Going Underground #4 - More Foosball Table Restoration!

As you may know, AAAD isn't just an Apple rumors or tech-discussion site.

It's about integrating iOS and Apple into all aspects of our home. And sometimes, our DIY home fix-it projects have nothing to do with tech.

Like the foosball table in the basement.

Over the course of the last few months, I've been cleaning, polishing, sanding, and generally renovating this 1970s-era Deustcher Meister foosball table.

I cleaned 30 years of grime off of each of the foosball men - but some repainting is still in order - the current paint job runs the gamut from "mediocre but acceptable" to "horrifying".

I polished down each of the rods with ultra-fine steel wool and Brasso - a good result, even though the chrome is missing in many places. I sanded down the exposed wood parts, until they were smooth. No more key-marks from 1978.

I bought end-caps for the rods on eBay - they fit perfectly, and slightly reduce the potential for my son or his friends knocking each other's eyes out while playing.

And over the course of the last 2 days, we successfully re-glued the corner ramps into place. 

Liquid Nails saves the day! (And an old 60GB IDE hard drive - the perfect size and weight to hold these ramps in place.)

Now that the ramps are staying down, I'd like to finish up the rest of the foosball table ASAP. So what's left?

1. Repaint / Re-stain the sanded exterior portions. I'm going to save this for last. The legs and corners need a coat of stain and poly.

2. Repaint the numbers in the scoring mechanism. The recessed numbers in the scoring sliders need an application of red or blue paint. Or pastel, or something.

3. Repair the chipped / broken side rails. This is the big one, and it's today's project. The ramps have nail-holes, but those are only a minor problem.

The side rails are actually missing portions where the nails used to be. 

This is a bigger problem - and it appears to pre-date our acquisition of this table in the early Nineties, as there's evidence of an earlier "repair" - be it paint or a filling compound - around each gouge.

The plan for now is to use an epoxy-based tub/shower repair kit. It's almost like a white clay resin, that will fill the missing areas on the rails. It's sandable and paintable, so I should be able to get a pretty good match.

Working with this epoxy was a bit more difficult than I'd initially figured. You add water to the compound, and it heats up and becomes more pliable. Then, within a few minutes, it becomes crumbly and brittle.

That said, it worked.

So far, I've only used a sanding block. I'll return to this project to continue sanding, ideally with a power detail sander. And to paint, if necessary... in some spots, the compound isn't perfectly white.

I'm also going to run a very thin bead of Dynaflex caulk around the border pieces. This will cover up the slight black border at the edges of the border pieces, but it will increase the uniformity of the edges around the playing field, and cover up some of the remaining imperfections.

It's taken a while, but we're getting there.

1 comment :

  1. This is awesome! There is surprisingly very little info on the internet about restoring these tables. Do you have any more entries or documentation following this post? When your men get dirty again in 40 years, use Novus 1,2, and 3 instead of Goo Gone as it doesn't remove paint ;) Its a great product I learned about from restoring pinball machines.