Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Indiana Jones redecal

Went yesterday evening to a friend to help him put new cabinet decals on his Indiana Jones pinball machine.

That machine was last summer at my house where we sanded and prepped the cabinet. Then he took it home, finally he had finished shopping the playfield.

I've only decaled one pinball machine before (also an IJ). We did the coin door part first, using the wet method. This means you put some soapy solution onto the wood first, so you can position the decal a bit when it's down. Then you really push it down and get all water out. It went well, it was correctly positioned, but the decal didn't stick as much as we liked. While cutting the edges you had to be careful not to lift up the decal and introduce bubbles.

We put the bottom cabinet aside with some heavy books on top of the decal and did the backbox next.

Both sides went on, this time dry. First we position the decal with protective backing still on. Make sure it overlaps everywhere. Then using masking tape I tape down one edge (top side as it is a bit wider than the bottom side). That way it cannot move. First practice, with backing still on, roll it over the cabinet to see we end up perfect like it has to be.
Pull back the protective backing and start rolling it in place. Eric kept the other end up in the air and pulled away the backing, while I pushed the decal in place and made sure we got no air bubbles. It all went very smooth.

Having done the backbox like this, we decided to also do the cabinet sides also dry.
Now the front decal stuck well btw, having dried out a bit and with the books on it.

The long cabinet sides are the most difficult to apply. You really have to make sure you are very straight as if you start a bit at a wrong angle, at the end you'll be off a large part (as the cabinet decals are so long) !
Again positioned the decals correctly, so the lines matched the lines from the front decal.. IJ cabinet decals from don't line up perfectly btw, and to have them line up pretty close you'll see a white edge at the top.. but don't worry about that as the siderails goes over it so you won't see it anyway. But there's only one or two mm that you can move the decal around, it's a tight fit over the cabinet side. There's no room for mistakes !

Put on masking tape to make sure the decal stayed in position at the front. Then then usual process, Eric kept it up in the air, peeling the backing away and I pushed it onto the cabinet.
This also went very smooth.. in the end the whole process took us less than 2 hours.
(I think decaling itself was 1,5 hour, the rest of the time was putting the game in his living room, making preparations, ..)

Didn't take pictures, will try to remember when I go there next week to put the playfield back in.. a freshly decaled cabinet looks very nice !

btw: we worked with the cabinet put onto a thick blanket, we both wore wool sweaters, we worked over the decals, this resulted in static electricity !
We both were charged a lot, each time we touched something it resulted in a zap, folding up the blanket zapped us, .. good thing we didn't have to handle sensitive electronics and didn't touch the pcbs in the backbox.

No comments:

Post a Comment