Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration

(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 5,836 posts
  • 573 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 53 minutes ago by Silverstreak02
  • Topic is favorited by 1,354 Pinsiders
  • Topic is sticky in its sub-forum

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 1,836 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

_DSF3158 (resized).JPG
_DSF6202 (resized).JPG
_DSF6200 (resized).JPG
_DSF6198 (resized).JPG
_DSF5629 (resized).JPG
_DSF5628 (resized).JPG
20180520_100919 (resized).jpg
20180520_100846 (resized).jpg
20180519_134342 (resized).jpg
IMG_1094 (resized).JPG
20180515_130545 (resized).jpg
ddl1600 (resized).jpg
head_damage_bg (resized).jpeg
SnS Damage2 (resized).jpeg
SnS Damage (resized).jpeg
20180512_180702 (resized).jpg

Topic index (key posts)

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

There are 5836 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 117.
#251 5 years ago

I heard there is a method to flatten out mylar bubbles that is similar to clearcoat bubbles. If I remember correctly you puncture the mylar and inject glue between the underside and the insert to make it flat against the insert. Can you elaborate on this please vid?

New_Image.JPG

#252 5 years ago

No glue needed to flatten Mylar bubbles.

Poke a hole to let the air out, warm gently with hair dryer, press down till cool.

#253 5 years ago

Will the small hole fuse back together?

#254 5 years ago

Great question crash, have long wondered this myself.

#255 5 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Will the small hole fuse back together?

Just make the tiniest of pin holes.

You don't even have to put the whole pin in, just the very tip.

#256 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You don't even have to put the whole pin in, just the very tip.

So many comments come to mind,,, so many,,,,,

#257 5 years ago

You don't even have to put the whole pin in, just the very tip.

I remember trying that line......never worked......apparently vid has had better luck

#258 5 years ago

Would you recommend using flour and isopropyl alcohol as the best method for removing mylar glue?

#259 5 years ago

I've used the flour and Goo Gone combo and it works good.

I have not tried isopropyl and flour.

2 weeks later
#260 5 years ago

Hey Vid, there's a new product that came out: Acrylic paint markers from Liquitex.
Have you tried them ?

The black is real black, compared to the Sharpie which looks like a dark blue-purple when you see them side by side. It is a bit more opaque also, and doesn't streak as much. I really like it.

I guess it will not smear when cleared like Sharpie and oil-based paint markers right ?

IMG_20130512_011239.JPG

#261 5 years ago
Quoted from Lowrent:

I guess it will not smear when cleared like Sharpie and oil-based paint markers right ?

I'd have to shoot a test panel and see how it reacts to the clear.

Can you draw a line on window glass so we can see how opaque it is?

(BTW, nice penmanship)

#262 5 years ago

The penmanship is nice. Looks like two different people wrote.

#263 5 years ago

I'm going to have to try out those paint pens. It call comes down to how the clear reacts to them, because every paint pen and marker out on the market bleeds like crazy once clear hits it. Even if you paint over the marker, it will bleed through the paint and ruin a lot of art.

#264 5 years ago

Id also like to add when using create paints be aware that they darken when dry as I found out. Had a perfect match for my sanctum repair then when it dried it was a fraction darker

#265 5 years ago

I've been using these MOLOTOW acrylic markers for a while and they work very well.
The 1mm black is great for tracing key lines around inserts and has saved me tons of time with Frisket and airbrush. It dries nice and flat.

I've also tried a few other colors, but the black and white seem to be the most useful.

I have not gotten any bleeding at all with the black, but I did a test with red and blue and did notice some bleeding on heavier applications of clear. In future I would apply a thin coating to seal and then wait to do a heavier application.

http://www.molotow.com/products/marker-ink/one4all/

#266 5 years ago

what type of clear tho? Varathane is a lot different than Auto clears.

#267 5 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

what type of clear tho? Varathane is a lot different than Auto clears.

I'm using what we have in the shop at work. Nothing overly fancy but it works well for me: BASF Limco 4100 automotive clear.

#268 5 years ago

no bleeding at all you say? i'll have to investigate this. I've tried about 20 different brand and styles, and never had one that didn't. And that's clearing over ink printed playfields, and DP fields?

#269 5 years ago

No bleed on the black at all after using it on about 5 playfields, but the red pen did bleed a bit after a heavier application of clear. Maybe the formulas are different from color to color. It does state an "acrylic hybrid ink". Not exactly sure what that means.

I'll experiment again with the colored pens, but a lighter sealing coat would probably have been fine, followed by a heavier one later.
The black alone has saved me a ton of time and the control it gives you is great for recreating some art without Frisket.

I've even used it to sign playfields on wood under the apron and cleared over with no sign of bleed at all.

#270 5 years ago

Vid, how would you handle badly cupped inserts on an otherwise great condition C37 playfield? Is there a solution that doesn't change the rest of the playfield too much?

#271 5 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

Vid, how would you handle badly cupped inserts on an otherwise great condition C37 playfield? Is there a solution that doesn't change the rest of the playfield too much?

Un-jeweled inserts often cup if they are larger in diameter than 1/2" or so.

Scuff up the insert with 600 grit paper (so the clear can have some "tooth" to grip to).

Perfectly level the playfield on your work bench.

Mix up some 2 part auto clear with the fastest hardener you have*

Using a glass eyedropper, drip into the cupped insert until it is leveled off.

If you over fill, sand before the clear gets too hard.

Wipe up drips QUICKLY with lac thinner. Don't let the thinner melt the existing clear or ink.

=

* if you use slow setting catalyst/ hardener, you run the risk of it attacking the the old varnish and creating little whitish spots.

#272 5 years ago

First off, amazing info. Second, having owned my first pin for only 6 days now, I'm beyond intimidated! I'm gonna ask my questions all the same though.

Someone did a really poor touch-up job, paint is globby. I'd like to correct this, but not sure of the approach. Do I sand it down to wood, or just so it's even with the surrounding area?

This era of table (Firepower to be exact), they were never clear coated to begin with, correct? So is it fine to not go that route? It seems all the instruction for using frisket keeps mentioning how you don't have to worry about pulling up the paint since the layer of clear is there...see where I'm going with this?

Also, could I still use Naptha to check the color when 'cleared' without there being a layer to begin with? Does this test prove the same if all you are going to be doing is putting wax on the table?

Forgive me if these are basic questions, I just trying to map out my first steps, without screwing myself down the road when I am ready for more complicated steps. I have a friend who is excellent with an airbrush, so I'm hoping to learn a lot from him, but I have no friends with any knowledge of pinball restoration, so I'm trying to soak up as much as I can without getting too far over my head/ability.

PF_Det_1.1.jpg Playfield_lower_bad_paint.jpg

#273 5 years ago

You have A LOT of work on that playfield.

Every so often CPR runs new Firepower playfields for $599, I'd highly suggest you just buy one. Even a playfield swap is a big adventure for a new pinball owner.

If you really want to take a stab at restoration, let me know and I'll walk you through the steps.

#274 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You have A LOT of work on that playfield.
Every so often CPR runs new Firepower playfields for $599, I'd highly suggest you just buy one. Even a playfield swap is a big adventure for a new pinball owner.
If you really want to take a stab at restoration, let me know and I'll walk you through the steps.

Yeah, new playfield just a teensy bit out of my budget!

I'll certainly take whatever tutelage you'd pass on though.

#275 5 years ago

Thank you Drano, Molotow is by far the best.

blacks.jpg

Just so you know, litho film is the most opaque you can get. At noon when the sun is the shiniest, you can barely see it through this film.

Here are the values I get in Photoshop (relative to my scanner, just to give an idea).

Litho : 100%
Sharpie : 71%-87% blueish
Molotov : 91% uniform black
Liquitex : 69%-91% black
Waterslide : 89%

#276 5 years ago
Quoted from Lowrent:

Molotow is by far the best.

Yeah, it REALLY looks the best.

Thanks for the test!

#277 5 years ago
Quoted from shutyertrap:

I'll certainly take whatever tutelage you'd pass on though.

OK, let's do it.

This effort is going to give you balls of steel. Once you do it, there will probably be no pinball repair you won't be able to handle. It's going to be a big job, but totally doable for the organized person, so take a deep breath.....

1. remove the glass.

2. pull the playfield up, follow the playfield wires until you find the two big nylon connectors (normally one is black, one white). Usually these are within reach through the "neck" where the backbox of the game connects to the bottom of the cab. Disconnect these connectors. If they are both white, label them with a Sharpie marker.

3. remove the playfield from the game.

4. lay the playfield over 2 sawhorses. (or build this: http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-quick-and-dirty-rotisserie-guide)

5. remove the metal apron at the bottom of the playfield, label the screws and put them in zip loc bag (a month from now, you won't remember what they are).

6. take about 25 pictures with your digital camera of each side of the playfield. Take them from every angle. Especially take pics of the wire colors of the flipper wires. When you think you have full coverage, take a few more.

7. Order your paint kit: http://www.dickblick.com/items/25308-1003/

8. Start taking everything off the playfield, take lots of pictures, buy a box of zip lock bags, label everything.

#278 5 years ago

The image from my last post came from my scanner.
Here's a better look at opacity comparison

IMG_20130514_012700.jpg

Oh, and the paint used in the markers can be used in an airbrush. The viscosity is perfect.

#279 5 years ago

Guys,

I have extensive experience with high end painting and clears...if you would like a paint pen that is 100% compatible with auto clears, you need to check out: http://www.posca.com/uk/all-material-markers

Water based with good coverage. Myself and others in the custom bicycle industry have used these for fine line work with excellent results for many years.

If you need more detail and control, a fluid writer is the way to go: http://www.dickblick.com/products/kemper-fluid-writer-pen/

This allows you to use the same paint but is released in a controlled finite manner.

Loving the tutorial, though a different medium than I typically work in, so many of the fine details and hints are comparable.

Thanks,

rody

#280 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Cut a section of Frisket and lay it over the area to be airbrushed.
Run you finger along the outline where you will be cutting. You don't have to really press the rest of the frisket down.
Using a BRAND NEW Xacto blade, trace the outline of your soon to be painted areas. Don't press too hard, you should not be feeling the surface of the playfield as you work.
Use a metal straightedge to guide you along straight lines - giant time saver.
If you are cutting a circle for Keylining, you can use a circle template to again save time.
Cut exactly on your line. You don't have to worry about bleed.
Lift the Frisket film from any place you want to get painted. See how cleanly it lifts? Press any air bubbles out that forms as you remove the pieces.
I used "oil paper" here for masking, but you can use Kraft paper or whatever you have.
Make up a bunch of masking papers with one leading edge with masking tape applied.
You will be reusing them as you move to the next area of the playfield, so make them large enough for the biggest section.

So, I can see how doing the outside of an insert is possible - a circular one. Put the circle template that matches the outside.

But how do you get a perfect circle on the inside of the circle??

Any ideas??

#281 5 years ago

Alright fellas, easing my way into playfield restoration (cheating a little). I'll be using some tips and pointers from here.

Planning to build a wall decoration using the Airfield LED kit and a beater Eight Ball Deluxe playfield & backglass. Both items purchased and inbound. Will clear using rattle can (I don't care about long-term yellowing for a wall dec).

The mylar was installed after some playfield wear, so I'm concerned I may lift some paint when removing. I've removed mylar before (on an F-14 no less, so I feel like I'm ready for anything). My biggest concerns are paint matching and touchups.

Wish me luck (I'll need it).

front.jpg

#282 5 years ago

Good luck!

1 week later
#283 5 years ago

Vid, I asked and you answered about how to handle cupped inserts on my C37. I am too chicken to try it myself. Even if I level the inserts, they are still faded. If you had this playfield, would you be able to replace the inserts? Are there replacements available for this?

#284 5 years ago
Quoted from Pafasa:

Vid, I asked and you answered about how to handle cupped inserts on my C37. I am too chicken to try it myself. Even if I level the inserts, they are still faded. If you had this playfield, would you be able to replace the inserts? Are there replacements available for this?

About 70% of inserts are available.

If you can get the inserts, then replacing them is a really nice option.

If not, then color match them with LEDs.

Post a picture and give sizes....

#285 5 years ago

The High Hand I just got running has all its inserts cupped. I think PBR should have them since they would all be standard Gottlieb stuff. What would you suggest to recreate the artwork and lettering for the new inserts? My apologies if this is a rehashed question.

Thanks Vid,

Dan

#286 5 years ago

i wouldn't ruin vintage inserts just because of cupping. Cupping is easy to fix with clearcoat. If you replace one vintage, you have to replace them all, because white inserts are yellowish looking. Can't replace just one. Unless the others are colored. You'll spend $100 in inserts by the time your done, and if your going that route, might as well just get it restored and looking good and leveled.

#287 5 years ago
Quoted from MrWizzo:

What would you suggest to recreate the artwork and lettering for the new inserts? My apologies if this is a rehashed question.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/3

The above section deals with how to do it in detail, but basically:

1. Scan
2. Identify Font (http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ )
3. Match font size in photoshop overlay
4. Print on waterslide decal paper

#288 5 years ago
Quoted from MrWizzo:

I think PBR should have them since they would all be standard Gottlieb stuff.

From memory, High Hand only needs what, 25 inserts @ .50 cents each? I think they are all simple, round white inserts (can't tell on my phone).

Make sure that if different size white inserts are next to each other, that they are all replaced. Otherwise like Neo says, the old ones will look yellow next to the new white ones.

#289 5 years ago

APPLYING INSERT DECALS:
=
=
This section we will discuss applying Water Slide Decals (WSD).

To recap some earlier info:

1. Laser print or silkscreen WSDs. Regular ink jet printer's inks fade quickly.

2. Use clear WSDs on most inserts. If the insert has white printing on it, use white WSDs or print with an ALPS printer on clear decals (the only printer I know of that prints with white ink is the ALPS. It can even print metallic gold and silver .).

3. Most hobby shops have great printers and will gladly charge you to print your decals.

4. Turn the toner darkness up all the way on your laser printer to get a nice dark image. Turn off any "toner saver" or "economy" modes. There is no room for economy when restoring playfields.

5. Make sure you have your first coat of clear on the playfield before installing WSDs. You don't want a different tension above the decal than below it; or you might get ghosting (decal ghosting is where the decal lifts from the insert).

6. Since you need to clear coat over the decals, sand the whole playfield down to 1000 grit so the next layer of clear has some "tooth" to adhere to. Since you can't sand the decals, you need to do this BEFORE you install them.

7. Refer to this part of this thread to see how we scan and acquire the art and type font:

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/3

#290 5 years ago

Supplies you are going to need:

1. Shallow dish of clean water. Use just regular tap water. Neither cold nor warm water is required.

2. Decal Setting solution. I know someone is going to chime in and say they don't use Decal Set, but we are going to restore a playfield worth $$$$, so a $3 bottle of solution is not going to kill the budget. If you are going to start restoring playfields, get in the habit of doing things right. Decal Set smells like Acetic acid, but I don't know anyone who has ever figured out what it is exactly. It softens the decal so wrinkles come right out and helps with adhesion.

3. Decals. Although you would instinctual reach for your Xacto knife, cut decals out with SHARP scissors. Razors tend to leave an edge that sticks up and makes it harder to release the decal from the backing paper.

4. Small Acid Brush. Any small brush can be used to apply the Decal Set on the playfield.

5. Soft, lint free cloth. Use this to apply the decals.

1.jpg

#291 5 years ago

Soak the decal for about 45 seconds in the water. The time does not have to be exactly 45 seconds. You will know the decal is ready when it easily slides off the backing paper between your thumb and forefinger.

2.jpg

#292 5 years ago

Long or large decals tend to curl as the water saturates the paper backing quicker than the decal itself.

Soak these decals face down to prevent this curling.

3.jpg

#293 5 years ago

Assuming you already blew all the dust off of the playfield before you started, brush some Decal Setting Solution over the target area.

Start with the inserts in the center of the playfield and work your way out the edge. This way you won't mess up the decals you already set.

Now start sliding the decal from the backing paper.

Don't touch the back of the decal where the adhesive is! You could leave a fingerprint or introduce dust.

Hold one side of the decal against the playfield with your finger, then slide away the backing paper.

4.jpg

#294 5 years ago

Thanks Vid.

I appreciate the advice as well Neo. There are a couple red inserts, but mostly white and yellow. Sure to be available at PBR. I would plan on changing them all if I did any. The artwork on all the vintage inserts is almost perfect, but I would bet that some Gottlieb guys out there have the lettering and graphics already scanned, but it would a good project for me as I have yet to change inserts.

Trying to level them with clear seems more daunting than changing inserts, never having done either.

The game needs it badly. The path of the ball is gravely affected by the cupping and of course at the worst of times! It is a shame because the playfield is incredibly nice.

Dan

#295 5 years ago

A good trick is use a playfield rotisserie and lay a 4 foot long florescent lamp on the floor, directing it's light upwards to illuminate the inserts. (If you need plans for a super easy rotisserie : http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-quick-and-dirty-rotisserie-guide)

Rotisserie or not, you will probably need a small flashlight to perfectly align the decal.

Often, the black key-lining of the playfield is poorly aligned with the inserts. Do the best you can, but be prepared to fudge a little bit to make it look right.

5.jpg

#295 5 years ago

Vid, maybe you'd like to tackle my Fireball playfield. You do such nice work and I'm in no hurry.

o-din

#296 5 years ago

Once you get the alignment correct, it's time to "set" the decal.

Anchor the decal at one edge with your thumb to keep it from moving around.

Using your lint free cloth soaked in Decal Setting Solution, press out the excess water and air from under the decal.

Once you have 95% of the decal pressed out, move your thumb to the pressed side, and wipe down where your thumb was originally.

6.jpg

#297 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

A good trick is use a playfield rotisserie and lay a 4 foot long florescent lamp on the floor, directing it's light upwards to illuminate the inserts. (If you need plans for a super easy rotisserie : http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-quick-and-dirty-rotisserie-guide)
Rotisserie or not, you will probably need a small flashlight to perfectly align the decal.
Often, the black key-lining of the playfield is poorly aligned with the inserts. Do the best you can, but be prepared to fudge a little bit to make it look right.

If you do misalign a decal, can it be rewet and adjusted?

Dan

#298 5 years ago

If you have ever tinted the windows in your auto, you will instantly know what to do on the playfield.

Push bubbles and wrinkles out to the edges until the entire decal is set.

If you went to fast and have a "permanent" wrinkle or notice a miss-alignment, flood the decal with Decal Set, and carefully work it out by pressing and wiping.

7.jpg

#299 5 years ago

Let your decals dry overnight and you are ready for clear coat.

Two-part auto clear is "hot", meaning that it has very active solvents that will melt your fragile decals if you are not careful.

If this is your first time spraying clear, practice on some decal scrap stuck to a beer can or piece of sheet metal. Get the feel for how much clear melts the decals on some scrap rather than your precious playfield. When I say melt, I mean destroyed; the effect is not subtle.

Spray your first coat as dry as you can. Almost dust over the decals.

Ten minutes latter, give another very, very light coat.

Ten minutes after that, you can finally give a normal, light coat of clear.

Now your decals are protected. You can make any other last minute painting touchups you found, or go ahead and finish clear coating the playfield.

8.jpg

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
€ 3.95
Flipper Parts
Multigame
From: $ 15.95
From: $ 124.95
$ 30.00
Electronics
Third Coast Pinball
$ 7.65
Cabinet Parts
Third Coast Pinball
From: $ 140.00
From: $ 155.00
From: $ 15.95
From: $ 369.95
There are 5836 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 117.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside