Hello to everyone. I’m new on here and this is my first post but I have had an idea and just wanted to share it to gauge the opinion of the collective cleverness of the forum. It may be that some of you have already tried this and have come across problems and solutions to the same. Anyhoo here we go.The Project:
Hand built, organic turntable
Base board – 500mm x 600mm x 200mm American Black Walnut Hardwood £50
Plinth stand - Mopani Bogwood x 3 pieces £50
Plinth – Olive wood rustic boards x 3 £45
Plinth feet – cones and supports x 3 £60
Thorens td 160 around £100
Tonearm - SME 3009 Series II around £200
SME Tonearm spacer £20
Glass Platter £20
The plan of action:
Firstly this will be a long, long running thread! Not so much because I ramble on but because of the time it will take me to get the parts I will need to start, process and finally complete the project. This will mainly be due to the financial downturn in the world’s economy, the deprivation of the populous and, not to put it too succinctly, I’m normally skint.
My aim is to build an organic looking turntable along the lines of those produced by a company in the States – Audiowood (http://www.audiowood.com
Having seen the work of Joel Scilley (see the pictures at the beginning of this post) I decided that I would like to have a try at producing my own version.
Starting with the base you will see from the parts list that I have chosen to use American black walnut hardwood. Now I’m not a carpenter or furniture maker, jeez I have no experience in woodwork whatsoever, but I do have an honorary degree in “having a go”. If I like the look of something, and I really want to try something out, then not having the knowledge of how to do it shouldn’t stop me from finding out, asking questions from those that do know and having a go at it to see what happens. So my choice of wood may be wrong but if it works out then damn it’ll look good. My choice was made following a good look at furniture made from the stuff:
I love the dark, almost black finish that can be obtained after oiling and polishing. It may be that an alternative cheaper option may present itself in which case I may change my mind but at this planning stage it’s the choice I have come up with.
I will require two long planks. These will be cut in half and then all four pieces will be clamped and glued to give me a sheet that will measure out to over 600mm x 500mm and be at least 20mm thick. This sheet will then be cut to a final shape for the base board. It will be on this that the rest of the project will be built. The shape will not be uniform, no squares or rectangle here, but it will be finished in a smooth, shiny, glossy finish. Erm again I’m not really sure how I will get that said finish but I will look into it and work it out.
Next will be the plinth stand. This will be the most organic looking item and I have chosen Mopani Bogwood as the material I want to use. In the pictures above I have shown two pieces I have found as examples of the raw material I will be looking for but, as before, it will all depend on what I find, and what I can get, that will dictate the final outcome and look of the finished project.
The plinth stand will be cut so that it will have a thickness to measure up with the motor housing. This thickness will also include the height of the cones and the cone mats although the latter will probably be sunk into the baseboard. A separate piece of bogwood to make the motor housing will also be sunk into the baseboard and fixed into place to give rigidity. Keeping this as a separate piece should remove some of the motor vibration from affecting the turntable by isolating the two from each other.
On the plinth stand will sit the plinth. Into this and the plinth stand will sit the bearing for the turntable itself. Obviously this is going to take some careful measuring and planning but the theory is pretty straight forward. Also sitting on the plinth stand will be a second plinth to house the Tonearm. Depending on what size pieces of bogwood I can find will dictate if this will be on a separate plinth stand but my intention is to have one plinth stand and two separate plinths. Into the second plinth will be the SME Tonearm spacer. By rigid fixing this into the plinth it will allow the Tonearm itself to be removable for future maintenance.
The turntable will have a glass platter. Partly to give a heavy stable base for the vinyl to sit and partly to allow the form of the whole project to be seen. Something looking this good should not be masked.
Wiring will be sent through the Plinths and stand and out the bottom of the baseboard so that it exits underneath or at the back of the plinth stand. I hope to be able to keep the speed selector and power switch from the TD 160 and these will be fixed to the baseboard somewhere at the front.
I am also considering having a further piece of bogwood positioned within the design which will have hidden inside an Apple iPod lead and will be shaped to allow an iPhone/iPod to connect and play through the amp. I know, I know but it’s a way I can charge me phone up while I listen to my LP’s
Well that’s my plan. Please wade in with your thoughts, suggestions, comments or just your hello to a newbie on here