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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DIY Cork Turntable Mat in 30 Minutes

I've been looking into the benefits of using a cork turntable mat (it helps to dampen vibration and can limit the build-up of unwanted static), but was surprised by the cost.  Seriously, $20-30?  Fuck that.

So, I took it upon myself to create my own mat on a budget.  Here's a step-by-step breakdown with the fetching results.

First, acquire the essentials:
  • 12" x 12" Cork Sheet (1/8" to 3/16" depth for best results (depending on your deck)) - this can be purchased at most craft stores for approximately $3 per sheet.  (This sheet was purchased at Michael's)
  • Hand Clamps
  • X-acto Knife (sharp)
  • Masking Tape
  • Cutting Board
  • Marker
  • A record that can be properly abused

Next, clamp your shittiest (unwanted) copy of the Oak Ridge Boys (or Wham!) to the 12" x 12" cork mat, with a cutting board beneath.

Now, cut out the center spindle hole portion (later you may have to flip it to cut the other side - this will provide a cleaner opening).

Next, simply start at the top (nearest the clamp) and follow the blade along the edge of the record.  It's best to make careful straight-down cuts rather than striking quickly over and over.  Again, you'll get a cleaner edge.

Then, once a full half is complete, carefully remove the clamps and flip the record with the cork so that you can easily cut the remaining two quarters.  If you have a smaller cutting board surface you can omit this step.

Now drink.

Once all sides have been cut, carefully move the clamps to the side (still clamped down) and X-acto any left-over edges that are evident.

Again, you can then flip the cork and place the record on top to remove the spindle hole.  I wouldn't recommend drilling the center...that shit will tear up the cork.

Anyhoo, you should be left with a pretty decent mat at this point.  So, drink again.

To clean up the mat, I would advise using masking tape (preferably a roller) and simply dab both sides, as well as along the edges.

There you have it.  I also threw on a RPM speed sticker from Sleeve City that I pulled from a felt mat, to gussy things up.

The Results:

Now, I'm a man.


  1. nice work! corker of an idea and I do like a mini project to keep me occupied.keep up the good work.

  2. cool, I'm going to make one!

  3. Good new for those that want to use Cork , it's $3 for 2x 12" squares in you local dollar store (maybe) ... I tried it on my Technics 1200MKII and it's a terrible match for those turntables. The heavy rubber matt style from SP10MKII is probably the best match for 1200MK series. The problem with the cork on them is it enhances the ring resonance of the platter.. just not dense or heavy enough. Might be a great solution for other turntables but I highly advise not using on Technics series . Good article thanks for sharing.