Quoted from kruzman:
Congrats on getting new pfs for an awesome title! I wanted to clear up a couple things real quick.
First off, I highly recommend you take your pf out of the box and put it somewhere safe to cure. CPR ships them out as soon as they possibly can, and the clear requires 90 days to cure for instillation (by my standards). In many cases the finish will look a little different in a couple months.
i also wanted to answer why people pay to have a new clear put on a new pf. First you have to understand I don't add a couple coats, and its not a matter of thickness. I sand off all of the stock clear to the ink, and I put down 8-10 thin coats over a longer period of time. The process takes 13 weeks because of curing in between coats. The biggest reason for this is after several hundred games my surface will show little to no wear and ball dimples.
The other big difference is though a stock finish is nice, it is no comparison to a finish that is block sanded flat up to 3000 wet grit, then high speed polished for an average of 6 hours. The stock sprayed finish is nice, but the material itsself has limitations even with the best spray man. The finish I work for has no spray texture or orange peal. when you watch the reflection, it is undistorted, and very sharp.
Its just a matter of a production paint job, like on a new car, (very nice and more than good enough for most of the buyers) and a custom job on a restored car. I don't have a comparison for the strength and longevity of the finish, but that is in there also. This is why most of my work is on games that are being restored, and not brand new games, though that is getting to be more and more lately. Like a car, again, when you do a restoration, it is something you built to your standards or dreams, rather than something you bought off the lot, and is the makers standards. Most folks hold games high in their heart that they restored, and often the best part of them is how you can see the difference both in appearance and function.
I may as well hawk my wears while I am at it. If you are going to install your pf and you are worried about drilling in to the clear coat, which is not made to be drilled, I have a install kit that I sell for 85$ shipped in the us. The concept is to remove an area of clear just big enough so you can pre drill without drilling thru clear. I also include a glue kit if your drill bit lifts a small part of the clear off the pf surface (which will happen often to one extent or another). After you remove the clear, and do your predrill, you can drip a drop of this glue down the inside edge of the hole in the clear. the glue will immediately wick in to the wood and spread around the hole from underneath, locking down the clear all around the hole. The kit is totally worth it if you just use it to remove the clear from the pop bumper lug holes that the screw/nail should be set flush to the surface. They are full of clear which causes the nail to either sit on top of the clear, or the fin on the nail/screw cracks the clear. It fixes the ghosting if you have it, and if you just want to make it super safe for the future, it will be. The kit includes 10 dremmil bits, a sizer tool, a stone to clean the bits, glue and 6 applicators. There are several mentions of it on threads where people install pfs that I have not cleared you can search and read. Its made for any pf that has clearcoat
I am looking forward to seeing some newly restored diners at the next show!!!
Spot on, I do mine very similar to you, cure times are very important, on modern cars the paint is only a few microns thick, and the clear is not much thicker, old vintage cars I usually lay 4-5 coats of base, and 4 coats clear, the result on a properly cleared, cut and buffed PF not only gives a high gloss mirror like surface that protects the artwork, it also makes a very fast playing machine. You sir are an asset to the community, thank you