Changing my tune

I used to be a major proponent for Titan silicone rings.  As a  matter of fact, I do believe that every shop job or restoration I have used Titans.  Titan silicone rings have a place, but I'm not sure I like how they perform.

They are cool for a few reasons.  One, you can color match your play field with them.  I think I did that on a Creature From the Black Lagoon.  At the time, it was fun to pick out rings that matched that particular part of the play field.  I had not had any experience playing with them on a game, but I figured that there could not be too much different than the original rubbers.  Another cool aspect with them is that they did not shed dust when they got older.  Rubbers have a tendency to create a nasty powder as they age and become more brittle.  I am intimately aware of that as I have done plenty of restorations where that dust  from those rings has settled into all kinds of nooks and crannys.  So, keeping those two benefits in mind, I have used them somewhat exclusively on my restorations.

That was 3-4 years ago.  Flash forward to today, and I think I am starting to lean towards original rubbers.  No more color matching with the play field for sure.  That fell by the wayside many games ago.  As I test games (after everything is put back together), I put quite a few plays on a new play field.  I just want to make sure that everything works as it should.  During this process, I have started to think that rubber plays better than silicone.  At first I thought it was my imagination, but now I'm fairly certain that it is true.  Rubbers are more forgiving.  They seem to be softer, which makes the game feel like it plays so much better.  I have come to believe that the only place that Titans should be installed is on the flippers.  And, even that, I am starting to change my mind.

That said, moving forward, I will be only using rubbers from the original spec.  Unless, however, a customer asks specifically for Titans.

I love Titans, and I'm sure they will find a place in my restorations.  They are a great company whom I have nothing but positives to say about them.  I even own one of their shirts!!

Speaking of changing my tune:  One of the other areas that I think restoration people hold different views on: original screws.  Typically, when  I break a game down, I have three or four bags that I separate screws into as I take them off of the play field.  You have your lamp wood screws which are smaller than the mech wood screws.  Those are separated.  Then, you have machine screws for either posts or sometimes to keep the ramps locked down.  Those are separated as well.  In some cases screws are either stripped or have so much grime on them that even a tumbler cannot fix.  In these cases, I have started to use new screws.  Now, you may not think this a big deal, but to some it is blasphemy. 

"It cannot be a full restoration if you don't use every single piece from the original game.," said many people who do restorations.

I was in that camp in the early days of my restorations, but now, out of need, I use new screws and/or washers when the old screw is just to messed up.  Of course, these decisions are run by the customer.  If the customer wants all original hardware, then that is what I will give them.  If it is left up to me, I will use more functional/new hardware as I see fit.

It is amazing how much my opinions change the more that I do restorations.

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