(Topic ID: 115380)

Considering overlay purchase, install questions

By jcar302

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 5 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by jcar302
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 5 years ago

So my high speed is pretty worn.
Underestimated playfield demand and didn't pre-order.

Picked up a couple new pins since then, so it's really not a big deal I can play it as is, but would like it to look better on a budget.

I've seen that overlays are now available, but not sure what goes into an installation.

First, off, do you have to remove and disassemble the entire playfied both on top and underneath?
It's one thing to remove all the playfield parts, but taking everything off the bottom may be a deal breaker. Not that I can't do it, I just kinda feel like if i'm going that far I might as well try to find a cpr playfield.

If you don't need to take apart the bottom side can it be installed while the PF is still in the pin?
Are the holes cutout where they need to be?

Last, and certainly not least, while i'm very mechanically inclined, laying decals has never been my strong point. Does it go on with soapy water and you can adjust it? Or is this the kind that you must lay perfect and if you don't you are screwed. I'd hate to spend $200 and botch the installation and ruin it trying to pull it up.

I know some say it has to be cleared, i'll leave that for another time, as for i'm sure I can find a write up on how to clearcoat a playfield.

But, does it really have to be cleared if it's going to be home used only? Mine doesn't see that many plays a year.

Many of you know, high speed while popular isn't the most valuable pin. So a budget freshening seems like a good option to me.

#2 5 years ago

You will need to completely strip the playfield because you have to sand off the original artwork and level the surface. You don't want that crap getting into mechs and lamp sockets.

Then you need to clear the playfield. You can use any clear for this -- you are just trying to seal the wood.

^^^These first two steps are the most important and can make or break how the overlay will look/play.

The overlay goes down with soapy water so you can position it. Awfully large to try to position it accurately when dry.

Clearing over the overlay completely depends on the product. I installed an Arcade Grafix overlay and thought the surface held up well without a top coat. Others have had overlays that get too scratched up without protection. You could also get one of the full sheet game-specific playfield protectors that just lays loosely on your playfield.

#3 5 years ago

Thanks doth,
So it's a lot of work, lol.

Sounds like it may be best to buy a beat up playfield here or on ebay (I see them between $50-$100 unpopulated) and go from there. Then resell mine if it works out.

How do you go about getting the surface sanded and level? Put the playfield through a planer? Sounds kinda dangerous to the inserts.

#4 5 years ago

Sand with a palm sander. I think I started with 220 grit then switched to 80 because it took too long. Check for loose inserts first, those Williams arrow inserts are notorious for being raised. Pop out loose ones and reglue with epoxy.

Obviously, sanding will take the high spots off raised inserts, but as you sand you will also be able to tell which inserts are too low. You can pop and reglue or level them with clear.

#5 5 years ago

Doesn't sound terrible, just has to be a project that will take some commitment. If it was just removing the topside playfield parts, slapping the overlay on and reassembling all while the PF was still on the pin, i'd be all in as of right now.
So I may wait a little while until I finish up a few other projects.
Thanks for the input.

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