(Topic ID: 262613)

Orange peel on my Big Hit

By Larrymc

1 year ago


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  • 34 posts
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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by goldenboy232
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#1 1 year ago

Hello all, I’ve just undertaken a major cleanup of a neglected Gottlieb Big Hit. I see that it’s got major orange peel texture on the playfield. I’ve been searching everywhere about this and can’t find anything about this happening “naturally” - all mentions of orange peel seem to be related to clear coating. Also there’s serious dirt that naphtha isn’t making any dent in whatsoever, even with a magic eraser. This leads me to wonder if there isn’t a poorly done clear coating, OVER dirt, on this playfield. Any ideas about how to clean this up if so? Thanks!

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#2 1 year ago

Looks to me like someone did a mediocre clear coat job on it. Probably varnish 30 years ago.

I think you are stuck with it. I had a 4 million bc Like that, didn’t bother me. Played fine.

Don’t shine bright lights on it or look At it too closely and it probably won’t bug you.

#3 1 year ago

The only way to level it out would probably be wet sanding. But with that, you would have to be very careful not to sand through the clear and get into your playfield paint.

It's definitely not from the factory like that. Someone has clear coated it at some point. It's usually caused by applying it too thick.

For the amount of work involved, along with the possibility of doing more damage, I'm with CrazyLevi on this one. Might be better off leaving it alone.

#4 1 year ago

gottlieb experimented on a hand full of games and produced them with particle board pf's. big hit is one of them. what you are seeing is the particle board swelling from moisture. the damage is done, nothing can be done to reverse it,

#5 1 year ago

Huh, who knew?

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

gottlieb experimented on a hand full of games and produced them with particle board pf's. big hit is one of them. what you are seeing is the particle board swelling from moisture. the damage is done, nothing can be done to reverse it,

The white paint in the flipper area where you usually see a clear wood finish indicates particle board instead of plywood.
Volley is another game where some of the pf's are particle board with the white paint.

#7 1 year ago

Particle board and pinball don't mix! That sucks indeed.

#8 1 year ago

Glad I read this, as I have a Big Hit I hope to restore later this year. So any tips for cleaning that playfield versus my usual process (91% isopropyl and gentle magic eraser), follwed by auto polishing compound and then waxing)?

#9 1 year ago

Thanks for all the replies. What a surprise about particle board! Guess someone at Gottlieb wasn’t thinking about 40 years into the future!
Since there’s nothing that I can do about it, I will learn to ignore it. It plays well, and really doesn’t look that bad unless you’re looking for it. I hoped to get it looking cleaner, but otherwise it’s in such good shape I definitely don’t want to make anything worse.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Glad I read this, as I have a Big Hit I hope to restore later this year. So any tips for cleaning that playfield versus my usual process (91% isopropyl and gentle magic eraser), follwed by auto polishing compound and then waxing)?

never use iso and magic eraser. iso softens the clear layer and it will rub off with the M.E. use naphtha it doesn't soften the lacquer clear

#11 1 year ago

I did not know that anyone made particle board playfields. Hopefully I never stumble into one. I have some games with particle board cabinets. They are bad enough. Wouldn't want to deal with a playfield made out of that stuff.

On the other hand. This one doesn't appear to have much paint loss or worn spots, so in normal lighting with the playfield glass on, you'll probably barely notice it.

#12 1 year ago

Yeah, all in all it’s in great shape (the playfield, that is), so I’ll minimize my fretting over it and won’t take any chance of making it worse.

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#13 1 year ago
Quoted from Larrymc:

Yeah, all in all it’s in great shape (the playfield, that is), so I’ll minimize my fretting over it and won’t take any chance of making it worse.[quoted image]

Wow looks awesome I wouldn't mess with it personally. Maybe you discovered a New Dimpling conspiracy! Orange Peeling!! I see a thread coming soon lol.

#14 1 year ago

A good candidate for a playfield protector, unless you just hate them.

#15 1 year ago

Definitely particle board. Thanks for that info boilerman - I never would’ve noticed!

I was thinking a playfield protector might be a good idea. It would also solve (I think) the problem of every single insert being cupped. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like there’s one available for Big Hit. That fact aside, how do protectors play with star rollovers - is it so thin it doesn’t matter?

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#16 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

never use iso and magic eraser. iso softens the clear layer and it will rub off with the M.E. use naphtha it doesn't soften the lacquer clear

Dave do you mean specifically on the particle-board ones, or on all playfields? I've used the Isopropyl on probably two dozen playfields and as long as I'm gentle and wipe it off as I go I've only had a few very small instances where I've dulled the clearcoat (from really having to work the magic erasers on tough ball-swirls). Just curious. I'm always open to new approaches. Is Naptha dangerous to use?

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from Larrymc:

Definitely particle board. Thanks for that info boilerman - I never would’ve noticed!
I was thinking a playfield protector might be a good idea. It would also solve (I think) the problem of every single insert being cupped. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like there’s one available for Big Hit. That fact aside, how do protectors play with star rollovers - is it so thin it doesn’t matter?[quoted image]

You can make your own protector. For best results you need to remove your star rollovers and reset them to match the height of the protector.

#18 1 year ago

Particle board is super heavy.

Gottlieb made one cabinet in the 1950's out of the stuff and abandoned the experiment.

1955 Wishing Well.

#19 1 year ago

Not sure if it going to help a lot but in my profession (painting contractor) whenever I run into a heavy orange peel texture on a polyurethaned door, frame, cabinetry etc... If stripping is not an option, I will lightly dry sand the heavy texture down a little bit along with the rest of the door and then use a clear coat that has a lot less sheen. That way it draws much less attention to the area.

Might be an option.

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from Sea_Wolf:

Not sure if it going to help a lot but in my profession (painting contractor) whenever I run into a heavy orange peel texture on a polyurethaned door, frame, cabinetry etc... If stripping is not an option, I will lightly dry sand the heavy texture down a little bit along with the rest of the door and then use a clear coat that has a lot less sheen. That way it draws much less attention to the area.
Might be an option.

This advice works when you have an abundance of material to sand through. In the case of this playfield, there is no such abundance. The silksreened art is microns in thickness. Any sanding to knock down the raised areas will yield blank spots where the art was.

He could do this, however, after putting on a thick clearcoat. It’s still risky.

#21 1 year ago

from ipdb.org
Tim Arnold contacted us with the following information for 'Big Hit', 1976 'Volley', and 1977 'Jacks Open' which explains the different playfields:

I have noticed a mystery on these three games I can solve for you. I have had many examples of these machines over the years. Playfields with PAINT over [flipper] swipe area and top arch are made of CHIPBOARD! I first saw this at Cleveland Coin back in the day when we were thinking of buying the game off the floor. Our salesman told us to take one in the box as the painted over area was "Pressed wood". I later talked to Cliff Strain [in Sales] at an annual trade show. He told me they were trying new materials because of a spike in the price of plywood. I have had two of these three machines since then, and the paint seems to stick to the wood just fine, but the surface turns rough and bumpley (sic) under the paint.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

Dave do you mean specifically on the particle-board ones, or on all playfields? I've used the Isopropyl on probably two dozen playfields and as long as I'm gentle and wipe it off as I go I've only had a few very small instances where I've dulled the clearcoat (from really having to work the magic erasers on tough ball-swirls). Just curious. I'm always open to new approaches. Is Naptha dangerous to use?

i don't use it on ANY pf's. just use latex gloves when using naphtha. it evaporates quite quickly. even if you scrub hard with M.E.
and naphtha you will be hard pressed to remove much of the clear. when i am done it almost looks like the pf was auto cleared because i could buff the original clear to a good shine.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

i don't use it on ANY pf's. just use latex gloves when using naphtha. it evaporates quite quickly. even if you scrub hard with M.E.
and naphtha you will be hard pressed to remove much of the clear. when i am done it almost looks like the pf was auto cleared because i could buff the original clear to a good shine.

And I can get Naptha at a place like Home Depot? I’ve honestly never looked for it.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

And I can get Naptha at a place like Home Depot? I’ve honestly never looked for it.

yup...
in the paint isle

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from leckmeck:

This advice works when you have an abundance of material to sand through. In the case of this playfield, there is no such abundance. The silksreened art is microns in thickness. Any sanding to knock down the raised areas will yield blank spots where the art was.
He could do this, however, after putting on a thick clearcoat. It’s still risky.

Yeah you’re right. After zooming in on the picture above I can see that it’s not just the buildup of clear that’s raised, its the playfield itself, making my suggestion a non-option.

#26 1 year ago

Pretty wild, had never heard of this.

Have you particle board guys noticed more loose posts than usual or anything else that would make these less desirable?

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Pretty wild, had never heard of this.
Have you particle board guys noticed more loose posts than usual or anything else that would make these less desirable?

More loose I would say. I had a populated totem press board playfield and most of the holes were stripped as I depopulated it.

#28 1 year ago

I think Target Alpha was this way too. I recall a lot of loose screws and filling holes with a “plastic wood” product before screwing them back in. But the PF itself (artwork) seemed like it was in better condition than a lot of the wood ones I’d worked on.

#29 1 year ago
Quoted from Mitch:

More loose I would say. I had a populated totem press board playfield and most of the holes were stripped as I depopulated it.

Were you able to easily fill in the holes to reseat the screws/posts as you would be on a plywood pf?

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Were you able to easily fill in the holes to reseat the screws/posts as you would be on a plywood pf?

Never put any screws back in. Its hanging stripped on my wall.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from goldenboy232:

I think Target Alpha was this way too. I recall a lot of loose screws and filling holes with a “plastic wood” product before screwing them back in. But the PF itself (artwork) seemed like it was in better condition than a lot of the wood ones I’d worked on.

i don't believe target alpha was one of these. most titles that were chip boards also had a plywood version also
big hit:had 2 chip board versions. one with yellow and one with white in the wood grain areas
jacks open had both
volley only on the sample pf version was the chip board used
blue note had both

#32 1 year ago

It’s like someone left your Ikea bookcase out in the rain.

I would apply two coats of Verathane (or similar) and gingerly wet sand it down. And repeat.

That would mean a lot of dissembling.

And reassembling.

Consider it patina.

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from desiArnez:

It’s like someone left your Ikea bookcase out in the rain.
I would apply two coats of Verathane (or similar) and gingerly wet sand it down. And repeat.
That would mean a lot of dissembling.
And reassembling.
Consider it patina.

Sanding and wet; two things that seem pretty risky with a 45 year old chip board playfield.

I'd just leave it alone and thank the pinball gods it isn't worse.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from boilerman:

i don't believe target alpha was one of these. most titles that were chip boards also had a plywood version also
big hit:had 2 chip board versions. one with yellow and one with white in the wood grain areas
jacks open had both
volley only on the sample pf version was the chip board used
blue note had both

You’re probably right. I just remember when I had my Target Alpha there was a notification in the materials that said something about the playfield having some new special surface and that great care should be used in cleaning and waxing it.

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