Published by archerchick on 10 Feb 2011
Music To Crest By~By Tharran E. Gaines
An Old Phonograph Can Improve The Appearance Of Your Arrows As Well As Make Cresting Easier!
MANY SERIOUS ARCHERS eventually get the urge
t0 build their own equipment, especially arrows. And to
personalize and give those new arrows you so proudly built
a custom-made look, you will agree that a crestor can be an
But if you are in the same situation as I was and wonder
whether you make enough arrows a year to justify spending
between twelve and thirty dollars for a crestor, you may
want to build your own. That’s what I did, using a few
pieces of wood and the parts from an old record player.
Price will probably not exceed four or five dollars, depending
upon how much the record player costs you.
I wanted a motor that I could use permanently and one
that would be cheap and easy to obtain. I finally settled on
the motor from an old record player and eventually got it
to work for my purposes.
Although I don’t guarantee that all record players will
work, you probably will be able to find one that will if you
look for two things. One is to try to find a record player on
which the turntable shaft tums also and not just the turntable.
Nearly all of the single speed or 45 rpm players that I
have seen have a shaft that turns, but many of the stereo
units have a solid center shaft that employs a record
changer. Second, if it is possible to see the underside of the
record player, try to use one that has a rubber drive wheel
attached to the motor. Most record players use a drive
wheel which is connected to the motor and also runs
against the side of the turntable to operate it. If the drive
wheel isn’t attached to the motor it will still work but
perhaps not as well.
A center shaft of the turntable that turns 0n bearings
will be easier to work with, but a shaft that just runs
through a bushing will also work. Because I used the shaft
and the bearings as part of the crestor it is important that
they will turn.
Because old phonographs aren’t much good unless they
play, you can usually get one for next to nothing. I built
one crestor from an old phonograph that a repairman gave
me. It is also possible to pick one up at a garage sale or a
pawn shop pretty reasonably priced. Just be sure that the
motor works and that it still has the turntable and shaft.
About the only tools required for taking the machine
apart (after you`ve unplugged it) are a pair of pliers, a
screwdriver and a set of Allen wrenches to remove some of
the pieces attached with this type of bolt. When the motor
and most of the scrap pieces of metal has been taken off,
next remove the bushing or bearings through which the
turntable runs. In one type that I used, the bearings were
on a solid piece that simply unbolted from the frame, but I
did need to trim off some excess metal arms with a hack
saw. On another type. it was necessary to cut a square piece
out of the chassis frame to which the bushing was attached.
Additional materials for the crestor will include a one
inch piece of lumber about six by twenty-six inches for a
base, two pieces one inch thick by six by seven inches and a
few small blocks about one inch cube. For these pieces I
used a piece of one by six pine board and just cut off the
different length pieces. Plywood that doesn’t split easily
also will work fine. The length of the base can vary, but
twenty-six inches gives good support for the arrow while it
spins. I also used the crestor occasionally for sanding on the
points, and the long length allows for a support near the tip
of the arrow.
You also will need a small sheet of one-eighth or one-
quarter-inch plywood or masonite that can be cut into two
pieces about six by seven inches and one six by six inch
piece, and something to use as a chuck, I used a cylinder-
type chuck with a rubber washer in the center to hold the
nock, but you could also use a piece of surgical rubber
The chuck I used was obtained from an archery catalog
for $1.50. All of the record player shafts that I have found
have had a diameter of 9/32, and I was able to buy the
cylinder chuck in this size.
Next, drill a hole in one of the six by seven inch pieces
of pine or plywood for the shaft to fit through. It should be
located about two inches up from the bottom when the
piece is placed on end on the base.
If the plate containing the bushing does not already have
screw holes for attaching it to the board, drill four or more
holes so it can be mounted on the back of the board. Next,
place the shaft from the turntable through the bushing. In
some cases the shaft will already be mounted in the bearings.
In this case just mount the bearings on the board and
cut the shaft off to the correct length. I discovered on some
45 rpm players the center shaft may be too short. I found a
piece of broken arrow tubing, which is close to a size 1716
aluminum, can be cut to the right length and used as a shaft
through the bushing. It is important that the shaft spin
smoothly in the bushing. If it doesn’t, polish the shaft with
emery cloth or steel wool until it runs smoothly. Thin oil
might also help. The motor will later be mounted on the
board so that the rubber drive wheel will spin the shaft.
Next, you will have to find some way to keep the shaft
from slipping back and forth in the bushing. Using the
cresting chuck on the front of the shaft kept it from slip-
I put two washers on the back of the shaft and behind
this I made a small roll of friction tape about Eve-eighths
inch in diameter. This not only keeps the shaft in place but
it acts as a drive wheel for the crestor shaft to which the
motor’s drive wheel grips, thus spinning the shaft. If you
need to have the shaft longer you can put a spacer made
from a piece of arrow shaft between the washer and the
tape. Rubber tubing or rubber washers probably would
work even better than the tape.
By varying the size of the drive wheel on the crestor
shaft you can also vary the speed that the arrow will spin. A
smaller wheel on the shaft will cause the chuck to spin
faster. One advantage of using the tape is that you can build
up the size of the crestor drive wheel.
On the type of shaft that I used that was already
mounted in bearings there happened to be a gear on the
shaft for a record changer. Taking advantage of this, I
simply used this as a drive wheel on the shaft and ran the
drive wheel of the motor against it.
Next, determine how the motor should set above the
crestor or turntable shaft so that both wheels will come in
contact with each other. Then glue blocks on the back of
the board to build the motor up to the level where the two
wheels will match. I used block out from the leftover pine
board and finished building it up to the correct height with
thin pieces of balsa wood. Then I fastened the motor to the
blocks with screws, in a position so that the two drive
wheels would have enough contact with each other to run
well but not stop the motor.
If the motor doesn’t have a rubber drive wheel, just
mount it so that the motor`s bare metal shaft has contact
with the drive wheel you have made on the crestor shaft.
However. it will tend to slip more and the shaft will turn in
a counterclockwise direction. I also experimented with
putting a chuck directly on the motor shaft, but this tends
to spin much too fast and causes vibration on the spinning
Now you can mount the board, to which the motor has
been attached, on the base vertically and about six inches
from one end. I attached the other six by seven inch board
on the end of the base to form a back for the motor, and
used the pieces of masonite to close in the motor compartment
on the top and sides. The two side pieces were six by
seven and the top piece was six inches square.
The motor compartment can be squeezed in even more,
depending upon the size of the motor. Use small nails when
putting on the sides, in case you need to adjust the way the
motor sets later. It isn’t necessary to close in the motor, but
I thought it looked better. It also helps to brace the upright
board on which the motor and shaft are mounted.
If you are not too proud of your carpentry work, you
can cover the motor compartment with contact paper. A
coat of stain or varnish will also bring out the grain in the
To finish the crestor, I cut a V-shaped notch in two
blocks of balsa wood and mounted these on the base for
the arrow to spin on. Between these I attached a piece of
balsa about eight inches long. This is to attach a card on
which you have drawn your crest design.
I used balsa wood only because it is soft and I can attach
the card with pins. A piece of plastic probably would be
better for the V-notches.
When painting the crest you will be able to slow the
arrow down or make it run smoother by putting pressure
on the spinning shaft into the notching in the blocks. After
a while you will find that the only limit to the designs of
crests that are possible is your imagination and perhaps
your paint supply.
You may choose to vary the plans in many ways and
may have to. You will no doubt find that not all record
players will work as well or like the ones I used, but with a
similar plan you may soon be painting your own pin stripes.
All Rights Reserved