Saturday, March 21, 2015

Job 1: Refinish the Head

With this project, I thought I'd handle the biggest issues first and work my way down to the smallest. There are no mechanical problems, so this restoration will be purely cosmetic and the biggest job will be the cabinet.

First order of business: isolate the head and remove backglass and the mechanical "guts."

Once again, Gottlieb did a great job of making everything modular, so this was pretty easy. The lock lever and a few other metal bits needed to come off too and you can see that I've laid them out on the work bench in place, so as not to lose track of what goes where.

Here's the backbox sans guts, pre-restoration:

After sanding it down to the bare wood:

The main box is a harder wood (maybe ash or maple) and held on to the original paint, while the cornice frame on the front was much softer (probably pine) and had no problem shedding its outer layer.

From here I filled in the gouges and dings, primed and pained with a creamy white (I had plenty left over from Fun Land) and applied the first stencils.

I had traced the original artwork, transferred it over to large sheets of clear acetate, carefully cut out the shapes with an X-acto knife and applied the acetate to the backbox with light spray adhesive.

Voila! The first stencils:

These bled a little and needed a little touchup before the blue would go on. I discovered that three or four light coats worked better that trying to do a single heavy coat all at once.

Next, I used the same procedure for the second set of stencils:

I have the whole backbox propped up on old paint cans, so it's a little off the ground.  The blue turned out pretty well:

Fresh and clean!  Next, it was time to re-install the mechanics and hardware, in reverse order that they were removed:

Job complete!

It occurred to me only later, after reviewing the photos that I had done the front stencil upside down - it should be a thick blue bar on top and a thin orange bar underneath. Oh, well. I kind of like it better my way.



No comments:

Post a Comment