Does Stern use Auto Clear on their Playfields?

(Topic ID: 231924)

Does Stern use Auto Clear on their Playfields?


By fattdirk

3 months ago



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  • 64 posts
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  • Latest reply 89 days ago by kcZ
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    There are 64 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 3 months ago

    But what will happen if you start with a dimpled peace of wood clear that and then play?
    Would it then undimple?
    Guys i think im on to something here!

    #52 3 months ago

    Wasn't there a guy recently posting images of an old playfield which had been clearcoated?
    Said after reassembly and playing a few games, it dimpled.
    Maybe someone remembers which thread it was.

    Edit:
    Found here https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/those-pesky-play-field-dimples#post-4727428
    Posts by Pinballair and furyosjustin

    #53 3 months ago

    Since my games are older games I never seen a badly dimpled playfield till I went with a buddy to pick up a F14. The seller had a Metallica that looked like somebody beat it with a ugly stick.
    I have said before my Gorgar with thousands of plays has missing paint, planking and plenty of wear but not a single dimple. Everyone responds "That games slow, it doesn't have ramps and no airballs". I always say then why does my CPR's look so good that do have ramps and air balls?

    We will never come to a dimple agreement. People with dimpled playfields will say it normal. People with no dimples are called idiots because they don't believe the "it's pounded flat" theory.

    #54 3 months ago

    There are a lot of misconceptions about automotive acrylic urethane clear coats being applied to pinball playfields. The practice started with Diamondplate and a few other efforts early on. Williams, Data East, Stern, CPR and Mirco all have or do apply clear coat to their playfields but it is not the same as having a restorer do it. Just consider the volume they produce. 1 or 2 coats is about all they have time for and that does not allow for much depth. Professional restoration usually involves at least 4 spray sessions of 2 layers. Spray a layer, let it tack up for about 10 minutes, spray another layer, let it harden at least 5 days, sand for smoothing and adhesion, do touch ups, spray again, etc. The result is at least 8 sprayed layers of clear which is final sanded, buffed and about 6 mils thick. Acrylic urethane dries to the touch in about 4 hours, can be sanded after 5 days (minimum), can be buffed at 10 days (preferably longer), waxed after another 90 days and takes 24 months to fully cure. During final sanding before buffing, you can smell fresh odors as the skim surface coat is roughed up, releasing more solvent into the air. Even after 24 months it retains some flexibility. A deep layer of material that has sufficiently hardened can provide some protection from dimpling, but don't rely on that. The reason clear coats can protect underlying artwork and wear slowly is partly due to its microscopic flexibility. Dimpling is more a function of the game design and underlying wood hardness. Every game, and every playfield, is different.
    To answer your questions:
    Clear coat takes 24 months to fully cure.
    Allowing it to cure longer will help some.
    A playfield doesn't care if its in a game or on a rack. It will cure at the same rate. Heat can make it cure slightly faster, but thats another discussion.
    Game design and wood hardness are the biggest things that "control" dimpling. Fully hardened clear coating can help, a little.
    Factory applied clear is not the same thickness as restorer applied clear. Usually. There are some shoddy restorers out there and rattle can clear is not the same.

    #55 3 months ago

    Isnt it clear?
    Its all sbout the hardness of your wood!

    #56 3 months ago
    Quoted from jorro:

    Isnt it clear?
    Its all sbout the hardness of your wood!

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    #57 3 months ago

    It’s as plain as the nose on your face and the stern plebes don’t see it or won’t admit it. Sterns playfields are softer wood than older games or at least the clear is softer. You never had these kind of craters in older games or even older Stern games that you get now. You see some of these beer Sterns and they look like hammered shit. There is no way they will last.

    #58 3 months ago
    Quoted from zr11990:

    You never had these kind of craters in older games or even older Stern games that you get now.

    My AFM and MM looked like the lunar surface. Both were so dimpled they basically all ran together to make one big rough surface, so you could not see the individual dimples. Shrug.

    This really is like Groundhog Day... People need to read the Vid thread on dimpling. Games with lots of air balls dimple more than others. Games with no air balls including older single level games don't get dimples. Some wood is harder than others but will still dimple in a game with air balls, just not as deep. Over time even hard playfields in a game with lots of air balls will end up looking like my old MM and AFM. The consistency of the quality of the wood is something that the manufacturers need to definitely keep an eye on for our expensive toys, but it is not the real and ultimate solution.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that clear coat is there to protect the playfield from wear to the wood and protect the art work. Period. Clear coat will not prevent dimples and nor would you want it to be that hard because it would be brittle. If you had a clear coat that was truly a "diamond plate" hard it would get micro cracks (fish eye) instead of dimpling. This was a problem back in the day both on cars and pins. Clear coats (now) have flex agents that allow them to flex without cracking. It is much better to have the clear flex and dimple along with the wood, than fish eye and detach or chip away. If you want a machine that doesn't dimple you need to use really thick mylar or get one of the poly-carbonate protectors before you ever play the game.

    This said, it sure would be nice if playfields all came with a protective layer of plexi or something that could prevent dimpling or if playfields were made out of something beside wood. The Hard Top playfield restoration process seems like a good starting point, especially considering the price of clear coat these days. Hopefully a cost effective process will be available soon, even though people will bitch about not using wood when that happens....

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-dimple-reality-check

    #59 3 months ago

    Checked out the TNA at Garcade in Menomonee Falls tonight... Dimpled all over. Far more dimples than my Met. Stern must have had good wood that day.

    #60 3 months ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    The Hard Top playfield restoration process seems like a good starting point, especially considering the price of clear coat these days. Hopefully a cost effective process will be available soon, even though people will bitch about not using wood when that happens....

    Agreed, this seems like the way of the future, and I would think manufacturers of new pinball machines would be looking at this. But, yeah... LOL.... I expect doing this would usher in a new round of bitching.

    #61 89 days ago
    Quoted from Rum-Z:

    I expect doing this would usher in a new round of bitching.

    It doesn't roll right.
    Something about spin being affected.
    It's too fast.
    It's too slow.

    #62 89 days ago

    I'm a big fan of playfield protectors. I'm not a tournament player and have no desire to be world champion. Just trying (somewhat) to protect my investment and have fun playing them. I'd rather use a protector than have my machines look like shit.

    -1
    #63 89 days ago
    Quoted from kcZ:

    Checked out the TNA at Garcade in Menomonee Falls tonight... Dimpled all over. Far more dimples than my Met. Stern must have had good wood that day.

    lol

    all playfields dimple.

    That TNA likely has 100k plays by now. how many plays on your MET?

    #64 89 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    lol
    all playfields dimple.
    That TNA likely has 100k plays by now. how many plays on your MET?

    You didn't read into my sarcasm.

    On a less sarcastic note... I recall once noting that my Met had a lot of dimples but it seems to have gotten better which goes with what Vid once said that the more dimpled a playfield the smoother it looks at some point it will be one big dimple.

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