Patching And Filling

Patching And Filling
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The Control Panel
Initial Inspection
Monitor Shelf
Game Details
Replacing Corners
Marquee and Front Glass
Internal Wiring
Stripping The Cabinet
Sanding The Cabinet
Patching And Filling
Checking The Monitor
Leg Levelers
Gutting The Cabinet
Coin Door


One of the most tedious parts of restoring an arcade cabinet is patching and filling damage.  Corners and edges can often seem impossible to patch.  My Defender cabinet needed lots of work on the bottom edges and in a couple of other places.

I could have replaced the wood on the bottom but I'd have to worry about structural integrity and making the new wood match up with the old.  I also like to leave as much of the cabinet original if possible.

Someone had placed a metal bar over the coin door to help prevent theft.  These holes had to be filled in.  The back of the cabinet was also broken where the lock for the back panel had been.

Normally I use wood putty but I decided to try the rock hard water putty as suggested on another web site.  This stuff seems to work better than wood putty and you can make it as thick or thin as you like.  It comes in a powder that you mis with water.  It dries in about an hour and you can sand it within 1-2 hours.  It also hardens while your working so if its too thin you can just mix it and wait for a while.

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Before I began patching, I sanded the cabinet and pulled off any wood that didn't look fixable.   Thin pieces are very hard to patch.  I glued some pieces with Elmers glue where some of the plys had separated from the wood.  Then I sanded those areas flush with the rest of the cabinet surface.

Next I tackled the parts of the cabinet that required a large build up of patching material.  That included the corners and the holes for the security bar.  I mixed the putty nice and stiff and rubbed it around the patch area.  This removes any dust and mixes the dust into the putty.  Some of the putty will stick to the wood when you do this.  Then I formed a larger than normal corner using a putty knife and my fingers.  Because I knew this was one of many layers to come I didn't fuss with it too much.

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(The abundance of putty looks horrible now but will be perfect after sanding)

After over building the corners I sanded them using an electric, random orbital sander.  The trick to preventing the putty from breaking during the sanding is to use a fine grit paper.  I used 220.  This causes less vibration on the wood and the putty you just put in.  Otherwise you'll find your patch job vibrating right off the cabinet.


Second Chance Arcade