Machining replacement parts with hand tools

Jeff is a huge music fan, and like many of us likes old technology, so it seemed a bit silly (to him) that he did not have a turn table. His dad had a spare in the basement. A neat old Braun model from the 1970’s that was broken.

Opening the unit up he found that part of the arm mechanism was broken, and thanks to the age of the turntable and the wonders of mass production chances of finding a replacement were slim to none. Not being discouraged he busted out the hand tools and fabricated the replacement out of some aluminum. The end result is a perfectly functioning turntable that will serve many more hours pushing out warm jams.

Check out the fourm post above to get details and pictures, and we just wanted to tell [Jeff], awesome job!


  1. Mike of England says:

    Jeff, you the man! Not only have you fabricated a new part, but you have discovered one of the best ways to listen to music.

    Good on ya :)

  2. syale says:

    Been doing this for years! The Royal Navy taught me well…

  3. mjrippe says:

    The old part was probably “pot metal” which was unfortunately used in a lot of vintage turntable mechanisms. Surprising to see it in a ’70s Braun though. That’s a handsome table you’ve brought back to life!

  4. Doktor Jeep says:

    I used to take old Sawzall blades and make firing pins for a gun I used to have. Good for around 1000 rounds each.

  5. svofski says:

    It’s relieving to read that someone still uses a file and a saw while the rest of the world is too busy 3d-printing and laser cutting bathtub plugs.

  6. Hirudinea says:

    No 3D printer, no laser cutter, no arduino and it still works, thats the spirit!

  7. Cricri says:

    Been doing that for years too, not because I was in the Navy, but since I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, my only alternative to fix something was not to buy a new one but fix it. And God knows how many time I had to turn/mill/sculpt metal/wood/plastic to reproduce a somewhat working part clone!

  8. caleb says:

    nice work. this is why i love my dremel. infact, i resurfaced a dvd to near perfect condition with it the other day. unfortunatly the foil had been damaged as well, so my efforts were nearly in vein. but i learned its possible!

  9. lou eney says:

    Man this looks like shit, and to top it off this isn’t even a hack. Hell it might be a hack-job, but nothing more to make this a hack. Why is this on hackaday??

  10. caleb says:

    why are YOU on hackaday!?

  11. bish says:

    Couldn’t resist but post…good work! i detest throwing stuff away, especially when it’s a nice as your turntable!
    @lou eney, he hacked the hell out of that alloy-now THAT’s hacking-fact.

  12. jeditalian says:

    i bet the sound is better through aluminum than brittle cast parts. oh, and lou envy, douche!

  13. Chris in NC says:

    lou envy, serious douche!

  14. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the interest and support, guys. Next on the list will be restoring a tube preamp and power amp, and maybe some DIY speaker cabs after that.

    Mmm, tasty vintage audio.

  15. jpa says:

    Making metal parts with hand tools (and simple powertools) is very satisfying. You should have polished it with Dremel though so it would look better!

  16. Grazz256 says:


    Sounds like you were born with golden spoon in your mouth. I can afford most small parts but certainly not a mill or a lathe!

  17. jgunn says:


    You’re not wrong, but when I did it, it was a purely functional task and I wasn’t going for cosmetics; the part is all but invisible when installed. The pics I took were to show my dad (a tinkerer far beyond my talents) who gave me the turntable, rather than to immortalize the project for the HaD audience.

    I guess lesson learned for next time… ;)


  18. Matt says:

    Bro, just order replacement part from machine shop in China for a couple of buks 
    Mind you, if you are making it for fun to try out your skills – I take my hat off. Most people our days would not know how to use a grinder, mind you making something that small and functional…. Well done!

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