(Topic ID: 137689)

Cleaning and Waxing Pinball Machines - Vid's Guide

By vid1900

6 years ago


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  • Latest reply 76 days ago by pinballinreno
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    There are 1952 posts in this topic. You are on page 21 of 40.
    #1001 4 years ago
    Quoted from mystman12:

    I'm about ready to wax my Stargate playfield again, mainly because I have the ramps out to get them welded back together. I'm going to buy some Novus 1, but I did want to know, how can I tell if it's safe to use? I'm pretty sure the clearcoat is still intact (I can see *plenty* of ball swirls!) so does that mean I'm good to go? (I don't want use Naphtha because I don't want to remove the old wax and I'm not going to do nearly as deep a clean as I did the first time.)

    i believe Novus 1 doesn't harm anything, it has no abrasives in it. But wait for someone more knowledgeable to confirm this.

    #1002 4 years ago
    Quoted from mystman12:

    I'm about ready to wax my Stargate playfield again, mainly because I have the ramps out to get them welded back together. I'm going to buy some Novus 1, but I did want to know, how can I tell if it's safe to use? I'm pretty sure the clearcoat is still intact (I can see *plenty* of ball swirls!) so does that mean I'm good to go? (I don't want use Naphtha because I don't want to remove the old wax and I'm not going to do nearly as deep a clean as I did the first time.)

    Novus1 is fine, but you might only need to vacuum and then rewax.

    If nothing is "stuck" to the playfield that you want to remove, then you don't really need to use a solvent.

    #1003 4 years ago
    Quoted from wxforecaster:

    I didn't want to read this entire thing again LOL!!! What are you guys using to apply naptha and your wax??? Micro fiber cloths for both??
    I used to use ratty old cotton white Ts, but apparently that's a no no.

    Old T-shirt, old white sock....anything soft and cotton will be fine.

    #1004 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Old T-shirt, old white sock....anything soft and cotton will be fine.

    What about your warning against using items exposed to fabric softener? That should be avoided, right?

    #1005 4 years ago

    Avoid things that contain silicone.

    It's just like when you get those real Egyptian Cotton towels for Christmas, and you wife put's them in the dryer with one of those waxy sheets.

    They will NEVER absorb water like new again.

    #1006 4 years ago

    Darn it... My mom did all my towels with everything else. And of course she used fabric softener.

    Can I just run them through the wash without fabric softener before I use them to wax? Or should I buy new ones? Or, am I overreacting and is it okay to use them as they are?

    #1007 4 years ago
    Quoted from mystman12:

    Can I just run them through the wash without fabric softener before I use them to wax? Or should I buy new ones? Or, am I overreacting and is it okay to use them as they are?

    If you need rags just to apply wax, you are probably OK.

    If you need rags to clean before you spray clearcoat, you should probably buy new rags at the paint store.

    #1008 4 years ago

    I'm not going to be doing any clearcoat any time soon, just using a little bit of Novus #1 where necessary. So that's fine?

    #1009 4 years ago

    Yes, should be fine.

    #1010 4 years ago

    I just got a nib stern Metallica. I've been told that the playfield does not need actual "waxing" and that cleaning it with Novus 1 is all that is needed because of the factory clear coat.
    Just wanted to make sure this is right. Any thoughts for a noob?

    #1011 4 years ago
    Quoted from facelift:

    I just got a nib stern Metallica. I've been told that the playfield does not need actual "waxing" and that cleaning it with Novus 1 is all that is needed because of the factory clear coat.

    Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha, that's great material.

    #1012 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha, that's great material.

    It wasn't a joke. I'm dead serious.
    Before I got it I did buy some P21S carnauba wax (is it good) ?
    If I should be waxing and it's a decent wax, I'll try waxing.
    Thanks.

    #1013 4 years ago
    Quoted from facelift:

    I've been told that the playfield does not need actual "waxing" and that cleaning it with Novus 1 is all that is needed because of the factory clear coat

    This of course was from the people that sell playfields.

    Kinda like the car salesman who tells you that you never have to change the oil because its synthetic!

    #1014 4 years ago
    Quoted from facelift:

    It wasn't a joke. I'm dead serious.
    Before I got it I did buy some P21S carnauba wax (is it good) ?
    If I should be waxing and it's a decent wax, I'll try waxing.
    Thanks.

    Yes, wax often, replace your balls often = happy pinball playfield.

    P21S is fine.

    1 week later
    #1015 4 years ago

    Apologies if this was covered in the 21 pages and I missed it, but...

    What kind of buffer/polisher is recommended for using with polishing compounds to remove ball tracks and other heavy traffic area wear?

    I think I read random orbital is best, but also saw several mentions of the drill shank pads and kits like the treasure cove pads.

    This is something that I'd be using during shop job with full topside tear down of the pf.

    Thanks!

    #1016 4 years ago

    Porter-Cable 7424XP 6" is much loved if you have the topside torn down.

    q (resized).jpg

    #1017 4 years ago

    FWIW, buy S100. It's EXACTLY the same thing as P21S, at like half the cost. It's a branding thing (marketing genius if I may say so). Much like the way many of Aldi's products are name brand food products, at a fraction of the price, relabeled to cater to a different demographic. Anyways, same container, same top, same 100% white carnauba, with a different removable label and branded instruction card under the cap.

    #1018 4 years ago
    Quoted from wxforecaster:

    Much like the way many of Aldi's products are name brand food products, at a fraction of the price

    I have had some of those fraction of the price food products that taste like shit.

    #1019 4 years ago
    Quoted from mamawaldee:

    How about naptha for cleaning up mildew?

    Your posts are breaking my heart. Don't just think of this as an issue of moisture. It's more an issue of relative humidity. Most molds need high rh to grow. There's two ways of reducing rh. Remove moisture and increase the temperature. Increasing the temperature increases the amount of moisture the air can hold, while lowers the rh (assuming you don't have an endless supply of moisture). I'm convinced most dehumidifiers are effective not because they remove moisture, but because they generate heat. Find a way of increasing the temperature and circulation around your machines. Even keeping incandescent bulbs on in the basement may help. If your water heater is in the basement and is in a closet or room, make sure it is open to air flow (they generate plenty of heat, as does your furnace).

    #1020 4 years ago

    I've got a Space Mission that's about to get a long overdue cleaning. Based on what I've read in the last 21 pages - vacuum, naptha, novus 1, blitz wax. If I do paint touch-ups on the spots that are down to bare wood or replace any of the inserts - will waxing be enough to protect it? Or should clear coat be considered?

    #1021 4 years ago
    Quoted from fiberdude120:

    I have had some of those fraction of the price food products that taste like shit.

    this is true! many of their products, like the generics at any grocery chain are homegrown and terrible. definitely takes some testing and label reading to figure out what is good stuff rebranded and what is a generic knockoff.

    #1022 4 years ago
    Quoted from ekm92:

    If I do paint touch-ups on the spots that are down to bare wood - will waxing be enough to protect it?

    No.

    You already know that the spots are HIGH WEAR areas, so your paint will quickly wear off.

    #1023 4 years ago

    Mylar may be an alternative to clear coat for home use play. Enamel paints are a bit stronger but still will need additional protection in most cases

    #1024 4 years ago

    Question, is there a way to restore rampflaps. Mine are beginning to rust. I can polish them but how do i get them the blue/black color again. These are popped to the ramp any easy way to do this

    #1025 4 years ago
    Quoted from PeterG:

    Question, is there a way to restore rampflaps. Mine are beginning to rust. I can polish them but how do i get them the blue/black color again. These are popped to the ramp any easy way to do this

    They make a steel blackener that chemically reacts to the steel surface. Then you can lacquer it up to protect it.

    #1026 4 years ago

    Yep gunshops have gun bluing chemicals.

    Or just buy new stainless ones.

    #1027 4 years ago

    Ok buy new ones, how to remove the old rivet, drill them out? And install a new one, is there tooling for that.

    #1028 4 years ago
    Quoted from PeterG:

    Ok buy new ones, how to remove the old rivet, drill them out? And install a new one, is there tooling for that.

    Drill them out. All of the equipment you need is here http://www.pinrestore.com/Riveting.html

    #1029 4 years ago
    Quoted from PeterG:

    Ok buy new ones, how to remove the old rivet, drill them out? And install a new one, is there tooling for that.

    Rivet removal :

    Rivet installation:

    1 month later
    #1031 4 years ago

    I'm cleaning up my F-14 and decided to leave the Mylar. There is the good old strip between the pilots that doesn't have Mylar. Is there a way to clean it to get it close to the Mylar areas? I've tried Novus 2 and saw a suggestion of using alcohol but that didn't help and now I'm drunk. I don't want to damage the strip and if that's the way it is that's fine as the wire forms hide it a bit. There may be a layer of wax that's preventing cleaning? Don't want to leave it and wax and then find out I could have made it better. There are a couple small areas in the inlanes also.

    IMG_0750 (resized).JPG

    2 weeks later
    #1032 4 years ago

    I have a tin of Trewax I have been using for years. Anyone else? Seems like a good wax. It's a clear paste wax. It claims to be "buffable with carnauba".

    #1033 4 years ago
    Quoted from newmanoconnor:

    I bought this stuff and it doesn't seem to go on the wheel very well, I expected it to be softer but its very hard and waxy and flaky.
    Im betting I just still don't know what im doing...

    Not sure if this was answered but i microwave my wax for 10 seconds or so.

    1 week later
    #1034 4 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Hey vid, I have been using Blitz since you strongly recomended it and it works great! Only problem is how do you get that stubborn lid off that darn plastic container? It gets tighter every time I put it back on.

    I know this is a very old thread, but a great one!

    I'm hoping I can make a bit of a contribution. I managed to find some Blitz here: http://www.calcarcover.com/product/29/34/One_Grand_Blitz_Carnauba_Wax_12_oz_Wax_Jar

    I figured that the people complaining about the tub being hard to open were just people who didn't eat their Wheaties, until the thing showed up. The best way I can describe it is that the wax was poured into the tub as a hot liquid, in a factory just below Pikes Peak at around 9000 feet of elevation. By the time it got to my house about a hundred feet above sea level, the lid was sucked in so far that it actually deformed and stretched the plastic. It took me a good 5 minutes to actually get the top off, and had it gone any further, I was about to poke a hole in the plastic to let the pressure equalize.

    After that, the threads on one or both parts of the tub were deformed, so it wasn't really going to work for long-term storage.

    Coincidentally, shortly thereafter the missus and I were on a mission at Target, and I popped into the "food storage" section and found this little guy for around $2.50:

    2017-04-11 14.50.08 (resized).jpg

    It's plastic, so it won't break when I drop it.

    I was able to remove the labels from the original Blitz tub and put them on the new container, so it won't get lost in the shuffle.

    2017-04-11 14.50.03 (resized).jpg

    And here it is in working configuration:

    2017-04-11 14.50.17 (resized).jpg

    I hope someone can find this useful. This is all I have to contribute, thanks so much Vid for a great thread!

    #1035 4 years ago

    ^^ nice ^^

    #1036 4 years ago
    Quoted from SunMonkeyAZ:

    I'm cleaning up my F-14 and decided to leave the Mylar. There is the good old strip between the pilots that doesn't have Mylar. Is there a way to clean it to get it close to the Mylar areas? I've tried Novus 2 and saw a suggestion of using alcohol but that didn't help and now I'm drunk. I don't want to damage the strip and if that's the way it is that's fine as the wire forms hide it a bit. There may be a layer of wax that's preventing cleaning? Don't want to leave it and wax and then find out I could have made it better. There are a couple small areas in the inlanes also.

    Every f14 looks like that with the green half circle.

    Nothing will fix it, so just wax and Pull Up, Pull Up!

    1 month later
    #1037 4 years ago

    Theres a reason this is a sticky. Had a flash i picked up last week. Was somewhat dirty, but a good wipedown with nap, and a coat of wax later, it shines bright!

    20170522_220827 (resized).jpg

    20170522_220839 (resized).jpg

    20170522_220750 (resized).jpg

    20170522_220812 (resized).jpg

    #1038 4 years ago

    That's a nice condition Flash!

    Usually they are worn to the wood...

    #1039 4 years ago

    Thanks! I thought so to. Need to level out some inserts, touch up a few spots, but itll be ready to go to next convention.

    #1040 4 years ago

    Okay, so I started waxing my playfield, but something weird is happening. I vacuumed and wiped over the playfield with a dry cloth, and used Novus 1 on a few really dirty spots. Now that I've started waxing however, there is a lot of dirt coming up onto the cloth I'm waxing with. I tried using Novus 1 in a nearby spot, but hardly anything comes up. The playfield also doesn't look dirty. I'm waxing with 1 Grand and a drop of water just like you instructed. Should I just continue waxing like this, or should I do something else before waxing?

    #1041 4 years ago
    Quoted from mystman12:

    Okay, so I started waxing my playfield, but something weird is happening. I vacuumed and wiped over the playfield with a dry cloth, and used Novus 1 on a few really dirty spots. Now that I've started waxing however, there is a lot of dirt coming up onto the cloth I'm waxing with. I tried using Novus 1 in a nearby spot, but hardly anything comes up. The playfield also doesn't look dirty. I'm waxing with 1 Grand and a drop of water just like you instructed. Should I just continue waxing like this, or should I do something else before waxing?

    Maybe the new wax dissolves the old wax and picks up the dirt that's in there in the process.

    #1042 4 years ago
    Quoted from lb1:

    the new wax dissolves the old wax and picks up the dirt that's in there in the process.

    Yep.

    #1043 4 years ago
    Quoted from mystman12:

    Okay, so I started waxing my playfield, but something weird is happening. I vacuumed and wiped over the playfield with a dry cloth, and used Novus 1 on a few really dirty spots. Now that I've started waxing however, there is a lot of dirt coming up onto the cloth I'm waxing with. I tried using Novus 1 in a nearby spot, but hardly anything comes up. The playfield also doesn't look dirty. I'm waxing with 1 Grand and a drop of water just like you instructed. Should I just continue waxing like this, or should I do something else before waxing?

    You are fine, that's just the old wax being dissolved by the the new wax.

    #1044 4 years ago

    Hey Vid, I just picked up an X-Files, and it needs a good cleaning. I was wondering what your advice is for this area. There is a large X decal over some inserts and some mylar half circles by the pops. As you can see from the pictures, the decal has worn away a bit at the edges and dirt has gotten stuck there, likely in the adhesive at the edge. Also, there is some dirt on the edge of the mylar. I would like to clean as best I can, but I don't want to have the decal peel. What would you use for this area and around the mylar to clean the best you can without causing damage? Thanks in advance!
    XF Dirt 4 (resized).JPG
    XF Dirt 3 (resized).JPGXF Dirt 2 (resized).JPGXF Dirt 1 (resized).JPG

    #1045 4 years ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    There is a large X decal over some inserts and some mylar half circles by the pops.

    It looks like there is cracking between the large X insert in the playfield, and the surrounding wood.

    Post a pic with a straight edge over that X, and a light shining from behind the edge.

    You may have to glue the X from under the playfield if it is loose or raised.

    Once the X is secured, you could use a syringe to CAREFULLY apply 2PAC along the crack.

    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Also, there is some dirt on the edge of the mylar. I would like to clean as best I can, but I don't want to have the decal peel. What would you use for this area and around the mylar to clean the best you can without causing damage?

    You can sometimes cut 1/2 way through the Mylar, just a mm behind the damage, then peel off the damaged part.

    Myself, I would not worry about the dirt along the edge of the Mylar. Even if you cut back to the undamaged part, it will happen again to the fresh edge over time.

    On playfields with a nice clearcoat, you could just replace the entire Mylars every few years, but on that 20 year old surface, it could be dicey to remove it.

    #1046 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    It looks like there is cracking between the large X insert in the playfield, and the surrounding wood.
    Post a pic with a straight edge over that X, and a light shining from behind the edge.
    You may have to glue the X from under the playfield if it is loose or raised.
    Once the X is secured, you could use a syringe to CAREFULLY apply 2PAC along the crack.

    The X does appear to have separated, but it is not loose or raised. I've attached some pics as requested. I'm not that concerned about it as the amount of play the pin will get in my home is minimal compared to being on location. I'm fine with it being in player's condition. However, I would like to spruce it up a bit and clean it the best I can. I'm just curious as to what you would recommend to avoid making things worse. Should I stick with Naptha? Any hope of getting some of that grime out of the crack?

    Quoted from vid1900:

    You can sometimes cut 1/2 way through the Mylar, just a mm behind the damage, then peel off the damaged part.
    Myself, I would not worry about the dirt along the edge of the Mylar. Even if you cut back to the undamaged part, it will happen again to the fresh edge over time.
    On playfields with a nice clearcoat, you could just replace the entire Mylars every few years, but on that 20 year old surface, it could be dicey to remove it.

    Ok. I guess I'll leave that alone. The playfield doesn't feel like it has much clear left, if any. I plan to just keep it clean and waxed.

    IMG_1628 (resized).JPG

    #1047 4 years ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    However, I would like to spruce it up a bit and clean it the best I can. I'm just curious as to what you would recommend to avoid making things worse. Should I stick with Naptha? Any hope of getting some of that grime out of the crack?

    I think we are seeing the actual wood in the crack, not necessarily a bunch of grime.

    A quick wipe with Naphtha will surely get some dirt, but the crack will still be dark.

    If the ball is being deflected by the crack, then fill it with 2PAC (look at the Playfield Restoration thread for how-to).

    If the ball ignores the crack, then just wax and play.

    #1048 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I think we are seeing the actual wood in the crack, not necessarily a bunch of grime.
    A quick wipe with Naphtha will surely get some dirt, but the crack will still be dark.
    If the ball is being deflected by the crack, then fill it with 2PAC (look at the Playfield Restoration thread for how-to).
    If the ball ignores the crack, then just wax and play.

    No deflection. Thanks!

    1 week later
    #1049 4 years ago

    Vid, you've frequently highlighted the importance of regular inspection and replacement of the silver balls themselves - what kinds of surface defects are you looking for and what would be typical criteria for replacement? I don't think I've ever seen chips or dents in a pinball, maybe just fine scratches. You also indicated that even the balls delivered with a new machine (haven't had that pleasure yet, but soon) can be poor enough to merit a replacement so I'm interpreting this such that even newly purchased balls should be thoroughly inspected before putting in a game. Your thoughts?

    I included a photo of a ball which has been in my taf for several years (left) and an unused ball (right). One sees the used ball is a bit duller (maybe rougher, more abrasive ?). Replacement candidate ? I think I may be answering my own question here...

    IMG_0687 (resized).JPG

    #1050 4 years ago

    Yep, that ball is shot.

    Look for the "deep black" shine by holding something black next to them.

    The "super shiny" balls @1.50 each are probably the cheapest thing you will ever buy for your pin.

    There are 1952 posts in this topic. You are on page 21 of 40.

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