(Topic ID: 218168)

Official "HARDTOPS" thread


By Skypilot

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 1,694 posts
  • 338 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by ibis
  • Topic is favorited by 206 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“If we produce a Hardtop for this game would yo purchase it?”

  • High Speed 145 votes
    14%
  • Firepower 106 votes
    10%
  • Silverball Mania 53 votes
    5%
  • Time Warp 25 votes
    2%
  • Mata Hari 47 votes
    4%
  • Blackout 86 votes
    8%
  • Tri-Zone 20 votes
    2%
  • Swords of Fury 65 votes
    6%
  • Space Station 52 votes
    5%
  • Fathom 48 votes
    4%
  • Pinbot 118 votes
    11%
  • Eight Ball Deluxe 110 votes
    10%
  • Strikes and Spares 40 votes
    4%
  • Kiss (Bally) 48 votes
    4%
  • Supersonic 36 votes
    3%
  • Grand Lizard 69 votes
    6%

(Multiple choice - 1068 votes by 621 Pinsiders)

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There are 1694 posts in this topic. You are on page 34 of 34.
#1651 18 days ago
Quoted from waveman:

That makes sense but it's a bummer -- at least for me one of the appealing things about the hardtop was that I didn't have to clearcoat the playfield.
Out of curiosity, could you share what the actual recommendation is? Is it an easy brush on of Polyurethane or does it require a two-component clear like SprayMax 2k? Thanks!

Nothing too fancy at all needed. Lots of folks have used hardware grade spray on clear coat and it has worked just fine. The main objective is to seal out contaminates creeping around in the wood fibers (dirt/grime/wax/mystery products)

#1652 18 days ago

I've experienced both:

Mata Hari - hardtop installed March 2019. Original artwork sanded off. No clear coat applied before hardtop install. 18 months and several hundred games later, still looks and plays like new.

Eight Ball Deluxe (Attempt 1) - hardtop installed May 2020. Original artwork sanded off. No clear coat applied before hardtop install. After 2 to 3 weeks, hardtop developed 4 significant areas of "lifting" (bubbles) ranging in size from a square inch to several square inches.

Eight Ball Deluxe (Attempt 2) - first hardtop removed (that was an adventure!) and 2nd one installed in early August 2020. Playfield re-sanded after ink and adhesive residue removed. Three light coats of rattle can Clear (Rustoleum) applied with a week of outgassing allowed between the last coat of clear and the hardtop installation. So far, after nearly 4 weeks and 100+ games, no issues.

Outside Edge was outstanding with their prompt help, support and recommendations - they took care of me and my situation, and they still have a happy customer.

While it was huge pain to re-do the hardtop, it did give me the opportunity to do some stuff I had thought about doing (but did not) the first go around:
- Totally disassemble the three pop bumpers, ultrasonic clean and tumble the individual metal parts, and reassemble with new springs and coil sleeves
- Put in Molex connectors for all of the coils allowing for quicker reinstall and easier future maintenance for when assemblies need to be removed

#1653 18 days ago

+1 Great customer support with Bruce there at Outside Edge.

#1654 18 days ago

My three hardtops:

Shuttle, cleared (I didn't install this one). Thought I had some lifting when I brought it home in my truck, through Kansas heat, but it seems fine now and I'm fine with it.

High Speed, fully sanded but NOT cleared (did this one myself). I'm not noticing any issues after about 8 months of use. Plays great, at least as far as the hardtop is concerned (some nagging ramp issues that I've done to myself).

Eight Ball Deluxe, not fully sanded and was NOT going to clear (I'm not doing this one)...sounds like I really need to suggest finishing off the sanding AND encouraging it to be cleared...yes?

Love the product, and I absolutely will not ever hesitate to do another one should I end up being presented with the opportunity!

#1655 18 days ago

Bruce, were the few issues with lifting that occurred, seen within a relatively short timeframe after the install?

#1656 18 days ago

Any idea if the ones that lifted had the pf completely sanded? The instructions had been to sand the inserts and surrounding areas, but complete artwork removal was not necessary. Just wondering if it was lifting from sanded wood or retained artwork areas.

#1657 18 days ago
Quoted from Outsidedge:

Nothing too fancy at all needed. Lots of folks have used hardware grade spray on clear coat and it has worked just fine. The main objective is to seal out contaminates creeping around in the wood fibers (dirt/grime/wax/mystery products)

Thanks - that doesn't sound bad at all. I did my firepower without clearing it, but put a lot of work into removing all dust
Huge fan of the hardtops and it's great to see everyone sharing their experience and praise the excellent support!

#1658 18 days ago
Quoted from eagle18:

Bruce, were the few issues with lifting that occurred, seen within a relatively short timeframe after the install?

In my instance with Eight Ball Deluxe, lifting started about 2 weeks after install.

#1659 18 days ago
Quoted from topkat:

Any idea if the ones that lifted had the pf completely sanded? The instructions had been to sand the inserts and surrounding areas, but complete artwork removal was not necessary. Just wondering if it was lifting from sanded wood or retained artwork areas.

In my instance with Eight Ball Deluxe, the lifting was from sanded wood (without clearing before putting down the hardtop). I chose to remove all of the artwork to repair rough areas on the playfield. I did the same process on Mata Hari a year ago with no issues, but will certainly be applying a few layers of clear after sanding on all my future hardtop installs.

#1660 18 days ago

saw the answer.. any clear coat

#1661 17 days ago

I currently have my GL ready for the hardtop to go on. So that means I am now in the position to spray the whole thing down with clear. But for some reason I am concerned with spraying the light inserts. Not sure why exactly other than I don't want the clear to release or do something weird down the road. Currently the inserts are polished back very nicely like they should be.

glht (resized).jpeg

Any thoughts on this?

#1662 17 days ago

I think you could do a quick and dirty mask job over the inserts and put a couple of coats down to seal in the majority of the wood. With the new recommendation, this is probably how I would handle my next hardtop install.

#1663 17 days ago
Quoted from RobF:

I think you could do a quick and dirty mask job over the inserts and put a couple of coats down to seal in the majority of the wood. With the new recommendation, this is probably how I would handle my next hardtop install.

Think I will do that. I can cut some round stickers out on the vinyl cutter and cover over the inserts.

#1664 17 days ago

Wait, why do you not want to clear over the inserts?

#1665 17 days ago
Quoted from Clytor:

Wait, why do you not want to clear over the inserts?

I'm assuming because they're already high polished. If he wants to clear them they need to be roughed up some to accept the clear. I don't think you want to clear over polished inserts.

#1666 16 days ago

The inserts are now very highly polished. This means that their smoother surface will reduce the allowable "grip" for the CC to adhere to relative to a rougher surface, and I dont want the CC possibly lifting/cracking thus causing a visual issue. Not saying the CC will do this. But that's a chance that I would prefer not to take because there would be no fixing it short of pulling the hardtop off. No thank you there!

So as time allows I think I will cut some stickers out on the vinyl cutter and simply cover the inserts before clearcoating the PF.

#1667 16 days ago

Rough up with inserts with an 800 grit sandpaper then run the clear.

#1668 15 days ago
Quoted from KSUWildcatFan:

I'm assuming because they're already high polished. If he wants to clear them they need to be roughed up some to accept the clear. I don't think you want to clear over polished inserts.

Ah. Yeah, I did minimal clear coating on my Blackout. I only did the exposed areas with no art. I also did all new inserts that I had step sanded and polished.

#1669 15 days ago

I think both my Space Shuttle and my High Speed are holding up really well (and one was cleared / one wasn't) but I'm a bit concerned with my Eight Ball Deluxe after hearing of mathazar 's issues. My Eight Ball Deluxe has been prepared even differently than my HS/Shuttle..not fully sanded down, inserts all replaced. But I'm not doing the work..

#1670 15 days ago

Just brought home a SS with the intent to hardtop. I've found one on Ebay for about $100 less than OutsideEdge. Does anyone have any experience with hardtops that are NOT made by OE? Are they the same thing? Also what is this "clear" everyone keeps referring to? I assume clear coat but is it a certain type/brand?

#1671 15 days ago

Are you sure you saw an actual hardtop? That sounds like an overlay. You better make sure before purchasing anything.

#1672 15 days ago
Quoted from StavrosMilos:

Just brought home a SS with the intent to hardtop. I've found one on Ebay for about $100 less than OutsideEdge. Does anyone have any experience with hardtops that are NOT made by OE? Are they the same thing? Also what is this "clear" everyone keeps referring to? I assume clear coat but is it a certain type/brand?

Are you referring to a clear Playfield protector? Totally different thing.

#1673 15 days ago
Quoted from StavrosMilos:

Just brought home a SS with the intent to hardtop. I've found one on Ebay for about $100 less than OutsideEdge. Does anyone have any experience with hardtops that are NOT made by OE? Are they the same thing? Also what is this "clear" everyone keeps referring to? I assume clear coat but is it a certain type/brand?

There are four types of products you can buy for your playfield:
1. Repro playfield - expensive.
2. Clear playfield protector to place on top of your heavily worn playfield. You’ll still see your heavily worn playfield. Available on EBay.
3. A playfield overlay. Many people complain that the size or colors aren’t correct. Available on EBay.
4. Hardtop exclusively from Outside Edge. It’s a clear playfield protector that has the playfield art reverse printed on the bottom of it. The other side of the protector, (where the rolls on) is clear. The bottom side with the artwork has an adhesive and a removable film. You adhere the hardtop to your playfield. There are lots of installation videos here, vid1900 made a forum about installation, and lots of people have made suggestions in this forum.

#1674 15 days ago
Quoted from bluespin:

There are four types of products you can buy for your playfield:
1. Repro playfield - expensive.
2. Clear playfield protector to place on top of your heavily worn playfield. You’ll still see your heavily worn playfield. Available on EBay.
3. A playfield overlay. Many people complain that the size or colors aren’t correct. Available on EBay.
4. Hardtop exclusively from Outside Edge. It’s a clear playfield protector that has the playfield art reverse printed on the bottom of it. The other side of the protector, (where the rolls on) is clear. The bottom side with the artwork has an adhesive and a removable film. You adhere the hardtop to your playfield. There are lots of installation videos here, vid1900 made a forum about installation, and lots of people have made suggestions in this forum.

#1675 14 days ago
Quoted from StavrosMilos:

Just brought home a SS with the intent to hardtop. I've found one on Ebay for about $100 less than OutsideEdge. Does anyone have any experience with hardtops that are NOT made by OE? Are they the same thing? Also what is this "clear" everyone keeps referring to? I assume clear coat but is it a certain type/brand?

If you are talking about this one. It's a 50/50 chance you are going to end up with a mess on your hands. I've used them before. They are a royal pain to work with. You have to do the same work to install as the Outside Edge Hardtop. But these are just thin stickers to put it in simple terms. I sold my last one for $50 just to get rid of it and bought a hardtop. Colors and some artwork are off bad on all of them. They easily stretch when applying, They show all defects in wood. Can bubble up a few days later a month later who knows. You will have to trim out for the shooter lane.
Just get the Hardtop from outside edge. The $100 more then the cheap overlay is well worth it.

ebay.com link » Williams Space Shuttle Pinball Machine Playfield Overlay

#1676 14 days ago

Just curious if people with ebd issues were using leds along with hardtop?

I've done 3 hardtop and have used clear on all 3 prior to install. Seems like a better deal and worth the time

#1677 14 days ago
Quoted from pinballplusMN:

Just curious if people with ebd issues were using leds along with hardtop?

I'm using LEDs for inserts and incandescents for GI and the backbox.

#1678 11 days ago

Honestly turned out better than I thought. What a great product!

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#1679 10 days ago

I want to talk more about this need to now clear-coat the PF prior to install. Hopefully OE will chime in.

There are two ways to prep the PF before install:
1. Lightly sand the PF to rough it up leaving most of the original painted surface still intact. This would be the quicker way.
2. Completely sanding the PF to bare wood so ALL of the original painted surface is COMPLETELY gone. This takes much longer than the above.

I completely sanded (finished at 400 grit) the PF down to bare wood on my BK, and cleaned the surface with 3m automotive surface prep solvent to ensure the cleanest possible, and I feel that the HT is stuck very very well and I believe it will go the distance.

So I am wondering how the folks who had failures prepared the PF prior to HT application. Did they light sand or completely sand? Did they clean the surface with a solvent or other cleaner to remove all contaminates? I am just wondering if the clear-coat is really necessary if the PF surface is prepared in the most optimum way.

#1680 10 days ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

Did they clean the surface with a solvent or other cleaner to remove all contaminates?

I imagine this is the culprit to most delaminating issues.

#1681 10 days ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

I want to talk more about this need to now clear-coat the PF prior to install. Hopefully OE will chime in.
There are two ways to prep the PF before install:
1. Lightly sand the PF to rough it up leaving most of the original painted surface still intact. This would be the quicker way.
2. Completely sanding the PF to bare wood so ALL of the original painted surface is COMPLETELY gone. This takes much longer than the above.
I completely sanded (finished at 400 grit) the PF down to bare wood on my BK, and cleaned the surface with 3m automotive surface prep solvent to ensure the cleanest possible, and I feel that the HT is stuck very very well and I believe it will go the distance.
So I am wondering how the folks who had failures prepared the PF prior to HT application. Did they light sand or completely sand? Did they clean the surface with a solvent or other cleaner to remove all contaminates? I am just wondering if the clear-coat is really necessary if the PF surface is prepared in the most optimum way.

Ive installed two of these are if you do not do the prep work you raise the risk of something going wrong. Not that it is a sure thing, but missing steps like cleaning the surface of all chemicals and oils, waxes, etc. will increase the chance of something going awry. The adhesion on these are EXTREMELY strong! If the surface is cleaned/sanded well and even a step further, clear coated, you have a 100% chance of success. And BTW, rattle can Clearcoat is just fine, its just there to seal the surface, not look good.

#1682 5 days ago

I've done two now. I just sanded the original playfields bare. Then I sanded the inserts with a high grit sandpaper and used rattle can clear on them. I gave the surface a good wipe down with just a cloth and then used my shop vac with a soft brush on it to make sure I got everything else. I think my Black Knight has been in play for at least a year and Space Shuttle now for a few weeks. I will have a close look but I don't think I've had any issues.

I would never want to have to pull one of these back up. If there is an issue under the surface, I'm going to live with it. It's at least a thousand times better than what I started with.

#1683 4 days ago

I'm thinking of doing this to my Black Knight. Do you guys think mine is a good candidate to do this to? I have held on to a pretty good upper playfield for a few years that was touched up. Original plan was to clearcoat it and the lower. Just haven't gotten around to it and I also need to re-stencil my cab. But maybe just getting the hard top is the better route?

I haven't done this extensive of work on any of my pins before and do not have a rotisserie either. Do I need one?

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#1684 4 days ago
Quoted from xamindar:

I'm thinking of doing this to my Black Knight. Do you guys think mine is a good candidate to do this to? I have held on to a pretty good upper playfield for a few years that was touched up. Original plan was to clearcoat it and the lower. Just haven't gotten around to it and I also need to re-stencil my cab. But maybe just getting the hard top is the better route?
I haven't done this extensive of work on any of my pins before and do not have a rotisserie either. Do I need one?[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

I'd say this looks like a prime candidate for a hard-top. But I'd also swap back in the correct arrow inserts, and get rid of those yellow ones for the drop targets on the lower playfield.

-Hans

#1685 4 days ago
Quoted from xamindar:

I'm thinking of doing this to my Black Knight. Do you guys think mine is a good candidate to do this to? I have held on to a pretty good upper playfield for a few years that was touched up. Original plan was to clearcoat it and the lower. Just haven't gotten around to it and I also need to re-stencil my cab. But maybe just getting the hard top is the better route?
I haven't done this extensive of work on any of my pins before and do not have a rotisserie either. Do I need one?[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

I'd say that's a great candidate for a hard top. As for the rotisserie it's definitely going to make a big difference if you have one. You can build one like this for under forty bucks. Worked great for me. And yeah as long as you're doing it swap out the inserts. https://images.pinside.com/7/2d/72dcba2659a6f5598146ddbd9539a81f4945c686/resized/large/72dcba2659a6f5598146ddbd9539a81f4945c686.jpg

#1686 4 days ago

Buy or build the rotisserie. Don't do this like I did, leaning up against walls, using your dining room table, balancing on Xerox boxes in your garage, etc...it's a real PITA.

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#1687 4 days ago
Quoted from HHaase:

But I'd also swap back in the correct arrow inserts, and get rid of those yellow ones for the drop targets on the lower playfield.

Yeah I'm totally confused on why those were put in there. It also looks like a lot of the green arrows were also swapped for red. Any idea why someone would have done that? I'll definitely correct them all before installing a hard top.

Quoted from Apinjunkie:

As for the rotisserie it's definitely going to make a big difference if you have one. You can build one like this for under forty bucks.

Thanks, great idea. I started lookinf around these forums and found lots of examples. I have some scrap wood that I can use to make it.

19
#1688 4 days ago

My 13yr old son completed his first Hardtop install. What a great option to have for restoring games.

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#1689 4 days ago
Quoted from xamindar:

I started lookinf around these forums and found lots of examples.

Hopefully you found this: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gauging-interest-in-all-metal-pf-rotisseries-for-18000-shipped

Great rotisserie - solid as a rock and looks great too if you go for the powder coated option.

#1690 4 days ago
Quoted from Mathazar:

Hopefully you found this: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gauging-interest-in-all-metal-pf-rotisseries-for-18000-shipped
Great rotisserie - solid as a rock and looks great too if you go for the powder coated option.

Yeah I did see that. Not sure I want to invest that much in to one just for the one pin I will use it for.

I did see this one, however: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-rotisserie-bicycle-stand
I need a bike stand anyway and if this works, it will be a perfect use. Just need to buy two bike stands and that's no problem as they have use for my bikes as well.

#1691 3 days ago
Quoted from xamindar:

Yeah I did see that. Not sure I want to invest that much in to one just for the one pin I will use it for.

I have sold these to several folks who have used it for only one job. Then they have resold to another for a very nice price. Just something to consider.

#1692 3 days ago

I made two of these from scrap wood and about $25 in parts from the hardware store. Worked really well, and I love my hardtop.

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#1693 3 days ago

While I'm at it, here are some pics of my hardtop after about a year of use. It's kept in a garage/workshop that is not climate controlled.
I didn't replace any inserts or clearcoat it, just a good sanding and a careful cleaning. The hotdogs on my machine were cracked and distressed, but I'm totally OK with how they came out.

OE really nailed this, and it's a joy to play every time. I'm especially glad they got the fonts right on the center logo. I almost bought one of the many other overlays and even the CPR playfield, but everyone else got those fonts wrong.

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#1694 2 days ago

Almost done with my EK, Ill post pics by next week.

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