Intro: DIY Perspex Turntable Cover
So, I dug out my old vinyl.
Step 1: Scored a Sweeeeeeet Turntable!
I found a new turntable on Facebook market. A Dual 505-2 which worked great and had a fair needle. It had a couple of issues, in that, in the past someone had removed its feet and when it went into storage for a few years items were stored on top of it marking the acrylic dust cover. The plastic had also become brittle over the years and where the hinges connected with the turntable they had broken badly.
The feet were easily replaced by some Sorbothane hemispheres from these legends www.solidspikes.co.uk they are awesome, I have 8 sets now and love what the product does to the sound of a deck. (I have no affiliation in any way, I just like the products.)
I bought a new Ortofon 10m cartridge with a needle and it livened up this turntable a treat.
Then I got to thinking how a nice new dust cover might make this beautiful object look its best. I started seeing if I could find a replacement Dual dust cover. I probably could have, but prices for covers not much better than the one I had were going for £30/£40/£50.
So I then thought about getting a generic replacement. Prices for these were even sillier at from £50 to £100s. I got to thinking how these £180 acrylic covers were made. They are just cut Perspex stuck together. I could do that.
There are lots of companies that can cut perspex. Some have easy editors to configure your pieces. I plumped with www.perspexsheet.uk. I measured the existing cover and thought about my options. I went for a straight-edged design, rather than the sloped front the manufacturers tend to use. I opted for polished edges, to make it nice and easy to glue, and to make it look sexier.
The perspex for the job cost £16 in total with the extra options. Shipping - at the tediously slow 3-7 day rate - was £6. Then there was how to stick it together. Tensol 12 is your option here at £10 for 50ml. More about this concoction later.
So, for £33 English pounds, I had all the elements I needed for a new turntable cover. Now all I had to do was make it.
Step 2: ......Wait......
The glue arrived after 2 days, the perspex took another 5.
Longest . week . ever.
Step 3: The Build - the Perspex Arrives
Friday evening and I arrive home to a turntable sized package of Perspex.
I opened it and it was packaged really well. Covered with its blue protective plastic, I was a little concerned that some of the surface scratches on the coating might have gone through to the clear plastic, but this was unfounded. I collected my items ready for assembly.
The glue, a jig made by my colleague at work, some blue masking tape and small clamps. Also, a beer.
I removed the protective covering from the 4 sides, worked out how they should go together, then put my 2 longer pieces on the jig. I stood the 2 shorter strips on top of the longer ones at 90 degrees, made sure everything was level and straight, then clamped them to my jig.
Step 4: The Build - Eewwww! Glue.
Now, you don't actually glue acrylic, you chemically weld it. Tensol12 melts the surface of the plastic, the soft plastic then cures making a strong join.
I watched lots of video on YouTube on how to do this. Essentially, you fix everything in place, then run a fine bead along the join. Tensol 12 doesn't know it should run in a fine bead. It wants to pool and puddle and drip all over your lovely clean plastic.
I ran the bead along the 2 edges of the clamped sections by loading some glue into the provided syringe. The second one dripped onto the surface of the perspex causing a little blob. Every document you read tells you to leave these and under no circumstance to rub them off. I left the blob for a bit, then decided to try and rub it off, it didn't really work.
I was a little surprised how strongly this glue smelt. It STANK. A really strong chemical smell. Unpleasant.
It takes 3 hours for this stuff to cure so that you can handle it. I have no patience. So, after an hour I decided I'd try and put it all together. The following happened.
Step 5: The Build - Its All Coming Together.
After an hour the join was fragile, but the weld was holding.
I placed the sides onto the base and taped it all up. Glued along the remaining edges where it sat overnight to really cure.
Very little of the glue was used on the project, so you probably could do with much less. I bought this pack as it came with a syringe and pipette bottle and I didn't know how much I'd need.
The glue didn't come out evenly but rather pooled out of the syringe. However, most of the excess seemed to seep into the joints. We will see how it looks after the tape is off at the grand reveal.
Step 6: The Finished Project
So in the morning I peeled the final piece of the protective plastic sheet from the top of the cover and took the tape off the edges. I'm really pleased with it. You can see some of the pools of glue a little. Overall though a successful project.
I have learnt many things during the project, some of these are below.
1. Pay for faster postage. I'm not someone who can wait for 7 days.
2. Buy some extra pieces to practice glueing on.
3. Glueing acrylic is hard. If you can practice, if not just take your time.
4. This was a fun project.