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Thread: Playfield Plywood

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    Tokie Owens velcrobomb's Avatar
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    Default Playfield Plywood

    Has anyone here ever cut a new playfield from Mohogany plywood, cut the holes and then nail the pins in from scratch? I measured the plywood on my other machine and it is 20mm thick but I'm curious if 3/4" would work. 3/4" is slightly thinner.

    I picked up 3 machines recently from an antique shop that was going out of business. The one I'm concerned with is a 1975 Nishijin B with a Poker Zodiac Center. I've completely dissasembled this one and the playfield plywood is completely rotted but the mechanics are are OK.

    Really, is it even worth it? Or should I just clean and stow the other parts for another machine later?
    20181209_142635.jpg20181209_142523.jpg20181209_142515.jpg

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    Blind Shooter machgo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    Sounds like a great project to me! I wouldn't think you would need mahogany plywood. Cheaper plywood would do I'm sure, unless you already had the mahogany. I bet 3/4 would work OK.

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    Pachi Puro Moparformances's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    we had a member do a new play field out of acrylic several years back..

    the only issues i can think of is the thickens of the tulips and other features that pass threw the ply.. also keep in mind most ply that is sold as 3/4" thick is actually thinner and measure 23/32.. hardwood plys might be closer to the actual measurement..

    keep us posted
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    Tokie Owens velcrobomb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    OK cool then. I was actually expecting a "Don't go there" response but I think it will be worth it to give it a go. I think you're right about the hardwood ply though Mopar, I may consider maple instead of mohogany.

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    Pachi Puro Moparformances's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    Quote Originally Posted by velcrobomb View Post
    OK cool then. I was actually expecting a "Don't go there" response but I think it will be worth it to give it a go. I think you're right about the hardwood ply though Mopar, I may consider maple instead of mohogany.

    as an after thought ya might consider gluing a door skin or the like to one side to build thickness
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    the mahogany plywood or other hardwood is only the surface veneer. the interior plys may be decent quality and maybe not. also, if it's for the playfield you'll be covering it up anyway. i would use quality baltic birch sourced from a lumber yard as opposed to the box stores. ApplePly is another great choice.
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    Fever Hunter Rumpled's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    I had one that was rotted. As long as it is intact, I glued mine back by taking wood glue and smearing it in between the layers and and using boards and clamps. It took about 4 -5 times to get it back solid and now it is fine. I just warn you that you should pre drill the races hole and those filled in but the rest I could hammer away.

    So so you may be able to keep the board. Mine was separated like a deck of cards.
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    Blind Shooter MagicDan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    I also am working on a machine that the back board was in rough shape. I did the glue and clamp method and it came out pretty good. Keep in mind as long as it’s functional, that’s all you need. Doesn’t have to look good!

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    Tokie Owens velcrobomb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    I took a little time off to take care of some other things. I started this back up today. I bought a peice of 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood and cut it to 18"x23-3/4". I used some laquer thinner and a wide putty knife to separate the top layer of the original plywood off. I clamped it to the new peice of wood and traced the cut holes, nail holes and raceway holes.
    I intend to use the top layer of the original plywood as a router guide to cut the new holes.
    The pocket holes and the lower portion of the tulip holes in the plywood look to be drilled in at an angle which I believe will be the trickiest part. From what I gather they are at a 19 angle (from 90). I plan to make a jig to drill them.
    Honestly, If I get this new plywood to work the first time, I'll be impressed with myself.
    I think I want to make another jig for the nail holes as well and drill pilot holes for them all.
    I'll post some pics in a couple of days.

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    Pachi Puro mxfaiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    All of the nail holes are drilled at an angle which is the trickiest part.

    Usually when setting nails they should be set between 3-5 degrees, with 4 degrees being optimal. Of course that is the angle off of 90 degrees pointing towards the top of the playfield.

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    Pachi Puro mxfaiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    I'm getting things mixed up again.

    Nail angles are set to 0-12 degrees. Usually when we rebuild machines we set all the nails to 4 degrees.

    This is a handy little gauge that we got a few of (years ago) but it gives you a lot of information.
    http://www.ohirasyoukai.com/kougu/ka..._gauge006.html
    Last edited by mxfaiman; 02-10-2019 at 04:13 PM.

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    Tokie Owens velcrobomb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    So I got a set of metric forstner bits 15mm-21mm for $15 on amazon because the auger bits really chewed up the the veneer on the plywood. My second attempt went much better. I traced all of the larger holes from the original playfield top veneer layer.
    taped holes.jpg
    I then put some masking tape over the areas where I'd drill through and traced again over the tape. I used a small framing square to find the exact spot jackpot hole center and then put the veneer back on to sanity check my placement. I clamped a backer peice of plywood to the bottom so I wouldn't blow out the back. I left the veneer on as I drilled the 3" jackpot hole with a holesaw bit.
    20190228_165419.jpg
    I removed the veneer again and started to drill the rest of the holes to get my router started. I used a circle template to get all of the diameters of the circles.
    20190228_170432.jpg
    I then went to town with the forstner bits.
    20190228_172210.jpg

    There are three pockets on this playfield that had to be drilled at an angle. It was about 19. God bless Harbor Frieght. They had this little gem there for 19 bucks and I had a coupon!
    20190228_173644.jpg
    It isn't the most sturdy tool, but it did the job. I suggest having a friend help you with this and hold the jig down while you drill so the bit doesn't jump.
    Once all of the pilot holes were drilled, I removed the tape and used the router to cut to my pencil lines of the original template.
    20190228_174049.jpg20190301_134702.jpg
    I then taped the old playfield graphic to the new board to see how close my cuts were. I had to to a little more cutting with the router, but not too much.
    20190301_135140.jpg
    I drilled all of the track holes with a 1/16" bit. And finally, I'm working on the playfield pin holes. Another thread here has a 3D printer file for a nail template that is set at 4 off of 90 that I had a buddy print up for me. I'm using this as a drill guide with the 1/16" bit to pilot hole all of the playfield pins. Very tedeous but so far it seems to be working out.
    20190301_210935.jpg

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    Tokie Owens velcrobomb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    Here's the plywood now with all of the pre-drilled holes. Waiting on the graphics to come in the mail before I continue.
    20190302_170627.jpg That hole above the jackpot hole is intended to be offset to the right a bit.

    Here's my exact machine restored at Pachinko Planet

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    Blind Shooter Spear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    Great Job, looking good!

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    Tokie Owens velcrobomb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    Took about 2 weeks for the playfield graphic to come in so slow progress right now.
    20190314_203828.jpg
    Can anyone point me to a thread where there's a discussion on how to make your own playfield graphics? Honestly, I think it'd be cheaper and faster to have them printed up at a local printer that does window graphics or wraps.

    Anyway, I plan to get the back ramps on this weekend and hopefully working correctly.
    Here's what I have to reproduce:
    20181205_174849.jpg

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    Tokie Owens velcrobomb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playfield Plywood

    Making some progress boys:
    20190317_175550.jpg
    Took me a little longer than I thought because I forgot to clean up and paint the attractions. They pop now!
    TopPocket.PNGCenterPiece.PNG
    Still crossing my fingers that everything in the back will line up. I'll keep posting status updates throughout the week. Next up is to attach the playfield back to the front frame.

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