(Topic ID: 336653)

Playfield 'sag'

By CaptMediocre

1 year ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    PXL_20230509_180904642.1 (resized).jpg
    #1 1 year ago

    I have a NOS EM playfield that I was going to get re-cleared and then install in my machine. It's a mid-70's game, but I have no idea how old this playfield is. Upon closer inspection the other day, I noticed it 'sags' in both directions. Side to side is the worst, while top to bottom is very minimal. I put a straight edge across it and checked the gap with feeler gauges.

    It was ~5/64" at the bottom, then increased to ~3/32" a little more than 1/3 of the way up, then decreased from there until the top at ~3/64".

    First, is this too much sag to be properly clear coated?

    Second, is this something to even be concerned about?

    In the pic, you're looking at the bottom edge as it's laying face down. I had to put the white line in the pic because the reflection of the gap on the floor makes it look much bigger than it is.

    Thanks for any feedback.

    PXL_20230509_180904642.1 (resized).jpgPXL_20230509_180904642.1 (resized).jpg
    #2 1 year ago

    Why would you clear an NOS EM playfield? They weren't cleared from the factory, and the lacquer playfields hold up pretty well...

    However, if you insist on clearing it, I might ask @Kruzman. The man is an artist with his clear jobs, and if anyone would know, it would probably be him. Come to think of it--if you really wanted to clear it, I would just send it to him...

    #3 1 year ago

    Doesn't look too bad to me, no pf is going to be perfectly straight. The wooden rails on the topside will do a lot of top to bottom straightening when attached, and that era of game probably will have one metal horizontal rail (or possibly two on top of each other) under the top arch to do the same for side to side. What game is this pf for?

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from BallLocks:

    Why would you clear an NOS EM playfield? They weren't cleared from the factory, and the lacquer playfields hold up pretty well...

    The original lacquer is pretty decent, but ALL of the inserts (minus the rollovers) are badly cupped, and ALL of their keylines are cracked. Sagging or not, it will get torn up in no time if I put it in like it is. And then it will be a total waste.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from frenchmarky:

    Doesn't look too bad to me, no pf is going to be perfectly straight. The wooden rails on the topside will do a lot of top to bottom straightening when attached, and that era of game probably will have one metal horizontal rail (or possibly two on top of each other) under the top arch to do the same for side to side. What game is this pf for?

    It's a Wizard!.

    It has the metal arch rails at the top, but nothing at the bottom. I'm going to try to find (or clear out) a spot in the middle-ish where I can mount a piece of square tubing from side to side. That should really help.

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from CaptMediocre:

    of the inserts (minus the rollovers) are badly cupped, and ALL of their keylines are cracked

    I'd be more worried about that impacting the clear than your deflection--but I'd strongly recommend you reach out to Kruzman, because he has actually cleared playfields in all kinds of states, and may be able to help you avoid any issues.

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from BallLocks:

    Why would you clear an NOS EM playfield? They weren't cleared from the factory, and the lacquer playfields hold up pretty well...
    However, if you insist on clearing it, I might ask kruzman. The man is an artist with his clear jobs, and if anyone would know, it would probably be him. Come to think of it--if you really wanted to clear it, I would just send it to him...

    Because they’re only NOS once! I don’t understand putting in a NOS playfield WITHOUT clear. I get the whole “if you keep it up with wax and care it will be perfect forever!” But eventually some total noob gets ahold of it and wrecks it. Clear plays differently but at this rate, I’d take a properly cleared game over the NOS with thin lacquer that will be destroyed within 5 years.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Because they’re only NOS once! I don’t understand putting in a NOS playfield WITHOUT clear. I get the whole “if you keep it up with wax and care it will be perfect forever!” But eventually some total noob gets ahold of it and wrecks it. Clear plays differently but at this rate, I’d take a properly cleared game over the NOS with thin lacquer that will be destroyed within 5 years.

    Here, the op has a damaged playfield they are trying to preserve. Yes, it's NOS, but has cupped inserts weakening the key lines. I totally support them clearing it...

    This aside, in general, EMs don't play fast enough to cause significant wear--especially in a home environment which will never see a fraction of the plays most EMs have had in their lifetime. This isnt a system 11 or SS game that should have been cleared from the factory and needed full mylar even when new.
    This is why you can find so many EMs with tens of thousands of plays with no or minimal wear. Touched up games need protection, but my question was because this is an original...

    As you point out, clear makes them play differently, plus (I think) clear on an EM looks weird. Kind of like putting black rubbers on an EM. I guess it's a difference of having a mint "original" vs a mint "improved or restored" game. I think the former is more desirable, but to each their own.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    But eventually some total noob gets ahold of it and wrecks it

    You are also missing that most don't have the skills to do a good clear job. I don't know whether the op does or not, but you can easily "wreck" a perfectly fine playfield you are trying to "preserve." Scroll through Kruzmans thread to see the actual work and skill involved in making these look nice...

    #10 1 year ago

    Most NOS and many repros (after a year or so) have that much of an arch or more. They flatten out when they are installed. while that are not installed the wood moves around depending on the elements effecting it in the place it sits. They are designed to be in a game.
    anyway my point is they all twist, warp, smile, bow, and bend. Your pf is within specified tolerances for sure, and will fit in to its environment when installed.
    Thats my opinion

    and thanks for the kind words balllocks

    #11 1 year ago

    I’ve worked in too-end cabinetry for 15 years; there isn’t a sheet of plywood on planet earth that is perfectly flat.

    In doing pinball restoration over the past 5 years, I’ve cleared a few NOS playfields, one of which was substantially warped. By the time it had all the weight of wiring and mechs and everything hanging off of it, it flattened out once installed in the machine. None of it affected gameplay at all.
    My first big project, a Rollergames assembled from parts, had a visible sag because a heavy mechanism is located right at a break in the wooden side rails.
    Didn’t affect the gameplay one bit.

    You’re good to go with that playfield; Kruzman isn’t the only game in town for a decent clear job but he’s surely one of the very best. I’ve done several playfield restorations but am planning to send a NOS playfield to him because I’m interested in seeing his work first hand, he’s a really cool guy, and it takes one more project out of my hair! If you send this playfield to him you can definitely be assured you’re getting the best work available, from all accounts I’ve heard.

    Reply

    Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

    Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

    Donate to Pinside

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!


    This page was printed from and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

    Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.