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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142 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20 (Show topic index)

There are 6127 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 123.
#101 5 years ago

I have all of Vids guides favorited. I almost want to print them out and put them in a binder in case they are ever taken down!

#102 5 years ago

Some lucky owner is going to have a really nice F14, that's for sure.

Dan

#103 5 years ago

Vid..Great read. Appreciate you sharing your knowledge with the group.

#104 5 years ago
Quoted from MrWizzo:

Some lucky owner is going to have a really nice F14, that's for sure.
Dan

I see what you did there

-2
#105 5 years ago

I'd of just set fire to F-14..

#106 5 years ago
Quoted from GListOverflow:

I see what you did there

SSHHH!!!

Dan

#107 5 years ago

Sometimes you have a area of the playfield that can't be cleaned up with the Magic Eraser.

Normally, the ME and 99% alcohol cleans off the topcoat, leaving just the paint behind.

If you have to clean too much with the ME, the actual paint will wear away. Or sometimes there is too much printing to clean around. Or sometimes the cracked area is close to the flippers and draws the eye to the cracks, where higher on the playfield it would go completely noticed.

First scan the area with one of those HP 4670 scanners.

Sand any keylining off of the insert, and leave it roughed up to 500 grit. We want that rough area so the clear coat has some "tooth" to hold on to.

Shoot a thin coat of clear over the playfield to lock down any loose pant and seal the surface.

Lightly sand it back to flatten out the cracks that telegraph through the clear.

In this example: Note the planked surface, note that the ME could not get it clean without removing the black printing, note the poor "kiss" of where the red meets the other paints.

cracked.jpg

#108 5 years ago

While your clear coat is hardening, open your favorite photo program and examine your scan.

Using the "Channels" function, kill off any color other than the black and white and make a .jpg of the font.

Go to http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ and upload the .jpg of the font.

"What The Font" will tell you what font is it. If your .jpg is crappy, it may ask you to clarify a few characters.

Download the font and open it in your photo program.

#109 5 years ago

Overlay the new font letters on top of the playfield scan in a new layer.

If the letters are arched like this example, you can Rotate each letter or use the "Warp Text" function.

Remember that font size can be fractional, so your font might be 28.6 size rather than just plain old 28. Take your time a get it exactly right.

This font was identified as: Omnibus.

Next, draw the Keyline that goes around the lighted insert. Hold the SHIFT key down as you use the circle tool and overlap the outside of the original circle (this makes a "perfect" circle). Then hit the Subtract button and draw the inner circle. This "cuts out" the center of the first circle.

Unview the background image and check your work.

If it's your first time, the above will take you 20 minutes. If you've used photo programs in the past, it will be less than 5 minutes of work.

5000-WLIT.jpg

#110 5 years ago

Next, you have to print your art.

You need Clear Water Slide film, and a Laser Printer. Get the thinnest film they have, if offered a choice.

Ink Jet printer inks quickly fade, don't even think of using them.

Most high end hobby shops have really good decal printers that can print opaque white, and gold / silver metallic. If you need those kind of decals, don't be afraid to use their services.

Trim off the excess film around the printing, leaving clear tabs to connect the keyline to the letters.

#111 5 years ago

Another option aside from the circle templates is a French curve. I've used one since my engineering/drafting days and am pretty proficient with it. It takes some practice to understand it completely, but it's one of those tools that comes in handy for a lot.

#112 5 years ago

Using Frisket film, lay it over the sanded clear coat area to be repainted.

Cut out the Frisket any place that will be painted white (in this example).

Clean up anywhere that the colors don't "kiss" correctly.

FRISKET-OVER.jpg

#113 5 years ago

Pull the Frisket off and clear over the paint (maybe the whole playfield if you are efficient).

Remember, we never want to apply a waterslide decal to the bare paint, or directly to a plastic insert.

The reason is that you don't want the tension of the clear coat to be different on the topside of the decal than it is underneath.

You run the risk of ghosting if you just stick the decal to the insert plastic.

I've never had an insert decal ghost that has been applied on top of clear coat, then coated over.

Don't take a shortcut here - do it right.

5000-wlit.jpg

Here is the waterslide decal applied .

-1
#114 5 years ago

These are awesome...thank's Vid.

Every time I see a "Vid's guide to" I'm expecting a video!

#115 5 years ago

I really love this tread amazing info here .... Easy to follow ... I was wondering about leveling large paint chipped areas.... Gouges , chunks ... I've used lots of different putties compounds with nothing I've been happy with , of course I'm no pro. And every thing seems to be tough to cover ..again awesome this is ...

#116 5 years ago

Latter in this series, I'll show some better examples of filling gouges. These pictures were not intended to focus on that part of the repair.

=

You can use Epoxy, 2part Auto Clear, or Bondo.

Here, I'm replacing the crappy System 6 flipper mechs and coils with the much superior Williams 1990s style.

The Sys6 flippers connect through 3 fin screws that run through the top of the playfield.

After removing the screws, the holes and chips must be repaired.

hole-repair.jpg

#117 5 years ago

The screws left not only a hole, but a depression around the holes and lifted some paint too.

I taped over the back of the holes and filled them almost to the top with 5 minute Epoxy.

I dewaxed the surrounding area with Acetone, then I topped the depression off with Bondo.

Why not just use Epoxy all the way? Because Epoxy is harder than the playfield, so you won't get a nice feathering around the fill. You will sand off lots of paint before you ever get the edge even with the playfield.

Bondo sands and feathers easily.

I gave the Bondo a half hour to dry and then feathered it into the surrounding playfield.

You can color blend the area in with an airbrush, or mask off and spray to the edges - depending on the complexity of the surrounding graphics.

BONDO.jpg

#118 5 years ago

If you have smaller chips, and you are going to clear coat anyway, drip the clear coat into the chips with an eyedropper and level them off. Sand lightly, repair any paint loss and proceed with clear coating the entire table.

#119 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Here, I'm replacing the crappy System 6 flipper mechs and coils with the much superior Williams 1990s style.

You mean you can install the whole flipper mechanisms from the 1990 into an old system 6 game?

How can you do that????

#120 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Lately, I've been using Diamond Plate for my top coats (I restored a game for a Dupont engineer who brought me a rather generous 5 gallons of the stuff), but it seems to be too "hot" for this kind of repair.

Are they selling Diamond Plate now to the public, or was this some kind of special treatment you got?

#121 5 years ago
Quoted from cichlid:

You mean you can install the whole flipper mechanisms from the 1990 into an old system 6 game?
How can you do that????

Don't worry Vid, I got this one.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-upgradingrebuilding-flippers

#122 5 years ago

I've read that post before, but my system 6 flippers have three separate mounting plates, not a single plate like a system 11.

And the coils look shorter than a modern coil.

I can still change these over?

#123 5 years ago

you just take out the entire old system, and put in the WPC bracket in it's place. Different coils, the whole works. Much easier to maintain.

#124 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Rab >> you can 'favorite' threads on Pinside.
Just go to the top of the thread and look on the right hand side. You can click where it says "add to favorites"
Then you are able to click on "your favorites" to bring up a list of all saved threads.

lol, I'm a total goob. Thanks for that, I didn't know!

#125 5 years ago
Quoted from cichlid:

I've read that post before, but my system 6 flippers have three separate mounting plates, not a single plate like a system 11.

And the coils look shorter than a modern coil.

I can still change these over?

Let's not hijack this thread, but yes like Neo said, you scrap out all the other mechs and change over to the single plate, and larger coil.

I'll add some step by step directions to the Flipper Rebuilding Guide in the coming weeks.

#126 5 years ago
Quoted from cichlid:

Are they selling Diamond Plate now to the public, or was this some kind of special treatment you got?

I don't know, you would have to call and see.

I restored a Dupont guy's machine who wanted EVERYTHING stock.

I mentioned Diamond Plate and it's secret formula and he just laughed and said there are no secrets at Dupont. A week or so later, I've got 5 gallons of the stuff on my doorstep. It dries really hard, you can tell when you are sanding.

It's pretty "hot" stuff, so I still prefer JC661 with fast JH6670 hardener for many repairs.

-1
#127 5 years ago

As always Vid, your guide has a lot of great useful information
(and informative pictures)

Is this playfield guide available as a single page, or file?

#128 5 years ago

man this is great infos, thanks for sharing all of this with us, i always learn new thing.

#129 5 years ago
Quoted from BigBird0000:

Is this playfield guide available as a single page, or file?

It's not done yet, so at the moment, it is a living, growing, organism.

But Terry from Pinball Rehab has been distilling it down to its essence, and putting it into sections on his site. This will make it easier to search for a certain topic, and provide backup should Pinside go down.

#130 5 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

can you address how to raise inserts that have sunk a little on 90s WPC games?

RAISING INSERTS:

Sometimes you find that inserts have sunk below the playfield surface. Not cupped, but actually fallen in.

Cupped inserts can simply be filled with clear coat, but if you can see the wood beneath the playfield around the edges, you need to raise it up.

Heat the insert from above and below with a hair dryer.

Keep one hand on the face of the playfield to control the insert, as you push the insert from behind with the largest socket from a wrench set that will fit in the hole.

You may have to reheat while you work.

If the insert is really loose, and you can easily remove it, do so (rough up the side edges with coarse sandpaper, prime with plastic primer and re-glue with epoxy).

If the insert is really tight, then just level it with the face of the playfield and re-glue the entire insert perimeter from the back of the playfield with epoxy.

Don't spare the epoxy, better to have a heavy coat that no ones sees from the back, than to have the insert move around in the future.

#131 5 years ago

Really good timing. I was just starting to get ready to remove mylar and reseat some badly lifted inserts on, of all machines, and F-14!!!! (Gasp!? Not an F-14 those never have insert problems ) Nice tips indeed.

Although I've always been more of a heatgun person for mylar removal. It goes slower but that whole 'If we rip this bandage off fast it won't hurt a bit' makes my neck hair stand on end.

#132 5 years ago

Hmm pic didn't upload.

DSC00739.JPG

#133 5 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

Although I've always been more of a heatgun person for mylar removal.

Last year I had a Space Shuttle playfield that was so fragile and flaky that I used a heat gun.

When you use a heat gun, more glue gets lifted with the Mylar instead of it all being left behind.

But 95% of the time I freeze Mylar.

#134 5 years ago
Quoted from cichlid:

Are they selling Diamond Plate now to the public, or was this some kind of special treatment you got?

Read this. Yes you can buy "diamond plate" clear coat.

http://www.pcimag.com/articles/the-wet-look-that-lasts

#135 5 years ago

Do you feel that DP holds up against ball divots as well as your other clears?

#136 5 years ago

Just wanted to post another kudos to Vid for taking the time to educate all of us. Thanks to Terry, too. That searchable archive will be great.

Keep it up, Vid!

Sincerely,
Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics
www.ElephantEater.com

#137 5 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

Do you feel that DP holds up against ball divots as well as your other clears?

Any new playfield is going to get millions of divots until there are so many that you can't tell.

A steel ball is going to be harder than wood, no matter what we coat it with.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/playfield-dimple-reality-check

#138 5 years ago

I'm working on a TAF playfield that I will eventually send out to be cleared. What do you think about the 1K auto clear for doing spot touch-up like under insert decals before I send it out?

#139 5 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

I'm working on a TAF playfield that I will eventually send out to be cleared. What do you think about the 1K auto clear for doing spot touch-up like under insert decals before I send it out?

Sometimes, I clear the whole playfield before I even start painting to lock in loose fibers and see if it fills in planking.

That can save a lot of work when it turns out you don't have to paint a section.

Try to use the same clear over the inserts that will end up being the topcoat. That way the tensions are the same over and under the insert decals.

#140 5 years ago

Awesome thread you've started - thanks for taking the time to post!

One question for you - I've cleared a bunch of playfields and one of the most stressful parts for me is removing any of the wireform guids that are inserted through the top of the playfield.

I typically drive them out from the back using a drift, or gently prying them out from the top with a screwdriver or the like, protecting the playfield where the blade would rest.

Some of the wireforms have wings or blades near the ends that are presssed/formed, to retain them in the playfield, so they are not 100% round. These wings will sometimes pull up bits of the playfield when you remove the guides.

Any suggestions to prevent or minimize this?

Thanks again for you posts!

#141 5 years ago
Quoted from John_NY:

Some of the wireforms have wings or blades near the ends that are presssed/formed, to retain them in the playfield, so they are not 100% round. These wings will sometimes pull up bits of the playfield when you remove the guides. Any suggestions to prevent or minimize this?
Thanks again for you posts!

I got this tip from Chris Hutchins years ago. Take something like a paint stir stick and cut off a piece as long as you need. Now file a groove or slot into the side of it the same diameter as the guide you're removing. Slip the slot around the guide and keep it pressed against the playfield as you pry the guide out. Make sure the slot is perpendiculer to the wings as they come through the top of the playfield.

#142 5 years ago

Some of the wireforms have wings or blades near the ends that are presssed/formed, to retain them in the playfield, so they are not 100% round. These wings will sometimes pull up bits of the playfield when you remove the guides.

Yeah, that can be nerve wracking.

Usually I pull the first wireform the farthest up the playfield (or hidden from player) to see what I'm in store for.

Warm the area with a heat gun to make sure the paint is soft and not brittle, so it is less likely to chip.

The trick whether you are tapping or pulling out, is to make sure you are moving both ends of the arch equally. Pry a little on one side, then move to the other side.

Once you have the wire out a little, gently rock the wireform side to side. This will slightly enlarge the holes, making for a clean exit. This is especially important for the wires with wings.

Keep on the lookout for wings, or a sharp burr on the very end of the wire - that is what usually gets ya.

I lay down a thin piece of plastic cutting board to protect the playfield and usually use a 5 inch "mini prybar" from Harbor Freight. I've tapered the ends of the prybar on a grinding wheel. I'll never use it for real prying, so I'm not worried about loosing strength on the bar.

I bought a set of nylon prys too, but I always forget to try them out.

nylon_pry.jpg pry_bar.jpg

#143 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

So lately we have all been seeing these terrible "restored" playfields. Decals lifting under the clear coat, dirt sealed into the shooter lane, too thick coats of clear, water based clear coats with clouding starting to appear, inserts bucking under the clear, no restoration under ramps or slingshots, faded decals under the clear; simply awful work done by some so-called experts that seem to be spamming the forums constantly.
When I mentioned that I was going to publish a "real" guide to playfield restoration, a few of the playfield restorers that I respect asked me not to do it. They worried about the income loss if people start doing their own work, and they worried that some of the hacks that spam the forums would step their game up.
My logic is that the little information out there is more dangerous than if people were fully informed. All these game owners who get a bit of info here and a bit there, are ruining a bunch of playfields because they are following too many leads, rather than having a single resource.
Also, I would be happy if the spammy "pro restorers" DID step up their game. They are going to continue to get orders because nobody checks up on their work and they price their work cheap, so they might as well learn to do it right.

I appreciate this quite a bit. Not because I want to do it myself, (I don't) it's so I can tell what to look for when having work like this done by a vendor.

#144 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Some inserts rise up on brand new playfields even before the playfields are ever installed. Just some internal stress in the wood, or stress between the wood and clear coat.
I'd be curious if inserts would ever rise on a playfield made of MDF. That stuff is very stable, very dense.

untill it gets wet then its like a disintigrating sponge lol

#145 5 years ago
Quoted from RudeDogg1:

untill it gets wet then its like a disintigrating sponge lol

Nowadays they have waterproof MDF that is used outdoors (usually ripped into lengths for house trim), and MDF that has color all the way through it.

mdf.jpg

#146 5 years ago

i take it back then lol

#147 5 years ago

Thank you for your tutorials Vid,
Love the detail.

#148 5 years ago

Most playfields have lots of reflective white areas that are lit by the General Illumination circuits.

Even though you often don't directly see these areas, it's important to repaint them bright white.

My light meter says that by repainting these sections, you are gaining 30-40% reflectance - that's a lot.

Not only are you getting a brighter reflection, you are getting a pure reflection, rather than one tinted beige or yellow.

The old paint has yellowed, the old Lacquer on top of it has yellowed, but at some point these areas were indeed a nice white.

These areas are mostly out of sight of the player, so you can do them without a bunch of leveling and patching. Because you can do them so quickly, there is no reason not to do them.

Sometimes these areas are just clear wood on one version of the playfield and screened white on another, latter production run. It's a judgement call if you want the extra light reflection (and color purity) by painting the clear wood white. Some purists frown upon it, many customers insist on it.

Don't get paint in the light sockets, or try to put balls of foam or tape in them. Just put some old bulbs in the sockets and paint around them.

BULB-SOCKETS.jpg

#149 5 years ago

The Shooter Lane:

The Shooter Lane is a special case in restoration.

Because each layer of plywood changes direction, each layer wears in a different way. Dirt gets pounded in and end grain wear in the wood can leave soft fibers exposed.

Get a dowel or a piece of pipe of suitable circumference. If you do a lot of playfields, you will have a few sizes around the shop.

Cushion the sandpaper with an old rag so that your pipe has some "give" like a sanding block has.

If the lane looks bad, you might start with 120 grit sandpaper and see if you can clean it up.

Don't remove too much material or the groove can become too wide.

Step down to 220 grit and see what it looks like.

SHOOT-1.jpg

#150 5 years ago

After the 220 grit, run you finger along and see if you have it smooth. See if you have a bunch of spongy wood fibers.

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