(Topic ID: 11714)

Flattening curled 60 year old playfield plastics


By MrArt2u

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 18 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by perryd
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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_MG_6565.jpg

#1 7 years ago

Hello All,

I just bought a 1952 Gottlieb Hit N Run wood rail in pretty nice shape. The playfield plastics are pretty curled, though. I've straightened SS and 60s-70s EM plastics using the oven for 5-7 minutes, slide in a big book and flatten technique. Is this the right technique for these too? At first touch they feel a bit more brittle than the later ones. I'd really hate to break one!

Here's a pic of one of the plastics:

_MG_6565.jpg

#2 7 years ago

I use the Hot sunny day and flatten between two pieces of glass method.

Ive seen people use toasters , ovens, and hairdryers with success also

#3 7 years ago

The technique that I have found works best is one I learned from the Team EM guys.

http://www.team-em.com/FlatteningPlastics/Procedure.htm

#4 7 years ago

I wonder if this is intentional humor?

"6. Poor your favorite cold beverage and marvel at your genious."

#5 7 years ago
Quoted from hawkeye11:

The technique that I have found works best is one I learned from the Team EM guys.

yup thats the one. works great . especially when it gets to about 100 out

#6 7 years ago

Thanks for the tips, so you think they're the same material as what I have in my 70's machines? They feel more brittle. I'm willing to give it a shot, though. Mostly in anticipation of that favorite cold beverage that follows...

#7 7 years ago

I have used hairdryer (2 actually) and the glass method with clamps. Worked really well on 2 machines I have done so far (early SS).

#8 7 years ago
Quoted from way2wyrd:

I use the Hot sunny day and flatten between two pieces of glass method.

+1 on this. Works every time and is safe.

#9 7 years ago
Quoted from Half_Life:

way2wyrd said:I use the Hot sunny day and flatten between two pieces of glass method.
+1 on this. Works every time and is safe.

Not a winter job then

Great method though.

#10 7 years ago

I would use the toaster over method. Pre-heat to 250 degrees. Place the plastic on a piece of parchment paper. Watch as the plastic starts to relax and settle. Then pull it out and place another piece of parchment paper on top. Place inside of a book with some cans on top for pressure and your done. The sunlight method will work but you risk further yellowing your plastics due to the UV light.

1 year later
#11 6 years ago
Quoted from exflexer:

I would use the toaster over method. Pre-heat to 250 degrees. Place the plastic on a piece of parchment paper. Watch as the plastic starts to relax and settle. Then pull it out and place another piece of parchment paper on top. Place inside of a book with some cans on top for pressure and your done.

I know this thread is old as hell but just wanted to add my +1 in case anyone else is searching. I did this method in the regular oven, plastic face up on top of parchment on a baking pan. Took about 5-10 minutes and straightened right out. Pulled the pan from the oven and set it on the counter, folded the parchment over on top of the plastic and put a cookbook on top. It took about 10-15 minutes for the pan to cool and then the plastic was ready to go.

#12 6 years ago

I've never had any luck flattening plastics from the 50's.

I have had great success with 70's plastics and very good success with 60's plastics. 50's - not very good.

The method I use is similar to Chris's but does not require a sunny summer day. I sandwich the plastic between two pieces of playfield glass with some simple clamps. I then position a simple clamp light with a 60 watt light bulb for about 45 minutes. More than this gets no additional benefit. A lamp like this:
http://m.homedepot.com/p/Designers-Edge-8-5-in-Incandescent-Clamp-Light-DISCONTINUED-E-245/100664506

This has served me well for the last few years.

Let me know if you would like any guidance on this approach.

Mike O.
Team-EM

#13 6 years ago

Has it ever ruined the print doing thee methods?

#14 6 years ago

Just to update everyone on this particular machine, I never got a chance to even attempt to flatten these plastics. Within days of moving this machine from the climate controlled environment it sat in since 1960 (an elderly friend's house with the thermostat set to HOT. all the time) these plastics basically exploded and splintered apart. My art studio is also climate controlled but closer to lower 70s. My guess is they were under tension as they curled and the temperature difference was too much.

I have since confirmed what I suspected in my original post and what others have mentioned here, you can't flatten plastics earlier than early/mid 60's. They're different composition than the later ones.

Cheers,
Art.

#15 6 years ago

Sorry to hear you lost the plastics Art but on topic with flattening plastics I used my wife's professional steam iron (steam off of course) on the lowest setting to flatten some plastics on one of my machines today, worked like a charm!

6 months later
#16 6 years ago

I tried the oven method before finding this article.
This method was used on 1980's era playfield plastics.

I used two small sheets of plywood and a micro-fiber cloth.
Preheat the oven to 250*F
Sandwich the plastic between the two pieces of plywood - wrapped in the cloth to prevent transfer of wood-grain onto the plastic surface.
Apply metal c-clamps for even pressure.
Allow to heat for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely while under pressure.

I went a bit over and heated my first plastic for 25 minutes.
The micro-fiber cloth began to "etch" the plastic so be cautious. This can be buffed out so I didn't really make a big mistake.
250*F for 15 minutes is plenty of heat without offering too much danger of ruining plastics

#17 6 years ago

Heating gun or hair dryer and 2 hardcover books. Heat plastic and placed between two books and flatten. Leave until cooled. Don't want to over heat.

#18 6 years ago

If you have access to a Drymount Press, then it works wonderful for flattening plastics!!

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