(Topic ID: 160050)

Repairing Plastic Playfield Features Onsite - Vid's Guide

By vid1900

7 years ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by vid1900
  • Topic is favorited by 57 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    IMG_7123 (resized).JPG
    20160716_001339_(resized).jpg
    20160716_001311_(resized).jpg
    bondo-fiberglass-resin-20122_(resized).jpg
    spin_prod_1332366712_(resized).jpg
    bondo-fiberglass-resin-20122_(resized).jpg
    b96bf6d6cc56fa48d618dca4975ab8af53bb1c26_(resized).jpg
    1276248194065_hz-fileserver1_2529343_(resized).jpg
    51JBfqc5n6L._SX342__(resized).jpg
    vid_rep2.jpg
    6_(resized).jpg
    5_(resized).jpg
    4_(resized).jpg
    3_(resized).jpg
    2_(resized).jpg
    1_(resized).jpg

    16
    #1 7 years ago

    Out of all the pinball manufacturers, Williams was the most famous for using the thinnest, crappiest, plastics for playfield features and ramps.

    The head in Grand Lizard, the corkscrew ramp in Comet, and of course the paper thin boulders in Whitewater.

    A guy had a pinball emergency. He had a Whitewater that he was selling in 3 days, and now it would not boot up.

    Fixing his powersupply was easy, but every one of his Whitewater mountains were broken, with light glaring through the holes.

    Vid: You are not really selling this Whitewater for $5,500 with all those broken mountains, are you?
    Guy: They are broken on every Whitewater I've ever seen.
    V: Yeah, but not on any $5,500 Whitewaters....
    G: Look carefully at this game. That is the original cab, those are not stickers! Look at that playfield, it's original, no junky copy!
    V: I hear ya, but...
    G: Even if I can find them, I can't get them by Saturday.
    V: Do you have a brown shirt or pants?
    G: My wife does....

    -

    Here you can see the typical Whitewater boulders.

    Holes right through them.

    1_(resized).jpg1_(resized).jpg

    #2 7 years ago

    Here I covered the holes from the outside with electrical tape.

    2_(resized).jpg2_(resized).jpg

    #3 7 years ago

    Here I roughed up the inside of the plastic so the epoxy had some tooth.

    If you skip this step, the repair will likely crack off in a few ball hits.

    3_(resized).jpg3_(resized).jpg

    #4 7 years ago

    I had epoxy with me, but no fiberglass mat that one would normally use for a repair like this.

    I cut up his wife's blouse into small strips, and soaked them in the epoxy.

    The epoxy is hard in 10 minutes, so I mixed small batches for each repair.

    4_(resized).jpg4_(resized).jpg

    #5 7 years ago

    Here with the electrical tape removed, you can see the repair.

    The brown blouse fabric was a much better match than I had imagined.

    5_(resized).jpg5_(resized).jpg

    The guy only had a few ancient bottles of Testor's enamel paints. I put some brown paint on, then wiped most of it off to give a two-tone effect.

    #6 7 years ago

    Here are the repaired boulders installed.

    The transparent epoxy let the light shine through the fabric for a really nice match when lit.

    If I were at home I could have **really** matched the colors, but I'm sure no one looking at them with the GI lights on will ever notice - that is until they take one off to replace a bulb .....BWAHHHhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.......

    6_(resized).jpg6_(resized).jpg

    #7 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    You are not really selling this Whitewater for $5,500 with all those broken mountains, are you?

    Hahahahahaha

    #8 7 years ago

    What did the guy's wife say about you cutting up her shirt?

    #9 7 years ago

    You wouldn't happen to have a picture of the fabric style of her blouse, would you? Heh... I have literally the exact same dilemma, and boulders seem to be hard to come by.

    11
    #10 7 years ago
    Quoted from cichlid:

    What did the guy's wife say about you cutting up her shirt?

    she was speechless

    vid_rep2.jpgvid_rep2.jpg

    #11 7 years ago
    Quoted from cichlid:

    What did the guy's wife say about you cutting up her shirt?

    She was not home.

    He made me take the rest of the blouse with me so she would not find it.

    #12 7 years ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    You wouldn't happen to have a picture of the fabric style of her blouse, would you? Heh... I have literally the exact same dilemma, and boulders seem to be hard to come by.

    It might still be in my van, but just use regular fiberglass mat from the auto store for maximum strength and light transfer.

    The blouse was pure desperation.

    51JBfqc5n6L._SX342__(resized).jpg51JBfqc5n6L._SX342__(resized).jpg

    1276248194065_hz-fileserver1_2529343_(resized).jpg1276248194065_hz-fileserver1_2529343_(resized).jpg

    #13 7 years ago

    Hey Vid, any tips on doing something more like the Grand Lizard head, where the damage is usually around the tabs that screw to the ramp? I'm still unsure what materials to use in my situation.

    #14 7 years ago
    Quoted from ufiti:

    Hey Vid, any tips on doing something more like the Grand Lizard head, where the damage is usually around the tabs that screw to the ramp? I'm still unsure what materials to use in my situation.

    Here you can see where I repaired a tab that was completely missing.

    b96bf6d6cc56fa48d618dca4975ab8af53bb1c26_(resized).jpgb96bf6d6cc56fa48d618dca4975ab8af53bb1c26_(resized).jpg

    The main thing is to make sure you rough up the locations were the fiberglass mat is going to wrap onto the existing plastic.

    Tabs, because they are extended from the plastic, are naturally the weakest point.

    Probably 2 layers of mat strips, attaching to 2 different locations on the lizard head (in a crisscross) would be good.

    Drill the mounting hole after the epoxy/polyester has dried.

    Don't worry if it's a little thicker than the paper thin original tabs, LOL

    #15 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Here you can see where I repaired a tab that was completely missing.

    Ahh, thanks! Any specific type of epoxy you recommend?

    #16 7 years ago

    I usually use "2 Heads" brand by West Systems, but you can get Bondo brand resin at Kmart or Autozone

    NOT regular "Bondo"! Make sure it is a liquid and says "Fiberglass Resin" on the can.

    Make sure the tube of hardener is under the cap, you will be pissed if you get it home and somebody had already stolen it.

    bondo-fiberglass-resin-20122_(resized).jpgbondo-fiberglass-resin-20122_(resized).jpg

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I usually use "2 Heads" brand by West Systems, but you can get Bondo brand resin at Kmart or Autozone
    NOT regular "Bondo"! Make sure it is a liquid and says "Fiberglass Resin" on the can.
    Make sure the tube of hardener is under the cap, you will be pissed if you get it home and somebody had already stolen it.

    I really appreciate it! I haven't been able to find much of anything on this topic online.

    #18 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    She was not home.
    He made me take the rest of the blouse with me so she would not find it.

    Now this is starting to sound like an episode of Dateline.

    -Good stuff Vid as always

    1 week later
    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I usually use "2 Heads" brand by West Systems, but you can get Bondo brand resin at Kmart or Autozone
    NOT regular "Bondo"! Make sure it is a liquid and says "Fiberglass Resin" on the can.
    Make sure the tube of hardener is under the cap, you will be pissed if you get it home and somebody had already stolen it.

    Will this stuff stand up to stresses? One of the ball eater brackets in my mousin was cracked in half at some point, and repaired by bolting the two halves with some sort of wire mesh and screw system. It's misaligned by 1 or 2 mm, and the ball eater won't drop properly. It seems like this part is not in stock anywhere, so maybe I need to repair. Would Bondo be strong enough to stand up to whatever stresses broke the part in the first place?

    #20 7 years ago
    Quoted from EvanDickson:

    Will this stuff stand up to stresses?

    Yes, we used to repair boats with it all the time.

    Quoted from EvanDickson:

    Would Bondo be strong enough to stand up to whatever stresses broke the part in the first place?

    No, Bondo is great for flat, no-flex repairs because it feathers out beautifully.

    But Bondo does not have any reinforcing fibers to keep it from cracking if flexed.

    -----------

    Assignment:

    Make a 1x6x1/16" strip of Bondo on a piece of wax paper.

    Make a 1x6x1/16" strip of fiberglass cloth saturated in resin on wax paper.

    2 hours later, bend each strip into a 180* horseshoe. Watch the Bondo break apart, and the fiberglass flex and return to flat without damage.

    #21 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Yes, we used to repair boats with it all the time.

    No, Bondo is great for flat, no-flex repairs because it feathers out beautifully.
    But Bondo does not have any reinforcing fibers to keep it from cracking if flexed.
    -----------
    Assignment:
    Make a 1x6x1/16" strip of Bondo on a piece of wax paper.
    Make a 1x6x1/16" strip of fiberglass cloth saturated in resin on wax paper.
    2 hours later, bend each strip into a 180* horseshoe. Watch the Bondo break apart, and the fiberglass flex and return to flat without damage.

    I was confused about how the answer was both yes and no, then realized there are two Bondos. One with fiberglass and one without.

    #22 7 years ago

    If you ask for Bondo at a auto supply, they will hand you Bondo Body Filler. This is the stuff that sands smooth and feathers out nicely, but is structurally weak:

    spin_prod_1332366712_(resized).jpgspin_prod_1332366712_(resized).jpg

    The stuff we want to use when repairing plastics and missing cab corners is the Fiberglass Resin.

    It is strong stuff when combined with glass fibers:

    bondo-fiberglass-resin-20122_(resized).jpgbondo-fiberglass-resin-20122_(resized).jpg

    #23 7 years ago

    Great write-up Vid.

    #24 7 years ago

    Another great guide - thank you for taking the time to write this up!

    #25 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Here with the electrical tape removed, you can see the repair.
    The brown blouse fabric was a much better match than I had imagined.

    The guy only had a few ancient bottles of Testor's enamel paints. I put some brown paint on, then wiped most of it off to give a two-tone effect.

    This is the most literal I've ever seen anyone go with the "over the shoulder boulder holders" thing.

    1 month later
    #26 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    If you ask for Bondo at a auto supply, they will hand you Bondo Body Filler. This is the stuff that sands smooth and feathers out nicely, but is structurally weak:

    The stuff we want to use when repairing plastics and missing cab corners is the Fiberglass Resin.
    It is strong stuff when combined with glass fibers:

    Here we go. She ain't pretty, but hopefully she'll work. The bracket was broken in two and held together with wire mesh splints, as shown. But the bracket wouldn't drop when the solenoid hammered the drop switch, I think due to extra play plus misalignment with the splints. Hopefully this resin plus fiberglass will repair it strong enough to work again. Now to let it dry for the night.

    20160716_001311_(resized).jpg20160716_001311_(resized).jpg

    20160716_001339_(resized).jpg20160716_001339_(resized).jpg

    #27 7 years ago

    Interesting foot note. I mixed this stuff in a plastic shot glass. When mixed, it heats up enough to melt the glass. But it also hardens quickly enough that nothing spills.

    #28 7 years ago

    Yeah, it gets very warm while curing.

    Use a glass or metal container to mix, some plastics can contaminate the resin.

    3 months later
    #29 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Out of all the pinball manufacturers, Williams was the most famous for using the thinnest, crappiest, plastics for playfield features and ramps.
    The head in Grand Lizard, the corkscrew ramp in Comet, and of course the paper thin boulders in Whitewater.

    Hey Vid, I have another related question... if you did happen to obtain one of these plastic parts that isn't yet cracked, do you recommend doing anything to reinforce it so that it doesn't meet the same fate? Would you just coat the inside in fiberglass mat and epoxy, or is that overkill?

    2 weeks later
    #30 7 years ago

    It's probably overkill to reinforce them.

    If you hold them up to the light, you may see a few rice paper thin spots that you **might** reinforce.

    Cliffy has a protector for the bolder by the pops that always gets it's tab broken off - that's certainly not overkill.

    #31 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    It's probably overkill to reinforce them.
    If you hold them up to the light, you may see a few rice paper thin spots that you **might** reinforce.
    Cliffy has a protector for the bolder by the pops that always gets it's tab broken off - that's certainly not overkill.

    Thanks for the reply! I'm sorry, I totally wasn't clear in my post. I'm actually referring to the Grand Lizard head again. My old one is cracked around the screw tabs, and I really don't want the same thing to happen to the new one.

    #32 7 years ago
    Quoted from ufiti:

    Thanks for the reply! I'm sorry, I totally wasn't clear in my post. I'm actually referring to the Grand Lizard head again. My old one is cracked around the screw tabs, and I really don't want the same thing to happen to the new one.

    I would somehow protect those tabs, because you know they will break again.

    4 months later
    #33 6 years ago

    The latest adventure in this Rollergames restoration...my friend nerdygrrl has been bringing me parts of this game a bit at a time, and today brought me the main ramp assembly. Inspecting it tonight, I see that, indeed, it's paper thin at the entry and is pretty badly deteriorated near the transition flap. It seems foolish to try to reinstall the ramp in its current condition, and even more so to try to replace the flap (the riveting work would destroy what's left of the plastic in that area). A good candidate for epoxy resin and fiberglass mesh? Seems I would have to wrap both sides of the ramp entry to properly re-establish the "U" channel, do you agree?

    Happily, even if the repair ends up being on the ugly side, it is almost entirely hidden from the player's line of sight...

    IMG_7123 (resized).JPGIMG_7123 (resized).JPG

    #34 6 years ago

    That does not look like the best candidate for a fiberglass repair.

    I'd probably make a new flap that extends higher up the ramp for the attachment point, then maybe adapt some kind of Cliffy to protect the sides?

    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 https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/repairing-plastic-playfield-features-onsite-vids-guide 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.