(Topic ID: 207692)

Pins and concrete dust. Looking for some suggestions...

By Zennmaster

3 years ago

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  • 16 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Monk
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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    #1 3 years ago

    Just now, as part of a major remodel, I had some people come in and cut a hole in the concrete wall of my basement. The actual cutting was surprisingly clean and low-dust, but when they went to knock out the plug, there was concrete dust EVERYWHERE.

    I had anticipated this, and did what I thought was a reasonable job of hermetically sealing the AFMr and the Bally Hi-Deal that were nearby, as well as taping up a plastic curtain around the cut area.

    When I unwrapped the pins, my heart sank as I saw that there was a thin coat of dust on top of the glass of both machines, as well as the backboxes, and (gulp) on the top surface of the coin box inside the AFMr!

    Needless to say, neither pin has been turned on, and I am waiting until I am certain that I have cleaned up all the loose dust on the floor, and that the risk of airborne dust has reached normal background levels (IE: once I'm done cleaning up everything else in the basement).

    My plan is to blow the dust off of the glass with a can of air, then remove it and carefully and thoroughly vacuum the playfield using a small dusting brush, then follow up with a LIGHT wipe with a clean microfiber cloth, with perhaps a drop or two of Novus 1.

    Following this, I'll vacuum out the bottom of the cabinet, and once again hit it with the microfiber and a bit of Novus 1, just to increase the tack of the cloth, and keep any dust from going airborne. I'll then drop in a fresh set of balls.

    Is there anything I'm leaving out? I'm new at this, and I'm pretty sure there isn't much in the way of grease, oil, or other wet-lube in the machines, is this right?

    I REALLY hate concrete dust. The stuff is basically sandpaper without the paper, and it terrifies me to think of the kind of accelerated wear I could be unleashing on my games!

    Thanks for any and all input!

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinheadpierre:

    No compressed air!!!! You'll blow the dust into every nook and cranny of your machine. Vacuum. For detail areas use some of those tiny vac attachments Vid1900 recommends in his cleaning guide.

    Good call. Yeah, I've got a set of the little attachments Vid mentioned, and a 2.5 gallon mini Shop-Vac that is only for Pinball use. Being the paranoid guy that I am, I may just grab an extra set after this job...

    Thanks everyone!

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Go rent a monster shop-vac from the local rent-all.
    Do the ENTIRE basement first, the machines last.
    If you only do the machines, you will be constantly kicking up new dust from the floor and whatever has clung to the ceiling electrostaticly.
    Concrete dust is a carcinogen, so the guys should have put up a dust curtain.

    That's the plan. The basement is living space, so I've been cleaning pretty constantly since it happened. I've got the games under moving blankets, since there's still some work needing to be done in the area. Luckily, the dust producing tasks are pretty much over, so hopefully I can get ahead of it before the pinball area becomes genuinely accessible.

    2 weeks later
    #13 3 years ago

    Quick update:

    Thanks for the input, friends, it was all very helpful!

    Here's what I did:

    After a couple of days, it seemed most of the dust had settled out of the air. I took a fresh package of Amazon microfiber cloths, and went over the entire living space in the basement. This was my current and retro console collection, my workstation and media server computers (cleaned those out really well also, including a new CPU cooler for the media server. The fans on the old one were getting pretty old and noisy anyway, so it was time), a dozen arcade games, home theater, laundry stuff and some storage. As appropriate, I used furniture polish or something similar to keep a little moisture on the cloth. Without it, I put about as much dust back into the atmosphere as I was able to collect.

    I then wet-mopped the area near the cut, using a solution of 12oz of hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of warm water. This seemed to float the grit away better than just water. I also wet-ragged the wall below the cut. One side effect of using water was that the concrete dust seemed to want to re-solidify. At that point, I was fine with any solution that kept it from going airborne again.

    This brings into focus the major problem I was having using a wet-dry vac: Even with a HEPA filter (good call, by the way), there's still a pretty good current of air blowing out the back, and it was sending the dust back into the atmosphere.

    I'm pretty sure I was able to recover almost half a pound of just dust doing all this!

    Eventually, I got to the point where I could move things around without sending up new clouds, so that's when I started in with the vacuum. I went out and got a bunch of attachments that included dusting brushes, and went to town. The residue that was left over from the wet treatment chunked off nicely with some vigorous brushing, and ended up in the vac.

    Today it was time, so I vacuumed the glass and cabinet on my AFMr. Once that was done, I used a microfiber cloth and glass cleaner to wipe down the glass. I then vacuumed out the playfield using my new 2.5 gallon Shop Vac that is for pinball use only. Just for good measure, I went over everything two or three times. I then lifted the playfield and vacuumed out the cabinet underneath. Fortunately, it was pretty clean. Nothing noticeably worse than I typically see when it's time for a regular cleaning.

    I then went back to the playfield and used my normal cleaning routine: microfiber and Novus 1. I went over it twice, until I could see the cloth was clean, and then applied a coat of Blitz wax.

    As is my usual clean/wax ritual, I also dropped in a new set of balls.

    So far everything seems to be doing well, although I think I probably won't wait for my normal 500 play cleaning interval.

    Again, thanks everyone for your input, and if you ever have concrete work done anywhere near your pins, PLEASE wrap them up tightly, then hang Visqueen around the work area, and seal it up as best you can. Do this in addition to anything the concrete guys do! This was one of the most stressful pinball-related experiences I have had to date, and I hope nobody else needs to go through it.

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