(Topic ID: 182449)

New playfield inserts very tight.


By Arcade

3 years ago



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  • 16 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by dr_nybble
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#1 3 years ago

Just purchased some new playfield inserts for my Gottlieb Jacks open. It uses 1" and 1 3/16" inserts.
Problem is my original inserts are 1/16" smaller around then the new inserts.
Maybe this is normal and I should have just pounded the hell out of them to fit, but they just seemed so damn tight.
Using both thumbs and all my body weight would not allow them to go all the way in.
So I had to take an orbital sander to each one and sand around the entire edge until the insert was small enough to go in the hole.
It is still so tight that I really did not even need the glue.

Anyone else ever come across this issue or should I just have bitten the bullet and pounded them in place.

I even placed the new inserts from PBR directly on top of my original insert and it was easy to see the new one is exactly 1" and my originals are 15/16".

#2 3 years ago

It's gotta be tight to be right.

If you have questions about this stuff you should ask Steve at PBR.

#3 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

It's gotta be tight to be right.
If you have questions about this stuff you should ask Steve at PBR.

Already did that first.
And all he could tell me is that he has never had an issue with them.
I know they are cut to the correct size and there is nothing that can be done.
But I have replaced inserts in other games that fit in place with my hands with no problem.
This is the first game where they really did not want to fit without sanding down the edges a lot.

#4 3 years ago

I was just fitting 1" inserts from PBR into my 1954 Williams Spitfire. According to my digital calipers the inserts from PBR were about 1.003" in diameter. They are tapered to precisely fit into the insert hole after they are sanded flush.

For me the insert holes were about 0.985" <-> 0.990" in diameter. Too tight but not as far off as you seem to have.

After sanding the face down and also smoothing the edges I got them to about 0.997" and was able to press them flush with some force but not excessive.

0.9375" (15/16") certainly seems like it is too far off.

#5 3 years ago

Could be changes in the wood of the playfield, but more likely just a mistranslation of product dimensions or something along those lines. If the wood swelled much at all it'd be pretty noticable with planking and the like. Probably just made to fit tightly - perhaps TOO tightly. Sounds like you did the right thing though, I wouldn't want to force them in too much either.

Although I'm sure there's some margin for changes in the wood after all these years before the planking effect or others occur. Sounds like it was *just* too small, meaning only slightly.

#6 3 years ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

I was just fitting 1" inserts from PBR into my 1954 Williams Spitfire. According to my digital calipers the inserts from PBR were about 1.003" in diameter. They are tapered to precisely fit into the insert hole after they are sanded flush.
For me the insert holes were about 0.985" <-> 0.990" in diameter. Too tight but not as far off as you seem to have.
After sanding the face down and also smoothing the edges I got them to about 0.997" and was able to press them flush with some force but not excessive.
0.9375" (15/16") certainly seems like it is too far off.

Yea. I don't have a caliper, just a tape so I am just spitballing.
I really only posted this to see if others had noticed how tight these are sometimes.
It is not a big deal or anything, but I still have a few more to replace and did not want to damage anything by forcing it to hard.
And yes I sanded off the letter on the top of the insert and also a little bit of the bottom edge because they are also too tall. But I knew that part going in.

#7 3 years ago
Quoted from Arcade:

Already did that first.
And all he could tell me is that he has never had an issue with them.
I know they are cut to the correct size and there is nothing that can be done.
But I have replaced inserts in other games that fit in place with my hands with no problem.
This is the first game where they really did not want to fit without sanding down the edges a lot.

That is a very Steve answer.

Sounds to me like this batch is just a little too big, or as Otaku said the wood changed a little in the time since the original inserts got the boot.

I think you dealt with it the right way, just sand the ones you got and squeeze them in. Seems easier than asking for a new set.

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

That is a very Steve answer.
Sounds to me like this batch is just a little too big, or as Otaku said the wood changed a little in the time since the original inserts got the boot.
I think you dealt with it the right way, just sand the ones you got and squeeze them in. Seems easier than asking for a new set.

Thanks.
I was never asking for new set. Just info as to whether or not this is normal.

And for the record and humor. "I have been selling them for years and never had a single issue" was his second response.
His first response to the question was. "No". lol.
Gotta love Steve.

#9 3 years ago

Has anyone tried freezing the inserts and then installing them?
I've done that with engine parts that have tight tolerances. Of course heating the playfield is probably not a good idea, but maybe the freezing of the insert would give you just enough to press it in??
My machines could use inserts, but I kind of like the unpredictability of cupped inserts. Sorta character of the machine.
(Or I'm just too lazy to replace them...)

#10 3 years ago

I had to replace a few inserts a while back and they were pretty tight also. I used a dremel with the barrel sander and cleaned the wood area and they fit snug but not real tight. there was old glue and wood fibers along the edge that was restricting the insert

#11 3 years ago

I replaced every insert on my Top Card before I sent the playfield to HSA. And Top Card has a LOT of inserts.

Not a single one fit right off the start. I had to sand every single one of them, both around the perimeter and the height of the insert, and clean out the insert hole on the playfield. They have a molding number on the top that has to be sanded off also. It was a lot of work.

From other guys who have done this, I don't think anyone has ever had them just fit right in. They won't, at least height wise, because of the was the playfield was manufactured originally.

#12 3 years ago

Same with replacing some 1" inserts in a CCM Dolphin. Had to sand the edges of each insert. Some required more sanding than others, but they all needed sanding. These inserts were from Pinball Life. So glad I didn't have to do that many. A whole game would have been killer.

#13 3 years ago

Thanks for the replies guys. We just finished the final 4 inserts with graphics on them.
All the rest have already been installed.
We are going to try the first one with the hammer and flat piece of wood trick.
If it does not work it is back to sanding the damn edges all the way around.
Even with a little orbital hand sander that is a pain in the ass. lol
Here are a couple of photos of the top rollover inserts we already installed with new art and the four that are about to go in with text.

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#14 3 years ago

If the holes in the playfield are left empty for too long, the wood can swell because it is unpainted/sealed .

Chuck the inserts from the inside, on a lathe and turn them down (someone you know has a lathe), take 5 seconds each.

Or you can make some correct size holes with a forsner bit in some acrylic and then use a router with a pattern bit, to perfectly route out the holes.

If you force un-jeweled inserts into too tight of a hole, they tend to quickly cup.

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#15 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If the holes in the playfield are left empty for too long, the wood can swell because it is unpainted/sealed .
Chuck the inserts from the inside, on a lathe and turn them down (someone you know has a lathe), take 5 seconds each.
Or you can make some correct size holes with a forsner bit in some acrylic and then use a router with a pattern bit, to perfectly route out the holes.
If you force un-jeweled inserts into too tight of a hole, they tend to quickly cup.

All great ideas.
Thanks Vid.
We can't get to the last 4 until Friday.
We did have a couple of them that went in just fine. So far just the 4 at the top were a bitch to get to size.
It makes perfect sense that if the holes were left empty they could close up a bit. These however had inserts in them that we had to heat up and knock out. So that is not the case with this game.
Hopefully these last 4 will just go right in. We have not removed the old ones yet.

2 months later
#16 3 years ago

I was too afraid to get the router going as per Vid's suggestion (plus I don't have a drill press to make a clean template).

Instead, I used a drill-mounted cylinder sander and zipped it around the insert holes. It worked well. If you try this sand for just a few seconds, test-fit the insert and repeat. Probably good for a slight trim, getting another 1/128" or 1/64".

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