Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How to build an Inexpensive Isolation Platform: (IIP)

Pic of the parts you will need
Time to go shopping! List of supplies below.
cost more than the glue

Stone Paint
          One audio/ video geek’s hobby project journeys 
              into the art of construction,
                   without constructing art.

Have you ever checked out just how damned 
expensive some of these Isolation Platforms are?

I personally think the going prices are crazy. 
Now, granted, if I had a couple of grand invested 
in some insanely high end  turntable, 
like those young fellows at Acoustic Sounds,
 ( I don't. My Technics turntable is over 30 years old, 
and runs perfectly,)  well maybe I would consider
 spending several hundred dollars on the best damn 
Isolation Platform that I could possibly afford
 One wooden platform filled with fiberglass 
    currently sells on the web for over $2,000! 
Now - that's my definition of INSANE !

I’m sure I’m not the only A/V geek out there
 that’s ever wanted his (or her ) very own isolation platform, without having to spend a “mint.”
Although, to be honest, I’ve never, in all my years, 
personally known a female A/V geek. 
( Why- yes, that Is Sad - I know. )
 BTW, a  “mint” to me, I say would be,
   several hundred dollars.
 OK, so Why that amount?
Well , because, quite frankly, the cost of my gear 
just doesn’t warrant it.  Also, as  father of two, 
I just can’t justify it.
So I decided to look into the cost of building my own,
 without breaking the bank. 
 IF you only knew what I pay in child support...
This Isolation Platform doesn't have or need 
to be perfect, it simply has to do “the job”.
 ( Who am I kidding?)
  I’m not building one with the idea/ or goal of 
  attempting to improve the sonic characteristics
 of a stupid high -end turntable.
 No, I simple want to isolate an old Laserdisc player,
 a CD player, a DVD recorder and tape deck.  
 1st I looked at the cost of marble, 
which I  discovered started
  at  $39 a SQuare foot, and went up! 
Even though Marble is what I really, really wanted, 
that would have blown the whole budget. 
Oh, the budget. The budget you say. 
What just was my budget?
 Just how cheaply am I attempting to make this thing, and still have it do the job? Well, let’s just say, 
 for the sake of argument, 
that $49 dollars was the budget. 
Oh, and by the way, $49 was not the budget 
for just a mere single Isolation Platform, but rather,
 that was the budget for two of them. 
That’s right - two of them!
So I'm attempting to build A $25 Isolation Platform !
What's that? Can’t be done you say?
Let me quote old Buzz Light-year here.   “CAN!”
Well, let’s start with our "Home Depot" Shopping list, 
shall we? I simply can’t afford marble. However, 
I can afford some leftover ceramic / porcelain 
Floor Tiles. 
They aren't thick enough (yet) to do the job, 
but we can and will, address / fix this. 
So - here we go.

1)    18 X 18 Floor tile. Times Four.(open stock)     $8
2)    8 3-1/2” Round Felt Sliders (feet)  Two-packs  $11
3)    Non-sanded grout gray caulk  (Expensive!)       $7
4)    Heavy Duty PL 375 (glue)                                $2
5)    Industrial gray spray primer                               $6
6)    2 cans of Sandstone Spray paint (on clearance) $9
7)    3M Masking Tape                                             $3
8)    Tax:         $ 2.53
9)    Total =    $48.53 !!!! 
10)    Optional feet (HD Rack balls and wood cup holders)$3.25&$5 = $8.25

     OK, w/ the optional feet, we went over budget, 
& it turns out, you only really need 1 can of paint.
I just blended the two colors. 
But I hope you see why I assembled 2 Platforms. 
The cost to build the second platform only really
 added $9.50 in real world dollars,
 ( $4 dollars for the tile, plus $5.50 for the "feet")
 because the rest of the cost to build the 1st platform
 was fixed, at $39, & would have left me stuck
 w/ "leftover" material. Now, there was little waste,
 but better distribution of cost.
 Could I have built a third with these material
        for another $9.50? No. No cause
 the 3rd one would have added almost 
                    $20 in additional material.
 here is the 411 on how to construct the platform.
It’s rather simple. (see pics below)

1)    Cut the tip off the HD PL 375 (glue) and 
            lay it into the middle of tile.
     WARNING! This stuff dries VERY quickly. 
          I mean, like in under 2 mins!

2)    Press tile together firmly, making sure they line up. 
        Let sit for 20 minutes.

3)    Take non-sanded grout and lay into 
       the exposed seam on all 4 sides, filling it. Let it dry.
        (FYI, I let this stand overnight)

4)    Mask off the edges

5)    Spray edges with Gray primer.

6)    Let dry. (see instructions on the Can)

7)    Lightly sand if you wish.

8)    Paint. (Warning! Do NOT Paint the bottom.)

9)    Let Paint dry. (4 hours) Then remove masking tape.

10)  Add HD PL 375 glue at the center of the black tops 
            of the felt pads,  & glue them to the bottom 
                           of  platform, & let dry.

And that’s it. 
I present to you,  your very own 
$25 Inexpensive Isolation Platform, or IIP, for short.

So, what do you think of my solution?      

protect "underside"
non-sanded grout caulk

Stone painted

add felt feet