An open source record lathe

In late 2021 I began the journey of trying to build my own record lathe to allow me to easily manufacture small runs of individual and experimental records on sustainable materials.

During the course of my build I’ve found the publicly available information on the building of record lathes rather lacking so with this project and it’s documentation I hope to be able to get some useful info out there. The end goal of this project is not just to build a working record lathe, but also to release all it’s associated design files under an open source license.

The overarching goal of the lathe itself it not to reach some form of audiophile perfection but rather to achieve a sound that is “good”.

The current working name for the lathe is “Zeola”.

  • “Zea” from the name of the genus of plant that Corn/Maize belong to as it represents both the material a lot of the lathe is made from being printed from PLA plastic and also a material to hopefully cut records in.
  • “-ola” from the ending common in early and mid 20th century products related to audio reproduction like “Victrola”, “Pianola” and “Motorola”

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