Advice Please: Big Sanding Job

I have a full size coin operated arcade video game that will require some restoration.
It looks as thought a previous owner coated the sides with what appears to be plaster and attempted to paint over it. And it actually looks as though the cabinet had been on fire an it has a hard, black, bumpy texture where this was done.
The cabinet itself is what I belive to be called particle board(or pressed wood), and I will need to do a lot of sanding so I can prime and then paint it before applying side-art(stickers), and was hoping for advice on the best tool for this job. Doing it by hand is just not plausible.
I have an angle grinder and was wondering if there was an attachment that I could use for this purpose, but I am oppen to any ideas.
Thanks a lot.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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I think you have trouble here. If this is particle board and the surface has been compromised as you noted, I don't think you'll ever have much success getting it very flat by any means I can think of.
I would suggest finding some 1/8" ply and covering this unit over with a new skin.

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This would be my suggestion as well. The Borg sells a door skin for less than $20 that could be glued on and would provide a great surface for the exterior art. If you have the skill/patience I'd disassemble the thing and recreate the side from a new piece of MDF
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Check the arcade news groups. Cabinets can be had for the price of the haul (thats spelled Free - cost ogood luckf gas not withstanding).
wrote:

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Searcher7 wrote:

surface, i.e. a random orbit sander (ROS). Try it out with #60 or 80 grit paper (on a hidden spot hopefully) and see if you can do anything with it. If you don't need one for long, borrow one or buy a cheapo from Harbor Fright or somesuch. Good luck and as always, should you be caught, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of cheap tools.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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"Searcher7" wrote:

Sounds to me like you are between a rock and a hard place.
The right angle grinder/sander will do more harm than help.
A ROS would do the job; however, if this is press board or MDF that has been comprised by getting wet so that the material has swelled, forget it.
About all it would be good for is as a pattern to cut out new material such as MDO plywood.
Lew
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On Tue, 25 Mar 2008 20:01:42 -0700 (PDT), Searcher7

work
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It depends on the cabinet itself. Does it have T-molding around the side? What game is it? Upright, cocktail, or sitting cabinet? Many of the sides can be replaced fairly easily as the manufacturers of the cabinets didn't believe in glue or dadoes. An ORIGINAL game and cabinet are worth some money so be careful. Doing the wrong repair could be disaterous not only to the cabinet but to your wallet as well.
Allen

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The cabinet is an upright Atari Star Wars from the early 80s.
It's really the "thin" coating of plaster? and black paint that I need to get off. I think someone attempted to try something different by covering up the old beat-up side art, and it really came out like crap. Not that I really care about the aesthetics, it is inside my apartment, so I have to do something.
I wanted to lay the cabinet on it's side and use some sort of sander to see how smooth I could get it. From there I could concentrate on power coating the coin door, and replacing the T-molding.
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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The sit down version would be prohibitive to replacing. The upright version should have a some cleats that are either stapled or screwed together. A cabinet shop should be able to help you if you can't make it yourself.
In the repair area, you said it looked like it was burnt. Why sand it then? You have to find out exactly what the material is that was used to cover it up. I doubt it is plaster but could be wood filler or bondo.
Could you post some pictures over on alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking
Allen

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uncommon medium for the average Joe to mess with. It could be drywall compound. It's worked very easily so it's often used as a leveling compound or as a top cover. It can easily be mistaken as plaster (plaster is much harder when cured). If the coating IS drywall "mud", it should be easily soluble in water (that might explain a texture that looks like "burnt" wood). You can dissolve the coating and scrape it off. But don't flush the piece with water 'cuz it will absorb into the MDF. I would pick an inconspicuous spot and cover it with a soaked rag (not dripping) after removing any paint from the surface. Leave it for a few hours and see if the coating becomes soft and punky. If it does, scrape it off and repeat the procedure followed by a light sanding.
If the coating is plaster, try scraping off as much as possible followed by sanding. If the coating is Bondo (autobody filler) it's now hard as a rock and firmly stuck to the wood (have to grind it off... near to impossible to sand off at a practical rate).
Good luck. I'm curious to know how you make out.
Cheers.
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.
If I knew how I would.
BTW. Here's a excerpt I received from the guy I brought the cabinet from:
"The black stuff is definitely some kind of textured paint. To remove it from the one side, I used 3M Safest Stripper. You can search for how to use it on klov forums or google groups. I applied it to the paint, waited 3-5 minutes and then scraped it away using a plastic putty knife. If you go slowly, you can try to preserve what is underneath. For the left side, it was not much to look at, but the front artwork was in better shape. You may just want to take a power sander to the other side since you have replacement artwork..."
Thanks.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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