(Topic ID: 37068)

annoying micro cracks in playfield

By pinballcz

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by RWH
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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#1 6 years ago

i am in a process of refurbishing Swords of Fury.
The playfield is worn out hard.
it has a lot of micro cracks and i am unable to remove them.
Tried naphtha, goo gone, magic erasers, wax, 600 sand paper, everything.
Only 600 sand paper works a little, but it is tricky, it is very easy to sand down paint completely.
Can you give me advice how to remove these micro cracks?
Cracks near inserts are no problem for me, i can repair this, but these 3mm micro cracks full of dirt everywhere on playfield are really annoying.
EDIT: sorry for bad pictures. captured with 3MP potato

#2 6 years ago

Magic Eraser is the way to remove them with maximum 70% alcool. You must pass slowly the magic eraser for a very long time in the same place, maybe for 5-10 minutes to see the difference. Clean often the white residue and check carefully the artwork.

#3 6 years ago

I use magic eraser with rubbing alcohol (91%) but be advised, you're not really removing those ball swirls; you are merely cleaning them out. The only way you can truely remove them is to sand and then you risk taking paint off to the point you may be forced to restore entire field. So long as you clean them out as best you can, regularly clean and wax the playfield, you should be fine.

#4 6 years ago
Quoted from HPR:

Magic Eraser is the way to remove them with maximum 70% alcool. You must pass slowly the magic eraser for a very long time in the same place, maybe for 5-10 minutes to see the difference. Clean often the white residue and check carefully the artwork.

I think you meant 70% minimum. I go 91 if you can find it.

#5 6 years ago

Hi, i dont have these magic erasers, these are very hard to get here in the Czech Republic. I had one and i used the rest. Now i have to wait a week before shipment from UK will arrive.

#6 6 years ago

You have a very nice collection! Good luck with the restoration

#7 6 years ago
Quoted from Whridlsoncestood:

I think you meant 70% minimum. I go 91 if you can find it.

No i mean 70% maximum, more than that it is too rough on the playfied and it will remove paint more easily. Using alcool instead of water is because alcool dry fast and less damage is done to the playfield because the humidity.

#8 6 years ago

guys what do you think, clearcoat this or not?
I live in apartment and i dont have an opportunity to spray it with gun using varathane(these clearcoats are very hard to get in the Czech Republic).
I can only clearcoat it with transparent acrylic lacquer in spray.
Give it a go with acrylic lacquer?
I think i will have to in the end, because of too much touch ups with acrylic paints
Pls share your opinions.

#9 6 years ago

You need to watch some of Jeri Ellsworth "how to" vids on youtube. She clearcoats with varathane in rattle cans. Good Luck. Jeff

#10 6 years ago

So you dont suggest transparent acrylic at all? i know it gets yellow in time, but after 15-20 years maybe?
I can buy varathane spray can here, but for 25 $ i get 200 ml can. Riddiculous!!!

#11 6 years ago

Not even 15 years. Sometimes it's yellowing in a single year.

Find an auto shop that can shoot a real clear coat.

#12 6 years ago

It's hard to tell for sure because your camera isn't well focused, but based on what I see I would choose to polish it carefully with carnauba wax rather than clearcoat it. Once the game has a nice very nice layer of wax, you've considerably slowed any further damage to the paint. Then you can take your time planning a more perfect restoration with clearcoat in the future.

Maybe in the future you'll have a better opportunity to clean out the cracks without damaging the playfield. Anything you do to clean out the cracks should be followed with an automotive clearcoat as vid1900 suggested above. If you're going to use sandpaper on the playfield, I believe 600 grit is too rough. If you can find a store that sells auto-body materials, they should carry grits of 1000 and up. Using 1000 grit I can clear the high spots, and then follow-up with wax and get a very high gloss finish.

#13 6 years ago

rancegt thanks for your input.
But SoF playfield is very damaged and i think 20% of playfield is touched up by acrylic colors. So it is not an option for me. Acrylic paint would wear if playfield stays unprotected. I need to "coat" this acrylic if i want to assemble the machine and play.
What would you suggest?
edit: Its not a camera, it is 8 years old 3MP potato
I am still waiting for these "magic erasers" to arrive from UK

#14 6 years ago

Magic erasers with alcohol seem to be the best approach for micro cracks/ball swirl marks. Be very careful, and very patient. You still might not be able to get the area 100% clean, but you should be able to get at least an 80% improvement.

There's more detail here:

#15 6 years ago

That looks very similar to what we used to call "crazing" when painting lacquer in the 70s-80s on cars.
If it had been touched up with lacquer colors and lacquer CC back then it would be shrinking up and crazing by now. IF so...your only hope would be to clean the cracks as well as you can (maybe alcohol), then wet sand the surface smooth with fine sandpaper being careful to not sand thru the clear. You might even have to use a strong shop vac while wet sanding to make sure the sanding debris does not get back into the fine cracks.
Finally, you will have to decide if you want to (1) polish the surface smooth with a buffer and quit right there or (2) take a chance on shooting verethane or some other CC material over it that will not react with the lacquer so that the cracks will be filled in leaving you with a smooth surface to work with.
If you do put a layer of verethane, clear or whatever over it with no problem I would highly recommend doing a wet sand on that after it sets so that you can put a final coat of your clearcoat over that surface. The final coat will flow quite evenly over the initial coat and hopefully will give you the surface you are trying to get.
Keep in mind these are just tricks from an old car painter since we used to encounter these compatibility problems. New agents may have eliminated these problems for all I know. You can check with your local automotive paint supplier, and I would strongly advise you to take the playfield in for them to look at. They are the experts on finishes if you can find an old timer who remembers these problems still working there.

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from pinballcz:

I live in apartment

For a man w/ 33 pins... thats one helluva a apartment!

#17 6 years ago

Or you could just make it a mylar covering, like all the ones still in good condition had from the factory.

#18 6 years ago

It is probably 36-38 pins, i lost count But most of them are my friend's, who doesnt speak English, so i am taking care of this business on Internet. But he lives in apartment too. Pins are in rented game room. 36 pins at 4 room apartment is unreal

#19 6 years ago

i found a car shop that is spraying 2K system clearcoats, 10km away from me. GOOOOD

#20 6 years ago

Poor playfield.
What you suggest to do with wear near inserts to the wood? Acrylics?


#21 6 years ago
Quoted from pinballcz:

Poor playfield.
What you suggest to do with wear near inserts to the wood? Acrylics?

Wear close to the inserts is often caused by the insert either raising or lowering and creating a step for the ball. If that's happened here, make sure you fix it before you paint or the wear will return.

Come to think of it, you might want to read through this whole thread from Vid and then come back with questions.

#22 6 years ago

all the inserts were removed. Some of them were put back then, leveled and glued.
Thanks for the restoration topic link.
I know how to fix these inserts, but i dont know how to touch nearby area. If put a glue on wood, level it and then paint? or paint on the wood directly?
Ehen i tried to do some touch ups with acrylics, brush leaves visibly brush marks there, and i am scared of it.

#23 6 years ago

You probably are going to have some brush marks but if you do the lines etc. with a script liner brush and thin paint it should come out decent.

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