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(Topic ID: 135900)

What the rave with clear coat ?

By Wonbadmfer

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Pecos
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    #1 5 years ago

    I'm posting this more on a rant than anything else
    So it drives me nuts to hear people selling games and talking about Clear coat like it some kinda new invention.
    I just bought an NOS stern TSPP playfield and guess what! it had clear on it, crazy right it was from the factory like that.
    Now I may be wrong about all this or missing something. But what is the big F'in deal? Most games come factory clear coated. Now I totally understand if it is an old game and someone clears it and it looks pretty slick. It reminds me when you read a sales add for a car today and they tell you it has power steering and brakes, that's not a selling point thAt stuff is supposed to be on there. And there are the people who charge big bucks because the clear was Done by So&So.
    I paint automotive for years. Spraying a flat board with clear takes very little skill. Even if I coated it 6 times wet sanded and buffed it would look amazing. But P.S. It's not hard almost anyone can do it with a few helping tips. And the special so called super ceramic clears and what have. No big deal if you can buy it so can i.

    Well I think I'm done. If anyone agrees with me let me know
    If I'm wrong please help me understand.
    Remember this is my rant not yours don't be rude and this wasn't posted to start arguments

    #2 5 years ago

    Not everyone CAN clear coat. If it was so easy then the top notch guys would have no business. I have seen pfs with dirt and such trapped in the clear, and others that look spotless.

    #3 5 years ago

    I guess I alwAys forget that there are dumb people out there that do half ass jobs and think it looks great. Maybe they just don't know any better

    #4 5 years ago

    comparing factory clear to automotive clear is pretty silly.

    #5 5 years ago
    Quoted from Robotoes:

    comparing factory clear to automotive clear is pretty silly.

    This. I bought an NOS LotR playfield and the factory clear was so thin you could see the raised areas from the ink. I'm sorry, but the only pinball company that had clearcoat that was anywhere near the quality of a good auto clear job was Capcom.

    #6 5 years ago
    Quoted from Wonbadmfer:

    I guess I alwAys forget that there are dumb people out there that do half ass jobs and think it looks great. Maybe they just don't know any better

    Sometimes they even start weird threads.

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from Wonbadmfer:

    Even if I coated it 6 times wet sanded and buffed it would look amazing.

    Six times would be too much , at some point the clear will adhere to itself better than the base it's put on and that will become a problem . Also this stuff takes time to do , if you think your time is worthless well then so be it ,I value my time. I only have a short time here on this Earth.

    #8 5 years ago

    i typE ran dom caps whEn ive bEen drinkIng too

    #9 5 years ago

    I have to have clear. I turned down a WW because it was one of the runs that did not have it. It is a pet peeve of mine. I do not want to have PF wear into the wood. I enjoy working on pins but touching up or fixing playfields is not my gig. I would screw it up worse. Soooo, when buying, if it has clear and no wear into wood, I am an interested buyer every time!

    #10 5 years ago

    People are always shocked how quickly an older NOS playfield's art chips away, even in a home environment.

    The old paint and lacquer "clear coat" has become brittle, and the never compressed before wood fibers are soon crushed, releasing the paint.

    'Ya got to clear 'em to keep 'em......

    #11 5 years ago

    no question to buy a clear coat playfield vs non clear coat is a no brainer..that said I only shoot clear lacquer on most of my cars and some playfields..this does not last in the long term vs clear coat ..I can easy tint clear lacquer to give it a golden yellow effect that I want on older em's...most cabinets of the 60s are shot in lacquer..the price of quality ppg lacquer for my 53 chevy was $203.00 a quart..i will use 2-quarts.. I have 12 quarts of clear lacquer bought many years ago that is still stable so I will seal in dirt over a playfield is same as painting over a small dent in a fender...I think when people hear the word clearcoat they only can picture guy with spray gun shooting...not the many hours of repair and prep it took to get to that point..then to block flat and finish after..i love the protection and durability of todays clear coat products but I myself don't go for what I call 'carnival shine' look.

    #12 5 years ago

    Thanx for all your input everyone that's all I was looking for is just to hear people's thoughts

    Has anyone ever tried a Polly clear for hard wood flooring? I use that stuff all the time on fishing lures that I custom paint and it holds up very well it's thick and super durable. Just a thought

    The clear on the NOS TSPP that I bought was so thick I had to dig it out of some of the holes

    #13 5 years ago
    Quoted from Wonbadmfer:

    Has anyone ever tried a Polly clear for hard wood flooring?

    Yep, it turns yellow, and never gets hard enough to put a mirror shine on it.

    Beyond garbage for playfield use.

    Quoted from Wonbadmfer:

    The clear on the NOS TSPP that I bought was so thick I had to dig it out of some of the holes

    Very odd. Usually the clear is so thin on them that you can see the woodgraining in the light.

    #14 5 years ago

    I'll try and take some pics of it and let y'all be the judge

    #15 5 years ago

    One thing I am curious about it - in the case of an EM - what would those of you who own or have played cleared EMs say about the difference in gameplay once a playfield is cleared? I am having an internal debate about whether or not I want to find someone to restore my Space Odyssey playfield. I have swapped out all the GI and such and cleaned everything up as best as I can, but I am pretty badly color blind and super nervous that I would screw up the color matching so I am hesitant about taking the plunge into playfield restoration. It kind of bothers me now because when you walk up to the table it looks so good with all that GI really blazing and it's very eye catching. I've got a CPR repro backglass and I have redone the lighting in the head as well. Then you get up close and the playfield is definitely rough. Not beat to hell, but pretty worn down.

    I am really curious what people think about the feel of cleared EMs. I would hate to lose the feel of mine. I am really good about keeping mine waxed and the ball moves very fast and almost has a "floaty" feel to it. I notice it even more since I got my second pin. I'm sure a cleared playfield would be even faster and smoother, likely significantly so. Looking forward to reading responses from some of you who have played EMs with cleared playfields. I'm especially curious of any of you feel that clearing an EM makes it play completely different.

    #16 5 years ago
    Quoted from SilverBallKid:

    One thing I am curious about it - in the case of an EM - what would those of you who own or have played cleared EMs say about the difference in gameplay once a playfield is cleared?

    The play is slightly quicker because the ball has a much smoother surface to roll on.

    It's almost spooky to hear how quietly it rolls.

    But if you want it to play how it used to after clearing, you de-polish the playfield with Rottenstone. That way the paint is protected from wear, but you don't have that mirror surface.

    #17 5 years ago

    Ohh boy. I have seen several clear coated pf's and all are not created equal. Send that TSPP pf to Ron Kruzman or any other quality clear coater and report back your thoughts. Better yet report back after 5000 plays. It is not as easy as just shooting clear the real work is in the prep.

    Here is a pic of one of Kruzmans


    #18 5 years ago

    I have every restore I do cleared. Although I do my own painting I still have a professional clear my playfields. I love it, Hell I'd clear my Johnson if the wife would let me!




    #19 5 years ago

    Is that old playfield for sale?

    #21 5 years ago

    Why not just buy any old Bally/Williams game, pull the playfield, touch it up and clear it with Chroma Clear or any similar product and then put it all back together. Then tell us how many hours it took and then ask us the same question. Shooting the clear isn't nearly as difficult as removing the playfield and then reinstalling it and making it all work again.

    #22 5 years ago

    95% of the playfields that I clear aren't level. It's not that easy, I wish it was shoot the clear, block sand and buff. IMG_20150815_151153.jpg

    Xenon I just finished. ....checkout those tomato plants

    #23 5 years ago

    I use oil based poly to do tbe edges of gobbleand vuk holes. Just until I get money for cliffys. You guys don't think it could ruin anything do you? Worse comes to worse can't I just peel it off like that one photo in vid1900's guide?

    #24 5 years ago


    I cleared and Mylared my 1969 Williams Expo. I didn't want that ultra-sheen look that comes with clear coats and new Mylar because it wasn't period appropriate. I finally decided that keeping all of that hard touch-up work that I had done to make the playfield look good was more important than than the original playfield look and finish. Expo is much faster now and I don't have to worry about creating new ball swirlies and damaging the art work. There is a lot of comfort in that.

    You don't get that "pinball rolling on wood sound", but that is more noticeable with a slow table. Some people really like that sound and don't want to give it up.

    Have a look at the end results for yourself:

    I expect the playfield to look just as good 46 years from now as the day I put the Mylar down, with a duller sheen on the Mylar of course - which for an EM is probably a good thing. If more EMs were protected with Mylar, more games would have survived and there wouldn't be a need for pinball enthusiasts to worry about restoring their playfields.

    If the next owner wants a more original looking playfield, they can remove the Mylar and dull the finish. Heck, I can do it myself if I change my mind. I took Vids advice and waxed the playfield before putting on the Mylar so it shouldn't be too hard to remove. They will then have a beautiful, authentic looking playfield to pinball on.

    Bottom line: you have to decide what your priorities are. A simple cleaning and routine waxing might be the best choice for you. Be aware though that once you touch-up the playfield with acrylic paint you are locked in to some sort of clear coat.

    Would I do a touch-up and clear of another EM? OXO is next in line for "The Treatment." I would have to say yes. Every time I walk up to play Expo I have a hard time believing how great it looks and that I was the one that did all of the work. Very rewarding experience overall.

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