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Stump Records


For a long time I've wanted to make a record player from scratch. My old man has a ton of vinyls begging to be played, and also the design aspect of this machine was appealing. Designing a beautiful and satisfying piece of art was the goal for this project - I wanted to make something that was a pleasure to look at and a pleasure to use. The project was a perfect mix of art and engineering. With a little help from my much smater-than-me friends, I got this thing done.

The Problem

  • I did not have a record player

  • Most record players on the market are uninspiring or expensive

  • I wanted to make something that has never been made before

  • Record players do not have built-in audio digitization (downloading songs from vinyl to computer)

The Solution

  • Build a record player from scratch, and figure out how the hell to make it in a Redwood stump, because no one has done that before

  • Build firmaware/software to digitize vinyls


CAD model of the system (sorry I don't render pretty images)


Beautiful redwood


My buddies Sepehr and Albert ended up coming in clutch in the last month of work on "Stumpy" (our affectionate name for the record player). The device could be split up into a few main subsystems:

  • Enclosure

    • Acquiring stump (tree was already downed from a storm, just had to cut a section out)

    • Preparing stump (spoke shaving, marine-grade epoxy etc.)

    • CNC'ing stump

    • Finishing

  • Hardware

    • Drivetrain​

    • Tone Arm

    • Manufacturing

  • Electronics

    • Sourcing​

    • Building

  • Firmware

    • Motor control​

    • Audio

    • Digitization

  • Software

    • Digitzation​

It would take too long to write at length about the subsystems and what it took to bring each to life. So instead, I'll let you watch this video:

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