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VGS Restoration Shop 🛠️


fsped09
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A big part of why I love collecting is the hunt and the clean up after. I try to restore these banged up items without damaging them further. I take everything apart and put it back together again. Most of these I pick up from Craigslist, flea markets, & eBay, some people just don't take care of their stuff!

Please share/post your 'before and after' restoration pics! 

Please share your go to tips for maintaining your collections!!


 

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Problem: Dirt, Grime, Yellowing
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Solution: Cleaners + RetroBrite
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Problem: Magic Marker
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Solution: Rubbing Alcohol/Magic Eraser
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Problem: Dirt/Dust
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Solution: Disassemble then Soap/Water
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Problem: Bad Left Thumbstick/Dirt
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Solution: Replaced Thumbstick/Magic Eraser
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Problem: Dirt
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Solution: Disassemble/Q-tips & Rubbing Alcohol
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Problem: Heavy Dirt
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Problem: Disassemble - Heavy Scrub Magic Eraser/Alcohol/409
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Problem: Sticker Residue/Dirt
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Solution: Goo Gone/Magic Eraser
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Problem: Blockbuster Sticker
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Solution: Heat Gun/Goo Gone
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Problem: Dirt from use
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Solution: Disassemble - Magic Eraser Scrub
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Problem: Dirt/Food Stains
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Solution: Magic Eraser Scrub/409
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Problem: Dust/Dirt
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Solution: Disassemble - Magic Eraser/Alcohol/409
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Problem: Dirt/VOID Stickers
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Solution: Heat Gun/Magic Eraser/GooGone/409
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Dirt
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Magic Eraser
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Here is a restoration of River Patrol on Atari 2600. Tigervision games often have lifted labels at the bottom since they bend inward. The old glue cant hold that tension anymore. See the curl on the bottom right? It was actually detached about a 1/3rd of the way up from that corner. The top left corner was also coming up and at risk of snagging on the cartridge slot.

Take a hairdryer and keep it moving over the label to soften the glue. Gently peel it off but wait whenever you feel tension. Once it's off, it will likely curl up. I rolled mine back in the other direction to make it curled in the opposite direction. So it curls inward toward the cartridge. I had to gently clean the underside of the label because there was so much dirt and dust stuck under it. I very gently went over it with a q tip with the tiniest amount of (cant remember if it was water or alcohol). DO NOT let it soak on the label or you will see the this water discoloration on the label face. Also clean the cartridge off any old glue residue or dust before reapplying the label.

Quickly cover the back label with Elmer's glue stick. Make it thorough but quick because you dont want it drying before you can position it. Since this label is an awkward shape, I put some small metal weights at the bottom of the label to hold it in place while it dryed. You don't want it coming up there. Because it sure wants to.

Voila it's done with NO creases/damage or signs that it was ever removed.

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Edited by acromite53
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Boy I wish I could post some of the stuff I've restored. I bought a local lot of consoles that probably sat in a garage for years and restored everything I needed from it. Cleaning the grime off of remotes and making things function again is a good feeling.

 

That's some good work you've done there, looks good!

Edited by Wasbi
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Also anyone using the hair dryer/heat gun method for label removal. Be very careful, the label will warp from the heat if you get it too hot. It won’t warp until it cools so you can’t see it as it’s happening. It will also discolor. 
 

I ruined a super ghouls and ghost trying to remove the label in order to fix the lift. I was having a hard time getting the original adhesive warm enough to move so I stuck the hair dryer to it for a good minute or two. Well, i was able to apply Elmer stick and it seemed fixed until is cooled and started to bubble/warp/discolor. 

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Member · Posted
1 minute ago, skinnygrinny said:

Also anyone using the hair dryer/heat gun method for label removal. Be very careful, the label will warp from the heat if you get it too hot. It won’t warp until it cools so you can’t see it as it’s happening. It will also discolor. 
 

I ruined a super ghouls and ghost trying to remove the label in order to fix the lift. I was having a hard time getting the original adhesive warm enough to move so I stuck the hair dryer to it for a good minute or two. Well, i was able to apply Elmer stick and it seemed fixed until is cooled and started to bubble/warp/discolor. 

 

This is true, but for a reasonable price you can get a heat gun with a temperature sensor.  I have one I think I payed $30 for, shipped from Amazon, that has two temp set points.  If you get the temp right, you can find the hottest temp possible without warping the plastic.  I forget it because it's been a while since I've used the gun, but I think you can get up to 170-175F.  It's pretty hot but has yet to warp a cartridge for me.

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I go something like this and it has been very useful removing stickers, I mainly bought it for removing ICs but this is cheap enough that it's probably a good investment:

Hot Air Gun Heat Portable Solder Station Better YOUYUE 8858 Saike Yihua GJ 8018
https://www.ebay.com/itm/312762417004

 

Regarding magic eraser I avoid it when dealing with permanent marker, I use brake fluid or if it looks like it might come off easy I try dry erase marker, but if brake fluid fails then the marker has gone too deep and just accept the fact that if I want to remove it then it will have to be sanded down with magic eraser (by the way I hate it's called like that, it's absolutely deceiving, there's nothing magical about it, it's just sanding down your stuff).

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37 minutes ago, skinnygrinny said:

Also anyone using the hair dryer/heat gun method for label removal. Be very careful, the label will warp from the heat if you get it too hot. It won’t warp until it cools so you can’t see it as it’s happening. It will also discolor. 
 

I ruined a super ghouls and ghost trying to remove the label in order to fix the lift. I was having a hard time getting the original adhesive warm enough to move so I stuck the hair dryer to it for a good minute or two. Well, i was able to apply Elmer stick and it seemed fixed until is cooled and started to bubble/warp/discolor. 

Interesting. Its definitely good to do a practice run before hand on a cheap game. As for the hairdryer, dont hold it too close or on one spot for too long. Keep it moving. Start on a low temp and increase it gradually until you can find the right temp. Though this is easier on a heat gun of course with variable temperatures. Maybe some labels work better than others?

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21 minutes ago, acromite53 said:

Interesting. Its definitely good to do a practice run before hand on a cheap game. As for the hairdryer, dont hold it too close or on one spot for too long. Keep it moving. Start on a low temp and increase it gradually until you can find the right temp. Though this is easier on a heat gun of course with variable temperatures. Maybe some labels work better than others?

That’s the correct technique. And that’s what I was doing until I got a bit impatient. I had made a few runs with the hairdryer on low with constant motion. 
 

i decided to heat a specific area for a minute or two. It wasn’t even that hot honestly and like I said when I pulled the hair dryer off it looked fine. But after I applied the Elmer stick and went to place the label back in place (it was only a corner not the whole label) I noticed it was all warp and discolored. 
 

I have fixed label lift before with the same technique and not had a problem so maybe it is label differences? Idk I am just very very careful with the heat now days 

Edited by skinnygrinny
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I will say this, there is an art to using magic eraser. On NES carts it really should be avoided or used very lightly. When you scrub, you lose the texture. But gently applying pressure in a specific area can produce better than good results. 

The real trick to cleaning any of your collection. Take your time. Everything will eventually come off, even stickers on stickers. 

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Was browsing my flickr and ran into these photos.  A unique restoration!

For those who don't know, this is an official lighted sign that was only made in Belguim I believe.  So you need a transformer to run it on a USA outlet.  Seller packed it extremely well but unfortunately I heard rattling and it wouldn't power on when receiving.  I was scared to open it up, but when I did, I saw it was only a simple bulb.  Did some googling and found a replacement at Lowe's for about $5 I believe.

New bulb and voila, works like new!

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So I wish I would have taken better pics of the process, but I will share what I have. 

When I originally bought this it was sold as the light not working, only the fan.  

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I took it apart, and there is really not much to it so I was optimistic I could get it working.  

I ended up replacing the pull cord connector and the light bulb socket.  Both of which I easily found on the local hardware store. The pic shots the pull cord and then the light socket connected to the yellow wire nut.  

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Hard to take a pic of a working fan, but it works like a dream now!  

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