Introduction: Protect Your Records by Shock Proofing Your Turntable
In their jackets, your record collection is pretty safe. It's when they're on your turntable when the chances of being destroyed are greatest. Probably the most common way records are ruined is when someone carelessly or accidentally bumps the table or cabinet the turntable is setting on. It doesn't take much energy to get the tonearm to bounce across a pristine vinyl disk.
These remarkable turntable feet are capable of totally eliminating all horizontal shock from your support surface to your turntable. These feet also include minimim point contact with your support surface, reducing vertical vibration energy as well. These feet will isolate your turntable and precious records from all the world's movement.
The feet are easy to make, will fit any turntable and drop jaws when you demonstrate how well they work.
Step 1: A Visual Description...
In the video, I move the feet slowly. If they were to be "flicked", like they would in an accidental bump, the torque on the balls would be greater, causing them to break free from a standing position much quicker. In other words, the faster the motion, the better the feet work.
The next video shows me violently moving all the legs at the same time. I wack the substrate they're setting on with a mallet creating movement like there'd be in an accidental bump... At the same time, risking my AT440MLa cartridge, so I must be confident in my engineering... Enjoy.
As you can see, there's no energy passed from the feet to the turntable deck. Stronger magnets and glass plates on top and bottom of the BBs may allow more movement than what my feet allow, but what are the chances of that happening? :)
This video was missing for a bit... Evidently, ASCAP didn't like me playing 30 seconds of Skeeter Davis' "End of the World"
so they shut the sound off on my video... Kinda sophomoric, when the idea behind the video was to hear the sound. This is the replacement, using classier music than what ASCAP had anyway. Enjoy.
Step 2: Make Your Own:
1. Wood of your choice. I used mahogany... I wish I had used walnut, since that's what I made the turntable out of... I don't know what I was thinking. I also used teak for the base material. My logic there was a hard, dense material for the base would be a good choice. Since using them (for about 4 years), I no longer think this is necessary.
2. Small sheet of glass
4. Hard steel plate
5. Steel BBs
6. Soft spacer material
7. My favorite material... Removable Putty
You'll also need tools to make the feet, saw, drill, glass cutter, chisel, wood, and hot melt glue and sandpaper.
Step 3: Putting It Together
I won't go into the details of how to make boxes, but that's basically what these feet are composed of. Of course, my preferences gravitate toward rectangles and cubes, so the same concept can be applied to any shape leg.
1. The lower box: This is a shallow 5-sided box into which the center block will sit, on top of any spacer material you may need to level your turntable. My cabinet is topped with 12" square granite, while being solid, varies in thickness slightly from piece to piece. I need quite a few spacers to bridge the multi-leveled cabinet top. If your cabinet is perfectly flat, you may not need any spacers. The height of the inside wall of my lower blocks is about 1/4", which gives me a fair amount of adjustment.
2. The magnetic "block": The magnet, I suppose, is optional, but if you decide not to use one, be sure to stock up on BBs and cuss words. The magnets I used came from my scrap box, aren't very powerful, but do the job (I think they were magnets that went to things that stick to refrigerators). They already had a metal plate attached with a small circular recess in the center.
This recess is important, as it corrals the BB in the centerline of the foot. My recesses measure .200" in diameter and .050" deep. This will allow my feet to move nearly 1/4" in any horizontal direction and the .050 depth prevents the BB from moving too far off center. The bottom of the indentation should be perfectly flat, and preferably polished. If you have diamond paste and a dowel, it will give the metal a mirror finish.
If you use round magnets, stick them to your metal plate, drill a hole large enough to hold the magnet and hot glue the plate to the top of the block. Place the BB in the corral.
3. Spacers: If your cabinet top is like mine, it's going to take a trial and error approach to level the turntable. I don't put any spacers in the lower box initially, but add them UNDER the box. Once I've got the correct number of spacers under each foot, I disassemble the feet, place the correct number of spacers inside the boxes and reassemble them... I don't move my turntable too often:)
4. The upper box: I sized the depth of my upper box so it left a narrow reveal between the top and lower components. Depending on your preferences, the box only has to be deep enough to entrap the BB and lower block. Hot glue a glass plate inside for the BB to roll on (glass is hard and non-magnetic). The walls of the upper box need to be thinner than those of the lower box (you can see the difference in the photos). This is so the box will have enough room around it to "float" when the BBs move. My setup moves too much, I think, since I'm always having to line the top and bottom portions up. If the turntable can move 1/16" of an inch or so, it's probably enough.
Lower the upper box over the block and play around with how easily it moves. It'll do the same thing under your turntable.
Step 4: My Favorite Stuff
3M should hire me... I love the material known as "Removable Putty". I get mine at my local grocery, but any stationery store should carry it.
Add a bit to the outside of the upper box and press it in place under the corners of your turntable. It will stay there forever, and if you need to remove it, there will be no evidence of it ever being stuck there... Great stuff.
Once you get it set up, all of the legs should display about the same amount of friction when you move the lower box as I did in my video.
I hope this idea is well received and others make variations on it. It was a lot of fun developing this and better yet, it works.