fix cupped inserts without clearing whole playfield?

Started 11 months ago by ccotenj in forum Electro-MechanicalEM hangout.



fix cupped inserts without clearing whole playfield?


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  • Started 11 months ago by ccotenj
  • 10 Pinsiders participating in this thread.
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    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    the more i read on this, the less i understand... i just need some basic answers on fixing cupped inserts...

    1) is it even possible?

    2) if it is, is it possible if you aren't a "master craftsman"?

    3) if the answer to #2 is yes, then "how do i do it"?

    sorry for the remarkably dumb post... but i can't wrap my brain around this one...


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    I wanted to avoid the reclearing process so I was debating on the sanding method as seen on You Tube or the heatgun/flattening method as described by somebody or another. Since many of my inserts had artwork on them, the heat gun method seemed to be the logical choice. I had ok success with this method, but it wasn't great. I would probably not do it again. The sanding method is not practical for preserving artwork, so I guess that leaves the super glue leveling technique which I think needs to be followed up with a sealer/clearcoat and I am just not quite of to that as of yet (me personally). I suppose if somebody walked me through it I might be more apt to try it, but I don't know of anyone in my area with that level of skills.


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    thanks guys...


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    Fill cupped inserts with 2 part auto clear.

    Sand them before they fully harden.

    Usually heat does not un-cup them for long, because without the reinforcement of the jeweling, they sag again.

    Note that even NOS playfields often have cupped inserts, so you can't blame the lights for melting them...


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    You could try these, might be an easy way. Scroll down to cupped insert discs.
    http://www.oldpinballs.com/store.html


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    nick-the-greek said:

    You could try these, might be an easy way. Scroll down to cupped insert discs.
    http://www.oldpinballs.com/store.html

    Does that work?

    How does it look?


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    vid1900 said:

    Fill cupped inserts with 2 part auto clear.
    Sand them before they fully harden.
    Usually heat does not un-cup them for long, because without the reinforcement of the jeweling, they sag again.
    Note that even NOS playfields often have cupped inserts, so you can't blame the lights for melting them...

    thanks vid... in reference to the auto clear, i know that's really nasty stuff to spray, can i do the "fill" method you outline without poisoning myself?


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    vid1900 said:

    Does that work?
    How does it look?

    same questions from me...


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    ccotenj said:

    thanks vid... in reference to the auto clear, i know that's really nasty stuff to spray, can i do the "fill" method you outline without poisoning myself?

    I have done it many times in my basement workshop... It's not bad at all. You definitely don't want to spray in the house

    Good luck and let us know how it works out for you!

    - Jeff


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    ccotenj said:

    thanks vid... in reference to the auto clear, i know that's really nasty stuff to spray, can i do the "fill" method you outline without poisoning myself?

    Get a chem respirator ($25 at Home Depot), gloves, and even a Tyvek bunny suit ($9.99 at Home Depot) if you want to be really careful.

    Do it outside if you really don't want to buy the respirator, but really you should wear one even when using rattle cans, so get one anyway.

    Level the playfield. Use a glass eyedropper, and clean it with Lacquer thinner when you are done.


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    ^^^

    thanks jeff....

    oh yea, i know better than to even THINK about spraying that stuff... definitely not something i have the space, safety equipment or knowhow to be dealing with... a man's gotta know his limitations...

    i'm trying to convince myself to give it a try... after all, i can't make it any worse...


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    vid1900 said:

    Get a chem respirator ($25 at Home Depot), gloves, and even a Tyvek bunny suit ($9.99 at Home Depot) if you want to be really careful.
    Do it outside if you really don't want to buy the respirator, but really you should wear one even when using rattle cans, so get one anyway.
    Level the playfield. Use a glass eyedropper, and clean it with Lacquer thinner when you are done.

    cool, i've got all that safety stuff from when i refinished one of my hardwood floors... so i'm set there, although i probably should get new inserts for the respirator...

    i'm getting braver, you guys are talking me into this...


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
    #

    » YouTube video

    Here is PinballDude using 2 part auto clear to level inserts with no chem respirator (not recommended), but you can see how he does it.

    He sprays it with just a dust mask too (really not recommended).


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
    #

    I use aluminum bar stock the same size as the insert and an aluminum block. Heat the insert from underneath with a heat gun on high until VERY warm. Hold the block firmly on top of the insert and push up/wiggle/twist from below with the bar stock. Works great. In fact I am thinking of producing kits with various sizes and the block. PM me if interested.


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    smokey_789 said:

    I use aluminum bar stock the same size as the insert and an aluminum block. Heat the insert from underneath with a heat gun on high until VERY warm. Hold the block firmly on top of the insert and push up/wiggle/twist from below with the bar stock. Works great. In fact I am thinking of producing kits with various sizes and the block. PM me if interested.

    But doesn't it just sag again in a year or so?

    I have never been able to simply mold them flat again and have them stay flat.

    The auto clear reinforces them.


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    thanks vid... yea, i don't think i'd do that without a mask...

    ok, i think i can handle leveling the playfield and dripping the clear...

    sanding it without damaging the surrounding areas might be tricky, but if i mask it off carefully, that shouldn't be too much of a problem...

    it's my understanding that the autoclears dry/harden reasonably quickly... should i sand within 24 hours? or less time/longer time?


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    vid1900 said:

    But doesn't it just sag again in a year or so?
    I have never been able to simply mold them flat again and have them stay flat.
    The auto clear reinforces them.

    I don't know yet, just started this a month or so ago. What do yo mean "sag?" The inserts I am doing are cupped due to years of ball wear. They are not actually "sagging."


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    ccotenj said:

    it's my understanding that the autoclears dry/harden reasonably quickly... should i sand within 24 hours? or less time/longer time?

    Depending on the speed of the hardener, maybe a few hours.

    If you wait too long, it becomes much harder to sand.

    Practice on a scrap of varnished wood with a dent from a ball peen hammer. You'll quickly get it.


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    smokey_789 said:

    What do yo mean "sag?" The inserts I am doing are cupped due to years of ball wear. They are not actually "sagging."

    Even New Old Stock playfields of old Williams and Bally games often have cupped inserts.

    They have never been used, so ball wear did not cup them.

    They cupped because the cheap plastic is thin.

    Latter on, most inserts had "jeweling" (those plastic rays on the back of the inserts) that reinforced the insert face and kept it from cupping or sagging.


    11 months, 3 weeks ago
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    vid1900 said:

    Depending on the speed of the hardener, maybe a few hours.
    If you wait too long, it becomes much harder to sand.
    Practice on a scrap of varnished wood with a dent from a ball peen hammer. You'll quickly get it.

    thanks... i'll stop by the dupont store tomorrow and practice on sunday...


    4 months, 2 weeks ago
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    ccotenj said:

    sanding it without damaging the surrounding areas might be tricky, but if i mask it off carefully, that shouldn't be too much of a problem...

    Just read through this thread and I'm curious how things turned out for you in the insert-leveling department. I've got a similar issue on a Jubilee I just picked up and I'm wondering how that whole masking thing worked out. If you tried it, what did you used to mask? What was your process? ...and is there anything you'd do differently?

    Thanks for your time, ccotenj.

    Quick side note: Vid is MAN!

    That is all,
    Ryan Claytor
    Elephant Eater Comics
    http://www.ElephantEater.com


    4 months, 2 weeks ago
    #

    Hey Ryan, Chris seems to be MIA at the moment. There is another thread here on pinside with a different take on filling cupped inserts. Search for UV curing resin


    4 months, 2 weeks ago
    #

    I've read several good posts and write-ups concerning the cupped inserts. I'm sure this question has been put forth, so my apologies in advance. Why not just replace them? from what I understand they do not come level so they have to be sanded to be level, but it seems like replacing them would be a solution with far better results? Once again, my apologies if I've misunderstood or simply missed the explanation concerning why correcting them is better than replacing them.


    4 months, 2 weeks ago
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    Cruzin1a said:

    Why not just replace them?

    Good question. In some situations, this is definitely a better solution, but the correct inserts are not always available.

    Many inserts have printing on them, are odd colors, or odd sizes. You can't always just buy the inserts for old EM machines that are ready to pop into the playfield. Many of them just don't exist anymore, and if the right one does, you still have the issue of putting some kind of print label or decal on them and applying a clear over them to protect the art.

    This is why leveling cupped inserts becomes a valid option and many times the ONLY option.


    4 months, 2 weeks ago
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    Thank you, I now have a better understanding of why repair is the best/only option in many cases


    4 months, 1 week ago
    #
    Pafasa said:

    Hey Ryan, Chris seems to be MIA at the moment. There is another thread here on pinside with a different take on filling cupped inserts. Search for UV curing resin

    i have emerged once more from the crypt...

    @ryan: sadly, it hasn't gotten anywhere, because i got distracted by something else... i still need to do this though... the thread on the u/v cured resin is rather interesting...

    @cruzn... wish it was that easy... although most "round white" inserts are still available (most, not all), the fact that they shot the artwork on the pf after the inserts were put in makes "replacing" them be more difficult than actually "fixing" them...



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