Are you a vinyl enthusiast looking for a unique and personalized way to play your records?
Have you ever considered making your own turntable?
While it may seem like a daunting task, creating your own turntable can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Whether you’re looking to replace a broken part or build a completely new turntable from scratch, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps and tools to bring your DIY turntable dreams to life.
From constructing the box to installing the motor and tonearm, we’ll take you through each step of the process.
So grab your tools and let’s get started on creating your very own custom turntable.
How To Make Your Own Turntable
Step 1: Construct the Box
The first step in making your own turntable is to construct the box. You can design your own box or keep it simple for your first attempt. The standard box measurement is 2 feet long, 5 inches tall, and 16 inches wide. Make sure the box has enough space to accommodate the needle, tonearm, and record.
To construct the box, you will need clamps and wood glue. Once you have constructed the box, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Install the Turntable
The next step is to mount the motor to the bottom of the box. Use a dowel rod and attach it to the motor. Avoid using higher voltage to prevent overloading the motor. Install a potentiometer to control and adjust your turntable’s speed.
Cut out a 12-inch circular plate and drill a hole into the center of the plate for the dowel. You can rotate it easily by using additional support such as a Lazy Susan.
Step 3: Speakers and Tonearm
The next step is to build a tonearm. Connect one dowel to another one that is placed upright to the first. Use ring-shaped magnets to allow the arm to move freely. Place the record player’s needle on the tonearm’s end.
Attach the positive right wire to the amp on the right side, and attach the left wire to the amp on the left. Then attach both negatives to the ground for the amp. The amp then needs to be connected to a power source for the speakers.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
The final steps involve using two separate circuits. One circuit should connect the needle to the amp and speakers; the other is for the turntable.
To accommodate the speakers, you will need to make holes in the front part of the box. Drill another hole on top for the wires from the needle.
At this point, your homemade turntable is almost done. You can finally enhance its exterior part and test its performance.
Gathering Your Materials And Tools
Before you start building your own turntable, you will need to gather all the necessary materials and tools. Here is a list of what you will need:
– Wood glue
– Circular disc
– Wire and rods
– Batteries and magnets
– Circular saw
– Power drill
– Sewing needle (size 9 or 10)
– Can opener
– Funnel (plastic)
– Lab notebook
Additionally, if you plan on building a turntable stand with built-in storage, you will need:
– Wood (for the stand)
– Wood screws
– Wood glue
– Drill and drill bits
– Saw or jigsaw
When gathering your materials, keep in mind that some items may be difficult to find. You may need to visit a home goods store, auto parts store, or thrift shop to find some of the necessary items. It’s also important to note that some of the materials listed above are for alternative DIY turntable projects mentioned in the article, so be sure to only gather what is relevant to your specific project.
With all of the necessary materials and tools gathered, you are ready to start building your very own turntable. Remember to follow the instructions carefully and take your time to ensure that your turntable is built safely and properly.
Building The Turntable Box
The turntable box is an essential part of your DIY turntable. It not only houses all the components but also provides the support and stability needed for the turntable to work correctly.
To build the turntable box, start by designing your own box or keeping it simple for your first attempt. The standard box measurement is 2 feet long, 5 inches tall, and 16 inches wide. Make sure that the box has enough space to accommodate the needle, tonearm, and record.
To construct the box, you will need clamps and wood glue. Once you have constructed the box, mount the motor to the bottom of the box using a dowel rod and attach it to the motor. Be careful not to overload the motor by using higher voltage.
To control and adjust your turntable’s speed, install a potentiometer. Cut out a 12-inch circular plate and drill a hole into the center of the plate for the dowel. You can rotate it easily by using additional support such as a Lazy Susan.
Next, build a tonearm by connecting one dowel to another one placed upright to the first. Use ring-shaped magnets to allow the arm to move freely. Place the record player’s needle on the tonearm’s end.
Attach the positive right wire to the amp on the right side and attach the left wire to the amp on the left. Then attach both negatives to the ground for the amp. The amp then needs to be connected to a power source for the speakers.
Finally, use two separate circuits: one circuit should connect the needle to the amp and speakers; and another is for the turntable. Make holes in the front part of the box to accommodate the speakers and drill another hole on top for wires from the needle.
With these steps, you can construct your own turntable box and start enjoying your favorite vinyl records in no time!
Installing The Motor And Platter
After constructing the box for your turntable, the next step is to install the motor and platter. First, mount the motor to the bottom of the box using screws or adhesive. Then, attach a dowel rod to the motor using a coupling or other appropriate connector.
It’s important to avoid overloading the motor by using a voltage that is too high. To control the speed of your turntable, install a potentiometer. This will allow you to adjust the speed based on the size of the record you want to play.
Next, cut out a circular plate that measures 12 inches in diameter. Drill a hole directly into the center of the plate for the dowel rod. To make it rotate easily, you can use a Lazy Susan or other support system.
Once you have installed the motor and platter, you can move on to building your tonearm and connecting your speakers and amplifier. With these components in place, you’ll be ready to enjoy your homemade turntable and all of its unique features.
Adding The Tonearm And Cartridge
Adding the tonearm and cartridge is a crucial step in building your own turntable. Before installing the new cartridge, you need to remove the old one. Use a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the headshell screws on your current cartridge. Next, gently unplug each of the four tonearm wires. Make sure you hold the wires by the plastic sleeve to avoid breaking them.
Now, it’s time to install the new cartridge. Begin by attaching the tonearm wires. Each colored tonearm wire has a corresponding colored pin on the cartridge. If your cartridge does not have colored pins, please consult the cartridge’s manual. Since the stylus is very fragile, it is best to leave the stylus guard on during installation.
Insert the headshell screws into the slots on the headshell and then through the slots on the cartridge housing. Using your finger, hold the headshell nut in place and turn the screw until the threads catch. Repeat with both screws. Make sure the screws are snug, but don’t tighten all the way just yet.
With the cartridge mounted, use a protractor or alignment tool to make sure that your cartridge is properly aligned. Adjust cartridge alignment by adjusting the positioning of the cartridge along the headshell slots. Use a stylus force gauge to check that your vertical tracking force (VTF) is correct. For MM cartridges, the VTF range is usually 1.5-2 grams, but this varies. The manufacturer’s recommended VTF will be listed on your cartridge’s spec sheet.
If you need to adjust VTF, loosen the thumbscrew on the counterweight and adjust its positioning on the back of the arm. Moving it backward will decrease VTF and moving it forward will increase VTF. Once positioned correctly, tighten the thumbscrew.
Congratulations! You have successfully added a tonearm and cartridge to your homemade turntable. Remember that these instructions are specific to Ortofon OM5E cartridges and may vary for other cartridges and turntables.
Wiring And Testing Your Turntable
Now that your turntable is constructed, it’s time to wire and test it. Start by taking the RCA cables that are attached to your turntable and plug them into the preamp’s input audio jacks. If your turntable has a grounding wire, connect that to your preamp as well.
Next, take another set of cables and connect the preamp’s output to one of the amplifier’s inputs. Make sure you connect the positive right wire to the amp on the right side, and the left wire to the amp on the left. Connect both negatives to the ground for the amp.
Once you have connected everything, it’s time to test your turntable’s performance. Choose the correct speed for the record you’re playing, usually 33 RPM for 12-inch records and 45 RPM for 7-inch discs. Make sure your turntable is balanced by reading the instructions and adjusting the counterweight and anti-skate dial accordingly.
If you’re using stereo speakers, make sure they are connected properly and turned on. If you’re using headphones, plug them into the headphone jack on your amplifier.
Finally, play a record and listen to how it sounds. If there are any issues with sound quality or performance, refer back to the instructions and make adjustments as necessary. With a little patience and persistence, you’ll have a fully functional homemade turntable that produces high-quality sound.
Customizing Your Turntable Design
Once you have completed the basic steps of constructing your own turntable, you can customize its design to make it truly unique. Here are some ideas to consider:
1. Add a personal touch: You can paint or decorate the exterior of your turntable to reflect your personal style. Use stencils, decals, or even decoupage to create a custom design.
2. Experiment with materials: Instead of using wood for your box, consider using metal, acrylic, or even recycled materials like old vinyl records or discarded turntable parts.
3. Upgrade the components: While the basic components of a turntable are essential, you can upgrade them to improve performance or add new features. For example, you could add a preamp or replace the tonearm with a higher-end model.
4. Incorporate lighting: Adding LED lights to your turntable can create a unique visual effect while also making it easier to see in low-light conditions.
5. Consider portability: If you plan on taking your turntable on the go, consider adding wheels or handles for easy transport.
Remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing your turntable design. Let your creativity run wild and make your turntable truly one-of-a-kind.