Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

4 years ago


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#4051 6 months ago
Quoted from dasvis:

Seriously?
This has all been covered many times in this thread... Read it!

I have read this thread and others, but many of the individual steps are discussed at length without noting how they fit into a full work stream. Based on the reading I've done, I'm pretty sure I have the order correct, but I was hoping to doublecheck before I made any stupid mistakes that would complicate the process.

As for the clear coat questions, I did go back and look for technical info, but all of the materials seem to be for home based products, not necessarily what a professional shop might use. I apologize if I overlooked something obvious, but this is an 80 page thread with a lot of very specific technical discussion, not all of which applies to every restoration.

#4052 6 months ago

I'm sure Vid will be happy to help next time he's in here. In the meantime...

Over the past few weeks I've utilized the new Pinside "Key Post" feature and marked about 140 posts. You can find them indexed at the top of every page in this thread.

If you find a post in this thread that you feel should be a key post and it isn't marked please PM me and let's discuss. If the description in the index isn't helpful I can try to write a better one.

#4053 6 months ago
Quoted from WhiskeyTango:

Follow ups:
1. Does my home in Florida count? We keep the house relatively cool @ 76-78.

THAT'S FINE.

Quoted from WhiskeyTango:

4. Would an acrylic pen be sufficient?

I HAVE NO IDEA. CREATEX PAINTS ARE ONLY $3, WHY RISK THE UNKNOWN?

Quoted from WhiskeyTango:

5. Is there a recommended clear for CPR boards?

ANY 2PAC WOULD BE GOOD.

Quoted from WhiskeyTango:

6. Flat as in level surface or surface finish?

BOTH. SAND THE PLAYFIELD BETWEEN CLEAR COATS, SO THE INSERTS ARE NOT TALLER THAN THE WOOD.

#4054 6 months ago
Quoted from DaWezl:

Apologies in advance, but I will probably have a ton of questions over the next few months as I restore my Hi-Deal playfield! I've read through this thread and read a ton of other restoration threads, so I have a general idea of the steps involved, but just to be sure, is this the order I should proceed in?
1. Repair wood gouges
2. Sand surface
3. Light coat of clear coat (sand?)
4. Repaint colors
5. Light coat of clear coat (sand)
6. Apply decals
7. Final clear coat

You are good except don't sand before decals.

They only stick to glossy surfaces.

#4055 6 months ago
Quoted from DaWezl:

As for the clear coat questions, I did go back and look for technical info, but all of the materials seem to be for home based products, not necessarily what a professional shop might use.

No, this thread says NOT to use home based products!

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/16#post-1668988

#4056 6 months ago

Thank you for clearing that up for me, Vid! I thought there might be a difference in the industrial terms vs what can be picked up by regular consumers.

Quoted from vid1900:

No, this thread says NOT to use home based products!
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/16#post-1668988

#4057 6 months ago
Quoted from DaWezl:

Thank you for clearing that up for me, Vid! I thought there might be a difference in the industrial terms vs what can be picked up by regular consumers.

All the auto paint suppliers will not sell you 2PAC or 2K if they think you are going to kill yourself spraying it.

Just like they won't sell it over the web (you have to call their toll free number and pay by credit card).

So you have to read the data about the product and ask for it like you use it every day.

If you sound like an idiot, they will refuse the sale.

You can ask a **dumb** question if you phrase it correctly. "Hey, I've never used this brand but the customer is requesting it. I'm right on the boarderline at 70*F in our shop, would you recommend the Med or Slow hardener?"

See how you act like you shoot 2K everyday, but you are only uncertain because of a new brand? See how you have read the data sheet, so you know you are on the line? The guy at the counter will gladly help you out.

#4058 6 months ago

Vid, I'm working on this right now. If it was in your hands, how would you proceed? I will never trust non adhesive Mylar after seeing this.

20170212_234552 (resized).jpg

#4059 6 months ago

Some questions on the subject of repairing scoop holes.. I am sure it has been brought up before. I looked but can't find a posts about it in this thread or a key post.

What is the best method for repairing these? What materials?

How do you make sure you've got the shape right and the straight edges straight? We'll all seen pics of Monster Bash scoop holes that are destroyed. If a guy picked up a game like this to restore, there is so much wear it's near impossible to tell what the scoop was originally supposed to look like.

I suppose you could buy a Cliffy or Mantis for that scoop to use as a guide, but you are still faced with filling in a whole lot of missing wood with something. What is that something?

#4060 6 months ago
Quoted from sohchx:

Vid, I'm working on this right now. If it was in your hands, how would you proceed? I will never trust non adhesive Mylar after seeing this.

Are you asking about what to do about the mylar residue? If so, https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration#post-547712

#4061 6 months ago
Quoted from Radius118:

Some questions on the subject of repairing scoop holes.. I am sure it has been brought up before. I looked but can't find a posts about it in this thread or a key post.
What is the best method for repairing these? What materials?
How do you make sure you've got the shape right and the straight edges straight? We'll all seen pics of Monster Bash scoop holes that are destroyed. If a guy picked up a game like this to restore, there is so much wear it's near impossible to tell what the scoop was originally supposed to look like.
I suppose you could buy a Cliffy or Mantis for that scoop to use as a guide, but you are still faced with filling in a whole lot of missing wood with something. What is that something?

There is some good info by Lonzo in https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/jurassic-park-restoration/page/2#post-3435886.
I have used the two part expoxy putty stick too. It works well and comes out very hard.

#4062 6 months ago
Quoted from sohchx:

Vid, I'm working on this right now. If it was in your hands, how would you proceed? I will never trust non adhesive Mylar after seeing this.

Non-adhesive Mylar is the dumbest thing ever invented.

It has chewed up so many Gottliebs.

You can do a conventional restoration; matching the colors, leveling the valley with 2PAC, then putting an adhesive protector on the top.

Or you can level the valley with 2PAC, and cut a new protector from 3" Mylar tape in green or blue, hiding the wear.

#4063 6 months ago
Quoted from simplykind:

Are you asking about what to do about the mylar residue? If so, https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration#post-547712

No I was asking about the excessive wear down to the wood where the pop bumpers are mounted. The mylar was already pulled after that photo was taken.

#4064 6 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Non-adhesive Mylar is the dumbest thing ever invented.
It has chewed up so many Gottliebs.
You can do a conventional restoration; matching the colors, leveling the valley with 2PAC, then putting an adhesive protector on the top.
Or you can level the valley with 2PAC, and cut a new protector from 3" Mylar tape in green or blue, hiding the wear.

So they do make colored mylar!!?? A friend and I were discussing that option if it were available just the other day and I had a feeling that it existed. I have only ever seen it sold in clear. So I would have to get the mylar as a sheet and use the old Gott mylar rings as a template to cut new ones, or are they sold pre cut?

#4065 6 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

THAT'S FINE.

I HAVE NO IDEA. CREATEX PAINTS ARE ONLY $3, WHY RISK THE UNKNOWN?

ANY 2PAC WOULD BE GOOD.

BOTH. SAND THE PLAYFIELD BETWEEN CLEAR COATS, SO THE INSERTS ARE NOT TALLER THAN THE WOOD.

THANKS VID! WHY ARE WE YELLING?! lol

I don't have an airbrush setup yet, so I was curious about the paint pens I've seen people using. It looks like I'll get plenty of use out it so I'll just need to bite the bullet.

#4066 6 months ago
Quoted from Radius118:

Some questions on the subject of repairing scoop holes.. I am sure it has been brought up before. I looked but can't find a posts about it in this thread or a key post.

What is the best method for repairing these? What materials?

It's the same as the shooter lane repair.

Patch with wood epoxy, paint to match.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/18#post-1730160

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#4067 6 months ago
Quoted from sohchx:

So they do make colored mylar!!?? A friend and I were discussing that option if it were available just the other day and I had a feeling that it existed. I have only ever seen it sold in clear. So I would have to get the mylar as a sheet and use the old Gott mylar rings as a template to cut new ones, or are they sold pre cut?

Yes, you can get rolls or sheets of a few different colors.

Blue, green and yellow are popular colors in transformer winding tapes.

Scrapbooking stores have some adheasive sheets, but often the Mylar is in metallic colors, so YMMV.

You have to cut your own. Mylar for pinballs only comes wood grain and clear.

#4068 6 months ago
Quoted from WhiskeyTango:

THANKS VID! WHY ARE WE YELLING?! lol
I don't have an airbrush setup yet, so I was curious about the paint pens I've seen people using. It looks like I'll get plenty of use out it so I'll just need to bite the bullet.

That's just my normal voice.

You don't need an airbrush, you can just use a #000 brush, and cover the keyline cracks.

#4069 6 months ago
Quoted from Radius118:

How do you make sure you've got the shape right and the straight edges straight? We'll all seen pics of Monster Bash scoop holes that are destroyed. If a guy picked up a game like this to restore, there is so much wear it's near impossible to tell what the scoop was originally supposed to look like.

You can use aluminum flashing and build a dam to hold fiberglass resin, if there is a ton of material missing:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cabinet-restoration-vids-guide

#4070 6 months ago

Am I nit picking or is this shooter lane good enough for clear coat? Is the he idea to remove all the little ridges of dark? These images are naptha'd. I am planning on shellacking the sanded wood to match the age of the wood.

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#4071 6 months ago
Quoted from Langless28:

Am I nit picking or is this shooter lane good enough for clear coat?

I'd say it needs work.

See those 2 dark spots where the ball always hits? They would tell me it's not ready.

Quoted from Langless28:

Is the he idea to remove all the little ridges of dark?

The ridges look OK, just not the 2 dark areas.

#4072 6 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I'd say it needs work.
See those 2 dark spots where the ball always hits? They would tell me it's not ready.

The ridges look OK, just not the 2 dark areas.

I worked a little more and I feel it's better. This is the point where I don't feel comfortable taking too much more off. The lane still has a good shape and the balk is centered.

IMG_5502 (resized).JPG

#4073 6 months ago

Looks much better.

You can try a almost dry pass of light brown/blonde and see if you can totally nail it.

#4074 6 months ago
Quoted from WhiskeyTango:

I don't have an airbrush setup yet, so I was curious about the paint pens I've seen people using. It looks like I'll get plenty of use out it so I'll just need to bite the bullet.

Quoted from vid1900:

You don't need an airbrush, you can just use a #000 brush, and cover the keyline cracks.

On my restoration, I used both depending on the application. Early in this thread somebody did a series of tests for opacity using a number of different paint pens. Molotow was the clear winner; I got the smallest one I could (1mm tip, if I remember correctly) and used it to very efficiently draw back in the key lining around the inserts. I was also able to touch up the printing on the inserts using the pen. Once cleared, it looks absolutely perfect. I found the pens to be a lot easier than a brush, though a detail brush certainly has its place as well. If you have shaky hands, the pen may be the way to go for you.

#4075 6 months ago

I typically use a nib for keylines. Works like a brush in that you dip it in the paint and then draw your line, but I find it easier to work with than a brush (especially as I get older and the hands aren't quite as steady).

grafix-incredible-nib (resized).jpg

#4076 6 months ago

Hi Vid I'm working on my first pf restore and Have a color question .I want to repaint the white areas most of witch are under plastics but some aren't do I paint them white like they were 30+ years ago, or do I maybe keep them a little yellowish so as not to look to bright and stick out?

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#4077 6 months ago

Stern NFL I'm contemplating on buying.

I'm not familiar with this era of Sterns, 2001. There is mylar over the majority of the playfield. In this pic there is insert damage under the mylar ( I believe it to be insert damage, or decal?)

Were there clear coats on this era of playfields? Would you expect the mylar lift to be difficult on this or fairly straight forward.

Not many of these machines made, and they are hard to come by.

Thanks Vid in advance for any info.

Stern NFL Bears - Left Slingshot Detail (resized).jpg

#4078 6 months ago

Is that some kind of conversion?

#4079 6 months ago
Quoted from tonycip:

Is that some kind of conversion?

Stern made football versions of Striker Extreme.
I believe same "football" playfield artwork and your
choice of football team backglass.
Rams, Dolphins, etc, etc, etc.

#4080 6 months ago
Quoted from tonycip:

Hi Vid I'm working on my first pf restore and Have a color question .I want to repaint the white areas most of witch are under plastics but some aren't do I paint them white like they were 30+ years ago, or do I maybe keep them a little yellowish so as not to look to bright and stick out?

It's a hard choice because:

1. Bright new white will reflect more light onto the playfield.

2. Bright new white might look "too white" if all the plastics are yellow.

You can stick down some white vinyl "contact paper" and see how it looks. If it looks OK against the plastics, you can permanently paint it.

#4081 6 months ago
Quoted from kilmarnock1350:

Were there clear coats on this era of playfields? Would you expect the mylar lift to be difficult on this or fairly straight forward.

Yes, it's clearcoated.

Factory Mylar might come off easy, but some of that aftermarket stuff can be tough.

That pic makes the game look pretty nice, you might just leave the Mylar alone. No one is going to notice that little bit of ghosting on the insert.

#4082 6 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Looks much better.
You can try a almost dry pass of light brown/blonde and see if you can totally nail it.

Good call on the blonde as a match. Problem is it will match the sanded to old aged (also sanded) but darkens the old sanded to be out of match. Earlier on you said you cannot spot touch-up w/ shellac. Should I do all bare wood and maybe a few more passes being selective on where the new coats go? Top corner just a single coat.

Then hopefully last question, you sure clear will fill up these inserts if put back into the playfield on the wood lip? Not too sunken?

IMG_5523 (resized).JPG
IMG_5525 (resized).JPG

#4083 6 months ago
Quoted from Langless28:

Good call on the blonde as a match. Problem is it will match the sanded to old aged (also sanded) but darkens the old sanded to be out of match. Earlier on you said you cannot spot touch-up w/ shellac. Should I do all bare wood and maybe a few more passes being selective on where the new coats go? Top corner just a single coat.

You could always do white around the upper arch.

It would reflect more light in that dim area.

It will take a lot of sanding to try and get it all down to one color, otherwise

Quoted from Langless28:

Then hopefully last question, you sure clear will fill up these inserts if put back into the playfield on the wood lip? Not too sunken?

Clear will fill that no problem.

If you chose to glue them flush with the playfield face, you would have to make sure that the epoxy went all the way around the wood lip for full support.

#4084 6 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You could always do white around the upper arch.
It would reflect more light in that dim area.
It will take a lot of sanding to try and get it all down to one color, otherwise

Is it ok for the wood areas to be left as they were, once the sanded wood is shellac'd? What I mean is I have seen CC play fields where the exposed wood areas are different shade than the areas covered by the apron, etc. Is this acceptable?

#4085 6 months ago
Quoted from Langless28:

Is it ok for the wood areas to be left as they were, once the sanded wood is shellac'd? What I mean is I have seen CC play fields where the exposed wood areas are different shade than the areas covered by the apron, etc. Is this acceptable?

It's fine, for instance, for the under flipper shadow on an old Gottlieb be a lighter color than the surrounding wood.

Unless you are hanging the playfield on a wall, as a restorer, you need to envision how the playfield will look reassembled.

Spend your time on the parts people will see!

1 week later
#4086 5 months ago

Here's a question for you guys with considerably more experience with restoration than me.

Is it possible to create a playfield insert using some sort of liquid plastic and a mold made from another insert?

I'm hitting brick walls trying to find teal hotdog inserts for my STTNG.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.

#4087 5 months ago
Quoted from Walamab:

Here's a question for you guys with considerably more experience with restoration than me.
Is it possible to create a playfield insert using some sort of liquid plastic and a mold made from another insert?
I'm hitting brick walls trying to find teal hotdog inserts for my STTNG.
Thanks in advance for your opinions.

I have never done it but I think you totally could. My limited somewhat related experience is showed in https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/lotr-refresh#post-3232697. The end result is very hard. You 'll need to sand the insert as the sides are slightly higher. Getting the color right is also going to be a consideration.

#4089 5 months ago
Quoted from Walamab:

Here's a question for you guys with considerably more experience with restoration than me.
Is it possible to create a playfield insert using some sort of liquid plastic and a mold made from another insert?
I'm hitting brick walls trying to find teal hotdog inserts for my STTNG.
Thanks in advance for your opinions.

Have a look at this thread: http://www.maaca.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=17839&p=188775&hilit=insert#p151985

He has successfully made inserts for people.

#4090 5 months ago

I have read most of this great resource and didn't see anything about fin screws. I have a Time Warp playfield I am working up with fin screws holding down the bump poppers and the flippers and didn't know whether to remove all the fin screw before I cleared, touched up, etc. or if I should epoxy them in place and then clear and touch up. I have a lot of touch ups I need to do around each of the fin screws as well. I'm afraid they will move around a little and break up the playfield if I clear over them. I'm also afraid I will not be able to get them back in without busting up the clear if I take them out. A little advice would be nice.

#4091 5 months ago
Quoted from TroopMac:

I have read most of this great resource and didn't see anything about fin screws. I have a Time Warp playfield I am working up with fin screws holding down the bump poppers and the flippers and didn't know whether to remove all the fin screw before I cleared, touched up, etc. or if I should epoxy them in place and then clear and touch up. I have a lot of touch ups I need to do around each of the fin screws as well. I'm afraid they will move around a little and break up the playfield if I clear over them. I'm also afraid I will not be able to get them back in without busting up the clear if I take them out. A little advice would be nice.

Take them out for sure. Putting them back in is easy as long as you pre-drill through the clear with a sharp bit first.

#4092 5 months ago

That is what I was thinking. I just didn't know how hard it would be to get them back in through the clear even if I pre-drilled because of the the fin part of the screw. Thanks for the fast reply. I also just found the part in this massive document about finned screws. Post #3130!

#4093 5 months ago

Question, I've got a playfield hole that needs repair on my TZ in a spot that takes a real beating.
The post came loose and damaged the wood on top of playfield, under the playfield looks good. I repaired it once years ago with some wood glue and now I notice the wood has broken on top again and the hole for the post is a bit out of round from being bashed on when it was loose I suspect.
Any advice appreciated.
Thanks
RVH

IMG_2084 (resized).PNG

#4095 5 months ago
Quoted from RVH:

The post came loose and damaged the wood on top of playfield,

I'd drill out the hole to the next dowel size.

Glue in a hardwood dowel with TightbondIII

Re-drill the proper size hole and make sure there is a washer on top and bottom.

#4096 5 months ago

Got it vid, you're a saint.
Thanks!

#4097 5 months ago

Hey vid I took some scans of of an area where I wanted to paint and am trying to make some water slide decals but when I open them in another program (other then photo shop) they seem to change size? (bigger) how do you keep them in there original scale. I'm trying to put a few on a sheet at a time to save decal paper .thanks

#4098 5 months ago

I only know Photoshop.

I would guess that your DPI or Pixel size is different in your project vs. your scan.

#4099 5 months ago
Quoted from tonycip:

Hey vid I took some scans of of an area where I wanted to paint and am trying to make some water slide decals but when I open them in another program (other then photo shop) they seem to change size? (bigger) how do you keep them in there original scale. I'm trying to put a few on a sheet at a time to save decal paper .thanks

This drove me crazy as well. In Photoshop Elements, the image doesn't necessarily display at 100%, even though the file size/pixel count is a 1:1 scan. I worried over this for a long time before figuring it out; when I opened the pshop file in Preview and chose to view the image full size, it was fine, the perfect size.

The other thing to be aware of is, when printing, the settings must be correct. I took my files to Staples for printing and got the decal print all cut out and ready to go before realizing that it was *slightly* smaller than it was supposed to be. Went to the cool local copy shop next time and they got it right away, made sure settings were good, and I was out of there in 5 minutes with all my decals ready to go, printed the correct size. (I printed out a test on regular paper at home and had them print out a test for me to verify that the size was correct; probably an unnecessary precaution at the copy shop but it was cheap insurance against wasting another sheet of waterslide paper)

I was going to just have the copy shop print color decals I needed and do the insert decals myself, but my home laser printer was not nearly opaque enough. It cost like a dollar or two to go to the copy shop and the decals were nice and black.

#4100 5 months ago

I was going to try making a copy on paper checking it against the playfield adjusting the print size if necessary then I was going to cut them out scan them on my printer then just take the scan images to the print shop and make a copy onto the waterslide paper. that way
I wouldn't have to worry about the size changing .I'll try what you suggested thanks

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