Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Cutting Playfield Mylar Cutting Playfield Mylar Hot

Although you can buy mylar in precut shapes (i.e. - circles for the bumpers or half-circles for the kickers) it's really not that hard to cut it yourself.  The most basic cutting solution would require an X-Acto knife,  t-square (for cutting square pieces) and either circle templates (available at most craft shops) or a variety of cans for cutting various sizes of round mylar.

Note: See the references for a link to an article on static cling vinyl which is removable.

Since this seemed like an opportunity to buy tools (always a good thing) I went the slightly more expensive route of buying a circle cutter and a paper trimmer (see Images 1 and 2).  In Image 3 you can see a sheet of mylar and the Fiskars Circle Cutter.  The smaller orange part on the left of the cutter is the blade.  You hold down on the larger orange part in the middle and rotate the clear section to cut circles from 1" up to 9".

See the references for additional information on the Fiskars' products.

While I agree you can make very good square mylar pieces using a t-square and the X-Acto knife it's a lot harder to get a good circle using the basic solution. The problem with using a can or template is that you have to start and stop as you move your arm around the circle, leaving jagged spots.  While plastic circle templates provide a cleaner curve it''s difficult to keep from cutting into the template.

Image Gallery

Cutting Playfield Mylar
Cutting Playfield Mylar
Cutting Playfield Mylar
Cutting Playfield Mylar

In Image 4 the piece on the left was cut using a can and the piece on the right was cut using the Fiskars product.  You can clearly see the Fiskars creates a better finished product.  While the paper trimmer is not as important as the circle cutter it can also be used for trimming decals and labels.

You can purchase sheet mylar at Pinrestore.com.