Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration

(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

5 years ago



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#1251 3 years ago
Quoted from Anth:

In my experience this was not the case. I laid it on thick, as in a whole can, and it leveled and dried super glossy with no orange peel. I did get a can with a bad nozzle that gave me some heinous orange peel though. Watch out for that.

I forgot to mention that I used a 2nd can later on. The initial coat I did with the Spraymax, the seal-in coat, was done in multiple light passes. I sanded that down, did my waterslides, then laid on thick for the 2nd & final coat.

On my Centaur, I did 2 cans, both heavy, and ran into a bit of trouble with the orange peel. I probably could have sanded it down further in hindsight, but the paint was so flaky on it I was afraid of sanding into the 30+ hrs of work I did restoring the art everywhere. I am okay with the orange peel. I saw another thread where someone used 3 cans and got near perfect results. I probably could have lightly sanded and done that, but it is already assembled and working, so I'm content. Lesson learned for the next one.

#1252 3 years ago

Vid, earlier we talked about how I should handle repainting the grey road on my Taxi playfield. It's two-toned due to years of the non-mylar'd paint getting dirty and yellow. I figure the best approach is to re-paint the whole road. The problem is both with the art assets on the road (I'll use the Tow Truck as an example) as well as the passengers on the clear inserts (such as Gorbie).

Laying frisket on top of them could result in a bunch of valleys where the grey dips down onto the original art, so I'd need to knock down those edges to make sure the transitions are smooth. After that, I'd need to lay down more frisket for each color inside the assets I want to air brush, creating more little valleys, until it becomes a big, valley'd mess. Even if I chose to forget the airbrush and use a regular paint brush, there's still be a mess of valleys and brush strokes to deal with for each and every little art asset on the road.

The alternative is to paint the whole road grey and then apply decals. You had already mentioned that this was probably the way to go, but I wanted to see if you could think of any reason not to do it before I started covering everything up with grey.

On a related note, I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with the clear inserts that the passengers sit on. I can't just cover those up with paint and then put decals over them, otherwise the light from the clear inserts won't come through. I've considered trying to use a printout of each decal on hard card stock to act as a "stencil" for some underlying frisket. This would allow the grey paint to cover up part of the decals (such as around Gorbie's body) but that would lead us to the valley problem mentioned earlier. Maye that wouldn't be so bad with just five passenger-shaped valleys that I'd come along and put decals inside of later (with some clear on top to even the valleys out).

So while I think I know the path to take with the road and all the little taxi cabs on there, how would you handle where the road and the passengers meet over the clear rectangular inserts?

Really, you could probably ignore my babbling and just talk about how you would approach restoring a Taxi playfield with each of the passengers missing from their inserts and a road that needs to be complete re-painted.

#1253 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

It's two-toned due to years of the non-mylar'd paint getting dirty and yellow

Yes, I know I'm not Vid... But do you have pics of that area you're talking about? Threads like these are so much better with pics!

EDIT: You mean these pics... https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/21#post-1820302

#1254 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

This is where you start to separate the boys from the men in playfield restoration.
Even sanding the edge of the insert is not enough.
The final step is to prime the plastic with 3M Plastic Primer.
It goes on thin like water and dries in a few seconds.
Now when you apply the epoxy, you can't chip it off.

9.jpg 36 KB

I did some looking into where I would get this primer and 3M Plastic Primer P591 Black is all I could find in the relm of plastic primers. Could you tell us where you would go to replace what you currently have. Thanks,Charlie

#1255 3 years ago

I have some Loctite 770 I ordered from Amazom coming to me this week. I can report back on how it works. It's about 17 bucks for a 2oz. bottle, which should be all you need for a long time.

#1257 3 years ago
Quoted from Iaintnobodydork:

I did some looking into where I would get this primer and 3M Plastic Primer P591 Black is all I could find in the relm of plastic primers. Could you tell us where you would go to replace what you currently have. Thanks,Charlie

amazon.com link »

You might try this if you like Amazon.

But your local plastic shop (the place everyone buys their "bulletproof glass" for banks and gas stations), will have a ton more choices. See if you have a local AIN Plastics.

11
#1258 3 years ago

Vid, thanks for the wet sanding tips. I tried dry sanding my clear coated FH playfield but after polishing I was left with a dull shine and I could still see lots of scratches. I wet sanded using water with a drop of dishwashing liquid. I started at 1000 grit, then 1500, and finished with 2000, using as little water as possible to get the job done. After sanding I polished with Novus 3, then Novus 2. I’m very happy with the results, thanks Vid!

DSC03709.JPG DSC03710.JPG DSC03711.JPG
#1259 3 years ago

Most excellent work, John!

Congrats.

#1260 3 years ago
Quoted from JohnDelNJ:

Vid, thanks for the wet sanding tips. I tried dry sanding my clear coated FH playfield but after polishing I was left with a dull shine and I could still see lots of scratches. I wet sanded using water with a drop of dishwashing liquid. I started at 1000 grit, then 1500, and finished with 2000, using as little water as possible to get the job done. After sanding I polished with Novus 3, then Novus 2. I’m very happy with the results, thanks Vid!

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Damn that looks good!

#1261 3 years ago

About the sanding.
How can you tell for how long you can sand the playfield?
I still see scratches on my project but I am in doubt if I should sand them away with wet 2000 or using a more effective polish and polish pad? I think it will be way faster wet sanding it, but I dont know if it is taking to much clear of?

#1262 3 years ago

When you change to finer grades of sandpaper, you need to get ALL the scratches out from the last grade, BEFORE you switch to the next finer grade.

So lets say you leveled out all your hills with 800, and now you are ready to go to 1000.

Mix up 2 liters of water, with about a 1/4 drop of liquid dish soap.

Wet the 1000 grit sandpaper, and get the playfield wet too. Not too much water, don't soak the back of the playfield.

Sand with the 1000 grit until ALL the scratches are gone from the 800 grit.

Check that little islands of clear have not stuck to the face of the sandpaper, keeping the grit from actually touching the playfield. Scrape off any islands using a single edge razor blade at a low angle. Keep the sandpaper wet.

Once the playfield is uniformly sanded to 1000, then it's time to go to 1500 grit.

Sand out ALL of the 1000 grit scratches with the 1500, and then move to 2000 grit.

Finally, switch to liquid polish using a buffing pad.

-
TIPS:

Don't move up grits until EVERY scratch is gone.

If you don't fully finish sanding the 1000 grit, the next finer grit (1500) will not be able to remove the scratches left over from the 800 grit, and you will have to go back and sand using 1000 again.

If you are using a powered sander, make sure it's rated for wet use (so you don't get a shock). Air Sanders are great, since they don't have electric motors.

If you have never used an electric random orbit buffer before, practice under the apron. You have to keep it moving, don't let the pad get warm.

A brand new piece of sandpaper will have 2x the "cut" of an old piece of the same grade (it will be more aggressive because the abrasive particles are new and sharp). "knock down" a new piece of sandpaper on a piece of scrap for a few seconds, if it starts out with too much cut.

#1263 3 years ago

Did you really mean "a 1/4 drop" of liquid dish soap or was that a typo?

I'm not even sure how you would do that.

#1264 3 years ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

Did you really mean "a 1/4 drop" of liquid dish soap or was that a typo?
I'm not even sure how you would do that.

Just catch a drop on your finger, and put 1/4 of it into your water.

You don't want a bunch of foam, but you do want the water's surface tension broken up by the soap.

#1265 3 years ago

I have a garage that goes partially under my house. I built the common paint booth that everyone seems to be building, PVC and the cheap plastic sheeting that Vid recommended. Wherever there is a seam, I used duct tape to seal it. It is built in front of window, where I have a box fan with furnace filters ventilating. It is sealed tight, minus the entrance (as I need to actually get in and out of it), but even that has overlapping plastic that hangs down.

Question -

I just started clearing today, actually on something other than pinball that needed clearing (good practice for my PF clearing I will be doing later in the week) and within minutes, we could smell the faint scent of the clear in the room that goes partially over the garage. This is the only place I can set this up and I am not sure what else I can do to keep the fumes more contained.

Ideas? Tricks? Thanks everyone!

#1266 3 years ago

Automotive clear coat is extremely volatile and will migrate. More fan power may help your situation. Keep the area upstairs well ventilated until the smell subsides.

#1267 3 years ago

Vid,
I have a decal question for you. I have a larger area in the center of the playfield that I am putting a waterslide decal. I decided to cut it up into smaller sections so it is more manageable. I have the first decal applied and it looks great. My question is how long should I wait to apply the second decal. The decals will all be "touching" each other but there should be no overlap. Just worried about the new water messing up the dried decal but it seemed like putting 4 wet decals next to each other and trying to get them all flat and positioned seemed like a nightmare. Or should I airbrush clear over each one before I move on to the next one?

The playfield will be getting a full clear coat if that makes a difference. I have already cleared it during the restoration and will have to do it again. So I am not worried about spot clearing. I know that is not something that looks good if nothing else is done.

Thanks

#1268 3 years ago

I'd do all 4 sections at the same time.

Once you press the water out of a decal, it tends to stay in place.

#1269 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

When you change to finer grades of sandpaper, you need to get ALL the scratches out from the last grade, BEFORE you switch to the next finer grade.
So lets say you leveled out all your hills with 800, and now you are ready to go to 1000.
Mix up 2 liters of water, with about a 1/4 drop of liquid dish soap.
Wet the 1000 grit sandpaper, and get the playfield wet too. Not too much water, don't soak the back of the playfield.
Sand with the 1000 grit until ALL the scratches are gone from the 800 grit.
Check that little islands of clear have not stuck to the face of the sandpaper, keeping the grit from actually touching the playfield. Scrape off any islands using a single edge razor blade at a low angle. Keep the sandpaper wet.
Once the playfield is uniformly sanded to 1000, then it's time to go to 1500 grit.
Sand out ALL of the 1000 grit scratches with the 1500, and then move to 2000 grit.
Finally, switch to liquid polish using a buffing pad.
-
TIPS:
Don't move up grits until EVERY scratch is gone.
If you don't fully finish sanding the 1000 grit, the next finer grit (1500) will not be able to remove the scratches left over from the 800 grit, and you will have to go back and sand using 1000 again.
If you are using a powered sander, make sure it's rated for wet use (so you don't get a shock). Air Sanders are great, since they don't have electric motors.
If you have never used an electric random orbit buffer before, practice under the apron. You have to keep it moving, don't let the pad get warm.
A brand new piece of sandpaper will have 2x the "cut" of an old piece of the same grade (it will be more aggressive because the abrasive particles are new and sharp). "knock down" a new piece of sandpaper on a piece of scrap for a few seconds, if it starts out with too much cut.

Thank you for a awesome answer!
When sanding, are there any "best practices". Should I only do it one direction, circles? Or can I do it just as I want?

#1270 3 years ago

If you are sanding bare wood, you usually want to go in one direction - with the grain.

But if you are sanding a clear coat or paint, you can go in any direction.

#1271 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If you are sanding bare wood, you usually want to go in one direction - with the grain.
But if you are sanding a clear coat or paint, you can go in any direction.

I am thinking about sanding clear.
I have found sanding in circles to be very effective but did not know if it was a bad or good idea.

#1272 3 years ago

Hi all! Just wanted to share my findings concerning the plastic primer and glue. Not sure if it works 100% but a little more reading should do it I guess. I am located in Europe so it's always some more research to find matching products over here. Anyway,

I have, as others on here, been looking for a plastic primer. Can't seem to find the 3M stuff easily so I had a look and found a product that may work as an alternative. It's the loctite 7239. There is also one called loctite 770 that might work too. Here are some info:

Loctite 7239
http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/391151.pdf

Loctite 770
http://uk.farnell.com/loctite/142624/activator-770-10gm/dp/1370163

Don't know exactly but I think it works about the same as the 3M.

Next, I am planning to use a glue called "Loctite power epoxy universal" that comes in a syringe style tube. Don't know what the same is called in the us but here in Europe it's called that. Here is what it looks like:
http://corkartsupplies.com/Loctite-Power-Epoxy-Mini-Universal-6ml-G01460

I have used it a lot on my RC planes after some hard landings and it's very strong and easy to use. Next time you crash it won't break the glued part. Also glued the rear view mirror of my car (metal to windshield) with it and it held up very well.

I wonder if the primer works well with an epoxy glue like that or if it's just for CA glues.

The research continues...

Edit: I contacted loctite to ask if the primers mentioned above was suitable for epoxy glue. They answered that it is for CA glues and that they do not have a primer for epoxy glue. I returned another mail asking if it's good, bad, or no difference to use it with epoxy and I'll edit here once they reply.
And their reply was that with epoxy one should not use primer but rather sand the surface (insert) with a coarse sanding paper. Then clean it with something like Loctite 7063 that they mentioned. Well, if you guys tested with 770 or 3M and epoxy I guess it works.

Just wanted to fill in some info.

#1273 3 years ago

Sorry for keep talking about sanding, but I am starting to get very very frustrated.
I just sanding the whole playfield once again with wet 2000.
After that the are a lot very fine scratches and some minor scratches, they are more visible but they do not catch your nail. The very fine scratches disappears but not the deeper scratches.

I have tried:
- Novus 3
- Treasure Cove 3
- Meguiars Ultimate Compound

I have tested all by:
- Hand
- Dual Action
- Shinemaster Pad (Treasure Cove)

Nothing works!
The fine scratches will not disappear? Is it the clear that is rock hard? (14 days ago I cleared it) What am I doing wrong? This is driving me crazy...

#1274 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

The very fine scratches disappears but not the deeper scratches.

You need to back up and use a coarser grit.

Try 1000 grit, just on the scratch, by hand. Then move up to the 1500 on the spot, then 2000.....

Remember, if ALL the scratches are not removed with the current grade of sandpaper, you need to go BACKWARDS to the last coarser grade.

Any scratch still around at 1000 grit, will still be around at 1500, and at 2000.

#1275 3 years ago

Any advice on decals not sticking very well. I let decals dry for 6-7 hours and when I go back it takes almost nothing to get them to start lifting. For instance if I want to trim one with an exacto knife it takes nothing for the decal to come up. I have also lost decals by just blowing air over the playfield to blow the dust off. I am using a popular paper and am even putting some Elmer's glue in the water to help adhesion. I am worried about larger decals delaminating over time after I clear coat.

Any advice?

#1276 3 years ago

Decals need acid to stick.

Are you using MicroSet as your setting solution?

Is the surface too rough for the decals to adhere to?

Are the decals too old or did they get left out and absorbed moisture from the air?

$_3.JPG
#1277 3 years ago

I am using pretty new paper from Papilio. The instructions only mention water so that's what I used. So do you soak them in water and then put the Microset on the surface before you out the decal on? Can you "re activate" a decal once it comes up?

The surface is clear that has been sanded with 320 grit.

#1278 3 years ago

New Papilio is good.

Water is probably OK, but for $3 at the hobby shop, snag some MicroSet.

Sand down to 1000 grit and try those decals again. I think your paper might not be getting enough surface area to adhere to.

#1279 3 years ago

I have some decal mounting solution but it says nothing about what is in it and it doesn't say anything about setting. I put it on all around the edges that came up when I trimmed. Kinda got sticky as it dried. No idea if it is the same stuff or not. I also put some all over the rest of the decals and edges and let it soak for a bit and then wiped the decals down.

If they stay down well enough to clear then will I be ok? Seems like I remember you saying the clear kinda melts into the decal. I really dont want to do this again as it looks so good right now.

I will definitely pick some of that setting solution up and I will sand the decal areas with 1000 grit next time.

#1280 3 years ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

I have some decal mounting solution but it says nothing about what is in it and it doesn't say anything about setting.

Does it smell like Acetic acid?

MicroSet reeks like Acetic.

#1281 3 years ago

Well it doesn't "reek" of anything so I am assuming it is just to make it easier to slide around.

#1282 3 years ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

Well it doesn't "reek" of anything so I am assuming it is just to make it easier to slide around.

I'm excited for you to smell the MicroSet

#1283 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I'm excited for you to smell the MicroSet

Its the little things.

#1284 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You need to back up and use a coarser grit.
Try 1000 grit, just on the scratch, by hand. Then move up to the 1500 on the spot, then 2000.....
Remember, if ALL the scratches are not removed with the current grade of sandpaper, you need to go BACKWARDS to the last coarser grade.
Any scratch still around at 1000 grit, will still be around at 1500, and at 2000.

Just wanted to give a conclusion on the problem if it helps other people.
I was using a Dual Action Polisher and the problem was cheap and bad Pad's for the polisher!
I bought a cheap combo but the pads where worth nothing!
So today I polished with a better Pad and all scratches are gone and the result is great

#1285 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I'm excited for you to smell the MicroSet

Man, reek is the correct word.

#1286 3 years ago

At some point in the last few weeks, the conversation moved to wet sanding, but I don't see wet sanding as a prescribed action by Vid anywhere in the thread. Vid, when would we wet sand versus dry sand during the restoration process?

#1287 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

Vid, when would we wet sand versus dry sand during the restoration process?

Wet sanding is the fine grades of sandpaper (generally 800 and up). The water and soap slurry keeps the fine abrasive particles from clogging with clear.

The slurry also removes heat when using a power sander.

#1288 3 years ago

Speaking of sanding, the first layer of clear, that is done before painting and decaling as far as I understand it.. Should it be sanded as well? Feels like it shall be as flat as possible just wondering. I'm doing lots of research now to begin my first try on a PF. Very interesting!

#1289 3 years ago
Quoted from TheRingMaster:

Should it be sanded as well?

Yep, sand it or the paint and next layer of clear won't stick.

#1290 3 years ago

Alright! Thanks =) basic thing that need to be learned before hitting this project. And thanks again for this thread and baring all the noob questions!

#1291 3 years ago

I just put down my first real shiny layer of JC661 clear, and 45 minutes later it's still a bit tacky to the touch. Is this normal?

#1292 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

I just put down my first real shiny layer of JC661 clear, and 45 minutes later it's still a bit tacky to the touch. Is this normal?

Yep.

Don't even look at it until tomorrow - I'm serious.

#1293 3 years ago

How long between the first coat of clear and the light sanding? Also, do I light sand before waterslide decals?

Thanks. Gonna do this today. I am excited.

#1294 3 years ago

I guess the post above mine answered my first question.

#1295 3 years ago

Different brands of clear dry at different rates.

You see some guys using IR lamps to greatly speed up the curing process.

Your brand of clear will tell you the length of time you can put a second coat down without sanding (usually it's less than 24 hours), after that the clear is cured and must be sanded.

You don't want to sand "around" your decals, so sand the playfield, then do your decal work.

#1296 3 years ago

Hi Vid,

Thanks as always. To be clear though (no pun intended), from previous information in this thread, a thin layer of clear should be shot down before decal work, correct? If so, do I sand that layer after it hardens before I add the waterslides? I am using Shoplin JC660 and the fastest hardner, which I think is JH6670.

I will mildly sand or rough with 800 grit before I put the first layer of clear. Couple more touch up paints to do.

** ALSO - note to anyone getting waterslide work done at a commercial printer. One time I had really good luck at FedEx Office, the waterslide images came out perfect, couldn't have asked for better. The next time I went, they destroyed almost all of my waterslide sheets with images that didn't fuse to the paper worth a damn. I think the person you get to assist you really matters. Find the genius, who will be a lifer there. They might not be fun to go out and drink with, but they never makes mistakes on customer jobs and destroy $10 worth of waterslide. **

#1297 3 years ago

Hi Vid,
I'm going to mylar over this pf issue, and I was wondering how far in excess of the damage would you suggest that I cut the mylar. The damaged area is about 1" across and .5" high. Would .5" on all sides be enough, 1" on all sides? Thanks

FH PF angle 2 8-23-14.jpeg

#1298 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The water and soap slurry keeps the fine abrasive particles from clogging with clear.

Two questions!

1) Earlier, you have a section on post-coat sanding, and you don't mention wet sanding anywhere in there at all. When do we wet sand with 800 + grit, and when do we dry sand with 800+ grit? Can we avoid having to know when to do what and just wet sand at 800+ all the time?

2) Do we still need to wear a Tyvek suit and respirator while wet sanding?

#1299 3 years ago

Sorry to ref something from a few pages back, but I just want to say THANK YOU VID for the tip about Creatix paints. I've been building scale models for years, in which I've purchased more brands and types of paints than anyone should justify. They all have their strengths and weaknesses (and intended purposes) but DANG, I have never used anything like the Creatix before. That stuff is freakin' amazing... and sooo easy to use. The consistency and coverage is just wonderful. Wow, I wish I'd heard of this before. I'm not sure how useful it will be for models, BUT "model" (and craft) paints aren't always ideal out of their realms either. Either way, this stuff will be a go-to project paint from now on.

Might I also point out that quality brushes make a BIG difference as well. You'd think a brush is a brush, especially a small one, but... the $5 for one brush as opposed to five brushes for $1, is worth it.

#1300 3 years ago
Quoted from MinnPin:

from previous information in this thread, a thin layer of clear should be shot down before decal work, correct?

Correct.

You don't want a different tension above and below a decal.

Quoted from MinnPin:

If so, do I sand that layer after it hardens before I add the waterslides?

You don't want to have to "sand around" your decal work, so yes, you sand the whole playfield before installing your decals - if you don's sand, the clear wont stick.

Quoted from MinnPin:

The next time I went, they destroyed almost all of my waterslide sheets with images that didn't fuse to the paper worth a damn.

You want to run the decals the moment the printer turns on.

After a short while the fuser will be too hot and ruin the paper.

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