By Alan Lewis

Finding new or replacement playfield inserts is one of the hardest things to do during restoration.

You can spend months or years searching for inserts and probably will never find any.

I decided to take the easy way out and make my own new inserts.

This pinball machine had 5 inserts either missing or broken/melted.

Here are two techniques for making your own:

My technique uses cnc cut circles from thick clear acrylic sheet.

An alternate technique is to use extruded acrylic rod of the right diameter and saw cut off a piece.

Extruded acrylic rod is easy to find and comes in common diameters, and even colors if you want.

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My technique is to cut out various diameters from thick acrylic sheet. I used my CNC router to do this.

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New inserts were drawn using a good insert as a guide for size and font then printed out on both white and clear waterslide decal sheets.

Each insert will have one white and one clear decal. The double decal method increases the color density for backlighting.


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An original is on the left and two new ones on the right.

The new ones have double decals on them for denser color when backlit.

Unfortunately I had to match the sickly yellow color of the originals, but the good news is that it is easy to do.

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New insert backlit

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The 12 and 3 are new inserts and look right at home


Original on left, new on right