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View Full Version : Amazing record cleaning machine for a couple of quid



Magna Audio
07-04-2009, 20:28
At the Bristol Hifi show I saw the Keith Monks record cleaning machine in action. Very nice piece of kit but at a price.

So... I decided to make one.

http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6864.jpg

Remembered the old JVC midi TT (0) in the loft that my father gave me a few years ago - I was never going to play vinyl on it but my daughter is using the music centre tower so we kept it.

Dust it off - stylus fell off:) Ah good it runs on 12V - dooh it's a belt drive - would have preferred drive. still it runs well and is quite torquey. Keith uses something like 66 rpm but 45 will have to do for me.

Removed the cartridge and drilled a hole in the plastic headshell. Now for a nozzle. A PTFE desoldering pump will do nicely (0 as I had a spare). Bit of silicone tubing (2.95 from ebay, nice and flexi). to a jam jar separator tank (0). Small hole for the lid. I used a rubber grommet super glued in and then the unused end off an silicone sealant squirter as a nice push fit for the tubing.

Big hole for the vacuum tube was cut using a cheaper cutter tool in my pilar drill. Air tight seal was achieved by super gluing a coke bottle top into the flexi tube and then a large 'O' ring around just the screw neck part of the coke bottle screwed up from the inner side of the jam jar lid.

So far so good.
No for the cotton runner thread. Drill a hole in the arm counter weight and find a suitable screw to hole the thread. I am actually using silk thread as it was a bit thicker (2.90). Make guides for the thread out of zip ties and a paper clip.

Power for the TT - a 12V model battery charger (exact rotational speed not essential).

Now the the cleaning pad and solution. I copped out and bought a clear audio replacement pad for their machines (9.95).

Cleaning solution. Isopropyl alcohol from an online medical supplier. Distilled water from Halfords and 'Wetting' agent from the local photographic shop.
No nasty detergents / residues for my vinyl babies.
I sent my wife in for the Wetting agent - she had fun asking for that in Jessops ("never heard of it - snigger") the excellent Kodak shop who had heard of it. Cost about 20 to make litres and litres of the stuff.
1/3 IPA, 2/3 distilled water and 0.5 tsp wetting agent.

Here's some pics of it in action.

I've found applying the solution with the record running (having removed the worst of muck with dry pad first). Then letting it run for a minute or so.

http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6861.jpg

Stop the deck and do a back and forth cleaning motion to really loosen the muck, finishing with a run and drawing the pad away.
Mid clean it looks like this.

http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6870-1.jpg

Then it's spin up the vac (I use a Vax but any vac will do) as long as the big suck tube fits snugly). On with the sucker wand on a new bit of thread each time and away.

http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6862.jpg
http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6863.jpg
http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6865.jpg
http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6868-1.jpg
http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6871.jpg

I don't (as yet) have a mechanism to smoothly progress the arm across the disc - This is exactly how Keith's machine does it. Leaving it to run in the groove is too slow as the solution dries out fairly fast. I have to manually slowly push the sucker across. The thread protects the grooves. It takes about 5 mins to clean a disc.

Here's a shot of the muck catcher jar.

http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/speedysteve7/IMG_6867.jpg

So does it work? - YES it does. Won't fix scratches but clicks and pops and noise are reduced / eliminated. It really does work far better than washing and trying to dry some other way.

I even use it on new vinyl as it removes the releasing agent used in the pressing and the disc sounds better for it.

So for a few quid and a bit of work - you could have one too.

Every collection should have one.

Spectral Morn
07-04-2009, 20:52
Hi Steve

Very interesting you couldn't make the photos bigger say 1024 by 768. I am getting old and I can't make out what your machine looks like :lolsign:

Sorry stupid too :doh:the photos are links. However actually embedding them in the post via the IMG code would allow us to see the larger pictures as we read your item...it would make things simpler....just a thought hope you don't mind.


Thanks in advance :).....D S D L

Beechwoods
07-04-2009, 20:57
Click on em, Neil - on that page you'll see a magnifying glass underneath... click that and they get REALLY big ;)

Spectral Morn
07-04-2009, 21:02
:lolsign::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:



D S D L

Magna Audio
07-04-2009, 21:12
Fuller size pics now sorted.

Sgt.Pepper
07-04-2009, 22:00
Nice attempt their Steve,but for me I'm too lazy to make one,so I just borrow a friends Okki Nokki.
It does have the advantage of using a single record width suction pad,does a fine job on the muckiest of ebay records.
Maybe you could fabricate something like that,its just a tube with some dress felt stuck around the slot ?

The Grand Wazoo
07-04-2009, 22:22
Maybe you could fabricate something like that,its just a tube with some dress felt stuck around the slot ?

Maybe he doesn't want to cut up his felt dress...............
.............and he can't use the silk one..........THAT'S SPECIAL!!

Magna Audio
08-04-2009, 09:35
There is something rather hypnotic about watching the nozzle suck the groove dry, bit by bit. Better suck per square inch this way I guess too on a home built bit of kit.
However, it is said you don't want too much suck or the downforce on the groove tops could damage them.

Currently leaves the grooves absolutely clear and dry - well as far as I can tell with eye and stylus.

Beechwoods
11-04-2009, 16:23
This really is quite fantastic. I would love an RCM but can't afford anything that's half decent. Thanks for sharing the way you've done this... I may try something similar one day...

Magna Audio
11-04-2009, 20:45
Cool to share DIY ideas. You will not regret building one for peanuts.
I use it on even new vinyl and it's great to know you can restore any discs as long as they are not scratched or worn out.
A mate of mine came round with some dirty vinyl - that's dirt in the grooves not the content:)
Cleaned them up and then put them on... He was amazed. There were no clicks and pops and he said he had never heard the between track groove noise so low on them ever. Judy Zuke's Sportscar was one took me back to being a teenager - I always liked the line "I don't care you are, you're not parking your car in my garage":lolsign:

evozero
18-06-2009, 10:09
Great job Steve,
I have modified my RCM to clone yours. Before i had cut a slit and blocked the end of the nozzle, then glued some felt to the hoover nozzle. It did work but not as well as your version, once the felt gets wet it holds the dirt. And as you say there is something very satisfying watching the hoover clean each groove.
But i still have one problem i cant seam to resolve, the vinyl looks spotless after a clean, but on playing i still get pops and clicks that i assume is static.
I have Keith Monks and home brew cleaning fluid, both leave clicks.
How do you avoid this?
Cheers and thanks for sharing
Ian

Magna Audio
18-06-2009, 12:54
I use a Zerostat gun before and after cleaning. I also use it each time I get the disc out of the sleeve.

A few discs are more prone to what you describe than others.
I though it was down to really ingrained / stubborn dirt.
These I retreat and leave the fluid on for longer to let it work it's magic. 5-10 mins. If it's warm you have to top up the fluid to stop it evaporating away in the time.
Then another wishy washy and vac. This helps.
Another thought was to get the kind of cleaning brush Mr Monks uses. That might help get into the grooves more than the Clearaudio pad I have.
Might try and buy a replacement brush from him. His site talks about the brush ends being sympathetic to the groove (rounded tips)... Perhaps a good soft natural paint brush would be just as good though...

The thread idea works really well. New bit of thread each side.
I have not noticed that the inner tracks are any less clean than the outer.

Do you notice any difference between the homebrew and Monks fluids in effectivity?

kininigin
12-03-2011, 12:29
thought i would revive this thread as i have been inspired to build my own rcm.

Atm i have a old bush belt drive tt that has been in the loft along with a upright vacuum cleaner,so im going to pinch the motor out of that and see what i can come up with.

I would like to idealy use this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Airbrush-mini-compressor-and-vaccum-pump-device-/180516297402?pt=UK_Crafts_DrawingSupplies_EH&hash=item2a079c1aba but will have to wait till funds become available.

I post some pics later.

The Grand Wazoo
12-03-2011, 12:36
Interesting - good luck with the project.

Cracking bit of translation on that advert there!

Easily and portable. Very noiselessly only about 40 railways. Compressor operates fully automatic and to a large extent pulsations freely.....

I'd be worried if it was as noiseless as 40 railways!

kininigin
12-03-2011, 12:43
Interesting - good luck with the project.

Cracking bit of translation on that advert there!


I'd be worried if it was as noiseless as 40 railways!

Cheers chris,i just turned on the vacuum cleaner to check it still powers up (im not sure who's it is but it's really old) and it is extremly loud so may have to think about making some kind of soundproofed box as well.

kininigin
12-03-2011, 14:23
here's a couple of pics of what i have so far.TT can be increased past 45rpm and is quite torquey.I need to borrorow a drill from my bruv so i can put a nozzle through the headshell.

Im going to use an old draw to sit the tt on and underneath place the vacuum.

I will leave the vacuum motor in it's case as it is fixed in nice and snug.It has a square intake so im not sure how to attach a hose/tube that will then go to a airtight container.I need something like this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Land-Rover-Series-Square-Exhaust-Flange-Gasket-213358-/290540436689?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item43a58f3cd1 but made out of metal or hard plastic,then i could use a grommit and hose/tube,any ideas where i could buy something like this?

shane
12-03-2011, 14:27
40 railways!

Fantastic bit of intuitive translation by a computer. I love that!
Noise = dB.
DB = Deutch Bundesbahn.
Deutch Bundesbahn = German Railway Network
Hence 40db = 40 railways.
QED...

kininigin
12-03-2011, 14:32
Fantastic bit of intuitive translation by a computer. I love that!
Noise = dB.
DB = Deutch Bundesbahn.
Deutch Bundesbahn = German Railway Network
Hence 40db = 40 railways.
QED...

ahh that's what it means,had me baffled :scratch:

kininigin
12-03-2011, 16:15
I need something like this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Land-Rover-Series-Square-Exhaust-Flange-Gasket-213358-/290540436689?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item43a58f3cd1 but made out of metal or hard plastic,then i could use a grommit and hose/tube,any ideas where i could buy something like this?

ha,i just looked at that land rover part and it's made from copper so may be perfect if the dimensions are right.

kininigin
11-04-2011, 20:16
well i've finished the rcm and it works quite well.It's looks like a bag of shite but i have spent about 10 in total and used parts that were lying around the house.I could really do with a DD turntable as i have to manually help turn the record when brushing in the cleaner(i use a soft paint brush).

I need to house everything in a box though, not sure if a draw is suitable :lol:.

bloomaxx
16-08-2011, 21:29
this is a brilliant contraption, but could you please post a pic of the lid construction on the seperator, and how far do you let the thread go up the ptfe nozzle? or doesnt it matter. as soon as i find an old turntable im definitely gonna give this a go. i notice you use a car battery, is this due to the potential dangers of using mains electric and fluid together?