I enjoy doing minor repairs on my pins. I never thought I’d restore a playfield as that is way beyond my skill level. But my Firepower playfield was pretty trashed, and so I couldn’t resist when outside edge released a hardtop for it (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/hardtop-playfield-new-product-announcement-poll-included)
Vid wrote an excellent guide on installing a hardtop on his Comet here (thank you Vid!): https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-hardtop-restoration-comet
My restoration took a few different twists and turns so I thought I’d document it here. This is not meant to be a guide but rather a log of the things I encountered while working on this project.
One thing that attracted me to the hardtop was that it shouldn’t be necessary to clear coat the playfield before installing it, so I didn't. I believe it came out quite nice, although sanding and polishing the inserts was nerve wracking.
I also decided to replace all the inserts as the old ones were cupped quite badly as shown in the picture below. I am glad I did, because in retrospect, sanding down the playfield to remove the cupping would have been a major pain in the you-know-what.
I ended up doing the whole project without removing the playfield from the cabinet. Some of you will consider that foolish, but it saved me a lot of time and hassle.