Russco Studio Pro plinth

BillWojo

Junior Member
UPS says a Russco Studio Pro Model B is showing up tomorrow. I think I have all the parts covered but a plinth. Can't build my own, no woodworking gear or room to do it.
Seems these old idlers like a nice high mass plinth to calm down any vibrations from the drive. So who here has a stalled Russco project stashed in the deep dark corner of the basement that wants to get rid of a plinth?
I'm up in the air about a tonearm, seems that they were designed for a 12" arm and the only 12" arm I have is mounted on my Victor DD table. Not looking to spend a lot on an arm yet, this TT is going to be a evolving project. But I sure like it's rugged build and a gear shifter? Really? How cool is that?

BillWojo
 
Nice, I’ve been looking at Russco tables for a while now. They certainly look like they are well built, I’ll be following along.
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
Well thanks MrEd, wish I was closer. I've been looking around at a lot of pictures of these restored and I really like the looks of this one. The grey hammertone paint with the red felt really sets it off. The arm looks to be a Audio Technica ATP-16T. I like that a lot to.
Russco Rebuilt Table Pretty.jpeg
Figure it would be best to strip off all the old baby blue factory paint, use a metal etching primer and than the hammertone. Anyone have any advise on rattle can hammertone paint? I've never used it before.
Thanks

BillWojo
 

MrEd

Senior Nobody
I used some hammertone on my 2a3 amps.
It takes a long time to cure is my only advice.
Mine had cured for several days and would show imprint of the amp holding fixture I was using to build them where it made contact.
 
My experience is that its better to do a single thick coat as apposed to the general wisdom of mabn thin coats for other types of spray paint.

leave it for as long as possible to cure, 3-4 weeks should do it, it will look ready before that but dont be temped as it will still be soft.

If you dont want silver, companies other than hammerite do wider ranges and are still high quality imo
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
Thanks guys, I think when I paint it I'll let it dry for at least 24 hours and than stick it in the oven at low heat. Like 140F for a few hours with oven door cracked open and windows open. Sometimes it pays to be single. LOL
Why they choose baby blue is beyond me and it's a shame because the paint on this is in very good shape. I'm thinking it would be best to strip off the old paint and primer with a metal etching primer as a base coat. Anybody see anything wrong with my approach?
One last thing, the idler wheel came loose in a bag with the plastic thrust washers. No retaining ring. I figured I'd just measure the groove to get the correct size ring but there is no groove. Seems there were two different style retaining rings. Anyone know what they used for the "grooveless" style? Maybe one of those "top hats".
Thanks

BillWojo
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
Bought this off of ebay, supposed to fit my Russco. It's a little scratched up and a few tiny dings but if it fits properly I can clean it up. Gonna take about 3 to 4 weeks to get here, coming from Thailand. For $68.00 I gotta try it.
Also Terry's Rubber Rollers gave me a price of $35.00 to rebuild my old idler wheel so I'll be shipping that to him as well.
The main challenge to rebuilding these tables is to reduce the rumble as much as possible.
The way I see it, it comes from three sources, the motor, the idler wheel and the main bearing. I'm going to address all three items.
After that all you can do is try and dampen the vibration but it's best to eliminate the source of it than try and hide it.
I think the main spindle on this Russco has a lot of room for improvement. To much play between the spindle and bushings, and they use two steel bearing balls for the thrust bearing. One is staked into the spindle shaft and the other is in the setscrew at the bottom of the bearing well. It wouldn't be that difficult to make up a new setscrew with a Delrin thrust pad instead of a ball. The bearing ball and Delrin thrust pad is a proven design that is also very quiet.
When I rebuilt my Pioneer PL-41D belt driven main bearing, it was in as new shape except the thrust bearing. Stock bushings were bearing bronze, not oil-lite and still had the cross hatch from honing to size. Machined a Delrin thrust pad and used a light hydraulic/turbine oil for lube. With no belt installed it would take a full 3 minutes to spin down and stop. I was very pleased with that rebuild.


Russco after market idler.jpg

BillWojo
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
Seems Steve (Musiqlvor) has somebody that is good at powder coating weird stuff like TT plinths. So we will be meeting up to go see him. That works well because I can never keep my fingers off of sticky paint.
I didn't have any service calls today so I spent the day at my buddy's shop on the lathe. Made some bushing drivers and guide blocks and replaced the oil lite bushings in the stock idler wheel and main spindle housing. Idler wheel is going out to Terrys Rubber Rollers tomorrow. This should return well before the cool idler wheel gets here from Thailand.
There are two types of spindle bearings on these Russco tables. Both use a large 3/8 ball bearing sunk into a 1/2-13 setcrew that screws into the bottom of the spindle housing. The spindle itself either has a hard flat bottom or like mine, has another 3/8 ball bearing inserted into it.
I really don't like the idea of running a steel ball on a steel ball for a spindle bearing and it is an efficient noise transmitter. So I purchased a few 1/2-13 brass setscrews from McMaster Carr (Love that place!) and a hunk of Delrin bar stock and made a nice Delrin thrust pad for the bottom bearing.
Russco materials pic.jpgRussco pic 13.jpgRussco pic 6.jpg
Still need to figure out a plinth and a tonearm. Would love to find a Audio Technica ATP-16T or AT1501.

BillWojo
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
LMAO! I have an aversion to woodworking and it stems from my early years. My Dad was an avid woodworker, built cool stuff including two grandfather clocks from scratch.
His wood shop was down in the basement, the same place I used to work on motorcycle engines. No matter how much I tried, that dam sawdust got into everything! Ever since than, I have stayed away from that blasted wood stuff.
Now I can machine metal all day and at the end of the day a bit of work with a brush and a broom and everything is as clean as I started. Plus, metal working tools generally run at much slower spindle speeds, that wood working gear screams at you.
I have run big planer mills with 50HP spindles doing fine machining on huge castings, very large molds, my face just inches from the cutter. But a table saw with a 12" blade scares the hell out of me.
Of course there are exceptions, once I used a big plunge router on a circle jig I built to mill a circular disc of 3/4" aluminum plate that was finished up at 5' in diameter. Dam, that was noisy. I roughed it out on a bandsaw first.
At my age I don't want to shift gears and get into woodworking. Besides, I don't have the room. I never did wind up with an aircraft hanger like I dreamed about as a kid. But if I did, I'd be flying some Altec's!

BillWojo
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
Well, moving slowly on this project but I was doing some measuring to see if I might be able to use my Audio Technica ATP-12T tonearm as a temporary solution when I'm ready and was surprised that it's to long. So if a 10" arm is to long than what is the spindle to pivot length of the plasticy Shure M-232 arm that came with the TT? Vinyl Engine to the rescue. Hmmm, 8 1/4"! Wow, that's short.
Looks like I could fit a 9" arm, they did make a ATP-12 (no T) that is a 9" arm that could be ordered with one of these tables but they are tough to find.
So that leaves me pondering what arm to look for.
Any suggestions?

BillWojo
 

Wntrmute2

Not So Mediocre Member
Somebody new has taken over Vic's tonearm business as Vic retired. I haven't ordered anything from him but the new guy has a new carbon-fiber "Tomahawk" tonearm I'm eyeing. The whole thing is a nice piece of kit for around 1,000 Euros. Only downside I have found is it is hard to use a peripheral clamp but I rarely use that anyway.
PXL_20210501_202649038.jpg
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
I've seen them before and they are kind of cool but I don't think it would look right on a Russco. Besides, spending about a grand for a tonearm on this table would be over kill. I'll be running a heavier tracking cart on it, more than likely a Denon DL-103 of some flavor. That's why I was digging another ATP-12T type arm.
Rusco's own tonearm, the RTA-12 looks interesting but haven't seen any on the market. Anyone know anything about it?

Russco RTA-12.jpg

BillWojo
 

BillWojo

Junior Member
Well, I have a fellow who is going to build me a plinth! I contacted him when I saw some of his projects on AK and discussed it with him, we did a barter deal, I had a Fisher tube receiver that he fancied plus I need to machine a tonearm base for a project he has going on.
I suggested that he write a post about building it as everyone loves reading about projects like this. He is quite an accomplished wood worker, it's his passion so I feel pretty lucky about this.
Here is a link.
Russco Studio Pro Plinth Build

BillWojo
 
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