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Gallery: Inside Peter King's lathe cutting workshop

August 2017

Peter King's cutting machine

King's studio

Tungsten steel needles for cutting records

Needle sharpening grinder wheel

King at work in the studio

String to “hold the heat lamps in the perfect spot above the cutting machines”, says King

On display in King's house: AMPEX American broadcasting quality reel to reels, 1970–1980. Currently out of use, but King says “with a tidy up and lube they could return to operation easily enough.”

Top left: Aude Classe Biberon: a gift from Belgium's Andre Decerf ‘The Prince of the Picture Disk’, circa 2000; centre: the first picture disc King made – Horst Fan Club Kult EP; top right: Angela Spencer ‘love heart record’, made circa 2004 (right); bottom left: clear ‘pirate bone’ shaped disc made for a USA-based band (unknown), circa 1990

Top: “Mustang Parking Only” sign; middle: picture disc made for “either an Australian or USA based band." Image “is of a band room full of amplifiers and guitars etc, where they practise”, circa 1995; bottom: a gift to King from an artist (unknown), circa 1998

King's two storey polycarbonate house

Peter King has been custom-making records from his South Island home in New Zealand for over three decades. Take a look at his home-cum-studio space. Photos by Max Doyle

In The Wire 403, Noel Meek made his way to Mount Somers, New Zealand, to meet Peter King, a lathe cutting enthusiast who has been honing his craft for over three decades. Now one of only a few record cutting businesses in country, the lathe technique differs from standard pressed vinyl records. Painstakingly crafted, and working in small-runs, his handmade polycarbonate records are made on home-built lathe cutting machines. The list of artists he has worked with is expansive, including The Dead C, Maja Ratkje and The Beastie Boys. He works from a caravan on the grounds of his two storey polycarbonate house.

All photos are by Max Doyle and were taken in June 2017. You can read Meek's full article in The Wire 403. Subscribers can also access it via Exact Editions.

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