(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

8 years ago



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#3901 4 years ago

One avenue people might want to consider for "subbing out" your clear coating - I do work for a large cabinet shop that has an in-house finisher. I showed up with my cans of 2PAC and the guy knew just what to do, no questions asked, he did the preliminary clear on my playfield as well as priming and painting a reproduction pinball cabinet and backbox for $50, and told me to bring the pf back when I was ready and he would do the final clear coating (and level sanding) for no additional charge.

So, find out if there is a cabinet shop or furniture refinisher in your town. Those guys work with volatile finishes every day and are set up to work with them safely. Plus they know how these products behave and will probably need little to no explanation of what you're looking for. If your local professional is a nice person, they'll probably think it's kinda cool and want to help you out.

#3902 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Tiny specs of dust, or dips and gaps in the playfield will produce those areas.
Nothing to worry about.

Makes sense, thanks for the info.

Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

Take a soft cloth and wrap it around your index finger tip. Take your fingernail and rub over the mylar. Let me know if it works.

Thanks for the tip Bryan. It did not make a difference though. The adhesive spots are still visible.

The reason I posted this question is that although the original mylar was damaged, it was crystal clear so I was surprised to see the adhesive through the new mylar.

Jack

#3903 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

One avenue people might want to consider for "subbing out" your clear coating - I do work for a large cabinet shop that has an in-house finisher. I showed up with my cans of 2PAC and the guy knew just what to do, no questions asked, he did the preliminary clear on my playfield as well as priming and painting a reproduction pinball cabinet and backbox for $50, and told me to bring the pf back when I was ready and he would do the final clear coating (and level sanding) for no additional charge.
So, find out if there is a cabinet shop or furniture refinisher in your town. Those guys work with volatile finishes every day and are set up to work with them safely. Plus they know how these products behave and will probably need little to no explanation of what you're looking for. If your local professional is a nice person, they'll probably think it's kinda cool and want to help you out.

Nice advice.

Another popular cheap avenue is the backyard auto painters on the bulletin board at the local auto parts store.

#3904 4 years ago

So I have a couple of tricky waterslide repair spots to take on. Happily for me, they're not super-visible so if I don't nail it, it won't jump out. (The most major wear spots are in the areas where you can't get in easily to wax? You don't say!) But I'd like to try my best to get it right.

I could use some coaching on the sequence of this. I have scans of another playfield, so i can generate waterslides from those. First, the wear by the J in the J-E-T rollovers. The halftone dots there are orange (it doesn't read that way in the photo, but they are), so a waterslide doesn't work in this application. I'm assuming Ill just airbrush a yellow fade for that part. The blue-on-blue line art, however, is a different challenge. Should I use a waterslide to re-establish where the art goes, then put down frisket and slice through the decal? Will frisket just lift the decal off when I pull the frisket to put down a second piece of film for the second color?

I suppose I have the exact same questions about fixing up the back of the "#5" skater.

IMG_6938 2 (resized).JPG

IMG_6912 (resized).JPG

#3905 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

The halftone dots there are orange (it doesn't read that way in the photo, but they are), so a waterslide doesn't work in this application.

A color laser printer can probably do those dots.

Try to print them a little redder than you think you need, because some of that yellow will shine through.

Quoted from sethbenjamin:

The blue-on-blue line art, however, is a different challenge. Should I use a waterslide to re-establish where the art goes, then put down frisket and slice through the decal?

I'd probably frisket and spray the blue, then put the black waterslide on top.

Quoted from sethbenjamin:

Will frisket just lift the decal off when I pull the frisket to put down a second piece of film for the second color?

Once you put a decal down, you should shoot a thin layer of clear over it to protect it.

Waterslide decals are quite fragile until you clear them.

#3906 4 years ago

For the skater, waterslide decal to re-establish the lines and the number 5, then spot clear, then back to frisket and airbrush?

#3907 4 years ago
Quoted from sethbenjamin:

For the skater, waterslide decal to re-establish the lines and the number 5, then spot clear, then back to frisket and airbrush?

Hot Pink will be un-patchable, so plan on repainting all the pink, then black waterslide on top.

#3908 4 years ago

Thanks Vid! All in all, so far at least, this process is a lot less work that it sounds like in your description. No doubt I'm not working at the level that you would be, but your instructions have made it really easy to work along and get good results. If I can make it though the waterslide process, this project will be ready to clear.

The CPR website recommends allowing 6 weeks before repopulating a playfield, which seems excessive to me. If we're all using some variation on the 2PAC that you have recommended (I got mine at the local NAPA; it isn't the specific variety you mentioned but essentially the same stuff), is that really necessary? Not that there's any real rush, I'd just like to hear what you typically recommend.

#3909 4 years ago

CPR website is being conservative because when you are dealing with the public, someone is going to screw something up.

Also the 2PAC they have in Canada may be a different formula than other countries.

You can always do a fingernail test, if you can leave a mark, it's not fully hard.

#3910 4 years ago

Hey vid. I finally got my Mundial 90 going and I want to clean the circuit boards but also dont want to ruin anything since it's probably pretty damn difficult to replace. I believe you once said you had cleaned hundreds of circuit boards in the dishwasher. If so what soap do i use and do i nees to pull some chips out? How long to dry? Just air dry i imagine? Thanks for the help.

20170111_231242 (resized).jpg

#3911 4 years ago

So found out Omni only makes a fast or slow hardener. Was going to grab a fast and medium but just want to confirm fast is ok for both touchups and full sprays

#3912 4 years ago
Quoted from nikpinball:

Hey vid. I finally got my Mundial 90 going and I want to clean the circuit boards but also dont want to ruin anything since it's probably pretty damn difficult to replace. I believe you once said you had cleaned hundreds of circuit boards in the dishwasher. If so what soap do i use and do i nees to pull some chips out? How long to dry? Just air dry i imagine? Thanks for the help.

I'm not familiar with those boards, but looking at the picture, I'd not wash the potentiometers, relays or other mechanical devices that will fill with water.

You can just let the dishwasher dry them, they will come out hot and clean.

I'd back up those EPROMs before I did any washing, and upload them to the IPDB. You probably would never be able to find replacements if you can't burn new ones yourself.

EPROMs can bit-rot and go bad all by themselves.

#3913 4 years ago
Quoted from simplykind:

So found out Omni only makes a fast or slow hardener. Was going to grab a fast and medium but just want to confirm fast is ok for both touchups and full sprays

The speed is for warmer or cooler shop temps (or when we want the clear to catalyze before it melts the decals, lol).

It all works the same once it's hard.

#3914 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The speed is for warmer or cooler shop temps (or when we want the clear to catalyze before it melts the decals, lol).
It all works the same once it's hard.

Yeah, just didn't know if there would be any issues going fast for the full spray(like bubbling etc) as you mentioned before you use fast on touchups and medium on sprays... or so I thought I read. Thought I had a medium but it was a slow, went back to exchange and they only have fast and slow. Fast it is!

#3915 4 years ago

Stick to the suggest temps (that means the shop air temp, the playfield temp, the Omni temp all has to be the same correct temp) and you should be fine.

#3916 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I'm not familiar with those boards, but looking at the picture, I'd not wash the potentiometers, relays or other mechanical devices that will fill with water.
You can just let the dishwasher dry them, they will come out hot and clean.
I'd back up those EPROMs before I did any washing, and upload them to the IPDB. You probably would never be able to find replacements if you can't burn new ones yourself.
EPROMs can bit-rot and go bad all by themselves.

http://www.tecnopinball.org/doc_biblioteca.php
Here's a source for you for those odd rare roms in case you ever need it. Thanks for the advice. I have no clue what those potentiometers are for but theyre even on some of the small boards. Im afraid to turn them and mess something up

#3917 4 years ago

I sent my playfield for base clear coat and built a neat transport/levelling box. I did not strip the underside. The brackets on the sides are strategically placed so they do not hang on anything on the playfield. I thought I would share a picture.
-G

IMG_1339 (resized).JPG

#3918 4 years ago
Quoted from Plumonium:

I sent my playfield for base clear coat and built a neat transport/levelling box. I did not strip the underside. The brackets on the sides are strategically placed so they do not hang on anything on the playfield. I thought I would share a picture.
-G

Nice , I have wanted to build one of those to protect the playfield when it's out of the cabinet. Or for transporting.

#3919 4 years ago

That's great! Does the playfield drop in and just sit on the L brackets, or do you actually put some screws in from underneath? I would think if it is just going to be trucked a short trip and obviously never tilted, then gravity would hold it in place.

And then, this can just be set onto a table or wherever all as one assembly, and the clear coat then sprayed on from there?

#3920 4 years ago
Quoted from xsvtoys:

Does the playfield drop in and just sit on the L brackets

Yes it just sits on it. It could be screwed through the "L" bracket but no need really unless you want to flip the thing. The playfield cannot slide out of the frame. Also, when sitting, the playfield sticks out a little so the clear can reach the edge. The frame is slightly wider than the playfield anyway.

Quoted from xsvtoys:

this can just be set onto a table or wherever all as one assembly

Yes, sitting on top of sawhorses would be perfect. The playfield will sit leveled this way. The frame is 9" depth so plenty to clear all the hardware underneath the playfield.

#3921 4 years ago

Vid, regarding the HP scanner, if we are unable to find one for a reasonable amount, and we, oh, might have an old flatbed lying around, do you think that it would be possible to use? Take the closing cover off, flip it over, and fire away?

#3922 4 years ago

Only if the glass will be touching the thing your scanning. The scanner has a tiny focal length. Pull the object away from the glass and the image becomes very fuzzy quickly.

#3923 4 years ago
Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

Only if the glass will be touching the thing your scanning. The scanner has a tiny focal length. Pull the object away from the glass and the image becomes very fuzzy quickly.

I just verified this myself. That tiny gap is enough to throw the focus off. I then proceeded to ruin the scanner by attempting to mod it to lie flat on the glass. The good part about engaging in such folly is that it makes the current high price of the hp scanners much easier to swallow.

#3924 4 years ago

Don't forget to check locally for a 4600 or 4670 ScanJet, I got lucky and snagged one for $35 CDN the very day I checked my local classifieds. The Doxie Flip is pretty nice and very convenient (no wires).

#3925 4 years ago
Quoted from La_Porta:

Vid, regarding the HP scanner, if we are unable to find one for a reasonable amount, and we, oh, might have an old flatbed lying around, do you think that it would be possible to use? Take the closing cover off, flip it over, and fire away?

No, it does not come to focus on any model I've ever tried.

#3926 4 years ago
Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

Only if the glass will be touching the thing your scanning. The scanner has a tiny focal length. Pull the object away from the glass and the image becomes very fuzzy quickly.

Even the thickness of the glass when you try an scan a backglass makes it out of focus.

#3927 4 years ago

Vid, any suggestions on how to fix this...I know some really good welders, and could probably have access to mig or tig, just wondering if there is an easier way...

IMG-20170118-01771 (resized).jpg

#3928 4 years ago

Lucky for you, that would be a 3 minute TIG job.

#3929 4 years ago

Any of you guys used anything like this to scan graphics? Seems like it could be a cheaper alternative if used correctly, especially if it's on a bare play field that you can just scan straight on:

amazon.com link »

#3930 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Lucky for you, that would be a 3 minute TIG job.

perfect, thanks..

#3931 4 years ago
Quoted from La_Porta:

Any of you guys used anything like this to scan graphics? Seems like it could be a cheaper alternative if used correctly, especially if it's on a bare play field that you can just scan straight on:
amazon.com link »

I've tried those in the past.

Very hard to get an even, **square** scan.

They are better for scanning books than critical artwork.

#3932 4 years ago

I've had pretty good luck using a rafter angle square. In the picture below I'm using the bottom of the cabinet as a guide to keep the scanner square (there's a lip on the bottom of the square). You can do the same thing in other situations by using a 2x4 as a guide (I cut off the lip on one side of the square so it will sit flat). I won't say it's the best, or easiest way, but with a little practice you can get decent scans.

I think I missed my calling, I should be a hand model.

scanning-graphics (resized).jpg

#3933 4 years ago
Quoted from terryb:

I've had pretty good luck using a rafter angle square. In the picture below I'm using the bottom of the cabinet as a guide to keep the scanner square (there's a lip on the bottom of the square). You can do the same thing in other situations by using a 2x4 as a guide (I cut off the lip on one side of the square so it will sit flat). I won't say it's the best, or easiest way, but with a little practice you can get decent scans.

Yeah, when I tried it on a playfield, I clamped a Drywall T-square across and scanned with 20% overlap.

I let Photoshop do it's Photomerge to put the scans back together.

Although I was super careful, it was nowhere as good as the HP, because you could see where some lines were not straight.

Best scanner is still the Cruse:

cruse_scanner (resized).jpg

#3934 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Yeah, when I tried it on a playfield, I clamped a Drywall T-square across and scanned with 20% overlap.
I let Photoshop do it's Photomerge to put the scans back together.
Although I was super careful, it was nowhere as good as the HP, because you could see where some lines were not straight.
Best scanner is still the Cruse:

Damn...that thing is insane.

#3935 4 years ago

Here is another possibility:

amazon.com link »

#3936 4 years ago
Quoted from La_Porta:

Any of you guys used anything like this to scan graphics? Seems like it could be a cheaper alternative if used correctly, especially if it's on a bare play field that you can just scan straight on:

Yeah, I've used this to do a backglass. Like vid said, it's not the best and the lines weren't straight in places and spots were stretched and others were shrunk. I didn't care at the time. I merged them in Photoshop and re-drew every single line and color. I plan on doing this with my playfield as well. But this time I'm going to also take a Hi-Res pic and overlap that on top of the merged playfield pic in photoshop. This is so I can make sure I have the correct dimensions and it will be easier to trace. Here's my Flipper backglass before and after. Not perfect but I like the results.

Flipper_low_Res (resized).jpg

Backglass original pic (resized).jpg

#3937 4 years ago

Not to sidetrack the restoration thread too far (although this is certainly relevant). For a backglass you need to stitch good quality photos together and work out the effective dot pitch you wind up with. Printing should be no worse than 300 dpi, so do your work at 400 dpi or better and downsample at the end if you need to. You can use almost any camera if the lighting is good and most importantly you undo the lens distortion. There are many programs out there that can help. iPhones have very distorted images (take an image of graph paper then pull it in to PhotoShop and you will see). Undistort the images then stitch those together you can do a very nice job.

Even the HP scanners listed above are not perfect, they have scaling issues in them particularly at the edges of the scan. If you can only use the middle 75% of the scans you are better off which requires more overlap. I spend a good several hours correcting the poor job PhotoShop does, it is only meant to give good results for photos, it does not do better than several pixels which can greatly misalign things like key lines.

#3938 4 years ago

I would assume that if I'm scanning to make a decal of a small 1"X1" area...none of these would be that bad.

#3939 4 years ago

And don't forget, every large city has a few of those Cruse scanners for rent.

You can get an entire playfield scanned for ~$100, and any additional playfields are $40 if you bring it all in at the same time.

Bring a FAST USB3.0 jumpdrive with you or they will change you $10 for each DVD-R they burn with the scans.

#3940 4 years ago

That is pretty cool...I'd never have thought of that.

#3941 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

playfield scanned for ~$100,

The closet i can find is two+ hours and about double the $ Guess I need to move closer to the food.

THE BIG SCAN
Billerica, MA 01821

CRUSE SCANNING PRICING
Longest Side Price
Up to 18″ $110
19″ to 30″ $135
31″ to 48″ $200
48″ to 72″ $250
Over 72″ By Quote

Scan pricing is for 300ppi scans at 8-bit. Other resolutions and 16-bit scan pricing available on request.
Add $12 recording and verification fee, for CD/DVD per job.

#3942 4 years ago

Those prices seem really high.

Try calling like you did not see what the prices were (Hey, Fat Mike at Megaprintz said you guys might be able to help me....)

Tell them you are restoring an antique pinball machine (Pinball huh? I remember those!)

If they quote you a crazy price, say "Wow, that's 3x what I paid for the game! Any way you could help a brother out? I'm not in a hurry. I'll pay you entirely in cash and I can bring you guys some great coffee from this little shop I know of...."

It's worth a try, the worst that can happen is they say no.

#3943 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

And don't forget, every large city has a few of those Cruse scanners for rent.
You can get an entire playfield scanned for ~$100, and any additional playfields are $40 if you bring it all in at the same time.
Bring a FAST USB3.0 jumpdrive with you or they will change you $10 for each DVD-R they burn with the scans.

Whats the easiest way to find someone with one? I have searched and searched, but never found a good way to find someone.

#3944 4 years ago
Quoted from BrewNinja:

Whats the easiest way to find someone with one? I have searched and searched, but never found a good way to find someone.

There used to be a directory on Cruse's site with "scanners for hire", but I don't see it right now.

West Iridio - Seattle www.iridio.com 206-587-0800 5050 First Avenue S. Seattle WA 98134
West Iridio - Los Angeles www.iridio.com 310-516-5331 19681 Pacific Gateway Dr. Torrance CA 90502
West Iridio - San Francisco www.iridio.com 415-318-8030 555 Minnessota Street San Francisco CA 94107
West Color One www.coloroneinc.com 206-622-7107 411 2nd Avenue Ext. S Seattle WA 98104
West Irvine Photo Graphics www.ipgdigital.com 949-261-8777 26845 Vista Terrace Lake Forest CA 92630
West Color Reflections www.coloreflections.com 702-262-9300 4600 S. Polaris Avenue Las Vegas NV 89103
West MouseGraphics www.mousegraphics.com 480-894-1992 1414 W. 14th Street Tempe AZ 85281
West Thomas Reprographics www.thomasrepro.com 602-264-6871 817 E. Indian School Road Phoenix AZ 85014
Central Cushing Photo Graphis www.cushingco.com 312-266-8228 420 W. Huron St. Chicago IL 60610
Central Pro Color www.procolor.com 800-328-7154 1401 Glenwood Avenue Minneapolis MN 55405
Central Color Reflections www.coloreflections.com 713-626-4045 3773 Richmond Avenue Houston TX 77046
Central TreeTowns www.treetowns.com 630-832-8631 542 Spring Road Elmhurst IL 60126
Central Thomas Reprographics www.thomasrepro.com 214-880-0022 2811 Maple Avenue Dallas TX 75201
Central Tri-Color www.tricolorphoto.com 248-554-9453 2605 W. Fourteen Mile Rd Royal Oak MI 48073
East Color Chrome www.colorchrome.com 800-241-2545 3174 Marjan Drive Atlanta GA 30340
East Chromatics www.chromatics.com 888-254-0063 625 Fogg Street Nashville TN 37203
East Rieger Imaging www.rieger.com 301-869-8300 22516 Gateway Center Drive Clarcksburg MD 20871
East FLM Graphics - New York www.flmgraphics.com 212-279-6392 424 West 33rd Street New York NY 10001
East FLM Graphics - Fairfield www.flmgraphics.com 973-575-9450 123 Lehigh Drive Fairfield NJ 07004
East FLM Graphics - Princeton www.flmgraphics.com 609-987-0666 741 Alexander Road Princeton NJ 08540
East Color Reflections www.coloreflections.com 877-305-7945 2960 Stirling Road Hollywood FL 33020
East Color Reflections www.coloreflections.com 215-627-4686 400 Green Street Philadelphia PA 19123
East Color Reflections www.coloreflections.com 404-352-0352 643 Antone Street Atlanta GA 30318
East Davidson & Company www.davidsonco.com 800-772-8966 1750 Lower Roswell Rd. Marietta GA 30068

#3945 4 years ago

Check this out. Some idiot CUT the barcode out of my HS2 otherwise excellent shape playfield. A least they were nice enought to put a decal on

20170120_143737 (resized).jpg

20170120_143750 (resized).jpg

20170120_151224 (resized).jpg

#3946 4 years ago

Did they actually put a decal on?

The barcodes were usually just simple labels, placed on the playfield before clearcoating..

#3947 4 years ago

Games that were sold outside of their designated territories often had the barcode removed so they could not be traced back to the distributor.

#3948 4 years ago

Well someone went through effort to dig this one out and cover it up. No clear and indented in the entire area there.

#3949 4 years ago

Actually probably not a decal. Just a poor piss job of cutting through the clear and removing the barcode/clear

#3950 4 years ago

Guys ive read through a large chunk of this thread and still not sure how to proceed. My playfield has raised inserts which i plan on clamping and gluing. However, as the inserts separated from the clear, its left hairline cracks around them. Normally id just mylar over them to prevent it from getting worse, however i plan on keeping this for a while.

Is there a readily available clear i can purchase to fill these cracks?

20170120_193611 (resized).jpg

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