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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#1951 3 years ago

Super! The playfield is not flaky or planked, but I will use Bondo over the usual wear around the cannon hole and paint it. I will match paint around the Sink Ship letters. Can I all do it without clearcoat a first layer (it is difficult to have access to my paint booth, if I can do all the layers of clear on the same day it would be great )?
Also, to replace my shoot again decal, I read ealier on this thread that maybe I can:

1- sand the old already installed insert 400, tape around the edges of the insert, clear with spray can satin finish polyurethane. 2- after one day, sand the area with 400, apply decal, then 3 thin layer of satin polyurethane, 15 minutes between each layers. Then sand 800 the day I clearcoat all the playfield.
Will it work?

And, do I need to sand 800 the whole playfield or just clean it is ok?
Thanks a lot for your advises.

#1952 3 years ago

Being new to all of this (got my first table last week) I am struggling to understand.

The table surface is in good shape but when I look close, the paint looks almost like fish scales (its not as visible due to the flash but see area around the "7") is that what you mean by "flaking?"

and it is almost everywhere that was not protected by plastic sheet. What do you do? some kind of penetrating sealant?
Mark

IMG_7697.JPG
#1953 3 years ago
Quoted from mark532011:

The table surface is in good shape but when I look close, the paint looks almost like fish scales (its not as visible due to the flash but see area around the "7") is that what you mean by "flaking?"

and it is almost everywhere that was not protected by plastic sheet. What do you do? some kind of penetrating sealant?

Nice pic that clearly shows the problem!

That looks like the usual "planking" and "ball swirl".

Sometimes a game is stored in a unconditioned air space like a garage and if the playfield freezes, that can happen.

Scan the area first, as planked paint can chip off easily.

Then see if it will Magic Eraser:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/19#post-1762257

If not (and that pic does not look too promising) then repaint and decal:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/3#post-633591

#1954 3 years ago

Vid, I am interested in buying a nice Diner. Biggest issue on the game (and I hear this is typical) are the raised character inserts. On this particular Diner, factory Mylar is still on the game and bubbling in places. The worst place of the bubbling is right on top of the raised inserts. It affected ball play when I tested game.

I have read your thread about lowering raised inserts, but wondering about this issue in conjunction with the bubbling Mylar. Also would Iwant to remove the Mylar in other spots on play field due to it bubbling and being dirty / hazy? Most importantly, how hard / easy of a fix is this for a noob? Wondering if this is a good pin to buy or if I should move on.

#1955 3 years ago

Thanks for the tip! I will "carefully" give ME a try. From the page 1 "Removing Mylar" section, it sounds like my process is:
1) scan in all graphics (just in case)
2) remove mylar first (freeze and alcohol/flour technique if possible)
3) ME playfield lightly

#1956 3 years ago
Quoted from mark532011:

2) remove mylar first (freeze and alcohol/flour technique if possible)

With an old game like Star Trip, I'd use a hair dryer or household iron to remove the mylar.

Freezing is usually better for 90s games.

#1957 3 years ago
Quoted from Elicash:

I have read your thread about lowering raised inserts, but wondering about this issue in conjunction with the bubbling Mylar.

After 30 years, the Mylar has a memory. Rarely you can warm it up and get it to stick back down, but don't count on it.

Quoted from Elicash:

Also would I want to remove the Mylar in other spots on play field due to it bubbling and being dirty / hazy? Most importantly, how hard / easy of a fix is this for a noob?

Sys11 is the hardest of all playfields to remove the Mylar from.

The playfield's "clear coat" were super crappy.

Let's see some pics.

#1958 3 years ago

Vid-Need your advice on this one. I have a WH20 pf that has two scratches above the inlanes (see pics). I plan on clear coating this pf to go along with my new cabinet.

I'm afraid I know the answer, but is there any way to have the repair look good without making new decals for the white text? My current plan is scanning the text, making decals, laying a coat of clear, frisket & blue paint, clear, apply decals, clear. Seems like a lot of work for a little scratch, but I don't want to short cut anything.

Thanks

photo 2.JPG
photo 3.JPG

#1959 3 years ago
Quoted from djblouw:

I'm afraid I know the answer, but is there any way to have the repair look good without making new decals for the white text?

Try mixing up a matching blue.

With a 0000 brush, fill in the scratch.

Before it 100% dries, wipe the excess paint off - don't wipe along the scratch, wipe across it, leaving the paint only in the scratch.

This may take a few tries.

Test the "look" of your repair by using Naphtha to see how it will look once cleared.

If you just can't get it right, then proceed in the normal fashion.....

#1960 3 years ago

Also, if those scratches don't go all way down to the white paint layer, you can test with Naphtha and see if the clear alone will fix it.

From the pics, it looks like the one scratch is maybe shallow enough.

#1961 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

From the pics, it looks like the one scratch is maybe shallow enough.

Yep, I think the one is not to the white, so hopefully filling with clear will work.

Thanks for the tip on the other one. I'll give it a try and report back!

#1962 3 years ago

Hi, Vid

After I got over my panic I was able to finish the painting and decalling on my Jet Spin. It's not CQ perfect, but it looks much better now. I've started gathering supplies for clearcoating and have a few questions in anticipation of that phase:

1. You recommend using PPG JC660 but your photo shows JC661. There's not a major difference between the two, right?
2. About how long does JH6680 medium hardener take to harden before I can sand and re-coat?
3. What are your thoughts on buffing with swirl remover? (sorry - I may have missed that post)
4. After the final clearcoat hardens, you recommend letting it cure for a few weeks - does it have to be level? The safest & most convenient place to store it is back in its cabinet on a 6.5-degree tilt.
5. Do you recommend drilling out the holes before or after the clear has fully cured?

Thanks!

#1963 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

1. You recommend using PPG JC660 but your photo shows JC661. There's not a major difference between the two, right?

I use them both. Looking at the data sheet, I don't see what the difference is - maybe a professional auto painter can explain.

Quoted from TopMoose:

2. About how long does JH6680 medium hardener take to harden before I can sand and re-coat?

It's dry in a few hours.

You can recoat without sanding in about a 1/2 hour.

Quoted from TopMoose:

4. After the final clearcoat hardens, you recommend letting it cure for a few weeks - does it have to be level?

No, it's dry in a few hours.

But it shrinks a little and "really" hardens over a few weeks.

Quoted from TopMoose:

5. Do you recommend drilling out the holes before or after the clear has fully cured?

You can drill them the next day if you want to.

SL661+JC661+High+Gloss+Multi-Panel+Clear+03+15.pdf SL660+JC660+Rapid+Spot+Panel+Clearcoat+03+15.pdf
#1964 3 years ago

Hi Vid, could use a bit of advice. I recently airbrushed black keylines and 24 hours ago I shot 3 light layers of clear over the top of that. The clear is bumpy due to the light layers as you can see in the pics.

Now I need to do my decals. Should I wait for the clear to cure fully and sand the clear before doing any decal work? Or can I lay decals over this bumpy-ish clear and lock them in with more clear?

I'm also not sure, if the layers of clear are dusty like this and I let the clear fully cure will future layers have enough tooth to stick or should I always sand?

Thanks in advance,
Dan

IMG_4926.JPG IMG_4927.JPG
#1965 3 years ago

Lightly sand and shoot a thick enough layer of clear so it flows out glossy.

Decals like smooth surfaces, and that looks iffy to me.

#1966 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

No, it's dry in a few hours.

But it shrinks a little and "really" hardens over a few weeks.

Thanks - just to clarify, letting it cure on a tilt is okay? Sorry if that's a ridiculous question.

#1967 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

Thanks - just to clarify, letting it cure on a tilt is okay? Sorry if that's a ridiculous question.

Once the clear is a hour old, you could even hang it vertically.

#1968 3 years ago

My playfiled has what looks like cracking thoughout. Is this the clear that is cracked or down into the paint? What's the best way to handle this?

IMG_0981.JPG
IMG_0984.JPG

#1969 3 years ago
Quoted from Spyridon:

My playfiled has what looks like cracking thoughout. Is this the clear that is cracked or down into the paint? What's the best way to handle this?

Are you ready to spray a new clear coat ?

If you remove the cracks, you have to re-clear.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/19#post-1762257

#1970 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

There of course will be inserts that you will not need to replace or reseat.
After 20 or so years, you would think that if they were going to move, they would have already moved. And certainly there is some truth to this.
But a new clear coat is going to put new tension on the playfield that was never there before, so usually you will want to apply some glue to the back lip of those inserts.
I know, it's not as good as roughing them up and using plastic primer, but it is better than a surprise 6 months down the road.

So Vid,

So this is what my inserts look like now. (I have already cleaned them with alcohol and q-tips several times and see they still need more.)

image.jpg
image.jpg

I plan to 2PAC my playfield as soon as it gets warm enough so I can touch up the PF..I am currently gluing / re-gluing my inserts to get ready.

Do you try to "spin out" the rubbery mastic stuff (black) on the wood next to the inserts that are flat prior to re gluing them - or would it be safer to remove the insert first? I hate to take them out if I have not found a new replacement first - and I'm pretty sure that epoxy won't stick to this rubbery gook the factory used. (Gook is a technical term.). Thanks!

#1971 3 years ago

Vid, what is the best way to strip down a complex playfield like TZ that has so many different parts. Do you label everything, take pictures or video different parts being removed. Any tips or tricks to making sure everything goes back the way it was.

#1972 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinterest:

I hate to take them out if I have not found a new replacement first

Yeah, leave them in place.

Just try to glue them where there is the least mastic - it's risky biz trying to remove the mastic with an irreplaceable insert next to it.

Great pics, BTW.

#1973 3 years ago
Quoted from SuperPinball:

Vid, what is the best way to strip down a complex playfield like TZ that has so many different parts. Do you label everything, take pictures or video different parts being removed. Any tips or tricks to making sure everything goes back the way it was.

As far as the top of the playfield goes, I have completely stripped and rebuilt 4-5 TZ's. It can be difficult if you haven't done this before. The best thing to do is to make sure that you take lots of pics from several different angles. Make sure that you use a ruler or measuring tape next to any of the support posts when you take pics so that you don't get the sizes mixed up when you are putting the pf back together. Also, on the TZ some of the major pf parts (i.e. mini pf, ramps, gumball machine) have to be taken apart and put back together in a certain order, so make sure that you remember your process so that you can reverse it when putting back on the pf.

#1974 3 years ago
Quoted from SuperPinball:

Vid, what is the best way to strip down a complex playfield like TZ that has so many different parts. Do you label everything, take pictures or video different parts being removed. Any tips or tricks to making sure everything goes back the way it was.

Take about 200 pictures from every angle.

Get a box of ziplock sandwich bags, keep groups of stuff together .

Don't unsolder everything, leave small circuit boards and coils connected.

Don't save or clean old coil sleeves - for .40 cents, just replace them.

Don't save Classic Bally #555 lamp sockets, replace with #44 and avoid a lifetime of misery.

For ramps with millions of different screws, stab the screws through paper diagrams of the ramps.

On the backside of the playfield, lightly trace around mounted items with a sharp pencil.

Label the banded diode side of coil wires if you don't know the colors by heart - sure you could look them up in the manual, but just running and gunning is 100x faster.

Solder everything at once. Don't do one coil, then start mounting something else, then go back to soldering.

Don't use tiny circuit board solder for coils, use your thicker stuff.

Don't bother polishing/tumbling little screws, it is cheaper to just buy 1000 brand new ones from Boltdepot in common sizes.

Replace Gottlieb slotted screws with Philips head ones - 100x faster to drive and no chance of slipout/scratching of the playfield.

Use the clutch on your screwgun so you don't overdrive screws.

#1975 3 years ago

Thanks vid. Your advice is always spot on.

#1976 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Great pics, BTW.

iPhone 6 Plus rocks for pics

#1977 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Replace Gottlieb slotted screws with Philips head ones - 100x faster to drive and no chance of slipout/scratching of the playfield.

this one is brilliant. I got 2/3 through repopulating a playfield before it occurred to me to do this.

#1978 3 years ago

It is time someone mentioned this.

Vid, you should have a paypal donation button on your all your posts. If that violates some TOS of pinside you should tell us your paypal address and all of the people you have helped should echo it in their posts.

Expert advice like yours should be rewarded!

#1979 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Replace Gottlieb slotted screws with Philips head ones - 100x faster to drive and no chance of slipout/scratching of the playfield.

aint that the truth... slotted screws suck

#1980 3 years ago

Hi Vid!
I want to repaint my plastic ramps on my Black Rose, can I clearcoat them after painted them?
Thanks!

#1981 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Replace Gottlieb slotted screws with Philips head ones - 100x faster to drive and no chance of slipout/scratching of the playfield.
Use the clutch on your screwgun so you don't overdrive screws.

Quoted from ledge:

aint that the truth... slotted screws suck

I just use a nut driver on those. Even easier than Philips head, and no chance of stripping the screw.

#1982 3 years ago
Quoted from asay:

I just use a nut driver on those. Even easier than Philips head, and no chance of stripping the screw.

Most Gotts just have plain standard screws top and bottom, no hex head option.

That's why I don't ever reinstall them.

Gotts screws suck.jpg
#1983 3 years ago
Quoted from wantdataeast:

It is time someone mentioned this.
Vid, you should have a paypal donation button on your all your posts. If that violates some TOS of pinside you should tell us your paypal address and all of the people you have helped should echo it in their posts.
Expert advice like yours should be rewarded!

Yeah, I'm sure Robin would love that, LOL.

Thank you for the kind words.

#1984 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Most Gotts just have plain standard screws top and bottom, no hex head option.
That's why I don't ever reinstall them.

Gotts screws suck.jpg

That's horrible ...

I guess they started using these on System 3's?
513rZIOoxUL._SX342_.jpg

#1985 3 years ago
Quoted from tabrakadanak:

Hi Vid!
I want to repaint my plastic ramps on my Black Rose, can I clearcoat them after painted them?
Thanks!

The Whirlpool part?

#1986 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The Whirlpool part?

The rear ramp, pass-trough the boat (white plastic ramp)!

#1987 3 years ago

One for the experts, didn't think this was necessary for a new topic.

Is it possible to level a playfield without adjusting the cab? And I do mean like a proper way, not a jerry-rig.

I leveled the legs yesterday and it was so out of whack that now the cab's off balance and leaning on it has become like that shitty barstool.

Thanks

#1988 3 years ago
Quoted from playboywillis:

One for the experts, didn't think this was necessary for a new topic.

Is it possible to level a playfield without adjusting the cab? And I do mean like a proper way, not a jerry-rig.

I leveled the legs yesterday and it was so out of whack that now the cab's off balance and leaning on it has become like that shitty barstool.

Thanks

Don't belong under this topic but shortly: Main principle when leveling a game is that rear legs are determing the straightness and pitch of a game. Front legs are used to get the game "stand correctly". Especially important when dealing sideway corrections, always do it from the rear legs and use front legs just to balance game so that is sits nicely. Weight must be divided to all of the four legs evenly and cabinet can't be twisted, this can have huge impact on gameplay and the whole experience. I personally level games so that I put my spirit leveler in front of the backbox, lift the game from the front little bit and then make corrections to rear legs. When happy about sideway level, then just adjust front legs in a way that when you lift the game and let it back down, both front legs must touch the floor at the same time. If pitch is too steep or game is tilted sideways, again just adjust rear legs and correct front legs.

#1989 3 years ago

Thanks a lot

#1990 3 years ago

Hey Vid,

I picked up a High Speed and I'm trying to clean the playfield. Unlike my previous pins, I can't seem to do much to remove ball swirls and this uneven haze. I've tried 91% alcohol + ME, Novus 1, and Novus 2 but the ball swirls and haze don't seem to go away. The the ball swirls don't bother me and I wouldn't even care about the haze except it is uneven and the "stokes" catch light differently. (These aren't my strokes but something already there it seems). Any advice on how to deal with this?
DSC_9899.jpg

#1991 3 years ago

Need more and better pics, but the haze on the insert might be ghosting.

If the clear coat is worn through and the ball swirl is in the gray paint itself, it may not be cleanable.

#1992 3 years ago

Things were going great with the clear coating process... until the last coat.

fisheyes1.jpeg
fisheyes2.jpeg

This is what you call "fisheyes," yes? What would you recommend? Can I fill them in with an eyedropper or will I need to sand off that last layer?

#1993 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

This is what you call "fisheyes," yes? What would you recommend? Can I fill them in with an eyedropper or will I need to sand off that last layer?

That sucks!

But it is an easy fix.

Sand the "bowl" of the fisheye with 600 grit.

Drip in fresh clear, slightly overfilling the holes (the clear shrinks back as it dries).

Sand flush and buff.

--

Don't wait too long to fill the holes, because it will drive you crazy trying to buff two different hardness stages of the clear.

I've got a playfield in the booth now that has a repair of fresh clear and a field of 6 month old clear.

As I buff, I can **just** see the difference in sheen where the two meet - it makes my brain hurt...lol.

#1994 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That sucks!
But it is an easy fix.
Sand the "bowl" of the fisheye with 600 grit.
Drip in fresh clear, slightly overfilling the holes (the clear shrinks back as it dries).
Sand flush and buff.
--
Don't wait too long to fill the holes, because it will drive you crazy trying to buff two different hardness stages of the clear.
I've got a playfield in the booth now that has a repair of fresh clear and a field of 6 month old clear.
As I buff, I can **just** see the difference in sheen where the two meet - it makes my brain hurt...lol.

Thanks. I'll probably sand it back with 600 or 800? And when you say to buff, should I be using the medium cut and swirl remover (or maybe Novus 2) - and can I do that right away or do I need to wait for it to cure?

#1995 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

I'll probably sand it back with 600 or 800?

600 would certainly **defeat** whatever crap that caused the fisheye.

Quoted from TopMoose:

and can I do that right away or do I need to wait for it to cure?

It's got to be VERY cured to buff, but you could sand or add another coat anytime.

#1996 3 years ago

Update: Scored, filled, set, knocked back and sanded evenly with a sequence of papers, ending up at 2000 grit. The results are pretty good, I think. I'll let it rest in its cabinet for about three weeks before buffing and polishing. I'm excited to get that high-gloss finish back.

Fisheyes3.jpeg
Fisheyes4.jpeg

#1997 3 years ago

well it appears i get to jump into this playfield resto madness like the rest of you finally. i just hope i don't fail at this.

11212379_10152883896326094_326826643_n.jpg
#1998 3 years ago

1. I'm looking for a tool summary for all suggested items in this thread. (perhaps one could be added to the OP after the TOC section?)

2. Today, I'm looking for a link to a suggested "3M plastic primer"

thanks,
mof

#1999 3 years ago

Hi Vid, I recently bought a nice 1976 Target Alpha. The playfield is in very good shape with one small exception (shown below). At some point in its life, someone put a post with a small rubber on it right between the flippers (presumably) to make it less likely for the ball to drain on the frequent long drops from the top of the playfield.

I've removed the post, but am not sure what to do here. I would like to fill the hole and then maybe incorporate that small circle into the artwork somehow to make it inconspicuous (maybe continue the red design outlined in black up and around that circle?). Or just fill it and try to match that natural wood color as closely as possible.

Target Alpha, apparently, is a different kind of playfield material (or coating maybe?)? I'm sure you're familiar with it. Any thoughts on how to approach this one?

FullSizeRender.jpg

#2000 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Most Gotts just have plain standard screws top and bottom, no hex head option.
That's why I don't ever reinstall them.

Gotts screws suck.jpg

What do you use for things like switches?

Recently did a Genie - reused every screw on the switches. Replaced every other screw with the hex heads.

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