12/27/2014, Clearcoated playfield

The days before Christmas, I took time to fill in most of the post holes. Many of the holes could not hold the post studs anymore because they were stripped. The holes for the guides were also too large. Sometimes larger screws were used instead of the original screws. I’m going to change the studs back to the correct size, so that involved filling the playfield holes.  Some of the holes were so stripped they required two skewers to fill the hole.  I will end up drilling a pilot for each filled post hole to make sure that the post is at the correct position.

I ended up picking the bamboo skewers and glue method. I took a bamboo skewer, dipped it in some wood glue, then jammed it in the hole. After the glue dried, I used dikes (diagonal pliers) to cut off the extra skewer. Next, I used an exacto knife to make it flush with the playfield and get it ready for sanding.  Here’s a quick picture of the acupuncture playfield.


The days around Christmas gave me some time to work on the playfield.  You may remember in the last few pictures that the playfield had the old art. I spent a couple quality hours with the orbital sander to remove the old art and create the “white wood”.  I ended up using 180 grit sandpaper to remove the artwork, and moving up to 220 grit sandpaper for the final smooth coat.  I purchased some 600 grit sandpaper, but since this is a a sublayer under the eventual mylar, it didn’t seem worth it.

After finishing the sanding, I used masking tape to mask off all the holes/light sockets in the playfield.  Polyurethane isn’t conductive, so it will destroy all the lamp sockets that it coats.  After masking off all the holes in the playfield, I wiped the playfield down with a rag, then wiped it down with some mineral spirits.  Let that dry and did a second wipe down.

The weather outside was over 50 degrees, so I could spray polyurethane outside and avoid the fumes.  I used four coats.  The first coat soaked into the wood as expected, the second coat soaked in a little bit, in a few areas, but most of it provided good coverage.  The third and fourth coats provided perfect good smooth coats.  The playfield stayed outside for a few hours to out gas.  Here’s a quick picture of the current playfield.


I started looking for a backbox.  Sarah had some but they were too expensive for what I needed.  I just got in contact with K’s Arcade, and they think they might have some good candidates.  Hopefully I can also pick up the few remaining parts that I need.  That includes stuff like a lockdown bar, the plate that the lockdown bar locks into, a couple of flipper buttons, etc.  Mostly little bits that I haven’t picked up yet.

Next up will be putting the playfield back together.  Making a big order from Pinball Life for LED bulbs and some other random playfield parts that are broken and the parts I can’t scrounge from somewhere else.  I’m hoping to get the playfield into the cabinet by the end of January, but end of February is more realistic.

To finish the art, the top playfield parts will need to be removed again, and mylar added, and recoated with clearcoat, but that is many months away.  I still do not have any idea how I’m going to create the art on the playfield.   I have a couple ideas for art on the cabinet and backbox.

After the playfield is back together, and in the cabinet, I can start programming the rules.  That will involve finishing the framework, and hand coding all of the functions.  I’m not going to take the time to have the auto-generator to create the function code.  While that is a cool idea, I’m not sure how many people would use it, or if people would simply hand code the rules so they have more control of the machine.

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