Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Job 6: Refinishing the Head

Finally, we get to some of the big jobs. As I wrote in an earlier post, the machine is in good mechanical shape, but needed a cosmetic facelift. Over 40 years of dings, scrapes, grime and cigarette burns have taken their toll on my Fun Land, but there are no major holes or cracks to address. However, this part of the restoration did take me a few weeks, mainly because I had to wait for layers of paint to dry.

I figured the best way to do it was to break up the cabinet refinishing into smaller jobs and tackle one at a time, starting with the head. First, I took out the backglass and the mechanical guts and set them aside. EM machines are so easy to take apart - everything is modular.

Next, I sanded it town to the bare wood. It was made in the 60's, so they probably used lead-based paint.

I filled in a few of the small dings and gouges with wood filler and gave the whole thing a coat of primer.

Then, I was ready to paint. I chose a classic creamy off-white - the color of a vanilla milkshake - rather than a stark white.

Next, it was time to stencil the designs back on.

Finally, it was time to re-install the hardware and mechanical parts. Looking beautiful!

I also re-finished the pedistal at the same time. I decided to re-assemble everything, just to make sure the electrical connections were good.

And it works beautifully!  Notice how the blue and red are a perfect match to the un-refinished body cabinet. And how clean and bright the head looks next to the body.  

Just as a reminder, here's the head before restoration:

...and here it is now:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Job 5: Soldering

Upon close inspection under the playfield, I found that the leads on a couple of relays had come unsoldered. It was a quick repair. While I had the iron out, I also too care of this:

The transformer was wired for medium voltage...

So I moved the wire over to the high voltage node. That should give the pops and kickers a little extra oomph.