Fantastic for me find.

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Fantastic for me find.

Postby shortrackskater » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:11 am

This might be my first post here... I'm normally on newlifegames.com but this seems to be THE place for antique slots.
I've always loved the Mills Black Cherry slot machine. About three weeks ago, I was trolling craigslist as usual and saw one. Not only was the price listed at $450 but the machine was about a mile from my house! I furiously sent one message, and then another about two hours later when I had no response. Finally that evening, he replied. The seller was getting "bids" by e mail and he had raised the price to $600 but the bidding had gone to something like $675. He said he'd let me know... I replied a few minutes later and told him the old "I've got cash and am nearby" and then added that I'd give him $500. Finally he responded again and said to come get it for $500. The other "bidders" had not responded yet and the high one was in San Diego, about two hours away. Five minutes later I was in his garage. We ended up chatting for a half hour. Apparently the machine was in a storage unit and just needed to be sold (along with everything else in there) since the owner was... in jail! He needed money and told his friend to sell everything in the unit just to get some money.
The machine's in a little worse shape than what was listed as "minor work" needed but overall it appears complete. I have one original Mills lock for the cash box lock but missing keys. I've already shipped the lock to Dave B to re-key. I'm also getting a new set of escalator springs and getting GREAT help from Monti. The back door lock was not only drilled out, but literally encircled and cut out! I have no idea why someone would do that. I installed a new lock and epoxied a big washer painted black to cover the huge-ass hole. Anyway... I'll probably post the "fix" stuff more in a different area but wanted to tell everyone my "fantastic for me" find.
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby damikeguy » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:47 am

Nice looking machine and the price was right. Congratulations.
Mike
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby MONTI » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:51 pm

Hello shortrackskater or can I say Mark?
Yes, this is the best place for information on the older mechanical slot machines as there are many people here with a vast knowledge of them!
Even though we are already communicating by email I want to personally welcome you aboard here!
Keep everyone posted on your progress as that is what helps the new guys along in this hobby!
mrslot1, AKA Dave Berten, is a Great connection for parts, Etc. that can supply most of what you may need or point you in the right direction for ones he does not have!
Take Care!
Talk to you soon!
MONTI
MONTI'S SLOT SHOP
BUY * SELL * TRADE * RESTORE
Over 35 years experience in slot restoration

Serving Northern California, Nevada & Beyond
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby shortrackskater » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:19 pm

Yes you may say Mark. :-D
I could really confuse everyone and use my real name... Dale! Mark is a form of my middle name but I go by Mark, most of the time - unless I'm called a doofus!
I've got escalator springs on order as well as a re-key job for the one original Mills lock (from Dave). The escalator was indeed caked in oily hard gunk so I'm glad I took Monti's advise and disassembled it. Of course I didn't take enough pictures but it looks fairly straight forward to re-assemble, I think!
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby MONTI » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:35 am

Yes Mark!
I could tell by the pictures you had emailed me that a thorough dismantling of the escalator assembly would be best with old greasy build up in areas of movement as was visible in the photos and this also allows for a thorough checking of all metal to metal points of contact!
It is amazing how many times I run across caked up grease in areas that a heavy lubricant is a definite NO NO when servicing slot machines!
Re-assembly of the escalator should be rather straight forward with the front and back pictures I emailed you!
Once you get the springs from Dave their tension should be entirely correct for a properly cleaned and functioning escalator assembly so do not stretch or make any adjustments to them!
Anyway, Good Luck with your restoration of the slot machine!
MONTI
MONTI'S SLOT SHOP
BUY * SELL * TRADE * RESTORE
Over 35 years experience in slot restoration

Serving Northern California, Nevada & Beyond
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby shortrackskater » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:03 pm

I'm slowly making progress on the machine. I sent my original Mills lock to Dave and now I have a nice "new" lock for the back. I put the replacement lock I bought for the cash box plate. The new escalator springs arrived and am now painstakingly installing them thanks to help from Monti. This is probably very easy for seasoned slot people, but all my existing springs were torqued and the diagrams from both Mills books I have are blurry to read the spring number and part number they attach to. I'll post some progress pictures soon.
UPDATE:
Springs are in! I have a few issues at first. I hadn't fully tightened a shoulder screw on the left (facing the back) and nickels jammed, then fell out upon removal of the escalator. :x
I tightened the shoulder bolt and was back in business after bending the anti cheat pin thingy (sorry for lack of better term). It wasn't getting pushed back out of the hole after each spin. Now it's fine. The machine seems to work, after at least 50 plays so far. The only thing is there seems to be too much space between another shoulder screw and that anti cheat pin. The MLB # is 2875, for that screw. Here's a shot of the area I'm talking about.
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby shortrackskater » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:48 am

Last night and the night before I did a basic "clean" of the machine. From what I can tell, I'm sure the outside wood on the cabinet was repainted since I can see areas were it was masked. The front looks like it was never touched. I used cleaner/wax for the front and it came out nice, considering the condition it was in. I cleaned the black sides and just did a spot touch up with magic marker. I'd actually rather keep this machine in "used looking" condition so I'm still deciding what to do with the rest. The base is chopped up a little! After what I've read on this forum - I'm 100% sure this machine is original although all the stickers are gone. I can see adhesive on the base of the mechanism under the reels though, where one sticker was. However I can't seem to find any serial numbers on the case.
Still wondering about the space where the shoulder screw is on the "coin stopper" part. Here's a picture of the cleaned and polished-up machine.
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby flipper77 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:40 pm

Machine looks nice - good work. The escalator picture that you posted shows your second coin detect/hold lever. These are normally missing as they eventually always cause a coin jam. Here is how these typically look. Flip.
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby rtmccurdy » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:04 pm

The serial number should be embossed into the center back of the wood base. Sometimes overzealous refinishing will make it hard to see or disappear all together. There would usually be a sticker with the serial number on the inside left on the steel plate that would match the number on the cabinet.
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Re: Fantastic for me find.

Postby shortrackskater » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:10 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies.
Here's a shot of my cleaned/re-springed escalator. I think it's correct. So far I've only had a couple jams and it happened after the start of the handle pull. I didn't force anything - just exposed the escalator and gently pressed the "offending" lever to the right and it returned. I dabbed some silicon spray just around that area and, so far, no jams about about 50 coins in.
I can't see any serial number. The very back is notched out. Hmmm I wonder if this was a "hot" machine??? The notch is about the size where a serial number would have gone unless there's supposed to be a notch in the wood! I have a feeling this sat a long long time, then someone got a hold of it and had no keys. I think I posted this earlier - the back door lock was encircled and cut out. Then apparently to remove the cash box door lock, they gouged out the wood until the door lifted out from the bottom! That's something I need to figure out how fix. I think I can find a small piece of oak and fabricate it in, somehow.
The other interesting thing is that, when I initially cycled the machine, the first 7 or so coins that paid out from the tube were all early 60's and late 50's. The next few were from the mid 70's. So it seems to confirm that it did sit quite some time. Plus there was heavier dirt on on side of the reels indicating that they didn't move a long time! It's interesting doing detective work on this.
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