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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!