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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There are 6191 posts in this topic. You are on page 27 of 124.
#1301 4 years ago
Quoted from mulder2010:

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 170 KB

.5" on all sides should be plenty. Cut the corners round, so they don't lift up.

#1302 4 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

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?

**generally** we always wet sand with any papers 800 and finer.

Otherwise, the paper clogs.

Quoted from UvulaBob:

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

Wear your Respirator for sure, but don't contaminate your spraying suit with dust.

Wear at least long sleeves, or get a separate suit.

#1303 4 years ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

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.

This.

#1304 4 years ago

Ok, I got a couple of free EMs so why not an excellent opportunity to learn how to do a playfield restore/clearcoat. I know EMs don't really need a clear coat but I would rather try it on a free game then one of mine. These are the only pictures I have because I pick them up this weekend (as long as no surprises). Neither work but I want to do a total restore instead of just a shop.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
#1305 4 years ago

SANDING AND BUFFING A PLAYFIELD

=============================================

Once your playfield is fully cured, you can either leave it alone (no trash fell into the clear, everything is flat enough), or sand it flat and buff it out.
-

In this example I have the biggest nightmare in the playfield restoration, F-14.

This playfield at first looked like a good restore candidate, but once the Mylar was off, the whole surface planked, paint came off, most of the inserts were cracked.

Luckily, I had good scans of a NOS playfield to get all my artwork from.

Look at all those little half-tone shading dots...Like I said, nightmare.

Also, having all those inserts nested next to each other makes for a roller-coaster of a playfield, even if the inserts are reasonably flush.

So to get this playfield dead flat, I'm sanding after the final coat of clear.

#1306 4 years ago

Usually when you are bringing a surface up to a mirror finish, you need to wet sand.

So you are going to need a powered sander that wont electrocute you!

A good choice is an air powered sander. You can get them in Block or Disc styles.

I use both, but for flattening, I like block. The larger the block, the flatter the sanding stroke.

As you probably guessed, air sander connects to an air compressor. Adjust the stroke knob to find the sweet spot - too far in either direction and it won't stroke at all.

You can also use an electric sander, again the larger the sanding surface, the flatter the stroke. Just make sure your sander is rated for wet use.

Buy sandpaper that says wet/dry on it, most fine grades are wet/dry, but there are exceptions.

Wear your respirator. Yes, I know wet sanding is not very dusty, but the dried slurry and the polishing compounds are bad for your lungs.

If you want to wear a Tyvek suit, don't contaminate the one you use for spraying. Maybe use an old one that has a taped up hole or two.

Make up a 2 liter bottle with about a 1/4 drop of liquid dish soap. You want just a little bit of soap. Just enough to break up the surface tension, but not enough to make suds.

1.jpg

#1307 4 years ago

The dust that normally would be produced by sanding is captured by the water. This is called slurry.

As you sand, wipe up and dispose of the slurry with a paper towel.

With the slurry out of the way, you can see that all the scratches from the last sanding grade, have been removed.

There are so many inserts, so close together, on F-14 that I wanted to totally flatten the playfield.

Here I used 600 grit to quickly knock down any high spots.

If you still see any shiny spots, you know the playfield is NOT flat, and that the shiny spots are low spots.

2.jpg

#1308 4 years ago

Here the 800 grit removed any of the 600 grit scratches.

You see a totally even surface, no glossy spots or scratches after the 800.

No need to press down hard, just let the sander do the work.

3.jpg

#1309 4 years ago

Here the 1000 grit paper is very fine, so the water/soap is very important.

If you tried to sand without water, the paper would clog very quickly, and no further sanding would be accomplished.

Wipe the slurry off of the playfield, AND wipe the sandpaper, so it is clean and abrasive again.

4.jpg

#1310 4 years ago

Some people skip the 1200 grit and go straight to 1500.

For all the work that went into this playfield, I was not skipping any sanding grades, lol.

With these fine grades of sandpaper, the sanding goes very quickly.

5.jpg

#1311 4 years ago

At 1500 grit, much of the playfield detail is now visible again.

6.jpg

#1312 4 years ago

6.jpg
#1313 4 years ago

At 2000 grit, you can just start to see the outline of the overhead lighting on the playfield.

You can go to 2500 grit, or jump to polishing.

Many auto re-finishers jump to polishing after 1500 grit, so 2000 is a good jump off point for us.

7.jpg

#1314 4 years ago

BUFFING

Now we switch to the buffing process.

Use a buffing machine. It's big, easy and usually has 2 or more speeds. You can turn the buffer sideways to polish out the shooter lane.

You need a separate buffing bonnet or pad for each grade of polishing compound! Label each of them on their tags with a Sharpie. Do not mix them up!

Here some "Medium Cut" quickly puts a sheen on the playfield.

Never hold the buffer in one place, keep it moving.

Never let the buffer get the playfield warm. Move to a new spot.

Once you have an even sheen, wipe all the Medium Cut from the slots and holes so you don't contaminate the next finer polish with the Medium Cut abrasives.

G110v2-_DAPolisher_w-Bag.jpg

#1315 4 years ago

Here the "Swirl Remover" quickly gives a handsome gloss.

Swirl Remover is about as abrasive as Novus2, but cuts a wee bit faster.

Many customers want a shiny EM game, but not mirror shine. If that is the case, you can stop polishing at this point.

If you are going for mirror gloss, wipe the Swirl Remover out of the slots and holes and move to the next step.

Remember to change your bonnet.

-

If you find that the Swirl Remover is not bringing up the gloss, your playfield may not be cured enough. Keep it in a warm place for a week and hit it again later.

9.jpg

#1316 4 years ago

Finally we use "Machine Glaze".

This stuff won't polish by hand, it needs a fast buffing machine to work it's magic.

And almost like magic, Machine Glaze brings your playfield up to a full mirror.

This stuff is a higher polish than Novus2, so it really looks amazing.

Wipe all the Glaze out of the holes and slots.

Now that the playfield is fully polished, you want to protect it with a really good paste wax like Blitz. NOT a "Cleaner Wax", because that would scuff up and remove the great polish you have achieved.

You will never again have your playfield this clean and this unobstructed again, so don't skimp on your wax job.

-

Q: Vid, should I get one of those "Perfect-It" kits by 3M with the micro foam bonnets and the super fine polishes for even a higher gloss?

A: First, look at what the Machine Glaze can do and then decide if you could possibly want any higher polish. Second, you probably only need the "Perfect-It #1 bottle and the #1 pad", as you already have passed by the other abrasives in the kit.

-

10.jpg

#1317 4 years ago

If someone (me ) just realized that a spot needs to be touched up in the middle of clear coating what's the best way to go about that? I still have the same color that I airbrushed with. But the touch up paint was over paint (roughly the same color) and not clear. It's a playfield that I'm trying to save from my ignorant touch up days from the past. I'm worried that the color won't look the same due to being on top of two different mediums. I would like to airbrush the fixes if possible. There's 3 coats of clear with the third being light to medium sanding with 320.

#1318 4 years ago

Hi guys,

This is something my brother brought up to me, and I hadn't thought about it before.

These home made paint booths that we all seem to be building (mine included) use box fans with furnace filters for ventilation. My brother pointed out to me that the electric motor, which is continually creating electrical arcs could inhale a volatile substance such as clear coat and cause a fire or explosion. Sure enough the clear coat cans themselves warn about using fans or ventilation systems with non-sealed motors.

How concerned should we all be?

Thoughts?

Thanks.

#1319 4 years ago

Now that I've put the first layer of clear on my playfield, I've wet-sanded it with 800 and then 1000 grit paper. I can see the shiny spots all over the playfield where there are little dips that the flat sanding block didn't get into. Do I need to fill all of these little spots with small amounts of clear coat from an eyedropper? And if so, do I need to rough them up as well right before dispensing it?

#1320 4 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

shiny spots all over the playfield where there are little dips that the flat sanding block didn't get into

How much clear do you estimate you have down for this first coat? Thin coat, thick coat, very thick coat, etc. How deep are the dips and what are they from? Imperfections and orange peel in your spraying technique? Inserts that aren't as level as you thought? indentations from ball drops? grooves from plastic posts screwed down tightly? Etc.

Lastly if you kept sanding to these shiny spots would you hit paint in other spots?

Sorry for the questions, but those are important things to know.

#1321 4 years ago

I could probably sand some more to get to a few of these spots, but there are definitely spots that just can't be sanded into. I'm pretty sure I did a lousy job of keeping level the five clear inserts that I replaced. The only way forward is through, though. So, I think I need to drop some clear in there to get things nice and level before applying decals and.or painting around them.

IMG_1922.JPG
IMG_1930.JPG
IMG_1928.JPG
IMG_1929.JPG
IMG_1927.JPG

#1322 4 years ago

Awesome Vid with the sanding/buffing update!
Would have helped me a lot 3 weeks ago

What tools are you using for cut/buffing? DA?

#1323 4 years ago

Ok, those pics help a ton, thanks. Will be interested to hear the response.

I had this exact same thing on my pinbot, and I found it to be caused by the coats not laying on thick enough to get surface tension and level out. A thick, wet coat over that cured the issue for me, but I had all my painting and decals done at that point, so was in a different spot than you.

Whether that's "flat enough" for paint and decals I will be interested to see.

#1324 4 years ago

Vid,
I did a search through your thread on color matching and the only reference you made was a paint match in the sunlight. I am having a hard time matching a gray decal and was hoping you could help. For those following my restoration, this will look familiar.
I have a white painted area in the center that will be a smoke decal printed on clear waterslide decal paper. The gray color changes with different light so I am not sure what to do. Here are three different pictures of the same decal.

playfield sitting at the opening to the garage on a sunny day but the sun is not shining directly on the playfield.
garage.JPG

Here is the same decal in my work area in the garage with the door closed and the garage and work area fluorescent lights on.
Fl.jpg

Same decal with the garage door closed and normal incandescent bulbs from the garage opener and a floor lamp and the fluorescents are off
In.jpg

Kind of stuck and don't know how to proceed. I guess its gonna kinda suck to have the machine looking great and then suck in different lighting.

"Sorry, you can only look at that one with the lights off"

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks

#1325 4 years ago
Quoted from jasonsmith:

If someone (me ) just realized that a spot needs to be touched up in the middle of clear coating what's the best way to go about that? I still have the same color that I airbrushed with. But the touch up paint was over paint (roughly the same color) and not clear. It's a playfield that I'm trying to save from my ignorant touch up days from the past. I'm worried that the color won't look the same due to being on top of two different mediums. I would like to airbrush the fixes if possible. There's 3 coats of clear with the third being light to medium sanding with 320.

It's hard to fix "spots" unless they are away from the player, or in a black field.

Can you paint the whole section again?

#1326 4 years ago
Quoted from MinnPin:

Hi guys,
This is something my brother brought up to me, and I hadn't thought about it before.
These home made paint booths that we all seem to be building (mine included) use box fans with furnace filters for ventilation. My brother pointed out to me that the electric motor, which is continually creating electrical arcs could inhale a volatile substance such as clear coat and cause a fire or explosion. Sure enough the clear coat cans themselves warn about using fans or ventilation systems with non-sealed motors.
How concerned should we all be?
Thoughts?
Thanks.

Of course that is a concern, but so many people use box fans for their auto refinishing and I've never heard of any explosions.

Maybe the huge influx of fresh air is keeping any concentrations of solvent below the levels needed for an explosion?

#1327 4 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

Now that I've put the first layer of clear on my playfield, I've wet-sanded it with 800 and then 1000 grit paper. I can see the shiny spots all over the playfield where there are little dips that the flat sanding block didn't get into. Do I need to fill all of these little spots with small amounts of clear coat from an eyedropper? And if so, do I need to rough them up as well right before dispensing it?

Yep, rough up those shiny spots by hand and fill in the cracks and dips before the next shoot.

#1328 4 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

What tools are you using for cut/buffing? DA?

I've got a Porter-cable buffer polisher.

#1329 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It's hard to fix "spots" unless they are away from the player, or in a black field.
Can you paint the whole section again?

Sadly painting the whole section would end up being 50% of the playfield as the touch up area runs into two major colors. It's okay though, I winged it and did the touch up anyway and seems to have taken nicely from what I can see so far. Thank You.

#1330 4 years ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

I did a search through your thread on color matching and the only reference you made was a paint match in the sunlight. I am having a hard time matching a gray decal and was hoping you could help. For those following my restoration, this will look familiar.
I have a white painted area in the center that will be a smoke decal printed on clear waterslide decal paper. The gray color changes with different light so I am not sure what to do. Here are three different pictures of the same decal.

Gray is a tough one, sometimes you have to add Yellow or Purple to match it.

One option is to scan the graphics and print a black only decal on clear paper. Then paint your gray on the playfield all the way up to some solid features. Then put your black decal over the gray.

#1331 4 years ago

You are going to make some F-14 owner out there very happy!

Dan

#1332 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Gray is a tough one, sometimes you have to add Yellow or Purple to match it.
One option is to scan the graphics and print a black only decal on clear paper. Then paint your gray on the playfield all the way up to some solid features. Then put your black decal over the gray.

Any idea why the color is changing on the decal with the different light?

#1333 4 years ago

Good point on the box fans, Vid. I generally don't concern myself with things like that that seem so tried and true, but I thought I would toss it out there.

Thanks, as always, for your endless information. I am not sure when you actually get to work on pins, you must spend 15 hours a day answering our questions and typing info into the forum.

#1334 4 years ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

Any idea why the color is changing on the decal with the different light?

Light can act like a filter, depending on it's purity.

Think of sunlight at noon being the most pure, then think of a sunset being orange.

Now think about a flashlight with a blue bulb shining on a blue wall (looks blue), now think about the same blue flashlight shining on a red wall (looks black).

So outdoors your gray matches in the pure light, but indoors with "warm" sorta yellow lighting, you notice that the yellow in one of the grays is emphasized and now stands out.

That's why when you touch up a wall in your house, you paint the whole wall up to the corners of the room. If you do a "spot" touch up, you might notice it under different light.

#1335 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Light can act like a filter, depending on it's purity.
Think of sunlight at noon being the most pure, then think of a sunset being orange.
Now think about a flashlight with a blue bulb shining on a blue wall (looks blue), now think about the same blue flashlight shining on a red wall (looks black).
So outdoors your gray matches in the pure light, but indoors with "warm" sorta yellow lighting, you notice that the yellow in one of the grays is emphasized and now stands out.
That's why when you touch up a wall in your house, you paint the whole wall up to the corners of the room. If you do a "spot" touch up, you might notice it under different light.

Makes sense but I guess I don't understand why the decal is the only thing changing color and not the playfield gray. I guess its the pigments acting differently. Will the clearcoat change any of these properties?

Thanks

#1336 4 years ago

Clearcoat tends to darken and intensify colors.

#1337 4 years ago

A question on Createx colors pls Vid which are not individually readily available in Australia. I have the base opaque set which includes Yellow. For an El Dorado playfield touchup I need to mix Yellow and Yellow Ochre but I note that Yellow Ochre only seems to come in the Wicked color range which produces a semi gloss finish. Is it appropriate and/or possible to mix colors from these two ranges ie Opaque & Wicked? Thks as usual for your great help.

#1338 4 years ago

If the final paint ends up semigloss, just lightly sand it before you clear.

#1339 4 years ago

Another question =),
I am going to fix most inserts on my BOP playfield. They have some different wear. Some are shrunken in, some are raised and some just have plenty of wear on them. I have not inspected them super careful yet but I think none of them are broken.

Anyway, when I have leveled an insert, how do I fine tune it? What i want to adress are some small chips in the paint/wood around the insert where the ball has struck while the insert was too low. (might even be some chips in some inserts too if they were raised..)

Whats the best approach to fill/fix these cracks? (especially the ones in the PF wood that resulted from a shrunk insert). Epoxy, 2PAC (Not the rapper though... ), bondo or something completely different? Also not the micro cracks on the insert glass in the middle of the space shuttle. Will that be fixed by sanding it or has the insert suffered too much UV light and will need to be replaced?

I will do a first coat of clear over the whole PF and then paint and decal the inserts and some other spots, and last lay down the final layers of clear. Im about to start this project very soon so just need to get some of these questions straight.

Here are some pics:

bopins.jpg
shuttleins.jpg

Lets hope this has not yet been adressed in the thread.. read it but cant seem to find it.

/ Andy

#1341 4 years ago

Fill the cracks with 2PAC .

The cracks in the clear coat of the shuttle can be scraped out with a razor, but you should scan the area first in case you slip and chip out the black ink. Or just scan, make a decal and scrape out the whole shuttle.

Here is a video with Tupac when he was still a background dancer for The Digital Underground:

#1342 4 years ago

Allright! Makes sense to fill with clear. And the shuttle and other stubborn inserts.. I am planning to scan, clean up, paint the colors then add a decal for the black outlines. Most inserts on this game have art on them. Except for the EBs that are a bit more normal. A note to anyone who needs new inserts for BOP extra balls, they should not be red but amber colored. I thought mine were faded and ordered some new but then when I double checked it turned out they are amber. So need to get some of those instead.

Thanks for the info and the vid vid... =)

#1343 4 years ago

This is a weird one (I think).

The ring around my bumper has this white worn ring but it is supposed to look like the bumper behind it. Here is another example of what it SHOULD look like. How did that happen and how can I sand it back down to match the other. I have a few things with this playfield and I plan on using this playfield to learn and practice.

Mine.jpg
Example.jpg

EDIT: I though it was one of those fine plastic flaps but I could not get it to move and felt smooth.

#1344 4 years ago
Quoted from futurepinhead:

my bumper has this white worn ring

That looks like vinyl to me.

#1345 4 years ago
Quoted from Curbfeeler:

That looks like vinyl to me.

Thanks, I hope so, if you see the one to the right you still see some of that good wood. I will take a fine razor and try to get under it tonight. Maybe it's just really comfortable to the wood after resting for 30 years in a garage.

#1346 4 years ago

Here are the only spots of wear on the same game. The spot in the green to the left looks pretty straightforward. The word on the right in the red is going to be tricky but doable. But how do I repair the bare wood and make it look close to original?

Wear.jpg
#1347 4 years ago

Vid,
I went ahead and got a laser printer for my decals. Couple of questions.

1. Do you have to clear the decals printed on laser before you put them in water.

2. What brand of laser decal paper do you recommend?

Thanks

#1348 4 years ago
Quoted from futurepinhead:

The spot in the green to the left looks pretty straightforward.

Match your paint.

Then paint the entire section from the tip of the yellow arrow downward.

Don't try to do a little patch, or it will stand out if the greens fade at different rates.

Quoted from futurepinhead:

The word on the right in the red is going to be tricky but doable.

Scan the area and make a black outline decal.

I'd Frisket around the lettering and repaint all the red and purple Then the tiny amount of white.

Put the black outline back using the decal and clear over the top to protect.

Quoted from futurepinhead:

But how do I repair the bare wood and make it look close to original?

How deep is that gouge?

I can't tell from the photo.

#1349 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

How deep is that gouge?
I can't tell from the photo.

Not deep enough to measure but deep enough to stop a fingernail when sliding across the playfield. Maybe these photos will help. It looks worse than it is, it doesn't taper down like it appears. It has one deep spot and that is very thin. It is all the way to the end of the flipper.

20141024_183042.jpg
20141024_183109.jpg
20141024_183145.jpg

20141024_184449.jpg
#1350 4 years ago
Quoted from Curbfeeler:

That looks like vinyl to me.

Its some a white mylar of sorts. I have only come across clear mylar but it is adhered to the playfield for sure.

There are 6191 posts in this topic. You are on page 27 of 124.
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