Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:53 am

AH DAMN! Now you did it!
I wish that I had seen your comment sooner, about bead blasting the mechanism.
We have all been pounding on you, 'Not to restore this machine'. Bead blasting mechanism parts should only be done
when a machine is going to be completely restored. This is only done when you are going to have parts cad-plated, or
painted, or clear-coated, as the newly blasted steel parts will rust quicker than you can say "Oh Sh*t", because you have
now removed the protective coating that those parts left the factory with. When trying to keep a machine as original as
possible, there are ways to clean parts, so as to retain its originality.
I know you sent me your phone number, but did not have time to call as yet, because of family visiting. Will try ASAP.
Until then, please park this project, and put a model kit together, or the like. [-o<
Bill
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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby RameGoom » Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:00 am

My bad! I didn't realize that cleaning a mechanism does not include blasting the crusty parts. Fortunately, it was limited to the inside handle mechanism and jackpot parts. Hopefully I didn't total the project...
The good news is, I didn't have to really do anything to the inside mechanism besides clean it up. Its condition is probably what you would consider excellent:
Image

So now, as for damage control, should I clearcoat the bare metal parts? As for the paint, it appears to me that some of the spots were touched up in the past, so all in all, it might not be all original paint. But mostly original as best as I can tell.

Learning the hard way. I gotta be less stubborn on this kind of thing.
Slowly building a knowledge base on E2000 series Bally machines and J400 Jennings. Started with the antique Mills and Jennings. Getting there...
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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby TJ » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:58 pm

Could you please post the serial number. That is one fine machine glad to see you are heeding the advice of some knowledgeable people. A few of us out there appreciate real examples of these fantastic feats of engineering. Here are a few numbers to compare. 1277, 5096, and 7725.
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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby Dave » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:18 pm

You should register this machine in the CoinOpRegistry (http://www.CoinOpRegistry.com). That is the place to record serial numbers. You can also upload a photo.

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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:39 pm

Dave wrote:You should register this machine in the CoinOpRegistry (http://www.CoinOpRegistry.com). That is the place to record serial numbers. You can also upload a photo.

Dave


Dave:
There is a little discrepancy going on with his serial number at this time. I told him that it was much-to-high
for his single JP model. He sent me a close-up of the number, and the first number is a 6, which is smaller
than the trailing numbers, slightly lower, and a wider space. It is most likely an added number by an operator,
whom usually stamped their # in another area. I also think he said that the serial sticker was not present inside
the case, which would tell the true story. Therefore, the complete number shown, is 67455, which should be
7455. That would put it right where it is supposed to be, in the range for that model.
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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby RameGoom » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:54 pm

I believe Bill is right about that extra digit ahead of the serial number. A couple of other observations: Both sides of the machine have the Rock-Ola stickers in place - but - there are shadows of stickers painstakingly removed on the sides, in the shape of the Jennings stickers. So, why would there have been both Jennings stickers AND Rock-ola stickers on the sides?

On the instruction card, someone cut a rectangle out of the upper text, I believe might have been the Jennings name. Maybe someone can compare their inside door card with the one I posted to see what was cut out of it.

Given these oddities, it seems very possible that this was modified by the owner to put it on a route. If so, does this maintain the machine as "original"? Even if it were changed and modified? Just trying to understand this hobby....
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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby Midcoast Vintage » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:51 pm

In addition to manufacturing jukeboxes, pinball machines, trade stimulators, scales, and more, ROCKOLA also revamped slot machines.
they also bought used machines, and / or took them in on trade.
subsequently, they would put their decal on the side to promote their sales instead of the original manufacturer.
All machines they handled were not revamped.
YOURS WAS NOT REVAMPED.
Other than probably going through the machine to make sure it worked properly for the next operator, they did nothing.
Again, as you have been advised by numerous collectors and historians, ...YOUR MACHINE IS EXCEPTIONALLY CLEAN, AND ORIGINAL.
NOTHING... AS IN NOTHING... (other than replace the glass) should be done to your machine. This means do not change the paper. do not disassemble the mechanism.
you have one of the nicest original little dukes on the planet.
LEAVE IT AS IT IS!!.
AND, don't remove the rockola decal, as it is an interesting part of the machines history.
If you are that anxious to restore a machine, buy a rough one and restore it, but don't destroy the integrity of the machine you have.
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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:57 am

Ditto, to all of the above, by midwest.
Out of all the things I mentioned before, regarding your machine, I failed to note the Rockola decals
on the sides, and to why they were there, and the Jennings decals, painstakingly removed. In other
words, "leave them alone" as well, and don't ad new repro Jennings decals. This brings something else
to mind. It was probably Rockola that added that extra number 6, in front of the original serial. Now I
am going to be shuffling through my photo archives, to see if I can read any serial changes, on other
machines that I have pix of, with Rockola decals on other mfrs. machines. I also remember a flat top
Mills "Little Perfection", with Rex Novelty Co. decals, where the Mills decals were usually placed.
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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby RameGoom » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:36 am

OK, I promise, I'm putting it back together the way it came apart - albeit, a bit cleaner, with grease and oil instead of tar and skid marks....

Now that I know the reason behind the missing decals, it makes total sense. It will just be a clean and tidy original when I get it done. I will post detailed pictures along the way, and will be taking detailed pictures of the mechanisms, so future generations will know what an original is supposed to look like.

I read somewhere that one of the tech writers planned on putting together an "owners and restorers manual" of the Little Duke, but have had no luck finding that piece, so it might not have ever been published.

It would be good for everyone if "restoration and repair tips" had its own forum heading, so I'm voting for it. Anyone have any thoughts on this, or am I going too far with the internet information channels? Just a thought. I have a Bell Boy that I plan on taking dozens of pictures of, and putting those somewhere.
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Re: Experts chime in - Restoring a Little Duke

Postby RameGoom » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:14 pm

Midcoast Vintage wrote:In addition to manufacturing jukeboxes, pinball machines, trade stimulators, scales, and more, ROCKOLA also revamped slot machines.
they also bought used machines, and / or took them in on trade.
subsequently, they would put their decal on the side to promote their sales instead of the original manufacturer.


I think you're exactly right about RockOla reselling the Jennings machine. I noticed the name "Jenning's" was hastily hacked out of the instruction card inside the back door, right next to word Prepare:
Image

Then the serial number was apparently modified with a numeral 6 to the left:
Image

And there is evidence the Jennings decals on both sides were carefully removed. RockOla made the machine appear to be their own. So, this is the way it's gonna stay.

I stumbled on a nice fix for the handle as it slams between the full pull and resting position. The original rubber stops on both the top and bottom of the handle strokes were hard as a rock and badly worn. It just so happened that I had to remove a large window in my building, and found these rubber cushions at the bottom of the window. They are 1/2 in. thick, very dense rubber, about 1-1/2 in. wide and 4 in. long. The thermal pane window rests on these at the bottom of the frame. Turns out the cushions in the slot were exactly 1/2 in. thick, so I put the new rubber in a vise and used a hacksaw to create a duplicate of the originals. Fit right in, and now the handle operates smooth as silk. The image shows the original rubber blocks that I removed, and the piece I cut:
Image

Anyone out there into window glazing would be able to identify these rubber blocks.
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