(Topic ID: 31578)

Reminder---- Do NOT remove inserts from a playfield if you don't have to


By CaptainNeo

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 9 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by PinballHelp
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    #1 7 years ago

    Just ran into a situation where someone tried to remove inserts from a playfield, and cracked over half of them. Most of the time, there isn't any reason to have to remove an insert. Heat or not, your more than likely going to shatter, or put hairline cracks in the insert and ruin it. If it's raised. Use a clamp and blocks of wood and press it back down. But don't remove them, just because you want to reglue each one. Your just going to trash your field and many inserts are impossible to get. If it's loose and practically falling out, then yes, push it out with your finger and reglue it in. If you have to use a hammer to get it out. leave it alone.

    Just trying to save a lot of newer people from ruining their games.

    #2 7 years ago

    Using a heat gun, a piece of soft wood and a rubber mallet, I took every single insert out of my Cyclone -- with the field still in the cabinet. Using the heat gun it didn't take any hard knocks to get them out... the glue got gooey and the inserts came out very easily.

    BUT TAKE YOUR TIME -- you won't get them out cold!

    #3 7 years ago

    The only time I've ever need to take inserts out is when they all need to be cleaned, sanded and pollished for new decals. It's a long slow process and not for the faint of heart.

    #4 7 years ago
    Quoted from the_pin_family:

    cleaned, sanded and pollished for new decals.

    Yep, exactly what I was doing. Impossible to do them still in the playfield from what I could tell.

    #5 7 years ago

    Which games are you refering to?
    I know on older Ballys like Fathom, Flash Gordon etc they are typicly all heat cracked already and tap out with little to no effort, honestly about every older pf like them they almost push out without even tapping them.
    Williams such as the original black knight seem to pop out real easy as well.
    Is this problem more unique to newer games such as WPC?

    I noticed when i pop mine out the wood dowel method seemed more problematic i now use nut drivers on the 5/8" 3/4" &1" inserts and it works alot nicer for me at least it seems and puts the stress on the edges instead of the center of the inserts and i havnt seen any further cracking and realy havnt had aly wood damage around the edges of the wood anymore.

    But i also dont heat the inserts either, In theory if you heat them the inserts should expand and the glue will soften rebonding the 2 surfaces and helping them bind. it seems since i stopped using heat they come out easier.

    #6 7 years ago

    from all the playfields i've done, i've never noticed a certain era to be more or less difficult than another. I can have one field where they fall out, and another just like it, where none of them come out. I've had old EM fields that would not come out and the inserts shattered like crazy. Leaving the glued in plastic ring around the outside. Then i've had newer bally's where they pop out with my finger. It's extremely easy to put hairline cracks in an insert. Just be very careful and watch out.

    #7 7 years ago

    Can a heat gun be used 'gently' levelling cupped inserts? I have a GTB Atlantis with badly cupped inserts. They don't lend themselves well to removal and sanding since most all of them have artwork on them. I was thinking they could be heated and pressed from below, holding a block on the top, and leveled that way.

    #8 7 years ago
    Quoted from sysprog:

    Can a heat gun be used 'gently' levelling cupped inserts? I have a GTB Atlantis with badly cupped inserts. They don't lend themselves well to removal and sanding since most all of them have artwork on them. I was thinking they could be heated and pressed from below, holding a block on the top, and leveled that way.

    That sounds dangerous. The only way ive ever been able to level cupped inserts is to drop clear in them to fill them up, then clear the whole PF. Their flat and you cant even see the cup.

    #9 7 years ago

    the only thing you can do to save cupped inserts is have it clearcoated. I've done tons of EM's and fill them in to get that glass like feel and play again. Some inserts are cupped so bad, if you sand them flat, the outside edge will be so thing, you'll end up ruining the insert. Better off leveling through restoration clearcoat. But don't do it with varathane, because if you put that much varathane on, your colors will look extremely washed out. Every level of varathane you use, reduces the colors drastically.

    #10 7 years ago

    I'd have to agree why take them out if you dont have to?

    #11 7 years ago

    some people think you have to take them out to level them, or feel the need to take them out for decals. I've done lots of inserts over the past 8 years, and about 83% of them have shattered or cracked.

    #12 7 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    Just ran into a situation where someone tried to remove inserts from a playfield, and cracked over half of them. Most of the time, there isn't any reason to have to remove an insert. Heat or not, your more than likely going to shatter, or put hairline cracks in the insert and ruin it. If it's raised. Use a clamp and blocks of wood and press it back down. But don't remove them, just because you want to reglue each one. Your just going to trash your field and many inserts are impossible to get. If it's loose and practically falling out, then yes, push it out with your finger and reglue it in. If you have to use a hammer to get it out. leave it alone.
    Just trying to save a lot of newer people from ruining their games.

    I have a feeling this is related to the IJ playfield I sent to you for repair, right? It really is too bad somebody did that to all the inserts and yet there is practically no wear on the playfield. You should see the cabinet, while in good shape new decals were applied but in not such a good fashion. I had to strip the entire thing back down to bare wood and do it right. Folks, if it's not something you can do, then do not attempt. This is why I sent the PF to Neo, I don't do playfields. I hope he can fix what others have tried to ruin.

    #13 7 years ago

    Yeah i would be worried about odd inserts that cant be replaced but most of them can be replaced nowdays Ive been chewing it over about changing out all the inserts in some games.
    I have 2 near perfect fathom pfs atm obviously they are going to get good clearcoats but i have few cupped inserts and some are loose and need decals,
    So since fathom is turning into a more valuable game, so do i pop and reglue the cracked inserts? or pop em out and replace with all new perfect ones? they are only about $.60 each
    I personaly dont like clearing if the inserts might be or are loose and if they need decals its certainly alot nicer to pop and sand em smooth with 200-320 grit then reglue clear and apply decals.
    Ive scraped cleaned and redecaled without removal but its a pain lol.
    Also on the bally ss machines its common the blue in particular have a tendency to be darker and mismatched frequently, Leds can correct it most of the time but the diehard incandecent guys will notice the difference.
    So I suppose its a matter of your aim if you have a brilliant pf do you run with the old cracked original inserts or freshen it up to have perfect inserts? I suppose its a matter of preference as well.

    Then on the other hand games such as Black knight f14 ive come across warped inserts and raised edges personaly I pop em out and sand em then reglue them in tight again.
    I dont want to risk a clearcoat going to hell becouse of a passed up loose insert but if not bad the clear could help reglue them as well if it soaks in. so i suppose alot could depend on each PF and its condition and if it will be led or incandecent in the future.

    #14 7 years ago

    I've had good luck removing the insert and boiling it. then using a fat dowel to push it flat while it cooled. I had to do this on my Lightning since the inserts were rising out of the field at both ends.

    I suspended it in a strainer in the boiling water so it wasn't sitting in the bottom of the pot.

    -c

    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    the only thing you can do to save cupped inserts is have it clearcoated. I've done tons of EM's and fill them in to get that glass like feel and play again. Some inserts are cupped so bad, if you sand them flat, the outside edge will be so thing, you'll end up ruining the insert. Better off leveling through restoration clearcoat. But don't do it with varathane, because if you put that much varathane on, your colors will look extremely washed out. Every level of varathane you use, reduces the colors drastically.

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