1949 United Mfg "Utah" woodrail cleaning & project

(Topic ID: 130381)

1949 United Mfg "Utah" woodrail cleaning & project


By PinballFever

3 years ago



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  • 131 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by PinballFever
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    There are 131 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 3 years ago

    Is this forum back up fully? I hope so, it's the best.

    I'm getting ready to clean my 1949 United "Utah" playfield for the first time before waxing it and would like advice from those of you who have experience cleaning United pinball machines. It's in good condition.

    Bruce

    #2 3 years ago

    Need pics, but the less you try to "clean" it, the better.

    Naptha is usually safe, followed by a non silicone paste wax (like Blitz).

    Don't grind it down with Novus2 or get too fancy.

    New balls for sure.

    #3 3 years ago

    There's an excellent tutorial posted in another thread by Rat about playfield cleaning and waxing:

    Quoted from Rat_Tomago:

    So do I keep it on there hardened for 24 hours before I wipe it off? I am confused.
    Anyways...I just wiped off the first coat and OMG! AWESOME is an understatement! This playfield GLEAMS like a 400k Italian sports car.
    So here is my final order....
    1. 91% alcohol on Magic Eraser for ball swirls. Ring out the Magic Eraser so it is just slightly damp. Work slow 3 inch by 3 inch areas with very light pressure. Do this for no more than 5 seconds on an inconspicuous area first. Check for any paint loss. Work 3 inch by 3 inch circles for no more than 10 seconds. Immediately use a dry clean microfiber cloth to soak and dry the area just wiped. Repeat until desired results are reached and entire playfield is clean and ball swirl free. I can't emphasize this enough....Go slow as a turtle...This is not a race. If you see a yellowing lacquer on the Magic Eraser then immediately stop. If you see small chips of paint or any paint...STOP.
    2. Use a microfiber applicator and pour light amounts of Novus #2. Use this to rub down the playfield and it does a nice job of cleaning up white residue from the alcohol along with any surface ball swirls you might have missed. After it dries and hazes up use another (different) clean microfiber cloth and wipe off the dried up Novus #2.
    3. Grab a bottle of Millwax and use a clean microfiber applicator and apply liberal amounts to the playfield. Let it dry about 15-20 minutes and wipe off. You should notice a HUGE difference in the shine of your playfield. Apply a second coat of Millwax. Again wait for it to dry and haze up and then wipe off. Your playfield should be very clean and shiny.
    4. Grab a container of Blitz "One Grand" wax and a "blitz applicator sponge" they are yellow and cost a buck a piece (both available at Pinball Life's web site) Let it dry and haze up and then wipe off.
    This is as far as I have gotten and my results are beyond amazing! Don't believe me? Try it yourself on a moderately ball swirled playfield that is moderately dirty from a normal 500 plays. Everybody has what works for them but I really went the extra mile testing all this stuff out. I must of spent a week asking people what they though of all the different products
    I do like Johnson's paste wax and I would give it a B+ but Blitz is OMG an A++++ worth every penny. To quote Odin "It is The Shit"

    I would have to assume that the painted surface on your 1949 United machine is reasonably close to what I have on my 1952 Genco, and 1948 Gottlieb. The point is that a 60+ year old playfield is going to require gentle care and the fact that you report it as in good condition, suggests that you do not have to get too aggressive. Plenty of products are discussed on these forums as being kind and won't remove paint. So go slow and easy.

    I personally agree with most everything that Rat suggests, but I have found some products to be preferable (not necessarily better) and this is to be expected because we all have different expectations and tastes.

    Definitely isopropyl alcohol and ME. For a few cents more, I tend to use the 95% vs. 91% alcohol, but not a big deal. I would also suggest that you use the least aggressive ME. There are "stronger" ME products out now...no need to get that aggressive.

    You can use Naphtha or Novus2 for cleaning up the white residue and it gives the surface another swipe at cleaning

    You can use the Millwax for the next step, or, I find Gel Gloss to be a little better (in my hands). I would think that these products are very similar, anyway, that they both have cleaners and wax in them, but I find Millwax has a tendency to dry and leave a residue on a post or bracket and it is a little difficult to remove (use a tooth brush). Gel Gloss doesn't leave a residue. And, to me, it's wipe on, let sit for a few minutes, wipe off and does an impressive job in cleaning and shining.

    At this point, playfield should be nice for the final touch of a good carnuba wax and I, too, give Blitz wax a big thumbs up. It was the wax I used for many years...until 2005, when I found P21S, which has become my favorite for my cars and for my pinball machines.

    Differences? Both Blitz and P21S are high quality carnuba and give spectacular shine. I prefer P21S for these reasons:
    - softer and easier to apply.
    - it does not need a cure time. Blitz, ideally, should cure between coats. P21S is wipe on, let haze, wipe off.
    - it does not stain plastic or rubber. Blitz used to be a problem for me, particularly if I was detailing a black car and it got on some of the bumper trim. I do not know if the formulation is the same today, but I would be curious if it does still have the tendency to stain.
    - it does not attract dust the same way as Blitz. This was very noticeable on a black car, even if it was garaged, but P21S almost "repels" dust. At least on cars. On a playfield under glass it may be a moot point.
    - I think the P21S has a "wet" look, compared to Blitz. Maybe just how my eyes see it.

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from oldcarz:

    Differences? Both Blitz and P21S are high quality carnuba and give spectacular shine. I prefer P21S

    I have heard nothing but excellent things about P21S from a handful of people and look forward to trying it out. Do you have a link to this "Gel Gloss" you speak of? Is Gel Gloss found at Lowes or Home Depot?

    #5 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Need pics, but the less you try to "clean" it, the better.

    Thanks vid! I thought about posting this question in your playfield restoration thread because of your excellent advice but decided to add a new topic after considering that United machines are different. Was hoping another United pinball owner might share cleaning and waxing advice here.

    I agree, I want to keep it as original as possible and to do this right because this is a "one time shot" at cleaning the playfield which hasn't been cleaned in years. Here are pics. Will post close ups later today or this evening.

    I'm ordering new balls from PBR for this game. I played one or two games as a test to be sure everything worked then turned it off. Don't want to play it again until it's been properly cleaned and waxed to preserve the playfield.

    Btw I have ME and alcohol but I'm afraid to use it due to it's abrasive properties. Also have used ZEP Citrus Degreaser but again it might be too "harsh" for this almost 70 year old machine.

    UTAH Playfield 2.jpg

    One closeup of the flipper area, will take and post closeups of the other playfield areas.

    UTAH Pinball Flippers.JPG

    #6 3 years ago
    Quoted from oldcarz:

    There's an excellent tutorial posted in another thread by Rat about playfield cleaning and waxing:

    I've been reading that thread but decided to get further advice. This is a pretty old machine and United may have used different methods for painting their playfields.

    Quoted from oldcarz:

    Plenty of products are discussed on these forums as being kind and won't remove paint. So go slow and easy.

    Great advice oldcarz, that's what I want to do.

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rat_Tomago:

    I have heard nothing but excellent things about P21S from a handful of people and look forward to trying it out. Do you have a link to this "Gel Gloss" you speak of? Is Gel Gloss found at Lowes or Home Depot?

    I got mine at Ace Hardware near me: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3171761

    Not sure if it's at Lowe's or Home Depot.

    Good luck

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Btw I have ME and alcohol but I'm afraid to use it due to it's abrasive properties. Also have used ZEP Citrus Degreaser but again it might be too "harsh" for this almost 70 year old machine.

    I'd totally skip the ME and the alcohol.

    You have some bare wood exposed with wear and if the wood gets alcohol soaked into it, it can swell causing the paint to flake.

    Vacuum away any abrasive dust.

    Carefully wipe up any dirt with Naphtha on a soft cloth. Keep changing to a clean section of the cloth.

    Wax with Blitz. Avoid any silicone based (liquid) "waxes".

    Put your new balls in.

    -
    Carefully watch for any new flaking paint!

    #9 3 years ago

    I have to agree with Vid on this one. Less is best on this 70 year old title with ball wear spots.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from oldcarz:

    I got mine at Ace Hardware near me: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3171761
    Not sure if it's at Lowe's or Home Depot.
    Good luck

    Just picked up a 16oz bottle at Lowes. I plan to use some on my bathroom tub that needs a re-glazing badly first. I am going to try it on my 64 Ship Mates sometime this weekend. I am pretty sure the ME and 91 ISO ate up the reamining clear on it. (big mistake on part) live and learn. I wish I had seen some of Vids illustrations of what original clear looks like on a piece of ME.

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rat_Tomago:

    I am pretty sure the ME and 91 ISO ate up the reamining clear on it. (big mistake on part) live and learn.

    That's generally what I use it for, to remove the old topcoat, and thus prep it for a new clearcoat.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/19#post-1762257

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Wax with Blitz. Avoid any silicone based (liquid) "waxes".

    How about Johnson's wax?

    Took the glass off for pics of the playfield. Vote to keep it "original" and clean/wax or should it be touched up? I'm leaning towards keeping it original.

    UTAH Playfield top.jpg

    UTAH Playfield upper.jpg

    UTAH Playfield lower.jpg

    UTAH Playfield bottom.jpg

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Carefully wipe up any dirt with Naphtha on a soft cloth.

    I see "Naphtha" mentioned many times here. Which one do you recommend? There's one I see at Lowe's but not sure if it's the right one.

    #14 3 years ago

    Johnson's Paste wax is fine IMHO. I would give it a B+. Blitz I give an A+. Put some Johnson's on it and see how it looks. You can always clean off the wax if you don't like it. Wax 1/4th of it or half of it first. Try the bottom area between the flippers and the ball arch area. If it looks good then keep going and put on 2-3 coats of Johnsons.

    #15 3 years ago

    Me? I'd ask Steve Young at PBR and follow his advice. What ever you rub on it you will likely only get one shot at it without an option of 'oops let me try that other one.

    My existing 1947 Singapore paint was dry and thirsty for what ever I put on it.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    I see "Naphtha" mentioned many times here. Which one do you recommend? There's one I see at Lowe's but not sure if it's the right one.

    It usually says VM&P Naphtha (Varnish Makers & Painters Naphtha) in a metal can.

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Took the glass off for pics of the playfield. Vote to keep it "original" and clean/wax or should it be touched up? I'm leaning towards keeping it original.

    I love that giant cock and balls in the art!

    Wax it up, and play it.

    If you love it and play it all the time, you might think about a touch up and clear coat.

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I love that giant cock and balls in the art!

    I didn't see that until you brought it up!

    Quoted from vid1900:

    Wax it up, and play it.
    If you love it and play it all the time, you might think about a touch up and clear coat.

    Will do, your advice is much appreciated, vid.

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    I didn't see that until you brought it up!

    Er, sorry about that.......

    #20 3 years ago

    Leave the PF original. No clearcoat or touchup. Light clean and wax.

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Er, sorry about that.......

    No need to be sorry..... maybe it's some kind of "subliminal advertising".

    Quoted from jjpm:

    Leave the PF original. No clearcoat or touchup. Light clean and wax.

    I do like the PF original. It makes the game more like a "museum piece".

    The cabinet doesn't look too bad for it's age. I'm thinking about cleaning it first then maybe touching it up later.

    DSC_0909.jpg

    DSC_0919.jpg

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    maybe it's some kind of "subliminal advertising".

    Nah, pinball designers don't do that kind of thing.

    magic city.jpg
    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Nah, pinball designers don't do that kind of thing.

    Neither do car designers.

    tik7ukunfnzaflav9bq7.jpg

    #24 3 years ago

    vid, oldcarz, rat, Steve and jjpm- you guys are the best. Thanks!

    I will most likely use naphtha to clean the playfield as suggested then wax it.

    Caddyshack Awesome.jpeg

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Neither do car designers.

    Or those that make movies for children.

    mermaid-vhs.jpg WTF.jpeg

    #26 3 years ago

    PinballFever what ever you choose to do please let us know what product you used and how it went.
    Thanks.

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from SteveFury:

    please let us know what product you used and how it went.

    Steve- Good idea, I'll post here how it went with before/after pics as soon as I do it. I'm waiting until I'm better from a bad cough, throat etc. Doctor's orders to rest for a while.

    #28 3 years ago

    Feel better! I had what you had and it had me sick for 3 weeks.

    #29 3 years ago

    Thanks! I finally gave up and went to urgent care after two sleepless nights of coughing.

    Nyquil is useless. Had to get an RX for narcotic cough syrup....

    1 week later
    #30 3 years ago

    Took about a week or so but the bad cough is gone and I'm back to normal.

    That product seems to be "banned" here (same as in California). Is this good?

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klean-Strip-1-pt-Paint-Thinner-PA12779/203713853?keyword=naphtha

    Thanks guys. I'm ready to get this game cleaned up.

    #31 3 years ago

    Hell no.

    That will soften and remove the paint from your playfield.

    Is Lighter Fluid or "white gas" camping fuel banned?

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    That will soften and remove the paint from your playfield.

    I'll see if I can order it online. How about either of these two products?

    amazon.com link »

    amazon.com link »

    #33 3 years ago

    You should be able to get VM&P Naphtha at Ace or Lowe's for a fraction of that price. (I did)

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    I'll see if I can order it online. How about either of these two products?

    Yep, those are good (except the prices).

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Neither do car designers.

    Hey! I have drove one of those.

    #36 3 years ago

    I ordered it and will start as soon as it arrives. Can't wait to start!

    Quoted from oldcarz:

    ou should be able to get VM&P Naphtha at Ace or Lowe's for a fraction of that price. (I did)

    It's "illegal" here in Utah and California.

    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=24832

    #37 3 years ago

    Please let me repeat what the others have said.

    Work small sections at a time. Work with a clean section of your rag (they collect soil right away) and *constantly check your rag or ME for signs of removed paint. If you see hints of paint then STOP and move to a different section.

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from SteveFury:

    Work small sections at a time. Work with a clean section of your rag (they collect soil right away) and *constantly check your rag or ME for signs of removed paint. If you see hints of paint then STOP and move to a different section.

    Will do just what you suggested. Thanks Steve.

    BTW I've never used naphtha but it's most likely not safe to breathe the vapors. Is it ok to use it inside the room with windows open and large fan blowing it away from me?

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Will do just what you suggested. Thanks Steve.
    BTW I've never used naphtha but it's most likely not safe to breathe the vapors. Is it ok to use it inside the room with windows open and large fan blowing it away from me?

    I never had any vapor problems with it. I'd put the fan in the window blowing towards the outside. Make sure no lit pilot lights (gas water heater etc) are near.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from SteveFury:

    I never had any vapor problems with it.

    Ok. I became nauseous and almost lost my dinner after breathing the ZEP Citrus Degreaser fumes while cleaning with it. Started using a fan with it and the windows open.

    On a side note. Should I change the topic to include "project" and post updates here as I do the whole game? The information may be beneficial to other United pinball owners.

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Ok. I became nauseous and almost lost my dinner after breathing the ZEP Citrus Degreaser fumes while cleaning with it. Started using a fan with it and the windows open.
    On a side note. Should I change the topic to include "project" and post updates here as I do the whole game? The information may be beneficial to other United pinball owners.

    I would if it were me.

    2 months later
    #42 3 years ago
    Quoted from SteveFury:

    PinballFever said:
    Ok. I became nauseous and almost lost my dinner after breathing the ZEP Citrus Degreaser fumes while cleaning with it. Started using a fan with it and the windows open.
    On a side note. Should I change the topic to include "project" and post updates here as I do the whole game? The information may be beneficial to other United pinball owners.
    I would if it were me.

    I'm back to working on the machine and I've changed the topic as Steve suggests.

    Playfield is stripped except for the 4 pop bumpers.

    The pop bumper caps seem to be held on with a (I forget the name of it) pin. Do you have to remove the complete assembly to be able to access this pin?

    The pop bumper skirts seem chewed up. I'll call PBR tomorrow and see if Steve has new ones. Any other sources for these skirts?

    It looks like I should get mylar for underneath the bumpers to protect that area?

    I assume I'll need to remove the bolts and unsolder to be able to remove the bumpers. Any advice or caution I should heed?

    Thanks,
    Bruce

    20150927_171242.jpg

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    (I forget the name of it) pin

    cotter pin or split pin

    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Do you have to remove the complete assembly to be able to access this pin?

    Nope. Just bend the tines back together underneath the cap and pull the pin out. You'll need to remove the cap to access the screws holding the bumper body to the playfield anyway.

    Quoted from PinballFever:

    The pop bumper skirts seem chewed up. I'll call PBR tomorrow and see if Steve has new ones.

    yes, they're chewed up, and yes Steve has them:

    http://www.pbresource.com/pfbumpb.htm#skirts

    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Any other sources for these skirts?

    Probably, but PBR has them...

    Quoted from PinballFever:

    It looks like I should get mylar for underneath the bumpers to protect that area?

    Lots of folks do.

    Quoted from PinballFever:

    I assume I'll need to remove the bolts and unsolder to be able to remove the bumpers.

    Should be two screws holding the bumper body to the playfield. Two hex nuts attaching the yoke to the ring posts. And then unsolder the bulb socket leads.

    #44 3 years ago

    That's it. Been a long time since I heard that name.

    Quoted from DirtFlipper:

    Just bend the tines back together underneath the cap and pull the pin out

    I don't seem to be able to see or access the tines underneath the caps. It's like they're inside something. Please advise.

    This seems a rather shoddy way for United Mfg to attach the pop bumper caps and they seem rather loose like that.

    Thanks for the help, Dirt.
    Bruce

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    I don't seem to be able to see or access the tines underneath the caps. It's like they're inside something.

    Picture?

    #46 3 years ago

    Will try to get good pictures of it after work today.

    Bruce

    #47 3 years ago

    I used to put non adhesive mylar underneath pop bumpers but after reading that Clay thinks they do more damage than not having, I now only use if I want to cover up the area i.e one of my games has been touched in around pop bumpers and will use the mylar to 'hide' this due to it's reflective qualities.

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    DirtFlipper said:
    Picture?
    Will try to get good pictures of it after work today.

    Got the caps off. The cotter pin tines were inside the metal ring so I moved the metal rings down to access them.

    20150928_191248.jpg

    I've never removed pop bumper caps before. What is the order you should do this? Unsolder first or unscrew the pop bumper bodies and the yoke nuts?

    20150928_192532.jpg

    Thanks again,
    Bruce

    #49 3 years ago

    Looking at the pop bumper photo. It looks like I can remove the yoke nuts on bottom playfield then unsolder the bulb socket inside the pop bumper body then unscrew the pop bumper body?

    If so how do you unsolder the bulb socket without burning the pop bumper body?

    Bruce

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    I used to put non adhesive mylar underneath pop bumpers but after reading that Clay thinks they do more damage than not having

    Thanks for chiming in Shapeshifter! I've seen many of your posts and woodrail topics.

    Do you think this game doesn't need mylar around the pop bumpers?

    Btw, it plays great and I like the action while playing it. I plan to post a gameplay video of the game after it's cleaned up.

    Bruce

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