Palooka Restoration – Part 2

For the most part, I left the cabinet of Palooka alone. It’s an old machine with history and I wanted it to reflect this. I did want to clean up the front a little but I didn’t want it to be perfect. It would have looked out of place.

I used Minwax High Performance 2 part wood fill to fill in the grooves and deep missing chunks. I left a few dings and scuffs and didn’t bother filling them.

Once I had that sanded down, I matched a paint. I decided to try a paint designed for wood floors. I figured that should take the abuse fairly well.

After that I used Krylon Webbing Spray to try and match the rest of the cabinet. The Krylon went on a little thick and dark. I lightly sanded it down until it seemed not so out of place. I locked it in with a satin clear coat.

I stripped all the parts and buffed them up.

I spent way too much time on the little 10 cents plate. The red paint had worn away so I had the smart idea to fill the groove with red paint and sand off everything around it. It worked perfectly, it just took way too long.

There are no credits on this machine and there is no start game button. When you drop the dime in, it slides over a switch and that starts the game.

I could add a button, but that means drilling a hole in the cabinet or coin door – neither of which I wanted to do.

The coin door does have a coin return button.

I removed the coin mech from the door and drilled two small holes in the back behind the coin mech. I mounted a small switch which is activated when you push the coin return button. The switch is bolted through the two holes.

To return this to original condition, just unbolt the switch, clip the wires, and drop the coin mech back in. Easy peasy.

The backglass on Palooka was a bit of a mess. It seems most of the flaking was due to a mouse living behind the glass. There were mouse poops and mouse hair stuck to it. You can see the path he took behind the glass and most of it is where the worst flaking is.

The pictures show the severity of the flaking damage. I got the glass as clean as I dared. Some places I could clean, others the ink would flake the moment I looked at it. Any ink lifted from the glass was quite brittle and it would shatter if you touched it.

I did some experiments with Krylon Triple Thick clear spray – which is the common product people use to lock down ink on back glasses.

There is a method I heard of where you spray the Krylon on the glass and follow up with laying plastic wrap on the wet Krylon. Once the plastic is on you can push the lifting ink back down.

In my tests I found it very hard to get the plastic to lay flat. It also clung to the wet Krylon which made it hard to position the plastic once it touched the Krylon. I figured it wasn’t worth it. I’m just going to spray a thick coat.

I sprayed the glass on Palooka quite heavy. After it sat for about 20 minutes I noticed a reaction with the ink. It was becoming soft. Some ink sections relaxed and laid flat against the glass. In this state I was able to push most of the lifted ink down.

I figured this might be the time to bring in the plastic wrap.

With the Krylon mostly dry to the touch I laid plastic over the glass, put another piece of glass on top and weighted it down. This should effectively hold the ink flat.

I ended up not doing much painting on the back glass. I wasn’t entirely happy with the results. Matching the colour is easy. Matching the colour with light behind it, not so much. I need to spend a little more time playing with paint on glass and how light travels through the paint. Perhaps I need to try different paints?

The playfield was broken down. Everything cleaned. Bulbs replaced. Rubber replaced. Everything is shiny and playing well. This is a fun add-a-ball machine. I quite like it.