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Bogen-Lenco Idler-Wheel Turntable Restoration

Lenco in new laminated cherry base
It's a Lenco heavy-platter idler drive turntable from the 1960s,
planted in a new cherry base with a Schick 12 inch tonearm.

Yes, it's 2007, time for another turntable project. The basics - take an old Bogen idler-wheel turntable and make it huge, heavy, and capable of mounting multiple tonearms...

There are many beautiful Lenco projects out there on the web, this is really just a copy of some of the ideas floating around.

Main Features:

Bogen-Presto Serial Number label The Bogen-Presto B62 table (Serial Number 34517) I bought on eBay is [was] identical to a Lenco L70, a 'heavy platter' model that was introduced in 1962. It had identical aluminum trim and the standard arm for the L70 as well. One interesting thing about the unit I acquired is that there were no balancing holes drilled on the outside of the platter as are frequently seen in photos - this allowed me to raise the platter up above the surface of the base without viewing holes spinning around every revolution. Raising the platter helped match VTA with the various tonearms I had on hand; the original design with the recessed platter required a very low cartridge height above the deck compared with modern arm design.

Links to Lenco Turntable Information

Lenco with Gray transcription tonearm
Gray 'tweener' 10.5 (pivot to cartridge) inch transcription arm with Denon 103 - Gray arm is made from laminated wood and has silicone-damped lateral bearings, *very* dynamic.
  Lenco with Syntec S220 tonearm
Another tonearm, a Syntec 220 professional arm formerly used in a radio station - it's in good shape but doesn't sound as nice as the Ortofon arm...

Detailed Checklist - Done:

Still Waiting:

Lenco in new laminated cherry base with 2 tonearms
Just another Lenco, move along, move along - that's a Michell Focus unipivot on the inside position, and the Gray on the outside again. By resting the inside arm headshell on the deck, the Gray arm can swing over - but I still have to swap arm cable connections for comparisons. (Not a long-term solution, but it was useful for A/B comparison)
  Closeup of Michell and Gray tonearms
Closeup comparing the Michell and Gray tonearms - sorry about the stray AQ sorbothane dome resting on the corner, it's not part of the setup
  Ortofon tonearm
A better view of that Ortofon arm with the oddball replacement counterweight, Audio-Technica headshell and Denon DL103R cartridge...

A Few Pictures from the Final Assembly Process

Bogen B62 Donor with platter removed
Donor Bogen-Presto B62 with platter removed...
  The slab of laminated cherry from the top
Slab of laminated cherry with cutout for Lenco mechanism before final assembly...
  Laminated cherry Lenco base - bottom view
The bottom, waiting for a purpose...
  With cut-down Lenco mechanicals in place
Closeup of cut-down Lenco mechanicals in place. Plate is held to base with 6 screws through neoprene/steel sealing washers. Idler arm is wrapped in pink heavy teflon plumbers tape.
  Bottom view of Bogen-Lenco project shows motor mount and wiring
Reworked wiring on the bottom of the new base - electric power switch is under clear acrylic cover at upper right.
  Close-up of power switch for Bogen-Lenco project
Close-up of switch area - Pin mounted in flange switches power and moves idler arm control bar together. Fiddly to get everything lined up, but worth it. Rebuilt power switch (removed the old leads and attached new 16 ga wiring) is attached to the inside of the clear cover, blurry brass screw-head above the fork in the switch is a limit screw that keeps the cam plate on the bottom of the top mounted switch from swinging too far.
  Bogen-Lenco project without platter and tonearm boards
It's big - lots of room for future tonearm experiments. Plus, it's heavy; total volume of wood is around 10 board-feet, less mounting holes.

Look out folks, you can ruin your turntable with some of these tweaks if you screw up. Follow all the suggestions of folks who are wiser than me and don't even try this if you don't know what you are attempting. Take responsibility for your own actions and don't sue me, OK?


What I Learned this time around...