Building My Own Turntable/ Record Player

For those that don't know, I make music under the name DJ Petesake.  Scratch hooks and turntablism are a big part of what I produce, so when I heard the news in the early 2010's that the Technics SL-1200 series (basically, the Bridgeport milling machine of turntables) was being discontinued, I was shocked.  Not only did it seem odd that the most reliable and trusted turntable that had ever been manufactured was being cancelled right in the middle of a massive resurgence in vinyl record sales, but it also jacked up their second-hand value.  That's where the inspiration for this project came in.  I figured if Technics were no longer being produced, and I wanted to make a small fortune selling mine at some point, I still wanted to have the second best turntable ever built.... but that didn't happen because Technics announced (after some 35,000 people complained) that they were reissuing the Technics SL-1200 mk7.  I still wanted to build a turntable anyways, and after about 4 years, it's finally done!

This project build is separated into several segments:

Base Pattern

Before I could cast the base of the turntable, I had to first make an identical pattern for it out of wood to be used in the making of the sand mold.

Base Casting

Taking the pattern to the foundry and successfully casting the base after a few attempts and modifications.

Base Machining

Machining the cast aluminum turntable base to accept the other components.


Molding and casting the platter while attempting a different molding technique; swept-pattern casting.  In this method, radially symmetric parts are cast by making a cross section of the part and "sweeping" it around a center point.

Tonearm Linkage Components

Machining the components for tonearm movement.

Tonearm Headshell Connector

Machining one of the most complicated pieces of the assembly, the connector where the needle cartridge attaches on.

Final Assembly

Putting it all together, resolving some clearance and compatibility issues.

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