Mills Skyscraper

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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby fast_in_muskoka » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:17 pm

Dave wrote:You folks should post these serial numbers and photos at the slot machine registry site (http://www.CoinOpRegistry.com).

There is no fee to do so.

Dave


Hi Dave,

Did this several months ago !

I think I was one of the first to do so - wow has that list ever grown.

regards,

Steve
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby fast_in_muskoka » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:58 am

Here's a pic of my Skyscraper's serial number tag from inside the cabinet.

It does not look the same as some of the other Mills tags that I have seen pics of here on CoinOpCollectorForum . . .
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby fast_in_muskoka » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:33 pm

After spending some time looking through the serial number data base :

Can anyone tell me why the numerical order of Mills slots do not always follow a sequential date / year time frame ?

It seems to happen a lot in the list.

Steve
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby nvmos2 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:23 am

Serial number lists can be misleading.

Generally speaking Mills (and the other big manufacturers) gave their machines serial numbers in consecutive order as they were built regardless of model or features.
Mills also used a dated inspection sticker (usually on the left inside of cabinet), but, when machines are found today, the stickers are usually hard to read or worn away.
So, given good and complete data, Mills serial numbers and dates would be in consecutive order.

You should be aware, however, that Mills Bell machines, QTs and Vest Pockets had their own line of serial numbers.
So, if you are looking at a list that combines Bells, QTs and VPs, such as the online Coin-Op Registry, dates will appear out of order.

If you are looking at a compilation of the old Serial Number Update, it is more apparent that serials are consecutive in date order.
However, a few anomalies remain.
The Update appeared in Coin Slot (and successor) magazine over many years.
As discrepancies appeared, Dick Bueschel would explain them (or offer a possible explanation) in the accompanying article.
For example, a rebuilt/revamped machine may have a newer dated attached by the rebuilder.
Unless we comb through all the old magazines, we don't have those explanations.

Additionally, Dick may have often been provided erroneous data; serials and dates get worn and hard to read.
For example, the date 12/7/33 should be disregarded;
Mills also used another sticker that is sometimes still found on Bell machines.
It was an instruction on repairing/returning the machine and usually found on the right inside cabinet.
On the bottom of the sticker was printed 12/7/33, the date the sticker was issued.
The sticker was used for years after it was issued.
Some novice collectors would mistakenly report the sticker date as the date of the machine.
Other suspect dates are 8/19 or 20/34 and 12/26/35.
Other collectors probably mistakenly reported a date off a tax stamp as the date of the machine.

Dick was flooded with inputs over many years by many different collectors, some of whom may not have know what they were looking at, and, before the internet, it could not have been easy for him to verify data quickly/easily.
Some errors may not have been apparent even to him.
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby fast_in_muskoka » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:00 am

Thanks for the insight NVMOS2.

I find it an interesting part of the hobby to know background details and information from "back in the day".

Steve
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:17 am

Another very important thing to be aware of, in the dating of a machine, is when someone sends you a Patent Date that they see
on a particular part on a machine, that has nothing to do with the date of the machine. i.e. The date that is cast into many of the
goosenecks on Jennings Slots, the dates stamped into the ABT coin slides of numerous slots & trade stimulators. Most of those dates
are always earlier than the machine itself. This is done on a regular basis, with people selling machines on eBay, and other venues,
that usually don't know any better, and want to have the earliest date possible, listed.

Regarding the serial numbers, and dating of Slots, by Dick Bueschel, I worked very closely with him for several years, and he was
confused quite often, with many of the entries being out-of-order. Most of it was with the Mills Slots, being stamped in the order
they came off the assembly line, regardless of model, and features. Some serials were even altered, or changed by operators, and
revampers. As also mentioned above, some certain models had their own serial range. The same thing went on with Daval Mfg. Co.,
with their Trade Stimulators. When their first two models were produced in 1932, the serial numbers were pretty much in order,
the way they came off the line. But as they added new models in the years to come, no matter what the order was on the assembly
line, they were stamped in that order. In the later years, I have found that some models did receive a long run of consecutive #'s.
Especially near the end, with the "Free Play" and "Buddy". Some "Comet" models will have a serial, and others will not, because when
Daval sold out to Comet Industries in late 1949, they did not continue putting serials on their machines. Dick nor I have ever found
paperwork that proved these facts. It has only been learned by all the serials logged over the years. Bill
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby fast_in_muskoka » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:22 am

More excellent information - thanks !

Steve

SLOT DYNASTY wrote:Another very important thing to be aware of, in the dating of a machine, is when someone sends you a Patent Date that they see
on a particular part on a machine, that has nothing to do with the date of the machine. i.e. The date that is cast into many of the
goosenecks on Jennings Slots, the dates stamped into the ABT coin slides of numerous slots & trade stimulators. Most of those dates
are always earlier than the machine itself. This is done on a regular basis, with people selling machines on eBay, and other venues,
that usually don't know any better, and want to have the earliest date possible, listed.

Regarding the serial numbers, and dating of Slots, by Dick Bueschel, I worked very closely with him for several years, and he was
confused quite often, with many of the entries being out-of-order. Most of it was with the Mills Slots, being stamped in the order
they came off the assembly line, regardless of model, and features. Some serials were even altered, or changed by operators, and
revampers. As also mentioned above, some certain models had their own serial range. The same thing went on with Daval Mfg. Co.,
with their Trade Stimulators. When their first two models were produced in 1932, the serial numbers were pretty much in order,
the way they came off the line. But as they added new models in the years to come, no matter what the order was on the assembly
line, they were stamped in that order. In the later years, I have found that some models did receive a long run of consecutive #'s.
Especially near the end, with the "Free Play" and "Buddy". Some "Comet" models will have a serial, and others will not, because when
Daval sold out to Comet Industries in late 1949, they did not continue putting serials on their machines. Dick nor I have ever found
paperwork that proved these facts. It has only been learned by all the serials logged over the years. Bill
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby YourBestBet » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:12 pm

Finally got the paint stripped off the cabinet and castings! The cabinet is in much worse shape than I was expecting. Deep scratches and gouges that may require me to stain it a bit darker to cover up some of the imperfections. Castings are in great shape and the next step is getting them polished. Any tips on the best method for polishing these castings for a good shine? Thanks!
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby altort » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:53 pm

Did you have the castings off of the cabinet when you stripped the paint? I assume you used paint stripper, I like to use a bead blasting cabinet with glass beads nothing to abrasive or it will pit the aluminum castings, you can get most of the scratches and gouges off, it takes time and patience, start with a coarse sand paper like a 150 grit to get the deep scratches off but be sure to work the entire length not just were the scratch his or it will leave a low area that will show once polished, note that there will be some small pitting that you wont be able to get out. Once you are done with the initial sanding, switch to a finer sand paper, keep going to finer sand paper once you get the scratches of the previous grit out, I start usually with a 150 paper and I go all the way up to a 800, switching to a wet sand at 600 grit, this will minimize time on the wheel.
Once on the wheel start with a tight stitched wheel with a fast cut compound, just like sanding keep going to a finer compound and a looser wheel in steps, I have two buffers with four different stitched wheel so I don't need to keep swapping wheels.
You need to be careful on the wheel or it will rip the casting out of your hands, take extra care with the upper casting as it can brake around the goose neck by the back lip.
Before you paint you will need to clean all the compound form the castings with lacquer thinner or your paint wont take.
Take your time.
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Re: Mills Skyscraper

Postby altort » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:04 pm

I also wanted to mention that it would be a good idea to remove the security bar from the upper casting, much cleaner and easier job with it off, and a good time to get it re plated.
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