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Project:Sundance Restoration
Project Started:2/2/2005Project Status:Sold

Goal of Project:
Probably the most severe restoration i've ever done.
This is the story of an extremely rare Vectorbeam Sundance that a fellow collector purchased from Ebay. Apparently this machine sat out in a field under a tarp for years before hitting ebay. This has been my most extreme restoration attempt to date and has been a lot of fun.
This is how the game arrived from the shipper. The guy dropping it off wanted me to 'look at it' because it has no bottom!
Here's a quick picture that should give you an idea how severe the damage really is. I've seen water damage and wood rot plenty of times, but never wood rotted completely away! The cabinet is actually missing not only the bottom, but the bottom 4 inches as well!
You can see that after the original wood rotted away it left some broken formica behind.. This is what I used to calculate the actual height of the game and figure out what was missing. Thankfully one of the square corners still existed.
Shopping List

2 sheets of Melamine board 
2 sheets of ultra thin laminate 
1 sheet of pressboard 
20 feet of T-molding 
Assorted paints, adhesives etc. 
Laminate trim bits 

Total Price: $180.00 

First part repaired was the front. I slowly peeled what was left of the laminate off the old machine and stuck it to a new piece of wood. Some bondo to help level it out and this is what I have.
Next, I used my melamine board and my router to make an exact copy of the side panels of the game. I do this by clamping the new wood to the old wood and using it as a guide for the router. Once I have one side I sand the edges just a touch to make sure they are perfectly level and then use the newly cut panel as a template for the second one. After that I do some careful measurement to place the identical blocking used to assemble the cab. At this point some details like black blocking and some channels to hold some panels were cut.
Some more details :) I removed and re-adhesived all the original stickers found on the cabinet and placed them in the same location on the new parts.
Now that all the parts are made, it's time to begin assembly. I lay the cabinet on the ground and air-staple the parts together one by one, testing for level and square on each one. From there, I lay the other side on top and nail that. I use Gorilla glue, tuff stuff.
Forgot to take some pictures of this part.. I installed black laminate on the outsides of the cabinet using contact adhesive. This is not normal formica as it is about 1/3 the thickness of the formica you see at home depot. Because it is so thin it does not stick out from the t-molding.
Starting to reassemble the cabinet. You can start to see that I recycled as many of the original parts as I could.
Nearly complete! Finally stood up the new cabinet today! Still need to cut the paper bezel and transfer over all the original electronics.
The obligitory before and after photo! Still more to do!
All the electronics are put back, hand cut a brand new bezel. Managed to get the boards working, the game now plays blind!
Hello - 8/11/2005 4:28:32 PM
Did you have new sideart?
Brian - 8/11/2005 10:21:24 PM
The sideart is the hardest part of this restoration.. I've saved it and am painstakingly removing it from the old board.. then i'll get new adhesive and reapply it to the original cab. Just takes forever!
Chris Alcott - 9/23/2006 1:54:57 AM
Any update on this one Brian?
Brian - 9/26/2006 4:28:24 PM
no, not as yet. The glue is sooo dry on this I haven't found anything to loosen it without damaging the art yet..
Jason - 4/24/2007 5:35:21 PM
Hello, Amazing job, where do you buy your black laminate from. I was also looking to use some on the side of a cabinet. Do you know the thickness of it. Thanks for your help Jason
Adam - 10/28/2007 12:45:36 AM
Brian! I too think this is an amazing job, and could use some guidance in the black laminate/formica! Thanks.
Brian - 11/7/2007 5:45:07 PM
Laminate is easy.. just contact cement and a trim router. This particular stuff is 'vertical grade' so ask for that at your local cabinet shop.
Brett - 12/28/2007 11:51:47 AM
You're last image there is missing a 'g' in the link. Love your site and thanks for documenting your projects. It's giving me confidence in restoring my DK machine.

GameTalk about this project!