that BM66 looks like a reaction in the clear (fish eyes) not dimples. I have seen that many times when the wood surface is not prepped right. you can tell since the dimples are not round and are different shapes relative to each other.
all wood dimples, it sucks. what can we do about it? really nothing. people who clearcoat with tons of hardner have issues with the clear not moving with inserts or cracking out of holes and wear lines being way more noticable. there needs to be a delicate balance between flexibility and durability and I think for the most part we were in a good spot until the recent ghosting saga that popped up. and you know what, this is probably from stern trying different things to appease all the crazy people who call up and complain. leave what has worked over the last 30 years alone. it's fine as is.
I have installed ~25 cleared repro, NOS, & restored playfields from just about everyone past and present, except Kruzman (he does great work, just never had what I needed (yet ) and Neo (I have a good friend who has). Hard clear is the absolute worst. I don't want to name names but some people and repro houses I will never use again. IMO the best was anyone who has picked Bill Davis' brain and stayed true to the more rubbery coating of diamond plate. Yah it dimples and flexes and all the stuff it's supposed to do.
Vid pretty much summed up the plywood thing as being a non-issue. and i agree with this enough that it's not worth debating about. i think that older playfields lose their moisture a bit and do get a bit harder, but what are you going to do? dry these in a kiln to condition them just right and hope they don't warp? they will still dimple just maybe 90% of what a new playfield would dimple and cost twice as much.
the rebound test is pretty interesting. i have never had a new stern with a playfield that didn't hold up like older games, but then the newest stern i have purchased was TF....and despite a terrible playfield warp i had to exchange the pf for....it was fine. if they are using ply with sub-par top layers as a cost cutting measure that would be..sucky.
/old man yells at cloud.jpg