Thursday, December 17, 2015

Job 10: Finishing the Playfield

It's now 5 weeks later and the clearcoat should be fully cured.  The next step is to finish the playfield. As I mentioned in the previous post, the last layer of clearcoat went on  with a rough, bumpy texture for some reason, so I started with a 320 grit sandpaper and sanding block to take out the bumps.  I was careful not to go too deep, though. The result was a much better, if hazy surface.

Next, I went over the playfield again with increasingly finer papers: 600, 1000, 1200, 1500, and 2000. For the last three I lightly sprayed the playfield  with water and sanded wet, which made the process faster and less messy.

Then, I got out the rotating buffer and gave the playfield three more passes with liquid polishes.  The result is a near-mirror finish!

Before I went any further, I needed to apply protective mylar to the playfield. I got pre-made circles for under the pop bumpers but also made custom shapes for key areas: between the pops and the row of six targets and between those six targets and the top rollovers. These were the mot-damaged areas on the playfield when I first started.

First, I cut out a shape in plain paper.

Once it looked right, I traced it onto the back of the mylar.

Then I secured it into place with tape and used the "hinge" method to adhere once side at a time to the playfield.

The top of the playfield is now protected in key areas.

Finally, it was time to give everything a coat of wax...

... and buff it to a high shine.

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