How to Make a Record Lathe
A record lathe was originally designed just for that purpose, to make the grooves around LP vinyl records. While vinyl and singles were popular, the record lathe was the item used to make the scratches on the disks which then produced music. In order to purchase one now, you would have to have an expert eye, and perhaps a lot of cash. Rather than spending money on a record lathe, if you want to make a little music in your own home, why not create your own record lathe from some standard home improvement items? This is a quick project, although you may need to have a few skills before you embark on creating your own record-making lathe.
Step 1 - Make the Turntable
In order to cut the record, you will need to have a turntable and sliding lathe. First, make the turntable from an old saucepan lid by unscrewing the handle from the middle, and then turning it face up onto a sliding drawer fitting. The drawer slide is used to make wardrobes and cabinets, so you should be able to find one either in a local home improvements store, or through the Internet. Take a long screw, at least 6 inches, and push it up the hole in the center of the saucepan. This will allow you to drop the vinyl onto the turntable when it comes to cutting vinyl. Connect the bottom side of the screw to the slider on the drawer fitting. Attach the turntable screw to a motor, so that the saucepan turns around slightly on the slider as the motor works.
Step 2 - Make the Blade
You will then need to make the blade for your lathe. Take a long iron rod, or you can use an old windscreen wiper if you choose. On the end of this, put a hinge, so that the connection of the hinge is at the top, and the parts hanging over the sides of the rod like an inverted V. Attach a piece of rod between the bottom of the two hinge parts, and screw into place. You should then take the drill bit, and glue the two needles to each other, and then to the bit. Put this needle on the edge of the bottom rod.
Step 3 - Make the Lathe
You should then attach your stylus rod, or whatever else you have available, and screw it into position on the edge of the drawer slider. The slider will move up and down, and the turntable round and round, so you can use the stylus to carve a piece of vinyl which is then placed on top of the turntable. If you want to be extra safe with your recording, you can add bolts to the drawer slider, and then screw it into a flat surface, such as a piece of plywood.