Introduction: Open Source Record Cleaner

Picture of Open Source Record Cleaner

This is the machine I made to clean my records.  To make this you'll need at least :

1 battery drill
1 right angle drill adaptor
some wood
right angle metal brackets
some M6 threaded bar
3 M6 nuts
Either some marine ply, or a circular chopping board (12 inches)
Some non slip drawer liner

Step 1: The Main Part

Picture of The Main Part

Ok, looking at the photos should be enough for most people, but here's a breakdown of what you need to do.

Attach the right angle drive onto the drill, and find a way to attach that assembly on a sturdy base (I'm using an old wood butcher's block)

Drill a hole in the centre of your platter (I'm using a round chopping board I brought cheaply from amazon) and put the M6 threaded bar through.  Then put a nut on either end and tighten them up as hard as you can.  The nuts should sink into the wood a bit.

Once you've got that vageuly straight and secure, put the platter/bolt part into the chuck of the drill attachment.  As you can see from the photos, I've mounted three old castors on the base of it to keep everything nice and level.

Step 2: Other Steps

Picture of Other Steps

A sheet of drawer liner rubber cut to a 12" disc, then a M6 washer ontop, then the record you're cleaning, then another washer, then a M6 nut.  Snug it down (you don't have to tighten it too much, just enough so the whole thing spins as a single piece)

The trick is to spin it fast enough to clean a record quickly, but not so fast that the entire thing comes apart.  Keep tweaking the design until it spins as smoothly as you can get it.  My makita drill spins at a max of 400rpm in first gear, and I reckon I spin it at about 50%.

Step 3: Tricks

You have to re tighten the chuck everyonce in a while, and it's best to slow down gradually.  That's becuase if you just stop the drill, the platter will spin for a few turns, and end up loosening itself.  You DO NOT want it coming apart with a record mounted to it.  That's a bad thing.

As for the technique for cleaning the records, it's pretty simple.  Attach the disc as I've mentioned, give it a few jets from something like a camera air puffer - just to remove the big grit.  Then spray on your cleaning fluid.  Be careful to not get the label wet.

(I use the recipe from here http://www.teresaudio.com/haven/cleaner/cleaner.html#recipe) 

Then, with the LP spinning, get a clean brush (I use a synthetic inch and a half bristle paintbrush from a DIY store - but record cleaning brushes are available.  I think the brush does a better job) hold the brush steady at the end of the record, and slowly move it toward the outside edge.  Every playable part of the disc should get wet, and have at least three or four revolutions under the brush.

Then, when you're happy you've cleaned the surface, get a microfibre cloth (buy a good one for polishing glass - 3M for a great one), make a fold in it so there's a nice ridge (avoid the stiching in the edges) and spin your disc again, this time - hold the folded cloth onto the LP, and press very gently.  This will dry the LP, and polish it slightly.

After a few practises, you'll get a feeling for when a disc is clean and dry.

Step 4: Ideas

Well, that's the record cleaner!  I'm going to cut a 4" disc of plastic to cover the label, as it's easy to get that wet.  I hope this shows how easy it is to make a very effective record cleaner.  And that you don't have to spend on things like VPi.

Please share any modifications or changes you make to this design, it's been through a few as I've used it!

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