Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:56 am

greenman77:
Welcome to our Forum. The "Diamond Front" you describe, is what we call a "Genuine Original Find", and a real treasure.
Hopefully your restoration will be as mild as possible, so as not to take away from too much of it's original state. As much
of a purist, as many of us are, I do realize that some machines are beyond saving, but it's sounds to me, like you know the
model well, and will do an excellent job.
You know what my next question is ................. We will all enjoy seeing pics of your finished project. Maybe you can
also grace us with a before shot as well. :)
Bill
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby norabt » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:38 am

From everything I have seen and read the cast iron Mills Chrome Diamond Front was introduced in the late thirties, and prior to WW2 and was discontinued because chrome was a restricted due to the war. Mills then produced it with aluminum castings with a speckled painted finish, [yellow, green, and blue are some of the colors I have seen] until slot machine production was finally stopped and manufacturing was converted to the war effort. As far as it being brought back after the war with chrome plated cast iron castings I haven't seen anything like that. I have run across crappy after market Diamond Front castings both plated or painted that weren't Mills. If somebody knows of Mills bringing back the Chrome Diamond Front after the war I would be interested where they are got this information.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby greenman77 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:17 pm

Wow! New to this group and I am getting amazing feedback and information about the "Chrome Bell" I am restoring. I have a few photos of the original condition I will gladly post after I read the faq and figure out how. I am so happy to learn from you folks that Mills did produce this in cast iron during its original release. I had only been able to discover the demise of aluminum dates around 1945-46. Now if I only knew the exact date that chrome was pulled as a war material only metal I could really narrow it down. The high serial number of 455xxx fooled me into accepting that it was post war production. Most of the coins were in the date range of 1945-56 with a few early flying eagle ones with dates worn off and a handful of them from the thirties. The only parts missing from the mechanism were the brake wires which are an easy replacement with originals from my parts bin. As you have suggested to me the restoration will be gentle. Paint color is as close to original as I can make and mechanism will only be degreased and have springs replaced. I will even use hide glue to put case back together. The inside surfaces of the castings and bonnet have a light dusting of rust and I will have to wire brush them and then spray paint them with a light grey metal primer to protect them. The escalator is in perfect shape (even still has red paint on the three mounting screws), jackpot perfect except for cracked glass. All other glass is straight from factory with the plastic film between pieces and that sort of gasket material paper shock absorbing material. BTW I think the only reason I got it intact was because the key was snapped off in the lock. A little fiddling with forceps and jewelers tools and I had it open. Dave Berten was able to cut a new key from the extracted broken shank piece.
Thank you all very much for your insights and expertise.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby norabt » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:28 pm

According to Dick Bueschels 'Slots 3' that 455xxx serial number places your machine in the 1939-40 era, which would be correct for a cast iron Mills Chrome Bell.
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Re: Mills chrome bell / diamond front ( reproduction?? )

Postby greenman77 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:25 am

I want to thank all of you people. This is the knowledge base I have wanted to find for a long time. As I complete the restoration I will post data but will shift it to the restoration area board of the forum as that is probably the most logical and appropriate place. Thanks again for your feedback.
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