(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

6 years ago



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#4651 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

What is your end goal?
Clean game?
Restore and clearcoat game?

Remove haze and ball trails from factory finish, leave with good shine and wax. No refinishing/clear, no resetting of inserts. That's the goal.

#4652 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Remove haze and ball trails from factory finish, leave with good shine and wax. No refinishing/clear, no resetting of inserts. That's the goal.

It could have floor finish on it from a previous owner.

I've seen a couple of these this year that have a haze that does not buff out by conventional means. Yet under the plastics, the playfield takes a wonderful shine.

Pull off the apron and see if you can obtain polish with just plain ol' Novus2 on the factory finish. Just put a glob on a paper towel and go back and forth in a straight line.

#4653 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It could have floor finish on it from a previous owner.
I've seen a couple of these this year that have a haze that does not buff out by conventional means. Yet under the plastics, the playfield takes a wonderful shine.
Pull off the apron and see if you can obtain polish with just plain ol' Novus2 on the factory finish. Just put a glob on a paper towel and go back and forth in a straight line.

Areas without ball travel have a shine to them already. It was mainly the center of the pf that is dull. The non dull areas shine up great as normal. The dull stuff and ball trails aren't.

These are before photos. Note near the rocket you can see the raw pf next to the Dulled Mylar. The second photo of under the mini pf shows the degree of ball trails (not much... not a groove).

The area under the mini pf I expected to clean up easily with the heavier compounds and was disappointed to see virtually no change.

IMG_3632 (resized).JPG

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#4654 2 years ago

Now you stripped the top side, I would bite the bullet and remove the Mylar and clearcoat the playfield. Even if it requires some touch ups, it will look amazing.

#4655 2 years ago

Hello Vid,

Is there a way to install the back panel and still secure the playfield with the clamps with a rotisserie like mine? I have perforated angle iron holding the playfield.

Bigger clamps? Do I wait till the end to install it? Thanks!

IMG_2013 (resized).JPG

12
#4656 2 years ago

Thanks to this thread, Vid and others, I'm done with my playfield restoration. Would have been impossible without you. Thanks again!

Before:
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After:
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#4657 2 years ago
Quoted from KornFreak28:

Hello Vid,
Is there a way to install the back panel and still secure the playfield with the clamps with a rotisserie like mine? I have perforated angle iron holding the playfield.
Bigger clamps? Do I wait till the end to install it? Thanks!

I can't see anything in the picture that would keep you from spinning the playfield over to the backside.

#4658 2 years ago

What I meant was After installing the rear panel, How do you secure the playfield with the clamps? Without the rear panel installed, it's easy to clamp the playfield down but once the rear panel is installed, it will surely be in the way. I hope that made sense. Should I secure the playfield by placing the clamp on top of the rear panel? I don't really like the idea though....Thanks

#4659 2 years ago

OK, I think you are saying that the "rear panel" is the Rear Rail? The wood rail that goes across the back of the playfield to keep it from warping?

Once you screw that rail on, you now use the top of the rail to clamp down onto the angle iron.

You can hang a playfield by the rear rail, so it's certainly strong enough to clamp to.

#4660 2 years ago

Vid,

Actually I'm referring to this rear panel in the pic below. As soon as I install it, there is no way to confidently clamp and secure the playfield to the angle iron anymore because it will get in the way. The black side rails also get in the way. All the pictures I've seen of this style rotisserie always show the playfield without the rear panel installed. I would rather install the rear panel now rather than wait until I got more stuff installed on the playfield. Do you suggest I clamp and secure the playfield from the top of the rear panel? I just don't think securing it that way is a safe option?

What do you suggest? Thanks!

IMG_2016 (resized).PNG

#4661 2 years ago

Try to find an existing hole in the back panel or playfield that you can use to secure it to the rotisserie .

You can sometimes screw two "L" brackets to the playfield, then run bolts through them to the angle iron.

#4662 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Try to find an existing hole in the back panel or playfield that you can use to secure it to the rotisserie .
You can sometimes screw two "L" brackets to the playfield, then run bolts through them to the angle iron.

Great tip! I'll see what I can come up with. If push comes to shove, I'll secure it by clamping down on the black side rails I guess. Thanks Vid!

#4663 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Areas without ball travel have a shine to them already. It was mainly the center of the pf that is dull. The non dull areas shine up great as normal. The dull stuff and ball trails aren't.
These are before photos. Note near the rocket you can see the raw pf next to the Dulled Mylar. The second photo of under the mini pf shows the degree of ball trails (not much... not a groove).

For those that care..

My situation was a diamondcoat game that had a dull haze that would not change with normal novus hand polishing. You can kind of see the finish in the center of the PF in this shot..

f451fde9b7b8cc0dcc5344c60ba18368e5139283 (resized).jpg

Also in that shot, you can see the light ball trails in the blue area (some are actually from the ball guides). I was not looking to clear this game, just get rid of the haze and get a polished surface on the factory diamondcoat and hopefully get the mylar looking better.

The first pass was with the Meguiar's Swirl Remover 2.0 vid uses in his guide after wet sanding. That did not knock down the haze. I was worried about sanding due to not putting on a new finish.. and some insert variances.

I tried a higher cut Meguiar's compound.. Medium Cut (7 on their scale of 1-10) and actually had GREAT results. It took the haze off and looked great.. even without stepping down through other polishes. Inspired by that, I wanted to tackle some of the smaller scratches I had and the Medium Cut itself couldn't remove. I did a test with 2500 grit sandpaper.. and then looked at how it cleaned up with the Medium Cut after. It looked great.. so I then tried 2000 git, followed by 2500 on some of my scratches and was happy with the result. Feeling good, I did a pass with the 2500 grit over the entire playfield because I liked the smooth finish I had gotten in the tests. So I did 2500 git, then Meguiar's Medium Cut which removed all the sanding haze and got a nice shine. I then stepped down to their Swirl Remover (3 out of 10), followed by their Machine Glaze (1 out of 10), then show glaze. The finish looks fantasitc IMO. I've not even waxed it yet.. and here's how it looks. Note it's not a glass finish because it's not been refinished... that's the 30+ years of ball dimples.

IMG_3669 (resized).JPG
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IMG_3662 (resized).JPG

So have no fear... with diamondcoat you can still get a great polished look and you can get a good return for stripping that pig of a game.

Special shoutout to knockerlover for letting me pick through his supplies and for encouraging me along

#4664 2 years ago

Thanks for posting that - I had an Addams I could never quite get as shiny as I wanted, even after removing the Mylar and Novusing the hell out of it. Meguiar's always seems a little scary but it obviously did an outstanding job here.

I am going to shop/polish my sample this winter along with a MB so this is all great info

#4665 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Thanks for posting that - I had an Addams I could never quite get as shiny as I wanted, even after removing the Mylar and Novusing the hell out of it. Meguiar's always seems a little scary but it obviously did an outstanding job here.
I am going to shop/polish my sample this winter along with a MB so this is all great info

Yeah I think as long as you keep expectations of what you are going to remove reasonable... great results can be had. If you aren't going to refinish the PF, you are limited in how much you are going to take-off material wise. So deep grooves, etc aren't going away. You aren't going to get a glass surface like the guys who just laid down 3 coats of clear

I was really pleased with how quickly the sanding haze was removed by the compound. I was worried it would be a gradual process, but it looked great right away. I mainly just worked with a drill too.. since the cut compounds want straight up rotary action.

#4666 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Yeah I think as long as you keep expectations of what you are going to remove reasonable... great results can be had. If you aren't going to refinish the PF, you are limited in how much you are going to take-off material wise. So deep grooves, etc aren't going away. You aren't going to get a glass surface like the guys who just laid down 3 coats of clear
I was really pleased with how quickly the sanding haze was removed by the compound. I was worried it would be a gradual process, but it looked great right away. I mainly just worked with a drill too.. since the cut compounds want straight up rotary action.

Did I read it right that you were trying to remove the dullness from the Mylar originally?

#4667 2 years ago

I know this has come up a few times, but I'm having real trouble removing the staple style rails in the playfield. I've tried applying a bit of heat, but I can't get them to budge. I need them out to repaint the playfiled, but I don't want to cause any more damage in the mean time. Any further advice would be much appreciated.

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#4668 2 years ago

Get a flat mini pry bar from HF for $1.99

stack 2 credit cards together to protect the playfield from damage.

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#4669 2 years ago

So am I stuck with these swirls? Magic eraser and Naptha isn't budging it.

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#4670 2 years ago

Is the yellow that faded in person or is that just the camera? Almost didn't recognize the game at first...

#4671 2 years ago
Quoted from tomds:

I know this has come up a few times, but I'm having real trouble removing the staple style rails in the playfield. I've tried applying a bit of heat, but I can't get them to budge. I need them out to repaint the playfiled, but I don't want to cause any more damage in the mean time. Any further advice would be much appreciated.

When I removed mine, I placed a book (or at least part of it) under the rail, and placed a screwdriver between the book and the rail to push up on the rail. I slowly worked my way up little by little from both sides. The thicker the book, the better.

#4672 2 years ago
Quoted from KornFreak28:

When I removed mine, I placed a book (or at least part of it) under the rail, and placed a screwdriver between the book and the rail to push up on the rail. I slowly worked my way up little by little from both sides. The thicker the book, the better.

Many thanks I'll give this a go and if not I'll purchase the pry bar as vid suggested.

#4673 2 years ago
Quoted from KornFreak28:

When I removed mine, I placed a book (or at least part of it) under the rail, and placed a screwdriver between the book and the rail to push up on the rail. I slowly worked my way up little by little from both sides. The thicker the book, the better.

On mine, I removed the few screws that were there and then from the side flexed the whole side rail outward. This self-levers the rail up a bit on the staples. The lets you get under the rail without crushing its square edge. The rails are also partly stuck down from having been pressed down onto the original clear layer, but it just pops free.

#4674 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Now if we did not have a clean scan, we would create our own halftone dots.

Vid - You wouldn't happen to know how to do this (half tone dots) in Adobe Illustrator would you?

I'm working on a vector redraw for Firepower and trying to keep the raster effects to a minimum.

Thanks in advance and for all the great information you provide!

#4675 2 years ago

VID- I have a Arena I would like to make a little more presentable. Mylar is is good shape but there are wear areas that I would like to touch up. Paint doesn't look like it will withstand mylar removal. ( I got a fingernail under an edge and the paint was going up with it). I have a feeling you would tell me to wax it, play it and if I like it that much find a better one. But are there other feasible options to address the paint loss even if a full clear coat restoration is not possible?

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#4676 2 years ago
Quoted from Walamab:

Vid - You wouldn't happen to know how to do this (half tone dots) in Adobe Illustrator would you?
I'm working on a vector redraw for Firepower and trying to keep the raster effects to a minimum.
Thanks in advance and for all the great information you provide!

http://www.macworld.com/article/1162616/software-graphics/create-scalable-vector-halftones-in-illustrator.html

#4677 2 years ago
Quoted from sohchx:

So am I stuck with these swirls? Magic eraser and Naptha isn't budging it.

Those look very deep. I have a bad feeling that they are all the way through the paint.

Test a spot FAR AWAY FROM THE PLAYER at the top of the playfield and see if MagicEraser and 94% alcohol can even touch it.

If not, scan, repaint, apply decals.

#4678 2 years ago
Quoted from smailskid:

VID- I have a Arena I would like to make a little more presentable. Mylar is is good shape but there are wear areas that I would like to touch up. Paint doesn't look like it will withstand mylar removal. ( I got a fingernail under an edge and the paint was going up with it). I have a feeling you would tell me to wax it, play it and if I like it that much find a better one. But are there other feasible options to address the paint loss even if a full clear coat restoration is not possible?

You could touch up the spots, wax, then Mylar.

Or you could touch them up and get a plastic overlay.

#4679 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You could touch up the spots, wax, then Mylar.
Or you could touch them up and get a plastic overlay.

Would it be best to spot clear in these areas and then touch up to lock wood down? or place the paint right on the wood?

If no to spot clear coat would you still mask off airbrush colors, place decal to replace detail, then place mylar right over top?

favorite place to buy mylar? plastic overlay?

Thanks for the thread and the continued advice since it was started four years ago!

#4680 2 years ago
Quoted from smailskid:

Would it be best to spot clear in these areas and then touch up to lock wood down? or place the paint right on the wood?

Usually the edge starts chipping on a spot clear, but you can try it.

Quoted from smailskid:

If no to spot clear coat would you still mask off airbrush colors, place decal to replace decal, then place mylar right over top?

You've got to be careful, as the Frisket could pull flaky paint off the playfield. That is why a lockdown layer of clear is good when restoring an entire playfield.

Quoted from smailskid:

favorite place to buy mylar?

Marco has it in 22" wide sheets, sold by the foot.

Quoted from smailskid:

plastic overlay?

Ain Plastics

#4681 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Waterslide decals stick best to shiny surfaces, so I sand around them.

Ive been sanding and sanding (400 grit) to remove the fish eyes that presented themselves when my gun failed to atomize properly, what is a good grit level to sand the surface with to ready it for the water slides?

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#4682 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Those look very deep. I have a bad feeling that they are all the way through the paint.
Test a spot FAR AWAY FROM THE PLAYER at the top of the playfield and see if MagicEraser and 94% alcohol can even touch it.
If not, scan, repaint, apply decals.

Got it!!! I had completely forgotten that alcohol is to be used in place of Naptha. With a good amount of elbow grease the eraser and 91% took most of it out. Thanks Vid!!

20170814_183621 (resized).jpg

#4683 2 years ago

One thing I've not seen mentioned is that, in my opinion, it's a good idea to use a degreaser type spirit on the playfield before doing anything. Here in the UK, its known as panel-wipe and is used on body panels in the paint shop before any sanding, etc is carried out. It removes grease, silicones, etc. If you don't do this, then any sanding or work with a magic eraser, as on a playfield, you are actually pushing the muck into the playfield (or body panel if machine sanding) and likely giving yourself extra work, plus you risk the muck surfacing after it being cleared.
I dont use water based panel wipe as it seems too aggresive whereas, in my experience anyway, solvent based is fine. As always, try it on a test piece, like under the ball touch for instance, to make sure it won't harm the main visible playfield surface.

#4684 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

moisture.
Don't ever drip oil into the hose you are going to use for painting. If you have already done this for your other air tools, buy a dedicated painting air hose.

In regards to this, will oil placed In the tool inlet contaminate the hose? I recently sourced a pneumatic sander that I used and per my previous post I'm on the verge of being able moving forward and don't want to have any more preventable issues.

20170815_060023 (resized).jpg

#4685 2 years ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

Ive been sanding and sanding (400 grit) to remove the fish eyes that presented themselves when my gun failed to atomize properly, what is a good grit level to sand the surface with to ready it for the water slides?

Hit the little fisheyes with used sandpaper (if it's used, its super flexible) on the end of you finger.

The next time you shoot, they will all level out.

Buff the finish to shiny so the water slides will stick to it. They don't stick very well to a matte finish.

#4686 2 years ago
Quoted from Classicpinballs:

One thing I've not seen mentioned is that, in my opinion, it's a good idea to use a degreaser type spirit on the playfield before doing anything. Here in the UK, its known as panel-wipe and is used on body panels in the paint shop before any sanding, etc is carried out. It removes grease, silicones, etc. If you don't do this, then any sanding or work with a magic eraser, as on a playfield, you are actually pushing the muck into the playfield (or body panel if machine sanding) and likely giving yourself extra work, plus you risk the muck surfacing after it being cleared.
I dont use water based panel wipe as it seems too aggresive whereas, in my experience anyway, solvent based is fine. As always, try it on a test piece, like under the ball touch for instance, to make sure it won't harm the main visible playfield surface.

In the States we use Naphtha to de-wax before we start.

Guys in auto paint shops use PPG DX330.

But yes, you are correct, always clean your playfield before you start working on it!

#4687 2 years ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

In regards to this, will oil placed In the tool inlet contaminate the hose? I recently sourced a pneumatic sander that I used and per my previous post I'm on the verge of being able moving forward and don't want to have any more preventable issues.

As long as you don't store it where the oil can run backwards out of the tool and into the hose, you should be OK.

#4688 2 years ago

Hi Vid,

After several 2pac clear coats I've noticed some cracks in my inserts. That's what you call ghosting right?

Capture (resized).PNG

You said that it's a good idea to glue the inserts from the back to prevent them moving over time.

So before I spray the last coat, what kind of glue and method do you recommend to have these inserts fixed?

Any pictures appreciated thanks

#4689 2 years ago

Use 2 part epoxy and glue your inserts from behind.

If the whole insert has sunk below the wood surface, bring it back flush before you glue.

There are tons of videos on Youtube on how to heat up inserts with a hair dryer and get them flush.

#4690 2 years ago

Anybody have any thoughts on how to repair the ply wood that split off under my play field? My initial thought is to cut out a piece that fits , and then glue it in place. This happened where the auto launcher in mounted under the play field. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

IMG_2446 (resized).jpg

#4691 2 years ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

Anybody have any thoughts on how to repair the ply wood that split off under my play field? My initial thought is to cut out a piece that fits , and then glue it in place. This happened where the auto launcher in mounted under the play field. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

If you still have the piece that split off, you can glue with Titebond3 and clamp it between 2 rails so it dries flat and straight.

If you have lost the piece, then you would have to graft on a new piece of ply.

#4692 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If you still have the piece that split off, you can glue with Titebond3 and clamp it between 2 rails so it dries flat and straight.
If you have lost the piece, then you would have to graft on a new piece of ply.

Thank you

#4693 2 years ago

Okiedokie, I have my Firepower torn torn down on the topside as of list night and honestly I am a little overwhelmed as what to do next.

20170819_052943981_iOS (resized).jpg

The playfield looks pretty ok from a distance (as usual) but there are obviously some issues. Mylar did bring up paint:

Around the planet:

20170819_053015204_iOS (resized).jpg

In the center:

20170819_053008505_iOS (resized).jpg

And around the pops.

20170819_053003119_iOS (resized).jpg

Fun fact, the top 2 pops' mylar was removed with canned air. The bottoms were removed with a heat gun. Really wish I used canned air for the whole table now. In any case all the glue is removed.

For the 4 areas around the pops I am proposing painting the fiery area yellow and then using a laser printed waterslide decal with a red and clear gradient to simulate the gradual pattern.

For the black and red areas I am going to of course color match and airbrush.

So a couple questions. My inserts are colored ok, but some of them are slightly raised, and a couple of them have some cupping. Not major, but it's there. The lettering on the inserts looks good, the rings around the inserts does not. Should I yank out every insert and re decal them willy-nilly or should I leave the inserts installed and attempt to fill the inserts after levelling them? Should I do the cupping fill *before* or after the first clear session?

Also are there any... *any* decent acrylic pens with different colors I could use? Redoing the stars and the planet colors is going to be a monumental pain in the butt.

And one last question. The white lettering on the playfield - would it be possible to spray the area white and then place an inverted BLACK waterslide on top of the white painted area? Is that a feasible solution? Most lettering on this table is white on black. Printing a black outline with clear lettering and then sliding it on top of that area seems like it would work.

#4694 2 years ago
Quoted from alexmogil:

My inserts are colored ok, but some of them are slightly raised, and a couple of them have some cupping. Not major, but it's there.

Warm the raised inserts, press them flat, epoxy them from behind.

Quoted from alexmogil:

Should I yank out every insert and re decal them willy-nilly or should I leave the inserts installed and attempt to fill the inserts after levelling them?

Don't remove inserts unless you ABSOLUTELY have to. if you break one, the new one will not match.

Touch up any chips and scratches, then fill cupped inserts:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/17#post-1717646

Quoted from alexmogil:

The white lettering on the playfield - would it be possible to spray the area white and then place an inverted BLACK waterslide on top of the white painted area?

That's the way to do it, unless your local hobby shop can print you White decals (most of them can).

#4695 2 years ago

Ok, Vid. I'll work on the inserts and then work on the clear next. Thanks for the advice.

Uh... how about that paint the fireballs yellow and waterslide the red gradient idea?

#4696 2 years ago

Hi Vid, I can't seem to locate any 3M AC77 plastics primer but Loctite SF770 is available here locally at Acklands Grainger.

So far I have determined two things:
- Both the 3M and Loctite product are designed for improving the adhesion of CA glue to plastics.
- Both have two sevens in the product name...

Do you know if these products are equivalent with respect to bonding Epoxies to plastic?
Thanks Vid!

IMG_20170815_174321976 (resized).jpg

#4697 2 years ago
Quoted from alexmogil:

how about that paint the fireballs yellow and waterslide the red gradient idea?

That's how the silkscreener did it 40 years ago, so that's how you should do it too.

#4698 2 years ago
Quoted from klr650:

Hi Vid, I can't seem to locate any 3M AC77 plastics primer but Loctite SF770 is available here locally at Acklands Grainger.
So far I have determined two things:
- Both the 3M and Loctite product are designed for improving the adhesion of CA glue to plastics.
- Both have two sevens in the product name...
Do you know if these products are equivalent with respect to bonding Epoxies to plastic?
Thanks Vid!

Take an old insert, prime with sf770, glue on a piece of wood, try to break it free.

If the glue is stronger than the face of the insert, that sounds like a good replacement.

(can't wait to hear the results!)

#4699 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That's how the silkscreener did it 40 years ago, so that's how you should do it too.

I'm so smart.

Cool, I'll get on it and come back after I screw up the next thing.

#4700 2 years ago
Quoted from tomds:

I know this has come up a few times, but I'm having real trouble removing the staple style rails in the playfield. [...] Any further advice would be much appreciated.

A little late answering this post but I had a few pics of how I proceed for mine.

IMG_20150913_205434 (resized).jpg

IMG_20150913_205746 (resized).jpg

Basically used a small pair of neddle nose pliers as a pry bar.
Levering against as thick as possible a piece of wood that I could slide under the rail.

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