(Topic ID: 30084)

Playfield Dimple Reality Check


By vid1900

6 years ago



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  • 302 posts
  • 114 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 70 days ago by dr_nybble
  • Topic is favorited by 44 Pinsiders

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#201 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I have a Stern Orbitor1, and not a single dimple.
They just don't make 'em like that anymore.

Hey Vid,

I was believing you were saying all pf were dimpled... ???
On my side I'm going to collect pics for a naked MB pf I have examine with the French restorer...

#202 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

So this should show you guys that even a lightly played Williams 90s game has millions of dimples.
After a while, you get so many dimples that all the wood fibers are as compressed as they are going to get and it "seems" smooth, but really isn't.
In the next few months, I'm going to put a good clear coat over this playfield to protect it, but that will not stop the dimpling.
The Stern playfields are still made by CCC, the same company that made most of the Williams playfields.
Once and for all: it's not new cheap wood, it's not Stern sucks, it's not crappy clear coat - it's just pinball.

So why the gosting thing, because its water based the clear now???

#203 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballwil:

So why the gosting thing, because its water based the clear now???

You know, with the wood moisture rate... if the pf continue to dry, it is possible to have some shrinking, which could be also a good reason for clear delamination at the junction of the pf and the inserts...

I read an excellent website on marblewood from a link some where in dimpling topics which can give hints for explanations...
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/differences-between-hard-maple-and-soft-maple/

-1
#204 1 year ago

I serviced a few hundred machine's and ownd 100+ machines.
Have seen a taf with more than 100,000 plays on it with NO DIMPLES on it.
It has some blank spots where the ball comes out of the scoop 10 inch long !!!.
Now the last years the wood is softer and the clear wears of faster, look at the shooter lanes at some latest Sterns.
I have NEVER seen white spots (air) in the shooterlane on Data east or BW games in the 90's.
So the new Stern playfields are crap for the home collectors.

So why not Clear them like the 90's Data East Stern?????????????? (after Batman)

#205 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballwil:

I serviced a few hundred machine's and ownd 100+ machines.
Have seen a taf with more than 100,000 plays on it with NO DIMPLES on it.
It has some blank spots where the ball comes out of the scoop 10 inch long !!!.
Now the last years the wood is softer and the clear wears of faster, look at the shooter lanes at some latest Sterns.
I have NEVER seen white spots (air) in the shooterlane on Data east or BW games in the 90's.
So the new Stern playfields are crap for the home collectors.
So why not Clear them like the 90's Data East Stern?????????????? (after Batman)

Very simple, EPA rules changed everything

#206 1 year ago
Quoted from 0geist0:

Very simple, EPA rules changed everything

That's what I was wondering about. I know paint now is much worse, in terms of how long it will last, due to EPA regulations. We just had to redo the paint on a pool. The guys selling the paint admit it's not as good.

#207 1 year ago
Quoted from 0geist0:

Very simple, EPA rules changed everything

O is that it, that sucks.
Than a macrolon mylar , clear it yourselve or don't play.

#208 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballwil:

So why the gosting thing, because its water based the clear now???

Still solvent based, you can smell it when you first slide the glass off in a new game.

When I sand a new game playfield to prep for clearcoating you can't miss it.

#209 1 year ago
Quoted from Leveeger:

I was believing you were saying all pf were dimpled... ???

I don't know why, but my Orbitor1 and Electra have never dimpled.

1 week later
#210 1 year ago

My NIB Ac/dc Valut pro has dimples all over the playfield!!!!!

#211 1 year ago

keep in mind the game you are talking about as well. No airballs means....no dimples. That's why these older games don't have dimpling. I don't get airballs on my alien poker, but I sure the shit get them on INDY 500. And guess what. It dimples. And has a shitton of them. So many in fact, that the field almost looks flat again.

Even if you use some insanely hard clearcoat. The wood under the clear is going to flex. If the clear on the top is soooooo rigid, that it cannot flex with the wood.... It's going to let go of the wood and cause a ghost dot where the dimple would be. It's better for the clear to have some flexibility so it can move with the wood, as the ball is beating the living shit out of it.

#212 1 year ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

keep in mind the game you are talking about as well. No airballs means....no dimples. That's why these older games don't have dimpling. I don't get airballs on my alien poker, but I sure the shit get them on INDY 500. And guess what. It dimples. And has a shitton of them. So many in fact, that the field almost looks flat again.
Even if you use some insanely hard clearcoat. The wood under the clear is going to flex. If the clear on the top is soooooo rigid, that it cannot flex with the wood.... It's going to let go of the wood and cause a ghost dot where the dimple would be. It's better for the clear to have some flexibility so it can move with the wood, as the ball is beating the living shit out of it.

Have any pics of the INDY 500 where the pf has evened out?

#213 1 year ago
Quoted from newpinbin:

Have any pics of the INDY 500 where the pf has evened out?

dimples 005 (resized).jpg

#214 1 year ago

Almost all cheaper plywood is manufactured in India, China and Vietnam. No it's probably not U.S. made.
Maybe from U.S or Canadian trees.

Thinner top and lower quality center. = Cheaper plywood. What do you think Stern is using?
Good enough and cheap. Or the best there is and expensive?

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#215 1 year ago

Does not look bad.

#216 1 year ago
Quoted from newpinbin:

Does not look bad.

no, because it's all pound flat again. when it was new i'm sure it looked like a golf ball. But Indy500 has a ton of airballs.

#217 1 year ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

no, because it's all pound flat again. when it was new i'm sure it looked like a golf ball. But Indy500 has a ton of airballs.

All the air balls on my ac/dc and it still does not look like Indy.

#218 1 year ago
Quoted from newpinbin:

All the air balls on my ac/dc and it still does not look like Indy.

give it time. This game probably has 25k plays on it, if not more, and there were a ton of airballs.

#219 1 year ago
Quoted from newpinbin:

All the air balls on my ac/dc and it still does not look like Indy.

Give it 25 years and a route worth of games played on it.

#220 1 year ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

no, because it's all pound flat again. when it was new i'm sure it looked like a golf ball. But Indy500 has a ton of airballs.

If it were about "evening out" you'd have the center of the PF a mil lower than the rest. But it doesn't. Age makes impacts blend more.. and the impacts are not contrasting with an adjacent smooth surface. it does not account for the severity of the impacts in these newer games.

#221 1 year ago

it only compresses so much then it will not compress again or beyond that point. and I see the playing surface areas impacted more than non exposed surfaces. When i'm restoring fields on airball games, I see it all the time. It's just the slope from the, "pounded to shit" parts is a gradual incline to the "untouched" areas. Because the closer you get to targets, plastics, posts...the less airballs are able to hit those areas.

#222 1 year ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

It's just the slope from the, "pounded to shit" parts is a gradual incline to the "untouched" areas.

You should then be able to take a straight edge (and I mean a true quality machined metal straight edge) and bridge the "shit pounded" area, place feeler gages under it to get a profile of this "valley", regardless of how gradual it is near the edges. If you can do that and thus prove that a depressed region actually exists and map it out and then show that depressed region is undetectable to the naked eye (because it appears to be flat and has no discernable dimples) with directed light from any direction, then I think you have proven the "pulverized to perfection" theory.

It still won't prove the difference between the quality of materials or build processes used today versus yesteryear. Unfortunatey, I think we all know the answer to that question.

#223 1 year ago

dimples are not as deep as you think they are. And the ball doesn't land as hard everywhere on the field. The closer you get to objects, the less direct hits you can get. It hits posts and targets first then hits the field. this makes the ball hit at an angle and less speed than something in the middle of the field coming close to straight down.

#224 1 year ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

dimples are not as deep as you think they are

We don't have to be subjective about their depth - someone on here should be able to measure some and give us some numbers. In fact, I would bet someone already has some data available. I use playfield protectors so I don't have any to measure.

#225 1 year ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

dimples are not as deep as you think they are.

But they are still ugly

*******************

If I had a couple of grand laying around I could buy a Rockwell hardness tester and compare the older play fields with new to how hard or soft they are.

#226 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

But they are still ugly
*******************
If I had a couple of grand laying around I could buy a Rockwell hardness tester and compare the older play fields with new to how hard or soft they are.

dim your room lighting and you won't know they are there.

#227 1 year ago

I see my games getting better and better the more I play them. ...or smoother and smoother I should say. Guys Vid and Neo have been doing this stuff for a very long time. I trust what they are saying because of all the experience that they have. I swear that I honestly do not know anybody that is any more picky about things than me, and these dimples don't even bother me in the least. If it doesn't bother me I wouldn't expect it to bother anybody. Just play your ganes and have fun, play the hell out of then and watch them start looking better as you go. These aren't museum pieces guys, they are meant to be played!

#228 1 year ago

This is a photo of another posters ST with thousands of plays on it. Zoom in and you can still see dimples everywhere. Even with all those plays the playfield is not evening out.

738919790e544bc17b164f029e314ff983afcb49 (resized).jpg

17
#229 1 year ago

I think it's safe to say that in this day and age, people's expectations are completely out of line with reality.

#230 1 year ago

I'll also bet most people don't realize how warped some of the playfields are. All that weight hanging and no real support.

It's just the way it is. Dimples and warp.

#231 1 year ago
Quoted from Trekkie1978:

I think it's safe to say that in this day and age, people's expectations are completely out of line with reality.

Absolutely. And the curse of nostalgia with little data to back up ones memory.

#232 1 year ago
Quoted from pintechev:

Absolutely. And the curse of nostalgia with little data to back up ones memory.

yeah, cuz like no one actually has any of these old games right???

#233 1 year ago
Quoted from newpinbin:

This is a photo of another posters ST with thousands of plays on it. Zoom in and you can still see dimples everywhere. Even with all those plays the playfield is not evening out.

Looks pretty normal to me

#234 1 year ago
Quoted from newpinbin:

This is a photo of another posters ST with thousands of plays on it. Zoom in and you can still see dimples everywhere. Even with all those plays the playfield is not evening out.

I see nothing wrong with that photo at all?? If that playfield truly bothers you then you should never ever buy a new or newer game ever. Just play pinball and stop worrying about the small stuff.

-2
#235 1 year ago

This debate will never be resolved by this forum. But there is an age-old technique to arrive at a solution when all else fails. I think everyone can agree that all arguments from all sides have been made (over and over again). We have all the data (subjective and objective) that we are going to get, so we are now armed to make a final informed judgement. I move to now let the people speak. Yes, put it to a vote, and abide by the results. Therefore, I request the OP to set up an unbiased poll for this thread, so that we might finally get the closure we need. Suggested options for the ballot would be:

1. I believe in the pulverize to perfection (PTP) theory, and I believe contemporary playfields dimple the same as older playfields.
2. I believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields are more susceptible to dimpling than older playfields.
3. I do not believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields dimple the same as older playfields.
4. I do not believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields are more susceptible to dimpling than older playfields.

Let the people speak, OP!

#236 1 year ago
Quoted from sudsy7:

1. I believe in the pulverize to perfection (PTP) theory, and I believe contemporary playfields dimple the same as older playfields.
2. I believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields are more susceptible to dimpling than older playfields.
3. I do not believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields dimple the same as older playfields.
4. I do not believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields are more susceptible to dimpling than older playfields.
Let the people speak, OP!

This debate is not about the theoretical. Peoples believes have nothing to with it. Let’s just stick with logic and facts. There is no one right answer that covers all play fields, that is nonsense. We have scientific fact that all play fields are not equal. Some are softer, some are harder, some have been pounded somewhat smooth, some never will. The whole issue is people think they know it all. Anyone with a basic understanding of mathematics knows that the PTP theory has failures and will not cover all cases. This maximum compression therory is just as flawed.

#237 1 year ago
Quoted from sudsy7:

This debate will never be resolved by this forum. But there is an age-old technique to arrive at a solution when all else fails. I think everyone can agree that all arguments from all sides have been made (over and over again). We have all the data (subjective and objective) that we are going to get, so we are now armed to make a final informed judgement. I move to now let the people speak. Yes, put it to a vote, and abide by the results. Therefore, I request the OP to set up an unbiased poll for this thread, so that we might finally get the closure we need. Suggested options for the ballot would be:
1. I believe in the pulverize to perfection (PTP) theory, and I believe contemporary playfields dimple the same as older playfields.
2. I believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields are more susceptible to dimpling than older playfields.
3. I do not believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields dimple the same as older playfields.
4. I do not believe in the PTP theory, and I believe contemporary playfields are more susceptible to dimpling than older playfields.
Let the people speak, OP!

Popular opinion might be the worst possible way to settle a debate.

#238 1 year ago
Quoted from Darscot:

This debate is not about the theoretical. Peoples believes have nothing to with it.

Quoted from pezpunk:

Popular opinion might be the worst possible way to settle a debate.

You guys are way too serious - it's all about the comedy of it at this point. It's been 4 years and 238 posts of nothing but theory, conjecture, beliefs, and pseudoscience. I'm just curious which camp is winning after all that passion - I don't want to see it all go to waste. Popular opinion has been settling debates from the beginning of time. C'mon, you have to be curious.

#239 1 year ago

There is NOTHING to debate.

Hard Maple comes from the same trees it always has. There is no sacred 'old growth Maple' because Maple dies young.

Hard Maple is a crop that is grown for 80-100 years then cut down and replaced by younger trees that produce more sap for the Maple Syrup industry.

That's why Maple is not grown in Europe, they have the wrong climate to mass produce Maple Syrup

-

There is no wood harder than steel, thus ALL playfields made of wood dimple if you use steel balls.

There is no clearcoat that can prevent dimples, your car caught in a hailstorm is obvious proof.

-

If you can't handle the truth, stop buying new games.

Stick to the 30 year old games that have had hundreds of millions of plays.

-

There is no Old Growth Maple. Hard Maple (aka Sugar Maple) is a crop:

DSC_0885 (resized).jpg
11
#240 1 year ago

Fact : If you have airballs, you have dimples. Accept it.

Fact: If you have clearcoat, you can have ghosting eventually on any game that has inserts. Premature ghosting on a new game shouldn't happen, and means the inserts are not glued correctly. Or the hole is cut to the wrong size and allowing to much movement. Or the air is massively humid or massively dry and causing massive expanding/contracting early in the games life.

Fact: Pinball collector world is no place for the anal retentive. Games cannot be and will never be perfect. If you can't handle some imperfections with things. Pinball is not the hobby for you. You will drive yourself nuts if you do not have the ability to look past certain things. Plus, you must have the drive to want to learn how to fix and maintain your games. Or you will not be here for the long haul.

-1
#241 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

There is NOTHING to debate.
Sugar Maple comes from the same trees it always has. There is no sacred 'old growth Maple' because Maple dies young.
There is no wood harder than steel, thus ALL playfields made of wood dimple if you use steel balls.
There is no clearcoat that can prevent dimples, your car caught in a hailstorm is obvious proof.
-
If you can't handle the truth, stop buying new games.
Stick to the 30 year old games that have had hundreds of millions of plays.

Ah if it were only that simple. You act like all trees are perfectly consistent or that the process of manufacturing plywood is perfectly consistent. There are very different levels of dimpling, just like there are vastly different quality of materials. Here in Vancouver there is a Dailed In and a Star Wars at Pub 340 and they both came in about the same time. The playfields are on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as dimpling. One of them is still pristine and the other, is well, we will just say it's not. There is no need for the Jack impression and "You can't handle the truth!". There is plenty of evidence and truth out there and we call see it with our eyes. If you want to go NIB I personally would avoid Stern in the short term. Hopefully there is only a few soft ones getting out but there are soft ones. Just maybe wait and grab one used and you will know exactly what your getting. Its not like they are not available. Yes all pins will have dimpling some is completely normal and most people will never notice it. Others look like complete shit.

#242 1 year ago

just for the record. Dialed in doesn't have many airballs. SW is a airball juggernaut. Big difference.

#243 1 year ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

just for the record. Dialed in doesn't have many airballs. SW is a airball juggernaut. Big difference.

The ball drops right off the upper playfield on Dialed In.

#244 1 year ago

The earth is round. Steel is harder than wood.

My SW looks worse than my my AFMr does; and they have the same dimples, but the darker colors on SW make the dimples much easier to see. But they are exactly the same. Playfields made by different manufacturers.

#245 1 year ago

It's so comical, it's nearing congressional

Let my peeps speak!

#246 1 year ago
Quoted from pintechev:

My SW looks worse than my my AFMr does... but they are exactly the same

This is the problem with public opinion

#247 1 year ago
Quoted from Darscot:

Ah if it were only that simple. You act like all trees are perfectly consistent or that the process of manufacturing plywood is perfectly consistent.

It is that simple.

The average hardness of any piece of Sugar Maple is 1450. Sure there might be a knot or some area that is harder, but the average is what you get.

If you have ever tried to buy the maple plywood that pinball machines are made of (not the Spruce core, paper thin maple face veneer junk at the Home Center), you know that you can't walk in off the street and buy it. It's not sold or stocked ANYWHERE on earth.

The pinball playfield plywood, with it's 3/16" thick face and "lumber core" Maple core, is only made for the pinball industry, by a single manufacturer. 100% custom production.

Sugar Maple does not grow in China or Europe (there are no production scale syrup farms because the climate is wrong), so it's not like you can buy cheaper "lumber core" Maple from Asia.

#248 1 year ago

it could be, that through the leveling process after inserts are inserted, that they are grinding off to much on that top layer making the top layer thinner than it should be. But then the entire playfield would be thinner than before. Hard to gauge the thickness as we would have to measure with a micrometer before clear was added to compare.

#249 1 year ago
Quoted from Darscot:

Here in Vancouver there is a Dailed In and a Star Wars at Pub 340 and they both came in about the same time. The playfields are on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as dimpling. One of them is still pristine and the other, is well, we will just say it's not.

A cynical person might point out that the 40 year old, very familiar theme of StarWars might just attract more plays, than the Cellphone theme of DialedIn.

Either way, a two point sample is not enough to draw any actual conclusions about anything

-2
#250 1 year ago

I see this is one of those debates that if we use all caps and that makes it the TRUTH. We use our own special definition words like "average" so its defined as "equal". We put things in quotes and that makes them facts. Everything is 100% and its not possible for any deviation. I was thinking there are hundreds of thousands of pins manufactured over several decades using vastly different materials.

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