How to Buff a Turntable Top

Written by hugh patterson
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How to Buff a Turntable Top
Turntables have made a comeback. ( Images)

Turntables are popular again, thanks to the resurrection of the vinyl record market. While new generations of companies are manufacturing turntables, many of the most sought-after turntables are no longer made. Many of these discontinued turntables can be found in thrift stores and vintage electronics boutiques. However, they often suffer from cosmetic problems such as scratched tops. Use a plastic buffing compound and a few household items to bring a turntable cover back to its original condition.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Liquid dish-washing detergent
  • Plastic bucket
  • Cotton rags
  • Painter's masking tape
  • Acrylic buffing compound
  • Plastic polish

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  1. 1

    Remove the turntable's cover. Water used in the cleaning process can damage the turntable's electronics. Some turntables have a hinge-mounted cover, in which case, use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the hinge's set screws.

  2. 2

    Mix 6 tbsp of liquid dish-washing detergent with 946ml of hot water. Place the solution into a small plastic bucket. Use a dish-washing detergent that is formulated with a grease-fighting agent.

    How to Buff a Turntable Top
    Use a dish-washing detergent with an anti-grease formulation. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)
  3. 3

    Wash the turntable cover using 100 per cent cotton rags. Cotton does not scratch plastic, whereas wool and synthetics will. Dip a cotton rag into the soapy solution. Squeeze out the excess water. Wipe down the turntable cover until the surface is free of dirt and debris. All debris must be removed from the surface or it will be ground into the turntable's cover during the buffing process.

    How to Buff a Turntable Top
    Always use 100 per cent cotton rags when cleaning the turntable's cover. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)
  4. 4

    Cover the manufacturer's logo with painter's masking tape. The buffing compound will take off any finish or paint from the logo's surface.

  5. 5

    Apply 1/2 tsp of buffing compound formulated for light scratches to the cover's surface. Using a clean cotton rag, work the buffing compound into the cover's surface in a circular motion. Acrylic buffing compound contains a mild abrasive that removes layers of plastic as it is buffed into the surface. The more pressure applied when buffing, the faster the scratches will be removed. Buff until all scratches have been removed.

  6. 6

    Clean off the buffing compound with the same soapy solution used earlier. Use a clean cotton rag. Dry the turntable's cover thoroughly.

    How to Buff a Turntable Top
    Plastic polish can be used to clean the rest of the turntable as well. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)
  7. 7

    Polish the turntable's cover using a clean dry cotton rag. Buff the surface until the polish is thoroughly worked into the plastic. Place the cover back on the turntable.

Tips and warnings

  • Polish the cover regularly to keep the plastic looking new.

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