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Old 28th June 2009, 07:31 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2009
Default air bearing tonearm links ?

excuse my ignorance here, but I am but a layman. I am pretty good at building things tho and i do have quite a few tools.
I am seriously interested in building a tone arm. Started off thinking a magnetic one, but now extremely interested in the air bearing as I have always been a sucker for linear tracking turntables (Rabco ST7 was my 1st real table).
I have seen and found a lot of great info, but one thing I have not found is a website or page where someone is actually documenting their build.
Does anyone happen to know of a link like this ? I would love to find a link where the person pretty much documented all of the steps - plus things to watch out for etc.....
as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Would also help out us poor ignorant people who can build things but are not that creative....
thanks for any info......

May be blasphemy to some, but I have some serious plans on a DIY table using some parts from my Empire 398........a do it myself following someone else's directions tonearm would top it off nicely
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Old 28th June 2009, 07:23 PM   #2
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Location: israel
look here:
and here:
Ladegaard tonearm - the real DIY winner
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Old 28th June 2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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thanks for the links. I did stumble across those. Having become infatuated with this, i have been spending way too much time surfing for info.
My thing tho is I am as layman as they come. I believe i have it all figured out from going thru ladegaard's site and the one's u mentioned, among many others.
My thing tho, being the layman that I am, I have found that sometimes the simplest things are left out as for the most part, the people diy'ing these things are experienced and know what they are doing.
I have found that, sometimes not all the time, if someone actually takes you thru a build, with pictures of course, I often find out a few things which can be important, but were taken for granted by everyone else.
Guess i just need a DIY site for dummies lol.
hey, have to start some where. Actually, while looking for info on this, I have found a bunch of projects i am going to give a shot.
Very intrigued by those Voight-Pipe speakers, a tube buffer and a tube phono preamp -
maybe i will try to get pics and have a "stupid man's guide to DIY"
last pic on the page may be my house burning down or me in an ambulance....but hey, no pain , no gain.....

I always see people saying how they love the project but is out of their skill level - if i get enough generous people to answer my stupid questions - i will try anything once
hey, gives me an idea, a "Haynes" manual for diy someone could make some extra cash with a few of those
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Old 29th June 2009, 02:09 PM   #4
JEP is offline JEP  Netherlands
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Location: holland
look here
type number S302001, 20mm Air Bushing same as used in kuzma airline
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Old 29th June 2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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cool as heck, thanks for the site. perusing the site - so many ideas.
I have found a few linear bearings that would work great - problem I am running into is finding prices and where to buy them.
Thought the boxway would be perfect, but I believe it is a 2k plus piece, then just the regular linear bearings, but can not find a place that sells them without asking for quote ....
guess they believe only manufacturers use this stuff. we like to play too
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Old 30th June 2009, 01:35 PM   #6
JEP is offline JEP  Netherlands
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Location: holland
thats true the are exspensive and you need an airdryer as well and a silent compressor these wii\ll cost you even more than the actual bearing. But i already have an compressor for airbrushing so for me thats no problem. What you can try to to get to pieces of aluminium tubbing, one with a diameter of 16mm and one with a 20mm diameter, in my case te one with the 20mm fits snuggly over the 16mm one, polish the 16mm one and the inside of a piece of say about 8 cm of the 20mm one. Drill small wholes in de 16 mm one at say 8mm apart hook this pipe to a compressor and the 20mm tube wil slide very smooth over the 16mm one. the small holes have to be located at 90 degrees over the pipe. Ive trie this and this works fine, have not build an arm with it. but it was a lot of fun to experiment with it. good luck
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Old 30th June 2009, 04:43 PM   #7
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Originally posted by roy algra
What you can try to to get to pieces of aluminium tubbing...
That's the route I am taking. Careful sizing of aluminum pipe and tubing from Online Metals yields pieces that will work.

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Old 30th June 2009, 05:53 PM   #8
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k, thanks. Looks like that is direction i will head.
I just figured I would google linear air bearing and come up with a ton of choices - I get a ton of manufacturers, but not anyone selling individual bearings/bushings. Ones i do fine are the slides, which are very expensiive....
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Old 30th June 2009, 06:07 PM   #9
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Location: Canandaigua, NY USA
I intend to build an air bearing arm and use an old Rec-O-Kut Rodine2 platter. The NewWay bearings are about $200, but have a tremendous advantage over most diy stuff- they use hardly any air. I'm planning to use tire tank and just pump it up again after a few LPs. I did some mass calculations for various configurations and I think the large 20mm bearing is too big. If you have the bearing in the arm and feed it thru a tube, there will be residual forces. The arm mass will also be quite high. If you make the bushing stationary, the tube mass is excessive. My plan is to use a 0.5" bearing, stationary, with a light weight movable arm tube. I had a thread on this at the Vinyl Engine. I actually have everything except the bearing, and am just looking for time to get it going. I may also try machining my own bearing. It won't be porous carbon, but I think I can hold the tolerances tight enough to keep air usage to a minimum.
I may be barking up the wrong tree, but at least I'm barking!
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Old 30th June 2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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conrad - where did you find the new way for sale ? I just keep finding sites that deal with manufacturers.
I have a Empire 598 that I want to use for parts. It has a great platter, very heavy plus apparently about as balanced as u can get.
Also has a very highly regarded motor -
so 2 of the obstacles are taken care of, which means I can worry more about the bearing.
I like the new way and others like it for a couple of reasons.
Obviously more precise then I am going to make, so less air (tho I plan on having a dedicated air compressor just for this. I am building a listening room, so can build a small sound proof room for the compressor and build the lines into the wall -
but I also like the more finished look. Using a new way and the appropriate tube, anondized, chrome etc, I was thinking it would not only be more accurate and precise, but give it a more refined look.

and as I have most of the other parts I need, the bearing would be the most costly part - so I could still build it pretty cheap.

But I can not find a reseller of the individual bearings.....I have spent hours looking...
obviously not in the right place.
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