Phono platter reflocking How-To
06-08-2008, 06:33 PM
Phono platter reflocking How-To
As a phono collector, I find most of the time phono platters need reflocking to perform properly.
Cost of reflocking is so low that I decided years ago to buy a custom kit of 6 colors (actually forgot about the green used for Philco, no biggie) and an applicator which is nothing else than a pair of carboard tubes fitted into one another and used as a pump to blow the flocking. I bought everything off eBay for about 20$.
After a few experiments using a "pen glue", Aleene's tacky glue and Krylon paint (enamel) I decided to go with my first idea, tinted elmer's glue as a base coat. I have read elsewhere that enamel paint work "great". My experience says the opposite. I got better results with the above technique. There are glues made specifically for this purpose but they are not tinted and that makes a huge difference and those glues are expensive. Not that I am a cheapskate, but I like to use products as multi-purpose solutions. Not fun to keep stock of specific products that will be used maybe once or twice in years.
The results is impressive (at least to me and I'm fussy), taking into account how simple it is to do.
Here's the first platter I did with Krylon paint, although it did a nice job, some spots are much thinner than others and the first tries left small bald spots. The paint simply dries too fast and does not allow the fibers to sink in.
I have read many times that original flocking was applied using
an electrostatic technique allowing for the fibers to "stand up" but no one ever substantiated their comment, I will:
Below I included a FAQ taken from a flock manufacturer where it is said both techniques are used. The electrostatic technique yielding a denser flocking, but otherwise similar results.
Anyhow, the simple method described here gives results similar to an original platter kept in good condition (I own a mint original platter as a reference).
Elmer's glue is preferred, tinted using artist acrylic paint (dollar store) and about 10-25% water (if the paint is too thick). Using tinted glue will hide
the platter from showing through.
The whole process must have taken 10 minutes, including the setup (box, garbage bag etc.)
First mix the acrylic paint with the Elmer's glue (same color as the flocking) and mix with about 10-25% water. Mix well. Then paint a first coat on the platter using a large artist brush. Wait about 10 minutes. Make sure there aren't bald spot as the glue will tend to "fisheye" if too thin. Paint an even thin coat the first time. After about 10 minutes, paint another thicker coat evenly. Place the platter in the box immediately and flock to your hearth content in small burst using the applicator. Make it a thick flock and don't worry for an even thickness, the material will even out in the glue. Wait one to two hours or more for the glue to set, then gently brush off excess using a gentle paint brush (no pressure unless you waited a full day). You can reclaim the fibers and reuse them later.
You're done ! Pretty easy and results guaranteed as good as an original. For maybe 50 cents a platter! Can't beat that eh?
Some say to "dunk" the platter in the fibers, don't do that, it will
Do not touch the platter with your fingers or any object while
it dries. Let the fibers sink in the glue. You can try adding a little static
to the fibers but I found no difference (put the fibers in a small plastic
bag and shake vigorously for a full minute before applying).
Here's an old link to a flocking supplier (I double checked and they are still in business): http://www.craftflocking.com/
Hope this helps,
How is flock applied?
There are two major types of flock application, with several sub-classifications. The two primary techniques are mechanical (including gravity drop, vibration, windblown or a combination) and electrostatic (including AC, DC electrostatic/air assist). The mechanical methods are the least demanding in terms of engineering and probably the easiest to get started. The fiber density on the substrate is somewhat less than the density from a typical electrostatic process, and the fibers are not as well oriented, giving the flocked surface a felt-like appearance. The electrostatic methods generally will produce a denser coating with much more vertical orientation of the fibers, acheiving a more velvet-like feel and appearance. Whichever method is used, a layer of adhesive must be applied first. top-->
What types of adhesives are best?
Several types of adhesives are used for flocking, including water-based, solvent-based, plastisols, epoxies and so on. The application of the adhesive is somewhat dependent on the shape and type of substrate. Typical methods include spraying or dipping for objects, silk screening for garments and flat sheets, roller coating for mats and flat goods, doctor blades for continuous textiles, among others. The glue should be receptive to the flock and should be applied evenly and consistently. The glue should also be formulated to give you the behavior and performance you need (abrasion resistance, solvent resistance, stiff or flexible film, etc.). top-->
Ref: cellusuede products inc.
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