So the Nintendo table top cab had arrived. It was in a pretty sorry state as you will have seen in part one. While I thought about the best way to tackle the restoration, I managed to track down a working Space Fever board. Advertised as “untested” (which usually means, “I tested it, and it’s dead”), I got lucky for a change, and the thing actually worked on arrival.
I turned my attention to the rusty box in my garage, and made a start in stripping everything out and label everything. A good tip here is take lots of pictures of everything in-situ so you have half a clue of how to put everything back together again.
Given the state of the main case, in that it was full of rust, I decided that the only thing I could do with it was to send it to a shotblaster. Shotblasting is defined as
“attacking the surface of a material with one of many types of shots. Normally this is done to remove something on the surface such as scale or rust. The shot can be sand, small steel balls of various diameters, granules of silicon carbide, etc. The device that throws the shot is either a large air gun or spinning paddles which hurl the shot off their blades”.
Pretty serious stuff, but the cab needed it. When the parts were ready, I drove them to a local firm who did me a cash deal. Here are the main parts ready for treatment:
And here’s how the main case turned out turned out after a few hours with the shotblasters. Before and after:
As you can see, all the old brown paint and rust has magically gone and you are left with the bare metal. Now I could have done this by hand myself, but the amount of time it would have taken with wet ‘n’ dry sandpaper just wasn’t worth it. Not to mention the mess it would’ve created.
So the next job was to get the main unit repainted. Again, rather than take on the job myself, I decided to go for for a process called powder-coating. This gives a nice smooth permanent professional finish to the cab. In essence, it is a coat that is applied as a dry powder, and then heated in a large oven. This allows the powder to flow and form a skin to whatever it’s been applied to. You end up with a finish that is much tougher than paint. A local company providing this service was found, and I dropped the parts off. They needed a few days to complete the job.
So while that was going on, I made a start on a few other bits and pieces. Like these corner clips. These are used to hold down the glass top on the cab – one on each corner. As you can see, the time spent in the damp environment has taken it’s toll.
Rust spots all over. So here’s a pro restoring tip: grab some aluminium kitchen foil paper, wet it, and rub the rust spots gently. Keep the foil wet and keep rubbing.
Believe it or not, it works:
They aren’t absolutely perfect, but good enough – especially compared to the price of getting them fully re-chromed.
Thanks for reading! Part 3 is coming up!