(Topic ID: 211214)

Playfield protector vs. Mylar?

By Alan_L

4 years ago


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  • 20 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by captainBR
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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#1 4 years ago

What is the difference between a playfield protector and a sheet of mylar?

I'm considering installing a mylar over a touched up playfield, and I understand it takes a level of cosmetic skill that I may not have. I want this pf to look right and I don't want to screw it up.

#2 4 years ago

Can you elaborate on what you mean? Installing mylar doesn't really take cosmetic skill. But, that said, it does adhere lightly to the playfield, so depending on how the touchup was done (whether it was clearcoated, etc) mylar may be difficult to remove down the road. The playfield protectors are about as easy to install as it gets. Personally, I'm not a big fan of how the ball travels on them though. I feel like they impact gameplay a bit.

#3 4 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

Installing mylar doesn't really take cosmetic skill

Hah! I can never get it to go down well enough, it always looks ugly, and if you mess up once you're probably not getting it off again.

Playfield protectors are much safer and easier, but they can have as slight affect on the game. I've never noticed it playing different though, but it's a personal preference thing

#4 4 years ago

Thanks for the reply.

I've see references to "playfield protectors" as being different from mylar but I don't know what they are. Where does one purchase these?

The pf won't be clearcoated and a factory mylar is not available. The game will stay in my collection, it won't get a lot of play so I'm not concerned about removal later.

Frankly, I'm just worried that if I don't squeegee out every little bubble or speck of dirt, they're going to show. I've pulled mylars but I've never put one down.

#5 4 years ago
Quoted from Alan_L:

if I don't squeegee out every little bubble or speck of dirt

You don't squeegee anything.

Just make sure the playfield surface is clean and free of particles after waxing. Then, lay down the mylar. The wax helps with removal later if anyone ever wants to remove it.

With the playfield protectors, they use some sort of static cling, I think (mylar uses an adhesive).

#6 4 years ago

I thought u didnt use wax before installing b/c it makes it look cloudy?

#7 4 years ago
Quoted from Dantesmark:

I thought u didnt use wax before installing b/c it makes it look cloudy?

No, there is no clouding with mylar. Apply the wax, let it dry, then wipe it down.

If you're talking about insert ghosting, that's something else where the clear coat separates from the insert leaving a cloudy white area.

#8 4 years ago
Quoted from Dantesmark:

I thought u didnt use wax before installing b/c it makes it look cloudy?

Playfield protectors are sheets of thin clear plastic/lexan/etc. They don't attach at all, they just sit on top. If installing a protector, you don't want to wax, as it'll cloud. If applying mylar, you want to wax first, as it'll make removing the mylar a bit easier and mylar doesn't cloud like that.

#9 4 years ago

OK, I just did some research and found out what playfield protectors are: a big piece of PETG that just adheres by static to your playfield, custom cut for your game.

Sounds like a great idea, but, this machine is a Thunder Man from Apple Time in Milan, Italy 1987. Not a lot of demand for pp's for this game considering there are only three known in the US out of a total production of about 750. Clearcoating is not in my budget.

Is there anyone in the Baltimore/mid-Atlantic area who has a good track record of installing mylars?

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from Alan_L:

OK, I just did some research and found out what playfield protectors are: a big piece of PETG that just adheres by static to your playfield, custom cut for your game.
Sounds like a great idea, but, this machine is a Thunder Man from Apple Time in Milan, Italy 1987. Not a lot of demand for pp's for this game considering there are only three known in the US out of a total production of about 750. Clearcoating is not in my budget.
Is there anyone in the Baltimore/mid-Atlantic area who has a good track record of installing mylars?

It's not that hard to make your own protector. Buy a blank sheet for about $20, lay it on top and trace where you need, then cut it out and lay it on top. If you can't find anyone experienced with mylar it's much less risky than attempting the mylar yourself, especially on a rare game...

#11 4 years ago

The advantage of mylar is you can place it areas of high ball movement and basically can make it invisible if done right. I trace areas on the playfield with tracing paper to make custom templates. I then cut every piece to size. there is a piece here and you cant even tell, even when looking close

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 8.25.31 AM (resized).png

#12 4 years ago

What would the mil thickness of a full sheet?

#13 4 years ago

I order mine directly for Ron Kruzman kruzman his stuff is super thin

#14 4 years ago

Just use the removable mylar and you will be fine. It doesn't stick as hardnas the regular mylar does and you can take it off down the road without worrying about pulling up the paint on your playfield.

#15 4 years ago

Found .020 PETG online, will that work?

What do you cut it with, Xacto knife?

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from Alan_L:

Found .020 PETG online, will that work?
What do you cut it with, Xacto knife?

What i bought is called repositionable adhesive backed vinyl. You can cut it with scissors or a xacto knife either one. It works really well so far for me. Amazon has it.

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from Alan_L:

Found .020 PETG online, will that work?
What do you cut it with, Xacto knife?

I'm not sure about PETG but both lexan and acrylic can be cut with a knife or scissors. You could probably even get away with just marking and drilling any relevant holes and lying the sheet over the entire playfield if you've already got it torn down.

#18 4 years ago

I plan to make a complete overlay for my machine using 0.75mm Lexan (Polycarbonate), several others have done so with good results.

7 months later
#19 4 years ago

I talked to Kruzman and he does sell a thinner mylar. The sheets are only 8x11 so if you need to do more than that size your limited. I have a TZ that I was going to do a playfield swap on and now i'm thinking I might just put mylar on it. What I worry about is chipping inserts because when the ball moves slowly I can see it redirect on some of the inserts. Its too damn nice to swap out with no damage, but it needs some sort of protection. I'm just not sure if putting mylar on all high traffic areas with inserts is a good idea.

6 months later
#20 3 years ago

Do people custom cut their own playfield protectors too? I read the above as instructions for custom cutting mylar for spot protection, not a whole playfield protector.

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