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Surf'n Safari cleanup - dull playfield

MarkS

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10 Years
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Oct 14, 2013
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185
Location
Devon
Alias
jonah
I have picked up a Surf'n Safari which brings back a lot of fond memories from playing it in the early 90s! :) I'm not capable of doing a full strip down / renovation job on it but I'm trying to clean it up, replace rubbers, etc and have noticed that the playfield is quite dull. The whole machine was pretty dirty inside and out, but the playfield seems to have a mylar (?) protector over the whole playfield... I've seen other stock photos which suggests this is on all machines, but mine is really dull apart from "unused" (?) areas. See the red triangle area by the RH sling shot here:

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The area closest to the sling looks much clearer and brighter.

I'm guessing the main areas are dull because they are damaged basically? Worn balls and/or the wrong/abrasive cleaner used on the playfield? As the bright area edge is so neat and precise I'm thinking it's more likely wear?

Is there any way to improve this to help brighten it up?
 
Novus 2 should improve that without too much bother. It's probably wise to test on an area that isn't too obvious but I can't imagine it causing any problems.

edit: just found this
 
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I have used a car polishing machine with cutting compound, tried by hand but not as good results.
It will improve it but not as good as those nice areas you can see.
 
Its dull because its full of micro scratches. You need to polish it. Ultimatley the best result would be to remove it but you can try novus. I used T cut on my Centaur but mask off any areas not covered by mylar. then a lot of layers of wax buffing each one (I usually add 10 coats).
 
Thanks for the replies. Sorry I should have clarified that photo is after cleaning twice with Novus 2 - so the area by the slingshot came up quite nice, but the main areas just didn't improve as I'd hoped. If I keep applying the Novus 2 is that going to polish it more or do I need to use a wax instead? If I can get the main playfield to look like the area by the sling that would be a good result... there are bad areas on the playfield where it's not protected so it's never going to be immaculate anyway, it would be nice to be less dull tho :)
 
I use 3M cutting compound then wax, did this on a few playfields with mylar. Much better but not perfect, try some wax and see how it looks.
 

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Novus 2 is quite a mild abrasive, great for cleaning and does polish to an extent, but for 30 odd years of scratches on Mylar its a bit limited with what you can achieve by hand.

If you don't have a proper car polisher there are attachments you can get for a normal cordless drill with foam polishing pads.


It is possible to pull off the Mylar, revealing a new looking playfield, but there's a real risk of pulling up the artwork and the glue residue is a nightmare to clean up.

Also, not exactly shine related, but go along the edge of the Mylar with your fingernail, to remove the black line, makes the transition between the Mylar and painted areas much less noticeable
 
Definitely not going down the route of removing the mylar 😱

Hmmm I don't have a car polisher and my drill isn't cordless (does that matter or is it just the convenience of the cord not getting in the way?)... can you use a cordless impact driver instead? And do you just buff the playfield dry with the sponge or do you need to do it with Novus/wax? And if it's wax, which one? So many questions... :)

I have just been cleaning up the mylar edges with cotton buds which seems to work quite well.
 
Hmmm I don't have a car polisher and my drill isn't cordless (does that matter or is it just the convenience of the cord not getting in the way?)..
The speed is the factor, too fast and you can burn/melt the mylar. It mainly saves effort and, yes, you can do it by hand
do you just buff the playfield dry with the sponge or do you need to do it with Novus/wax? And if it's wax, which one?
You need to wax it. Use a Carnuba wax. Gerlitz No1 Guitar wax is great (but hard to find) A car polish will do. Don't get too hung up on this, the mylar prevents the wear the wax would otherwise do (and its done a great job so far!)
 
Definitely not going down the route of removing the mylar 😱

Hmmm I don't have a car polisher and my drill isn't cordless (does that matter or is it just the convenience of the cord not getting in the way?)... can you use a cordless impact driver instead? And do you just buff the playfield dry with the sponge or do you need to do it with Novus/wax? And if it's wax, which one? So many questions... :)

I have just been cleaning up the mylar edges with cotton buds which seems to work quite well.
Corded should be fine, as long as the attachment will fit, and it has a low speed setting, too fast and polish will fling about and the pad will heat up and you may burn the Mylar, it sounds scary, but just keep moving and feeling where you have been with your hand.

Really you need two steps, polish that has tiny abrasive particles which will remove the micro scratches on the Mylar and bring back some shine, it comes in different grades, but without spending too much something in the middle would be best, so something like this should work....


After you have brought back the shine, wax is needed, it does add a bit of gloss, but its main use is to provide a sacrificial layer between the playfield and the ball, a waxed playfield just plays a bit faster and nicer, also much like when used on a car, any dirt and grime is easier to remove as its on top of wax, not getting into the playfield.

There are a million choices for wax, Carnauba wax is what is normally recommended, I like these little Dodo Juice tester pots, as it fits nicely in the coin box, and there's enough for a good few coatings.

 
Thanks for the further help, I will give the motorised polishing and waxing a go... but I might finish the general clean and put it all back together first.
 
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