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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#151 5 years ago

There is a little bit of sanding skill and a little bit of fudge factor involved. Take your time, it either will be nice, or a pile of crap.

If you think you got it nice, take some Naphtha on a rag and wipe down your work.

This gives you a preview of what the clear coat will look like.

Sometimes it looks great dry, but looks terrible when Naphtha-ed.

Other times it looks dicey and grey, but comes out perfect when wet.

If the damage is too bad to sand out, don't despair.

Patch any soft wood fibers with wood filler, sand smooth, mask with tape and simply paint in the "layers" of plywood.

I know this sounds flaky, but I've done it 100s of times and 95% of the time the customer never notices - but if I did not paint it, they'd notice for sure.

shoot-4.jpg Epoxy-for_wood_patch.gif

#152 5 years ago

Is it possible to use an airbrush to apply the clearcoat? Where can I buy the JC661 and Hardener?

#153 5 years ago
Quoted from Mroadster:

Is it possible to use an airbrush to apply the clearcoat?

Maybe for a "spot" repair, but really you want a HVLP gun to clearcoat a playfield.

Quoted from Mroadster:

Where can I buy the JC661 and Hardener?

Any PPG auto paint dealer will have it.

http://www.ppg.com/coatings/refinish/en/locator/Pages/default.aspx

I'll have a bunch of safety info coming up in the clear coating section of this guide, so if you are totally new to auto paints/clearcoating, don't start spraying until you read it.

#154 5 years ago

I think the answer is kind of obvious, but I'll ask anyway....

I have a playfield "aberration" that is not in the field of travel for the ball, ever, and you have to look for it to find it and even know it's there, but it is there and will need some real attention to be fixed properly. My question is this: Should I worry about trying to fix it now or wait until I do a full playfield strip and clearcoat to fix it?

Like I said, the ball doesn't roll over it at all and it appears to be stable(hasn't changed since I bought the pin back in October), so I think I'm safe waiting so I can do a proper job on it.

#155 5 years ago

If the balls not touching it, you are probably OK.

Post a pic and let's see what you've got.

#156 5 years ago

I'll have to do that when I get home.

I'm just having a REALLY slow day at work, so I checked the forum early today.

#157 5 years ago

I just read this whole thread (over the course of 3 days). Nice work, very detailed. I am going to be attempting my first play field repair/touch-up and wonder what the best way to go about it will be. The rest of the play field looks mint, it's just this one spot at the bottom of the playfield. Can I mask everything off and clear just the exposed area before making touch ups? Then clear the whole play field after touch-ups? I also have the HB decal (it doesn't quite cover the damaged area), would I be able to clear over the decal as well? The gouge looks very prominent, but you can barely even feel it with your finger, so it's only thru the ink and not into the wood.

DSC02600.jpg

#158 5 years ago
Quoted from Phetishboy:

Can I mask everything off and clear just the exposed area before making touch ups?

Yes. You want to lock those wood fibers in place before painting.

Quoted from Phetishboy:

I also have the HB decal (it doesn't quite cover the damaged area), would I be able to clear over the decal as well?

If the decal is safe to be coated, then yes. The manufacturer of the decal should be able to tell you that.

If info is not available, use some scrap of the sticker (like the model number or color bars), stick it to a piece of metal and clear it to see what happens.

Make a scan of the decal before you start. That way if hell breaks loose, you can print another on more suitable stock.

Auto clear coat is "hot", so make your first pass over a decal a fine, almost dry mist. Wait 10 minutes (assuming you are using a fast hardener), make a second slightly heavier coat. Again wait 10 minutes and then make a normal light coat.

#159 5 years ago
Quoted from Phetishboy:

The gouge looks very prominent, but you can barely even feel it with your finger, so it's only thru the ink and not into the wood.

Use a flashlight and a straightedge to see how much you need to bring it up.

#160 5 years ago

vid1900, I may have missed this, but do you have your own shop or work for a restorer? Do you have a website?

#161 5 years ago
Quoted from Jam_Burglar:

vid1900, I may have missed this, but do you have your own shop or work for a restorer?

I rent space from a CNC wood working shop in Detroit that has a nice downdraft spray booth. I maintain their CNC (and pinball) machines, they give me a corner of the shop.

I also have my own pole barn shop in OH.

Quoted from Jam_Burglar:

Do you have a website?

No, honestly I've got so much work, I have no need to solicit more.

If you ever see me put up a website, you will know I've become desperate for work, lol.

#162 5 years ago

This guide is amazing! I think the pinball gods were looking after me because when I found this thread I was just about to start restoring my first playfield using some 'other' methods. I can't wait for more info!

1 week later
#163 5 years ago

So would you recommend doing all the paint touch ups, then clearcoating, then applying decals, then clearcoating again? Or clearcoat, decals and touch ups, then clearcoat?

#164 5 years ago

Usually I remove Mylar, Magic Eraser, and scrape paint off worn inserts .

Then I put down a light coat of clear.

This:

1. Locks down worn wood fibers, letting the paint adhere cleanly, without fuzz or texture.
2. Locks down existing paint - so masking tape and frisket don't lift paint and make more work for me.
3. Fills in planking and swirl. Sometimes the tiny cracks simply fill in and do not need further painting.
4. A new coat of clear highlights low spots that need to be brought up so the playfield is dead flat. A quick run of 220 grit sandpaper over the field will show much work needed. If you see shine, that spot is low!

#165 5 years ago

Alright vid, finally got good pictures of my "aberration". Here's one with the ambient light and one with a flashlight on it. I thought it was a screw poke-through, but didn't see any screw actually poking through. Then, upon inspecting the underside of the playfield, I saw the one screw that looks completely different than all the others. It was a brass countersunk phillips head amongst all the #6 hex heads.....it kinda stood out. If it were just one of the screws on the other side of that bracket, this wouldn't be a problem because it'd be behind that stainless wall to the left! Thankfully, it isn't in the ball track at all so it hasn't been exacerbated since the original op's "fix".

How did he not feel the massive amount torque he must have used as being somewhat different than that of the other three screws?

IMG_6579.jpg IMG_6580.jpg

#166 5 years ago

Very sucky, people who arbitrarily use any screw in their box.....

Since the ball does not hit it, you could leave it alone. But because I know you don't want to leave it:

I'd use a ball nose punch and knock it down below the playfield. Paint it black, and fill with a drop of 2 part auto clear.

Carefully sand it down before it gets too hard to sand.

=

Or just knock it down and paint it without any clear. If you every do a clearcoat, you could fill it then. (this is what I recommend you do)

#167 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Or just knock it down and paint it without any clear. If you every do a clearcoat, you could fill it then. (this is what I recommend you do)

That's what I was thinking, too. Since it's not in the travel path of the ball, it's not too big of a deal. Nevermind the fact that it took me two months to even find it! But yes, it'll be on my list of things to fix when the teardown and restore phase comes. My only other concerns with the playfield(that I've seen so far, anyway) are the wear lines from the ramp flaps. There seems to be a lot of crap that has accumulated there over the years and I'm certain some of it has ground into the artwork.

#168 5 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

My only other concerns with the playfield(that I've seen so far, anyway) are the wear lines from the ramp flaps. There seems to be a lot of crap that has accumulated there over the years and I'm certain some of it has ground into the artwork.

Yes, I'm sure there is a wear line right under the flap edge. No big deal really.

If you are reinstalling ramps over new clear coat, you can put Mylar on the back of the flaps to keep the edge from scratching up the surface.

#169 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Usually I remove Mylar, Magic Eraser, and scrape paint off worn inserts .
Then I put down a light coat of clear.
This:
1. Locks down worn wood fibers, letting the paint adhere cleanly, without fuzz or texture.2. Locks down existing paint - so masking tape and frisket don't lift paint and make more work for me.3. Fills in planking and swirl. Sometimes the tiny cracks simply fill in and do not need further painting.4. A new coat of clear highlights low spots that need to be brought up so the playfield is dead flat. A quick run of 220 grit sandpaper over the field will show much work needed. If you see shine, that spot is low!

How do you decide when to take the mylar off? Obiviously if you have raised inserts -but if the inserts are flat and it is not bubbling or flaking - can/should you just leave it on?

#170 5 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

How do you decide when to take the mylar off? Obiviously if you have raised inserts -but if the inserts are flat and it is not bubbling or flaking - can/should you just leave it on?

If you are clear coating the playfield, the Mylar should come off.

Otherwise, if it's flat and not bubbling, then leave it alone; it's doing its job of protecting the playfield.

#171 5 years ago

PAINTING VERY FINE LINES:

Sometimes you have a fine line to repair. If you have a bunch of fine lines, make a water slide decal; but for just one line here is a big time saver.

Don't make this kind of fix over rough wood. Be sure you have a solid foundation, or your first clear coat down.

Here is where the ball has worn through the line.

It is in a very noticeable place from the player's point of view. It needs to be repaired.

WEAR.jpg

#172 5 years ago

The line is thinner than a 000 brush, so how can you paint it without making a mess?

First we gently cut a path with a Xacto knife. Use a fresh blade, of course.

CUT-PATH.jpg

#173 5 years ago

Now load the tip of the Xacto with your paint.

Use a little less than you think you need.

LOAD-TIP.jpg

10
#174 5 years ago

Make a pass in the guide you cut. Notice how the pre-cut guide perfectly takes the paint.

Make as many passes as you need to match the thickness of the original line. Most thin lines need 2 passes.

You could not do this freehand with a brush.

Once you have mastered this technique, you will be quickly fixing playfield details you never though were possible.

APPLY.jpg

#175 5 years ago

This is genius ... Are you using createx paint on the knife ?

#176 5 years ago
Quoted from Dawson:

Are you using createx paint on the knife ?

Indeed, Opaque Black

#177 5 years ago

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this guide. Some really great information that I have bookmarked and will use in the near future, thanks!

#178 5 years ago

huge thx for the post, pleasure watching you work!!!

-2
#179 5 years ago

Hello vid1900. that's some good info. Since you are talking about others work, you should really use your real name. It just says location unknown. I don't even know if I have ever talked to ya. Anyway just a suggestion, which applies to anyone who wants to be taken seriously.
Play pinball!

#180 5 years ago

Hello vid1900. that's some good info. Since you are talking about others work, you should really use your real name. It just says location unknown. I don't even know if I have ever talked to ya. Anyway just a suggestion, which applies to anyone who wants to be taken seriously.
Play pinball!

#181 5 years ago

Ron:

I do not think VID needs to do anything but what he does to be taken seriously. He posts tremendously detailed instructions on how to perform maintenance and restoration for many to improve their abilities and games. If he wants to remain in the shadows a bit, isn't that his prerogative? It is actually refreshing to find someone gifted and generous who doesn't want the attention.

I do happen to know him personally. The mentality that is suggested by your last sentence reflects an aspect of pinball that I think he would rather avoid, the unnecessary confrontation. If I am wrong, forgive me, but I do not recall him mentioning anyone by name.

If you are interested in getting to know him, you already know that he is choosing to be a private person, so why not PM him? I know that you are a good guy also having spoken with you on several occassions, but what you wrote could be interpreted as calling him out under the pretext of a compliment.

Dan

#182 5 years ago

Hi dan, you are right about pm"ing him didn't think of that. I have nothing to call him out on. I just have a very hard time keeping people straight because when I talk to them on email they use their name.
I figured since he is obviously a pro, I would like to know his name. Personaly I don't see any advantage in the forum to remain annomous.
So now I will pm him, and ask him his name.

#183 5 years ago

I just went back and reread my post. I am not a negative person. Please don't assume what I said is negative. It was not at all.
Anyway, back to work and playing pinball.

#184 5 years ago

EXCELLENT post!!! Looking forward to seeing more.

15
#185 5 years ago

As some of you know, I got in some hot water a few years back when some online pincunts decided to try and get me fired from my place of employment (a very non-pinball industry).

Although I took care of them (you'll never see them at shows again), who needs all that BS over pinball? Not me, that's for sure.

As a big guy with a big build, I've bullied my way through life. I've got to admit, my first instinct in any confrontation is to instantly pop the other person in the jaw. I don't want to have to do that anymore; I'm getting too old, and hopefully too wise.

So if I don't use my name online and tunnel my IP address, it's not that I'm hiding; I'm just keeping my life simple.

Thanks guys!

#186 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

online pincunts decided to try and get me fired from my place of employment

That's pretty f-cked up.

#187 5 years ago

Hey Vid! I could care less if your name was RosePetal and your mom and dad were Sunshine and Rain. The info you have taken the time to share is greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to watching this thread all the way through!

#188 5 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

Hey Vid! I could care less if your name was RosePetal and your mom and dad were Sunshine and Rain.

Aggggggh, you've outed me!

#189 5 years ago

Sorry! Lucky guess I suppose!

#190 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

try and get me fired from my place of employment (a very non-pinball industry).
Although I took care of them (you'll never see them at shows again), who needs all that BS over pinball?

No, thank you for taking the time to share what I'm sure is decades of accumulated knowledge with those of us new to the hobby. I've already been well aware of too many people who are deliberately unwilling to do so, fearing it will cut into their business or create competition. In my mind, the hobby is better of with more people being able to competently work on machines-fewer hacked up pieces of garbage out there.

Now, share how you tunnel your IP address.

#191 5 years ago
Quoted from albummydavis:

Now, share how you tunnel your IP address.

Sheesh, next you'll want the keys to the Batcave.

Rather than tunneling, non computer geeks should probably use Tor (much easier to set up) :

https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

#192 5 years ago

How much for a ride in the Bat-mobile?

#193 5 years ago

Hey vid, it's like JR Ewing said: "My friends are in the Statehouse, my enemies are harder to find..."

#194 5 years ago

Your thread is the main reason I log into Pinside!

#195 5 years ago

Vid,

Can you fix this insert by sanding it down? It's pretty beat. image.jpg

#196 5 years ago

So that's what PC really stands for!

Quoted from vid1900:

Although I took care of them (you'll never see them at shows again),

Buried with Jimmy Hoffa?

Dan

#197 5 years ago
Quoted from Tmezel:

Vid,
Can you fix this insert by sanding it down? It's pretty beat.

you can't fix it 100% without replacing it. has 2 cracks in it. Might be hidden by the art. Can't think off hand what the art looks like on that insert, but i'm pretty sure the cracks will be exposed. going to have to replace the insert. Use a fake fog technique on it so it doesn't look crystal clear like sterns inserts, and then redo the art.

#198 5 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

you can't fix it 100% without replacing it. has 2 cracks in it. Might be hidden by the art. Can't think off hand what the art looks like on that insert, but i'm pretty sure the cracks will be exposed. going to have to replace the insert. Use a fake fog technique on it so it doesn't look crystal clear like sterns inserts, and then redo the art.

The art does not cover it all. The insert is flaking. I can't seem to find TOTAN inserts so I think I am hosed.

#199 5 years ago
Quoted from Tmezel:

Vid,
Can you fix this insert by sanding it down? It's pretty beat.

Like Neo said, I'd replace it as a first choice.

If it were the last insert on earth:

I'd pull it out and make the cracked part the top - so the swordsman would better hide the repair.

Fill with 2 part clear until level.

Print swordsman on the thicker water slide decal paper to give it a more defused appearance.

-

I see the Magic Carpet is also missing, did you already clear off these inserts?

#200 5 years ago
Quoted from Tmezel:

The art does not cover it all. The insert is flaking. I can't seem to find TOTAN inserts so I think I am hosed.

Kev at CPR says he has found the tooling for all the TOTAN inserts.

Beg him nicely to sell you the ones you need.

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