TAXI MYLAR REMOVAL
There are many ways to remove mylar from a pinball playfield. One includes a couple bottles of "goo-gone" and a hair dryer. Another, which is gaining popularity recently, is the "cold freeze spray" method. However, this method wasn't yet documented enough for my tastes in the summer of 2002 when I pursued my "mylar" removal. Therefore, the "goo-gone" method was the technique of choice. You can read about the "cold freeze spray" method and a more detailed explanation of "goo-gone" at Scott Farrar's website here (offsite).
I picked up two bottles of "goo-gone" at the hardware store. It acts as a glue remover and has the smell of fresh oranges. In fact, my game smelled like oranges for a few weeks after finishing.
This was my first attempt at mylar removal. I would not try this yourself with only the small write-up I provide below. Removing mylar can tear up artwork and inserts from your playfield if done incorrectly. Therefore, make sure you do plenty of research at Scott's site above as well as on the pinball newsgroup before attempting it yourself.
Click below to enlarge. I did not have a digital camera at the time, so they are
snapped with a disposable and scanned in.
I was a bit nervous and made sure (at the request of others on the newsgroup) to take my time. I blocked out an evening where nobody would bother me and headed downstairs. I peeled a little bit of the edge away near the top and began to drench the area with "goo-gone". I waited for a couple of minutes to let the liquid work its magic. As I held the piece up (putting very little pressure on it), I noticed the mylar pulling loose. I would slowly pull the mylar up (heating it with the hair dryer as I went along) until I felt a slight tug. Then I would drench the area again and repeat the entire process until, about an hour later, the mylar was completely gone. I then used a ton of "goo-gone" and began to rub away the access glue from the playfield.
Mylar removal was a success. One very small insert-lettering came up with the mylar sheet. It was the "20k" insert right below the left ramp. Luckily, inserts can be recreated. David, the previous owner of www.pinheadz.com, was kind enough to produce a perfect rendition of this lettering for me. And it is an exact replica of the original insert. When Bill Davis clear-coats the playfield, he can lay down the insert with no way of telling it was ever missing. Whew.
What can I say for future mylar removal contestants? Take your time. Be very patient. Learn everything there is to know. Learn the different techniques and chose the one you feel comfortable with. And.......take your time. Did I mention that one? It can mean the difference between no playfield damage and complete paint stripping. "Quick, to the airport!" :)