Playfield Dimple Reality Check

(Topic ID: 30084)

Playfield Dimple Reality Check


By vid1900

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 300 posts
  • 112 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 53 days ago by kvan99
  • Topic is favorited by 40 Pinsiders

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There are 300 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 6.
#251 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

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

Assume you mean only 200,000,000 plays in 30 years. Assuming the location is open 24/7/365. That comes out to about 12.6 plays per minute. Mind if I nestle a couple of my machines next to yours, my friend?

You knew somebody would have to do the math.

#252 1 year ago

I saw 2 Star Wars LE's on location this weekend. One looked like moon craters, one looked like smooth glass.

So, yeah....chew on that "dimples are normal" crowd.

#253 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I saw 2 Star Wars LE's on location this weekend. One looked like moon craters, one looked like smooth glass.
So, yeah....chew on that "dimples are normal" crowd.

Don't be ignorant.

It should have been as obvious to you, as it was to me just by reading your post, that one game had 100,000,000 plays on it, subsequently hammering the playfield smooth as glass, while the other game only had 5-10 plays on it, hence the moon craters.

Plus we've recently learned that all pinball playfields, since the beginning of time, come from the same manufacturer, who cuts each playfield out of a single tree.

If I'm wrong about the above, then I suggest you look into cornea transplants, or an inpatient plan with optometrist, as I'm never wrong.

#254 1 year ago
Quoted from Darscot:

I was thinking there are hundreds of thousands of pins manufactured over several decades using vastly different materials.

Not really.

There were a few made of plastic (Oribitor1), a few made with a plastic overlay layer ( New Canasta, Electra) , very few made from MDF/Bakelite (samples of Xenon exist), and a few made from Baltic Birch (one run of Metallica, one run WOZ).

Otherwise 99% of all popular games by Gottlieb, Williams and Bally were made from Maple "lumber core" plywood.

Maple is super stable (thats why most guitar necks are made from it), cheap and relatively hard (that's why the first 1/3 of a bowling ally is made from Maple).

Back in the 80s, Bally used to sell blank playfields with the shooter lane and outhole pre-cut for $35. It was described as "solid Maple", but of course, it was lumber core with all the layers being Maple.

#255 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.

Why are the thickness tests showing some play fields are harder?

#256 1 year ago
Quoted from newpinbin:

Why are the thickness tests showing some play fields are harder?

Well, based on the irrefutable facts previously presented, one must conclude that both the equipment used to test playfield hardness, and the person performing the test, are indeed defective.

The ONLY other possible explanation is that somebody nefariously just posted completely made up hardness test results to help instigate yet another subject for pinsiders to argue about.

#257 1 year ago

Have you ever gone to Best Buy and looked at one of those big name, Chinese made audio receivers?

The specs say 300 watts per channel X 9 channels for a total of 2700 watts output !

Now of course, your 15amp breaker would trip at 1800 watts, assuming nothing else was plugged into the circuit.

And that would assume that the amp was 100% efficient, rather than the more typical 50% efficiency.

Would it surprise you that when people who know how to actually perform a proper industry-standard test on these amps test them, that they only deliver 40 watts per channel, before the amp shuts down, and the thermal overload light locks on?

It always makes me wonder what kind of non-industry-standard tests the manufacturer uses to get those enthusiastic results.

#258 1 year ago

That's why my lights dim with the bass! Here I thought it was just strobe lights!
I did try to use an 1800 watt amp...That's a whole other thread of failures!

3 weeks later
#259 1 year ago

Wow, after reading this...what's the big deal? I'm sure my newly-coated play field may dimple...or maybe it won't because the wood has already been compressed. Either way...that just happens, doesn't really matter, does it?

#261 1 year ago

I've got like 500 games on my DI and not a single divot. And that game has a ball falling off a ramp.

#262 1 year ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

*******************
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.

If somebody wants to saw me off a couple chunks of playfield I'd be glad to measure them on a rockwell tester, however I think its way too soft to be picked up by one, as its meant to measuring hard metals.

#263 1 year ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I've got like 500 games on my DI and not a single divot. And that game has a ball falling off a ramp.

Nice!
I don't know how many games were on that machine, but I spotted quite a few on the machine located in the basement at DPO last weekend.

#264 1 year ago

Came across a new ac/dc ve which I am comparing to my game and made a month apart. The wood/playfield on that ac/dc has very few dimples with the same amount of plays (500 GAMES). I even tired firing the cannon on prone areas to create dimples on the other game with NO LUCK! I am convinced the wood is different and MUCH softer on my playfield as compared to the other, which is a shame.

#265 1 year ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I've got like 500 games on my DI and not a single divot. And that game has a ball falling off a ramp.

If you have no dimples you didn't play 500 games.

#266 1 year ago

You're right, I just checked and it's just under 200. But the thing is still flawless and mirror flat.

#267 1 year ago

Then the rumors are true, Jack said he might try making playfields with Ironwood™, the only wood harder than steel.

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#268 1 year ago

that's a hell of a sales pitch. Ink will still wear off.

#269 1 year ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I've got like 500 games on my DI and not a single divot. And that game has a ball falling off a ramp.

I was curious, so scoped out a DI on route in Denver (LoDo 1Up) today. The playfield looks good but it does have modest, evenly-distributed dimpling when you take a close look, seemed pretty comparable to some of the Stern machines sitting beside it (Aerosmith and Ghostbusters if I'm remembering right) as well as the other JJPs. WOZ had the least noticeable dimpling of the 10 or so games I looked at.

I did notice some variation among the Sterns though. Nothing as bad as the SW pictured over here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/a-dark-night-for-stern/page/32#post-4082583
Still, some games had much more noticeable dimpling than the DI or the other Sterns (not sure I'd call any of them "divots" but maybe that's in the eye of the beholder). I do wonder if playfield color/design and in-game lighting have a big effect on how the dimpling looks when the glass is on and the lights are down. But I'm still pretty convinced there's some actual difference in dimpling from game to game, whether it's ball speed, clear coat, wood quality, or whatever.

That said, having gone up and down this row of routed games, after looking closely (in a dimly lit barcade with a beer in hand, not under fluorescents with a magnifying glass) I found none that had zero dimpling. So I'm still sold on vid1900's "steel always beats wood" theory.

#270 1 year ago

just remember, depending on the artwork, and the way the lighting is on a game, will also make dimples look better or worse depending. Different colors and art packages accentuate dimples, where others seem to hide them better.

#271 1 year ago

Speaking of easy to see dimples.

4 months later
#272 8 months ago

I dunno, I've got a Transformers Pro with no dimples 1500 plays, and a SWLE with 700 plays dimples galore.

So where's the magic # of plays that evens everything out?

#273 8 months ago
Quoted from Talon2000:

So where's the magic # of plays that evens everything out?

"0"

#274 8 months ago
Quoted from Talon2000:

So where's the magic # of plays that evens everything out?

Yes, Number of plays 0

falk (resized).jpg

#275 8 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Then the rumors are true, Jack said he might try making playfields with Ironwood™, the only wood harder than steel.

Vid, are you familiar with a product called Richlite? I don't know where it stands on a Rockwell hardness scale but I used to work this stuff when making aircraft tooling. The guitar makers are starting to use Richlite for fretboards. It does not warp.

Opinions?

http://www.richlite.com/what-is-richlite/

#276 8 months ago

I would never buy another aftermarket playfield from a supplier that his playfield dimpled on me. But then again I expect what I pay for! So far so good

#277 8 months ago
Quoted from Talon2000:

I dunno, I've got a Transformers Pro with no dimples 1500 plays, and a SWLE with 700 plays dimples galore.
So where's the magic # of plays that evens everything out?

No dimples at all? Really?

#278 8 months ago
Quoted from nightsearcher:

I would never buy another aftermarket playfield from a supplier that his playfield dimpled on me. But then again I expect what I pay for! So far so good

I guess you will never buy another playfield then because they all dimple.

#279 8 months ago
Quoted from Talon2000:

I dunno, I've got a Transformers Pro with no dimples 1500 plays, and a SWLE with 700 plays dimples galore.
So where's the magic # of plays that evens everything out?

Can you post a pic of each one, glass off, with a bright light reflected on the playfield surface from an oblique angle?

6 months later
#280 56 days ago

HOW MUCH DOES WOOD COMPRESS FROM DIMPLES IN AN AREA WITHOUT AIRBALLS?

=======================================================

Nubes like to say "My EM or SS does not have have any dimples", But just because there usually aren't airballs with an EM, that does not mean that the wood has not been compressed by the millions of balls that have traveled over the wood.

All the little micro dimples must add up over time, right?

To test the amount of compression, I needed a protected area that would not have any chance of an airball bouncing from a target or dropping off a ledge or ramp.

I also needed an area less than 12" between areas of no ball travel, because my $350 Starret combo square is only 12" long. (this thing is hardened, then ground DEAD flat).

I also needed an area that had all the paint intact, as missing paint would of course affect the measurements.

I found the perfect spot on a 40 year old Xenon playfield.

The area to be measured is UNDER the tube, so no balls could fall off a ledge, drop from a ramp or bounce off the glass.

This playfield has heavy wear, with many areas down to bare wood. It's safe to say this game has had millions of balls served over it.

IMG_20181017_201010084 (resized).jpg

Note that the Starret is sitting across an area that held 2 pop bumpers.

It's safe to say that no ball ever got under the pop bodies to compress any wood in these areas.

I also avoided any holes that may have raised wood grain around them.

#281 56 days ago

Now I need a backlight to see if there is any gap where the wood has been beaten down.

Looks like we indeed have a gap:

IMG_20181017_201654588 (resized).jpg

The gap only being in the center of the ball travel gives us confidence that the Starret is laying across 2 very flat lands.

#282 56 days ago

When we want to measure a small gap, a tool called a "Feeler Gauge" is used.

You "feel" when the gauge has exceeded the gap, and then try the next size smaller gauge.

It turns out that our gap here was .035", a pretty good sized gap for an area that was protected from any big drops.

Conclusion: Even small dimples in protected areas of the playfield add up to quite a bit of wood compression.

It does not take much imagination to think how the dimples add up in areas that are unprotected from bigger drops and bounces.

Starret-1 (resized).jpg
#283 55 days ago

Good findings

#284 55 days ago

They still won't believe you, Vid...even with this excellent photo evidence.

#285 55 days ago

Vid brings it yet again. Nice!

#286 55 days ago

In yesterdays pinball news post : https://www.pinballnews.com/site/2018/10/17/american-pinball-visit/
it says:
American Pinball source their playfields from two different suppliers, and there are a few telltale differences between them, such as the type of pattern used to diffuse light in the inserts and the hardness of the wood.

So.. which manufacturer has better (harder) playfields ?

#287 55 days ago

They most likely all get their wood from the same place.

#288 55 days ago

"Great Caesars Ghost Clark, that is preposterous."

#289 55 days ago
Quoted from aeneas:

American Pinball source their playfields from two different suppliers, and there are a few telltale differences between them, such as the type of pattern used to diffuse light in the inserts and the hardness of the wood.

So.. which manufacturer has better (harder) playfields ?

You have the traditional Hard Maple Lumber Ply from CGC with a hardness of 1430

Or out of Europe, you have the Baltic Birch Ply with Maple veneer from Mirco with a hardness of 1370

So both products are very similar in hardness.

Europe does not have a Maple Syrup industry, so they don't commercially grow Hard Maple.

#290 54 days ago

You are wrong on that. We Import kanadian hard maple for top and bottom layers. Don't say something if you are not really sure what you are talking about.

Regards,
Mirco

#291 54 days ago
Quoted from Highclasspinball:

You are wrong on that. We Import kanadian hard maple for top and bottom layers. Don't say something if you are not really sure what you are talking about.
Regards,
Mirco

but whats in the middle, not hard maple, right? Likely Birch.

#292 54 days ago
Quoted from Highclasspinball:

You are wrong on that. We Import kanadian hard maple for top and bottom layers. Don't say something if you are not really sure what you are talking about.
Regards,
Mirco

YOU are the person that told me that it was Birch in the middle.

Has something changed?

#293 54 days ago
Quoted from Highclasspinball:

You are wrong on that. We Import kanadian hard maple for top and bottom layers. Don't say something if you are not really sure what you are talking about.
Regards,
Mirco

Whoa..

#294 54 days ago

No the middle is birch, but the imported t top and bottom are hard maple.

#295 54 days ago

LOL

#296 54 days ago

How does what I am reading on HSA's website fit in with the dimpling debate that is going on?

http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/hsa060114tron.html

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http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/hsa69afmcompare.html#1

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http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/hsa57afmcc.html

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#297 53 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

How does what I am reading on HSA's website fit in with the dimpling debate that is going on?

Seems his experiences comfortably fit right in to what all the other professional restorers are saying.

Wood playfields dimple, and clearcoat will not prevent dimpling.

#298 53 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Seems his experiences comfortably fit right in to what all the other professional restorers are saying.
Wood playfields dimple, and clearcoat will not prevent dimpling.

Yes, but he appears to be making comparisons softer woods and harder woods. He does not say the harder woods will not dimple but he is saying "this softer wood will dimple".

#299 53 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Yes, but he appears to be making comparisons softer woods and harder woods. He does not say the harder woods will not dimple but he is saying "this softer wood will dimple".

The Crow and James have been testing a bunch of playfields with a Janka tester lately, trying to get enough data points to be meaningful. (testing one Whitewater, one Metallica, one AFM and one GOT is just not science).

And some titles have both a Birch and a Maple version, so you have to identify which is which for meaningful data

I gave them a few dozen unpopulated playfields from 1950 to 2004, so that will give a bunch of data points too.

-

If you want to know which playfield you have, look at the edge.

The Birch ones have many small plys:

mpf16 (resized).jpg

=

and the Maple Lumber Core have fewer, thicker plys:

IMG_0609_grande (resized).JPG

#300 53 days ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

How does what I am reading on HSA's website fit in with the dimpling debate that is going on?

http://www.hsapinball.com/HSA_PINBALL/hsa060114tron.html

Thanks for posting this, this is great info, and it's coming from a source that knows a thing or two about PF restoration.

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