Treasure Cove Pinball Playfield Polishing Kit

You’ll need to pick your jaw up off the floor when you see how well this stuff works


By Randy Peck


I think most of us pinball nuts use Novus 1, 2, and 3 to clean and polish our playfields, and it works pretty well.  But the pinball restorers at Treasure Cove of Jeffersonville, Indiana have put together a kit that will do a far better job in much less time than hand polishing with Novus.  I just can’t overstate how great this stuff works – you really owe it to yourself to check it out.


My story started with a very nice Creature from the Black Lagoon that had a dull-looking playfield.  It was far more glossy in the areas where the ball didn’t track than in the areas that it did, so I knew that it should look gorgeous all over.  I think this is what all playfields start to look like after they’ve been in service for a while, especially if they aren’t regularly waxed.


I spent a long time trying to polish it up by hand starting with Novus 3 and working my way to Novus 1 and finally a heavy application of carnauba wax.  I hope you can see in Photo 1 that it’s still very dull in the ball areas, even after extensive hand polishing.  Look at the contrast between the area just above the flipper and the mid-playfield area.


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Photo 1: My Creature playfield still looked dull after hand polishing with Novus 3, 2, 1, and carnauba wax.


I was disappointed, but I figured that was about as good as it was going to get – after all, Novus is what everyone uses and I gave it the full treatment.  But in April I heard about a new playfield polishing kit from Allen Shope at Treasure Cove.  Allen is well known for producing beautifully restored machines, and he just recently started offering a “Shine Master” kit consisting of various polishing compounds, polishing pads, a 30-minute DVD instructional video, and other goodies.  Having seen Allen’s restoration work (I own two machines he restored), I knew this was something worth trying.


I ordered one of everything (the components are available separately or as kits), including two-inch and four-inch buffing pads, an arbor to attach the pads to my electric drill, and bottles of his PowerCut polishing compounds #1, 2, and 3. 


PowerCut is different than Novus, and in fact PowerCut 3 is so coarse that it feels as gritty as 320 sandpaper in your fingers.  Sounds a little scary – I sure wouldn’t sand my playfield with 320-grit paper!  But the magic of the kit is that the polishing pads are made of foam, and the coarse particles of compound get caught in the pores of the foam and thus don’t scratch a playfield the way it would with a cloth pad.  Foam pads are well-known among car detailers, but I’ve never heard of anyone using them to polish a playfield until now.


When I got my kit I started with PowerCut #2, thinking that #3 was going to be too coarse.  But it was apparent that PowerCut #2 wasn’t doing much to improve the dull finish on my playfield.  So, I crossed my fingers and tried #3, then switched to #2, and finally #1.  After about five minutes total, I wiped off the area I’d polished and it looked like a new playfield!  This stuff was amazing!


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Photo 2: My Creature playfield after polishing with Treasure Cove’s Shine Master kit.  Wow!!!


No trick photography here – just a perfect product for its purpose.  I was so blown away by the performance of Allen’s product I nearly wet myself.  I believe the PowerCut compounds and Shine Master pads are similar to what is available to auto detailers, so there’s nothing too proprietary about what they’re offering – but it was revolutionary to me.  The results I got were staggering – certainly far exceeding what’s possible with a rag and a few bottles of Novus.


The basic kit, shown below, sells for $64.95 and includes the three grades of PowerCut compound, two grades of four-inch foam pads, a four-inch wool pad, an arbor (with Velcro) to attach the pads to an electric drill, and a 30-minute instructional DVD.  There’s also a nice tutorial on Allen’s website ( that includes over two dozen detailed photographs showing how to use the kit.


Photo 3: The basic Shine Master kit sells for $64.95 – a bargain once you’ve seen how well it works.


A couple of mini Shine Master kits are also available, with two-inch and three-inch pads, for getting in hard-to-reach areas when you don’t want to strip the top of your whole playfield.  Most of the components are available separately as well.


Other than Shaggy and Norm’s This Old Pinball video tape series, this is perhaps the best money I've spent on pinball, ever.  But when it rains it pours.  There’s yet another revolutionary pinball product, also for playfields – but in this case it can largely remove the infamous “ball swirls” from older playfields.  You heard right, a job that pretty much everyone thought was impossible.  It’s called the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  But that’s a tale for another issue.


Treasure Cove can be reached at:


TreasureCove c/o Allen Shope

3420 Morgan Trail

Jeffersonville, IN  47130

(812) 288-8961








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