DIY cantilever replacement

the thin end of the wedge
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Solist
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DIY cantilever replacement

Post by Solist » 10 Jul 2019 13:20

Was wondering if anyone here attempted this.

I have a couple of old styluses, some have worn tips, others bent cantilevers.. #-o

Since I watched the Peter Ledermann video about cactus cantilevers, I started wondering about replacing the bent aluminum cantilevers with a fresh cactus one.

I mean, "how hard can it be?" =P~

Still need to do some reading about which cactus would be ideal to be used as a cantilever, since they seem to vary greatly in strength.

The questions now are:

Can anyone here suggest on a good but not too damn expensive digital microscope?

And, anyone here tried to find a source for those cantilever suspension rubber, or are they impossible to buy?

billshurv
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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by billshurv » 10 Jul 2019 13:44

You have looked at the 'cartridge close ups' thread?

Solist
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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by Solist » 10 Jul 2019 14:02

Oh, I see what you mean. Perfect timing :D

jc3
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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by jc3 » 10 Jul 2019 15:28

I used to use AT styli as donors, snipping them off with dissecting shears and then using a scalpel blade to roll the cantilever under getting a nice clean cut. I would then fashion either and inner splint, or outer sleeve from tiny aluminum tubing - if you google Albion alloys, and look for the telescoping sets, you'll find the ones. For permanent bonds I use a slow set epoxy after a dab of low viscosity superglue once the position is correct. You'll also need a few pairs of non-magnetic tweezers - the brass ones from Italy are great. It's not as hard as folks think. It does take patience, a microscope, steady hands, and bravery! At least at first. After the first one, it gets easier.

Also, I tie a small piece of string around the cantilever before I cut it - they tend to go flinging...

AudioFeline
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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by AudioFeline » 11 Jul 2019 04:15

billshurv wrote:
10 Jul 2019 13:44
You have looked at the 'cartridge close ups' thread?
Is this the thread you are referring to?
https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 19&t=92996

]eep
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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by ]eep » 12 Jul 2019 06:14

Yup. I used a not wanted cartridge as donor to fix an at-oc9 I dug from the trash at an expo. Operation succeeded, patient died. I slipped the tube cantilever straight over the boron stub that was broken off. I sawed it off gently with a dremel disc by hand. As it turned out the broken off cantilever had landed in the gears breaking the thin coil wires. I hadn't seen that. Really tiny. Needed a 60x microscope to see.

No harm done and a good exercise. Just using +3 reading glasses, tweezers and a tiny drop of super glue. And a steady hand. I wasn't afraid to do this. I used to make scale HO (1:72) military models as a kid, soldiers with black in white eyes, all the right ranks etc. all correct. Only my eyes aren't as good as they used to be. :roll:

I fixed a few cantilevers since. All working well. I'm no master but it's just tiny craftsmanship. Only way to learn is to start doing it.

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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by cafe latte » 12 Jul 2019 12:58

jc3 wrote:
10 Jul 2019 15:28
I used to use AT styli as donors, snipping them off with dissecting shears and then using a scalpel blade to roll the cantilever under getting a nice clean cut. I would then fashion either and inner splint, or outer sleeve from tiny aluminum tubing - if you google Albion alloys, and look for the telescoping sets, you'll find the ones. For permanent bonds I use a slow set epoxy after a dab of low viscosity superglue once the position is correct. You'll also need a few pairs of non-magnetic tweezers - the brass ones from Italy are great. It's not as hard as folks think. It does take patience, a microscope, steady hands, and bravery! At least at first. After the first one, it gets easier.

Also, I tie a small piece of string around the cantilever before I cut it - they tend to go flinging...
Good advice, I have done the same again same tubes you mentioned. I use a razor blade to saw not just cur the cantilever so you dont squash it. I use a piece of tape to hold the cantilever as it is really easy to squash it with tweezers. Go slow it is not that hard.
Chris

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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by Solist » 12 Jul 2019 15:42

Thank you for all the suggestions!

I will just use the cheap plastic tweezers, that way I have less chances to damage the diamond.

So you leave the old glue on the stylus? I am searching for something that would dissolve the old glue, before I apply the fresh one.

I tried only a couple of epoxy glues so far, after some experiments a couple of those started to dissolve in isoprophyl. Guess they vary greatly in quality.

P.S.: I have just started reading about granite epoxy. Seems to be very good at damping vibrations.

Will probably try to make a cartridge body for the 95e. The aluminium one turned out to be way too heavy. And the granite epoxy should be easier to work with.

cafe latte
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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by cafe latte » 12 Jul 2019 23:50

Solist wrote:
12 Jul 2019 15:42
Thank you for all the suggestions!

I will just use the cheap plastic tweezers, that way I have less chances to damage the diamond.

So you leave the old glue on the stylus? I am searching for something that would dissolve the old glue, before I apply the fresh one.

I tried only a couple of epoxy glues so far, after some experiments a couple of those started to dissolve in isoprophyl. Guess they vary greatly in quality.

P.S.: I have just started reading about granite epoxy. Seems to be very good at damping vibrations.

Will probably try to make a cartridge body for the 95e. The aluminium one turned out to be way too heavy. And the granite epoxy should be easier to work with.
epoxy will not soften with any alcohol, if yours did it must be low quality as epoxy is approved for fuel tank repairs. What glue do you need to soften? We are cutting the cantilever off and gluing into the stub another cantilever with diamond already mounted. Re you retipping a AT95e there is a far easier way than you are planning that is just buy a AT95ml stylus and clip it on.
Chris

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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by jc3 » 13 Jul 2019 05:23

I've only done one retip where I had to remove a donor stylus from a cantilever - a Lyra I bought for dirt cheap and retipped the stylus tip only as the boron cantilever was fine. There are two options if that's the case - crushing and heating. You could immerse the donor cantilever in water or alcohol and use a rod of some sort (solid brass would probably work) to crush the epoxy off the tip. I used a soldering iron to melt the epoxy and the stylus released very nicely (thanks for the tip, Dmitry!). It then floated on top of the surface tension of the water I had in a dish below to catch it. That could have gone very badly. In that tip, I used a Nag mp-500 stylus as a donor because I needed a short shank stylus to surface mount to the Lyra cantilever. I think if I were to do that again, I'd use the crushing method - or order raw styli from Namiki.
Last edited by jc3 on 13 Jul 2019 05:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by jc3 » 13 Jul 2019 05:30

Oh, and be careful of clumsy tools. I doubt plastic tweezers will do anything but make your life miserable. Brass is many times softer than diamond, and those tweezers are super sharp - meaning they can easily hold on to things that are very tiny with a firm grip.If you end up using tape to hold things use low tack tape like blue or green painters tape. a stylus or cantilever gets on duct tape and you'll have a heck of a time getting them off without damage.

cafe latte
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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by cafe latte » 13 Jul 2019 05:54

jc3 wrote:
13 Jul 2019 05:30
Oh, and be careful of clumsy tools. I doubt plastic tweezers will do anything but make your life miserable. Brass is many times softer than diamond, and those tweezers are super sharp - meaning they can easily hold on to things that are very tiny with a firm grip.If you end up using tape to hold things use low tack tape like blue or green painters tape. a stylus or cantilever gets on duct tape and you'll have a heck of a time getting them off without damage.
I use paper masking tape for this reason as it comes off easily.
Chris

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Re: DIY cantilever replacement

Post by Solist » 14 Jul 2019 14:31

Thank you for the tips.

I was thinking about removing the stylus and then put it on a cactus cantilever (just because I like to complicate things). Should not there be some glue left on the stylus after I remove it from the cantilever?

I have a couple of m75 and 95e styluses to use for this experiments, the 95e cartridge will also get a new body.

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