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 5896 posts in this topic. You are on page 31 of 118.
#1501 3 years ago

What a sad day.
After completing my first clear-coat project with a great result it was time to clear my next project.
The weather is getting colder and it is raining a little today. I think there is also high humidity.
But I have planned to do it today so thinking about how well it went last. I was sure that this would be the case this time as well.

But damn I was wrong...
I sprayed the first heavy code and sad down and looked at the result, there where lots of small "bubbles"? Can't tell if it looks like air or water?

So:
1. To the people here thinking about rushing your clear before winter or having another reason to try and do it while the conditions for clear coat is not 100%. _DON'T DO IT!__

2. Vid, what can I do? Should I wait for it to dry and then sand it down? If How much should I sand it?

I share my stupid mistake so others might not be tempted...

#1502 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

Vid, what can I do? Should I wait for it to dry and then sand it down? If How much should I sand it?

You have to sand it anyway, so let it cure in a warm place (without poisoning your family), and then sand it normally.

If the sanding opens or removes your bubbles, Fate has smiled upon you.

If any bubbles are still there, open them up with the tip of a Xacto blade and fill them with clear.

Bubbles hidden under plastics, ramps or back loops can just be left under the clear. Don't waste your time on areas no one will ever see.

-

A week ago I asked an auto body guy with 50x more experience than I, if using Fisheye chemicals or slower catalyst would help with bubbles from too cool of an application temperature.

He says slower catalyst or some reducer added to the clear might help, but he stressed that the substrate, the clear and the air all need to be at the same temperature to start with.

He also added not to lay out crazy thick coats if you are anywhere near the lower application range of temperature .

#1503 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You have to sand it anyway, so let it cure in a warm place (without poisoning your family), and then sand it normally.

Thank you, I was actually starting to get "haze" in the clear (after maybe 4 min), so I quickly moved everything to a warmer place and the "haze" has now disappeared again. (pfew)

What grid do you think I should use? The playfield has only gotten one thick coat.

Quoted from vid1900:

If the sanding opens or removes your bubbles, Fate has smiled upon you.

I really really hope this is the case...

#1504 3 years ago

amazon.com link »

This look like a good purchase for someone using an airbrush say five times every 10 years!!!!???

#1505 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

What grid do you think I should use? The playfield has only gotten one thick coat.

Knock it down with 400 or 600.

Try not to make thick coats.

Generally you want one thin coat, fix any problems in the art or holes around inserts that you missed, then topcoat.

#1506 3 years ago

Vid -
Quick question NOT related to CC'ing!

Was asked by someone how to clean the underside of the playfield of the black grit/grime from years of playing. Light sanding?

#1507 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Knock it down with 400 or 600.

Try not to make thick coats.

Generally you want one thin coat, fix any problems in the art or holes around inserts that you missed, then topcoat.

Roger that!
I have just looked at the playfield here 6 hours later. Now it looks like hundreds of mini "craters". So I don't think the bobbles are trapped anymore. Does it make sense?

#1508 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Quick question NOT related to CC'ing!

What???!!!!?

Quoted from Coyote:

Was asked by someone how to clean the underside of the playfield of the black grit/grime from years of playing. Light sanding?

Try a nylon brush and vac. See if that lifts it first.

If not, sand and seal.

#1509 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

I have just looked at the playfield here 6 hours later. Now it looks like hundreds of mini "craters". So I don't think the bobbles are trapped anymore. Does it make sense?

Good, actually.

Once it is cured, sand the playfield, hand sand the craters with soft used sandpaper, fill craters with clear, put topcoat on playfield.

#1510 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

What???!!!!?

Try a nylon brush and vac. See if that lifts it first.
If not, sand and seal.

Good 'nuff. I'll give it a try.

#1511 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Good, actually.
Once it is cured, sand the playfield, hand sand the craters with soft used sandpaper, fill craters with clear, put topcoat on playfield.

There is like 1-5 craters pr. 1 cm2, they are about 1mm in width. When you say "fill craters with clear" you don't mean with drops right :-O I hope you mean a light coat? Or am I wrong?

image.jpg
#1512 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

There is like 1-5 craters pr. 1 cm2, they are about 1mm in width. When you say "fill craters with clear" you don't mean with drops right :-O I hope you mean a light coat? Or am I wrong?

image.jpg 134 KB

I don't want to speak for the man, but he has (just a page or so back) assisted me with the very same issue. What you need to do is cut the bubbles open with a sharp XActo blade and with an eye dropper (actually three eye droppers - one for the clear, one for the harder and one for mixing and applying) you fill those bubble craters. You should be doing this same procedure for leveling areas around inserts and whatnot, which are almost never level with the playfield and almost always have dugout areas around them on older machines.

#1513 3 years ago
Quoted from MinnPin:

I don't want to speak for the man, but he has (just a page or so back) assisted me with the very same issue. What you need to do is cut the bubbles open with a sharp XActo blade and with an eye dropper (actually three eye droppers - one for the clear, one for the harder and one for mixing and applying) you fill those bubble craters. You should be doing this same procedure for leveling areas around inserts and whatnot, which are almost never level with the playfield and almost always have dugout areas around them on older machines.

I have them all over the playfield. I was just only able to get few of them on the photo by getting the right angle and light.
So doing it by "hand" would be impossible...

#1514 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

When you say "fill craters with clear" you don't mean with drops right

Sand first and see where you are at.

But you may have to fill many of them with drops, because another coat might not level them out.

The pic makes them look close to the surface, so they might just sand out fine.

#1515 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Sand first and see where you are at.
But you may have to fill many of them with drops, because another coat might not level them out.
The pic makes them look close to the surface, so they might just sand out fine.

Vid is absolutely right! I had a playfield come out much like your picture when I pushed the clear in low temps. Thankfully 95% of them sanded out. You might get just as lucky!

#1516 3 years ago
Quoted from MurphyPeoples:

Vid is absolutely right! I had a playfield come out much like your picture when I pushed the clear in low temps. Thankfully 95% of them sanded out. You might get just as lucky!

Should I sand until I see nothing or can there still be a small crater? What happened to the last 5% ?

#1517 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

I have them all over the playfield. I was just only able to get few of them on the photo by getting the right angle and light.
So doing it by "hand" would be impossible...

I have them all over the surface of my PF too, and did with the last coat as well. Look a few posts up where I state my concern that they will never end. Eventually, you get to your final coat and you can't have bubbles in that one because at some point you would like to be done clear-coating that particular play field. See what Vid's replies were to that - very helpful as always.

Most of mine, if not all, are very tiny and close to the surface. The little ones will sand out, the slightly bigger craters have to be filled by hand. It may be a pain in the ass, but never say it would be impossible to fill them. You may not a have a choice, and since you have invested quite a bit of time and expense into this project already, spending a few extra minutes or a couple of hours to get this part right is a must.

#1518 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Take some better, close up pictures of the resin.

Was it used to repair the area, or did something melt?

Sheesh.

Hi Vid,

Back again and tried to take some better pictures of this area I want to fix. It looks like someone tried to repair the pop bumper area with some kind of hardened resin/clear, but just kinda dripped it on in sections.

There's a bigger section with slightly raised resin over where the playfield was worn to wood, and a smaller section with an even higher raised almond shaped bump.

So I'm not sure how I should go about trying to remove it, i.e. sanding or some kinda chemical maybe. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

IMG_20141116_161509_243(1).jpg IMG_20141116_161440_627.jpg IMG_20141116_161509_243.jpg
#1519 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

What happened to the last 5% ?

Vid's covered the sanding here, but for the last 5% I got out the 2PAC and the pipette's to fill 'em in one drop at a time. Live and learn. Never made that mistake again, and part of that reason is due to the fact that I follow Vid here on his restoration guide.

Now I'm expanding my horizon's by delving into Air Brushing instead of Acrylic brush fixes thanks to Vid.

#1520 3 years ago
Quoted from goldiewag:

Hi Vid,
Back again and tried to take some better pictures of this area I want to fix. It looks like someone tried to repair the pop bumper area with some kind of hardened resin/clear, but just kinda dripped it on in sections.
There's a bigger section with slightly raised resin over where the playfield was worn to wood, and a smaller section with an even higher raised almond shaped bump.
So I'm not sure how I should go about trying to remove it, i.e. sanding or some kinda chemical maybe. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

I still don't even know what I'm looking at in those pics.

Was there some kind of depression filled by that crap, or something melted all over, or?

If you warm it with a hair dryer does it soften?

What is under it? Paint? Hole?

Is it hard enough to sand?

#1521 3 years ago
Quoted from goldiewag:

Hi Vid,
Back again and tried to take some better pictures of this area I want to fix. It looks like someone tried to repair the pop bumper area with some kind of hardened resin/clear, but just kinda dripped it on in sections.
There's a bigger section with slightly raised resin over where the playfield was worn to wood, and a smaller section with an even higher raised almond shaped bump.
So I'm not sure how I should go about trying to remove it, i.e. sanding or some kinda chemical maybe. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

I have seen that gooey crap before.
Its a clear coat of something like thick deft. The operator applied it instead of mylar as the PF started to wear.
Wildcat cleaner removed it for me, Took a bit of sticky rubbing, as it eats plastic and doesn't actually destroy the PF.
Just don't let it touch anything like plastics or star posts.

Maybe worth a try at least.

#1522 3 years ago

Ok, I live in the south but I'm still hoping to spray clear in a tent-like paint booth outside the garage in moderately cool conditions. I can heat it but it would be tough to maintain 60-70 degrees over several days. If I spray outside and move the pf in the garage and/or the house, it is still curing and offgassing and can therefore stink up the place, if I understand correctly.

How long should the cleared PF smell bad/contaminate the environment once a coat has flashed off?

#1523 3 years ago

Ok here is the start of my 8x8x8 paint booth. It may be a little over kill but I had a 4x8 shelf prior to keep things off the ground, so I figured why not 8x8 area.
20141116_203629.jpg

#1524 3 years ago

What's a good strategy to use when disconnecting all of the wires? I'm about to do a total tear down and restore on a game that's really beat up, but in absolutely terrified about taking everything off. I plan on taking tons of pictures, but I don't want to rewire everything incorrectly.

#1525 3 years ago
Quoted from ShootForSlrValue:

What's a good strategy to use when disconnecting all of the wires? I'm about to do a total tear down and restore on a game that's really beat up, but in absolutely terrified about taking everything off. I plan on taking tons of pictures, but I don't want to rewire everything incorrectly.

Having just done this on my TZ, I went the 'lazy' way -

Started with the switch matrix wire harness and used scotch tape and a permanent marker as I unsoldered. Used the tape as a 'flag' for each connection. Then removed the harness and started with the light/GI harness, etc.

Now, in three months or so when I reassemble, I'll let you know how well that worked.

#1526 3 years ago

Wipe the connectors and coils down enough that you can see the wire colors decently. Take as many pictures of wire colors and connections as you think you need . . . . then go back and take three times as many pictures.

#1527 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Having just done this on my TZ, I went the 'lazy' way -
Started with the switch matrix wire harness and used scotch tape and a permanent marker as I unsoldered. Used the tape as a 'flag' for each connection. Then removed the harness and started with the light/GI harness, etc.
Now, in three months or so when I reassemble, I'll let you know how well that worked.

Fellow lazy pinsider reporting in.

Took a JM apart a few weeks ago and didnt mark a single connector. Lots of pictures so I can see all the colour wiring.

#1528 3 years ago

Starting to investigate the air bubble issue. ( https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/31#post-2045280 )
I am now in a warm and nice place. So I was filling up inserts with clear and there where starting to come air-bubbles again! This time it can not be the temperature.
So what is it?
1) The clear is "bad".
2) Applying to much product can course air bubbles? When I got air bubbles the first time my first layer was heavy (Last project I did light coats first) And when filling inserts there are also a lot of product?
3) Something I can't think of?

EDIT:
Or could it be me shaking the product too much?

#1529 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

Starting to investigate the air bubble issue. ( https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/31#post-2045280 )
I am now in a warm and nice place. So I was filling up inserts with clear and there where starting to come air-bubbles again! This time it can not be the temperature.
So what is it?
1) The clear is "bad".
2) Applying to much product can course air bubbles? When I got air bubbles the first time my first layer was heavy (Last project I did light coats first) And when filling inserts there are also a lot of product?
3) Something I can't think of?

I don't know a lot about this, but s it possible the clear is soaking into the wood, causing air to be pushed out into it?

#1530 3 years ago

Did your unmixed clear ever freeze? You will have problems if it has.

#1531 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

Starting to investigate the air bubble issue. ( https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/31#post-2045280 )
I am now in a warm and nice place. So I was filling up inserts with clear and there where starting to come air-bubbles again! This time it can not be the temperature.
So what is it?
1) The clear is "bad".
2) Applying to much product can course air bubbles? When I got air bubbles the first time my first layer was heavy (Last project I did light coats first) And when filling inserts there are also a lot of product?
3) Something I can't think of?
EDIT:
Or could it be me shaking the product too much?

PA-LEEZE tell us you aren't shaking it up.

#1532 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

Or could it be me shaking the product too much?

Never shake it.

#1533 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

Starting to investigate the air bubble issue. ( https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/31#post-2045280 )
I am now in a warm and nice place. So I was filling up inserts with clear and there where starting to come air-bubbles again! This time it can not be the temperature.
So what is it?
1) The clear is "bad".
2) Applying to much product can course air bubbles? When I got air bubbles the first time my first layer was heavy (Last project I did light coats first) And when filling inserts there are also a lot of product?
3) Something I can't think of?
EDIT:
Or could it be me shaking the product too much?

Never shake Auto paint, Never Ever shake clear, Don't even mix it too aggressively....makes bubbles.

#1534 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Never shake it.

Sorry, sorry should have said it earlier. It is Spraymax 2k. So it is a can and it says shake it for 2 min etc.

#1535 3 years ago
Quoted from tezting:

sorry should have said it earlier. It is Spraymax 2k

Oh, wish you'd have said that earlier because I would have chimed in. I've had that as well in my SprayMax application on my F-14. I did a really successful application on my pinbot at 70-80 degrees a few months back and now using heaters and trying like heck to stay above 60 degrees I've seen these tiny pin-sized craters. They sand out fine. Mine actually look like dust at first glance, and for a while I was dismissing them as such. I am applying a little thicker on F14 than I did on Pinbot, so those are the only two differences. Temp and thickness of the coat.

To be fair to Vid, I really think it makes sense to start a new thread for all things SprayMax2K and post experiences in there. Vid details step by step how to shoot clear using the "big boy" way, so if you choose to be a half-ass cheapskate like me and buy rattle cans, it's kind of unfair to post in his thread with your issues.

When I was doing my homework prior to trying SprayMax, I PM'd several guys who'd used it. There are a few of us on Pinside--enough to start a club. So I just started one ...

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-spraymax-2k-auto-clear-in-a-can-club

...which I hope will be a place to go for success and fail stories and all things SprayMax.

Sound fair?

Dan

EDIT: Added link to my post's stub

#1536 3 years ago

Thank you, I will continue with my questions there.

#1537 3 years ago

This bubble issue may be the same exact one I was asking about earlier. I don't think I ever shook the clear and no matter what I did I always let it set. But I certainly swirled it heavily, meaning once both parts were in my measuring container, I swirled the container to get a nice whirlpool going to mix it.

Is this a bad idea? If so, what is the appropriate way? My assumption (no need to get into cliche's about that word) is that the two parts should be mixed well or I would be spraying something that won't harden properly in all areas.

Incidentally, I am using Shopline JC660 and the fastest hardener.

#1538 3 years ago
Quoted from MinnPin:

and the fastest hardener

Here's your problem. I'm not sure why a fast hardener is being recommended. Hardeners are designed to work in specific temperature ranges. A hardener that is too fast will start to cure before the solvents have time to escape. Solvent popping can and will occur.

#1539 3 years ago
Quoted from LEE:

I'm not sure why a fast hardener is being recommended. Hardeners are designed to work in specific temperature ranges.

The faster the hardener, the less chance it blooms the inserts (or wrinkles decals).

The usable temp range is 70-85*F, same for all three hardener speeds.

Once applied, you can use IR lamp and bake it dry for 30 mins, allow 90 mins for cooldown and buff out.

#1540 3 years ago

Hey Vid, a good friend of mine is a craftsman cabinet maker and he wants to try his hand at clearing a playfield. I talked to him about 2pac and your thread. He wants to use a conversion varnish. Do you have an opinion on this?

Thanks

#1541 3 years ago

Cons:

Many Conversion Varnishes need the substrate sanded to 220 grit to have enough tooth to adhere to.

Many CVs need a vinyl "primer" between any non-catalyzed (playfield paint) and catalyzed (CV) finish.

Many CVs list a limit of 3mil thickness before risk of cracking, so leveling inserts could not be done.

Unlike 2PAC, if you sand through a layer of CV and hit the next layer over dark colors, you will see the halo.

Not as clear as 2PAC.

Not as tough as 2PAC.

Cannot be buffed to as high of a shine as 2PAC.

-
Pros:

Not as toxic as 2PAC

1/2 the price of 2PAC

#1542 3 years ago

Great info Vid thanks!

I'm sure he uses it all the time in his work, but it is clearly not the right choice here.

#1543 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The usable temp range is 70-85*F, same for all three hardener speeds.

Hey Vid,
I'm not trying to diss you here, but someone has been feeding you bad information and you seem to be passing it on to everyone here. Paint manufactures go through great lengths to produce many different products that work in a variety of different conditions. They make all of these products so that the end user gets good results. I know of no universal temperature range hardener(at least that I would use) being made. PPG doesn't make one. You may get away with a very light coat over your inserts and decals, but after that you should switch out to the proper temperature range product.

Here is the product Shopline catalog from PPG;
Clearcoat
JC660 Rapid Spot / Panel Clearcoat
Hardener
JH6670 Fast Topcoat Hardener 55-65°F (13-18°C)
JH6680 Medium Topcoat Hardener 75-85°F (24-29°C)
JH6690 Slow Topcoat Hardener 85°F+ (29°C+)

#1544 3 years ago

I was reading the temp ranges off the fast and medium hardener cans, that appear to have the same boilerplate labels. I don't have a slow to read from.

I see what you saying about the catalog - I stand very corrected!

We are kind of using the fast hardener outside of it's intended use, but my theory is, the quicker it catalyzes, the less time it has to bloom the inserts and wrinkle the decals.

#1545 3 years ago

You do have a very good theory, but in practice people without a short wave IR curing lamp may have troubles with solvent popping.

#1546 3 years ago

I use an IR lamp maybe 2x a year on playfields.

I worry too much about inserts moving that are glued with the old heat sensitive glue they used to use.

-

I do use IR lamps all the time on legs and brackets - stuff I don't have to loose sleep over, lol.

#1547 3 years ago

Lee, you seem very tuned in the technical aspect of the product, but I would tend not to argue with the man who has been using said product for this very specific use for some time now and with a great deal of success.

When it comes down to it, in this forum, it only matters how the 2pac works for clearing a playfield -- with glue variances, material variances, paint variances and decals.

#1548 3 years ago

Lee is right that we are not using a product (fast hardener) for it's intended purpose, or even temperature range.

When you walk into the PPG store to buy the clear, the counter guy always says "You know this is for professional use only?", "You have the proper safety gear?", "What shop do you work at?".

It's always fun to tell them you are spraying it on a wood pinball playfield.

"We sure don't recommend this for that use.", "You should get some polyurethane across the street....", "I can tell you right now, this is going to crack....", "Wood has different expansion properties than metal", is the instant response.

-

The guitar repair kid up the street is doing all UV cure finishes lately and it looks amazing. Maybe one day we will all be using that for our pins....

#1549 3 years ago

I just read your post Vid on UV Cure.
Here's a good video to watch on how they UV Cure a Guitar.

#1550 3 years ago

Vid - two questions on touchups:

1) For tidying up the upper part of the inside of a cabinet that has some scuff marks (the part that is visible during gameplay - it's black on my machine), do you recommend airbrushing black with the Createx or is there a better approach?

2) For inserts with small amounts of scratched white paint (eg. Dr. Dude's Dude-o-Meter), is it OK to just touch it up with white Createx between clearcoats rather than having to get a decal made (since I can't print white)?

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