Lockdown #2 Project

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Over Lockdown #1 I bought a Pro-ject RPM1/3 Genie in need of some attention, sorted it out, enjoyed it for a bit and then sold on.

But........I have also been collecting parts for a custom turntable. Lockdown #2 has given me the opportunity to complete this (hopefully).

The parts are -

Lenco L75 heavy duty bearing, platter (3.5kg) and original rubber mat. I have upgraded the bearing to a ceramic ball bearing and PEM bottom plate. From 33rpm this now spins for over 4 minutes until standstill.

Pro-ject M303 300rpm 16v motor which I have replicated the electronics and mounted it in a heavy aluminium casing, the motor being on rubber mounts in the top plate. This is quiet and pretty much vibration free. The stock pulley and the Lenco platter see a stable 33.34rpm and less than 0.10% Wow Flutter (hoping to get this down more with a solid bearing mount and new belt, the old one was pretty stretched). Note this is around half the W&F of the Standard Genie and closing in on the Linn Axis, RPM5 and Planar 6 numbers.

Pro-ject Speedbox 2. I picked this up cheap so thought why not, this allows for 33/45 switching at the press of a button. The turntable will be wired so that it can be used with or without this box.

Rega RB303 tonearm, I picked this up in need of a bit of care. It needed the end of the tonearm re-painting which luckily I had some satin spray so tidied this up, then re-wired it (first and last time !) with Litz 30AWG Silver wire using a single wire from one end to the other. Finally made up a 3g cartridge weight as the AT VM95E I have on hand is a little light for the arm. I also had to sort out the antiskate system as the magnet had gone missing. But now all looks fine and ready to be wired into a Project connection box or a back plate (TBD).

I am waiting on an Audio Technica LS500 cartridge to be delivered (fingers crossed and praying to the great god Ebay) which according to the specs/limited writeups should be on a par with the VM540ML and seems to be a modified version of the AT14SA and has a Vivid/Linear Contact cut needle (between a ML and SH cut as far as I can tell).

The last bit of the jigsaw was to find a nice piece of Kiln Dried Walnut (approx. 1200x400x50mm) that I can cut a plinth and base from. These will be encapsulated in clear epoxy resin with the top of the plinth being raised to meet the lip on the platter. Only issue is that the epoxy needs 10+ deg C to cure well (otherwise it tend to go cloudy) so this bit may need to wait for a break in the weather. The plinth will be fairly large at 475x360mm but that includes the cutout for the motor.

All up weight should be around 8.5kg for the base, 9-10kg for the plinth/bearing/arm and 3.5kg for the platter so hopefully that should provide a stable platform to work from.

So, pictures below and will post progress as an when it happens.


50783648437_a24d41e97f.jpg



50782782318_fdec5edae5.jpg


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50783649022_32a81e8938.jpg


50783647652_6d58381fa9.jpg


50783648017_d1e8c4b6c5.jpg


50783805042_be6ca4a55d.jpg
 
Last edited:

Alan Weir 1

Active Member
Over Lockdown #1 I bought a Pro-ject RPM1/3 Genie in need of some attention, sorted it out, enjoyed it for a bit and then sold on.

But........I have also been collecting parts for a custom turntable. Lockdown #2 has given me the opportunity to complete this (hopefully).

The parts are -

Lenco L75 heavy duty bearing, platter (3.5kg) and original rubber mat. I have upgraded the bearing to a ceramic ball bearing an PEM bottom plate. From 33rpm this now spins for over 4 minutes until standstill.

Pro-ject M303 300rpm 16v motor which I have replicated the electronics and mounted it in a heavy aluminium casing, the motor being on rubber mounts in the top plate. This is quiet and pretty much vibration free. The stock pulley and the Lenco platter see a stable 33.34rpm and less than 0.10% Wow Flutter (hoping to get this down more with a solid bearing mount and new belt, the old one was pretty stretched). Note this is around half the W&F of the Standard Genie and closing in on the Linn Axis, RPM5 and Planar 6 numbers.

Pro-ject Speedbox 2. I picked this up cheap so thought why not, this allows for 33/45 switching at the press of a button. The turntable will be wired so that it can be used with or without this box.

Rega RB303 tonearm, I picked this up in need of a bit of care. It needed the end of the tonearm re-painting which luckily I had some satin spray so tidied this up, then re-wired it (first and last time !) with Litz 30AWG Silver wire using a single wire from one end to the other. Finally made up a 3g cartridge weight as the AT VM95E I have on hand is a little light for the arm. I also had to sort out the antiskate system as the magnet had gone missing. But now all looks fine and ready to be wired into a Project connection box or a back plate (TBD).

I am waiting on an Audio Technica LS500 cartridge to be delivered (fingers crossed and praying ot the great god Ebay) which according to the specs/limited writeups should be on a par with the VM540ML and seems to be a modified version of the AT14SA and has a Vivid/Linear Contact cut needle (between a ML and SH cut as far as I can tell).

The last bit of the jigsaw was to find a nice piece of Kiln Dried Walnut (approx. 1200x400x50mm) that I can cut a plinth and base from. These will be encapsulated in clear epoxy resin with the top of the plinth being raised to meet the lip on the platter. Only issue is that the epoxy needs 10+ deg C to cure well (otherwise it tend to go cloudy) so this bit may need to wait for a break in the weather. The plinth will be fairly large at 475x360mm but that includes the cutout for the motor.

All up weight should be around 8.5kg for the base, 9-10kg for the plinth/bearing/arm and 3.5kg for the platter so hopefully that should provide a stable platform to work from.

So, pictures below and will post progress as an when it happens.


50783648437_a24d41e97f.jpg



50782782318_fdec5edae5.jpg


50783544606_0185211ff8.jpg


50783649022_32a81e8938.jpg


50783647652_6d58381fa9.jpg


50783648017_d1e8c4b6c5.jpg


50783805042_be6ca4a55d.jpg
Sounds like a fascinating project. Would love to have the expertise to attempt something like this.
Best of luck!👍
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
I love your ideas and work. Looking forward to seeing more
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
As a follow up, given that nothing is happening tonight due to lockdown #2 I thought I'd try and see if I could get some half decent Stylus diamond shots using my camera. This is in anticipation of receiving a used AT LS500 so I can check out the state of the stylus when it arrives.

So, setup was - Cartridge/stylus on arm, LED torch shining on the stylus from approx 15 deg angle, Camera on tripod. Stand off was around 3-4".

Camera is Canon 6D with Sigma Contemporary 100-400 lens set to 400mm (start with focus in the middle of the range), then I added my Raynox 250 macro clip on lens. Manually moved the camera to get close to in-focus then with camera linked to PC using the Canon Utility I manually focused it best I could (pretty shaky at this magnification). Used the utility to shoot (remote), added a couple of stops compensation and it seems to have come out OK.

Results using my AT VM95E which has probably had about 50hrs on it so far. Pics before a quick clean and after - full frame, 100% and 200% zoom. With a bit more time/care I think I could get these a little sharper but still fairly happy with the results.

50783998811_ea2b56860d_z.jpg


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So, if you have an old SLR with a long zoom (300mm ish) then the Raynox 250 look like a half decent way of getting stylus shots to check wear or cleanliness.


You can also have fun with it capturing macros like these -

Silicon Valley at Sunset

34232268074_8e1f070521_z.jpg
 

oscroft

Member
Sounds great - I've got this one bookmarked!

I've got a couple of macro lenses, but for some reason I just hadn't thought of trying some stylus shots. I must give it a go.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Would love a dedicated macro lens but the one I would want would be the Canon 100mm IS L f2.8 and can’t justify the cost for the limited use it would get.

I think the lens for stylus pics may be the Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 5x macro lens.

Oh, just remembered I have a led battery powered ring light, may see if that helps.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Quick try with the ring light, had to finagle the Raynox into the ring surround with foam padding as the holder did not fit. This allowed for F10 (greater depth of field, easier focusing) and 1/60th shutter (reduced camera shake).

Bit of minor editing in DXO11.

Pretty happy with the result

50786692206_335399c6b2_z.jpg


original not zoomed in


IMG_9104a
by A H, on Flickr
 

oscroft

Member
Would love a dedicated macro lens but the one I would want would be the Canon 100mm IS L f2.8 and can’t justify the cost for the limited use it would get.
Yes, that would be nice! I have a vintage (manual focus) Tamron 90/2.8 macro with adaptors for Sony (full frame A7) and Micro Four Thirds - on the latter, it should give effective 2x. I'll have to try it - it might provide the excuse I need to get a ring light ;)
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Mine’s an older version of this, Neewer Ring 48.

Amazon product
So not a flash, just a ring of LED lights attached the the lens front that are on all of the time, for static images this is fine, adding a decent amount of illumination to up the shutter speed and F Stop to give that extra depth of view and reduce camera shake.
 

oscroft

Member
Mine’s an older version of this, Neewer Ring 48.

Amazon product
So not a flash, just a ring of LED lights attached the the lens front that are on all of the time, for static images this is fine, adding a decent amount of illumination to up the shutter speed and F Stop to give that extra depth of view and reduce camera shake.
That looks like it could be ideal, thanks.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Minor glitch - the AT LS500 cartridge I won on Ebay seems to “have got damaged during packing” so will not be winging its way to me (Refund provided so not an issue, slightly suspicious as the seller has a BIN auction for the same item going which finished the day after I won and for more £). Not an issue as I have a VM95E to get me going but this looked like a very nice and sought after cartridge/stylus plus I won it for a cheap price.

Ho hum, I’ll keep searching, maybe an ML or SH will come up at some point.
 

oscroft

Member
Minor glitch - the AT LS500 cartridge I won on Ebay seems to “have got damaged during packing” so will not be winging its way to me (Refund provided so not an issue, slightly suspicious as the seller has a BIN auction for the same item going which finished the day after I won and for more £).
Suspicious, that, and something similar has happened to me a few times. Last time was an LP that ended with only my bid at 99p, and it unfortunately "got damaged during packing" too. There's not a lot we can do about it really.
 

oscroft

Member
Suspicious, that, and something similar has happened to me a few times. Last time was an LP that ended with only my bid at 99p, and it unfortunately "got damaged during packing" too. There's not a lot we can do about it really.
And today, another LP I got for 99p, the seller apparently dropped it on the way to posting it and a car ran over it.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Been a while but progress at last.

Actually, I have been making sure the wood was fully dried out in the house and waiting for warmer weather as the Epoxy resin says it needs 10degsC to set.........well that’s my excuse!

So I have ordered and received the Epoxy resin, ordered on Amazon, shipped from Germany and received in less than 10 days and not Brexit tax (think it was under the £115 limit???), went for 10.5kg of Epoxyplast 3D with the B20 hardener. Also got some 5mm polypropylene sheet to make the shuttering and resin release tape to cover up some plugs (not bath or electric, the sort you use in a mould and remover after to creat a cavity, four candles anyone?).

The resin I will have to pour in at least four stages 24hrs apart so will probably do a scale model over the next week or so to check timings and make sure it all bonds and sets evenly, this will include a test as to whether the wood needs pre-sealing or not.

Today I did a first cut of the wood and started to sand off the saw mill marks so that I could get an idea of the shape/size/weight and the grain. Pretty pleased so far just need to decide which is the base and which is the main turntable plinth and then which side I choose is up. If anyone has any views as to which should be which please do comment. (Right hand side one has a bit of a waney edge if that sways you).

1) Dry Side 1
51059029493_4852e838be.jpg


2) Dry Side 2
51059029478_a0ab78df9b.jpg


3) Wet Side 1
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4) Wet Side 2
51059750456_f703517c70.jpg
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Couldn’t resist a quick mock up! Quite liking the bit of waney edge at the front (side 1 right), and it’s bloomin‘ heavy and that’s without covering the wood in 5mm of epoxy resin (20mm on the top).

51060385651_34780e0229.jpg


51060385656_4f15f940e1.jpg
 
Last edited:

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Couldn’t resist a quick mock up! Quite liking the bit of waney edge at the front (side 1 right), and it’s bloomin‘ heavy and that’s without covering the wood in 5mm of epoxy resin (20mm on the top).

51060385651_34780e0229.jpg


51060385656_4f15f940e1.jpg
Looks fantastic already.
 

oscroft

Member
Couldn’t resist a quick mock up! Quite liking the bit of waney edge at the front (side 1 right), and it’s bloomin‘ heavy and that’s without covering the wood in 5mm of epoxy resin (20mm on the top).

51060385651_34780e0229.jpg


51060385656_4f15f940e1.jpg
So is that Magners epoxy resin at the back you'll be using, then?
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Couldn’t resist a quick mock up! Quite liking the bit of waney edge at the front (side 1 right), and it’s bloomin‘ heavy and that’s without covering the wood in 5mm of epoxy resin (20mm on the top).

51060385651_34780e0229.jpg


51060385656_4f15f940e1.jpg
Looking very nice indeed.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
So is that Magners epoxy resin at the back you'll be using, then?

Nope, that for the bearing, its a great lubricant !!!! :D
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Test piece progress.

As I have not tried this before I thought I’d do a scale model to check out the processes etc. to make sure the different pours bond together seamlessly and to see if the main wood needs to be primed.

So, small piece of wood, on top is a piece of 40mm worktop with 5mm foam edging and covered in resin release tape. This simulates the main plinth and plug for the turntable, motor and tonearm cavities as I want the turntable almost flush with the plinth top.

I made a box from 5mm polypropylene sheet tacked at the corners with hot melt glue and the seams sealed with silicone sealant. The polypropylene supposedly does not stick to the resin, we will see.

Anyway, pour 1, 5mm deep went fine with no leaks, pour 2 to fill the sides is currently curing. The resin is mixed 2:1 resin to hardener by weight and takes 24hrs to be solid and ready for a second layer which supposedly chemically bonds at this point in the cure, full cure is seven days.

Few pics.

Test piece.

51080960688_decf7db644.jpg


Half primed

51081749907_0bb2f8c344.jpg


Box

51081749957_17203e7dd1.jpg


First pour

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Second pour

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Oh, and the plinth and base are now 5mm shorter than planned due to a slipping guide when routing the edge square! It’s going to look better with a wider surround anyway, I keep telling myself ..... honest......

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Main wood now square and down to 180 grit sanded, end grain is going to look nice.

51081657681_7599dc1f41.jpg
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Did the final pour, left it to set for 36hrs and attempted to demould.

Final Pour

51087735311_af4d2ccee3.jpg


Removing the plug was OK, took a bit of work but came out fine. The foam and tape worked well and I think will do so on the main piece fine.

51002809389_7bcfaf9f76.jpg


The hot glue just chipped off the polypropylene box which was a good sign. The box sides then just peeled off without any real effort, result !!! Observations -
  • The three pours have seamlessly merged which is what I was hoping, 24hrs between pours seems to be OK.
  • The Silicon Sealant seems to have stuck to the epoxy resin so may need to find a way around that.
  • The top seems to have a meniscus effect on it raising the outer edge and around the plug however this may have been me being a bit vigorous with the pour and also tried to "de gas" with a hot air gun.
  • On that note when you mix there is a lot of tiny bubbles what seem to de-gas fine, the sides (deepest pour at 50mm) are fine.
  • Finally the pre-sealing of the wood does not seem to have made any difference to the co9lour or bonding of the wood into the epoxy, one step less to do then.
  • This block is 10x16x8cm (wxlxd) with a about 25% hole in the top and weights just over 1kg, so the estimated weight of the final main plinth will be around 8-9kg and the bass around 6-7 kg, with the 3.65kg platter, arm, feet and bearing this is going quite a weighty item c.20-22kg in total.
Now for pics of the test piece.

51084281698_16f1df6fe8.jpg


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So, I'm going to leave it over the weekend to fully cure and then do some tests on cleaning up any flash or silicon and also do a drill/router test to see how it cuts. I think I have the confidence to do the main turntable plinth first to make sure I don't run out of epoxy so will be making the box and plug early next week, I should have that out of the mould next weekend, fingers crossed and the base the weekend after that, thenits on to curtting the various holes which is the scary bit.
 

oscroft

Member
Looks great so far. I suspect you're always going to get that meniscus effect at the edges - capillary action and all that.
 

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