Polishing your TT bearing

Polishing your turntable bearing. Sounds kind of kinky but it works. I recently bought a Musical Life Basic TT from a fellow Audioner that was in need of so TLC. After finding out that the motor-unit was bad I took it to Brooks Berdan LTD. And they replaced the stock motor-unit with a VPI motor and speed box. That made a tremendous difference. However, while setting the TT up in my home I noticed that it was making some scraping noise coming from the platter. I leveled everything off and applied some oil to the bearing hoping that would cure the scraping noise. I tried spinning the platter once again only to hear that same noise. I removed the platter and ran my finger across the outer bearing of the TT and the inner bearing mount hole of the platter both surfaces where very ruff and I could feel tiny metal shaving. I did a thorough cleaning of all parts replacing and applied oil once again but no dice the noise would not go away. Then it hit me. Try polishing the bearing and inner platter bearing mount hole. I took out my dremel motor tool and attached a polishing wheel applying some cutting polish to smooth out the roughness once again I checked it with my finger it was much better. I then applied some polishing compound to a new wheel and polishing the bearing and the inner bearing mount hole of the platter to a silky smooth finish. I re-oiled the bearing and placed the platter on the TT and to my amazement, no noise. The platter spins with ease and I hear music that was not there before. Sonically my TT has never sounded better. It brings out the best of my Talisman S cartridge and I can’t wait to get a new cartridge for even better results. If you are experiencing a poor spinning noisy platter I strongly suggest trying this polishing method. Remember to be very careful not to hit any parts of the bearing or inner platter mount hole. Tape all the spinning metal parts of dremel tool so this will not happen. Good luck and may your TT spin forever.
James Howard at Applied Fidelity offers professional polishing of turntable bearings:


I have heard the results and they are very positive.
Musicart, Thanks for sharing your experience and job well done! My only polishing experience comes from watchmaking. Rarely making a part for an antique watch or much more frequently polishing pivots, etc. With using up to three different compounds in succession working toward the finest cutting. A close to mirror finish can be obtained.
Viridian, thanks for supplying that very useful link.
Isochronism, quite a number of cartridge manufacturers started as watchmakers. A J Hanekom of Blue Angel, and Andy Chong in Seattle come to mind immediately, but there are many more even the gent that designed the Thales AV pantograph tonearm with jeweled bearings.

Hey, I'm just trying to give you a little push.....
Bearing polishing should be attempted with caution. Sure, if your platter spins poorly and noisily like the OP's TT, you have nothing to lose. If your platter spins relatively freely without noise, polishing may do nothing but increase the bearing clearances which might have a negative effect on the TT's performance.
And make sure you thoroughly clean out the bearing housing and clean the spindle leaving no polishing compound, other wise it will continue to polish and accelerate wear.

Same applies when polishing turntable platters, sub platters, motor pulleys etc. Ideally, keep polishing compounds, especially liquids, away from moving parts, as in this story:
polishing the platter

I thank you all for yor coments!
Viridian, You can add Herb Papier, designer, inventor, and builder of the original Triplanar tonearms to your list of watchmakers who went into analog audio. Herb once made most of the individual parts that go into a Triplanar in his own basement. In his later years, he contracted out some of the work.