> On 3/2/2011 7:25 AM, Grant, Tyra wrote:
>> We're refurbishing an inherited Keith Monks record 
>> cleaner---have never used one before now.
>> We'd like to use it for LPs and 78s---vinyls and 
>> shellacs---does this make sense?
>> We're unsure what cleaning liquids to use---do we use 
>> Keith Monks or other?
>> Would appreciate any guidance or words of advice in 
>> general.
>> Thanks,
>> Tyra Grant

I use The Disc Doctor's cleaning fluid and brushes, with 
excellent results.
I removed the brush and its arm from my Monks, as I find it 
too clunky and ham-handed an approach compared to using 
handheld brushes. I keep 2 bowls of distilled water (about 
1/4" deep) to "prime" the pads with. Dip the brush in the 
water and squeegee off the excess water with a finger, then 
apply 8-10 drops of fluid to the leading edge of the pad. 
Apply the pad to the spinning disc for a couple of 
revolutions until the surface is coated, turn off the 
platter motor, and scrub the disc with the brush. I do the 
disc in thirds, overlapping the edges liberally, and 
scrubbing each area about 10 back-and-forth motions. If you 
overlap liberally enough, each surface gets about 20 
The basic idea is to excite any particles of foreign matter 
and suspend them in the liquid you have applied (this is why 
we use various chemical solutions for the cleaning stage, to 
loosen and suspend the dirt so it can be removed.) Then 
vacuum the liquid from the disc using the vacuum arm, and, 
using a second brush primed with distilled water from the 
second "clean" bowl, coat the surface, and repeat the 
scrubbing procedure, vacuum the liquid, and admire your nice 
clean disc.
Then do the other side.
It takes me 6-8 minutes to clean a side of a disc using this 
method. Call me a geek, but I love watching the vacuum arm 
sucking the record dry. I put a cruddy video of my machine 
drying off a Split Enz album (True Colors, with laser-etched 
graphics) on YouTube 
( for all you 
other geeks.
Issues you may encounter are insufficient vacuum, and thread 
travel problems. I struggled with this on my Monks for a 
long time, unitl I gave in and replaced the tubing. Make 
sure every connection has a good seal. I was frightened of 
disassembling the vacuum arm assembly to replace the tube 
that goes through the arm, but it was very simple, and once 
I didi it, the vacuum pressure increased dramatically.
If the thread collects in the intake tube, you have a clog 
or a leak somewhere.

To my mind, the greatest feature of the Keith Monks machine 
is the elegant method of removing liquids from the record 
surface, and the brush/pump feature, while it was a good 
idea, is inferior to hand scrubbing the disc.

I don't clean discs as a business (mostly because noone has 
asked), but I've done 6-700 of my own discs this way, and am 
very pleased with the results.

-Matt Sohn