(Topic ID: 218168)

Official "HARDTOPS" thread

By Skypilot

4 years ago


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Topic Stats

  • 2,688 posts
  • 444 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 days ago by Hazzy121
  • Topic is favorited by 255 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

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

  • High Speed 166 votes
    14%
  • Firepower 121 votes
    10%
  • Silverball Mania 59 votes
    5%
  • Time Warp 30 votes
    3%
  • Mata Hari 50 votes
    4%
  • Blackout 89 votes
    7%
  • Tri-Zone 24 votes
    2%
  • Swords of Fury 68 votes
    6%
  • Space Station 62 votes
    5%
  • Fathom 57 votes
    5%
  • Pinbot 130 votes
    11%
  • Eight Ball Deluxe 116 votes
    10%
  • Strikes and Spares 52 votes
    4%
  • Kiss (Bally) 60 votes
    5%
  • Supersonic 44 votes
    4%
  • Grand Lizard 70 votes
    6%

(Multiple choice - 1198 votes by 713 Pinsiders)

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Topic index (key posts)

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There are 2,688 posts in this topic. You are on page 52 of 54.
#2551 84 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

You stated you wouldn't be surprised if plastic fields became the norm. It was already tried, it failed. Both as a polybarb back-printed top slab over a substrate, very similar to a hardtop, but one that actually fits right since it was cut with the PF, to a full plastic field. Both were discontinued. Both were failures from the manufacturing aspect. It's not disputable that they stopped making them that way.

Haggis playfields are a combination of 9mm plywood & 4.5mm polycarb. That's what came in Celts & that is what Fathom Mermaid has installed. I love the playfield in my Celts & first impressions from the first Mermaid owner are very positive indeed.

#2552 84 days ago
Quoted from Screwloose:

Haggis playfields are a combination of 9mm plywood & 4.5mm polycarb. That's what came in Celts & that is what Fathom Mermaid has installed. I love the playfield in my Celts & first impressions from the first Mermaid owner are very positive indeed.

P3 is plastic too. neither company is likely to be a major player in the long run. Orbitor 1 was plastic too from stern. gimmick game, but the tech was there, they didn't continue with it.

#2553 84 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

You stated you wouldn't be surprised if plastic fields became the norm. It was already tried, it failed. Both as a polybarb back-printed top slab over a substrate, very similar to a hardtop, but one that actually fits right since it was cut with the PF, to a full plastic field. Both were discontinued. Both were failures from the manufacturing aspect. It's not disputable that they stopped making them that way.

Those playfields are solid, I've owned an Elektra and a Interflip Dragon... the concept worked in practice.

I'm not clear what you mean with regard to failure from a mfg aspect? were there some particular stories from back then?

from the market standpoint, I would guess the cost is higher, and the players might not like the feel? Elektra was not a huge seller, but still just under 3k units, so they made a few.

#2554 84 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

. Orbitor 1 was plastic too from stern. gimmick game, but the tech was there, they didn't continue with it.

The orders came in for the Game, but it was too late, Stern/Seeburg had already gone bankrupt

#2555 83 days ago

Haggis has the orders for the games & then some. They just have to navigate the difficulties that many businesses are facing & produce them.

#2556 83 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:The orders came in for the Game, but it was too late, Stern/Seeburg had already gone bankrupt

Not even comparable "tech" I'm surprised someone made the reach in bringing it up.

Bottom line- If it was better and cheaper Gary Stern would have been all over it like a rash by now.

#2557 83 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

Not even comparable "tech" I'm surprised someone made the reach in bringing it up.
Bottom line- If it was better and cheaper Gary Stern would have been all over it like a rash by now.

No, if it was cheaper is the only concern here. I doubt they care about weather it was better.

#2558 83 days ago

All the complaining and anxiety about NIB purchases because of dimples and pooling and chipping. My guess is people may be willing to pay more for this solution which solves those problems. Like I said before, my Gorgar plays awesome with the Hard Top. I notice no deficiency in how it plays!
And what happened years ago is irrelevant. Nobody cared about these playfield imperfections back then. With the home market, people do!

#2559 83 days ago

Question about inserts. I had an extra lower playfield for Elketra that I am going to do the hardtop installation on. Paint is bad and most inserts are missing. I bought new arrow inserts but they seem to be just a hair too big. Anyone run into this before? Who has inserts that fit the early Bally games?

#2560 83 days ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

Question about inserts. I had an extra lower playfield for Elketra that I am going to do the hardtop installation on. Paint is bad and most inserts are missing. I bought new arrow inserts but they seem to be just a hair too big. Anyone run into this before? Who has inserts that fit the early Bally games?

Did you clean out the glue from the insert holes?

#2561 83 days ago
Quoted from Mr_Outlane:

Did you clean out the glue from the insert holes?

I have not but I didn’t notice any glue. Will take a closer look.

#2562 83 days ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

I have not but I didn’t notice any glue. Will take a closer look.

Check this thread out. Vid's guides are great!
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration#post-551287

#2563 82 days ago
Quoted from koji:

Those playfields are solid, I've owned an Elektra and a Interflip Dragon... the concept worked in practice.
I'm not clear what you mean with regard to failure from a mfg aspect? were there some particular stories from back then?
from the market standpoint, I would guess the cost is higher, and the players might not like the feel? Elektra was not a huge seller, but still just under 3k units, so they made a few.

wood is cheap, plastic slabs are not. Wood is easy to machine, plastics are not as easy. Wood much easier to repair if needed. people didn't like how they played. If they were better, either in manufacturing, costs, or play, they would still be being used.

#2564 82 days ago

Tell that to my contractor building an addition

#2565 82 days ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Tell that to my contractor building an addition

relatively and historically.

#2566 82 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

relatively and historically.

Imagine being this desperate for any and all attention. Hard yikes.

#2567 82 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

wood is cheap, plastic slabs are not. Wood is easy to machine, plastics are not as easy. Wood much easier to repair if needed. people didn't like how they played. If they were better, either in manufacturing, costs, or play, they would still be being used.

No, sheet plastic is easily milled. It seems like you are making things up to be a smart guy on the internet.

#2568 81 days ago
Quoted from radium:

No, sheet plastic is easily milled. It seems like you are making things up to be a smart guy on the internet.

I specifically did not state plastic are hard to machine. What I said was "not as easy", plastics tend to wear bits faster and plastics can melt as the cutting edge fails and causes extra heat buildup.

#2569 81 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

I specifically did not state plastic are hard to machine. What I said was "not as easy", plastics tend to wear bits faster and plastics can melt as the cutting edge fails and causes extra heat buildup.

Is there a goal or a finish line you’re trying to get to this all of these empty pointless arguments?
What needs to happen for you to open this thread and say to yourself “there I did it, my work here is done!”

#2570 81 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

I specifically did not state plastic are hard to machine. What I said was "not as easy", plastics tend to wear bits faster and plastics can melt as the cutting edge fails and causes extra heat buildup.

Ok but it sounds like you just googled it and copy pasted this stuff.

#2571 81 days ago

This argument is dependent on technology. What was once problematic may(or may not) become feasible as tech matures. I don't much care(I have loved every plastic covered game I've played on, including protectors), but I can imagine all sorts of possible replacements for the style of playfield we have now. With quality wood only getting more expensive, the economics of some sort of hybrid playfield are really unknown(though I suspect skewed away from traditional playfields over time), so I'm content to sit back and watch.

-1
#2572 81 days ago
Quoted from radium:

Ok but it sounds like you just googled it and copy pasted this stuff.

nope

10
#2573 81 days ago

Please, please PLEASE take this somewhere else. The back and forth is by now waaaaaay beyond relevant.

#2574 81 days ago
Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

Please, please PLEASE take this somewhere else. The back and forth is by now waaaaaay beyond relevant.

Sorry dad

10
#2575 81 days ago

Most plastics used in pinball are easier and more consistent to machine than wood

Hell, you can laser cut acrylics, and the edge comes out shiny and finished

It's like some of you are still living in the last century...

14
#2576 81 days ago

JJP would redeem themselves with me if they released Toy Story with the playfield hardtopped as standard. Can you imagine the crying fest of having to play on a perfect surface void of defects?

“But I can’t hear the ball rolling around!!! And the playfield will never have dimples or pooling or chipping!!!
The game plays too perfect!!!!
This is the worst thing to ever happen to pinball, there’s nothing to complain about!!! All I have to do is wax the game occasionally!” (insert grown men crying)

-1
#2577 78 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Most plastics used in pinball are easier and more consistent to machine than wood
Hell, you can laser cut acrylics, and the edge comes out shiny and finished
It's like some of you are still living in the last century...

you think the company cutting fields will just go get laser cutters when they have perfectly serviceable mechanical cutters in house? That's might happen when replacement is needed, not just for the hell of it.

#2578 78 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

you think the company cutting fields will just go get laser cutters when they have perfectly serviceable mechanical cutters in house? That's might happen when replacement is needed, not just for the hell of it.

640deadhorse.gif

#2579 78 days ago
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#2580 77 days ago

i'm ready to cut the hardtop over the shooter lane. couple of questions:
1. what should I cut it with, will a sharp craft knife get right through?
2. where should I cut it? to centre the V I would have to cut quite a bit off the right then also cut at the top of the left to get it centred. Could I just cut off all of the clear hardtop? that would leave a ridge that the ball would need to jump over.

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#2581 77 days ago
Quoted from SteveNZ:

i'm ready to cut the hardtop over the shooter lane. couple of questions:
1. what should I cut it with, will a sharp craft knife get right through?
2. where should I cut it? to centre the V I would have to cut quite a bit off the right then also cut at the top of the left to get it centred. Could I just cut off all of the clear hardtop? that would leave a ridge that the ball would need to jump over.
[quoted image]

I didn't cut anything out on my Firepower other than the roll over switches. Looks like you need to move it over to the right a little.

#2582 77 days ago
Quoted from kciaccio:

I didn't cut anything out on my Firepower other than the roll over switches. Looks like you need to move it over to the right a little.

In this position every insert is exactly correct. If I move it over the slightest amount I start to be off centre on the inserts and exposing wood. the roll over inserts on the right will need a littel cutting but the left ones are perfect. None of this is unexpected and I have seen previous comments about having to recut the shooter lane, just no details of how it was cut.

#2583 77 days ago
Quoted from SteveNZ:

In this position every insert is exactly correct. If I move it over the slightest amount I start to be off centre on the inserts and exposing wood. the roll over inserts on the right will need a littel cutting but the left ones are perfect. None of this is unexpected and I have seen previous comments about having to recut the shooter lane, just no details of how it was cut.

Fields were made by several companies. There is always variation. Even stuff made at any given company had variation. Not just in registration, supplied screen could be different (space shuttle fonts are a perfect example). Even how they were cut could be different, again space shuttle hotdogs vs spots in the center of the field. Hardtops won't be perfect to hardly any machine, they will be close to most though. This same issue will happen if outside edge is using original WMS info or basing the work on an old field. Now you need to figure out how to make it work best for your situation and figure out what is acceptable to you.

#2584 77 days ago
Quoted from pinballizfun:

Hardtops won't be perfect to hardly any machine, they will be close to most though.

I beg to differ. As I mentioned a few months ago in this topic, I purchased my hardtop WITHOUT the various holes pre-cut. I was able to align the inserts perfectly and then I routed out the holes for the lamps, switches etc.

Now all these holes are dead nuts perfect and the tell tale details of a hardtop cant be seen. My last hardtop is 100% indecernible from a new clearcoated playfied, and it was fairly easy to do.

This is the only way I will install hardtops going forward.

#2585 77 days ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

I beg to differ. As I mentioned a few months ago in this topic, I purchased my hardtop WITHOUT the various holes pre-cut. I was able to align the inserts perfectly and then I routed out the holes for the lamps, switches etc.
Now all these holes are dead nuts perfect and the tell tale details of a hardtop cant be seen. My last hardtop is 100% indecernible from a new clearcoated playfied, and it was fairly easy to do.
This is the only way I will install hardtops going forward.

Interesting, you cut it with a router, would you recommend using a router to cut the shooter lane, or would a knife cut the hardtop just as well for the shooter lane?

#2586 77 days ago

Yes I would. I would clamp a thick straight edge to the hardtop and use the flush bearing bit just like I did for the lamp holes and lamp holes.

#2587 77 days ago

This is the bit I use.
amazon.com link »

pasted_image (resized).png
#2588 77 days ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

This is the bit I use.
amazon.com link »[quoted image]

What router do you use for it?

#2589 77 days ago

amazon.com link »

IMO, you must use a high torque rotary tool like this. I don't think the typical hand-held rotary tools have the power needed for an effective cut. Of course this tool has countless other uses for pinball too. I can take a cloudy clear ramp and polish it crystal clear good as new with this rotary.

pasted_image (resized).png

#2590 77 days ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

amazon.com link »
IMO, you must use a high torque rotary tool like this. I don't think the typical hand-held rotary tools have the power needed for an effective cut. Of course this tool has countless other uses for pinball too. I can take a cloudy clear ramp and polish it crystal clear good as new with this rotary.
[quoted image]

Would a Dremel rotary tool (corded) work the same kind of way? I actually just bought a cordless dremel the other day.

#2591 77 days ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

Now all these holes are dead nuts perfect

Is this an industry standard?

#2592 77 days ago

wrd1972 do you happen to have a video of this process?

#2593 77 days ago
Quoted from GRUMPY:

Is this an industry standard?

pasted_image (resized).png
#2594 77 days ago
Quoted from ourdave76:

wrd1972 do you happen to have a video of this process?

No I dont. Basically I clamp the hardtop to the playfield, then carefully drill a 3/16" locating hole from the bottom for all the switch, lamp holes etc that will get routed out. Once all the locating holes are drilled, I can then use the router bit to flush cut the the holes to their perfect size. When I am routing, i do it free-hand...very carefully. Once all the holes are routed, its time to stick it. This entire process only adds about an hour to the job.

Doing it this way is not for the faint of heart. One little slip up and you scar your hardtop.

Oh and one more thing. Be sure to not miss one of the holes that need to be drilled/routed prior to sticking the hardtop. I dont know for certain, but i think routing the hardtop with it stuck might force shavings between the playfield and hardtop which may cause some undesrable thing.

#2595 77 days ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

Would a Dremel rotary tool (corded) work the same kind of way? I actually just bought a cordless dremel the other day.

Just need to try it and see. If the motor bogs down too much, you may need the bigger rotary tool I posted above. But if it does work, you can use the router base, so thats a plus

#2596 76 days ago

Would be nice to see the upcoming title.

Give us a hint please Outside Edge.

#2597 76 days ago

Thanks for the details on the process

#2598 76 days ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

No I dont. Basically I clamp the hardtop to the playfield, then carefully drill a 3/16" locating hole from the bottom for all the switch, lamp holes etc that will get routed out. Once all the locating holes are drilled, I can then use the router bit to flush cut the the holes to their perfect size. When I am routing, i do it free-hand...very carefully. Once all the holes are routed, its time to stick it. This entire process only adds about an hour to the job.
Doing it this way is not for the faint of heart. One little slip up and you scar your hardtop.
Oh and one more thing. Be sure to not miss one of the holes that need to be drilled/routed prior to sticking the hardtop. I don't know for certain, but i think routing the hardtop with it stuck might force shavings between the playfield and hardtop which may cause some undesirable thing.

This is kind of a big deal on routing the holes pre-sticking vs. after sticking.
Seems like the best precision would be after sticking, but can shavings actually get under the HT?
Keith recommends routing the roll over holes after sticking. (according to the video I watched)

#2599 76 days ago

So in the video he is using a sanding drum and not a router bit. I can see the sanding drum being okay for after the HT is stuck because I cant really see the dust getting getting forced under the HT. The router chips may be a different story. Again I am speculating that this may be an issue. I don't know because I have never tried it.

On the last couple hard tops I have stuck, there were areas in the HT around the holes that did not have adhesive. So if there is no adhesive, you now have a very small clearance or pocket for the chips to get forced into. If this were to happen, you would have to dig the chips out. Also, in the video, there is no missing adhesive around that insert, so there is no risk at all there.

IMO the safest way to go is to clamp the HT and route the holes out, and then stick it. If you align the HT properly and clamp it before sticking it, it will go on perfectly.

#2600 76 days ago
Quoted from wrd1972:

IMO the safest way to go is to clamp the HT and route the holes out, and then stick it. If you align the HT properly and clamp it before sticking it, it will go on perfectly.

Sounds right to me. I agree with the approach.

Sounds like a lot of extra stress but I bet the result is fantastic.

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