(Topic ID: 147783)

Bent Playfield? The Shadow

By gwynners

5 years ago


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  • 24 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by gwynners
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 5 years ago

Good morning.
This is my first Pinside post. I'm so impressed with Pinside and the online community, it's been so helpful in the whole ownership of my first pinball machine, seeking already answered solutions, reading reviews etc.

While trying to level the playfield recently, I noticed a disturbing 'bend' in the playfield.
From the 'scene' inserts down to the flippers, the playfield bends downwards about .7 degrees. Above the inserts I have it set to 6.5 degrees. The lower portion is more like 7.2.

In 6 weeks of ownership I haven't noticed it before and wonder if it was to do with having the playfield propped up for a few hours last week while fixing the phurba ramps and giving the whole playfield a good clean. Or it may have always been like this....

I've looked up playfield warping, can I sort it somehow or is it terminal for the wood?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

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#2 5 years ago

It could be, I've had games that have snapped the wooden siderails in half because of the pressure of the rod holding it up and when you looked at a playfield side view it looked disturbing at how much it flexed. I would leave it down and check it periodically. I always work on a game with the playfield resting on the service rails or propped up all the way. I'm not a fan of the prop rod as these 90s pins playfields were loaded up with heavy parts

#3 5 years ago

Hi, thanks for the response.
I didn't quite tell the whole truth, I had in fact rested it on the service rails for most of the work, very little was using the prop rod. And whenever we do prop it, we support the other side with a pitching wedge that's a perfect length! Ha ha. We too dislike the way it twists on the single prop rod.

I'd say that it may have swelled in the middle. This my hunch. But for the life of me can't think why, or how to rectify.

#4 5 years ago

What you describe is not the normal playfield warp, usually bowing towards the middle occurs, not a sudden downturn of the bottom like that. I think the way you are measuring is somehow flawed, because unless the support rails themselves have bent down, close to an inch, what you're describing seems, well... impossible! Perhaps where you are placing the level in the upper and lower halves the measurment is being scewed by minor difference in play surface which can throw off the level if not placed and read properly. I would bet your game is fine as long as the supports seem firmly in place and the playfield rests evenly all around...

#5 5 years ago

It's hard to believe it happened in a few hours, but I've certainly seen bent playfields on ones that get shoved aside for months to work on later. I'd start with replacing the cheap MDF wood rails with a stronger (oak, etc.) material as it could be one of those cracked or bent out of shape in the process. If you can't make your own I'd recommend checking with fellow Pinsider TaylorVA to see if he has a set of ReeseRails for TS:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/oak-replacement-playfield-rails-wh2o-and-taf-ready-to-ship-or-york

#6 5 years ago

I agree, it's unlikely that it happened in a few hours, it's more likely gone unnoticed to us newbies.

I hope the attached images can illustrate the fall from 6.5 to 7.2. The side rail is good in the right side and the left side seems predominantly metal from as far as I can see, though I haven't looked too closely.

Casting your eye down the side of the playfield, it looks straight. But it isn't. I'm perplexed!

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#7 5 years ago

massure wit real scale and stay of the inserts

#8 5 years ago

I'm sorry, I'm very new to all of this, can you explain what you mean?
Thank you

#9 5 years ago

Those apps are okay in a pinch but you need a tool like this to find out exactly. And make sure like Zaandam said above, your not resting on any inserts on the playfield.

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#10 5 years ago

I agree, I don't trust the apps for accuracy (ie. To get exactly 6.5 degs) , but at least they show inconsistencies on the table. I've rechecked running it on clear portions of the table with no inserts, I've run straight pieces down it as well. 100% the table is warped. Up at the sanctum I'm showing 6 degs, at the flippers 7.2. I've worked in industries where I work to fractions of millimeters and know the table isn't running flat, but don't know the cause! It's driving me nuts! Ha ha.

I appreciate all your advice, assuming it is warped, what would my options be?

Another thought I had was if the table wasn't sat right from the hinges?

Again, I'm totally a newbie to pinball, but confident in my measurements, so need to know if there are possible causes/remedies

Cheers!

#11 5 years ago

You have me curious so I tried my lock down bar in the same place as in your pics and I have the same result. Mine is about 1/16 of an inch. If I press down it will flatten, but just setting it on leaves a gap at the base. Also there is no true flat length to check because the mode inserts no matter where in the middle cross paths with the sraight edge.

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from patrickvc:

You have me curious so I tried my lock down bar in the same place as in your pics and I have the same result. Mine is about 1/16 of an inch. If I press down it will flatten, but just setting it on leaves a gap at the base. Also there is no true flat length to check because the mode inserts no matter where in the middle cross paths with the sraight edge.

That's interesting...I did it from roughly the right loop entrance diagonally to the flippers, I know its not the right plane but it has a clear run of no inserts with the same result, just to check if inserts were throwing it off. To level your playfield, where do you take your angle from, and to what degree out of interest?

Ps. Thanks for taking the time to investigate, appreciate it.

#13 5 years ago

Running along the path you described mine is pretty flat. I ran a line between beryllium sphere and the o and l mongol inserts. The only variation I find from the top down starts at beryllium sphere and by the time it reaches shoot again insert is the equivalent of the thickness of a lock down bar, slightly less. Hope I'm helping you

#14 5 years ago

I've seen similar variations when leveling my games. I'm not too concerned since I don't notice any issues with game play, and I can't detect it with my eye.

#15 5 years ago

Here's another test, let's strip the playfield both sides and put a 4 foot level on it just to be sure. You go first. Lol

#16 5 years ago

Ha ha, ummmm, no!
But I did have it up vertical and got a level on the side of the table. Definitely warped!

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#17 5 years ago

Most lockdown bars arnt perfectly straight. Dont you have a physical level? Id suggest just playing it. If it is bent youll have a hard time straightening it without damaging something.

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Most lockdown bars arnt perfectly straight. Dont you have a physical level? Id suggest just playing it. If it is bent youll have a hard time straightening it without damaging something.

I used another straight edge as well after the photo just to check it wasn't the lock down bar. Same result. The machine plays ok, but when it's over 7.2 degree at the flippers, the ball movement seems slight off, less bounce off the flippers etc. I think it's something we may have to live with?

#19 5 years ago

Id say live with it but thats just me. I would think with more incline it would move faster and bounce more. Have you tried changing the flipper rubbers?

Also in the photo of the angle in the middle at 6.5 your tablet doesn't look like its straight up and down on the playfield. If its angled to the right or left it will give a lower reading

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Id say live with it but thats just me. I would think with more incline it would move faster and bounce more. Have you tried changing the flipper rubbers?
Also in the photo of the angle in the middle at 6.5 your tablet doesn't look like its straight up and down on the playfield. If its angled to the right or left it will give a lower reading

Hi, yes we had new superbands on a few weeks ago. Also it must just be the camera angle, I did measure straight down the table.

It's definitely warped, but as you've said, we may just have to live with it!

It plays like it looks on YouTube videos and I've fine tuned it to work the best for us, whilst the sanctum is still able to work as well (very angle sensitive it seems)

Thanks for the help.

#21 5 years ago

Superbands have the least amount of bounce out of any flipper rubbers

#22 5 years ago

Ive owned and redone many b/w pins and most if not all have this result. I just use the I phone app and measure between the flippers at 6.5 -7 and everything has always played well and u cant even tell

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

Superbands have the least amount of bounce out of any flipper rubbers

That explains that one then! Thank you, I'm learning so much!

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Ive owned and redone many b/w pins and most if not all have this result. I just use the I phone app and measure between the flippers at 6.5 -7 and everything has always played well and u cant even tell

That's reassuring to hear, thank you. The one issue I'm finding is that the pitch is that much shallower at the top end and the sanctum magnet system needs a good degree of pitch to work reliably, meaning a fairly steep playfield at the flippers.

So in summary.... Keep calm and carry on!

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