Nerdygrrl's Guide On What To Do If Your New PF Isn't Dimpled

(Topic ID: 207942)

Nerdygrrl's Guide On What To Do If Your New PF Isn't Dimpled


By nerdygrrl

8 months ago



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  • 33 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by kruzman
  • Topic is favorited by 20 Pinsiders

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    #1 8 months ago

    I am going to get the text up in here first and then add the images in over the next two days.

    So you got yourself a fancy new PF and it wasn’t dimpled. If you’re like me you may have had a fainting spell and consumed mass amounts of alcohol to deal with this unforeseen hiccup in your restoration process. If you’re normal, you probably just cussed a lot and shook a fist or two.

    Either way, we got to get er done. When I asked my local bros about what to do, many brushed it off as no big deal. Most having done it before, but for me this was unchartered territory. I know my limitations and this definitely falls within those. 

It is not an understatement to say this caused me massive amounts of stress and worry. I am a perfectionist and the great unknown is not something I embrace. That being said, for better or worse, I did it and I would like to share what I learned with you. So perhaps I can save someone from making the mistakes that I did or simply making the process a little less intimidating.



    If you receive a PF and it is not dimpled you have three options that I am aware of open to you.

    Options One: Save yourself the stress, the worry and the damage to you liver and PF by contacting Kruzman as he offers a dimpling service.

    Option Two: If your old PF is beat to heck and you don’t plan on selling it, use that as a template by clamping the two PF’s together and drilling straight through from your old PF to the new.

    Option Three: If you want to save your old PF to resell and recover some of your costs you can make a template using wax paper, frisket or other materials.

    Below I will walk you through the options and try and address things that may come up.

    Buckle up my little Pinsiders, this is going to be a long ride. 



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    #2 8 months ago

    Option One: Is by far the simplest and great for those of you that lack a sense of adventure. Simply drop Kruzman a line, and send that baby off to be dimpled. Then you can spend all of the time you saved with the wife and kids, picking flowers, writing that novel that you always talk about, or whatever it is you do in your spare time.


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    #3 8 months ago

    Option Two: Is slightly more complicated. Great for those that like adventure, but not too much adventure. Like mocking sharks from outside the aquarium glass. 

Please note that this method does not allow for heating the clear coat on your new PF and may result in cracking of said clear.

    Option Two, Stage One: Prepping your old PF.

    Tools For PF Prep (if you old PF underside has been stripped you can skip most of this and just get right to the sanding):

Hammer, Block of Wood, Lock Nut For Pop Bumpers, Pliers (for removing staples), Small Flat Head Screw Driver (for removing T-Nuts), Orbital Or Other Sander.



    The first thing we need to do is to clear off the underside of your old PF as we don’t want to gouge or scratch our fancy new one with leftover debris.



    Step One: Remove any and all pop bumper nails. You do this by threading the lock nut to the end of the nail, placing the block of wood over it and giving it a solid whack. This is a great way to get out some of your frustrations over your non dimpled PF. All in all just one whack should do, but if you like whacking feel free to whack as long and as much as you like.

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    Step Two: Remove any T-Nuts from the underside. You can take a post and hammer out from the topside, but I find they are easy to dislodge with a small flat head screwdrivers and it causes less damage to the underside.



    Step Three: Remove any staples or other metallic debris remaining on the PF. A simple tug with some pliers of whatever you prefer should suffice.



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    Step Four: With your PF free from bits, it’s a good idea to give it a nice sanding to remove any of the rough stuff. Sure the new PF is cleared, but why risk scratching the new surface by not taking the extra few minutes to sand. I used a 120 grit paper and it cleaned up fine.

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    #4 8 months ago

    Option Two, Stage Two: Getting Down With It



    With your old PF prepped it’s time to line old and new together and clamp.

    
Tools Needed: Clamps (at least four), Power Drill, 3/32 Bit (for #6 hex screws and posts), Bit Clamp to Mark Depth (or paint pen to manually mark), Bolt Guide, Plastic Sheeting (if you don’t want to take any risks with scratches and gouges).

    Step One: Lining up the two PF’s. Roughly align your top and bottom PF, don’t go crazy dialing it in, we just want them sort of aligned, install the clamps in the four corners. Putting these on before the PF’s are aligned will reduce risk of dislodging them afterwards. This way we’ll just have to tighten down the clamps when we are finished. 



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    Step Two: Dialing in the two PF’s. If you’re like me, your first instinct may be to try and line up the top and sides of the PF’s. This is a mistake, as the PF’s may not be square or may have used different data points. Instead, work on lining up major landmarks (drilled holes, inserts, etc).

    The majority of the dimples are for the posts, guides, etc. that interact with the components that the holes and routed areas are cut for. So when drilling the dimples, it is essential that we work off of these major landmarks and not arbitrary borders and boundaries of artwork or PF.



    Once the PF’s are lined up and your major landmarks check out, tighten up your clamps. When finished go back and verify that everything is still in line. 





    Step Three: Take your bolt guide and go around the old PF to get an idea of the various sized holes that we’ll need to dimple. For most of the Williams system 11’s you’ll need to make pilots for #6 hex screws and #6 posts. I know some like using a 7/64 bit for these, but I prefer to err on the side of caution and use a slightly smaller 3/32. 



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    Step Four: We are going to need to determine the depth of our drilling. Take your drill bit and measure the distance of the old PF, and depth you want to drill on new PF and mark the bit. I have had little luck with the clamps and prefer to just mark the bit itself with tape, marker or paint.



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    Step Five: It’s time to drill baby drill. It’s pretty straight forward, insert your bit into existing hole and drill down until you are at the correct depth. Rinse and repeat.
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    Tada, you now have a dimpled PF.

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    #5 8 months ago

    Option Three: Adventure Level: Diving into shark tank covered in SPAM AKA For those that hate themselves, happiness or just life in general. 



    This is the method that I “embraced”. I personally went with a .33 MM thick plastic sheet that I sourced from a local art supply store. It cost a bit more than wax or tracing paper, but was far more rigid and IMO better for accuracy.

    

Option Three, Stage One: Making a template out of our old PF.



    Tools and Materials Needed: Power Drill, 3/32 Bit (for #6 hex screws and posts), Bolt Guide and/or Circle Guide, Plastic Sheeting or Wax Paper, Marker (that will work on your template material), Painter’s Tape, Calipers

    Step One: Line up your sheeting with your old PF, and tape in place. Once taped mark your top and sides to use as a reference.



    Step Two: Mark your major physical landmarks (mechanism holes or routed areas) My first instinct was to mark the outlines of the artwork which was absolutely useless and will result in misplaced pilot holes/dimples. 

The position of the dimples we are creating have little to nothing to do with the PF artwork. They are there to work in conjunction with the major mechanisms.



    Step Three: With your major landmarks outlined, it is time to start marking the dimples. The method will vary with the type of material you are making your template out of. This is another reason why I chose thicker plastic sheeting as opposed to tracing paper.

    

With wax or tracing paper one would take their hole guide and simply go over each existing hole with a marker or pen. 

With the thicker plastic sheet I was able to drill out the holes IMO making for a more accurate template.

    Again take your bolt or you hole guide, lay it down over the existing hole, center your drill in it and drill through the plastic and into the exiting hole on your old PF. 

Using the bolt guide allows for better control over the bit. There is less room to deviate which is welcomed given my unsteady hands. Rinse and repeat until finished.



    When you have all of your dimples drilled out flip over the template and unlike the state of FL remove any hanging chads. For accuracy’s sake we want the template to be flat as flat as possible and we don’t want any scratchy bits under there.



    With the chads removed I went around with my calipers and did random checks between my template and my old PF. Measuring the distance between the dimples and the components they are associated with. All of my marks were pretty spot on so I felt as comfortable as I could moving forward.

    All in all it took me less than thirty minutes to crank out my template like this. It was definitely easier than I thought it would be.

    #6 8 months ago

    Option Three, Stage Two: Dimpling Our New PF (Adventure Level Bananas) 



    Tools Needed: Power Drill with Brand New 3/32 Bits or For The Faint Of Heart A Pokey Dimple Thingy AKA Awl (for making indentations), Heat Gun or Hair Dryer, Painters Tape, Bolt or Hole Guide



    Step One: We need to line up our template with our new PF. Again we are focusing on the major physical landmarks and not arbitrary borders of the PF or artwork. Once you feel like you have your template alined onto your new PF tape in place.

    

Step Two: We now come to the choose your own adventure portion of this project. For those that question their work and don’t want to risk turning their new PF into Swiss Cheese, I would recommend using an awl or something similar to mark the location for the pilots. 

For people like me, who like to throw caution to the wind and that maybe don’t like to think things through, I would recommend your handy dandy drill with 3/32 bit. Because who doesn’t love a $750 swiss cheese PF.



    Regardless of what option you choose I would again recommend laying down you bolt guide, lining it up with the template hole, heating the area with a hair dryer or heat gun and marking the location with weapon of your choice. 

If you are drilling you don’t need to go deep at all maybe 1 MM. If you don’t trust yourself enough, mark your drill bit using a marker, tape, paint, etc 



    Again Rinse and Repeat until finished.

So there you have it. If you are like me you probably spent a good deal of the time drinking and questioning your poor life choices. If you are a more rational human being you probably embraced the challenge and feel wicked good about a job well done.

    Feel free to chime in here peeps. This was written off of my experience. I posted as I know a few others that are in the same boat with their PF’s. 


    #7 8 months ago
    Quoted from nerdygrrl:

    you got yourself a fancy new PF and it wasn’t dimpled

    Oh that bites.

    I like option one. However I'm lazy, and I'd rather pay someone to do work than do it myself. Locating everything on a playfield is a LOT of work. And not having dimples just makes it tough. So I'd pick paying someone I know would do a good job at it. Then I can have the fun part of the swap, which is soldering light sockets. There is something relaxing about the hours of just soldering the ground braid, and soldering in the harness. Love that part.

    #8 8 months ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    Oh that bites.
    I like option one. However I'm lazy, and I'd rather pay someone to do work than do it myself. Locating everything on a playfield is a LOT of work. And not having dimples just makes it tough. So I'd pick paying someone I know would do a good job at it. Then I can have the fun part of the swap, which is soldering light sockets. There is something relaxing about the hours of just soldering the ground braid, and soldering in the harness. Love that part.

    It wasn't the best day, but I did manage. If I had the extra $$$ I probably would have gone for option one myself, but I was already living beyond my means with this restoration.

    I know there are a few others in my boat that will also need to get this done so I wanted to do a more thorough outline than what I provided in my restoration thread.

    #9 8 months ago

    What is this all about?

    #10 8 months ago
    Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

    What is this all about?

    It's a step by step guide on what to do if the topside of your PF has not been marked or dimpled. There are a few of us going through this right now. I wanted to get the text up, and am doing my best to get the photos up in the next two days.

    #11 7 months ago

    Thank you for posting this! It will come in handy!

    #12 7 months ago

    Hello. a friend sent me a link to this post,and its a great one! I am going to put a link on my thread to it. (also thank you for the promo and the compliments).
    Doing a pf install that has not been dimpled is big work. If it is one of your first couple installs, be sure to have the dimple work complete before you begin installing, no matter what way you do it.
    When I mention this topic to folks who have undimpled pf's, it may sound like I am selling you my service, but I am busy enough I will live without it. I am trying to save people from the anxiety and depression of getting over ones head in a very expensive situation.

    When I do a dimple job, I also drill out the post holes and pop bumper holes as well as bevel them, I find 2 sources of pfs and 2 sheets of 3/8 plexiglass. It dosent have to be that thick, but I hope that some day I will get to use my templates more than once (so far I think only one title has been done twice). I use a color code to show the different sized holes or dimples. I also draw on the straight cut outs lines so I can line up my template with the inside of the pf. They are not always sitting on the wood the same. So like on TAF I mark the fester hole, as well as the book case hole and other land marks to work from.

    I think it is better to drill and dimple before the clear, but that is because I use my install kit to remove just the right amount of clear before I drill. Sometimes the holes wont be right where your dimples suggest. Because of that, I like to clear first then remove the clear where I am going to have to drill. This is just my preference, and the way I do it. I am sure everyone does it different for different reasons.

    I want to point out that a pf that is dimpled and drilled still needs to have each screw hole predrilled. The reason it is done like that, is like I said things dont always match the dimples, and also different size screws are used on different games. So I measure or gauge every screw and predrill to size when I am installing. If you send out your pf to get drilled and dimpled, you still need to drill each hole your self. The dimples are a guide.

    ok so this is a great thread for folks who have not done a pf install before and have plans to do one. make sure it is ready, and get it ready before. Destroying an expensive pf is not a reason for killing ones self. At the time it seems like the perfect solution, but after a couple months you may be glad you didnt do it.

    #13 7 months ago
    Quoted from kruzman:

    Hello. a friend sent me a link to this post,and its a great one! I am going to put a link on my thread to it. (also thank you for the promo and the compliments).

    No problem, not everyone has the skills or time to do this themselves. Doing a basic swap is stressful enough, factor in having to mark and dimple the topside while trying not to turn your new PF into a pin cushion or wrecking the clear pushed me to my limits. No greater fear than destroying your beautiful new PF. If I had the extra dollars I would have sent this off to have you do it.

    #14 7 months ago
    Quoted from Schwaggs:

    Thank you for posting this! It will come in handy!

    You're welcome. I learned a lot doing this. Things came up that I wouldn't have thought of (and didn't). I tried to outline it all as best as I could so the rest of you would have an easier go when it comes time to do your swap.

    #15 7 months ago

    Good info Mel and way to go on not giving up when things got tough there for awhile!!!
    thanks
    Blake
    mk3u2012

    #16 7 months ago

    I am in the process of clear coating my F-14 now. It is not dimpled either. So this thread will come in handy, Thanks!

    #17 7 months ago
    Quoted from Blake:

    Good info Mel and way to go on not giving up when things got tough there for awhile!!!
    thanks
    Blake
    mk3u2012

    Thanks Blake. It was definitely hairy there for a while. I am looking forward to populating the PF and seeing how I did.

    Quoted from heni1977:

    I am in the process of clear coating my F-14 now. It is not dimpled either. So this thread will come in handy, Thanks!

    Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions that weren't addressed here.

    #18 7 months ago

    Yesterday while working on dimpling the bottoms side of my PF I once again had difficulty getting the top half of the PF (above spinner discs) and bottom half to line up. When I did the first template I had this issue and thought perhaps it was sloppiness on my part. I even lined up my old and new PF and didn't see anything amiss.

    Yesterday when it happened again I decided to lay the new PF on top of the old and then the issue became apparent. There are very clear physical differences. This is something to keep in mind when deciding which method you use. It made me glad I went with Option 3 using a plastic template versus using the old PF as a template.

    I will edit above accordingly to let folks know.

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    #19 7 months ago

    I know it feels good to share an experience that was a costly, (financially or emotionally ), because it gives a warning to many people who are walking in to a world of hurt if not prepared. So I think many people are going to thank you for this in the next year. And good for you. We all have limited time, and to take your time to help others is a nobel cause. I havent read them but I have heard that VID has volumes of info he has posted. The go to used to be clay harrel. He was responsible for the most comprehensive repair, restore info on the net. It was amazing the amount of time he invested in to it. I dont know if it is still available, but it is super helpful I wish I was smart enough to print out the couple hundred pages of it to keep on hand.
    Anyway good work. cheers, kruzman

    #20 7 months ago
    Quoted from kruzman:

    ... So I think many people are going to thank you for this in the next year.

    For sure since CPR will probably shit the bed again.

    #21 7 months ago

    From your picture at the bottom of post #18 it looks as though the flipper gap on the new playfield will be just a tad bit smaller than the original (if the right is offset like the left in the pic ) . I wonder how much difference that tiny amount will make in the feel of this game ???

    #22 7 months ago
    Quoted from trilogybeer:

    From your picture at the bottom of post #18 it looks as though the flipper gap on the new playfield will be just a tad bit smaller than the original (if the right is offset like the left in the pic ) . I wonder how much difference that tiny amount will make in the feel of this game ???

    I bet it is component placement variations like this that make one original Williams game play very differently from others of the same title.

    #23 7 months ago

    I guess it all depends on who was doing the drilling that day. They were all built by hand and although they had guides and templates I’m sure accuracy wasn’t valued as much as speed in getting them done. That’s why I sent my Phantom nos field to Kruzman. I’d have loved to drill and dimple myself to get the experience under my belt if it was a playfield I could easily find a replacement on if I screwed up like a CPR or a more modern machine with plenty of nos laying around. Good guide!

    #24 7 months ago

    That is a very good point. I call it tuning a game, which takes a lot of time and is best done by folks with experience. I have bought 2 games that had pf swaps, played on them and they played horrible, lots of drains straight between the flippers, ball guides and targets not in the exact place. Once you do a pf swap, you really dont want to tighten down everything until you tune the game, which means playing a bunch of shots and making sure things are right. think of the logic of why posts are where they are, and make sure that they are accomplishing their task. Another example is the metal wire guides behind the flippers that are low to the pf. I didnt see any reason to install those, until I realized how many times the ball would go down the drain lane and then up between the flippers, or bounce off the apron and right back in to play..
    Swapping pf's is a great part of the restoration hobby, but dont underestimate the value of experience, and make sure you learn from every mistake, you paid for it....

    This is a great thread.

    #25 7 months ago

    Why the hell aren't these repro's dimpled right? I mean shouldn't they be?? I feel like there should be perfectly aligned. Maybe that's asking too much?

    #26 7 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    Why the hell aren't these repro's dimpled right? I mean shouldn't they be?? I feel like there should be perfectly aligned. Maybe that's asking too much?

    This was an error in the production process. There is not a lot that can be done post clear.

    As per the perfectly aligned, even Williams made mistakes. The big problem that I ran into which I will add up top is that there is a good bit of deviation from my old PF to the new. As others have commented Williams would contract out different companies so deviation was normal. That being said, it's also why it's a good idea to dimple from factory and original data points. My data points were different than CPR's. I have hit a couple of snags during the re-population as a result.

    #27 7 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    Why the hell aren't these repro's dimpled right? I mean shouldn't they be?? I feel like there should be perfectly aligned. Maybe that's asking too much?

    Because of variations in original factory output. What you may say is 'original layout' can very well depend on that example... or that supplier... and may differ to another supplier.

    #28 7 months ago

    HEP's Taxi restore thread that is going right now has some really nice close up examples of how there can be ever so slight (but still critical) variations in the locations and how those are addressed (usually by widening the holes slightly in the proper direction). That thread and this one combined would be a great reference for someone who needs to swap a playfield.

    #29 7 months ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    HEP's Taxi restore thread that is going right now has some really nice close up examples of how there can be ever so slight (but still critical) variations in the locations and how those are addressed (usually by widening the holes slightly in the proper direction). That thread and this one combined would be a great reference for someone who needs to swap a playfield.

    Another member mentioned that thread to me yesterday. Hoping to give it a read today.

    #30 7 months ago

    Not only are these threads great resources, but they also help pass the time during a boring work day.

    #31 7 months ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    Not only are these threads great resources, but they also help pass the time during a boring work day.

    Agreed, I just finished the HEP Tax thread. It's going to make the rest of my swap easier.

    #32 7 months ago

    I ran into this one. What i did was.

    Took a huge sheet of tissue paper. Taped it down tight to the playfield on all corners on the old field. Then took a sharpie and marked all the holes everywhere and marked a couple cutout holes in all 4 corners for alignment. Then aligned it on the new field, and taped it back down. Took a punch and dented every spot that had a sharpie dot. Then just went through and drilled through the ones that were drilled (matching the drill with the old field hole) or predrilling just through the clear the spots that were going to be screwed into the field. Wasn't as bad as I first thought. When I was done, everything lined up exactly like the old field did.

    2 months later
    #33 4 months ago

    I never mentioned this in the description, but I try to customize the install kits to the pf I usually know you are installing. A few people are using the kit of stock cleared reproductions by cpr and mirco with great results.
    I wanted to mention that I can include a bit to star roll overs. I test the pf's I clear to make sure a star post works freely, but I know it is not unusual for a reproduction to have too much clear in the roll over, and it is a great way to make a costly mistake. I have a bit that is just wide enough that if you have a clogged star insert, this will gap it.

    so if you mention you need it i will put it in the kit rather than so other bit.

    So I hope that answers some folks question

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