Handwinding Pickups

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by CFFF, Feb 13, 2020 at 2:07 PM.

  1. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    Mount that hand winder on the wall next to the toilet and keep some tape handy to secure the
    wind wire stop between visits.
     
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  2. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    well, you could remove the winding handle and clamp an electric drill to the winder shaft. the other issue is that the bobbin shaft is far too large a diameter to accept any sane bobbin, so a shaft reducer or a platform will need to be jury rigged.

    back in the day, the early 50s, my dad used a record player to wind lo-z passive pickups. there are lotsa good ways to wind coil wire on a bobbin, lots of devices that will work well, that's for sure. lots of dependencies based on intentions, needs, and sometimes an individual's sanity. :)
     
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  3. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've looked at those kind of winders on ebay, seems to me there are some that come with motors or have the capability to add one.
     
  4. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    having made more coil winders than i have fingers, it will be a chore of sorts to find free or near free or really "cheap" parts for under a hundred (or two) dollars in order to make a pickup winder worthy of being a decent pickup winder. "decent" in this case means it just works. no matter what the device, there needs to be a secure method for attaching the pickup bobbin, either via a machine screw or some clamping device or just stout double sided 3m concrete tape. next consideration is what speed (rpm) will be available, from a few hundred to well over 2000 (i wind at over 4000 rpm). and lastly, some form of mechanical or digital turn counter. fwiw, most lathes can be easily made into really good coil winders and will deliver good rpm. that will leave what to do about a turn counter .... ;)
     
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  5. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    It's my impression that lathes work really well. It seems to me that they have everything you need in a reliable and precision package, comparable in price to a DIY setup if you buy one used.
     
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  6. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Lathes are the way to go. Check out my thread, "My Homemade Pickup Winder," if you want to see some of the info I documented about my own pickup winder build. I haven't updated it in a while, though my newest additions have been bobbin plates that are custom made to handle lipstick style pickups as well as humbucker bobbins.

    Rob was a tremendous help to me. Would never have been able to figure out any of this without him. Getting everything set up was quite a process, but well worth it.

    My own lathe maxes out at 2500 RPM; the PenPal lathe Rob often recommends goes to 4000. I find myself hovering around 1500 RPM a lot these days. Anything less than that would be painfully slow to me, and having the option to go to at least 2500 is very nice.

    I started with a cordless drill. That was pretty awful. IMO it's worth it to put the time, money, and effort into a proper lathe-based pickup winding setup, turn counter and everything included. If you want to experiment with any degree of accuracy, a good turn counter is an absolute must. High RPM's are necessary for experimentation too unless you want to go crazy ;) Winding, potting, and installing new pickups over and over again to test them out is more than enough work, even with a fully operational pro winding setup.
     
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  7. LightningPhil

    LightningPhil Tele-Meister

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    But that's not hand winding. It's still a machine.

    First budget method was to use a drill and estimate winding count via resistance. After that, gave up on estimation and made a stepper controlled winder.

    Fun making very low impedance (both inductance and resistance) pickups. Moved the resonant peak up towards 6 kHz. Unfortunately, moving the peak outside the expected range of electric guitar pickups meant that they didn't sound very "electric guitar". Could be corrected for by adding a huge capacitance across the pickup to bring the resonance back down, but then all I'd achieved was a low output pickup. It was wonderfully low noise for a single coil, even when additional gain was taken into account to make up for the low output.

    With the stepper version, made rewound some commercial pickups which worked quite well.
     
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