(Topic ID: 179285)


By Russell

2 years ago

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  • 254 posts
  • 81 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by snaroff
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders


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#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

If new CPR playfields dimple why have has there not a single picture of one with dimples I can find here.

Usually, people with the skills to do a playfield swap are not nubies that panic the moment they see dimples.

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#38 2 years ago
Quoted from Russell:

I find it interesting that both sides of this debate think they have it right. Is it possible that both things are true?

There is no debate.

A debate would imply that there are two schools of informed thought.


All Hard Maple playfields will develop dimples the moment they are played.

It does not matter if they are clearcoated or not.

It does not matter if they are from the 1950s or 2017.

It does not matter if they have a matte coating, or a polished mirror coating.

It does not matter if the topcoat is silkscreened on (like games from the 1950-80s)

It does not matter if the topcoat is sprayed on (like 1990-17s)

All Hard Maple wood is the same hardness (within a tested 7% variance of the Janka standard).

Only nubies and trolls post about playfield dimples on Pinside.

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from Mitch:

I fully agree but have a question, if a piece of plywood for a playfield was put in a industrial press and squished down till it had a harder surface before it was printed on would it still dimple?

Yes, it still would.

Think of a magnet core on the playfield.

It's make of steel, but the impact of the hardened ball still makes dimples in it.

#53 2 years ago
Quoted from Russell:

So...which are you?

Nubie, obviously.

#55 2 years ago

Here would be the best example in the world.

A Steel magnet core (you know, made of solid steel) is covered in dimples from the hardened steel ball.

Now tell me of ANY wood that is harder than solid steel?

Take your time, I'll wait.....

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#59 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

But people were complaining in the BM66 that the dimpling on the magnet core was something new (and shocking)!

LOL, I guess all of those people never owned a brand new game with an exposed magnet core.

They dimple instantly, until they have so many dimples that it looks like an even surface.

The nubies would have died if they would have bought a brand new The Shadow (The wood, it's..it's....OMG, it's dimpling right at the Sanctum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 )

#81 2 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

but they used much better wood back then, so that might not be a fair test.

All Maple wood is the same.

It's not like Monsanto suddenly introduced a new fraken-maple into the syrup industry.

Maple trees die young. There are no 2000 year old, "old growth" maple groves along the Pacific coast.

You grow them for 80 years, cut them down as the syrup declines, then replant them.

#82 2 years ago

Old EM playfields may seem **better** because they are super low gloss and the balls travel at a much slower velocity than modern games.

I clear coated a NOS Fireball EM playfield for a guy and swapped it into his game.

It has plenty of dimples now and looks/plays better than it ever did new.

#90 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

You can say faster games = more airballs.


Those old EMs are are generally slower, have less airballs, seldom have ramps, seldom have multi-ball; but they still get dimples because Maple is softer than a hardened steel ball bearing.

#98 2 years ago
Quoted from Kiwipinhead:

C'mon Vid. 20 layers of Clear coat would have stopped that happening

You laugh, but I bet 200 Pinsiders are nodding their heads right now......

#100 2 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

All that said, something has changed. A game with the same design (Spider-Man) as another (SMVE) has definitely shown to show a big difference in the number and depth of dimples.


This has not been shown at all.

#103 2 years ago

Stop saying "softer wood".

It's the same Maple wood that has been used for 70 years.

No one has gone back in time and planted some new species of Maple that has just hit the market in the last 2 years.

#106 2 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

And for the record, there are different types of maple used for wood.

There are well over 100 species of Maple tree, but playfields are made from "sugar maple" AKA "hard maple".

It's grown for syurp production, then cut down for guitar necks, playfields and flooring.

A few European made playfields were made from Birch (and you can always tell those by the shooter lane).

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#108 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Yeah ..... but what about those extra hard maple's that produce thick syrup, not that Aunt Jemima crap.

I'm no expert, but the syrup farms by my place say that **real** maple syrup is thinner than commercial HFCS fake maple you buy at the grocery store.

The really dark, thick stuff is sold as "grade B" by them.

Something about the latter in the season it's harvested, the darker the resulting syrup is (although it all has the same sugar content).

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#110 2 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

Birch syrup is better, but it's harder to harvest. They sell it up in Alaska and I always pick some up.

Sweeter, thicker, more flavorful....?

#114 2 years ago
Quoted from Jgaltr56:

So unless all wooden playfields ever made have all come from the same tree, AND the ball hits the playfield at exactly the same velocity and direction every time, it stands to reason that some playfields will dimple more than others.

There is only a 7% variation in hardness in Hard Maple, AND the pinball industry only uses it as plywood (plywood is made from many different trees with every layer bonded with the grain running in the opposite direction) , thus averaging out any real differences.

ALL playfields dimple the same.

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#119 2 years ago

Williams quality has totally gone to shit.

It's like every game I see lately has ghosting, when just a few years ago I never saw it.

I wrote Neil a letter, and not even the courtesy of a response.

No more Williams for me; I hope they go out of business.

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#133 2 years ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

Perhaps the playfield plywood manufacturers should beat the shit out of the plywood with a ball peen hammer before they ship it.

It has to be dead flat or it won't silkscreen.

..But Stern could "pre condition" finished playfields for nubies by pouring 1" ball bearings over the entire playfield continually for a period of one year to simulate a 30-40 year old game.


It would be like when idiots pay extra for per-distressed "road worn" guitars.

Nobody is fooled that some yuppie dentist has put the hours into playing the guitar hanging in their office to make it worn like that.

Only $5000 brand new from Fender:

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#136 2 years ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

I was actually curious with all the talk of the wood being compressed, why the pinball companies didn't "skip the middle man" and just put each playfield in a 50ton/100ton/whatever-ton press and pre-compress the wood before they are CNC'd.

Pinball companies are not going to waste money doing that, because dimples are NOT a problem.

If dimples have not caused the world to end in the last 70 years, we should be safe until at least 2080.

(and just for trivia fun, plywood IS pressed at 200psi (300 tons) when they manufacturer it).

#142 2 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

Is that a real magnet?

The head of my penis was instantly drawn to it.

It's real alright....

#143 2 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

How does real steel get divots like that?

Because the ball is a **hardened steel ball bearing**.

Quoted from cody_chunn:

I haven't seen divots like that before on exposed magnet poles.

Thats because once they get 10000 dimples on them, they looked leveled out.

#144 2 years ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

I know a cabinet is not a playfield, but I ran into tons of voids while redoing my Shadow cabinet.

The cabinet is made from the most crappy Spruce/Pine/Fir plywood in the world, because these are commercial coin-op machines, not English furniture.

The playfield is made from "lumbercore maple plywood" meaning that the inner plys are also made from maple. It's $$$$.

#151 2 years ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

I was more curios if there are dimples that are excessively deep if there is an obvious explanation like a void?

There are NO excessively deep dimples.




There are small and large dimples depending on the velocity of the ball upon impact.

After millions of impacts the playfields are beaten flat.

That's it.

After 70 years, no one has ever found a playfield with excessively deep dimples, cuz there are none.

#153 2 years ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

I get that. But, you ignored my main question or you are implying that "lumbercore maple plywood" is 100% perfect?

Maple lumbercore used for playfields is grade A3.

Face perfect.

Back solid, but color and grain differences allowed.

No unpatched voids in the core.


#156 2 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

my concern is I have about 6-7 "nipples" - small raised spots in the clear (I am guessing) not sure if they cleared over crap or crap floated onto the playfield straight after being sprayed. Here are a few of them.

Those are called inclusions or craps.

They will wear down.

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#158 2 years ago

^ Exactly.

When I attended Bally school, they said that 3 years was the full life of a game.

#165 2 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

Anyone want a "ball drop" challenge? We can both video a equal drop from the same distance onto a clean area on my Gorgar and your "X" playfield. One on the field and one under the apron?

That's a great idea!

Gorgar is kind of like an EM with a voice, so it's slow moving ball has very little impact since there are no ramps to fall off of and no dead-on standups.

Gorgar's 40 year old wood will be harder due to moisture loss, but it'll still dimple under the apron enough to prove our point.

We need a new game that has plenty of miles on it, so maybe something like Ripley's Believe It or Not - lot's of multiball miles, but newish.

We can do five 36" drops under the apron, and five drops in front of the flippers where there has been much fiber compression.

We'll use a micrometer to measure the depth of the dents and average them out.


#177 2 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Just curious Vid, what are your thoughts about the clear coat cracking in the drain holes and shooter lanes of these games? Is that something that is most likely going to keep getting worse and cause major problems down the road with these playfields?

Every ball ever played hits the shooter lane, so I always Mylar it when the game is first unboxed.

Every ball ever played hits the outhole, so this is an extreme high-wear location too.

Just like on a car, clear has a hard time sticking to sharp edges.

If the outhole is chipping, I take some sandpaper and round over the outhole edge, then I brush on some clear.

#185 2 years ago
Quoted from FtrMech:

The next question will be, when it comes time to sell, if I sell, will the amount of dimpling be a factor...??

Indeed it will, if:

1. You don't play it enough to even out the dimples.

2. You sell it to a nubie or pansy pirate.

#186 2 years ago
Quoted from GreenMachine19:

Having the magnet showing through a hole is just asking for trouble.

Or you could have the magnet hidden, and have the ball chew all the way through the playfield wood like on an old WMS.

#195 2 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

There's very light ghosting and the orange peel effect is minimal. There's some slight wear on the outhole and the shooter lane.

OMG! I'm never buying another Stern!


#198 2 years ago
Quoted from PBFan:

At $6k and the current amout of play on location; how much money would an operator make in 3 years? probably no where near what they could during that same lifespan in the 80's


A game like KISS by Bally was $1,800 in 1978.

That inflates to $6,625 in 2016 dollars.


In 1978 a game paid for itself in 3 months (with about 7,000 plays).

In 2016 a game pays for itself in about 12 months (with about 7,000 plays).


In 1978 when a game was no longer earning, and could not be sold to another operator; you would take it to the dump.

In 2016 when a game is no longer earning, you sell it to a collector.

#199 2 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

My game is about what you should expect.

I agree.

That is what the "/s" meant.

#204 2 years ago
Quoted from fishbone:

Curious, how do JJP or Spooky playfields look after a couple of plays? Would love to see some pics.

Here is the day you unbox it:

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And here it is a few months latter will millions of dimples:

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7 months later
#224 2 years ago
Quoted from erak:

Sorry, I call B.S. if that's the case shouldn't my documented HUO STtng with 1092 plays. That launches balls from cannons directly at the playfield. Look like this BM66?

You are joking right?

Look at the SOLID STEEL magnet core.

See how it's starting to become dimpled?

If solid steel is dimpling under those hardened steel balls, how could the maple wood fare any better ?????

What wood is harder than solid steel?


#227 2 years ago
Quoted from erak:

I'm not saying wood is harder than steel. I'm calling B. S. On "all playfields dimple the same"
Because they obviously and provenly don't.

It's science.

I'll take the apron off of any unrestored game you have (in order to find a section of uncompressed maple), drop a ball from the same height, and it will leave the same dimple as it will on any other game.

If you have a playfield that won't dimple, I'll send it to a lab at my expense to have it analyzed, like an old Stradivarius.

#232 2 years ago
Quoted from erak:

I'm not it saying it won't dimple. I'm saying they do not dimple to the same extent. Do you have a new Stern?
If you do, let's do an experiment. I will remove the apron from my STTNG. And get a paper towel tube and drop it down it directly on the playfield.
Do the same with any modern Stern. Let's see if all playfields are created equal. And dimple equally.
Because according to your experience my playfield should look the same.
Which it obviously currently doesn't. And never will.

They will obviously dimple the same, if they are made of the same species of wood.

Some 30 year old piece of wood might be dryer than a newly milled piece, one section of the wood might have tighter grain than another section 12" away, but on average, one piece of maple is not going to be any harder than another.

The Janka test is how wood is graded for hardness.

A steel ball is pressed into a piece of wood, until it is buried 1/2 way.

The amount of pressure it takes to do that is it's Janka Hardness.

Sugar Maple ( what playfields are made of) has a Janka Hardness of 1450

Sure you could find a knotty section, or tightly grained section that has a 1460 hardness, but if you test the whole board, 1450 is going to be your average.

That's the facts.

#234 2 years ago
Quoted from erak:

A quick search on Google and not all plywood is created equal.

OMG, one Google search and you are now the plywood expert!!!!

You must be flooded with offers to head the APA.

Plywood have been available with different core woods and face woods since the 1930s

All that Teak furniture your grandma has from the 50s and 60s has a Birch core.

Quoted from erak:

So sorry, but the wood used now is different.

Prove that Stern is using a different plywood.

#236 2 years ago
Quoted from erak:

Prove that they are using the same.

I take it you missed Gary's speech at Expo last year???

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