Author Topic: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question  (Read 828 times)

Alfista

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Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« on: January 21, 2018, 03:10:59 PM »
(To skip to the question and ignore the ramblings, proceed to the last paragraph)

 This weekend, I've been working to resurrect a Garrard changer that I just couldn't make myself part out. Got it for a couple of bucks. Brought it home, plugged it in, threw a disposable LP on it, and it worked perfectly in manual mode. Even the Pickering cartridge and stylus were great. The headshell/cartridge and automatic spindle are worth more than the whole changer in the current condition. Put on a decent LP, and it sounded great.

 Ugh... I just wanted part it out & make a little money on it, but this old thing still had a good heartbeat. Looks a bit rough underneath. A lot of the levers that appear to have been zinc coated have white pasty/powdery oxidation. Some of those parts are buried pretty deep in the mechanisms. I took the top lever off and it cleaned up easily. With that one out of the way, I could get the speed control lever off and it cleaned easily, too. And the rest of the speed control mechanism, as long as I'm there.

 Ugh... WHAT AM I DOING??? This was not what I wanted to get into!

 So, I conned my better judgement by telling it this would be good practice. I've been dreading getting into the Collaro in my Stereo Theatre, see. Yeah. That's right, I NEED to do it for practice. AND when I'm done maybe my 16 year old son would like to have it in his room because vinyl is cool again and he could impress friends with a real record player instead of one of those plastic Crosleys from the mall. He likes disco, and that should be played on a turntable instead of cell phone anyway. Wow! Now if I ignore the fact that I already have at least half a dozen good working turntables, there are all kind of reasons to keep going!

 Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and I have steadily R&R'd most of the mechanisms, one little piece at a time, except the tonearm and the motor itself. And yes, I'll have to remove much of what I've already done to get the tonearm off. But this way I only have to learn/remember a little more each time.
 
 At this point, I remembered when initially testing it there was what felt like a little AC tingle when I touched the metal plinth very lightly. I planned to replace the old AC cord with a current 3-pronged unit for safety, but I'm not sure where AC may be leaking onto the plinth. There's only one cap, it's between the motor switch contacts for click suppression. The motor case has a ground wire to the plinth, but the motor case has a light layer of corrosion, perhaps there's some appreciable resistance between the case and the ground wire.


 Any ideas? AC on the chassis is not a happy place.


-Tim
 

TC Chris

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 04:00:12 PM »
Well, first of all, bravo! for not parting out a working device.  Remember Oscar Wilde's useful observation about the kind of people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  But then I have sailboats, sometimes described as "a hole in the water into which you pour money."  Once my brother rudely asked if I had calculated the cost per trip of owning the older boat.  I did a quick mental calculation and started sailing more often.

Second, I once saw the threshhold at which you feel "AC tingle."  It was really low.  I've always just lived with it, although I probably would not stand in the bathtub while holding the device unless I had actually measured the leakage.  I wonder what would happen if you ran a ground wire to the grounding post on a GFCI outlet? 

Chris Campbell

Alfista

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 11:01:17 PM »
 Thanks helping me justify the time, Chris. The tonearm and motor are now off and its almost totally disassembled. But going faster than I anticipated. At this point, I have to talk myself out of repainting the plinth. It's not cleaning up as well as I'd like...

 Perhaps we're related to Oscar Wilde. My father built a 25' sloop from raw plywood and fiberglass. Started when he was about 19 and worked on it 15 years or so, finishing about the time I was born. I remember drawing pictures of it in grade school. We kept it at our weekend home for a few years and brought it back home to spend another several years replacing the keel with a self-righting design. Back to the coast it went for another decade or so. In all those years, I don't personally recall my father ever taking that boat out on the water, though I know it did go out a few times. It's been back home for nearly 20 years now, on a trailer behind his shop.
 The cost per sailing trip for that boat would be ridiculous, but the pride I found in saying my father built our sailboat was priceless.

 Glad to hear about the low AC tingle threshold. I've disassembled the motor at this point, cleaned it well and oiled the bearings. It seems to be in great shape. Hopefully good clean metal and ground connections will take care of it. If not, that's a great idea using the GFCI. I have one in the bathroom and we'll try it out!

BTW, good shot of the Mustang on your avatar 8).

-Tim

TC Chris

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 12:23:49 AM »
I know about the pride thing.  My Dad built a DN iceboat in 1957.  It has survived 3 teenaged boys with no judgment at all--I remember just flying over ice ridges--and is still sailing.  Let's hear it for Weldwood plastic resin glue.

Chris Campbell

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 07:41:12 PM »
 Ooh, my brother and I used to ogle those iceboats in magazines and on TV. Glad you survived it, and very cool that it's still sailing!

-Tim


TC Chris

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 07:56:47 PM »
The DN iceboat was the result of a competition conducted by the Detroit News--DN, get it?--in the Depression of the 1930s, to design a home-buildable iceboat, something ordinary people without much money could do in their basements.  They also had annual quilt shows for the ladies.  It was a huge success. Today there are over 6,000 of them sailing (mine is no. 373).  My Dad built his with a group of other guys in somebody's basement (somebody with a table saw).  Mine is original, except for paint and for the mast.  The original spruce most exploded in rather spectacular fashion as I was sailing one day, and I built a new one from basswood.

The little DN, not the fastest ice yacht and certainly not the largest, is the most popular.  There are fleets all over the world, especially eastern Europe.  These little boats look fast just sitting there, and when you're going 30 mph just a few inches off the ice it feels like 90 mph for sure.

I'll add a photo of my Dad and the boat in 1959.  It's B&W, but if you could see the color, you'd recognize his red-and-black plaid wool hunting outfit.  We didn't have specialized clothes for every activity in those days!

Chris Campbell

Bill

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 08:01:10 AM »
That's cool Chris and a good picture too!

Bill

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 12:50:16 PM »
Man, that ice boat looks like fun!

 Still trudging along on this turntable as time permits. Finally got the last of the old solidified grease and zinc corrosion off. The last bits of the tonearm mechanism were the worst, and buried the deepest. All of the moving parts cleaned up nicely and are now oiled and new grease applied where it looks appropriate. I should just put it back together now and be happy. But, I have this disease, see, and it won't let me just be done...

 The steel plinth has a bit of built-up crud that doesn't want to clean easily. Could be residue from cigarette smoke, mold, or just dust from years of storage. Mild solvents, soap, goo-gone, etc aren't helpful. Not able to find my rubbing compound, I resorted to toothpaste and that's removing nearly all of the crud. But there are specks of discoloration here and there that seem to be stains and not part of the original color. Could be considered a nice patina, and it will be good and shiny after a thorough toothpasting. But...

 Given that this thing is 5 minutes from being totally bare, I'm now tempted to repaint it all nice and shiny and brand-new looking. Maybe even a color that's a little happier than this industrial blue/gray. Keep rubbing that toothpaste and hush, right.

 Lastly, the platter looks aged. I'm not really sure how to approach cleaning it up. I do have a nice, modern mat that could simply cover it up, but I would prefer to clean this one up. Any suggestions on what to clean this mat with? And the metal center trim piece? They may not survive removal from the platter, but I want to give it a try.


-Tim


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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 09:33:41 PM »
 Well, I tried various things to clean the stains off the plinth to little avail. I tried rubbing compound, which worked on the grime, but the stains were more stubborn than the paint. So, off came everything except the platter bearing and peened-on items and on went new paint. There are a few fisheyes I need to work out before reassembly can start. They are pretty stubborn, there are 3 layers of paint thus far. I'll probably use a little glazing putty to fill them at this point and hope for the best. It will be the last time I sand and spray it.
 
 There was a layer of protective plastic on the aluminum trim that had yellowed. One problem down, the aluminum underneath looks great. I scrubbed the mat with dilute soap and water which helped with dust/dirt, but not the discoloration.  There are lots of suggestions on "restoring" rubber, but I don't know if they would be safe for various record materials. So I went with regular ol' silicone in small amounts, scrubbed in with a toothbrush and quickly wiped dry in several applications.

 Started on the wooden base, which had an unreasonable amount of varnish or shellac and two pieces of quarter-round molding added. Lots of scraping and sanding by hand at this point. I think I'll have to break out the jitterbug to get it back down to the wood...

 

TC Chris

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 11:30:57 PM »
It's lookin' good.  I spent the late evening out in the shop rubbing out the varnish on the 1936 GE console with rottenstone.  It's fun to have a project start rewarding your eyes, isn't it?

I've got the same changer in a small GE wall console.  I need a headshell for the tonearm, if anybody has an extra they want to sell.

Chris Campbell

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2018, 01:19:02 PM »
Looking good Tim!

Bill

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Re: Garrard Model 50 ramblings with AC question
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2018, 08:42:30 PM »
 Thanks y'all, much appreciated!

 And yep, it surely is fun to see a project starting to show itself. I can't wait to starting putting it back together.

Chris, I've seen a couple of these headshells on ebay where folks are parting them out. Keep a watch and a cheap one will come around. I found that the headshell and multi-play spindle were worth more than the unrepaired turntable as a whole. Head shell with good cartridge is in the $30 range, with the spindle around $20. I'd expect a bare headshell to be around $15.

 Perusing through Vinyl Engine literature and manuals, it appears the AT60 uses the same headshell, as well as the AT6, Autoslim/P, 50&60MkII, and S.L.55&65.

-Tim