(Topic ID: 137689)

Cleaning and Waxing Pinball Machines - Vid's Guide


By vid1900

5 years ago



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    There are 1910 posts in this topic. You are on page 38 of 39.
    #1851 9 months ago
    Quoted from bigchief99:

    Hey, what ever happen to the original poster of this forum? Vzid1900. Has not been on in a while. Seems very helpful.

    We would all like to know!

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/where-s-vid

    #1852 9 months ago
    Quoted from TXFireBall:

    I have a '72 Fireball that is in pretty decent shape. I am not rehabbing the 'whole' game, but need/want to do a solid job cleaning and preserving the playfield.
    Please, Correct me if I'm wrong or in the wrong order or (Productive) give advice.....
    -Remove everything from PF
    -Clean with Compressed air, Shop Vac, and Naptha (Carefully w/ Magic Eraser) or should I use 99% isopropyl Alcohol?
    -Wax- Carnauba
    -install new lights (I got frosted warm white led)
    -Install All New bands
    -Install New Flippers
    -(Basically put everything back together)
    (((Any recommendations for cleaning glass, aside from windex, etc.)
    Anything to add, or 'must do's'??
    Thanks guys[quoted image]

    I no longer use alcohol, it eats away at the clear coat. I go with naphta on a rag, maybe on a Magic Eraser on dirtier areas. If you really want to get rid of the ball swirl, alcohol will do it, but you need to be super careful since it does take off the clear coat.

    I don't use compressed air, just a good vacuuming. I got a kit used to clean PC's that has some nice attachments to get into all the crevices.

    All the other steps you list (LED's, bands, etc) I also do. Cleaning the plastics with Novus-1 will get them nice and shiny too. I also clean all the plastic posts with Krud Kutter, rinse them with water, and then dry them out.

    #1853 9 months ago
    Quoted from Peruman:

    I no longer use alcohol, it eats away at the clear coat. I go with naphta on a rag, maybe on a Magic Eraser on dirtier areas. If you really want to get rid of the ball swirl, alcohol will do it, but you need to be super careful since it does take off the clear coat.
    I don't use compressed air, just a good vacuuming. I got a kit used to clean PC's that has some nice attachments to get into all the crevices.
    All the other steps you list (LED's, bands, etc) I also do. Cleaning the plastics with Novus-1 will get them nice and shiny too. I also clean all the plastic posts with Krud Kutter, rinse them with water, and then dry them out.

    As it's pretty old and an EM(don't know if that matters) it doesn't seem to have much/any clear coat on it. Saw where some people were spraying down with 'sprayMAX' to get some protection back on it?

    #1854 9 months ago
    Quoted from bigchief99:

    Hey, what ever happen to the original poster of this forum? Vzid1900. Has not been on in a while.

    vid1900 no longer posts here for reasons unknown to most of us. His guides are invaluable. The technical area of Pinside owes a great deal to Vid. I wish him well no matter what he is up to these days.

    #1855 9 months ago
    Quoted from TXFireBall:

    I have a '72 Fireball that is in pretty decent shape. I am not rehabbing the 'whole' game, but need/want to do a solid job cleaning and preserving the playfield.
    Please, Correct me if I'm wrong or in the wrong order or (Productive) give advice.....
    -Remove everything from PF
    -Clean with Compressed air, Shop Vac, and Naptha (Carefully w/ Magic Eraser) or should I use 99% isopropyl Alcohol?
    -Wax- Carnauba
    -install new lights (I got frosted warm white led)
    -Install All New bands
    -Install New Flippers
    -(Basically put everything back together)
    (((Any recommendations for cleaning glass, aside from windex, etc.)
    Anything to add, or 'must do's'??
    Thanks guys[quoted image]

    On really dirty glass I use naptha and a teflon scrubby with a razor scraper for tape residue, followed with dawn dishsoap in solution (1 oz/gallon water) and a scrubby, followed with sparkle glass cleaner.

    #1856 9 months ago
    Quoted from TXFireBall:

    As it's pretty old and an EM(don't know if that matters) it doesn't seem to have much/any clear coat on it. Saw where some people were spraying down with 'sprayMAX' to get some protection back on it?

    The game has varnish on it, no clearcoat.
    Alcohol dissolves it dramatically, use caution.

    After cleaning and touch ups maybe clearcoat over it (the best) or apply varathane (but it turns yellow).

    #1857 9 months ago

    Here's a question that has alluded me with my online research. I know that EM PF's were varnished not clear coated, my question is when did they make the switch when they first came out with SS or before? Did the early 80's SS pins all have CC PF's or is there a year they started clear coating SS pins? My Star Race 1980 and my Circus 1980 look different with Star Race looking like it was varnished but Circus looks CCed.

    #1858 9 months ago

    If the PF is in nice shape, just wax the shit out of it after cleaning and play! Your games aren't going to wear it down more. If it was getting 50+ games in an arcade a day, prob a different story

    #1859 9 months ago
    Quoted from RWH:

    Here's a question that has alluded me with my online research. I know that EM PF's were varnished not clear coated, my question is when did they make the switch when they first came out with SS or before? Did the early 80's SS pins all have CC PF's or is there a year they started clear coating SS pins? My Star Race 1980 and my Circus 1980 look different with Star Race looking like it was varnished but Circus looks CCed.

    Clear coat is a 90's thing.

    Funhouse had diamond plate on some of tbe games.

    1989-1990

    #1860 9 months ago

    Well, in NEW headaches, removed bumpers and bands, I cleaned it, waxed it and put on new lights and bands; plugged it back in, and NOW......it keeps registering 1000pts being scored spastically.
    Any thoughts?
    (Sorry, I'm new)

    #1861 9 months ago
    Quoted from TXFireBall:

    Well, in NEW headaches, removed bumpers and bands, I cleaned it, waxed it and put on new lights and bands; plugged it back in, and NOW......it keeps registering 1000pts being scored spastically.
    Any thoughts?
    (Sorry, I'm new)

    Stuck switch?

    #1862 9 months ago
    Quoted from TXFireBall:

    Well, in NEW headaches, removed bumpers and bands, I cleaned it, waxed it and put on new lights and bands; plugged it back in, and NOW......it keeps registering 1000pts being scored spastically.
    Any thoughts?
    (Sorry, I'm new)

    One of your 1000-pt scoring switches is either stuck shut or almost closed so as you play it it's making contact and scoring. This happens often, either you bumped something during cleaning or the tighter new bands have closed a gap that before was open.

    Figure out what scores 1000-pts and take it from there.

    #1863 9 months ago
    Quoted from TXFireBall:

    it keeps registering 1000pts being scored spastically.

    Check the rollover switches in the lanes on the right. They can score 1000.
    If you find one that might be the problem you can put a piece of paper between the contacts to prevent it from registering.

    #1864 9 months ago

    I'm going to be cleaning my very first machine, a Surf n' Safari from 1991. It has the factory mylar on it but there is dust/grim trails along the plastic ramps, and the playfield doesn't appear to have ever been cleaned since 2001.

    Does Vid ever say what would be recommended just to clean the mylar playfield and plastic ramps? Can water based solvents be used on mylar?

    Based on what Vid said Magic Eraser and alcohol should only be used if clearcoating, which I won't be doing.

    #1865 9 months ago

    Find some naphtha and/or 100% alcohol. then nothing gets to wood.
    try some simple green if itll help get rid of grime, but then youre introducing water based cleaner.

    #1866 9 months ago

    Novus 2 and good ole fashioned elbow grease should work great. Then wax afterwards.

    #1867 9 months ago

    I sure wouldnt use any water based cleaner.

    1 month later
    #1868 7 months ago

    Forgive me if this has been asked before. Searched a few phrases, but it's hard to guess how someone would have worded a similar question.

    I have a Jacks Open I'm been shopping out. Playfield was completely stripped down. I'm starting to reassemble the underside, but figured I'd wax the top side before I reinstall pops, flippers or switches that will extend through to the top side. Easier access to things, and no need to worry about getting wax all over things. Of course, instead - I have to deal with wax getting into all the light sockets and switch holes, etc.

    So - best method for not getting a load of wax in every hole on the playfield? Anything better than just jamming some paper towels into each hole? Seems like that would work well enough. When you're done, pulling the towel out through the top side could actually help clean any wax that go into the holes.

    #1869 7 months ago

    There's no need to wax where the ball doesn't travel, so that should eliminate most of the holes you are worried about. It is much easier to wax while the pf is empty, but still just focus on the playing areas. You should not have to wax near light sockets.

    You don't need much on your rag, so use smaller amounts and go slowly.

    For switch slots and holes I can't avoid, I use wooden skewers to scoop the wax out.

    1 month later
    #1870 6 months ago

    Thanks Vid, this was very helpful

    #1871 6 months ago

    So, I'm going through the posts now. On page 3 and decided to use search function in thread for "Zaino". Showed 3 hits but the first 2 results had no mention of Zaino.

    Anyway, thoughts on this product for the playfield? Put a few coats of this stuff on a car and it will last 6 months and still have water beading up. There are different versions some with no abrasives.

    It's one of the most popular non-commercial waxes available, before the whole new ceramic coatings became the thing.

    #1872 6 months ago
    Quoted from j-fit:

    So, I'm going through the posts now. On page 3 and decided to use search function in thread for "Zaino". Showed 3 hits but the first 2 results had no mention of Zaino.
    Anyway, thoughts on this product for the playfield? Put a few coats of this stuff on a car and it will last 6 months and still have water beading up. There are different versions some with no abrasives.
    It's one of the most popular non-commercial waxes available, before the whole new ceramic coatings became the thing.

    I really like Zaino on my car.

    #1873 6 months ago
    Quoted from j-fit:

    So, I'm going through the posts now. On page 3 and decided to use search function in thread for "Zaino". Showed 3 hits but the first 2 results had no mention of Zaino.
    Anyway, thoughts on this product for the playfield? Put a few coats of this stuff on a car and it will last 6 months and still have water beading up. There are different versions some with no abrasives.
    It's one of the most popular non-commercial waxes available, before the whole new ceramic coatings became the thing.

    Because its not as renewable as i would like, i say dont bother.

    The thing about pinball if that once in awhile you want to strip the surface and reapply.

    I like pure carnauba because its easy to remove with naphtha.

    Im working on a game right now that has a Synthetic polymer ceramic clone wax on it.

    The dirt embedded itself into the coating and is near impossible to clean off.

    There was a permanent black haze that looked like smoke damage throughout the surface.

    This was not smoke or fire damage. Simply black pinball dust embedded into the ceramic glaze.

    Naptha wont remove it.

    I had to completely strip the playfield.

    I had to apply rubbing compound to wear off the coating.

    Then i had to buff for hours with a combination of compunds and glaze lotions to get the shine back.

    What should have been a 1 hour job took 3 days to complete.

    So ask the manufacturer if the ceramic coating resists finely ground metal filings continuously rolled into the surface with a heavy steel ball.

    Then ask if the coating is fast and easy to remove once its stained with embedded powdered tool steel.

    Pure carnauba suits pinball use extremely well.

    Blitz or P21S silver can is what you want.

    4 months later
    #1874 60 days ago

    So I have a new TMNT Premium and I am guessing I did not clean the balls well enough before firing everything up; I now have gray lines from (I'm assuming) the oil residue from the balls.

    This seems the thread that would have the right info, but I'm not sure if the cleanup I need to do is different than general cleanup after months/years or use. Is it as simple as a damp cloth to get that stuff up?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance, and apologies if I am in the wrong place on the forum.

    #1875 60 days ago
    Quoted from Vermont:

    So I have a new TMNT Premium and I am guessing I did not clean the balls well enough before firing everything up; I now have gray lines from (I'm assuming) the oil residue from the balls.
    This seems the thread that would have the right info, but I'm not sure if the cleanup I need to do is different than general cleanup after months/years or use. Is it as simple as a damp cloth to get that stuff up?
    Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance, and apologies if I am in the wrong place on the forum.

    I cleaned the balls well when I got my Jurassic Park and Avengers Infinity Quest and still had a lot of ball trails being left around the inlanes and outlanes. I think a lot of it comes from the stock flipper rubber. I put Titan silicone bands on the flippers when I first got my AIQ and didn't get ball trails. But I didn't like how they played (too bouncy for me) so I switched back to the regular rubber and immediately started getting a lot of ball trails.

    Anyway, for cleaning ball trails and general wipe downs of the playfield I use Wizards Mist N Shine. Don't spray it directly onto the playfield. Spray it onto a microfiber or rag and then wipe the playfield down. That should take care of the basic maintenance for occasional wipe downs to keep the playfield clean. For tougher ball trails I've actually found that rubbing them with my thumb works pretty well. Beyond that, for cleaning tougher spots that still aren't coming out you can use something like Novus 2. There's debate about using it but it seems like for infrequent use on tougher areas it works well for me.

    You'll probably want to also wipe down the rubbers on the slings, flippers, and posts each time you clean ball trails since those areas get pretty dirty with the same residue that leaves the ball trails. For those I use Wildcat RC-88 rubber cleaner. Just apply a very little spot of it on a rag and wipe the rubber directly with that spot of the rag, and try to not get any on the playfield. Works very well for me.

    #1876 60 days ago
    Quoted from EaglePin:

    You'll probably want to also wipe down the rubbers on the slings, flippers, and posts each time you clean ball trails since those areas get pretty dirty with the same residue that leaves the ball trails. For those I use Wildcat RC-88 rubber cleaner.

    Naphtha/lighter fluid works great too.

    #1877 60 days ago
    Quoted from EaglePin:

    I cleaned the balls well when I got my Jurassic Park and Avengers Infinity Quest and still had a lot of ball trails being left around the inlanes and outlanes. I think a lot of it comes from the stock flipper rubber. I put Titan silicone bands on the flippers when I first got my AIQ and didn't get ball trails. But I didn't like how they played (too bouncy for me) so I switched back to the regular rubber and immediately started getting a lot of ball trails.
    Anyway, for cleaning ball trails and general wipe downs of the playfield I use Wizards Mist N Shine. Don't spray it directly onto the playfield. Spray it onto a microfiber or rag and then wipe the playfield down. That should take care of the basic maintenance for occasional wipe downs to keep the playfield clean. For tougher ball trails I've actually found that rubbing them with my thumb works pretty well. Beyond that, for cleaning tougher spots that still aren't coming out you can use something like Novus 2. There's debate about using it but it seems like for infrequent use on tougher areas it works well for me.
    You'll probably want to also wipe down the rubbers on the slings, flippers, and posts each time you clean ball trails since those areas get pretty dirty with the same residue that leaves the ball trails. For those I use Wildcat RC-88 rubber cleaner. Just apply a very little spot of it on a rag and wipe the rubber directly with that spot of the rag, and try to not get any on the playfield. Works very well for me.

    Thank you so much! This is such a great community.

    #1878 60 days ago

    I have been using Pinheadz blackops clean and wax in one. Works great.

    1 week later
    #1879 52 days ago

    resurrecting this thread...

    Located in Canada and can't find naphtha here... Would ZIPPO lighter fluid be a good replacement?

    #1880 52 days ago
    Quoted from Ottawaflip:

    resurrecting this thread...
    Located in Canada and can't find naphtha here... Would ZIPPO lighter fluid be a good replacement?

    It sounds like ZIPPO/Ronsonol lighter fluid is not naphtha anymore. Can you find CP-100 anywhere? It seems like that is about 95% Naphtha.

    While I am here what is the consensus on waxing modern Sterns? I have heard from some that you just need to clean the playfield but not wax but it also seems like some people certainly wax as well. My machine is about to turn 1 and has about 2500 plays on it. Should I start considering waxing or just continue keeping it real clean?

    #1881 52 days ago
    Quoted from Smack:

    It sounds like ZIPPO/Ronsonol lighter fluid is not naphtha anymore. Can you find CP-100 anywhere? It seems like that is about 95% Naphtha.
    While I am here what is the consensus on waxing modern Sterns? I have heard from some that you just need to clean the playfield but not wax but it also seems like some people certainly wax as well. My machine is about to turn 1 and has about 2500 plays on it. Should I start considering waxing or just continue keeping it real clean?

    Definitely wax. Every 500 games or so.

    #1882 52 days ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Definitely wax. Every 500 games or so.

    I'm overdue! Thanks for the advice.

    #1883 52 days ago

    Don’t forget to replace the pinballs as well. They get little micro scratches and can damage the playfield as well.

    I live in a humid climate, so I replace mine twice a year. You should be able to see a difference in the new balls versus the old ones.

    #1884 51 days ago
    Quoted from homegameroom:

    Don’t forget to replace the pinballs as well. They get little micro scratches and can damage the playfield as well.
    I live in a humid climate, so I replace mine twice a year. You should be able to see a difference in the new balls versus the old ones.

    Heck yeah. I just replaced what I assume were the stock balls with some Ballbarron Ninjas and it has done a lot to reduce the dirt. The blue nub ball guide protectors and post protectors used to get dirty super fast, but since I replaced the balls and wiped down every rubber it has been night and day.

    Perhaps that was more a function of dirty rubber but the old balls were getting pitted anyways.

    #1885 51 days ago
    Quoted from Ottawaflip:

    Would ZIPPO lighter fluid be a good replacement?

    Yes.

    #1886 51 days ago

    I have also found these two options available in my area:
    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/emzone-lighter-fluid-341-ml-0762086p.html?rrec=true#spc

    and also Coleman lantern fuel, but not sure if this formula has a rust inhibitor in it which might make it unusable for this purpose.

    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/coleman-naphtha-fuel-946-ml-0760093p.html?rrec=true#spc

    #1887 51 days ago
    Quoted from Ottawaflip:

    I have also found these two options available in my area:
    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/emzone-lighter-fluid-341-ml-0762086p.html?rrec=true#spc
    and also Coleman lantern fuel, but not sure if this formula has a rust inhibitor in it which might make it unusable for this purpose.
    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/coleman-naphtha-fuel-946-ml-0760093p.html?rrec=true#spc

    Pour it on a piece of glass.

    If it dries with no residue, you are good to go.

    #1888 51 days ago
    Quoted from Ottawaflip:

    resurrecting this thread...
    Located in Canada and can't find naphtha here... Would ZIPPO lighter fluid be a good replacement?

    I bought mine at Sherwin Williams on Woodward Drive, 4l can. Ask for VM&P Naptha. I bought it last about 3 years ago.

    #1889 51 days ago
    Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

    I bought mine at Sherwin Williams on Woodward Drive, 4l can. Ask for VM&P Naptha. I bought it last about 3 years ago.

    thanks for that, I will check it out. if I am not successful, can I borrow a cup? lol, just kidding. Thanks again.

    #1890 51 days ago
    Quoted from Smack:

    While I am here what is the consensus on waxing modern Sterns? I have heard from some that you just need to clean the playfield but not wax but it also seems like some people certainly wax as well. My machine is about to turn 1 and has about 2500 plays on it. Should I start considering waxing or just continue keeping it real clean?

    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Definitely wax. Every 500 games or so.

    I disagree. I think wiping down the playfield, and replacing the pinballs regularly, is all that's needed on these newer Sterns. I suspect that most wear on modern playfields comes from rough and scratched balls. And from my experience, there are major downsides to waxing modern games.

    My old 1980 Black Knight was great with wax, played fast, but not too fast. But my new Sterns are awful after waxing. Even some of my B/W games like Johnny Mnenomic or Mousin' Around are scary fast with wax. I've literally chipped plastics on those games after waxing, to the point where I had to clean the wax off. I left it on some high-wear areas like shooter-lane exits and top rollovers, but that's it. The ball was out-of-control fast, and was breaking plastics and chipping standup targets.

    Right now, I'm operating under the precept that the pf clear coats on newer Sterns are robust enough that it's not worth the downsides of waxing. As long as I clean the pf regularly with say Naptha, and make sure the balls are in good shape, then that should be sufficient. I think that older, slower playing, non-clear coated games, can use the protection and speed boost of wax, but not new stuff. Also, I question how long the wax barrier can hold up to a fast-rolling pinball on a games like Stranger Things or Dead Pool, especially once multiball kicks in. My suspicion is that owners inspecting and replacing the pinballs, and cleaning their playfields, which owners do during the waxing process, is actually what's protecting their games long term. Not the actual wax itself.

    And like I've said all ready, my problem with the carnuba wax is that the games play way too fast to the point of being out-of-control and to the point of breaking plastics. Not worth it to me on modern games. But to each their own.

    #1891 51 days ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    I disagree. I think wiping down the playfield, and replacing the pinballs regularly, is all that's needed on these newer Sterns. I suspect that most wear on modern playfields comes from rough and scratched balls. And from my experience, there are major downsides to waxing modern games.
    My old 1980 Black Knight was great with wax, played fast, but not too fast. But my new Sterns are awful after waxing. Even some of my B/W games like Johnny Mnenomic or Mousin' Around are scary fast with wax. I've literally chipped plastics on those games after waxing, to the point where I had to clean the wax off. I left it on some high-wear areas like shooter-lane exits and top rollovers, but that's it. The ball was out-of-control fast, and was breaking plastics and chipping standup targets.
    Right now, I'm operating under the precept that the pf clear coats on newer Sterns are robust enough that it's not worth the downsides of waxing. As long as I clean the pf regularly with say Naptha, and make sure the balls are in good shape, then that should be sufficient. I think that older, slower playing, non-clear coated games, can use the protection and speed boost of wax, but not new stuff. Also, I question how long the wax barrier can hold up to a fast-rolling pinball on a games like Stranger Things or Dead Pool, especially once multiball kicks in. My suspicion is that owners inspecting and replacing the pinballs, and cleaning their playfields, which owners do during the waxing process, is actually what's protecting their games long term. Not the actual wax itself.
    And like I've said all ready, my problem with the carnuba wax is that the games play way too fast to the point of being out-of-control and to the point of breaking plastics. Not worth it to me on modern games. But to each their own.

    I am a relatively new owner so I appreciate hearing about your experience with wax, especially on new Sterns. Thank you for such a detailed response.

    #1892 51 days ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    I disagree. I think wiping down the playfield, and replacing the pinballs regularly, is all that's needed on these newer Sterns. I suspect that most wear on modern playfields comes from rough and scratched balls. And from my experience, there are major downsides to waxing modern games.
    My old 1980 Black Knight was great with wax, played fast, but not too fast. But my new Sterns are awful after waxing. Even some of my B/W games like Johnny Mnenomic or Mousin' Around are scary fast with wax. I've literally chipped plastics on those games after waxing, to the point where I had to clean the wax off. I left it on some high-wear areas like shooter-lane exits and top rollovers, but that's it. The ball was out-of-control fast, and was breaking plastics and chipping standup targets.
    Right now, I'm operating under the precept that the pf clear coats on newer Sterns are robust enough that it's not worth the downsides of waxing. As long as I clean the pf regularly with say Naptha, and make sure the balls are in good shape, then that should be sufficient. I think that older, slower playing, non-clear coated games, can use the protection and speed boost of wax, but not new stuff. Also, I question how long the wax barrier can hold up to a fast-rolling pinball on a games like Stranger Things or Dead Pool, especially once multiball kicks in. My suspicion is that owners inspecting and replacing the pinballs, and cleaning their playfields, which owners do during the waxing process, is actually what's protecting their games long term. Not the actual wax itself.
    And like I've said all ready, my problem with the carnuba wax is that the games play way too fast to the point of being out-of-control and to the point of breaking plastics. Not worth it to me on modern games. But to each their own.

    I agree that the first 20 games or so after waxing are crazy fast, but in my experience, it normalizes after that. Waxing does help protect against clear coat wear in certain areas. Whether it is worth it or not I guess is an individual choice.

    #1893 51 days ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    I agree that the first 20 games or so after waxing are crazy fast, but in my experience, it normalizes after that. Waxing does help protect against clear coat wear in certain areas. Whether it is worth it or not I guess is an individual choice.

    Well, and that's the thing isn't it. Once the speed slows back down after those 20 games, is there even much wax left on the pf? My suspicion is that after those games, most of the wax has been worn away anyway. Otherwise, why would the speed go back to normal? This would leave you back to square one, as though you'd never waxed at all.

    But that's just a guess on my part.

    #1894 51 days ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    Well, and that's the thing isn't it. Once the speed slows back down after those 20 games, is there even much wax left on the pf? My suspicion is that after those games, most of the wax has been worn away anyway. Otherwise, why would the speed go back to normal? This would leave you back to square one, as though you'd never waxed at all.
    But that's just a guess on my part.

    I don’t know the answer other than to say that wax layer is thousands upon thousands upon thousands of atoms thick, and there may very well be a difference in the outer layers and lower layers and how the wax settles or cures over time. However, I would have to defer to a wax scientist to elaborate.

    #1895 51 days ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    I disagree. I think wiping down the playfield, and replacing the pinballs regularly, is all that's needed on these newer Sterns. I suspect that most wear on modern playfields comes from rough and scratched balls. And from my experience, there are major downsides to waxing modern games.
    My old 1980 Black Knight was great with wax, played fast, but not too fast. But my new Sterns are awful after waxing. Even some of my B/W games like Johnny Mnenomic or Mousin' Around are scary fast with wax. I've literally chipped plastics on those games after waxing, to the point where I had to clean the wax off. I left it on some high-wear areas like shooter-lane exits and top rollovers, but that's it. The ball was out-of-control fast, and was breaking plastics and chipping standup targets.
    Right now, I'm operating under the precept that the pf clear coats on newer Sterns are robust enough that it's not worth the downsides of waxing. As long as I clean the pf regularly with say Naptha, and make sure the balls are in good shape, then that should be sufficient. I think that older, slower playing, non-clear coated games, can use the protection and speed boost of wax, but not new stuff. Also, I question how long the wax barrier can hold up to a fast-rolling pinball on a games like Stranger Things or Dead Pool, especially once multiball kicks in. My suspicion is that owners inspecting and replacing the pinballs, and cleaning their playfields, which owners do during the waxing process, is actually what's protecting their games long term. Not the actual wax itself.
    And like I've said all ready, my problem with the carnuba wax is that the games play way too fast to the point of being out-of-control and to the point of breaking plastics. Not worth it to me on modern games. But to each their own.

    All automotive paint manufacturers recommend some type of wax to protect the finish. New ceramic waxes are pretty good but hard remove and re-apply.

    Waxing the clearcoat is part of the recommended maintenance to preserve the finish every 350-450 plays.

    Rule of thumb:

    Its cheaper and easier to replace the wax than to replace the playfield.

    But, if you want, you can replace the playfield when it gets hazy from ball wear, or buff it down with rubbing compound and re-clearcoat when needed, its your game.

    #1896 51 days ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    Well, and that's the thing isn't it. Once the speed slows back down after those 20 games, is there even much wax left on the pf? My suspicion is that after those games, most of the wax has been worn away anyway. Otherwise, why would the speed go back to normal? This would leave you back to square one, as though you'd never waxed at all.
    But that's just a guess on my part.

    It's easy to feel and experiment with the wax residual on the playfield. The classic car technique is your finger inside a sandwich bag. You will feel the difference of how your finger drags across the surface. Compare with bare, broken in, and fresh surfaces.

    I disagree with you on the value of waxing on the modern playfields. I am not one of the 'wax before you play!!' folks.. that's nutty IMO. But I will wax after a heavy cleaning to give it more life before needing cleaning again (to clean before the dirt starts making more wear).

    Obviously an old lacquer playfield is a different beast vs the clear coated PFs in terms of criticality.. but there is still value on the newer games. Especially if you get a lot of plays.

    #1897 51 days ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    All automotive paint manufacturers recommend some type of wax to protect the finish. New ceramic waxes are pretty good but hard remove and re-apply.
    Waxing the clearcoat is part of the recommended maintenance to preserve the finish every 350-450 plays.
    Rule of thumb:
    Its cheaper and easier to replace the wax than to replace the playfield.
    But, if you want, you can replace the playfield when it gets hazy from ball wear, or buff it down with rubbing compound and re-clearcoat when needed, its your game.

    keyword 'automotive'.... We are talking about a piece of metal that is painted for aesthetics and prevent rust. Clearcoat is applied to protect the color layer from the elements (rain, snow, dirt, wind, rocks, sand, and last brake dust that causes surface rust dots on your paint surface over the clear coat / metal particles that are stuck to top layer of the clear and oxydizing, just fyi )

    A wax is designed to repel the elements: water, dust by making the surface hydrophobic and more slippery (but this is short lived), and it does not last very long, actually, it last a very short time in my experience. Once you can't feel it with your fingers it is gone, and the surface is not hydrophobic anymore...there is no protection.

    So all that to say, if the wind and other elements erode wax (including heat), I cannot see how a metal ball travelling over 40KM is not picking up that wax shortly after it travels over it. Yes sure it will take some time but as mention once the speed is reduced, that is your indication the wax is mostly gone.

    I guess what I saying is, I think that waxing the PF is not a bad idea but it is not practical and it perhaps belongs to a different era of pinball where the playfields had slower games and different paint on playfields.
    I am not against waxing newer games but I believe there are better alternatives including PF protectors that do not need waxing, just a plastic cleaner like Novus.

    My 2 cents

    #1898 50 days ago
    Quoted from Ottawaflip:

    keyword 'automotive'.... We are talking about a piece of metal that is painted for aesthetics and prevent rust. Clearcoat is applied to protect the color layer from the elements (rain, snow, dirt, wind, rocks, sand, and last brake dust that causes surface rust dots on your paint surface over the clear coat / metal particles that are stuck to top layer of the clear and oxydizing, just fyi )
    A wax is designed to repel the elements: water, dust by making the surface hydrophobic and more slippery (but this is short lived), and it does not last very long, actually, it last a very short time in my experience. Once you can't feel it with your fingers it is gone, and the surface is not hydrophobic anymore...there is no protection.
    So all that to say, if the wind and other elements erode wax (including heat), I cannot see how a metal ball travelling over 40KM is not picking up that wax shortly after it travels over it. Yes sure it will take some time but as mention once the speed is reduced, that is your indication the wax is mostly gone.
    I guess what I saying is, I think that waxing the PF is not a bad idea but it is not practical and it perhaps belongs to a different era of pinball where the playfields had slower games and different paint on playfields.
    I am not against waxing newer games but I believe there are better alternatives including PF protectors that do not need waxing, just a plastic cleaner like Novus.
    My 2 cents

    Get hold of a routed game that hasnt been waxed...

    40000 plays tells a tale of carnage...

    On HUO games, check the audits. Its an eye opener.

    My WOZ is HUO. I bought it brand new and it hasnt moved since I put it in my line-up.

    High multiball games wreak havoc on playfields.

    Pushing 10000 plays now.

    800000 flips on the left flipper, 850000 flips on the right flipper

    Over 1.5 million balls have been thrown into play from the flippers.

    It looks like brand new, yes I wax it every 450 plays and change out the balls.

    I looked at a routed WOZ with 12000 plays and it was very sad to see the wear on it, it was in terrible shape.

    I can only attribute the wear to lack of maintenance.

    #1899 46 days ago

    Hi everyone, relatively new to the hobby and have a two pin collection. I tried for the first time waxing the playfields today; per various recommendations here, I used One Grand Blitx Wax. After letting the wax dry and buffing it, the machines sat for a few hours. I then started playing on my Jurassic Park and noticed white flakes all over the playfield. Is that because I am supposed to let the wax sit/cure for a longer period of time or could it be due to me having done something wrong during the waxing step. Thanks much for any feedback/input you may have.

    #1900 46 days ago
    Quoted from PRUG:

    Hi everyone, relatively new to the hobby and have a two pin collection. I tried for the first time waxing the playfields today; per various recommendations here, I used One Grand Blitx Wax. After letting the wax dry and buffing it, the machines sat for a few hours. I then started playing on my Jurassic Park and noticed white flakes all over the playfield. Is that because I am supposed to let the wax sit/cure for a longer period of time or could it be due to me having done something wrong during the waxing step. Thanks much for any feedback/input you may have.

    That happens. Try to vacuum them up. For what it is worth, I find I get fewer flakes by using P21S than Blitz.

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