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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rust Removal of Metal Playfield Parts

The next step was to remove as much rust and oxidization from the metal parts on the playfield as I could.  As you can see the rails around the railroad gates were in very bad shape.  Before I started I could see they were in bad shape but when I took the playfield out and got a closer look I was dismayed to see just how badly damaged they really were.  I did not have too much hope I could get them to look much better. 

I bought some new sanding wheels and buffs to try to remove as much as I could with a Dremel.   I was surprised and quickly encouraged with how well they started to look in fairly quick order.  I was able to remove all the rust and make them look pretty well considering but there are some pitted areas unfortunately.  I plan on putting them in a tumbler to see if I can get them polished a little better if they fit in it. 

The pins/nails in the playing field mostly were also pretty rusty.  I tried using a sanding buff on them but the buff got destroyed in a min or two so I switched to a small wire wheel.  It worked really well but with working around a small cylindrical object would cause the Dremel to get pulled off to the side from the force of the wheel against the pin.  Mostly it was controllable but at times the motor of the Dremel would be powerful enough to pull me off the pin.  My concern with that was it pulling off and hitting the playing field.  So what I did to prevent that happening was I took a piece of aluminum flashing and cut a small square and drilled a hole in it slightly larger than the pin and slipped it over the pin onto the table.  This also helped me get much closer to the playfield without concern of hitting it.  In doing this I was able to clean all of the nails aside from the ones closest to the outside ball track.

So I needed a way to get close enough to the track but not damage it.  I finally decided to remove it.  It was only connected by a handful of screws so thought no big deal but realized it was still attached by the spring gate that prevents the balls from going back down to the plunger.  When viewing another person’s restore of another 1930s machine I noticed they took theirs off so asked about it.  They said it should pull right out fairly easily.  So I pulled it and yes it came out easily, only it came out easily only on one side, the other side broke off unfortunately.  It is fixable though at least.  I was able to purchase new music wire to remake it but I could not get it in nickel finish, so I will need to nickel plate it if I cannot find it somewhere else.  Not the end of the world, it can be taken care of.  So now I just need to finish the rest of the nails and a couple of wire gates on the playing field and will be done with that part.  Then clean it once more and then decide on what type of wax to use for the surface.

Rusty rail around railroad gates

Rust removed from rails

Rusty pin

Flashing to protect the playfield

Pin with rust removed

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