(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration

By vid1900

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 6,813 posts
  • 638 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 30 days ago by pincity
  • Topic is favorited by 1,538 Pinsiders
  • Topic is sticky in its sub-forum


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Topic index (key posts)

142 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #7 Playfield damage assessment. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #8 Insert damage assessment. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #34 How to sand your new inserts flat. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #35 Cleaning old glue out of the insert holes. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #38 Prime the insert with 3M Plastic Primer before gluing. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #60 Repairing Insert Ghosting - fill, clean, remove bubbles, cover. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #61 Repairing Insert Ghosting - clamp overnight. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Post #76 Source for needles - https://www.dispensinglink.com/needles.html Posted by rancegt (6 years ago)

Post #84 Air brush information. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#4041 2 years ago

Thanks for all of this fantastic information and sharing your expertise.

I've been looking for what to do about the damage in the attached image. It isn't a clear coat or a decal problem (I think). It appears to be inside the insert. I don't feel the "cracks" on the back side of the insert or on the front surface. Is there a way to fix this without replacing the insert?

dark areas look like internal cracks

Thanks again for your great contributions!

#4043 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Even if you buy a brand new insert, the same **problem** may happen again the moment you spray the clear on it.
That is called "crazing" and it does not spread or get worse.
When you sand an insert to make it flat, sometimes it exposes invisible internal fractures that only appear when the clear is applied.
If this was a million dollar restoration, I guess you could buy 10 inserts, sand them flat, spray them with clear, and choose the best one to install.

Thanks for the info and explanation. I don't know where'd I get a replacement anyway. I sent CPR an email enquiring if they had some "spares" to sell. No answer yet.

Thanks again. You are da man!

2 weeks later
#4086 2 years 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.

3 months later
#4440 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It's not cured yet.

Can't you use a hair drier to help speed the curing along?

2 months later
#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!

1 month later
#4853 2 years ago

I'm going to try my hand at a playfield restoration thanks to all the great information Vid has documented in this threat.

I have a Pin Bot playfield on the way to serve as my first "victim". I can tell from the pictures I have of it that its going to need a lot of cleaning before I start the repairs.

I am concerned about the playfield having Black Mold on it. Is it possible to tell from this picture? The seller did not indicate it had this problem and all communication has been great with him.

Would you guys mind taking a look so I can prepare to deal with it if it does have Black Mold? My area of concern is the white/gray area near the rockets above Saturn.

Thanks a million for this thread!

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#4866 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Try Magic Eraser on another white area that would be covered by plastics.

Thanks Vid!

I've started the clean up and this stuff hard to get off. I'm trying Naptha with a cotton cloth first. the rag gets completely dirty but It doesn't look much better on the playfield. I've ordered some 99% Iso Alcohol to use with the melamine sponge. maybe that will work better...like you recommended .

I have another question too. The "white" areas that I have gotten clean doesn't look white at all. They are more of a light beige/yellow. Frankly, it looks like a top coat/varnish of some sort has yellowed over time like plastics tend to do. I'm inclined to repaint it bright white but am concerned that, should someone want it when I'm done, it won't be an accurate restoration. are the areas that look "off-white" supposed to be bright white or am I just seeing the signs of the playfield's/exposure age?

Thoughts from the group and you Vid would be appreciated. I have a while before I'm going to be able to paint .

Thanks again!

#4872 2 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Pinball rule #1: You can't win! Hahahahahahahahahahahaha...............

Thanks Vid. I can work with that . I like the bright white so that's what I'll go with.

#4876 2 years ago
Quoted from Walamab:

Try Magic Eraser

I started the cleanup of the Pinbot playfield with ME + 99% Iso Alcohol. This stuff is working VERY well. Colors are still vibrant under the grime. I'm hopeful this will end up being a beautiful restoration .

Thanks a million for this thread Vid and answering the myriad of questions we all seem to come up with.

1 week later
#4910 2 years ago

I'm almost ready to spray my first lock down coat of clear on the Pinbot playfield I'm restoring. I've noticed in many posts that people put old bulbs in the lamp holes.

What purpose does this serve?

I have a completely unpopulated playfield (front and back) so no sockets to hold old bulbs.

Is there an issue with getting clear in the holes themselves?

I can see doing this if you are trying to protect mechanisms and wiring on the back side of the PF.

Any guidance will be appreciated!


#4912 2 years ago
Quoted from La_Porta:

If you have no sockets, you need no bulbs

thanks for the quick response and thank you for the insight. I thought this might be the case but there's some black magic to this stuff and I'm trying to avoid mistakes .

1 week later
#4983 2 years ago
Quoted from La_Porta:

Decals are placed, last coat of clear is on

Great job! where are the decals? . One of these days I'll be brave enough to do this to my Firepower.

7 months later
#5820 1 year ago

Has anyone ever used a waterslide decal to repair a small portion of cabinet art? I'm thinking I could do this to fix the fade of the guy in the cryo on the sides of the Demolition Man cabinet. I realize it will be very be thin and prone to more damage...

Any other thoughts?

#5822 1 year ago

Could definitely “seal”it with something. Will likely take some experimentation.

#5826 1 year ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

Here is a small thread


#5830 1 year ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Put some clear over the water slides, or they just peel off

Vid - When you say clear to you mean 2PAC? or is there a simpler approach?


3 months later
#6035 1 year ago

That could be yellowed varnish or lacquer. I had something similar that was visible on the white areas of a Pinbot PF. ME and alcohol worked with some effort. You have to be careful not to take it down through the paint though.

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