Fitting a playfield overlay print 

This is the method I have adopted to overhaul a worn or damaged playfield.

1. After removing the playfield from your bingo machine all of the fittings and wood surround need to be removed. The most difficult is normally the post rebound springs but with a firm pull and slight twist they should come out OK. The ball gate needs to be removed so that the lamp holders can be unscrewed and pulled down to below the playfield surface. This is an opportunity to  polish all the playfield metalwork ready for re-assembly.

2. The surface needs to have any damaged areas filled and any loose print removed. The pictured Big Time had a damaged area due to longer screws being put into the shutter motor guard and breaking through the surface.

3. Once it is smooth, remember that any marks, pits or dust specks will show through the new surface , it needs a coat of a good hard wearing varnish, I used yacht varnish but any good quality oil based varnish should be OK. It is best to give it two or three days to harden properly before giving it a light sanding with a fine sanding paper.

4. To help with alignment I cut out the rollover holes but not to the full size until the after it is fully stuck down. The 1 to 25 holes need to be checked for centre before sticking down. This can be achieved before removing the backing by pressing around the edge of the hole with the finger tip and moving it to get it central ( I have to confess that mine is slightly out but often they are not central on the original playfield). A piece of masking tape on either side will keep it in position.

5. Now turn the bottom half of the print back and peel off the backing layer to about half way.


6. Cut off the backing layer and  spray the playfield and back of the print with a mist of water mixed with a couple of drops of washing up liquid. This will allow the print to move without sticking immediately.

7.The print is now pressed down using a squeegee blade ( a plastic blade with a felt cover) to force the water out from underneath.

8. When the first half has been stuck down OK the other half can now be fixed using the same method.

9. The ball launching trough will need pressing down hard to get it to stick down although it can be cut out if required. The newly stuck down print should look like the picture below.

10. The holes for the lamps can now be cut out and the posts put back on the top section of the playfield.

11. Now for the 25 holes. I have found that the best way to press the print into the holes is using a bingo ball heated with boiling water and pressing it down hard until it stretches the plastic about 14mm (1/2") into the hole. Care must be taken to ensure that you do not scald or burn yourself with the water and the hot ball.

12. The holes can now be cut out using a sharp scalpel or hobby knife and can have a ball wrapped in kitchen paper pressed into the hole to get good adhesion.

13. The playfield should be completely dried out in a couple of days and can then be re-assembled and the finished playfield put back in the bingo.