Sir Tiltsalot’s Playfield Rotisserie

During the week of the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown I was wandering around, trying to get as good a deal as I could from the different vendors at the show (buying pinballs is a prime example, no shipping). While perusing the floor I ran into John Detweiler (aka Sir Tiltsalot) and his new Playfield Rotisserie where I was expecting Pinrestore to be. I had already bought myself a Donnie Barnes Rotisserie so I wasn’t that excited about Johns. As he handed me the flyer and showed me the rotisserie I was a bit more interested. I then started to play, throughout the day I would come back to the John’s example, and I admit, I was impressed by the look of the rotisserie. At that point I decided to get one. I mean, with new playfields being created, I would need a second rotisserie, right?

As soon as I got back home, I sent John an email telling him I wanted one of his rotissiriies. After a wait I finally got mine.

My first impressions of the packaging was that I was surprised that the entire rotisserie was inside of one box. The box was sturdy, and as I shook the box, you could not hear any rattling or loose parts. So, like a kid in a candy store, I eagerly went about opening up the box.
Opening the box revealed that John had firmly packed the rotisserie in packing materials, as well as included all the miscellaneous parts and instructions in a separate envelope
As I continued to open up the package I found that all the parts of the rotisserie had been tie wrapped together. Remember how I said this package didn’t make *any* noise when I shook it. Johns excellent packaging work can be credited with that.
Inside the parts packaging were the instruction sheet, a parts sheet, clamps and tighten down screws.
At this point, I just wanted to start ripping it apart to see how well it would hold the Playfield that I’ve had out of a machine, well, since forever, my TZ playfield (planning on repairing and clear coating it, but, well, life got in the way)
Taking the wiring snips, I removed all the tie wraps and completely ignored the instructions that John had sent (not to bright on my part).
I did find that I really like the way he built the sliding base with the tightening screws. The construction felt very sturdy.

After a few issues, I was finally able to get the rotisierrie up and looking like it was ready for a playfield
So now is the time of truth. I grabbed the TZ playfield, and started putting it into the rotisierrie. At this point I realized that this really isn’t a one man job, with either my Donnie Barnes or Tiltsalot rotisierrie. Eventually I had the Playfield in place.

My initial impressions were:
The lack of paint made it look very industrial (and shiny, and I am attracted to shiny things, or I wouldn’t be in this hobby)
Very utilitarian
Well thought out

If you are in the market for a Rotisserie, you can’t go wrong with this one.

And if you wonder about the build quality of the rotisserie, take a look at this.

A New Wiki in The House

I’ve been trying to keep track of all things pin on the web for a while now, and I recently found It’s slowly taking shape, so head on over, take a gander, and add some content already!

Burn out and Burn in

Over the past few days I was busy trying to get my Johnny M up and working. I bought this pin from the 0P as non working. It had been sitting in his shop
not working for about six months from when I started to barter back and forth
with him for the pin.

I bought it, and it sat for about a year.

I’ve been blasted at work and the love of the pins entered into burn out stage
and while I was still looking to acquire pins, I wasn’t looking hard.

I had planned to be at the showdown today, with the pins. That didn’t happen
because even after I got the hand working (using a 8 cent 3/8 corse thread nut)there were electrical issues that I had to work out.

So the day I was planning on just playing other peoples machines, taking photosand being in Denver, I spent slowly nursing a neglected pin back into health
and increasing my troubleshooting skills (and putting my TOP vid to good use )

This evening, as I was playing the game which works, minus a Actuator I need to
buy, I realized that while I would love to be in Denver right now, looking at
all the parts and goods, and most of all pins. That I love working on pins,
that I get a lot of satisfaction from working on these pins.

I am looking forward to grabbing some parts, and Pestering Scot Bogart, listening to some Chats, and playing some pins.

I love this hobby.

WH2O restoration post 7: Soaking Wet And Moving Fast

Repopulating the playfield took a lot of time, mainly because I cleaned each piece as I was putting it back on. I replaced all the ramps except Insanity Falls, and I learned a couple things about the repros:

  1. They are awesome.
  2. They are not ready to bolt right back on. Plastic must be removed, and decals must be put on.
  3. The plastic is soft, so it’s easy to work with.
  4. They are awesome. So pretty; so, so pretty.

All the ramps need to have the screw holes countersunk, or chamfered, to accommodate the ramp screw heads. I got a chamfer bit and twisted it by hand.

The lower to upper ramp is too thick where it mates to the Upper playfield. Remove about 1/16 inch of plastic from the underside of the ramp where it sits on the Upper PF. If you don’t, there is a lip that the ball hits and will cause airballs. I got a file and carefully removed enough material that it was flush with the Upper PF.

The lower to upper is also just a bit shorter than original. No problem here, really. The ramp just sits about 1/2 inch further back. You can see how the ramp flap is sitting pretty close to the edge of the artwork.
Putting the decals on isn’t hard, as long at you use a little Windex to make sure you can reposition if necessary. I rubbed a Q-tip dipped in Windex on the ramp and it worked great. I could remove the decal if needed, and there was enough “stick” left that the decal didn’t wander.

If you replace the decals on Insanity Falls, they will never lay flat. Ever. The facory decals didn’t lay flat either. The bottom of the IF ramp isn’t flat, and has complex curves that no flat decal can match. They look fine, but without cutting or getting the decal folded up, you won’t get the edges of the decal to seal. Check out the pics of how mine came out.
if-top.jpg if-middle.jpg
On the middle of the ramp, you can faintly make out where the decal hasn’t sealed at some of the edges. I messed with it for a 1/2 hour before I realized it wasn’t going to happen. Looks much better than my old ones did.

I modified the Bigfoot Ramp guide plastic to prevent airballs from destroying the ramp switch. Removing the spacer lowers the plastic and keeps the ball on the ramp.
The VUK to the Upper PF had torn loose of it’s screws, and the op who fixed it did it by moving it over 1/4 inch and sinking new screws. I didn’t like this, so I drilled holes where the old, stripped mounting holes were and put in a screw with a bolt on the other side. It’s not coming loose again.
upper-pf-holes.jpg upper-pf-vuk.jpg

I also put a buffer wheel in my drill, and used Novus #3 and #2 to (almost) get rid of the ball trail on my Insanity Falls ramp. They were really bad, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. This shot also shows how close I matched the replacement decal to the original that is stuck under the switch mount bracket rivets.

At the end of the Insanity Falls ramp, it looks like there should be a post to support it, but mine was missing. So I came up with this, and I think it’s pretty good. Maybe I’ll call it a “mod” and see if I can get someone to copy me.
if-under.jpg if-over.jpg

This next shot show one of the new slingshot plastics from Phoenix Arcade. They are awesome. I put some 1″ lexan washers under them to (hopefully) keep them intact. After that is the jet bumpers with new rings and skirts.
r-slingshot.jpg jet-bumpers after.jpg

And finally, a shot to show how far I’ve come. It’s huge, so don’t click it if you don’t really want to.

WH2O restoration post 6: Rapids Ahead!

With the playfield cleaned up, I turned my attention to the cabinet. I had used a PMS color sample book and PMS 293 C matches for the decals and PMS 294 C for the blue paint. I had a ugly place above the shooter that would need wood filler and paint, which is why I matched the decal color too. The two are one shade off, with the decals being just a touch brighter of blue. The “C” stands for “Coated”, btw, which matches better to glossy enamel paint. I got it matched with an automotive enamel, and it looks good.

I replaced the backglass lift channel and the rear glass moulding. I also painted the wood the head sits on, the bottom U channel the DMD and speaker assembly sits in, and the top metal piece that sits above the head, whatever that is called.

I pulled the speakers out and cleaned the speaker grills from both sides. While I had the plastic DMD cover off, I got out the Novus #’s 3, 2 and 1 and got to work. It took 1/2 hour of hard rubbing, but it looks great! Cleaning the grills and brushing the dust off the speakers themselves brought back the deep black color, and the plastic DMD cover is now scratch free and clear as glass.

dmd-close-before.jpg dmd-close.jpg dmd.jpg

The inside of the coffin was dirty and scratched up, but not to the point that I was willing to repaint the whole thing. So I touched up the scrapes with a brush and called it good.

coffin-inside-before.jpg cab-inside-touchup.jpg

I painted the wood under the lockdown bar, in hindsight I’d use gloss black, rather than flat.


Next I cleaned up the front of the cab, put on the new coin door (should have got the 2 slot) and filled in the gouge above the shooter. I used the touchup paint that was supposed to match the decals, and it’s not even close. Looks way worse in person. I’m definitely re-doing that. Still, much better than before.

cad-coindoor-before.jpg cab-coindoor.jpg

To finish up the cabinet work, I cleaned up the sides with a Magic Eraser and replaced the flipper buttons. I polished the legs and put a set of dark blue Pincab protectors on, mainly to hide the scrapes in the decals around the legs.


WH2O restoration post 5: Floating Gently Along

Now that the Upper PF is done, attention turns to the Main PF. Each section gets all the pieces, bolts, posts and screws removed and placed in ziploc bags, leaving me with about 89 baggies in a box. Man, I hope I can get all this back together.

Underneath, I unscrewed all the targets and loosened the flipper bats. The replacement targets got soldered in, and all others got cleaned up so they look nice again. Soldering in the targets was tougher than I anticipated, as there is nothing to push against when they are just dangling from a vertical playfield.
Next was removal of all the lamp housings so I can clean the inserts from underneath. Out comes the alcohol and Q-tips, and I can’t believe what a difference it makes. I stuck a 40 watt work light in the cab and lowered the playfield to bask in the awesome. I see 2 inserts that didn’t get cleaned; they looked dim and dingy compared to the clean ones.
While I was down there I replaced all of the bulbs, just for good measure. I’d ordered 9 boxes each of #44 and #555 bulbs, might as well use them.

Back up top, the now bare playfield gets some attention. There is some slight insert wear that can be cleaned up using black and white paint, so that gets taken care of. I bought a nice, fine point sable brush and some black and white Model Master paint at a hobby store. If I do say so myself it looks pretty good.

willies-before.jpg willies-after.jpg hotfoot-before.jpg hotfoot-after.jpg

It’s hard to see from pictures, but just the little bit on touchup I did makes a difference. The PF was in pretty good shape anyway, and fixing the black around the inserts makes the wear that’s still there less noticeable.

There was also this weird little hole in the PF, almost like it had been drilled. I painted it, then filled it with Krazy Glue. The glue I use is very thin, like water, so it files holes without leaving bubbles. It also runs down into cracks in plastics and bonds them solidly. it took several applications of glue to fill the hole, and then some sanding to get it flat. Now, if you aren’t looking for it, you’d never know it was there.
hole-before.jpg hole-after.jpg

After that dries, 3 coats of Kit paste wax get put on and buffed to a nice shine. Mmmm. Glossy.

WH2O restoration post 4: Hand Me The Paddle

While I’m waiting for my parts, there is plenty to keep me busy. First thing that comes off is the Upper Playfield, so I started there. Getting that off was a bugger, but it eventually yielded. I pulled everything off it, some of it held on by the most ridiculous methods. Giant wood screws, bits of leather (really!), a twist tie holding a switch in place… I guess you work with what you got when you are a route tech.

before-1.jpg before-2.jpg

It still had the factory mylar on it, which was good. Except where it was worn through, which was bad. That VUK has done a number on the playfield.

So I froze the mylar off, and used Goo Gone to clean up the left behind adhesive. Then a little elbow grease, Novus and sandpaper took care of the rest. Tada!

after-1.jpg after-2.jpg

No one will mistake it for NOS, but it’s much better than before. Cleaning the bottom sides of the inserts with alcohol and Q-tips made a huge difference too. Light can actually come through them now!

WH2O restoration post 3: Nobody Rides The River For Free

Here’s the list of what’s getting replaced or added. The parts are coming from the usual places, Marco, BAA, Illinois PinBall, Pinball Inc, Pinball Life. And I’d like to send a shout out to my 2 local sources for parts, Action Pinball and Both excellent places.

So without further ado, the list:

  1. Ramps, full set of repros. Everything but Insanity Falls.
  2. Plastics, full set of repros.
  3. Topper Dome. Repro.
  4. Waterfall topper insert. Beg, borrow, steal, wait patiently, pay way too much. Probably in that order.
  5. Green translucent targets.
  6. White targets
  7. Coin door
  8. Leg protectors
  9. Coffin speaker
  10. Backglass lift rail
  11. Rear glass moulding
  12. Leg bolts
  13. Shooter rod components
  14. Jet bumper skirts, and the ring and rod assembly.
  15. Flasher domes, changing from red to blue
  16. Pinballs
  17. Star posts and plastic post sleeves, changing from clear to blue
  18. Eproms – LH-5 for freeplay and added settings like ball save.
  19. Bulbs of all varieties
  20. Rubber kit.

Total cost: $76.48. Including shipping.

And just so this isn’t a text only post, here is a pic of me snowmobiling.


WH2O restoration post 2: One Foot In The Raft

The first thing to do was take stock the actual condition of the machine. It’s fully functional, so I’m good there. All the dirt hides a lot, however, and closer examination of all the parts will reveal just what needs to be done. So off with the glass and let’s really take a look at what I’ve got here.

slingshot.jpg boulders.jpg head.jpg top-pf.jpg

There’s more, but these pics really tell the tale. Are you supposed to be able to see the lights under the Whirlpool? Cause, I kinda can. If I look really hard. And who the hell put the “Bigfoots Cave” Mountain on bass-ackwards?

Next step: Order up the needed parts.

White Water restoration post 1: Getting My Feet Wet

I picked up a White Water from a local op here in SLC. It’s my first pin, and I’m going to jump in with both feet and restore it to the best of my ability. No new cab stickers, but I will touch up the paint, replace any glaring ugliness, clean and polish everything else, etc. It should end up as a nice “10 Footer”.
Here are a couple of pics that show the condition of the game when I got it. It has been sitting in a warehouse for the past 2 or 3 years; the owner brought it in for repairs and then abandoned it. I wish my wife was this dirty. :-)

Bumper Area Willey needs a bath  At least the art isn't faded

More to follow.

Stargate Shop out.

Latest from the trenches, a Stargate Shop Out Guide

Treasurecove Restoration Stickers

I just found via RGP that Allen at Treasurecove has created these Label kits that are *custom* made for your pin.

So, when I go from trying to be a CARGPB to a Anal collector, then I’ll be ordering up a mess load of these.

Gots to Love the Re-Import

I usually take the last few weeks of the year off to work on my pins. I
managed to get the BSD up and running (which my family loves) and then I
moved onto the White Water I had just picked up a few months ago as a deal
along with a STTNG.

The STTNG is in pretty good condition.

This WH20? Cab is beat up (and soft), wiring is hacked, and the inserts
are doing this funky thing where they are lower than the rest of the playfield.

It’s a mess, but I love the game, so, I’ll nurse this one back to at least
semi health. After years of neglect in Germany, this pin just needs some TLC.

Oh, and I found this nice little “Wannabe” fuse. Guess when the fuse blew
the OP just decided to solder a wire. I was checking the fuses and was
surprised when I pulled this sucker out


Some scary Electrical Work


Misc wear and tear:

here and

Your workshop

A discussion recently came up on what the perfect Workshop looks like with one, two, three, and four different workshops.

What does yours look like?

Pinball 12 Step Program

From the Annals of RGP:

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives
had become filled with pinball machines, tools, circuit boards, and
all types of spare bulbs and fuses.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could help us
restore all old pinballs to NIB condition.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of
the pinball Gods, the designers, and manufacturer(s).

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our pinballs,
supplies, and NOS.

5. Admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature
of our skill level.

6. Were entirely ready to remove all bad playfield defects from our

7. Humbly asked the pinball Gods to remove our shortcomings and shower
us with multiball, specials, and replays.

8. Made a list of all persons we had out scored, and became willing to
make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to
do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take parts inventory and when we had something good
to post, would promptly do so.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our game and high

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we
tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these
principles in all our affairs.

Keep coming back…