Narrower spindle for Thorens turntable

Does anyone know if there is a replacement spindle for a Thorens TD 125 MKII turntable that is narrower than the stock spindle? About half the records I try to put on the Thorens don't fit on the spindle and have to be reamed out with a knife to get them to fit. This is becoming a major pain. Any help would be appreciated.
Fwiw, the Thorens spindle is correct for size, it is the odd Lp that has an undersized hole. One common cause is a bit of flashing (a burr) at the record center hole from a less than perfect pressing.

Most other TT mfrs simply produce an "undersized" spindle to allow for the variation pressing quality control. I'm not sure why Thorens couldn't have done that too but it appears that the company chose otherwise.

If you like the TD125, then the reaming of undersized spindle holes in Lps will be part of your pleasure. Fwiw, it is not just that model. Every Thorens model from that period used the same manufacturing tolerance for size of this feature. I see it on my TD124s and my TD150s and my TD160s.

In my experience I've found that a pencil with fluted sides (not round) is a convenient reamer for slightly undersized spindle holes in Lps. I expect that the knife method you detailed could be the wrong tool for this problem.

Hi Catama,

While Thorens may have the correct sized spindle (I believe they are.286”), it does you little good to know that record manufacturers cannot hold to RIAA specs - or punch records on center for that matter. It is this latter point that renders a precise spindle fit meaningless. You can “precisely” keep an off-center punched record, off center.

Your best bet would be to find a competent machinist to skim off a few thousandths. Go for .281”. You’ll find VPI and Sota to be in the .282” to .283” range, but I’ve had to wrestle records off Sotas (.283”).

Some will argue .281” to be too small. I’ve never received a single complaint with my rigs for being a touch on the shy side of this number.

Thom @ Galibier
Hi Thom.
This subject comes up once in a while. Your suggestion of turning down the spindle pin a few thou makes sense, providing one has access to a machinist one trusts not to mangle the part, or to the machine shop for self use.

Just to re-acquaint myself I measured a sample of three Thorens spindle pins that were at hand. My measured range of size is .2820 - .2830 (inches)in that sample. And those can be problematic with some Lps.

Then, for comparison, I measured a spindle pin off my Teres. It read .2805. And I don't recall encountering any tight fitting Lps over the Teres.

So the difference between too tight and ok is a matter of .002 - .0025 inches.

Not that any of this solves the problem, unless one is designing a turntable.

Agree, Thorens' position on holding to the RIAA tolerance of size made no sense.

But then this is also the company that equipped its TD125 and earlier models with 16-2/3rds rpm. And the TD125 only had 3 speeds. Most folks would have preferred that the TD125 use its third speed for 78s. My guess; someone in upper mgmt liked to listen to transcription discs and possibly those "talking book" discs that never quite caught on.

For myself, I just use a pencil to ream out tight spindle holes. And when this doesn't quite work, I'll use an X-acto knife -- with good lighting, to carefully trim the high areas out of the spindle hole without altering its core size.

Thanks Steve,

Yes, finding a machinist you trust is key. I didn't mean to trivialize this.

It's interesting that your Thorens' are "only" in the .282-.283 range (VPI & Sota territory).

I imagine that at some point, Thorens realized they were fighting a losing battle in keeping to RIAA standard.

Your experience of the .282-.283 range being problematic mirrors mine, and when I spec'd the Teres bearing out in the first month of the project, we went for what you measured (the spec as I recall was .280 -0/+001, and .2805 splits this difference perfectly).

It's the number I still use.

I wish I had better (easier to execute) advice for you than the two options presented above (machining spindles, or reaming records).

Hi, I am not sure this will work. If I had this problem I would try to place the spindal in a drill chuck, have someone hold the drill and use some emery cloth on the turning spindal. I am sure if you are careful you will do no harm. I hope this will help, David
Thanks to all of you who responded. For a while I thought I wouldn't get any feedback. I guess I'll use the pencil/reamer solution for now. I'm leary of machining the spindle given how difficult it is to find parts and someone who will work on the table. I do like the sound, though. What's odd is that my NAD 533 and my Music Hall MMF-9 don't have this problem. Every record I've put on them glides on. What a difference .002 inches makes!!!
Catama - Good conclusion! IME, there are far more LPs with too-wide center holes than not wide enough. Having a thicker spindle is an advantage usually, since it is easier to widen a hole that is too small than make a too-large one smaller! I almost never have the problems you describe with my stock Thorens TD-166 MkII.