's Creech. It was wonderful. It had the EL wire in pink and it looked like it was born in the machine. It was just a great, great mod. I left it in the pin when the owner came to pick up his Creech. An expensive 'thank you' but honestly I just didn't want it to sit in a box any longer. Now I own a Creech! Now I own a v5 Swinks Snackbar! This version of the mod just blows my mine. If you own a Creech and don't own this mod you are doing the game and yourself a huge injustice.

Lastly, I played Creech tonight and got the pretzel award. It's HOT PRETZEL not warm pretzel. You guys tricked me. One more revision to the apron cards coming up! @Calimori I haven't forgotten about you. Sorry about the wait.

Kids are back in school today after a 7 month hiatus too!

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Fifty

Fifty

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Timmy B
Okay, I know I was really dragging this out, but I wanted these to be as perfect as possible. Here are the FINAL versions of my apron cards. I added a little PayPal donate tagline to the bottom, but please don't feel obligated.

When you print these out make sure you select DO NOT SCALE. My preference has always been to use acid free white cardstock. Something between 90-120LBs gives a good heft to the cards so they don't feel flimsy and maintain their shape. When cutting, cut along the outside of the grey borders. This should ensure a perfect fit.

Please feel free to share these links. Let me know if you have any problems. As always I welcome comments for improvements.

Light pink
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U_xH9_vuPTo2ZlQIFKXn5Ff9boDnUt_7/view?usp=sharing
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Hot pink
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qUB5BHmqUKcEMXton63COISJta6Y5lEE/view?usp=sharing
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@Calimori
 
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