(Topic ID: 202075)

Flame Polishing, what am I doing wrong?


By Djshakes

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by codered9394
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    pen torch (resized).jpg
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    #1 1 year ago

    Hi all,

    I have watched several video on polishing ramps with flame. I also have seen many great results here. I bought the propane torch pictured below from Home Depot. I feel that my ramps don't even clean up very well and I'm always close to the point of warping them. Am I using the wrong torch? I definitely keep it moving when I am polishing. I feel like the polishing does nothing or I'm to the point of warping.

    bernzomatic-torches-tanks-336626-64_1000 (resized).jpg

    #2 1 year ago

    I've had good success flame polishing and my guess is that your torch is putting out too much heat. I use a crème brulee torch and its going to be a little more precision and less heat than that torch. Also, you have to go conservative. Slowly wave the flame over the ramp getting some of the cloudiness out and then let it get completely cool before trying again. Little by little. The main problems I've had is bubbles. That's what you get when you hold the flame over the ramp too long. The plastic starts to boil.

    #3 1 year ago

    I'll get a creme brulee torch and see how that works.

    #4 1 year ago

    Creme Brûlée torch also, never gone close to warping them; need to clean as much a possible before starting torch work

    #5 1 year ago

    Can you use a heat gun to do this too? Last time I lifted some mylar with my heat gun I accidentally glossed up some nearby plastic and thought, hey, this would work for flame polishing too. Am I right?

    #6 1 year ago

    buy an old ramp, practice on that

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    Can you use a heat gun to do this too?

    When I first tried this I used a heat gun and always warped the ramps. The heat gun does not put out heat in a precision enough fashion to work IMO. You need to heat up the cloudy section the ball moves on without heating up the sides as well or it will warp.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from bigdaddy07:

    When I first tried this I used a heat gun and always warped the ramps. The heat gun does not put out heat in a precision enough fashion to work IMO. You need to heat up the cloudy section the ball moves on without heating up the sides as well or it will warp.

    Interesting, good to know. Maybe you could make some cardboard sleeves to block the sides. Next time I have an old ramp, I'm going to experiment some...

    #9 1 year ago

    This is the next skill I need to learn, I have an old ramp to practice on. Gonna order a cremebrulee torch...

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    Maybe you could make some cardboard sleeves to block the sides.

    Maybe something not flammable?

    I once bought one of those flamethrower path clearing tools, lets you burn any weeds in the path/dirt road really easily. Worked great, then I tried to use it on a 2 foot wide brick path and it set the grass on both sides on fire.

    #11 1 year ago

    What sort of pre treatment are you doing? If there is anything more than minor marks I would suggest sanding beforehand. If you do sanding beforehand, the white cloud disappears a lot faster and therefore you have to use less heat.

    FYI my process was:

    -Wash with soap and water
    -1000 grit (small piece, wet sanded by hand)
    -Rinse
    -3000 grit (small piece, wet sanded by hand)
    -Rinse
    -Soldering torch (going very slow, taking your time).

    If there is any left over dirt your polish will look like ass. Maybe snap pics?

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    Maybe something not flammable?
    I once bought one of those flamethrower path clearing tools, lets you burn any weeds in the path/dirt road really easily. Worked great, then I tried to use it on a 2 foot wide brick path and it set the grass on both sides on fire.

    Didn't think you'd be near the flashpoint, but tin foil would probably work well: one good thought leads to another...

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    Interesting, good to know. Maybe you could make some cardboard sleeves to block the sides. Next time I have an old ramp, I'm going to experiment some...

    You could run into an issue with the cardboard getting fused to the ramp anywhere the ramp gets hot. This is also one of the reasons the ramps need to be squeaky clean before you start, since any dirt on them will become part of the ramp once you add heat. Once you get this down it works great. Heck I've even went lightly over ramps while they were still in the game just to return that new look. You just have to remember that less is more and patience is key.

    #14 1 year ago

    I have some junk ramps that were chopped up for replacing sections on other ramps for repairs. If anyone wants one to practice flame polishing on on, let me know.

    #15 1 year ago

    get one these from home depot, they work awesome

    pen torch (resized).jpg

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    Maybe something not flammable?

    Sweet, I think I have some friable asbestos sitting around somewhere...

    no?

    #17 1 year ago

    I use the big rig that the o.p was using. One thing I found out was to make sure its clean before starting. I try to get out as many scratches out as I can with novus 3. Clean with soap and water and get ready. One thing I noticed is that the blue flame has to touch the plastic before it starts working. You also need to be shitten and getten while using the big rig. If you hang out to long your asking for trouble. Follow up with novus 2 then 1 to even everything. A little patients goes a long way.
    Goodluck

    #18 1 year ago

    I recommend a slightly larger diameter flame that covers more area each pass, some of the ones I'm seeing here are too fine point imo. I have a torch with about 1/2" diameter nozzle and a swivel head that allows for easy movement even in tight areas, used it for years on dozens of ramps with great results.

    To OP: When you come to LA to get your playfield bring your ramps and I'll give you a demonstration

    #19 1 year ago

    djshakes - do you have some pictures of your ramps? The end result will depend on what you started with.

    Personally, I used https://www.homedepot.com/p/Bernzomatic-ST2200T-Butane-Micro-Torch-330194/100564678. I used some CDs with some scratches to practice on. Micro scratches go away with flame polishing, but deeper scratches don't. If after two or three passes they're still there the chances are they won't go away and you're better off stopping there. It helps to have some good lighting and a viewing angle where you can really see what's going on. Like, in broad daylight in front of a window, holding the ramp at eye level and looking through it as you polish it.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from codered9394:

    I use the big rig that the o.p was using. One thing I found out was to make sure its clean before starting. I try to get out as many scratches out as I can with novus 3. Clean with soap and water and get ready. One thing I noticed is that the blue flame has to touch the plastic before it starts working. You also need to be shitten and getten while using the big rig. If you hang out to long your asking for trouble. Follow up with novus 2 then 1 to even everything. A little patients goes a long way.
    Goodluck

    Really? I find novus 2 scratches the ramps... and novus 1 isn't worth a damn as a scratch remover. I'm a bit suprised to hear you say this... the ramps should be crystal clear after flaming. I've actually stopped using Novus2 on the plastic ramps period because of the fine scratching...

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    Really? I find novus 2 scratches the ramps... and novus 1 isn't worth a damn as a scratch remover. I'm a bit suprised to hear you say this... the ramps should be crystal clear after flaming. I've actually stopped using Novus2 on the plastic ramps period because of the fine scratching

    If the ramp has some wear or serious ball tracks the novus 3 helps to smooth out some of that. In my experience it helps the plastic to lay down while flame polishing. I use novus 2 and 1 for a final clean up. Novus 2 is to help blend some imperfection that flame polishing couldn't completely remove. I'll need to really look at the last one I did to check for scratches. Maybe something I've missed all this time.

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