OutRun Restoration Part 5: Cabinet

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Still buzzing from fixing up the dashboard and steering, I was keen to keep momentum so I started with the restoration of the cabinet itself. It wasn’t in terrible condition but there were definitely a few things that needed attention. I started by stripping the whole thing down to the cabinet shell…

cabinet stripped bare


The first thing to go was the existing side art stickers as I planned to apply some nice new artwork…

removing old side art stickers


Next I made myself a dolly trolley so I could lay the cab down on its side and work on it. I fitted free-wheeling castors, 2 with brakes. This’ll come in handy for future cab restores too…

I made a transport dolly trolley


I chose to restore the right side panel first as it had the most damage. The dolly trolley was great. It was sturdy and it allowed me to move the cab around whilst working on it in my cramped workshop…

ready for restoration to begin on the right side panel


The bottom of this side was where all the action needed to happen. The back corner had some veneer that had become unstuck, and some of the panel itself had been damaged…

left side corner damage


The worst part was the front leg. Someone had clearly tried (badly) to repair this themselves at some point…

left side foot damage
underside of left side foot damage


There were a few spots that needed filling on the top half of the panel, and before long I had done an initial fill with some Isopon P38 body filler…

left side filling


To restore the damaged leg, I constructed a mold frame out of some spare battens of wood I had hanging around. Worked well as they were pretty much the exact depth I needed. The plan was to squash this mold full of filler, take the frame off and sand it nice and flat….

It seemed to have done the trick…

After some sanding, it was starting to look really nice…

Now the right side panel had been fixed up, I gave it one final sand down, then wiped it down with some acetone, ready for priming…

left side ready for painting


I got this Kleenedge Tape & Drape from Toolstation. It was absolutely perfect for this job. The blue tape was just the right size for the edges of the cab, and it just draped down to the floor to keep the cab free from paint and dust. I’ll be using this a lot from now on. So much better than just getting a big pack of polythene dust sheets. It was so quick to put it in place…

dust sheets


I used a mini short-pile microfiber roller to apply 2 coats of primer. I’d read some good reviews of Zinsser Bulls Eye 123, so I bought myself a tub of the grey one and used that. It was quite nice to apply, water-based and could be recoated in an hour…

left side primed


I then rolled on 3 coats of Black Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell wood paint. This was also water-based and went on easily. I put 3 coats on leaving each coat to dry for 6 hours…

By the time the 3rd coat had dried, it was looking really nice. It’s almost a shame that most of it is going to be covered up with artwork…

nice smooth finish


With the right side panel done, I flipped the cab onto it’s back so I could work on the front panel…

moved cab onto it's back


It had a big hole near the coin door where a metal security cable-ring had been bolted in. I removed that and filled the hole. The rest of the front panel wasn’t that bad. There were some chips and scratches that would need filling, and two stickers in the top right corner. I managed to get the green one off to save for re-application later, but the red one fell to bits…

front panel condition


After a bit of filling and sanding, it was ready for priming…

front panel filled


Same as with the side panel, I used the Zinsser 123 with a short-pile microfiber roller. I also did the visible parts of the insides of the side panels…

front panel primed


The Kleenedge Tape & Drop came in handy again as I covered up the rest of the cab so I could paint it. I decided to spray the front panel in satin black as it would be more visible than the side panels and I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. I was happy enough with the roller finish on the side panels, but I would have sprayed those too had I had more room. The front panel was small enough that I could spray it sanely. This is what it looked like after 1 coat and then sanded down…

front panel ready for spraying


And all finished with 3 coats. Very happy how this turned out…

front panel finished


On to the remaining side panel. This one had similar damage to the other side, but less extensive. It did turn out to be more of a pain though…

flipped onto it's right side


The front leg was damaged similar to the other side, and the back corner had cracked and a repair had been attempted (again, badly) with some foamy substance…

The power button was also full of crap so I cleaned that up…

dirty power button


I sanded back the overhang of the corner and sanded down the surface ready for some filler…

right corner trimmed


I made another mold frame for the damaged leg…

right side mold frame


I also had to use some Araldite to stick the veneer back down where it had become unstuck…

right side peeled off veneer


Soon I had the filler on and waited for it to set…

right side all filled


Aaaaaand this is where it all went horribly wrong. The filler clearly didn’t have anything to grab on to and came away with the mold frame when I removed it. I guess in hindsight I may have left the filler too long to harden, or maybe put too much hardener in. In any case, it fell away and I cursed a lot…

argh - the filler didn't take!


Attempt number two involved me using some lost head nails to both strengthen the area and provide something for the filler to grab on to. Again in hindsight, perhaps I should have done this to the other leg too – although the other leg was pretty strong and sturdy once the filler had set. Maybe that’ll come and bite me later. I guess we’ll see…

cabinet reinforcing


I made sure not to put the nails in where I’d have to use the router to cut the t-molding groove…

not where the t-molding groove would be cut


To be doubly sure it would work this time, I rubbed some grease around the edge of the mold frame in the hope that it would prevent the filler getting stuck to it…

Phew… it worked! 🙂 The grease around the edge kinda made it look like cookies and cream. Mmmmm….

mold frame taken off


After some sanding, it was nice and smooth and was looking pretty good…

right foot restored


Cutting the t-molding slot was scary as feck. I put a thick board of plywood between me and the router when I used it just in case, haha. I needn’t have worried though, it missed the nails…

t-molding groove cut


WIth the second side panel prepped, it was ready for priming. Rinse and repeat… same as the other side…

right side primed


First coat of paint rollered one was patchy, but from experience I knew not to worry…

right side first coat


After 3 coats it looked great. Job done…

right side 3rd coat - finished!


That was another long one! The cab’s ready to reassemble now, and do the finishing touches like applying the t-molding and artwork etc. See you in the next part.

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