So you want to learn how to make a record player, but it sounds like it might be too hard. Don’t worry because we have all the information you need, and we’re right here to help you through the process if you just read on to learn precisely what’s involved. With a little guidance, you will soon be able to boast that you made your very own record player.
When it comes to making your own record player, don’t expect it to be of the same quality as the professional models. Truth be told, it won’t even equal the least expensive models on the market.
However, it is possible to build a homemade turntable of high quality that can give the high-scale models a run for their money.
How to make a DIY Turntable That Really Works
The following instructions are straightforward to follow. Just be sure you collect all of the supplies needed for the project before you begin. You don’t want to have to stop in the middle of things to rush out and buy something.
This is a low-cost project that shouldn’t cost you more than thirty dollars or so. You can easily purchase the supplies for this particular project online or at your local home improvement store.
For this project, you’ll require the following items:
- Circular disc
Building the Box
What you want the box’s appearance to be like and what type of design you use is your decision. If your woodworking skills are somewhat lacking, then keep it simple. Rather than focusing on the box’s quality, focus your attention on the sound’s output and make the wiring is in good condition.
The box itself needs to be around two feet in length, sixteen inches wide, and five inches tall. The box’s top should be large enough to hold the needle, tonearm, and a record. Each of these parts will be contained inside the box, so you’ll need to be sure that the box is deep enough.
You can use build the box out of some simple clamps and good wood glue. Don’t use any glue on the top of the box, since you’ll need to be able to get inside.
The next step is installing the motor in the bottom of the box. Then use a dowel rod and hook it up to the motor. Take care that you don’t overload the motor, which can occur if you use a higher voltage.
To enable yourself to control the turntable’s speed, you need to install a potentiometer. This allows you to adjust the turntable speed, depending on the size of the record you want to play.
Next, cut out a circular plate measuring twelve-inches. Then drill a hole directly into the center of the plate. This is for the dowel. For it to rotate smoothly, you can use a Lazy Susan for extra support.
Speakers and Tonearm
Now, you build the tonearm. You start by connecting one dowel to another dowel that is placed perpendicularly to the first. Utilize ring-shaped magnets in order to let the arm move freely.
Place the record player’s needle on the end of the tonearm, then proceed to wire the right and left sides. Connect the positive right wire to the amp on the right side and the left wire to the amp.
For the amp, connect both negatives to the ground. You also must connect the amp to a power source, plus a couple of speakers.
At this point, you’ll have two separate circuits. One of the circuits connects the needle to the speakers and amp, and the other is for the turntable.
Cut a couple of holes in the front portion of the box to hold the speakers. Another hole should go in the top for the wires extending from the needle. You wouldn’t need to ground your record player unless you made the casing from metal.
And that’s it, and your project is now complete. You can get really creative and paint the exterior in terms of style or add a nice stain. Or just leave it the way it is.
If you are searching for a simple project that you can tackle along with your kids, try making a record player with them. Not only will the project itself keep them entertained, but using it afterward will be their passion for at least a good while. Best of all, they will learn some interesting facts about science while they are doing this project.
Not only all of the above benefits, but this project is a fabulous way to spend a whole afternoon with your children.
It’s also a whole lot easier than the previous one. You will be able to simply explain all of the steps involved to them clearly and concisely.
Think about it. You can teach your children just how important safety is when dealing with wiring, and further explain in detail how a record player really works. They can learn the ins and outs of a record player’s working, such as how the speed at which a turntable moves can affect the sound which the record player produces.
In the same vein as the first project, you’ll have to buy some supplies before beginning.
- a shaft
- a small motor
- a light switch
- paper clips
- masking tape
The first part is the most important, the motor. You should test it before you go through the trouble of installing it in order to be certain it works correctly. You can hook it up to a smaller battery to do this.
For the turntable’s power button, buy a basic light switch. Connect it to both the battery and the motor, so that it sits in between them and controls the flow of electricity passing between them.
Next, take some of the masking tapes and wrap it around the shaft that comes out from the motor until it’s the small hole’s size in the center of a record. Try to fit a record on it. If it does not fit tightly, keep adding more tape until it does.
Next, roll up one sheet of paper megaphone-style. One end should be tightly rolled. Insert an unbent paper clip through the hole. Use some tape to secure the paper and keep it tightly in place around the paper clip.
Now you’re ready to turn the motor on by touching the paper clip to the spinning vinyl, which will cause the record to play.
If the record player is not playing fast enough, then you’ll need to purchase a faster motor or a bigger battery. If the vinyl starts spinning backward, reverse the light switch wires. If it plays the records too quickly, then use a smaller battery or a slower motor.
Naturally, you should never use this type of record player on high-quality vinyl. Or any disc you care about.
Remember that records are very fragile, and this type of makeshift needle can cause some severe damage. But if you use an inexpensive disc that can be thrown away, this homemade turntable is a terrific project for the entire family and a great way to show the kids how a record player operates.