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Djurre

40/29/14 "Lucille" build

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Hey everybody,

When I was a little kid the best part of the holidays were the arcades and especially the pinballs. For a long time they were out of my head until one day I saw a youtube video of a Vpin cabinet someone built. Next thing I know I was infected with the VPin virus and I had to have (read : build) one.

After lurking around for about 3 months on the Hyperspin, Arcade Controls and VPforum sites, one day I saw an ad on a second hand site: “For sale: empty Williams Fun Fest cabinet, back box, plunger, Lockbar, glass etc. included.” It was destiny. So 2 days later I had a pretty beat-up empty pinball machine in my house.

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On the bottom of the cab and on the inside of the back box someone wrote “Lucille”. Guessing by the ugly handwriting, that must have been the name of the pinball machine, not the person who wrote it. So that is how she will be named. Lucille. Armed with a fresh lack of knowledge and a little bag of cash but big ideas, I started working out the details in my head.

At first I wanted to keep the cab as original as possible, but the plywood was chipped on a lot of places and the artwork worn and damaged. Leaving it like that was no option for me, I like pretty things and that was far from it. Lucille deserves to be pretty once again. :)

Skip forward three months of more lurking, measuring and ordering parts and here we are. I have 95% of all the parts needed and a head full of ideas, so time to get the ball rolling…

Screens:

- Philips 40” Full HD LED for playfield

- Salora 29” HD Ready LED for backbox

- Philips 14” for DMD

- Chinese brand X 9” Car Display for Instructions sheet

Electronics & Force Feedback:

- Ledwiz

- PinControl1 (controls nudge, plunger, shaker, knocker & RGB Led strip ), DOF configurable

- Siemens Contactors 10x

- Shaker

- Knocker

- RGBW LED (5x) & RGB Led strip

- Plunger

Specials:

- Due to the high position of the plunger and the ‘sled’ it for the conversion to a digital signal for the PinControl1, I’m unable to install the playfield directly in front of the cab. I already ordered the 9” display for the DMD but while waiting for it I found the Philips 14” that fitted like a glove. Combining spare room in the front and a spare display the idea was born: instruction card display.

- I want to stay true to the Electro mechanical style of the cab, but it has to be new as well. Theme: TRON. Yes I know it has been done before, but not with stencils. I have a cutter plotter and Illustrator up for the task. It’s probably the hard way, but that’s the way I like it. Multilayer spray painted stencils.

Because I gained so much knowledge on this and other forums, I hope to give some back by this build log. Have fun reading!

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Current status:

I have the cab stripped from top to bottom. Everything that was on the inside is removed.

Siderails was a bitch to detach from the cab. Threaded nails were clearly not meant to be ever removed.

Due to frustration of not getting it done and the lack of the right tools, I damaged the rails. So that needs to be fixed as well.

Of course the LCD was about 3mm to wide. So decased the 40". The displays for the backbox needed to be decased as well. Mounted steel L-Profile for all displays and fitted them in the backbox.

Current job: Filling every hole and crack in the wood with filler. Slow but calming at the same time. More filling, more sanding, repeat:

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That was a lucky find! Good luck with your build. The instruction card display is a great idea.

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Thanks Agrajag, really starting to love the project.

Small update: Wood filler work on the cabinet 100% done. Cleaned the backbox and will start filling there too. It seems to be made from a different material. The cab is made of sheets of plywood but this seems to be made from compressed wood fibers or something like that. It sucked up water like a spunge while I was cleaning. It has to dry before i can fill it. Hopefully the filler will bond to this stuff.

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small update 2 : Ok it dried and I filled it up as best as I could with filler. I found quitte a lot of thicker spots. When I sanded to flatten the spot, the fibers were really soft. Clearly a lot of moisture was or has been there. I spent a few hours google-ing and I now know that the stuff is called press board. Designed to be as cheap as possible, and it, as I suspected, sucks up water like a spunge. The only way to stop the process is to seal it with either wood hardener or primer. Where I live they don't sell wood hardener some how and it seems wood rot stopper is the best alternative. I'm afraid if I sand of the paint, instead of a smooth sand, i'll just cut chunks of fiber away from it. Luckely only the front edges of the backbox are made of press board. the rest is plywood. Starting to doubt if I should just cut away those parts and make new edges of MDF or plywood or restore them as planned. Problem is I don't know if the backbox won't just collape on itself when i remove the front edges.

Maybe someone here has tips / answers?

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Also the legs are in pretty bad shape. This week I started an attempt to remove the paint. First with Terpentine, washing benzin (?) and Thinner, non of them worked. I got a triangular sander and started the hard labor to get the paint of. Man, what a dust! About 8 hours into it now, and I am down to the inside of the last leg. To my surprise an L-shape piece of metal was welded on the inside of two of the legs. Both supports were on exactly the same height and no damage was visible on either of the legs. Another surprise was that two legs were shorter then the other two. And that the shortest two, looking of the indents of the cab, sat on the rear end of the cab. Inverted pinball? The sander makes scratches so i guess i have to sand those away. I want all metal parts Matte black, so if all is done prime + paint. Lets hope for the best.

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Edited by Djurre

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