Here we actually install the Hardtop.
1. First clean up the area around your rotisserie. Make sure there is NOTHING you can trip on.
2. Close your garage door. Turn off any fans. If any debris falls onto the playfield, it will telegraph through the Hardtop, or show through the inserts.
3. Vacuum everything, the Hardtop, the playfield, the rotisserie, yourself.
4. Wipe the playfield with an actual Tack Cloth. They are only $1. DON'T BE AN IDIOT AND SKIP THIS STEP.
This is a one-shot deal, if you somehow screw up, there is no way to fix it.
Get a 4 foot light fixture and put it under the rotisserie, facing upwards. We need all the inserts lit up so we can center the Hardtop properly.
If your Hardtop has paper over the face side, remove it now. You have to be able to see how the inserts line up, NOT how the holes line up.
THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS IF THE INSERTS LINE UP.
^ Read the above again ^
We can drill new holes to make everything line up (and we will be drilling lots of holes, believe me), but the inserts can't be fixed latter.
So don't align the playfield holes with the Hardtop holes, ONLY pay attention to the inserts.
So why can't the Hardtop holes simply align with the playfield holes? Because they made 8000 Comets, so different vendors had slight variations in how they made the playfields for Williams.
Tooling wears, wood contracts and expands, all that physical stuff.
So on our Hardtop alignment, we need to focus all our attention on the inserts.
If we have to "split the difference" because we can't get a perfect alignment, then we want the lower part of the playfield (you know, the part the player sees the most), to be the better aligned section. The inserts at the very top of the playfield are of less importance than the ones directly under the players nose.
As I slid the Hardtop up/down/left/right, I found that the best alignment had the Hardtop actually running 4mm off the left side of the playfield:
This is not a problem at all. We can drill new holes, we can't move inserts!
(I trimmed the Hardtop runoff with a Hand Plane, you could use a sander or router)
Once you find the best possible alignment, clamp the Hardtop in place at the BOTTOM of the playfield.
Why the bottom? Because if anything is going to get misaligned along the way, we don't want it to be near the player.
Double check that nothing moved, and that your alignment is still good after clamping.
Take a deep breath, lift the Hardtop up, and start peeing the backing from the adhesive - starting from the bottom.
Gently lay the Hardtop down, gently pressing as you go.
The adhesive really grabs, so just let it flow until you have laid the top down.
That's it, breathe!
Use a soft cloth and press down the Hardtop, making sure it's all stuck down.
Peel off the Shooter Lane strip and lay that down, following the edge of the playfield.