Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mylar removal complete!

Wow, I really misjudged this mylar. The 2 pictures below tell the story: everywhere there wasn't mylar (even where the ball never went), the playfield looks like an old barn door:

But the areas protected by mylar look great. Check out the ball arch - no wear!


When I'm removing mylar on a game this old, I feel kind of like an archeologist at a dig. My main concern is not to damage what I'm trying to uncover. But I got a kick out of this spinner lane mylar:

Dirt trapped under mylar
Clearly, the guy was in a hurry to finish. I'm guessing the mylar picked up some dirt before it was laid down.

I lost a little paint on the lower playfield, but I did a better job with the upper playfield. The technique that worked best was holding the hair dryer close to the seam as I gently pulled the mylar toward me, like this:

I could pull up a few inches a minute this way. I eventually learned how hard I could pull without pulling up paint. If the mylar didn't move with that much force, I'd heat it up some more. I had to stop every 5 minutes or so to let the hair dryer cool down. 

The original pop bumper mylar was factory-fresh under the "after-market" mylar, so I just cleaned it up and admired it:

The mylar near the ball arch came off in one big piece:

After I got all the glue up, I gave the playfield one more good wipedown with naptha (lighter fluid). Here's the result (click on the picture to see the original image):

The next step for Space Mission will be to level the inserts. The inserts at the top of the game have shrunk so much, the ball gets trapped in them sometimes.

- John

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