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A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 15 Jun 2019 15:55
by chiwahua
Hello VE,

So, I have this turntable I wanted to restore..

First I had to polish the dustcover..
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I consider it done. This job was pretty quick (1 hour or so)compared to the usual 5 hours I spend on other dustcovers.. I just needed to sand and polish the top.. On others, I have to do all the sides and the insides!!

Moving on.

I managed to find an Ortofon 305 stylus on ebay and I believed I was done with this turntable but I realized the mat was not even and bit dull in color (by the sun? who knows..)
Before cleaning with dishsoap
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I tried dishsoap. It was then all even, but all grey (sorry no picture). I looked the forum, it talked abour rubber renue, but the MSDS was plenty enough for me to consider something else.. I have used shea butter on my hands sucessfully for the last week or so, what the hell.. I didn't looked to see if people tried this before but let's give it a try..

I applied a good amount and rubbed with kitchen towels and removed the excess with a microfiber cloth. And removed again, and again. After 10 minutes it had a much better color. It was not greasy to the touch, but rather slick and smooth. It even smells the peach!
Shea butter did well!
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I was worried about losing the grip now that it was so smooth, but I tested it, and there's no problem with grip! So far it seems to have done the trick and my turntable is ready to sell!

Let me know if you liked that I shared this with you. I restore turntables and I don't know if people are interested in reading and commenting..


Re: A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 15 Jun 2019 21:53
by poutrew
Just curious: How do you polish up a dustcover? I have an older, highly scratched up one that needs some attention...

Re: A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 16 Jun 2019 14:27
by chiwahua

Well, I have polished about 12-15 dustcovers by now. Some were in a baaad shape. Traces of welding iron (or red-hot knives, I would imagine a scenario..) running on the top of the cover..
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Here are the general guidelines I follow so far:

0) remove the badge in the middle of the cover by sliding under a needle to separate from cover. Don't pry it, lift it slowly by moving around to avoid bending it.

1) use 1/4-sheet electric sand-paper with 800 grit, keep wet. Zig zag horizontally vertically and so on. You can dry with a paper towel see if you still see scratches. Then same with 1200 grit (sanding always wet). You can proceed with higher grit (up to 2000) but the next step will remove the tight spinning swirl that will inevitably remain after the electric sander.. So after 1200 I proceed with the drill.

2) Battery drill ( or corded. But keep it slower rpm) with foam-backed sanding pads with a drill adapter and an half-inch foam (yes 2 foams since it's hard to use the drill square to the surface).
2a) rupes x-cut 1500
2b) rupes x-cut 2000
2c) 3m trizact 3000
2d) 3m trizact 5000
Note the foam on the pad. And it's more suple than simple round sanding disks of the same grit so it does not have pressure points than using round sanding disc along with a foam interface.. It's about 3 dollars per disk for rupes and trizact (3m). I don't think 3m exists in 1500 or 2000 without foam..
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3) Novus plastic polish 3 with a corded drill (not full speed) and a foam pad you can find online with many different hardness and patterns for 20 dollars. The yellow is the soft. You can also use 3M finesse-it wool polishing pad.
I use only the soft with hex patterns and it works well I think. (Eddie is keeping an eye on me the whole time)
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4) rince with water (as you sould do between all the steps btw)

5) Novus #2 with orbital polisher 8" with coton cover.

6) rince what you can with water. it remains kind of a bit greasy.

7) Novus #1 (water and windex would work also I think) with a microfiber cloth to clean the rest

8 ) Dry up with microfiber

9) realize you were too impatient with a step and start over from this step :) you'll get used to.. At least I did. So... PATIENCE is required at all the steps. In my case it's a work in progress.

10) reinstall badge

Ok so now you ask yourself how to hold the dustcover while having 2 hands on the drill(s).. Well you'll have to think like an ape in 2001 a space odissey and make your first tool: a jig! Don't overlook this step it's crucial, so you can better control the power tools. The jig is made to hold different configuration (front front, sides front, rear front, upside-down) and oh, screw the jig in your work bench..
A jig with openings on the side to put clamps
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It takes me about 5 hours on an average cover and it's still not perfect. What I mean as average cover is stratched on all the sides and even the insides (!), as people remove the dustcover put it aside upside downto replace the belt and put the platter in it or an hammer, or keys.. If you're lucky only the top will require attention.

Patience is the most important tool and I know some people will find that I make this too complicated but I have tried other methods (including all manually) and it doesn't yield the same result in my opinion. If scratches are deep or if the cover is burnt, you need battery or corded tools.

Well I hope this will have helped a few people. If you think I could make it faster, I would be curious to hear it..

Feel free to comment, I put a lot of energy in this and I would love to hear from you.

Also I'm a Québécois, so sorry if my english is not perfect. Jme suis déjà assez fait chier caliss, soyez indulgent un madné! (I put my heart in this, please indulge) :D

Thanks for reading!

Re: A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 16 Jun 2019 22:35
by poutrew
Wow :) Thanks for such a detailed response. Every one of those steps seems well thought out and necessary. You have truly done a superb job - I need to gather the right tools, and perhaps practice on a piece of scratched plexi before I attempt to restore my own dustcover. Again, thanks! :)

Re: A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 17 Jun 2019 12:31
by chiwahua

You're welcome! Thanks for the comments. I always wondered who were the people that take time to detail this and this on the forums and on the web. I wanted to be this guy, for once. Good luck with the dustcover. Don't be too scared, but be careful:

- Don't sand without water and have enough polish so the pads don't becone "dry". If you use a power drill, it's tempting to go fast (rpm) but this could lead to plastic melting.. It makes a 5 hour jobs a lot longer... I have been there (on a client dustcover...!). It worked out in the end but boy did I regret this..

-at some point near the end, your cover will become very slick and easy to drop while manipulating

-if you have DEEP scratches or dings, you might have to live with them (see below). Those are time-consumming if you need to dig in the cover like 1/16". If you manage to make disapper the ding, it will show by the change in cover thickness by the difference in refraction & reflection angle (see below)..
A deep ding. Much deeper than the burn marks (lines)
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I had to dig so deep I would have taken hours to lower all the surface.. At some point, I just wanted to get over with. This cover was a nightmare with all the lips and details..
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Anyways. Good luck, let me know if you have questions!

Re: A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 17 Jun 2019 15:03
by tcolegrove
Nice write-up! Well done.

Re: A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 17 Jun 2019 18:46
by lenjack
Stunning. =P~ =D> :!:

Re: A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 18 Jun 2019 02:36
by chiwahua
@poutrew , @tcolegrove , @lenjack

Thanks a lot! It's nice to see people appreciate!

Re: A restoration story of a Technics SL-QD2 (dustcover, mat)

Posted: 12 Jul 2019 17:17
by bikspk
Nice - very detailed approach.

I've managed to clean up dust covers with less involvement but my results are only about 95%. Your method gets you the whole way.

It is interesting that, in wood sanding, you start with a coarse grain (23 for oak floors - do not use for dustcover) and all the successive grits (36, 60, 100) are just removing the scratches you put in with the 23.

I've wet sanded a dust cover with a random orbital and 120 grit which makes for a pretty hazy cover but gets out a lot of the major scratches. Then followed up with 800 grit, 2000 grit and rubbing compound with a final finish with automotive plastic buffing compound and wax.

As the OP indicated, make sure that you remove all debris and look out for stray bits as they will send you back down the grit level. A little speck of something with the random orbital and you will have tornado looking marks all over the place.