Link to Photo Album: bit.ly/KingpinTPF
King Pin is THE pinball that got us into Pinball Owners almost 10 years ago when a friend of ours offered to lend us his King Pin machine for some holiday parties we were having.
Well, we played it every day and held on to it for 2.5mo. We knew we were hooked.
So… when one showed up as a text listing on Craigslist in Oklahoma in the summer of 2015 for $300… We jumped on it. 😅
It was ROUGH. I mean, been hanging outside for years in a partially covered carport at a ranch only accessible by 45min of driving on gravel roads level of rough. It was complete though and the price was right, planking and all. (See pics)
What started as a “Players Machine” restoration quickly turned into the “What would it look like if we just went crazy on a restoration?”. Here we are 6.5 years, countless hours, and two kids later with it finally being completed. 🙏
- This is a Restoration first and foremost
- Use and Repair what is original to the machine as much as possible (rebuild/refresh)
- Make it as nice or nicer than how it rolled off the factory floor.
This is going to be an over-simplification, but categories will be mentioned.
- Rebuild every single switch and switch stack
- Polish every switch contact
- Calibrate all switches and relays
- Dismantle, Clean, an rebuild all Mechanisms.
- Re-chrome everything (after a ton of sanding/polishing)
- Powdercoat all painted metal parts
- Rebuild, clean, restore and calibrate all score wheels (This took weeks)
- Fix springs and missing parts of mechanisms to make them functional
- Dismantle and reassemble the game boards and pieces 3x for extensive cleaning
- Fix cabinet (after sanding clean) with reinforcement and bringing the corners back together & square.
- Bondo and sanding to make edges and surfaces dramatically improved.
- Repaint the cabinet with the original art in the original colors using automotive paint. The only difference being in removing the webbing in favor of a Pearl automotive finish on the white paint portion. We find that it fits the theme much better (Bowling) with the pearl finish on the white (like at a bowling alley) and with the bowling pins/ball art having a shiny finish rather than the original matte. It REALLY makes the cabinet pop like it would have in the bowling alley it fits much better now.
- Paint an exact copy of the original serial number as it appeared on top exactly where it was before.
- Extensive playfield art restoration and clear-coat done by Keith Holbrook (after a BUNCH of cleaning on our part). Keith is a master of his art and no one could have done it better.
- Lots of rust removal (with some protection on certain parts) and internal cleaning.
- De-rust, Sand, and Polish to a mirror-finish the original Gottlieb pinball legs, all Playfield metals/parts, and side-rails.
- Paint touchups on pop bumpers and targets.
- Painstaking cleaning of things, even using toothpicks.
- LEDs under the playfield/back glass with proper bulbs where visible in play.
- New Back glass
- NOS Gottlieb Coin Door
I am sure that there are things we are forgetting to mention, but this has been a project in the hundreds of hours (probably over 1k 😱) over many years. We have learned so much along the way and redone things a few times to get it that much better. It’s been a fantastic learning experience and an incredible opportunity to literally make trash into treasure, saving one more little piece of pinball history.