Quoted from valveamp:
Ok, some great information. I have a couple of clarifying questions. First, when you say "level the playfield", you mean that it needs to be adjusted so that it is level in ALL directions, not just left to right, correct? Left to right AND front to back? Also, can you clarify what you mean by "paper sheet protector"? Is that the clear plastic that we used to use on a 81/2 X 11" sheet of paper, like for protecting a report of some kind while still allowing a person to see the text through the protector sheet? I assume you cut the plastic protector sheet to the size that you need, apply the resin to the playfield insert, put the plastic protector on top of the insert, then use the blue light to cure the resin, correct? If so, what stops the plastic protector piece from getting stuck to the cured resin? If it sticks to the plastic insert, why won't it stick to the protector sheet? Sorry for all of the questions, I'm thinking about doing this and I don't want to screw it up. Thanks.
oops ... didn't see this.
roughly level in all directions is good enough. The solarez is thicker and doesn't run as easily, so it just needs to be approximate. I use a bubble level similar to this:
amazon.com link »
the cheapest bubble level you can find is fine, and often resting the front of the playfield on the rail is good enough for level
the sheet protector material is just mylar, tho I switched to something like these as they are thicker:
amazon.com link »
the cured solarez doesn't stick to mylar.
to cure the solarez, I use this:
amazon.com link »
the advantage of filling the insert with a liquid is you get a flat surface. Sticking self-adhesive mylar discs on is a lot easier but if you have a deeply cupped insert you may want to use a small one(s) in the middle and a larger one on top to try and fill the hole.
filling the insert with a liquid takes a little more care to fill the right amount ... tho it kinda depends on how perfect you want it to be.
if you overfill, when you put the mylar on top and possibly shift the mylar around a little to distribute everything, you can smear the excess onto the playfield surface. I usually hit the insert with 99 seconds of light, repeat if the mylar doesn't want to peel off easily, then remove the mylar and peel off any of the smear - if it's thin it'll break off the thicker stuff filling the insert, then UV light it again.
if you screw up, the solarez will peel out. The less fully cured, the easier it comes off. It sticks ok to plastic, but it's not a chemical bond. If you left some wax on the playfield next to the insert, it won't stick to playfield ink either.
If you have inserts with artwork screened on or weak playfield ink, ymmv.
keep in mind I'm doing this stuff for pacific pinball museum machines that are played daily. They are generally not beauty queens. Playability and the immediate cure time is the most important thing. Cupped inserts affecting slow rolling ball travel is so common that a perfectly flat playfield on an old EM seems odd I only solarez if the insert can't be removed and reglued level with the hole edges or the cupping is deep enough for a ball to hang up.
if you just have a minor ball hangup issue and don't want the insert very flat, I'd just use the self-adhesive mylar ... tho if the insert isn't something you have a precut shape for, then the liquid is probably easier and if you err on the underfill side, you're not likely to have to peel it out and try again. You can layer the solarez if you need to.