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Another Lenco L75 and Garrard 401 Plinth Builds

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 & 11.2 Speakers

jls001

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Showing some work in progress photos of a multi-layered plinth we're building for fellow forumer Shafic. It uses beech plywood, 18 mm (3/4") thick. The topmost layer is 12 mm thick.

1) Cut layers checked for alignment:



The cutout lines are transferred with carbon paper from a printout of the template (from Lenco Heaven). We made one additional layer of 18 mm at the last minute as we had one extra unmarked layer. The marking for this layer was made from another layer which we'd just cut. Turned out to be a not so good idea as it wasn't as accurate as marking from the drawing. When all layers were stacked and carefully aligned, that layer stood out like a sore thumb. It needed a fair amount of filing with a large wood file to re-align the cutouts of all the layers. It was an avoidable task.


2) Layers 2 and 3 being glued:



Tip on spreading wood glue: In case you want to attempt this, we used Fevicol SH Synthetic Resin Adhesive. One can also use Kleiberit PUR 501 glue if available. Fevicol needs 24 hours to cure under pressure. Kleiberit can do it in 6. To apply, use a flat tong to scoop out the glue from the can and apply it evenly across one of surfaces to be glued. Then use a steel sheet used by house painters to spread putty on walls to spread the glue evenly over the surface. Use gentle, firm and long strokes of the steel plate to evenly spread the glue. Fevicol SH is white in colour. When you've had spread it evenly, you should get a translucent white layer on the surface, with the underlying plywood faintly visible. Make sure that it is spread to every nook and corner of the surface. If the layer is too thick, scrape off extra glue with the steel sheet and put it back in the can. Repeat on the other surface. Work fast. Else the glue on the first layer will dry up.

After applying glue on both surfaces, carefully align them and gently move them to align them properly according to the cutouts. Use as many clamps as you can lay your hands on to gently clamp the two layers together. DO NOT tighten the clamps much at first, only a gentle tightening will do just to hold them together securely is enough. If you start tightening while the glue is still wet, the two layers will subtly mis-align. Wait for an hour or so then tighten the clamps. Use a layer of thick folded paper between the clamp and plywood surface so that the plywood surface doesn't get scratched or dented.

3) More layers added:




4) The backside of the plinth showing cutouts for wires. The one on the left is for the tonearm wire of the primary arm (the stock Lenco L75 arm will be used) and the one on the rightmost is for the second arm (a Jelco 9 inch arm). The hole in the center is for the IEC socket.




5) Nearly all layers glued - just one last layer pending:




6) Test fit of the panels for RCA sockets and IEC socket:




7) RCA panel:




The panel is cut from a 3 mm thick black acrylic sheet. The letterings are made white by applying white nail polish:)


8) Panel for IEC socket:




9) Alignment of motor hole after lots of filing with rough wood file:




10) Alignment of arm hole:




Note the extra glue that has been pushed out when clamped. When dry, it is quite hard to scrape it off. It takes a sharp and sturdy chisel to pry it away. So applying just enough glue makes sense:)

11) Top view:




After the glue cures completely, the edges were marked and trimmed off with an industrial grade bench saw that can cut through very thick wood (5-3/4" in our case). A learning here: the edges of lowest layer of the plywood get chipped when cut with bench saw as the saw moves from top to bottom. The teeth of the bench saw is large unlike the fine saw used by table saws. To avoid this chipping and burring, add a temporary layer of a 5 mm or so thin sheet of MDF or cheap board or plywood to the bottom. Secure it to the bottom layer with small half inch nails. Use lots of nails near where it will be cut. Remove the temporary sheet after cutting. A second learning here is that one must leave at least 5 to 10 mm of margin on the edges for ease of trimming.

Once nicely trimmed, the edges were smoothened with a rotary sander.

The above are best done by a pro. At their workshop, and not your home. Lots and lots of wood dust gets generated while sanding.

Next steps: the plinth in this state has been handed over to Shafic. He is in the process of finding a good carpenter to veneer (veneer already chosen and procured) and give it - possibly - a mirror finish lacquering job.

We have also concurrently built a plinth for his Garrard 401. He may like to post some WIP pictures here.

A word about the plinth template: this is probably the third time I am using the template from LH and each time I find that the left-right dimensions are just right, but front-back dimensions on the prints are always longer than what they should be. I've tried three different print services on A1 paper and my observation is consistent. So we had sliced off a section of the printout and glued it back to get correct dimension. If you're going to use the LH template for your build, do crosscheck the dimensions of your printout.
 

jls001

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I need to weigh it. My guess is about 18-20 kilos.
 

shafic

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Thank you JOSH for your inputs.

Here is my 'Lady LENCO L75' and 'Sir GARRARD 401' plinth story.


Last year I got my first Lenco L75 with original plinth and a Garrard 401 with studio plinth. Both are playing very well with no complaints.

Some time back I read some threads about CLD plinth vs original plinth of L75. The view, that a multilayered plinth, new tone arm, servicing would enhance the sound quality many fold across very strongly. That started me wondering. OUR forumer Mr. Ragunath's 'COSMIC CO GRAM' build inspired me.The DIY plinth builds and designs on Audiokarma and Lenco heaven fascinated me with their beautiful finishing, designs and ideas.

I was thinking of a plinth bild for my L75 but as I don't have much technical knowledge about tonearm alignment, cut outs etc. I was not confident of doing it alone.

When Josh came to my home to collect his L75, he told me that he had mae a CLD plinth for his L75. I inquired and he agreed to help me build a plinth for my L75. Thus started this project( one can call it 'DIY kheeda':D).

he first step was to get the raw materials Josh suggested marine plywood but somehow I was stuck on the idea that i had to be Birch ply only.

After some hard research I managed to contact a 'Carrom board' manufacturer who agreed to give me imported European birch ply sheets which he uses in his high quality carrom boards. These are 16mm thik and come in standard size of 2.5 feet x 2.5 feet. The price was Rs 2000/- per piece.

I consulted with Josh and his view was hat we would be wasting a lot of wood when we cut them to the required size of 16' x 22'. Also we needed 10mm for the top layer. So the idea was dropped.

my search went on and I finally found a importer of such woods in Gujarat. I got his Mumbai branch and agents ob no who put me in touch with their Mumbai stockist. They stocked beech ply ant not birch ply.

One Saturday I and Josh visited the stockist at Mumbai central. We saw the samples and Josh as impressed with the quality and density. We bought available 12mm sheet for the top layer and placed the order for the 18mm sheets. The promised delivery in 4 days, finally arrived almost two months later after a series of setbacks and innumerable phone talks to the stockist and agent.It was like a hurdle race, just getting the plywood. I could see Josh's interest dwindling.

The plywood finally arrived and Josh advised me to cut the ply to 22 24 x 7 layers for 401 and L75. I cold catch hold of my regular carpenter and get this done only after 15 days. Then followed some other delays which frustrated both of us.

to be continued:D:D:D:D:D
 
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shafic

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Finally one Saturday saw us meeting at Josh's house with the cut pieces of plywood. We finalized the cutout design for the twin arm Garrard 401. I chose a design from the net as a cinspiration and showed it to Josh as I wanted something different. I particularly liked this design due to the flexibility it offered to try different tonearms(12' too). Here is the design.

To be continued.....
 
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shafic

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We then went to get the xerox of the design printouts We got back 2 pm and got down to making the markings on the plywood pieces. This took s a good 6 hours. At 8 pm we went to 'Jogeshwari' and got all pieces cut for the 401 according to the design (2 hours). We brought these pieces to my home to checked to see the 401 fit and ensured that the cuts are perfect. Josh left at 12 midnight.

Next Saturday saw a repeat of the previous Saturday's work ( just replace 401 with L75 and (McDonald's with KFC:licklips:) and the same had work.

Two Saturdays of our hard work it took make this happen.

Josh said that he would stick the layers of L 75 plinth and gave the opportunity to me to do the same for the 401. He finished the L75 pasting. Mine was delayed by a week due to a loss in the family. In the main while I have ordered 2 types of real wood veneer from Rajkot, Gujarat and it has been delivered.

In this lengthy process ( still a long way to go), we made some small mistakes as he mentioned in his thread but we learned a lot.I clarified from the beginning that i would not bother about he cost and I wold not blame him if anything did go wrong. We are both involved into it. It is our project and we should accept whatever comes of it.

One thing I have realized is that this gentleman 'Josh' is a true DIYian and a great enthusiast who will spare no efforts in his work. I salute him.

Next important step is the veneer and polish of the plinth. Both our views are 100% matched in this that we should try to make these plinth projects the reference ones in our wonderful forum. Hoping all will go well. Seeking all forum members blessings and support in this regard.

Thanks for the patiently reading.:D

Regds,
shafic
 
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kuruvilajacob

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Shafic and Joshua,
I know how difficult it is to complete such projects. Hats off to Shafic for his perseverance to complete the project despite the hurdles. You guys are lucky that there are two heads to work on such projects and brainstorming is the best in such situations. I have located a guy who makes carrom boards and my next project would be to make a plinth with lighter ply which may have better resonant absorbing capabilities than thicker plywood. I am really inspired by my plinth build for Technics SP 25 which has transformed that Turntable to a much higher level of listening pleasure and each time I go into my music room I am tempted to play the SP 25 more than some of the other Turntable in the room and that includes a Micro Siekie, Linn Sondek ,Lenco PTP with Thomas Shick arm. When I have time, I would like to have a separate post on the Technics SP-25 plinth build. Let me once again thank Shafic and Joshua for their wonderful contribution for the forum members on DIY plinth building
 

shafic

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These Real wood paper veneers selected for the two plinths!!



1.Brazilian cherry.

2. European Birch.
 
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jls001

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Adding a couple of pics of the 401.

1) Test fitting with the screw holes acting as alignment holes:





2) Side by side - the Lenco L75 and Garrard 401 plinths, with the Garrard motor test fitted into its plinth. The arm is a vintage Garrard TPA-12 (surprisingly good though balancing is a bit of work):




3) Here's the cutout drawing with two arms:

 
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