Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

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Lizbond81
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Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by Lizbond81 » 12 Feb 2019 10:03

Hi everyone,

I am a newbie here and also a newbie on turntables. I find this site so helpful and interesting specially for me who's trying to learn about turntables. My interest started when one day i found an unused Technics model SL-1401 and a bunch of vinyl records on our storage. Turns out its my fathers, but he says hes too busy to set it up and use it again. So i got interested and wants to restore it. I plugged it and still spinning. For now i need to know how to clean the platter. I attached some images. Your suggestions will be very helpful. Thanks in advance!


Cheers!
Liz
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musicmn
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by musicmn » 12 Feb 2019 20:35

Hi Liz, there are a couple of ways to go about cleaning these platters but the one that I find the most effective and the cheapest is to use various grits of sand paper on the silver part of the platter to remove that tarnish. First thing you need to do is to clean the platter with window cleaner, or just a rag dampened in warm water. Then start sanding with some sandpaper in the 200 - 220 grit range go around the silver part of the platter until your happy with the way it looks. Then go to a 400 grit sandpaper and sand the silver part again until you like the way the finish looks. And you can even go to a finer grit sand paper like 600 grit to even the finish out and get a smoother looking finish. Clean in between sanding steps with a rag and window cleaner or similar cleaner so you can get a better look at the finish. Some people like to go one more step and use a metal polish to shine them up but I don't believe the finish originally was shiny it was more sanded finish. It's totally up to you how shiny you want it to be. Once you have the silver part looking like you want you can paint the center part to improve the look. I do this by taping the entire silver area off using masking tape or painters tape. Then sand the black paint with some 400 grit sand paper and wipe it clean with a damp rag. Then apply two even coats of either matte finish or satin finish black paint and allow them to dry completely. Sometimes just a good cleaning of the center area of the platter is all that is needed. That area is covered by the platter mat anyway. Don't worry about ruining the silver area of the platter with sand paper that area is actually the metal of the platter that has been machined away to produce that silver look. All this should take is a little elbow grease and some time but it will make a huge improvement on how it looks. That Technics model is very nice and once it has been cleaned and adjusted it will preform very nicely. Good luck and I hope this helps.

lenjack
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by lenjack » 12 Feb 2019 23:04

Be sure to sand evenly, so you don't unbalance the platter.

2002afan
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by 2002afan » 13 Feb 2019 00:26

I use SIMICHROME polish to clean the silver ring on my platters. Works great and they turn out looking brand new. In less than twenty minutes, you're done. :wink: I use it to safely clean antique watches and I figured it would work on the platters too. Wear rubber gloves . :roll:
Cheers,
WillO

Lizbond81
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by Lizbond81 » 14 Feb 2019 12:07

Hi musicmn,

thank you for your suggestions and your effort for such detailed explanation! i will sure try it. though i have another problem of how to pull out the platter from the base.. can you tell me how? Thanks so much! :D

Lizbond81
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by Lizbond81 » 14 Feb 2019 12:10

musicmn wrote:
12 Feb 2019 20:35
Hi Liz, there are a couple of ways to go about cleaning these platters but the one that I find the most effective and the cheapest is to use various grits of sand paper on the silver part of the platter to remove that tarnish. First thing you need to do is to clean the platter with window cleaner, or just a rag dampened in warm water. Then start sanding with some sandpaper in the 200 - 220 grit range go around the silver part of the platter until your happy with the way it looks. Then go to a 400 grit sandpaper and sand the silver part again until you like the way the finish looks. And you can even go to a finer grit sand paper like 600 grit to even the finish out and get a smoother looking finish. Clean in between sanding steps with a rag and window cleaner or similar cleaner so you can get a better look at the finish. Some people like to go one more step and use a metal polish to shine them up but I don't believe the finish originally was shiny it was more sanded finish. It's totally up to you how shiny you want it to be. Once you have the silver part looking like you want you can paint the center part to improve the look. I do this by taping the entire silver area off using masking tape or painters tape. Then sand the black paint with some 400 grit sand paper and wipe it clean with a damp rag. Then apply two even coats of either matte finish or satin finish black paint and allow them to dry completely. Sometimes just a good cleaning of the center area of the platter is all that is needed. That area is covered by the platter mat anyway. Don't worry about ruining the silver area of the platter with sand paper that area is actually the metal of the platter that has been machined away to produce that silver look. All this should take is a little elbow grease and some time but it will make a huge improvement on how it looks. That Technics model is very nice and once it has been cleaned and adjusted it will preform very nicely. Good luck and I hope this helps.
Hi musicmn,

thank you for your suggestions and your effort for such detailed explanation! i will sure try it. though i have another problem of how to pull out the platter from the base.. can you tell me how? Thanks so much! :D

Lizbond81
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junior member
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Posts: 5
Joined: 12 Feb 2019 07:32

Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by Lizbond81 » 14 Feb 2019 12:12

2002afan wrote:
13 Feb 2019 00:26
I use SIMICHROME polish to clean the silver ring on my platters. Works great and they turn out looking brand new. In less than twenty minutes, you're done. :wink: I use it to safely clean antique watches and I figured it would work on the platters too. Wear rubber gloves . :roll:
Cheers,
WillO
Hi 2002afan,

Thanks! I will look for a SIMICHROME product here in my country and will use it.

Cheers,
Liz

Lizbond81
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Joined: 12 Feb 2019 07:32

Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by Lizbond81 » 14 Feb 2019 12:12

lenjack wrote:
12 Feb 2019 23:04
Be sure to sand evenly, so you don't unbalance the platter.
Thanks! i will keep that in mind.

ravelax
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by ravelax » 14 Feb 2019 20:59

The platter should come off by grabbing it with two fingers through the holes in it and pulling upwards. Even when in good shape this can require a slight bit of force, a little more than one would perhaps expect, due to the magnet on the underside of the platter (which actually is a part of the motor assembly). If you've already tried this without success it could be that the platter has stuck to the spindle through corrosion... It certainly looks rather dull in the pictures. If it doesn't come off I'm not sure what to try for getting it loose, someone else may have a better idea.

It should polish up nicely. I'd start with a polishing compound like autosol, and only try sanding if polishing doesn't yield a satisfactory result. Especially if sanding, be careful to clean off any dust before re-mounting the platter, so it doesn't get into the platter bearing!

2002afan
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by 2002afan » 15 Feb 2019 00:28

ravelax wrote:
14 Feb 2019 20:59
The platter should come off by grabbing it with two fingers through the holes in it and pulling upwards. Even when in good shape this can require a slight bit of force, a little more than one would perhaps expect, due to the magnet on the underside of the platter (which actually is a part of the motor assembly). If you've already tried this without success it could be that the platter has stuck to the spindle through corrosion... It certainly looks rather dull in the pictures. If it doesn't come off I'm not sure what to try for getting it loose, someone else may have a better idea.

It should polish up nicely. I'd start with a polishing compound like autosol, and only try sanding if polishing doesn't yield a satisfactory result. Especially if sanding, be careful to clean off any dust before re-mounting the platter, so it doesn't get into the platter bearing!
AUTOSOL is basically the same as SIMICHROME maybe a tad more harsh. I've used AUTOSOL on cars but not on any of my watches. :lol: Both will work if the platter does not have any pitting present. :) To get the platter off, you may need to tap the spindle with a small hammer or rubber mallet at the same time you lift up.
Cheers,
WillO

lenjack
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by lenjack » 15 Feb 2019 00:44

The operative word is tap...LIGHTLY. Don't get carried away. :!:

2002afan
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by 2002afan » 15 Feb 2019 01:15

lenjack wrote:
15 Feb 2019 00:44
The operative word is tap...LIGHTLY. Don't get carried away. :!:
Excellent point. #-o

ravelax
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by ravelax » 15 Feb 2019 10:32

2002afan wrote:
15 Feb 2019 00:28
AUTOSOL is basically the same as SIMICHROME maybe a tad more harsh. I've used AUTOSOL on cars but not on any of my watches. :lol: Both will work if the platter does not have any pitting present. :) To get the platter off, you may need to tap the spindle with a small hammer or rubber mallet at the same time you lift up.
Cheers,
WillO
Never heard of Simichrome, so I recommended what I had used. I'll look out for Simichrome though, a gentler polishing paste can certainly be useful to have! :)

2002afan
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by 2002afan » 15 Feb 2019 14:35

ravelax wrote:
15 Feb 2019 10:32
2002afan wrote:
15 Feb 2019 00:28
AUTOSOL is basically the same as SIMICHROME maybe a tad more harsh. I've used AUTOSOL on cars but not on any of my watches. :lol: Both will work if the platter does not have any pitting present. :) To get the platter off, you may need to tap the spindle with a small hammer or rubber mallet at the same time you lift up.
Cheers,
WillO
Never heard of Simichrome, so I recommended what I had used. I'll look out for Simichrome though, a gentler polishing paste can certainly be useful to have! :)
ravelax, No problem. Just saying whichever available will work. :D Good to know, somewhere out there thinking minds are thinking a like. :P Actually any cream metal polish should work. Sanding would be my last resort and only necessary if pitting is present. [-o<
Cheers,
WillO

lenjack
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Re: Help How to clean Technics SL-1401 turntable platter

Post by lenjack » 15 Feb 2019 15:31

On my sl-d3, I'm going to use a metal polish on the silver colored portion of the outer platter. It's discolored, but smooth. Some discoloration on the black, but I'm not going to bother with that, as it's perfectly smooth.

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