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Author Topic: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)  (Read 1392 times)

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Keroppi

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So my sister linked me to this franken-pac for only $50!
This was the only picture I had to go off of...the art looked to be in good condition, though there was clearly a bit of rough at the bottom edge:



...so I messaged the guy, and he didn't know anything about it (he was having a garage sale) but I asked him to hold it until I could get there (he agreed) and headed down. Once I arrived, he told me that someone had just tried to buy it but he held it as agreed.

Once I got a look at the cab, my first reaction was to turn tail and leave, but since he missed a sale for me, and I knew it was worth at least $50 in parts, I loaded it and left.

I was hesitant because the whole bottom of the cab is a goner. Water damage to the base,  and some wood-boring insect has turned the bottom 4"-8" on the front and one side into swiss cheese.
The bottom panel is only even attached on the one (better) side leaving it like the leaning tower of pisa:








So, I spliced in a new cord, checked the fuses, and powered it up. Lo and behold, it boots. Came with Mike Doyle's wonderful 96-in-1 also, which was worth the price alone.

Other than desperately needing a cap kit, the only issue is the board: it has a weird issue with the sprites, where they show/move only in the upper left quadrant, and wrap over the displayed maze and through the screen. A video of what I mean is here:
If anyone can chime in on what to check, I'd appreciate it. I read most sprite placement issues seem to stem from chips 1E/2E so I put those on order. Even if I parted the cab, I'd still like to get the board fixed up first.

I've done bondo and basic cab repairs, but I have never done any extensive woodworking like replacing a whole bottom chunk of a cab. Doing it back like original/properly will require dados, rabbets, and biscuits. All stuff I have not done.

On one hand, it's a ton of work that will give me new skills. On the other hand, I had no original intention on re-stenciling the cab, or making it concours perfect.

I had hoped for mild cab repair, some touch ups, and putting back the pac pieces and having a decent looking player machine.
Even after repairing the cab I will have to put a TON more work/money into making it presentable (especially the kickplate), which at that point I'd might as well go all out and make it mint. If I was going for mint, this is clearly the wrong cab to start with.

I really wanted a pacman, and tbh it's difficult to consider stripping a classic like this and sending it to the arcade high in the sky, but...what would you do?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 12:00:12 am by Keroppi »

Titchgamer

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 04:45:13 pm »
In terms of the woodwork you could maybe make a boot/stand for it to contain the bottom of the cab?
After its been patched up/treated of course.

Keroppi

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 05:09:08 pm »
In terms of the woodwork you could maybe make a boot/stand for it to contain the bottom of the cab?
After its been patched up/treated of course.

What, you mean like one of those 1-up arcade bases?
Nah, if I'm going to bother I am going to repair the cab itself. If I would be willing to cut and corners, it's be do things like attach the base with metal L brackets and extra blocks instead of dados, etc.

Titchgamer

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 05:13:20 pm »
In terms of the woodwork you could maybe make a boot/stand for it to contain the bottom of the cab?
After its been patched up/treated of course.

What, you mean like one of those 1-up arcade bases?
Nah, if I'm going to bother I am going to repair the cab itself. If I would be willing to cut and corners, it's be do things like attach the base with metal L brackets and extra blocks instead of dados, etc.

Kind of I guess yeah, I was thinking something a little more elaborate though heh.

Its the only way I could see you saving that in original condition without some serious work.

Keroppi

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 05:17:17 pm »
Yeah, it will require serious work to even stabilize it. It's serious work or trash heap.

Titchgamer

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Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 05:19:20 pm »
Yeah but it would be a shame to scrap it as above the bottom bit it looks pretty decent.

The other thing to do would be to give it a good solid base to support it then patch around that but you will still need to replace all the side art etc.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 05:21:25 pm by Titchgamer »

Keroppi

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 05:27:45 pm »
That's why I have my dilemma :o
Actually I think I'd only have to kill the kickplate art, I could keep the sides intact.

yotsuya

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Keroppi

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2019, 09:21:00 pm »
Read this thread:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=139566

That was some damn fine work, pretty much exactly what I am expecting to have to do to this cabinet, just hopefully replacing less material.

Do you have any additional pics of the reconstruction? I know Pac and galaga were different construction, but in the pic with the front and one side still attached, there is no dado slot. Did you cut one in the new panels?

I am confident I can re-cut 5 pieces of flat wood, even dowel holes and such. where I get sketchy is the slots and rabbets for the back door, etc...I haven't used a router before.

yotsuya

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2019, 09:35:55 pm »
Read this thread:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=139566

That was some damn fine work, pretty much exactly what I am expecting to have to do to this cabinet, just hopefully replacing less material.

Do you have any additional pics of the reconstruction? I know Pac and galaga were different construction, but in the pic with the front and one side still attached, there is no dado slot. Did you cut one in the new panels?

I am confident I can re-cut 5 pieces of flat wood, even dowel holes and such. where I get sketchy is the slots and rabbets for the back door, etc...I haven't used a router before.
No other pics. I used MDF because it was smoother and straighter than plywood. I used wood glue, body filler, and a dowel system to join it all together. On the inside, I screwed in boards on top of the seam to stabilize the construction. It was pretty solid.

Donít even worry about the rabbets and slots. I filled them in and made my own back door. No issues.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Keroppi

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2019, 04:35:13 pm »
I think that's what I will do. I have committed! Picked up the material/parts to get started, it's time to get choppin'!

Titchgamer

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2019, 04:41:11 pm »
I think that's what I will do. I have committed! Picked up the material/parts to get started, it's time to get choppin'!

Good luck!

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2019, 10:56:51 pm »
I would buy one of those for $50 every day for the rest of my life.
Acceptance of Zen philosophy is marred slightly by the nagging thought that if all things are interconnected, then all things must be in some way involved with Pauly Shore.

Keroppi

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Re: Should I save this Franken-Pac or kill it with fire?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2019, 11:59:11 pm »
So it starts.
I picked up some supplies today:




...and stripped the cab. Not too much exciting except the power switch. Why was it taped?



...because the tape was holding it together.



Got to try out my Birthday presents from last week from my awesome girlfriend: magnetic armband and led gloves. I am always working in the dark so these are perfect:




Found a happy clown! It's a sign!



...and stripped.




I left the monitor in for 2 reasons: 1) I couldn't find my discharge tool, and 2) those metal brackets are providing half of the cab's stability right now. The fun bit was hoisting it onto the pool table by myself, while It was falling apart with no smooth edges to grab:



...so now we can see how trashed it really is:






...now that it's reasonably flat, let's see why it was leaning so bad...jeebus!



...so I wonder how much of this I can remove just with my hands?




...well, that answers that. Thank god I have one intact edge to measure from. from the back door opening to the bottom is 50.5":



...and the other side? 2.5" are already gone! And, I need to cut off many more...so much for getting away with a 1x6!



How about the front? About the same...




So the topside I settled on 7.5" total, got rid of most all the not completely solid wood. It cut clean. I decided to carry that measurement across the front. As I cut through pac's creepy smile, my Ultra-Saw started binding. So much for the brand new edge guide...gotta love Harbor Freight!



...so I finished the front with a jigsaw. As I feared, 7.5" isn't enough. Still too much rot. I'll have to go another 4" to the coinbox plinth:




Even then, it is *not* going to get 100% of the damage. there are a couple holes here and there at/near the back edge:



...for each of these, I must do a "smash test" with my fingernail to try to make them cave in before I fill them all:



...and since I am doing this inside, my time is limited due to noise. My kid had to go to bed, so my 3.5 hr window of using power tools is up. Not much else I can do tonight unless I wanna scrub on a floppy half-cab. So here it is now, not a bad start for a couple hours' work:




Titchgamer

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2019, 02:44:53 am »
Good start dude!

Labour of love coming up!!

Gilrock

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2019, 10:17:01 am »
I've never a done a restore but wouldn't you feel more comfortable moving the cab around and cutting on it if you removed the monitor?

JDFan

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2019, 10:56:32 am »
Quote
As I cut through pac's creepy smile, my Ultra-Saw started binding. So much for the brand new edge guide...gotta love Harbor Freight!

Are you cutting using the guide right up against the edge you are cutting - or using the guide along the edge of the saw guide so the blade is never anywhere near the blade ?? THe guide is more for using in combination with the guide on the circular saw base not as a guide for the blade itself - The blade should never be able to get close enough to the guide to cut it !


Keroppi

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2019, 10:45:29 pm »
I've never a done a restore but wouldn't you feel more comfortable moving the cab around and cutting on it if you removed the monitor?

As I had mentioned, The monitor was doing a LOT to help keep the cabinet structurally sound and square. Even with it in, it is still a wobbly mess.

Keroppi

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2019, 10:48:50 pm »
Quote
As I cut through pac's creepy smile, my Ultra-Saw started binding. So much for the brand new edge guide...gotta love Harbor Freight!

Are you cutting using the guide right up against the edge you are cutting - or using the guide along the edge of the saw guide so the blade is never anywhere near the blade ?? THe guide is more for using in combination with the guide on the circular saw base not as a guide for the blade itself - The blade should never be able to get close enough to the guide to cut it !



Kinda both. I was using the dremel ultr-saw with a flush cut blade, which pretty much puts the blade aligned with the outside of the guide by design (there is maybe 1mm gap)

Keroppi

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2019, 10:49:14 pm »
So, I took out the remaining front below the coinbox plinth. Luckily, that removed enough damage (as well as the rest of the pac-man). Based on my experience yesterday, I chose to use my jigsaw (and didn't get a perfect line)...dug in a little too far in a couple spots, and had to use the DA sander to flatten it out. Nothing a lil' bondo won't fix.




...then I drilled the first set of dowel holes for the 2 panels:




At Yotsuya's advice, and based on my inexperience with a router, I chose to skip all the rabbet cuts and planned to reinforce from inside. I proceeded to simple-cut the base and front panels. My cut was 1/16th of an inch off. Sadly, it's a very important 1/16th...I'll have to buy another sheet and re-cut:



The length of the front was perfect though:



I held up the base to make sure I got the length right. At least that went well:



Having a solid measure-able front now gave me the opportunity to recheck the side. I had gone for 7.5" so I could easily/cleanly use a 1x8...but I was measuring to thin air based on other parts of the cab. I turns out I was 1/8" off...



...that extra 1/8" of wood will be an pain in the ass to cut perfectly, as well as cost me an extra $20 in material. I am considering just shortening the whole damn cab but 1/8" and save myself the hassle. What do you think?

Keroppi

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2019, 11:36:25 pm »
Since I can't cut anymore tonight, I am again at a standtill.
Everything I need to do to this cab right now requires power tools. Very frustrating.
So to finish the night, I did the only quiet thing I can do: started gluing in the support.
I used a 1x6 for the side (since that's most of the weight distribution) and just a furring strip for the front panel.
Sadly, the throats on all my clamps were an inch to short, so improvised with the scraps laying around.
I also found use for those edge guides I just got:





Keroppi

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2019, 10:43:23 am »
So I bought more wood today to fix the previous issues. Another quarter sheet for the front...they didn't have plain sanded, so I had to go with birch. $28! ouch! Also a 1x8 and 1x4 for the sides, and some 2x2s for furring.

So I proceed to cut the 1x8 to length for the side, deciding to shorten the cab 1/8". I test fit it with the old front, just because I check after every cut:



WTF? it's supposed to be 1/8th of an inch off! what's going on? So...every single standard piece of lumber I have ever encountered is 1/2" shorter, planed off 1/4" on either side. Am I naive, or this this bs? The 1x8 is 7.25"! of course I didn't notice this until after I chopped it in half, so I can't even return it:



So now I am left with little option. I have to cut a new side piece. Out of the quarter sheet, which doesn't leave me a cut for the replacement front panel.



While test fitting, I noticed the gap got wider toward the bottom...as though the the side panels were not perfectly straight to begin with. Flexing on the cab narrowed the gap on the front panel, so I decided I am going to use that original front panel; I should be able to close that 1/16" gap as I build. I am sick of buying more wood. This damn cab has already cost the better part of a c-note in wood, I'm *not* buying any more.

So the new piece fit well, and I am now ready to cut the other side. I make damn sure to check this one first, to make sure it's a "normal" 1x4:



Thankfully it is, and 3.5" is enough to remove all the damage on the other side:



So I'd like to use the 1x6" support on the other side as well, but notice I am dangerously close the stock pcb mount, which I don't want to move. I reinstalled the pcb mount, and jammed the 1x6 up to it. Since I cut off 3.5", I can only overhang 2.75" until I butt up to the 3/4" base:



Excellent! This is the *only* damn cut that has worked out perfectly this whole build. So now I cut the 1x4" and all the main pieces are cut. I can finish drilling the dowel holes on the cab:



I bought 2 dowel kits, which only gave me 8 centering divots. I shoulda bought 3 so I could've done it in one pass instead of 2:



I held up each piece and tapped it with the rubber mallet to give me my divots. Exchange the holes I missed and repeat (for all 3 pieces):



The 1x6 support I already installed gave me a quick and easy spot to clamp to in order to drill in all the dowel hole on the lower pieces:



So I cut up some dowels with tin snips and proceeded to tap them all in:



This, my friends, is why you should use a dowel jig. I was too cheap impatient to get one (they are $10 online, but I didn't wanna wait...they're $35 in store locally, and I wan't willing to pay that):



Really, that's the worst one. Not horrible for free-handing it. I'll make it work. Time to start mounting. I thought I'd get 2 pieces on tonight. I thought wrong. I got the front in, and i don't know if it was the tension from crooked dowels or what, but it tried to jut way out at the bottom.

Getting this thing clamped in all directions with good contact to the glue i put on every surface was a ---smurfette---. Tightening too much in the wrong place would just start putting tension on stuff and making one side or the other separate. I had to spend almost 15 minutes trying different combinations. In the end I use a corners strap, mini clamps, and my edge guides. Ironically, my "proper" clamps only caused more issues, and I didn't end of using them:







So it got where I needed it to be, but it didn't butt up to my furring perfectly. I decided to add extra glue to all the seams, including the vertical one. That didn't work out well, because, well...gravity:



...other than wiping out like 5 of these puddles of glue, not bad for 5 hours work on day 3.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 10:49:44 am by Keroppi »

Keroppi

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2019, 11:15:37 pm »
So now that the front was dry I was able to tap in the side panels.
The bottom side went *relatively* easily, but the topside was a nightmare.
Definitely get the jig, folks. After about 10 frustrating minutes, I started ripping out the worst offenders.
I still got half a dozen dowels in there though, which should be plenty with the inner reinforcement:




...so I slather everything in glue and tap them in. WTF? One side overhangs the front by ~1/8"...I *swear* I had double check every cut.
Evidently not, because I re-measured 16 ways to Sunday, and it *was* long by 1/8" in the front (and 1/16" in the rear)...so when I mounted the base panel, I compensated.
I'll have to sand it down flush later. There's no turning back once everything is covered in glue:




...so I added the other side's internal support, and another furring strip in the front. Beyond the standard face glue, I "caulked" it in.
Can't ever have too much glue. I used the front scrap to brace far end flat...there's no getting a clamp in there:




All said and done, I am happy with how it is turning out. My "flushness" seems to be off by 1mm or less everywhere, well within bondo range. This side of this edge is the worst offender (caused by the 1/16" I didn't re-cut):



So tomorrow I have one last piece to glue, and I should have it back upright on Sunday.
Maybe I'll start on the other pieces once my dewalt battery charges. But...it's starting to resemble a cab again!!


Mike A

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2019, 07:14:19 am »
Thank you for going through all of this effort to save a cab.

Keroppi

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2019, 04:36:33 am »
I was very busy Saturday and didn't get much done. Tonight I made up for it.
So, since I have committed to fixing this swiss cheese POS, I have gone ahead and bought all the required new parts:
* leg levelers/plates
* cap kit for the monitor/pcb
* kickplate decal
* cpo/cp bolts
* bezel
* marquee
* t-molding
* free play coin door inserts
* joystick grommet
* buttons
...everything else I should be able to refurbish. With the possible exception of this vandalized coin door...anybody have recommendations on how to fix this?:




I went ahead and glued in the back panel. I also drilled (most) of what I need for leg levelers and the casters I am adding.
Pac-Man is missing the handles/wheel of Ms. Pac, so moving it is a ---smurfette---. Since I have already had to throw "all original" out the window...
The leg levelers I bought were advertised as 2.75" plates. Most I see are 3"...I couldn't find a drill template online, so I marked out 3" square and at least got the center hole ready.
I couldn't mount the front wheels; I need flat 1/4 bolts. Nuts on the bottom are too long to allow the wheels to swivel, and the carriage bolts I have won't flush up since the holes are round. Yet *another* trip to Home Depot required:




I also sanded my mis-cut flush. Were the bottom front corners slightly rounded? Anyone wanna chime in and tell me the radius?




So, The cabinet definitely needs some wood hardener. Spots of the edges are de-laminating, and the top is crumbling:





The upper back is also in rough shape and will have to be addressed. The paint is just flaking off:



So I begin washing the edges in hardener, using clamps of the more iffy edges of the plywood:





This is a LOT of work I am going through, I have to remind myself that the side art is intact and in really good condition, and when I am done, half of what's visible will be original. It keeps me motivated:




So this cab is massively more screwed than I originally thought. Using my nail test, I went through and prepped: I dug out all of the eaten trails. It's *bad*...luckily, the other side will be better:






...so I sanded the front, top, and back of the cab. The top is *really* rough:



After sanding it , I give it another coat of wood hardener:



I just can't win! The insects have eaten *everywhere*!:



I gave the top another sand. This is over an hour, and there's still *lots* of pitting. I an going to have to skim coat it in filler.
I should've gotten a belt sander. The time I spent on this piece so far would've made up for it alone:



The back was in a reasonable shape, but it didn't escape getting eaten, either:



While bondo is the conventional repair material,I am trying to save the art, which means I can't be excessively sanding.
So for the brunt of the filling, I chose "Liquid Wood"...no mixing, and a squeeze tube to deliver it directly where I need it. Not as good as bondo, but in this case, it's worth it. Round 1:





...using a random door shim:




...filled in the back, side, and front with the first coat:








...I'll get it up on it's feet when I get more bolts and the leg levelers.
There's still plenty left to do, but I feel like there is an end in sight.

pbj

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2019, 09:46:54 am »
Looking good, man. 

 :cheers:
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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2019, 10:07:43 am »
When you finish that thing, PM me your PayPal info. I'll gladly send you some victory beer money.

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2019, 10:56:09 am »
I'd just paint that new wood black and call it done.

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2019, 02:12:52 pm »
I'd just paint that new wood black and call it done.

Nah, in for a penny, in for a pound. I'm going to prep and repaint it properly.

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2019, 02:29:59 pm »
You'll regret it.   :lol
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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2019, 07:36:28 pm »
You'll regret it.   :lol

I *already* regret it!  :cheers:

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2019, 12:02:38 am »
I was told on another forum:

Quote from: jlpmauldin;3979147
Don't worry about the sanding the top smooth. Its supposed to be rough particle board. Just paint it yellow and forget about it. You'll hardly ever look at it again.

Was pac not completely smooth from the factory?

Parts came in, and I got bolts today. I proceeded to mount my wheels and leg leveler plates, and then realized standard leg levelers are too short to extend past the casters.



After looking at a bazillion pics of the bottom of both original and restored pac cabs today, I decided that the front corners must've been a little rounded, so I did so with the sander.



I don't want to cut the t-molding slots until I am done with the body work. Since it's finally on wheels, I finally got the cab upright again!



After the torture this cab has been through, I never want it to touch the ground again.
Although Midway control panels always seemed a little low to me, I am not sure I am a fan of the "highwater" look caused by the casters.
I need to decide whether to buy longer leg levelers or ditch the wheels.
It just sucks that unlike the Ms, there's no handles and low rear casters, which makes moving Pac a ---smurfette--- without them.
Now that it's upright, I can do my nail test on the other side:









It's backward to the other side: most of the damage is on the front edge, with very little on the back edge.
Now that the cab is stable and I found my discharge tool, I was able remove the monitor (and the rest of the odds and ends):





I noticed a couple things that I hadn't before.
1) The upper t-molding slot was full of white powder (sadly I'd knocked most out before this pic):



...which leaves me believing that the culprit who decided this game was food was the powerpost beetle and...
2) I think lots of restored games are better than new.
Use this beautifully routed factory cut for example:



Using the scrap strip I kept, I tested both rubbing alcohol and mean green as cleaning agents. Both of them wanted to remove more paint than grime:




So the other cleaners I hear recommendations for are Simple Green and SuperClean.
SuperClean I have to order, but I'll pick up a bottle of Simple Green tomorrow. Anyone have any other surface-preserving recommendations?
Well, that's it for tonight, off to bed.



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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2019, 10:07:57 am »
Novus 2 and a rag.  Magic eraser and lighter fluid.


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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2019, 10:43:26 am »
Novus 2 and a rag.  Magic eraser and lighter fluid.

I guess I had failed to mention I had also (first, actually) tried ME+Naphtha (essentially lighter fluid)...as that's how I always did my pins.I guess that's also why I *didn't* try the Novus, as on pins it always did a great detail clean/polish after the brunt of the crud was gone, but never did well cleaning all the grime itself.I s'pose I'll give it a shot tonight as well. Really of all the cabs I have had, this has been the most stubborn to try to clean. I don't know why.

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2019, 11:12:36 am »
Scrubbing bubbles also works pretty well.
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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2019, 12:11:33 pm »
Scrubbing bubbles also works pretty well.

Scrubbing bubbles, like the toilet bowl cleaner?

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2019, 02:19:34 pm »
Yeah, the stuff in a spray bottle.  Foams up. 
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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2019, 03:15:40 am »
So I got out the "plastic wood" and went to town on the other side:






Mr. Sparkle!



So, I started cleaning. This is the part I dreaded most. Probably because I knew it was the most intensive.
This was a process. I tired: Naphtha, rubbing alcohol, 409, Novus 2, Mean Green, Simple Green, Scrubbing Bubbles, and Rag vs ME foam. Yes, 16+ combinations.
Everything either removed too little, or removed too much.
After much trial an error, I settled on Scrubbing bubbles+ME foam (thanks pbj!). Yes, a toilet cleaner.
Although this was the least of the evils, It still had it's own problems. It wanted to quickly remove the paint, particularly the black.
So I gently used the ME+Scrubbing Bubbles:




Unfortunately, Fresh plastic wood doesn't hold up. I wiped most of it out  with the cleaning. Lesson learned:

 


I had to continue cleaning very carefully. The idea of preserving the artwork vs. the usual wholesale replacement meant I would have to be vigilant. Most people's "restore" of arcade cabs: in the pinball world it is akin to an "overlay"...sand everything off and replace it.
That's not a "restore" to me.

Unfortunately, most cleaning wanted to rip the art off....particularly the black:






... it took over 4 hours to do one side:



However, I think the results speak for themselves:



Recognizing that 80% of the damage present is the insects that decided it was food, one must conclude that if it wan't for them, this would be a great survivor cab.
Compare to the other side:



So...I am done with cleaning for tonight.I cannot endure any more.
So I switch my attention to the control panel. Notice the extra button isn't even hooked up properly.



So,,, I pull off the useless button:



...then I take stock of what's left, and strip it apart:



Once the underside is separated, I separate it even further:



Now all that's left is the bare panel, to toss in with the rest of the metal that needs attacking. I am done for tonight. Let's pick this up tomorrow.

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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2019, 03:10:29 am »
So I spent some time on the cab tonight.
I am quite sick of cleaning, so I focused on other parts I could do.
I used mostly the sander, but for the worst parts: the wire wheel to clean the marquee brackets, the bezel holder, and the control panel.
After clearing the cpo residue, there was still a layer of who knows what, with paper consistency. Maybe the underlayment of the original cpo?




So I finished cleaning them all. I couldn't get the cp perfect; I tried using wire wheel on the rougher parts, but it made no difference, so I gave up:



I am clumsy and careless, which caused me to recognize that a wire wheel would make an excellent torture device:



I disassembled the joystick, and cleaned all of the rust off of each bracket:




...and began cleaning the speaker:



...you don't realize how filthy something is until you clean it. It could use a coat of paint:



It wasn't until after I'd finished cleaning the speaker that I flipped it over:



I don't know if it was like this, or I'd caused it in the last few minutes cleaning.
The sound was fine before I disassembled the machine. I went ahead and super-glued the cracks...I have no interest in buying a new speaker.

So, although I got all of the cp cleaned, I was foolish enough to not fully disassemble it first. The wire brush wheel caught a couple wires, and now I have solder work required before re-assembly:




So I put the first coat (*way* too thick) on the metal:





...and cleaned the joystick shaft. I used 80>220>440>600 grit in my drill, the end was done by hand:



All the cp pieces needed cleaning:



I decided this was a good opportunity to try my new ultrasonic cleaner:



Add all the parts, 1/2 simple green:



...then the other 1/2 water:



I set it to run...and it did *nothing* useful. Absolutely worthless. 5 cycles, and I am still better off with a toothbrush. You get what you pay for...
So then while waiting I started to clean the cab. First a dusting with a brush to get rid of all the sawdust:



Then, since I wanted to keep the original black, I tried to get the over-spray of whatever the white ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- was. It wouldn't come off nicely, and I burned through the paint:



...I guess I'm painting the black after all. So, I moved onto the permit stickers, using goof off. I got the brunt of the residue off, but unfortunately I took the blue speckles with me:



...just one more thing I have to fix. I just can't win...I'll stop now, before I do any more damage. I'll start again tomorrow: I have plenty of issues to fix.



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Re: Trying to save this Franken-Pac (should have killed it with fire)
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2019, 02:06:27 am »
Well, it's day 10 of the restore, and though there's not many pics, it was a long day.
I wanted to clean the other side of the cab, but I can't risk it without first addressing the hand wear.
The paint is next to gone already, and I fear cleaning it would finish it off:



So I went to the craft store and got a black paint pen and a sheet of adhesive vinyl. Yellow, of course.



I cut strips which I used for masking the straight lines:



Unfortunately, there's no using the tape on the lower detail area. Gotta go freehand:





Is it perfect? No, but it's better than some of the illustrator files I've seen, and I'm satisfied.
I'll need to go back and touch it up later, I just had to get it on there before cleaning.
Which I then began the long and arduous task that I had been dreading.
There seems to be some permanent discoloration on the front hand wear edge.
It runs down the cab, but really its most noticeable against the paint that has been covered since '82:



I have to decide what to do here. I scrubbed until I burned through, the whole section is like that.
Depending on my color matching, I may blend that corner. I have to repaint the blue specks there anyways (most were already worn off, I finished off the remainder with my cleaning attempt).
It's a damn good thing I repainted that area first. The paint was so thin there that even being cautious and cleaning lightly it was checking to the wood just to get it clean.
Now it looks like my touch-ups are 100% original!



Abut 2 more hours, and I'm halfway done:



About 2 1/2 more hours, and I finished cleaning. Gave both sides a good Novus 2 polish, and touched up all of the black on both sides of the cab:



Now it's ready for the rest of the filler and paint!