(Topic ID: 229198)

When do YOU replace your pinball? Can you polish old ones?

By Slade

6 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by Zitt
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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    #1 6 months ago

    I am strictly talking EM games here, I am sure it varies game to game and player to player but I have heard so many different answers that I would enjoy hearing what other Pinsiders actually do. I was told, since I only own 2 wedgeheads that get played nearly all morning long, and then again all evening long, every day, that I should replace my balls about once a month or so (I have a 5 year old and he beats on them, but also I usually host parties for my friends and family). This seems like a good plan for me. But I would love to hear what you other folks actually do.

    They are super cheap, so frequency will not offend me, I just want whats best for my pins. I love these babies.

    Has anyone every tried taking a SOS scrubby sponge and cleaning one? Do you ever lube them?
    Is it different for EM's vs moderns?

    #2 6 months ago

    A scratched up ball will tear up the playfield faster than a new smooth ball.

    With a new ball, I always clean off the oil with a degreaser, and put some wax on it. Then replace the ball as needed.

    An SOS sponge is coarse steel wool with soap. That's just going to scratch up the ball.

    Once a ball is used, I recycle it. Although, lately, I've been dropping them into a clear plastic globe.

    #3 6 months ago

    +1 on waxing a new ball before using it. Where can you recycle old pin balls?

    #4 6 months ago

    If you don't have magnets in your game, then I recommend using the harder chrome pinballs as they will stay smoother longer. The Ball Baron has the Ninja pinball that is quite nice and I use them.

    #5 6 months ago

    Def wax new balls. I usually wax my plunger at the same time. I used to like to wax the knockers too but that's when I was way younger and was still in the honeymoon phase. I would love to change/wax balls/shooter rod weekely but the older I get I feel like I only do it every couple mounths. Sometimes there is a birthday or anniversary in the mix and they get changed/waxed extra.

    #6 6 months ago

    I put balls in a tumbler when there are a little used. It takes a few days to get them back super polished. Probably not worth it. I do them 20-30 at a time for 2-3 days

    #7 6 months ago

    If a ball isn't chipped I shine mine up a soft moist cloth, Mother's mag wheel polish and elbow grease, holding the ball and rubbing it into the cloth and rotating it to cover the whole surface. I could use a tumbler but I need the exercise and I like pinball balls too much to just throw them away.

    #8 6 months ago

    I put my old ones in a large beermug looks cool
    I saw someone put them in his gumball machine

    #9 6 months ago

    I buy the harder chrome balls, de-grease them and wax my playfields regularly. Balls with just minor scratches and chips soon kill playfield surfaces so cheaper to replace a ball or two than have to restore a playfield!

    #10 6 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    With a new ball, I always clean off the oil with a degreaser, and put some wax on it. Then replace the ball as needed.

    What kind of wax should one use? The same as for the playfield?

    #11 6 months ago
    Quoted from branlon8:

    What kind of wax should one use? The same as for the playfield?

    Same as you use for PF. I use Mothers gold but peoples preference on here when it comes to wax is varied to say the least.

    #12 6 months ago

    Take out balls from game, look at them under light and magnification:

    Hazed: In the tumbler overnite.
    Scratched/nicked: In the never to be used again bucket.

    Don C

    #13 6 months ago

    Half the time I just replace them. But also have had really good luck using the buffing wheel on the grinder. Polishes them like new. Be sure to have a back stop behind the polishing wheel because one gets a way once in a while. Only takes 30 seconds to a minute using the green polishing compound bar and the wheel.

    #14 6 months ago

    I've polished some pretty nasty ones to shinier than new using a lathe, various light abrasives, then Mother's Aluminum and Mag polish.

    #16 6 months ago

    I usually take most of my machines to TPF each year... it's become a "religion" for me to replace the balls with new ones as I wax the PFs (clean the titans) for TPF each year. That way every machine I have has fresh balls for the abuse they'll receive at TPF.

    I tend to wipe my new pinballs with a rag before I put them in the machine; nothing else is really done at that point since the PF has already been waxed.

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