(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

6 years ago



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#6651 54 days ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

Good note, I go LEDs anyhow but good to know.

It's the heat.

Expansion and contraction of the plastic.

#6652 54 days ago

Ok, so what are the possibilities that I can clear my TOM playfield without removing the under playfield elements?

I was thinking maybe I could plug up all of the holes (switch slots, lamp sockets) but still would be worried about water from wet sanding getting down there (and polish from buffing). Is this just a bad idea? If I was doing a playfield swap I'd be less hesitant in removing all of the assemblies as I have no problem putting it back together but I know I'll have some wire cutting to do and I really don't want to deal with re-soldering it all back together. I was trying to do a "quickie" restore with the playfield decals and a playfield protector but my work on the JP playfield has me jonesing for a freshly cleared TOM playfield. Then again, Mirco is supposed to be making the right colored ones for the US market soon. Argh, the decisions.

#6653 54 days ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

Ok, so what are the possibilities that I can clear my TOM playfield without removing the under playfield elements?
I was thinking maybe I could plug up all of the holes (switch slots, lamp sockets) but still would be worried about water from wet sanding getting down there (and polish from buffing). Is this just a bad idea? If I was doing a playfield swap I'd be less hesitant in removing all of the assemblies as I have no problem putting it back together but I know I'll have some wire cutting to do and I really don't want to deal with re-soldering it all back together. I was trying to do a "quickie" restore with the playfield decals and a playfield protector but my work on the JP playfield has me jonesing for a freshly cleared TOM playfield. Then again, Mirco is supposed to be making the right colored ones for the US market soon. Argh, the decisions.

Plugging the holes will be just fine. After all you just mist the playfield and your sandpaper , you dont flood the place.
Just make sure you clear the residue from sanding from the holes before any subsequent clear coat.

#6655 54 days ago
Quoted from phototamer:

Plugging the holes will be just fine. After all you just mist the playfield and your sandpaper , you dont flood the place.
Just make sure you clear the residue from sanding from the holes before any subsequent clear coat.

I've done it using old light bulbs in the lamp sockets (they won't blow out while clearing) and covering the switch holes from beneath with good tape. If your lamp sockets can be bent back enough without breaking the tab or solder to cover the hole from beneath rather than plugging it with a bulb, so much the better. It's still a good idea to clean out the lamp sockets with a wire brush on the dremel and blow out with compressed air once it's all done and polished. I find it's the polish that tends to be the messiest part and the most difficult to keep out of the sockets.

#6656 53 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

I've done it using old light bulbs in the lamp sockets (they won't blow out while clearing) and covering the switch holes from beneath with good tape. If your lamp sockets can be bent back enough without breaking the tab or solder to cover the hole from beneath rather than plugging it with a bulb, so much the better. It's still a good idea to clean out the lamp sockets with a wire brush on the dremel and blow out with compressed air once it's all done and polished. I find it's the polish that tends to be the messiest part and the most difficult to keep out of the sockets.

Awesome, thanks for the details. I'm thinking I'll give it a try.

#6657 53 days ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

Awesome, thanks for the details. I'm thinking I'll give it a try.

I used 3M foam ear plugs for my light sockets, they work great. I'm pretty sure vid posted about them somewhere in this thread.

#6658 53 days ago

Just make sure nothing sticks up above the playfield surface. I did this but left the side bumper plungers sticking up. I covered them with tape so I figured I would be ok, but they left a “shadow” where the clear is not the same pattern. Looked pretty crappy

#6659 53 days ago

Wadded up painters tape works fine.

#6660 53 days ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

I used 3M foam ear plugs for my light sockets, they work great. I'm pretty sure vid posted about them somewhere in this thread.

BRILLIANT!

#6661 53 days ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Wadded up painters tape works fine.

Heh... I did that on a few holes on my JP because I ran out of older bulbs and then pulled all the bulbs out to do something (I think sand) and forgot to put them back in. So I cleared most of the sockets. I'll replace them with the ones from my other playfield or new but wasn't planning on it.

#6662 53 days ago

Foam ear plugs (...and anything else that sits loose in the light sockets) works great until the moment that it doesn't and comes flying out of the hole due to air pressure from spraying. Then you've got a big goober in your fresh wet clear.

When I take the old bulbs out of the sockets, I keep them together in a cup. That way when you put them back in for the next layer, you won't accidentally miss a socket. I also tape a big note to myself on my container of clear to remember to put the bulbs back in before clearing.

#6663 53 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

Foam ear plugs (...and anything else that sits loose in the light sockets) works great until the moment that it doesn't and comes flying out of the hole due to air pressure from spraying. Then you've got a big goober in your fresh wet clear.
When I take the old bulbs out of the sockets, I keep them together in a cup. That way when you put them back in for the next layer, you won't accidentally miss a socket. I also tape a big note to myself on my container of clear to remember to put the bulbs back in before clearing.

Smrt.

#6664 52 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

Foam ear plugs (...and anything else that sits loose in the light sockets) works great until the moment that it doesn't and comes flying out of the hole due to air pressure from spraying. Then you've got a big goober in your fresh wet clear.
When I take the old bulbs out of the sockets, I keep them together in a cup. That way when you put them back in for the next layer, you won't accidentally miss a socket. I also tape a big note to myself on my container of clear to remember to put the bulbs back in before clearing.

You're not supposed to spray at 2,000 PSI!!!

#6665 52 days ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

You're not supposed to spray at 2,000 PSI!!!

You are correct. 30psi is plenty of pressure to blow a wad of tape or a small piece of foam out of a hole. Luck holds out until it doesn't.

#6666 52 days ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

Ok, so what are the possibilities that I can clear my TOM playfield without removing the under playfield elements?

I personally have done playfields both ways (totally stripped on both sides and left populated on the bottom). You can leave it populated on the bottom side but nothing can be left sticking up on the top side. You do need to make sure your clear does not get into your lamp sockets. Unplug and remove large mech (like your ball trough, etc). Make sure when you do your spraying that your playfield is level so your clear coat flows flat. The more masking you do on the populated parts, the better. Your not just masking for the clear coat, your also masking for your sanding and buffing.

#6667 52 days ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

... 30psi is plenty of pressure to blow a wad of tape or a small piece of foam out of a hole.

Your using a HLVP spray gun, right? Some of your Iwata's spray better at 18-20 psi than at 30. Your Sata's guns usually work good in the 25psi range. Practice on cardboard your gun settings (pattern width, pressures and your saturation levels) before you do your playfield. You do not want to be playing with your gun adjustments on your playfield. Your first coat will be your tack coat (very thin spray coat). Follow your flash times of your particular brand of clear coat. Your second coat will be your hammer coat of clear (thicker coat).

#6668 52 days ago
Quoted from Tommy-dog:

I personally have done playfields both ways (totally stripped on both sides and left populated on the bottom). You can leave it populated on the bottom side but nothing can be left sticking up on the top side. You do need to make sure your clear does not get into your lamp sockets. Unplug and remove large mech (like your ball trough, etc). Make sure when you do your spraying that your playfield is level so your clear coat flows flat. The more masking you do on the populated parts, the better. Your not just masking for the clear coat, your also masking for your sanding and buffing.

Cool, thanks. Now the Spray max thread has me concerned about PPE and respirators after I just did my JP playfield.

#6669 52 days ago
Quoted from Tommy-dog:

Your using a HLVP spray gun, right? Some of your Iwata's spray better at 18-20 psi than at 30. Your Sata's guns usually work good in the 25psi range. Practice on cardboard your gun settings (pattern width, pressures and your saturation levels) before you do your playfield. You do not want to be playing with your gun adjustments on your playfield. Your first coat will be your tack coat (very thin spray coat). Follow your flash times of your particular coat. Your second coat will be your hammer coat of clear (thicker coat).

Thanks. I have experimented with a broad range of pressure and gun settings for my particular gun and clearcoat. I found that 28psi delivers the best pattern and coverage for my setup. I simply rounded up to 30 for my post above.

#6670 50 days ago

if i do touch ups by hand and then put down a play field protector, will the PF protector mess up the touch ups?

#6671 50 days ago
Quoted from TwoHeartedMale:

if i do touch ups by hand and then put down a play field protector, will the PF protector mess up the touch ups?

Usually no but if you remove the protector or if the protector shifts, it can damage your painted areas.

#6672 50 days ago
Quoted from TwoHeartedMale:

if i do touch ups by hand and then put down a play field protector, will the PF protector mess up the touch ups?

You can probably put a layer of Createx balancing clear over your touchup areas to help "lock" it in, it says specifically on the bottle that it can be used for that.

#6673 50 days ago

Hi all,

Thoughts on this from an Earthshaker? Ball swirls or planking, doesn't seem to want to budge.

IMG_9137 (resized).jpgIMG_9138 (resized).jpg
#6674 49 days ago
Quoted from JamesUK:

Hi all,
Thoughts on this from an Earthshaker? Ball swirls or planking, doesn't seem to want to budge.[quoted image][quoted image]

That's dirt (probably mostly fine carbon dust from coils) ground into extensive micro cracks in the original clear. Live with it or get ready for an extensive repaint. Some but not all MIGHT come out with extensive, careful removal of the clear but usually the paint underneath is affected as well. Of course, then you have to reclear it. In this case, I would opt for a new replacement playfield if there's one available unless you want to go on a long restoration journey as an educational exercise.

#6675 49 days ago
Quoted from JamesUK:

Hi all,
Thoughts on this from an Earthshaker? Ball swirls or planking, doesn't seem to want to budge.[quoted image][quoted image]

Oddly 2 things have had a positive effect on ball swirls.

Silly putty pressed onto the micro cracks and low quality RTV sealant smeared into waxed workable areas and carefully peeled off after after it mostly cures.

The cheap stuff doesnt bond very well and will peel off clean on a waxed surface. Test under the apron at first to see if it works for you.

Both are weird but have worked pretty good for some.

The theory is that the semisolid material will get into the cracks and pull out much of the grime.

And pull itself off too.

#6676 49 days ago

Not sure you can get Borax in the U.K...darn

1 week later
#6677 37 days ago

I have a question about color matching. I read in this thread previously that if you put naphtha on the touchup, it will simulate a more accurate representation of the color you end up with after clear coat.
The touch ups I have done look to be a little off color when dried on the original playfield, however with a little naphtha, they can’t be seen at all.
Should I try to make the dried color a closer match, or will it most likely look fine after clear is applied?
Thanks!

#6678 37 days ago

This is after alcohol and magic eraser.
3C17DDD8-02E6-4039-A4A7-7F3B6E35853D (resized).jpeg0CBDAF37-84DD-4599-A7A6-406082DD80AA (resized).jpeg

#6679 37 days ago
Quoted from chubtoad13:

I have a question about color matching. I read in this thread previously that if you put naphtha on the touchup, it will simulate a more accurate representation of the color you end up with after clear coat.
The touch ups I have done look to be a little off color when dried on the original playfield, however with a little naphtha, they can’t be seen at all.
Should I try to make the dried color a closer match, or will it most likely look fine after clear is applied?
Thanks!

The idea with naphtha is that it wets the playfield and give it a gloss, just like how it looks when it is clear coated. If you are happy on what it looks like when wet with naphtha then your ready to clear coat it.

#6680 37 days ago
Quoted from Tommy-dog:

The idea with naphtha is that it wets the playfield and give it a gloss, just like how it looks when it is clear coated. If you are happy on what it looks like when wet with naphtha then your ready to clear coat it.

That’s what I was assuming. I just wanted to double check. The difference is dramatic between dry and naphtha. I didn’t want to clear if the colors end up looking like they do dry.

#6681 34 days ago

What say you guys; A Hearts and Spades that was played to death. I was planning on cleaning, a thin clear coating and playing but keep looking at it thinking.. I can mask this off and that off..

But honesty beyond my skill set at the moment and I don't have the time. If it has a thin clear coat on it and can be played now and redone later. Already cleaned it up with alcohol and magic eraser and went over it with some compound. Paint is looking real thin, looked terrible when I first got it, almost like someone used a rusty ball for several years.

20190616_144327_resized (resized).jpg20190616_144332_resized (resized).jpg20190616_144337_resized (resized).jpg20190616_144344_resized (resized).jpg
#6682 34 days ago

Wax it up and enjoy it. Great game.

#6683 34 days ago

You have it stripped and cleaned....
If it were me I would clear coat it.
It would not get any worse and would be ready to be restored should you or someone else decide to do it.

#6684 34 days ago
Quoted from PinballAir:

You have it stripped and cleaned....
If it were me I would clear coat it.
It would not get any worse and would be ready to be restored should you or someone else decide to do it.

This is where my head is at, protect what is there and enjoy the game.

#6685 33 days ago

How would you treat this large of an insert area? I have a large decal to apply to the whole area, so there will presumably be sunken areas where the inserts are. I wasn't sure if in this case it would be prudent to try and raise the inserts level? Or should I hit the area with a coat of clear first so it can level itself a bit, then apply decal, then clear the whole thing? Or maybe I should drop a bit of clear in each insert to level it and smooth it out?

I had this situation a bit on my JP (first time using waterslide) and overall the lower areas smoothed themselves out pretty well after a few thick coats of Spray Max.

Open to suggestions. Btw, this was sanded to about a 300 grit and then I'm going to do 600 to get it smooth.

The other inserts on the game are fine since the decals are just the insert area.

0617191353 (resized).jpg
#6686 32 days ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

How would you treat this large of an insert area? I have a large decal to apply to the whole area, so there will presumably be sunken areas where the inserts are. I wasn't sure if in this case it would be prudent to try and raise the inserts level? Or should I hit the area with a coat of clear first so it can level itself a bit, then apply decal, then clear the whole thing? Or maybe I should drop a bit of clear in each insert to level it and smooth it out?
I had this situation a bit on my JP (first time using waterslide) and overall the lower areas smoothed themselves out pretty well after a few thick coats of Spray Max.
Open to suggestions. Btw, this was sanded to about a 300 grit and then I'm going to do 600 to get it smooth.
The other inserts on the game are fine since the decals are just the insert area.[quoted image]

If I were in your shoes: I'd buy a Mirco repro playfield.....something that big and obvious right in front of the player will be hard and very time consuming to get to look right. It can be done, but with a quality repro out there......

#6687 32 days ago
Quoted from AUKraut:

If I were in your shoes: I'd buy a Mirco repro playfield.....something that big and obvious right in front of the player will be hard and very time consuming to get to look right. It can be done, but with a quality repro out there......

The repro isn't the right one for the US market yet, wrong colors. They said they were reproducing it in the right colors, waiting on that to see.

But, I have the decals... I have the playfield... I have the clear... why not restore it? Isn't that what this thread is?

#6688 32 days ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

The repro isn't the right one for the US market yet, wrong colors. They said they were reproducing it in the right colors, waiting on that to see.
But, I have the decals... I have the playfield... I have the clear... why not restore it? Isn't that what this thread is?

You're going to want to level that area before applying any sort of decal. Build it to work 2k clear and flatten.

#6689 32 days ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

How would you treat this large of an insert area? I have a large decal to apply to the whole area, so there will presumably be sunken areas where the inserts are. I wasn't sure if in this case it would be prudent to try and raise the inserts level? Or should I hit the area with a coat of clear first so it can level itself a bit, then apply decal, then clear the whole thing? Or maybe I should drop a bit of clear in each insert to level it and smooth it out?
I had this situation a bit on my JP (first time using waterslide) and overall the lower areas smoothed themselves out pretty well after a few thick coats of Spray Max.
Open to suggestions. Btw, this was sanded to about a 300 grit and then I'm going to do 600 to get it smooth.
The other inserts on the game are fine since the decals are just the insert area.[quoted image]

Judging by the image you posted , you can get the inserts level with the rest of the playfield without moving them.
I would fill the low inserts with clear and after 15 minutes or so apply my first clear coat. after wet sanding , and applying the decals , and another coat of clear you should be very close to a truly flat playfield.

#6690 32 days ago

Thanks everyone! Clear it is.

#6691 32 days ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

https://www.harborfreight.com/quick-change-airbrush-kit-93506.html
10.99 - 20% coupon, $8.79 - I've worked on 6 machines with this one item.

That's an interesting nozzle design - does it blow air across the top of the paint jar? It says that it doesn't require cleaning the nozzle between colours.

Cheers for the link.

#6692 31 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

What say you guys; A Hearts and Spades that was played to death. I was planning on cleaning, a thin clear coating and playing but keep looking at it thinking.. I can mask this off and that off..
But honesty beyond my skill set at the moment and I don't have the time. If it has a thin clear coat on it and can be played now and redone later. Already cleaned it up with alcohol and magic eraser and went over it with some compound. Paint is looking real thin, looked terrible when I first got it, almost like someone used a rusty ball for several years.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

That reminds me of my extreme makeover of a H&S a while back...this one turned out pretty nice considering I'd only restored a handful of PFs at the time. Just an FYI...don't want to ruffle any feathers, but I don't do my restores on my EMs exactly like Vid describes - some of our processes are the same or similar, but I really feel like his methods/products are better for more modern games...YMMV:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GfuDRapvwasoq6Xg9

I'm fairly sure I sold that game fairly cheap at York in aught-five or aught-six...if anyone on here has this game it'd be cool to hear from you...

Sean

#6693 31 days ago
Quoted from Yetimon:

does it blow air across the top of the paint jar? It says that it doesn't require cleaning the nozzle between colours.

That is the premise, yes. The 'tip' is a small brass screw on nib that when air rushes over it creates a vacuum and thus pulls the paint out the tube inside the canister and then blows it toward your project. I will say it is almost impossible to do shading and or vary the width of your "stroke" but for the type of work I do, this type is trouble free. It is best to place a damp cloth over the tip between coats, it will still clog if it dries, but is a cinch to clean.

#6694 31 days ago

I do not follow vids methods exactly either. But I always reference back to this thread when heading into uncharted territory. Then I blend his methods with my situation .
I am never disappointed by the results.

#6695 31 days ago
Quoted from PinballAir:

I do not follow vids methods exactly either. But I always reference back to this thread when heading into uncharted territory. Then I blend his methods with my situation .
I am never disappointed by the results.

THIS is how to properly use online advice in my book...read other people's approaches, then lean on that information while crafting your own solutions/techniques. To try to follow ANYONE else's process step by step seems to me like a recipe for bad results and frustration.

#6696 30 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

.... I was planning on cleaning, a thin clear coating and playing but keep looking at it thinking.

You already have the playfield stripped down. Lay a base layer of clear to lock in the artwork. I would then let it cure, sand the clear flat and re-clear coat it to level out the playfield. A level / flat playfield will play better anyways. Then you can either play on it and in the future you can just do your restoration on top of the layer of clear.

#6697 29 days ago

I am looking for ideas on my Target Pool. When I stripped the pf, I noticed almost every hole is bulged up, in some cases, splintered a bit. I don't see an easy way to put down a layer of clear and sand it smooth when there are dozens of "hills" - if I hammer them in, will they stay? I don't see any easy way to cut the top off without messing up the graphics around them.

IMG_4349 (resized).jpgIMG_4350 (resized).jpg
#6698 29 days ago
Quoted from mark532011:

I am looking for ideas on my Target Pool. When I stripped the pf, I noticed almost every hole is bulged up, in some cases, splintered a bit. I don't see an easy way to put down a layer of clear and sand it smooth when there are dozens of "hills" - if I hammer them in, will they stay? I don't see any easy way to cut the top off without messing up the graphics around them.[quoted image][quoted image]

Use a doming punch or a leg bolt rounded top to tap them down with a hammer:

https://tinyurl.com/y4sb6ruf

I use a 1/4" acorn/cap nut threaded onto a screw and tap them down:

https://www.lowes.com/pl/Cap-nuts-Nuts-Fasteners-Hardware/4294546108

#6699 29 days ago

I generally use a ball peen hammer to drive those down. YMMV
I have had some of them still stick up a bit and sanded the paint and clear coat off on the hill.
I generally don't panic because the post covers it up anyway.

#6700 29 days ago
Quoted from PinballAir:

I generally use a ball peen hammer to drive those down. YMMV
I have had some of them still stick up a bit and sanded the paint and clear coat off on the hill.
I generally don't panic because the post covers it up anyway.

Leg bolt works surprisingly well on these.

Dome punch for tiny holes for ball guide wires or smaller acorn nut.

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