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(Topic ID: 273839)

Cleaning an EM Gottlieb Sky Jump Playfield


By HydrogenHuman

88 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 23 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 88 days ago by frunch
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 88 days ago

I know Naptha is praised for being great at cleaning EMs and machines in general, but here's the thing; it is far too hazardous for my personal taste. The few times I've used it I got an instant headache throughout the day.

On top of that I'm in a enclosed basement near the gas furnace.

So my question is: Is there really no other effective way to clean a playfield without damaging it, and keeping myself safe health wise?

So far I know of alcohol and magic eraser, along with Novus 2. Are there any other possible alternatives? I just can't compromise my health and safety.

#2 88 days ago

What's the problem. Its only lighter fluid.

#3 88 days ago

What are you trying to achieve? Naphtha is great for stripping wax without stripping old clearcoat or paint. Alcohol is fairly aggressive in terms of dissolving many paints, inks and clearcoats. Novus 2 and magic eraser each do a good job of removing ground in grit because they are abrasive, especially magic eraser which is roughly equivalent to something in the neighborhood of 1200 grit sandpaper if I remember correctly.

If you’re not planning on restoring and clearcoating the playfield, stay away from alcohol and magic eraser. Basic cleaning is easily done by vaccuuming, light use of Novus 2 in heavily soiled areas followed by carnuba paste wax. Stick with Blitz or something similar with a high carnuba content and ZERO silicone content for waxing.

#4 88 days ago

Use novus 2. it's fine. people overreact about it

#5 88 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

What are you trying to achieve? Naphtha is great for stripping wax without stripping old clearcoat or paint. Alcohol is fairly aggressive in terms of dissolving many paints, inks and clearcoats. Novus 2 and magic eraser each do a good job of removing ground in grit because they are abrasive, especially magic eraser which is roughly equivalent to something in the neighborhood of 1200 grit sandpaper if I remember correctly.
If you’re not planning on restoring and clearcoating the playfield, stay away from alcohol and magic eraser. Basic cleaning is easily done by vaccuuming, light use of Novus 2 in heavily soiled areas followed by carnuba paste wax. Stick with Blitz or something similar with a high carnuba content and ZERO silicone content for waxing.

I'm looking to clear the dirt and grime off of the playfield on my Sky Jump. It has some tough areas from years and years of dirt and grime build up.

#6 88 days ago

So I tried Naptha as I explained, and I tried Novus 2, but I still wasn't getting good results for cleaning.

So I tried using the Alcohol + Magic Eraser on a spot, and it did do a great job cleaning!

However, now I have a problem. The white residue doesn't seem to disappear even when trying to remove it with Naptha. Not sure what is going on there.

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#7 88 days ago

I was able to buff it out with Novus 2, and a loooot of elbow grease, phew!

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#8 88 days ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

So I tried Naptha as I explained, and I tried Novus 2, but I still wasn't getting good results for cleaning.
So I tried using the Alcohol + Magic Eraser on a spot, and it did do a great job cleaning!
However, now I have a problem. The white residue doesn't seem to disappear even when trying to remove it with Naptha. Not sure what is going on there.
[quoted image]

Just be careful if you’re not planning to clearcoat, as my understanding is that alcohol will dissolve the lacquer coating that’s on older playfields.

#9 88 days ago
Quoted from pincity:

Just be careful if you’re not planning to clearcoat, as my understanding is that alcohol will dissolve the lacquer coating that’s on older playfields.

Yes I am trying to be cautious with it. My plan was to wax it afterward, unless that's ineffective compared to clearcoat.

The current issue I'm seeing on this machine is I think all these dark "veins" and "cracks" on the playfield is the lacquer coming apart or wearing out. You can see it on the left on the previous picture.

#10 88 days ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

So I tried Naptha as I explained, and I tried Novus 2, but I still wasn't getting good results for cleaning.
So I tried using the Alcohol + Magic Eraser on a spot, and it did do a great job cleaning!
However, now I have a problem. The white residue doesn't seem to disappear even when trying to remove it with Naptha. Not sure what is going on there.
[quoted image]

What happened is that the alcohol dissolved the old lacquer clearcoat. The sacrificial white melamine (magic eraser) got mixed with the dissolved lacquer. You didn’t remove 100% of the lacquer so it partially reset. You were able to grind it out with the lesser grit of the Novus 2. Again, if you’re not going to reclear an old game STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL. Trust me on this. You’ll regret it in a few years. Don’t ask me how I know....

#11 88 days ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

Yes I am trying to be cautious with it. My plan was to wax it afterward, unless that's ineffective compared to clearcoat.
The current issue I'm seeing on this machine is I think all these dark "veins" and "cracks" on the playfield is the lacquer coming apart or wearing out. You can see it on the left on the previous picture.

Wax will somewhat slow down but not prevent the loss of artwork after removing or reducing the lacquer with alcohol. If you play the game regularly after treating it with alcohol, you are heading down a road of eventual art loss.

#12 88 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

What happened is that the alcohol dissolved the old lacquer clearcoat. The sacrificial white melamine (magic eraser) got mixed with the dissolved lacquer. You didn’t remove 100% of the lacquer so it partially reset. You were able to grind it out with the lesser grit of the Novus 2. Again, if you’re not going to reclear an old game STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL. Trust me on this. You’ll regret it in a few years. Don’t ask me how I know....

How would I be able to remove those weird trails of dirt/grime then? Naptha doesn't seem to do anything to it, neither does Novus 2.

#13 88 days ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

How would I be able to remove those weird trails of dirt/grime then? Naptha doesn't seem to do anything to it, neither does Novus 2.

Let’s see a picture.

#14 88 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

Let’s see a picture.

Here, I took several to show what I'm seeing.

20200725_204043.jpg20200725_204052.jpg20200725_204057.jpg20200725_204105.jpg
#15 88 days ago

In cases like that, it's sometimes best to live with it. I kinda consider ball marks like those to be a sort of patina. My black knight had tons of ball swirl, but was otherwise perfect cosmetically. I didn't bother trying to scrub it all away and risk losing lacquer and paint. With black knight the swirls blended in with the art pretty nicely.

In this case, I'd call it a patina and not try too hard to get rid of it. Unless you were gonna strip the playfield and clearcoat.

#16 88 days ago

I’m sorry but you can’t clean that out. What you’re looking at is old lacquer and ink which has cracked all the way to the wood due to years of expansion and contraction. The dirt is on the wood in the cracks. If you scrubbed it enough to make a difference, you would absolutely need to reclear it and even then it wouldn’t be totally gone. My recommendation is a light cleaning with Novus 2 for surface grime. Then wax it and enjoy it. Maybe someday you’ll be ambitious to undertake a repaint, but until then forget about trying to clean that away!

#17 88 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

I’m sorry but you can’t clean that out. What you’re looking at is old lacquer and ink which has cracked all the way to the wood due to years of expansion and contraction. The dirt is on the wood in the cracks. If you scrubbed it enough to make a difference, you would absolutely need to reclear it and even then it wouldn’t be totally gone. My recommendation is a light cleaning with Novus 2 for surface grime. Then wax it and enjoy it. Maybe someday you’ll be ambitious to undertake a repaint, but until then forget about trying to clean that away!

Well, lesson learned removing the topcoat on that one spot. What should I do about that one spot since it doesn't have that protection anymore?

#18 88 days ago

You need to contact Wade Krause. Good candidate for a new playfield.

#19 88 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

I’m sorry but you can’t clean that out. What you’re looking at is old lacquer and ink which has cracked all the way to the wood due to years of expansion and contraction. The dirt is on the wood in the cracks. If you scrubbed it enough to make a difference, you would absolutely need to reclear it and even then it wouldn’t be totally gone. My recommendation is a light cleaning with Novus 2 for surface grime. Then wax it and enjoy it. Maybe someday you’ll be ambitious to undertake a repaint, but until then forget about trying to clean that away!

Also I will be honest; My intention was to clean it, do some touch up on the backglass, and just get it working nicely to then eventually trade up or sell. This will be after I enjoy it for a while of course!

#20 88 days ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

Also I will be honest; My intention was to clean it, do some touch up on the backglass, and just get it working nicely to then eventually trade up or sell. This will be after I enjoy it for a while of course!

Full disclosure: I’ve never used one - but am considering one for one of my pins. It looks like they make a playfield protector for Sky Jump. May be an option and it would give you protection on the whole playfield.

https://www.playfield-protectors.com/Home/Details/8C2RUwRqJkCqnsQP6T6sGA?categoryid=22&category=Playfield%20Protectors&name=Sky%20Jump%20%7C%201974

#21 88 days ago
Quoted from pincity:

Full disclosure: I’ve never used one - but am considering one for one of my pins. It looks like they make a playfield protector for Sky Jump. May be an option and it would give you protection on the whole playfield.
https://www.playfield-protectors.com/Home/Details/8C2RUwRqJkCqnsQP6T6sGA?categoryid=22&category=Playfield%20Protectors&name=Sky%20Jump%20%7C%201974

At this point, what is he trying to protect? Don’t tell me it’s that playfield. Enjoy the game, playfield is worn out. If you like the game, sell and find a better example.

#22 88 days ago
Quoted from pincity:

Full disclosure: I’ve never used one - but am considering one for one of my pins. It looks like they make a playfield protector for Sky Jump. May be an option and it would give you protection on the whole playfield.
https://www.playfield-protectors.com/Home/Details/8C2RUwRqJkCqnsQP6T6sGA?categoryid=22&category=Playfield%20Protectors&name=Sky%20Jump%20%7C%201974

Quoted from Electrocute:

At this point, what is he trying to protect? Don’t tell me it’s that playfield. Enjoy the game, playfield is worn out. If you like the game, sell and find a better example.

Playfield protectors for games like this work well. Games with star rollovers, not so much (slow rolling balls hang on the bottoms of the circular rollover cutouts). The protector will make it play smoothly and halt deterioration. If you want to restore it later it won’t be any harder. That said, doing nothing but wax, play and enjoy is a fine option. Looking for a new playfield or better example are good options, too. Now you know to watch out for this type of wear if you’re in the market for a clean game!

#23 88 days ago

Tons of great advice here. I don't even have all that much to add except that I've had (still have) playfields with similar or worse wear and i just clean/wax/shop out and play them. I intend to replace some pf's in the future, but for now it's all about enjoying them

Playfield protector might be worth looking into though, for the cost they seem like a worthwhile consideration.

Enjoy your Sky Jump!

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