If you’re an audiofile purist, don’t read any further. What follows is not for the faint of heart and beyond anything you’ve seen before. If you decide to continue, please don’t comment about how you think it will ruin records until after you try it. Then, if you still feel my method is flawed, I’d love to read your critique.
If you follow my instructions, you’ll have to work hard to screw things up. It’s really not that scary once you get into it.
I’ve spent an entire career designing, developing and patenting metal, engineered plastic and vinyl products. I know plastics, their strengths and weaknesses. I also know how to fix things. This is one of those fixes.
I’m also not responsible for any disasters that might befall you. If you try this and somehow manage to screw it up, don’t blame me. Use caution and common sense. It works for me and that’s all I can attest to.
That being said… Let’s begin:
I made this as an experiment on ways to make the sanding process easier. Sanding with the grooves is preferable as it eliminates "washboarding" on top of the lands. I built a quick sanding block out of a scrap piece of rubber, superglued to a piece of 1/4" x 3" board in which I drilled a hole and glued a 1/4" dowel into a. I won't write a "how-to", but I'll post the pictures. I'll also be adding most of the information about the process to them directly because it's easier for me. If you'd like it and need more details, ask and I'll add it. A few caveats: 1. Keep the wood away from the surface of the record like I've done in the photos, or you'll lose your label. 2. Use rubber cement to attach your sandpaper... So you can remove it. 3. This is why I prefer doing mine by hand. Records often have a "cupped" surface. Using a sanding block will cause the outside and inside lands to be sanded more than the center lands. In my experiment, the center lands of my test record remained un-sanded even though I over-sanded the entire disc (one side) to see how much damage over sanding could do. I set the record on a towel during the sanding process in an attempt to eliminate the cupping, but it wasn't too successful. If you fined a way to overcome this, please tell me. 4. Since the record I was using was one I was going to trash anyway, I decided to sand the devil out of it DON'T DO THIS YOURSELF. You can see the brown residue on the sandpaper. The record turned brown as well... I really worked on it, pushing as hard as I could... After cleaning it, I didn't notice any loss of sound quality, but in theory, it most likely effected the volume and possibly the bass of the recording... Of course, my old ears couldn't notice a difference in the bass and the volume knob has plenty of rotation left. If I get the chance, I'll do another (trash) record and check the frequency output after each "sanding". btw, the reason I chose 1500 is because it is easy to get. Wal Mart sells it as well as big box and hardware stores... I would prefer to use something finer, but it's too frustrating trying to find it.