(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration

By vid1900

9 years ago


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#7901 3 months ago

Any buffer recommendations?

I don’t know much about buffing (other than what’s in this thread) or what features to look for. Hoping for something in the $100 range.

#7902 3 months ago
Quoted from radium:

Any buffer recommendations?
I don’t know much about buffing (other than what’s in this thread) or what features to look for. Hoping for something in the $100 range.

Nothing decent in that price range unless you want to buff poorly and for ages.

Your best bet for a pf, get a meguiar drill attachment. Will work great and it will be forced rotation, something similar in real size will cost $400-500 the attachment is only $50 and works great. Perfect size for pinball and can be later used for maintenance as well.
A cheap rotary buffer maybe exist in the $100 but it will be junk really not a lot of torque so you will buffing for ages so it all depends.
A DA is perfeft for this job, forced rotation and DA are super safe, almost impossible to burn the paint with proper use

#7903 3 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Fandango:

Nothing decent in that price range unless you want to buff poorly and for ages.
Your best bet for a pf, get a meguiar drill attachment. Will work great and it will be forced rotation, something similar in real size will cost $400-500 the attachment is only $50 and works great. Perfect size for pinball and can be later used for maintenance as well.
A cheap rotary buffer maybe exist in the $100 but it will be junk really not a lot of torque so you will buffing for ages so it all depends.
A DA is perfeft for this job, forced rotation and DA are super safe, almost impossible to burn the paint with proper use

Thanks that is a big help. I was looking at DA tools, wasn't even aware of rotary. I guess I'll just try a random cheap DA off Amazon and see how it goes. I'd probably burn stuff with a rotary or forced since I dont know wtf Im doing.

#7904 3 months ago
Quoted from radium:

Thanks that is a big help. I was looking at DA tools, wasn't even aware of rotary. I guess I'll just try a random cheap DA off Amazon and see how it goes. I'd probably burn stuff with a rotary or forced since I dont know wtf Im doing.

you will not burn anything unless you are not good with tools, with forced rotation on a DA it is almost impossible, and if you do, you should not be attempting any other repairs anywhere, lol. Sell all your tools! lol

A cheap DA will take longer and will not rotate as well. It is really a very old design and any change in angle or weight renders the DA action useless, it takes ages to polish with that tool, I absolute despise them. Use it to wax a 70 year old car.

DA force rotation is the best of the best when it comes to mirror finish, perfect smooth, no trails, no danger. A rotary can achieve good results, much quicker but requires an excellent techinique and that can burn through paint in a second. Rotary for PF is not necessary unless you are making 100s of PF every day, nobody needs the speed of a rotary in this hobby, this is not a factory requiring a 1 min polishing job.

Have lots of hours behind a polisher, trust me on this. Spend the money once, not twice, get a forced rotation DA or do like everybody else getting into polishing, buy the cheap DA, then realize is crap, then buy the forced rotation DA and appreciating it more.

#7905 3 months ago
Quoted from Pin_Fandango:

you will not burn anything unless you are not good with tools, with forced rotation on a DA it is almost impossible, and if you do, you should not be attempting any other repairs anywhere, lol. Sell all your tools! lol
A cheap DA will take longer and will not rotate as well. It is really a very old design and any change in angle or weight renders the DA action useless, it takes ages to polish with that tool, I absolute despise them. Use it to wax a 70 year old car.
DA force rotation is the best of the best when it comes to mirror finish, perfect smooth, no trails, no danger. A rotary can achieve good results, much quicker but requires an excellent techinique and that can burn through paint in a second. Rotary for PF is not necessary unless you are making 100s of PF every day, nobody needs the speed of a rotary in this hobby, this is not a factory requiring a 1 min polishing job.
Have lots of hours behind a polisher, trust me on this. Spend the money once, not twice, get a forced rotation DA or do like everybody else getting into polishing, buy the cheap DA, then realize is crap, then buy the forced rotation DA and appreciating it more.

Thanks again for the info, I'll shell out for the forced rotation DA

#7906 3 months ago

Picked up a used Flex XC 3401 VRG for $280. Gonna play around with it on some PFs I'm clearing for hardtops to get the hang of it.

#7907 3 months ago
Quoted from radium:

Picked up a used Flex XC 3401 VRG for $280. Gonna play around with it on some PFs I'm clearing for hardtops to get the hang of it.

Excellent choice. I had one.

#7908 88 days ago

vid1900 any tips for MB Drac track repair?

The wood is in good shape but all the clear has chipped off and the wood is full of dirt and wax. I’m guessing I will need to sand all that out. Maybe sand aggressively to clean wood and repair with something like dolphin glaze and repaint?

1 week later
#7909 80 days ago

After a successful airbrushing session I was met with a total mess - frisket left residue on every inch that it was laid down on.

Two questions:
Is there a preferred alternate to this stuff? This is my second roll that does this, put down and pulled off on the same day:
amazon.com link »

Is there a good way to get rid of all that residue? I've tried a variety of things but none of it great. Last time I used alcohol. I'm worried about damaging my new paint by scrubbing right up to it.

#7910 80 days ago

Try liquid frisket, it leaves zero residue. It's what I use.

#7911 80 days ago
Quoted from radium:

vid1900 any tips for MB Drac track repair?
The wood is in good shape but all the clear has chipped off and the wood is full of dirt and wax. I’m guessing I will need to sand all that out. Maybe sand aggressively to clean wood and repair with something like dolphin glaze and repaint?

Scanned my playfield tonight, here’s what I’m dealing with…

9A3920E6-6829-4D82-8A89-ECE1A06D82FA.jpeg

#7912 78 days ago
Quoted from A_Bord:

After a successful airbrushing session I was met with a total mess - frisket left residue on every inch that it was laid down on.

Damn, man. I have had issues with residue also, and have not gotten a satisfactory answer as to why.
Ive heard “only use fresh Frisket”, but frankly I don’t see why that should make a difference.
The last couple rounds of masking, I used the exact product you linked to with no issues - switched to low tack some time ago; I am always very careful to burnish it down only minimally. Low tack is still a stronger bond than I want or need; I’ve also had issues with the clear pulling away upon removal (only pull it back, never up!)
I’m guessing that this stuff varies from batch to batch, mo other explanation Chas come along that really makes sense of this problem. I’ve tried different brands before. Sometimes it’s fine. Sometimes it isn’t. It’s maddening!

I used naptha to remove the residue, but even that can take off the paint. Alcohol will dissolve it instantly though. Maybe try a mild detergent, or simple green?

I’ve never heard of liquid Frisket until now; isn’t that by definition much harder to apply in the way we need it?

#7913 78 days ago
Quoted from radium:

Scanned my playfield tonight, here’s what I’m dealing with…

If the dirt doesn’t sand out readily, I’d mask and paint it with semi-transparent brown paints. Make it look improved without trying for “perfect.”

The rest is more of same - Frisket, airbrush. I I would probably make a decal of the key line and maybe fatten it up a bit to make the rest of the repair easier (might save you having to repaint some areas immediately around the track.) After your paints, shoot clear, apply decal over that. I also might try shooting fresh white paint above where it says “MONSTER” to re-establish that word bubble, then have a decal to complete the rest of the worn off art after locking down the paint with the clear.

This looks doable to me.

#7914 78 days ago

What methods are best to scan a playfield? Would it be possible to use a smartphone? I got a little confused when Vid said you could use an HP scanner to scan the playfield. I just pictured someone holding a playfield against a smaller scanner and that seemed very cumbersome, haha.

#7915 78 days ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

What methods are best to scan a playfield? Would it be possible to use a smartphone? I got a little confused when Vid said you could use an HP scanner to scan the playfield. I just pictured someone holding a playfield against a smaller scanner and that seemed very cumbersome, haha.

That’s what I do.
It’s a PITA, but it woks.
The old style HP frame scanners are terrific, but damned if I could ever coax one into working for me. After wasting a lot of hours with that, I went back to taking the lid off my Epson Stylus scanner and holding the playfield very still while scanning.
Note that it has a slight lip of about 1/8” above the glass. People think that results in a scan which is not one-to-one but the only problems I have had with that owed more to file formats than the scan itself. I use .tiff with good results.

The only large format scanning place within driving distance of me is 2 hours away and they charge $200 per scan. It would be great but I just can’t justify it so far.

#7916 78 days ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

I’ve never heard of liquid Frisket until now; isn’t that by definition much harder to apply in the way we need it?

You paint the liquid frisket around all the detailed areas using Grafix Incredible Nib and wait for it to dry clear which takes maybe 20 minutes, and then mask off the larger areas of the playfield with paper so that you don't waste so much of the liquid frisket. It leaves zero residue, and I mean zero. I read too many posts from people saying frisket film leaving a residue so I'll never use the stuff. I used liquid frisket when airbrushing parts of the aqua blue water on my playfield.
a7c8eddc0ad9c542838dfe692b57b889d7de2ea7 (resized).jpg
20220109_142122 (resized).jpg

#7917 78 days ago
Quoted from HydrogenHuman:

What methods are best to scan a playfield? Would it be possible to use a smartphone? I got a little confused when Vid said you could use an HP scanner to scan the playfield. I just pictured someone holding a playfield against a smaller scanner and that seemed very cumbersome, haha.

the hp 4670 is the best answer. I never could find a working one. There are 2 other options, resizing a camera picture and using a different scanner

For getting a camera pic correctly sized in photoshop: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/it-was-supposed-to-be-a-simple-flash-restore#post-5229279

For using a cheap scanner: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/scanner-alternative-to-hp
FYI. I used this method on my ice revue full playfield repaint: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/total-restore-of-an-ice-revue

Hope that helps!

#7918 78 days ago
Quoted from Flipper_McGavin:

You paint the liquid frisket around all the detailed areas using Grafix Incredible Nib and wait for it to dry clear which takes maybe 20 minutes, and then mask off the larger areas of the playfield with paper so that you don't waste so much of the liquid frisket.

Do you try to paint it right up to the keyline or overpaint then cut with a blade like you would with a traditional frisket?

#7919 78 days ago

Using that nib or paint brush, you can paint the frisket fine enough to go right up to the keylines. It is a liquid so it does very good at preventing 100% overspray getting into the areas it's applied at, unlike tape where the touchup paint can still find a way to get underneath it if not sealed 100%. It dries to a rubbery silicone touch and will not pull up any touchup paint if this liquid frisket is applied over it and later removed. I never tried trimming liquid frisket with a blade.

#7920 78 days ago
Quoted from Flipper_McGavin:

You paint the liquid frisket around all the detailed areas using Grafix Incredible Nib and wait for it to dry clear which takes maybe 20 minutes, and then mask off the larger areas of the playfield with paper so that you don't waste so much of the liquid frisket. It leaves zero residue, and I mean zero. I read too many posts from people saying frisket film leaving a residue so I'll never use the stuff. I used liquid frisket when airbrushing parts of the aqua blue water on my playfield.
[quoted image]
[quoted image]

Nice work! Blows my mind how you're able to do such miniscule fine detail. Did you practice to get to that point?

#7921 78 days ago

I used to draw with pencils that's about it. I've never painted or airbrushed before, I have done two playfields now. I learned how only by screwing up on the playfields, wiping them off, and restarting.

#7922 78 days ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

If the dirt doesn’t sand out readily, I’d mask and paint it with semi-transparent brown paints. Make it look improved without trying for “perfect.”
The rest is more of same - Frisket, airbrush. I I would probably make a decal of the key line and maybe fatten it up a bit to make the rest of the repair easier (might save you having to repaint some areas immediately around the track.) After your paints, shoot clear, apply decal over that. I also might try shooting fresh white paint above where it says “MONSTER” to re-establish that word bubble, then have a decal to complete the rest of the worn off art after locking down the paint with the clear.
This looks doable to me.

I think if I don’t remove the bad/dirty wood, the clear is going to chip away quickly because of dirt and silicone underneath. That means I’ll need some kind of filler to get it flat.

I’m mostly trying to figure out what will be most stable and strong. Maybe I should just treat it like an outhole repair. Thinking high-viscosity dolphin glaze still.

I just pulled the mylar and cleaned it, looking pretty nice.

BEB4A9A6-6DC5-4E98-ACCF-DCD8C0A3DF80.jpeg

#7923 77 days ago
Quoted from Flipper_McGavin:

I used liquid frisket when airbrushing parts of the aqua blue water on my playfield.

Well, damn! There’s no arguing with those results!
I’d like to investigate that further…So, you’re applying a pretty small amount of the liquid frisket, just in the immediate area you need to mask? Not covering larger areas? I admit I’m having a little bit of trouble envisioning the process…
The results look spot on - nice work!

#7924 77 days ago
Quoted from radium:

I think if I don’t remove the bad/dirty wood, the clear is going to chip away quickly because of dirt and silicone underneath. That means I’ll need some kind of filler to get it flat.

I would be concerned about going too heavy on the sanding, is all. But given that this part of the playfield wears pretty badly, reinforcing the wood fibers with a resin filler might be the best thing for it. Share pics of your progress!

#7925 73 days ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Well, damn! There’s no arguing with those results!
I’d like to investigate that further…So, you’re applying a pretty small amount of the liquid frisket, just in the immediate area you need to mask? Not covering larger areas? I admit I’m having a little bit of trouble envisioning the process…
The results look spot on - nice work!

I'm going to give this a shot. Seems like it will cost a fortune in liquid frisket considering the amount of area I need to repaint.

#7926 73 days ago

I use liquid frisket only for the detailed areas, and then apply painter's tape beyond the boundaries of the liquid frisket. Then I use a roll of brown kraft paper to cover the larger areas of the playfield. The only important thing when masking are those detailed adjacent edges to the area you are airbrushing which is why liquid frisket works so well, and beyond that I just try to find whatever I can to cover the larger areas of the playfield and kraft paper works easily. I have recently read you can spray liquid frisket and that also you can trim liquid frisket with a blade, two things I had no idea about.

#7927 73 days ago
Quoted from Flipper_McGavin:

I use liquid frisket only for the detailed areas, and then apply painter's tape beyond the boundaries of the liquid frisket. Then I use a roll of brown kraft paper to cover the larger areas of the playfield. The only important thing when masking are those detailed adjacent edges to the area you are airbrushing which is why liquid frisket works so well, and beyond that I just try to find whatever I can to cover the larger areas of the playfield and kraft paper works easily. I have recently read you can spray liquid frisket and that also you can trim liquid frisket with a blade, two things I had no idea about.

So for larger areas of a playfield that need work, do you still use liquid frisket, or do you just cover up the area with the kraft paper and then cut shapes as needed?

#7928 73 days ago

I do almost everything with Oracal 813, gerbermask, or green frog tape.

For cutting masks I use smallest possible piece of stencil material and then lay out scraps of rosin paper to cover around it.

#7929 73 days ago
Quoted from radium:

I do almost everything with Oracal 813, gerbermask, or green frog tape.
For cutting masks I use smallest possible piece of stencil material and then lay out scraps of rosin paper to cover around it.

No residue left behind with masking materials?

#7930 73 days ago
Quoted from A_Bord:

No residue left behind with masking materials?

Not really, I’ve had it pull up paint though. I like the 831 because I get sharp lines even though it’s low tack.

I’m getting into printing masks on the silhouette cameo now and that works well with the oracal so far.

#7931 73 days ago
Quoted from radium:

Not really, I’ve had it pull up paint though. I like the 831 because I get sharp lines even though it’s low tack.

I've had those issues. I always have to remind myself to pull it off at a 180 ° angle, not 90.
That greatly reduced the amount of rework I've had to do from paint pulling with the mask.
I use these to get the mask started for removal:

TCP Global 100 Piece Plastic Razor Scraper Blades with Extra Sharp Chisel Edge, Remove Decals, Stickers, Adhesive, Clean Glass amazon.com link »

#7932 72 days ago
Quoted from A_Bord:

No residue left behind with masking materials?

I just saw your post above about the frisket. I’ve used that same brand a lot because I can get it locally. It’s usually fine but I’ve had a few bad rolls that didn’t stick well. I only use it for like, a big block of a solid color, not detailed stuff because it seems to drag up instead of cut clean in tight corners.

Quoted from Atari_Daze:

I've had those issues. I always have to remind myself to pull it off at a 180 ° angle, not 90.
That greatly reduced the amount of rework I've had to do from paint pulling with the mask.
I use these to get the mask started for removal:
TCP Global 100 Piece Plastic Razor Scraper Blades with Extra Sharp Chisel Edge, Remove Decals, Stickers, Adhesive, Clean Glass amazon.com link »

Yeah I forget about this all the time but it is super important. Also important for using stencils with transfer tape so the small bits stay put.

Another thing, I try not to push down so hard on the oramask. I just make sure it seals where I’ll be cutting. I only put the mask down right before I intend to spray, heat dry, then remove it.

Last tip, for easy removal just fold over a tiny corner of the mask (on a side opposite your work). Gives you a little handle to start pulling after you’re done.

#7933 72 days ago

Hey all, working on my first playfield resto, Solids N Stripes. Have some issues on the bare wood areas, a deep ball trail on the arch and two big water spots.

I'm assuming the areas need to be sanded out using frisket or other stenicil material to protect the nearby art, then shellac before the 1st lock down layer of clear.

Is this the right approach?

20220218_200328 (resized).jpg20220218_200306 (resized).jpg20220218_200322 (resized).jpg
#7934 68 days ago
Quoted from radium:

I think if I don’t remove the bad/dirty wood, the clear is going to chip away quickly because of dirt and silicone underneath. That means I’ll need some kind of filler to get it flat.
I’m mostly trying to figure out what will be most stable and strong. Maybe I should just treat it like an outhole repair. Thinking high-viscosity dolphin glaze still.
I just pulled the mylar and cleaned it, looking pretty nice.
[quoted image]

Scrape out all the bad wood you can, score the wood for "tooth"

Build a dam around the damage, and drip in fiberglass resin

#7935 68 days ago

I repainted an entire playfield (bare wood) with Golden High Flow paints and GerberMask. Never had a single case of paint lifting.

Wonder if that is on the paint, or because it was new paint so there was better adhesion.

#7936 68 days ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Scrape out all the bad wood you can, score the wood for "tooth"
Build a dam around the damage, and drip in fiberglass resin

Awesome, thanks! I have a hard time deciding between when to use body filler versus fiberglass resin.

Quoted from dr_nybble:

I repainted an entire playfield (bare wood) with Golden High Flow paints and GerberMask. Never had a single case of paint lifting.
Wonder if that is on the paint, or because it was new paint so there was better adhesion.

You can also scuff the surface before spraying paints to help adhesion. Anecdotal, but seems like that works better for me than painting onto smooth fresh clear. And always pull mask at 180.

1 week later
#7937 58 days ago

Hey Vid,
Can anyone there help me with advice on how prevent this small but palpable insert cracking from getting worse. I hope to keep this game for the remainder of my years on this planet.

Im hope to protect from worsening without a complete tear down at this point. Might a brush of auto detail paint and mylar over the “O” lane be sufficient to fix and also protect it or is that a mistake?

I’m sure I may one day tear down the board to restore it some day in the distant future but just want to play the crap out of it for now without a worsening crack making it being unplayable in a few short years.

I’m brand new to owning a pinball machine so I’m learning. If this is no big deal please let me know. I do realize we own these to play and I have no reservations about that. Just trying to keep it as nice as possible while also completely playable.

Thanks for your thoughts.

8E068070-2DB0-47B2-8F7C-2934EDC5CDE9 (resized).jpeg
#7938 58 days ago
Quoted from Kaijumke:

Hey Vid,
Can anyone there help me with advice on how prevent this small but palpable insert cracking from getting worse.

That is not really an insert cracking problem, it is the insert expanding and contracting a bit differently from the wooden playfield and the effect cracks the clear at the boundary. When new the clear spans the transition but with the movement happening there it cracks. This will happen on any machine. The problem is if the inserts start to work their way up and an edge forms that the ball then chips away at. Is everything level? The only practical solution is mylar at this point but if everything is level there is nothing to really protect.

#7939 58 days ago
Quoted from Kaijumke:

Hey Vid,
Can anyone there help me with advice on how prevent this small but palpable insert cracking from getting worse. I hope to keep this game for the remainder of my years on this planet.

Like BJM says, the insert is not stable

It's moving, so the crack appears

You can stabilize it by gluing it in place

Assuming it's not proud of the surface , you can epoxy it from the backside

If you want to fix the topside checking in the clear, you can CAREFULLY cut along the edge of the insert with a BRAND NEW xacto knife, then wick in some cyno glue (the water-thin stuff). Use a syringe to apply, it might take a few coats.

https://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/glues-and-adhesive/fastcap-2p-10-thin-cyanoacrylate-super-glue-2-25oz/

#7940 58 days ago
Quoted from Kaijumke:

Hey Vid,
Can anyone there help me with advice on how prevent this small but palpable insert cracking from getting worse. I hope to keep this game for the remainder of my years on this planet.
Im hope to protect from worsening without a complete tear down at this point. Might a brush of auto detail paint and mylar over the “O” lane be sufficient to fix and also protect it or is that a mistake?
I’m sure I may one day tear down the board to restore it some day in the distant future but just want to play the crap out of it for now without a worsening crack making it being unplayable in a few short years.
I’m brand new to owning a pinball machine so I’m learning. If this is no big deal please let me know. I do realize we own these to play and I have no reservations about that. Just trying to keep it as nice as possible while also completely playable.
Thanks for your thoughts.[quoted image]

Looks like the Rescue insert is cracked also. Did you drop the playfield or bang it hard?

#7941 56 days ago
Quoted from RobW:

Looks like the Rescue insert is cracked also. Did you drop the playfield or bang it hard?

Not at all. Taking care of it like it’s a classic car to this point.

#7942 55 days ago
Quoted from Kaijumke:

Not at all. Taking care of it like it’s a classic car to this point.

That sucks. I have issues with my JP playfield too (pooling, chipping) Im lucky it was still under warranty, Stern has issued me a new unpopulated playfield.

#7943 55 days ago

I saw an Iron Maiden where all insert was ghosting, some more than other and the keyline art cracking. Only had 800 credits and buit Feb 2020, clearcoat was a little thicker on that playfield than the non existing orange peel Stern have used for a while now.

2 weeks later
#7944 41 days ago

If I did a ghosted insert repair per vid's instruction of the cut and injection, would I need to clearcoat the entire playfield after? Can I just leave as is?

#7945 41 days ago

My beaten up Whirlwind playfield has a lot of raised inserts on it, and I figured since I'm going to be swapping it out anyway I'd like to use this opportunity learn the proper way to level them or remove them.

Is the best method to use a heat gun from the underside and then pop them out with a hammer + socket? Or could I use the large C-Clamp method to just push down the original inserts?

20200728_200338 (resized).jpg

#7946 41 days ago

I’m going to say removing them first is better. I’ve used a heat gun and once hot enough, they come out pretty easily. Once they are out, you’ll be better off to “clean” the old glue off (or replace them) and can more properly re-glue them in.

At that point, the large c-clamp, hunk of flat wood and waxed paper would be how I’ve re-glued them.

Does that make sense?

Jeff

#7947 41 days ago
Quoted from Grangeomatic:

I’m going to say removing them first is better. I’ve used a heat gun and once hot enough, they come out pretty easily. Once they are out, you’ll be better off to “clean” the old glue off (or replace them) and can more properly re-glue them in.
At that point, the large c-clamp, hunk of flat wood and waxed paper would be how I’ve re-glued them.
Does that make sense?
Jeff

Makes perfect sense, thanks!

#7948 40 days ago
Quoted from dq13:

If I did a ghosted insert repair per vid's instruction of the cut and injection, would I need to clearcoat the entire playfield after? Can I just leave as is?

You can leave it

#7949 40 days ago

Hello All:
Since we are on a small discussion on inserts....I recently epoxied some inserts that had fallen out and one had sunk a little too much on one side when the glue was setting.
I did'nt see it and now its glued in good.
Would the heat trick work on this insert as well? Too much drop to leave the way it is.
Mike

#7950 40 days ago
Quoted from packie1:

I recently epoxied some inserts that had fallen out and one had sunk a little too much on one side when the glue was setting.
I did'nt see it and now its glued in good.
Would the heat trick work on this insert as well? Too much drop to leave the way it is.

Post a pic, but most people would probably just drip in some clear to level the mis-glued insert

make sure you touch up the black keyline before you fill, so your eye does not get attracted to the repair

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