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No. 6435

Beneath Decks

No.6435  Overview  Starting Line  Arrival  Deconstruction  Beneath Decks  First Night's Spin

Listening to Plinths  Motor  System: The Tonearm  Tweaks  Articles  Bookshelf  Transit  ***




 The bearing is far from the end of the task here though. Every bit of linkage and idler-positioning gear below the plinth level has to be cleaned, loosened up, and each juncture either oiled or greased. One article by Loricraft cautions that the various armatures that comprise the linkage are cadmium-plated, so these should get minimal handling, and contact with skin isn't advisable.
You can envision the project here as involving three connected fields :
…The idler-drive apparatus
…The speed-change apparatus
…The pitch-adjust apparatus

Each will have it's own characteristics, and depend a lot on what's happened to the turntable between, say, the Suez Crisis and the second marriage of Charles Windsor.  A lot of territory to account for …

It's a very individualized question here, of what exactly has been used in the fifty years of any given 301... did it evaporate, harden, bind-up or impede the mechanism, or were the right lubes used over time .... if there are no red flags, if it's all loose and operable, then there's no reason not to proceed to the spinup.
In my case some form of beige gunk was used, very liberally, and the years were not kind. The beige stuff in 2005 would most closely compare to the texture and viscosity of a rawhide doggy treat.
An obvious place to start is with a chopstick or a toothpick and knock out any spare dried-out lube chunks. Most often a clean-off with lighter fluid followed with a mop-down with sewing-machine oil did well for the obvious "oil" points. For the heavier "grease" points, I'd continue from there with a back-and-forth loosening up of the specific movement for a few minutes, then off with the sewing oil, allowing any excess to soak into a clean paper towel. Then the lithium grease, at first overdoing it and once 'worked-in', a further cleanup of excess.  The 401 manual, not the 301, notes under Maintenance that “…the lever pivots on the underside of the base  plate… should be lightly oiled and sliding surfaces… should be smeared with a light grease.  The earlier manuals don’t mention it, but I take the 401 info to double for the 301’s underdeck surfaces. 


... As noted before, the motor condition of my 301 was well above expectation, and I've decided a few drops of motor-assembly oil in the upper and lower bearing slots will do for a trial run. The lower bearing is a little bit of a shot-in-the-dark, since you're kind of firing up into it in order to let it trickle down to the center bearing pad.  But it gets there via gravity eventually.
If there were the slightest hesitance or binding in the motor, I wouldn't feel right about this, but somehow I think that this turntable hasn't been touched, other than possibly a drop of oil every other ten or twenty years ----- and as such, is perfectly usable.



If you have a basic working relationship with a computer and printer, you can print up an exact, life-sized template for a Garrard 301 plinth.  I taped my template sections to a window in order to line it up with light coming through the paper from outside.  There are actual-size measurement segments in inches on the template that you can double-check with a ruler once you’ve got it printed at the right scale.   (  The template I was using, in Acrobat Reader, was printing properly at approximately 95.49% of the original diagram’s size.  Obviously this will vary but that gives you the idea of tweaking it down to the precise sizing.)

At this point, I was still anxious to see if this project would have any potential, so the first platform I came up with is really just a jig in which to safely place the 301 mechanism for adjustments and lubing.  As well as a first listen, which was by now imminent.  The open-frame jig I ended up with was all that was necessary.  The ‘armboard’ is basically a quick way to attach or detach an arm.  The most useful part of the jig is the ability to work on the 301 from any side or even upside-down while avoiding damage to the mechanism below, or to the controls or spindle on top. 


Diagram For Grease Bearing 301

This long, cautious expedition through the mid-fifties intricacies of the 301 may have initially tempered my enthusiasm somewhat.  There is a distinct sense of dragging a snoring dinosaur out of it’s lair --- one that you’re going to have to civilize and domesticate by force of will.   But I’d been as cautious and complete as I could be, and I was now past ready to go. 


First Night's Spin