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dbowker
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DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Check out my new project- inspired by Stephen's quest for cleaner records, and that big batch of used LPs I got down in New Orleans recently.

DIY Record Cleaning Machine

I've used the VPI machines many times before, but honestly couldn't stomach the price. I don't like the Nitty Gritty approach that much, so I decided it was time for getting serious and just making my own. It turned out pretty nicely, and the total cost was around $110. Had I shopped around longer I could have found a cheaper used TT for parts, but once I get an idea for a project, I just want to get right on it. It works just as well as I had hoped and pictures plus construction details are in the DIY Gallery.

Anyone who thinks they might be interested in attempting their own, I'd be happy to give them more details.

linden518
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Damn. I bow down, Doug.

dbowker
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Thanks dude! No bowing necessary, however. I just hope to inspire others to perhaps try their hand at having some fun with some projects too, AND save some money to boot.

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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Your post is the best thing about an audio forum. It made my day.

Although, I am now filled with envy and malice due to your superior skills and creativity.

In all seriousness, you should find a way to sell that stuff.

dbowker
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Thanks Buddha! I think though if I sold stuff like this it would take some of the fun out of it. It's like if you love to cook, as soon as you start cooking for money, it's a job! Some day I'll start designing and building custom furniture for work, when my son is in school in a couple of years. Maybe I'll make a side business in audio related pieces.

bobedaone
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Looking good, Doug! Judging from the shiny clean record, it's probably sounding pretty damn good, too.

A cleaning machine is the next thing on my list, but I can in no way afford one, let alone justify its cost. I might have to look into a DIY wet vac when I have the time and motivation.

The only thing I've made is my rack, although I can't take complete credit for it. I submitted the specifications and chose the materials, and my mom's coworker cut, drilled, and veneered it. Then, I stained, sealed, and assembled it.
http://forum.stereophile.com/photopost/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/3858

dbowker
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Thanks Erik. Yeah, nice job on that rack. I like that you could adjust it for other future components too!

Elk
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Very Nice!

smejias
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Wow, Doug! Your machine looks awesome. You do some very fine work. Thanks for posting this.

KBK
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Both work and work well, and can be made by the individual. My kinda stuff. And Doug, you are right, it gets ugly when you start to try and sell it. Grado warned us about that when we picked up some of his cartridges a references for design work. He said, "enjoy it now, at the start..as it's going to loose it's appeal when the whole thing actually gets going". Not his exact words, but that's what he meant, in general. When it really gets up and running, it has a tendency to turn into a day-to-day slug fest, on many levels.

59mga
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Most impressive work, Doug. True craftmanship.

I also thought your acoustic corner treatment most insightful...although high in cholestoral content.

bobedaone
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!


Quote:

I also thought your acoustic corner treatment most insightful...although high in cholestoral content.

That's not actually Doug's, Mike. It just happens to be on the same page of the "DIY" album.

dbowker
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

True- Not that I haven't tried it before though. This would be way back in college, long before I cared about what others thought of such "treatments." Come to think of it, it probably put a serious dent in my ability to score with the female population. Doh! Take those things down immediately, crouser67 !!! You'll only live to regret it!

Sage Advice: Never try and explain why your stereo is so cool, and how important it is to a potential date, or mate, even if they pretend to be interested. Just put something nice on and let the music do the work. Talking ruins more romantic opportunities than you can count!

bobedaone
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

I am but a vessel into which I hope your wisdom will flow.

My female interest is coming over next week, and I made a short demo playlist of stuff she likes. Let the music do the talking. I also have a bottle of Clos du Bois that I've been saving, so maybe the music won't have to do ALL the talking.

Wait'll she sees how long my FM antenna is! Giggity.

KBK
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Reminds me of a favorite drink of my Sister's as it has a certain 'connotation', in it's use.

One, it has a plastic bottle, so when inebriated, you won't break it.

Two, it has a lizard on the front, indicative of slightly slimy guys and ways,and er, certain ideas about slinking, etc.. Sliming the ladies, etc...

Three, it was called and is, a 'Butterscotch Tequila', Tequila, better known as a world class 'Panty remover', with an intense layering of Butterscotch, to smooth out the Tequila taste, etc. But the old Tequila effect remained.

Four, it's name was 'Butterscotch', but my Sister called it: 'Butterbutt'.

bobedaone
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

hahahaha

piinob
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Very nice piece of work. Congratulations.

dbowker
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!

Thanks Shade and all others who have enjoyed my post! I have to say, it's already changed my relationship with the concept of "used" records. I had bought this old copy of Springsteen's E Street Shuffle which I had not tried yet because it looked so grungy, but after vacuum cleaning that baby played like new! I couldn't believe it was all just dirt and not actual record damage or noise. Makes me wish I had made one these years ago... Very interesting album BTW- sounds like Sly and Family Stone- nothing like 80s Bruce, which I have never been a fan of.

smejias
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Re: DIY Record Cleaning Machine!


Quote:
Thanks Shade and all others who have enjoyed my post! I have to say, it's already changed my relationship with the concept of "used" records. I had bought this old copy of Springsteen's E Street Shuffle which I had not tried yet because it looked so grungy, but after vacuum cleaning that baby played like new! I couldn't believe it was all just dirt and not actual record damage or noise. Makes me wish I had made one these years ago... Very interesting album BTW- sounds like Sly and Family Stone- nothing like 80s Bruce, which I have never been a fan of.

I love to hear this, Doug. I'm very anxious to start cleaning my own filthy records, so that I can finally enjoy them.

And, yeah, that's a great album. My man, Mad Dog, is all over the place on that. Like he just couldn't control his feet.

hardcoresoldier
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DIY Record Cleaning Machine
dbowker wrote:

Check out my new project- inspired by Stephen's quest for cleaner records, and that big batch of used LPs I got down in New Orleans recently.

DIY Record Cleaning Machine

I've used the VPI machines many times before, but honestly couldn't stomach the price. I don't like the Nitty Gritty approach that much, so I decided it was time for getting serious and just making my own. It turned out pretty nicely, and the total cost was around $110. Had I shopped around longer I could have found a cheaper used TT for parts, but once I get an idea for a project, I just want to get right on it. It works just as well as I had hoped and pictures plus construction details are in the DIY Gallery.

Anyone who thinks they might be interested in attempting their own, I'd be happy to give them more details.

 

Hello there sir. Sorry to bump a very old thread but i just happened upon this topic while searching for ways of making my own record cleaning machine. I have noticed that the link in your OP is now defunct and was just wondering if you still have the original information in your possesssion?. If you have and you are willing to pass on some advice i would be very grateful for your help.

 

Just from reading the thread comments i could tell that what you created was very special to draw such complimentary comments, even though i was unable to actually view your creation. As i said earlier, if you could help me in any way at all then i would be most grateful. Thank you for your time. Chris.

dbowker
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DIY?

Hey there hardcoresoldier:

 

Just noticed this post- sorry it's been weeks since you asked; I guess I don't visit the Tweaks section much. Yeah- my OP had a link to a gallery, which is down at this point. :( I made anew gallery on my own though, so here you go!

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51700274@N04/sets/72157626757509916/

I didn't eactly lay out plans or anything, but maybe I could put somehting togther. It all depends on if you have a woodshop and are handy enough to break down a few store bought items and re-configure them.

Basically I bought the smallest shop vac I could find, similar to: http://www.amazon.com/Shop-Vac-201-14-1-Gallon-Hang-Up-Vacuum/dp/B0001FFM3O

Then I got an old TT- looked for direct-drive but settled on a belt and it works reasonably well, plus a few toggle switches. In the end it was a 14"x14" by 15" high box out of 1/2" MDF. Inside was the bare guts of the shopvac, with the hose out the right side, and the exhaust out the left side. I didn't bother making a way to empty it of teh fluids because unless you are doing a hundred records a day, only a little will be in the tank and it's made to evaporate anyway. I could have made a springload tube/brush setup like VPI, but for time's sake I used the standard narrowvacuum head, plugged at one end and with a 1/8" slot cut down it's length. On either side I used thin strips of the softy fuzzy sides of Velco to make sure you down scratch your records.

I mounted the TT spindle and motor to the inside top as well, and had to get rid of all the "arm" switches in favor of a regular toggle. I've done a lot of DIY projects and have an industrial design degree, so it was more fun than hard, but there is a fair amount of reverse engineering and problem solving involved, so I would npt recomend a novice to try it. But I assume since you asked, you probably aren't.

Don't have time for more now- hope that helps! Ask more if you need help though.

 

deckeda
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Looks fantastic.

Having more time than money I'd like to try one as well, and you've provided some good ideas. Thanks for sharing.

dbowker
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Thanks!

And if you do try it and work something out, definitely post photos. I, and I'm sure many others, would appreciate seeing your solution.

deckeda
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No promises as to actually finishing it

... but I'm almost ready to start and sure, will post a pic if it's worthy. I picked up a running $25 Hitachi direct drive turntable today off craigslist. My plan is to utilize its dustcover (as a dustover for it) and so will make a rectangular box to house everything in shaped to match. 

Woodworking isn't my thing; don't have a router to make pretty tongue-and-grooves etc. so I gotta look at some basic techniques for joining the corners. I can glue and screw it together with predrilled holes and so on.

Did you toss in any soundproofing or is the Shop-Vac crazy loud?

I like the 2 round-metal doorstops for a hose holder idea.

dbowker
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It's less fancy than you think.

The box I made was 1/2" MDF, all screwed and glued togther. I did sound proff it somewhat- felt pads from a craft store I think mostly it's a matter of filling in holes and edges once glued up, giving it several good primer coats, sanding between coats and doing a good job of final top coats to make it look nice. With a DD you will have even less to do than I did so it's a good start already.

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