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Coin Door Restoration - 90% complete

Posted 2/24/2007 by Admin

I've been busy trying to get this coindoor back into "like new" status. There are arguements as to the level of original that everyone chooses to aim for. I do not feel like I have reached 100% authentic status, and am not sure this is a big deal for me. Here's where the coindoor stands today:

Wow! A lot cleaner then before! Yes, it's probably more black then a midway original door. To an untrained eye, I think it looks pretty good! I do wish during my painting process that between the primer layer and the texture paint layer, that I had used a hammered finish to bring out the old painted bubble look a bit more. The store only had glossy hammered black, which is why I stuck to flat black texture paint.


midway coindoor
new door exterior

Notice now that the four security drilled holes above the keyhole are 99% gone. If you have a keen eye and I didn't tell you that they were originally there, I don't think you would have even noticed them. FYI - Bondo is nasty smelling stuff! And when you are patching, you better work fast, because that stuff dries in like 2 minutes!

midway coindoor
holes above keyhole patched

Here's a sexy shot of player 1 coin insert. It cleaned up pretty nicely. I do not however, recommend placing the chrome bolt IN your drill chuck and SPINNING it into a cloth of any sort like I was instructed to do by others. When that bolt tangles up the cloth, be thankful that you had a loose grip on it as your hand spins around backwards at 50,000 RPMs.

player 1coin slot

Here's player 2 coin slot installed. I had the chrome elements priced out to see if I could have them resurfaced, and was quoted at $200 by one company (out of the 16 I emailed). After hitting them up with a wire wheel and some brasso, I'd say I saved a lot of money. The scraches near the slot would resurface after use anyways. I have not been able to find reproduction chrome parts for a midway coindoor.

player 2 coin slot

This unexciting shot of the keyhole shows how well the parts cleaned up with a light shot from the wire brush. You also get to see how applying Rustoleum Texture Paint looks close up. It's definately better then a flat paint, but definately not the original hammered look from way back.

lock close-up

Here's another angle of the door. I'm slightly bothered by the difference in the 25¢ font on player 1 vs. player 2. Both are original screen printed glass inserts, and aren't in terrible shape. I might eventually purchase reproduction glass or just create my own. For now, I have bigger issues to deal with.

angled shot 1

Another shot of the finished coin door. As you can see, I need to purchase another Midway logo for the front. The original is in rough shape and I have found reproduction midway logo plates. As for the pop rivets that hold it on, that's a whole other challenge I'm not yet sure how I'm going to solve.

angled shot 2

I also cleaned up the blog about hidden object pc games coin mechanics as best as I could. They both fully function, so I was hesitant to everyone need download turbo subs dismantle them 100% and repaint the metal with a brass finish. I did take them apart 85% and hit them with a wire wheel to remove any gunk or rust. The top coin shoots could use some rust remover, but the naval jelly I purchased threatened to give me cancer on the label. Therefore, I decided they were good enough as they were inside the door anyways!

cleaned coin mechs


My process for restoration was as follows:

  1. Dismantle the door and all parts (document as you do this!)

  2. Clean up any chrome parts as best as you can
    a.) Wash them off with soap and water to remove old filth.  Dry thouroughly.
    b.) Hit them with a fine wire wheel to remove rust and gunk
    c.) Lightly rub them with a fine steel wool to remove wheel scratches and hard to reach rust
    d.) Polish them next with some Brasso or other chrome polish

  3. Strip the coin door down to the bare metal
    a.) Paint Stripper doesn't do a great job and is super messy. Doing this over I would not use it.
    b.) Clean up the mess you made trying to use paint stripper, be sure your door is completely dry.
    c.) Grab a 2" fine wire wheel and grind off all paint on the metal frame and door. This process will place tiny scratches all over the door surface, but at least you have brand new looking metal to start with!

  4. Take this time to bend or hammer your door back into being strait. Any imperfections which need filled with bondo take place here as well.

  5. Be sure to clean off the metal really well before painting. You don't want a bad paint job.

  6. Fashion a long hanging s-hook out of an old coat hanger. Hang this from your garadge door frame, then hook your coin door to the bottom so that you have suspended the metal object in mid air. Try to hang the coin door by the back, in a descrete hole/bolt location where it's not super important if the paint needs to look 100% perfect.

  7. Spray the bare metal with a coat of Rustoleum Automotive Primer (#2089 Dark Gray). It stops rust, drys fast, and is wet sandable. All things you should care about when refinishing your door.
    a.) When it dries (about 15 minutes), lightly wet sand the door with a plyable sanding block, making sure to keep the block super moist
    b.) Make sure your door is 100% dry. A hair dryer helps speed this process along.
    c.) Spray another coat, repeat drying and wet sanding process until your door is completely smooth.

  8. Next spray an even coat of Rustoleum Textured finishing paint (#7220 Black). This could take a few coats to look good. Be as even as you can with this stuff.. it's the top coat.


  • When spraying paint, keep your coats light and even. It's easier to ADD rather then to sand back off and re-apply.
  • Don't use paint stripper, the wire wheel was just as fast and far less messy. You aren't saving time.
  • Consider using a hammered finish paint with a flat topcoat of color over top if you want better authenticity. Textured paint isn't going to give you that retro bubbled paint look you want.


Coin Door Restoration Begins!

Posted 2/24/2007 by Admin

I decided it was time to make some progress on my cabinet, and the coin door seemed like a great place to start. It's almost too cold out to be in the garadge for hours, and this can be brought indoors. Also, most of the restoration involves minimal cost and a lot of elbow grease. Here's how it all went down:

Here's the door again from the front. The door looks horrible, and brings many feelings of sadness and hope. All that rust.. the four holes drilled into the metal.. the defacing of the Midway logo. Let's get to work!


midway coindoor
before dismantling
The inside is no different then the front. Rust runs rampid, as years of neglect are hours away from a returning smile.
midway coindoor
inside before dismantling
More examples of what I'm working with. My new can of Bondo is ready to fix those holes in the worst way. Yes, they really bother me, and I understand why they are there. However, I won't be needing Fort Knox on my coin door, so they are first to go.

security modifications suck

In less then 20 minutes, you too, can dismantle a coin door. It's really not hard at all, and what took the longest, was taking high resolution photos of ever step in the event that I get Reassembly Amnesia.
dismantled and organized
This is what I used to clean the chrome inserts and coin mechs. It's a dremmel attachment (dremmel part #428) which cost under $3.00 that I attached to my drill. I think actually having a dremmel would be more comfortable for this task, but I saved $30 with this technique.
dremmel #428 in drill chuck
Since I cannot find reproduction coin acceptors, these will need to be salvaged. I find it interesting how much rust is on the inside vs. the outside. Never using a wire wheel before, I had no idea how good this was going to go. Therefore, I threw the drill into high, and started on the BACK. If I messed up, who cares, it's inside and won't be seen.
rusty coin slots
coin acceptors before
To my surprise, the wheel was super gentle on the finish and it cleaned up REALLY nicely. I had imagined it was going to look way more scratched up then what it turned out. I'm really excited now to finish the frame and get these mounted! As a side note, using a wire wheel feels rewarding and I wonder why I don't use one on a daily basis.
coin acceptors
coin acceptors after


Original Coindoor

Posted 2/2/2007 by Admin

When I picked up the cab on 10/15/06 here are some images of the coin door in it's "i've seen better days" state.

As you can see from the spongebob atlantis site 4 drilled holes above the key, the arcade operator had to keep pesky kids from stealing those hard earned quarters. I imagine at some point in this cabinet's life, there was a gigantic metal security bar across the door and most of the front of the cab with a steel padlock on it. The door is in fair condition, some minor rust, the logo plate needs replaced and some metal work needs to be done to straiten out some damage areas.


midway coindoor
coin door exterior
Here is the back side of the coin door. Everything functions as it should after some minior adjusting of the coin trigger. There are about 28 years of filth trapped in here, so I'll be disassembling this and cleaning it up. Notice the blue capacitor under the left bottom coin switch. According to a manual described in this post:

In April 16,1980, machines running Serial No. #101 to #8400 apparantly sometimes lost credits. A modification was suggested to put a 100mf 10V capacitor over (one of the) coin switches.

midway coindoor
coin door inside
A close up (and somewhat blurry) shot of the Vibration Switch sticker. This device, which is not present on my coin door, acted much like a tilt in a pinball game. If the player abused the machine they would loose their credit. Now dont' you think if you were all ready mad, that would set you over the top, therefore ENSURING your machine would get the crap beat out of it???

vibration switch sticker


This is a credit/service switch of some kind. The sticker is pretty worn, and the machine doesn't at this time turn on to test to see exactly what this button does.
service/credit button




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