Jump to content

Entry for November 2018's Guitar Of The Month is now open!
ENTER HERE!

Robbinst

Need A New Pickup Winder. Suggestions?

Recommended Posts

Hey guys some of you may know I have been winding on a modified sewing machine and while It gets the job done, its slow. On my last wind I looked over twice to see my counter had stopped counting because I went too fast leaving me with a half wound bobbin and no idea where I was with it. Ive heard Ive heard stewmacs winder is over priced and not so great. I was wondering if you guy could suggest some good alternatives, I dont really have time to build another one, and would like some thing that works well out of the box. I probably wont wind more then 2-3 humbuckers a month.

I was looking at this one

http://www.adamswindingtechnologies.com/The_Pickup_Winder.html

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go here and learn

http://music-electronics-forum.com/f11/

Then go here and look at other peoples stuff

http://music-electronics-forum.com/f18/

I usually do not recommend Schatten equipment but the new models look much nicer than the old ones.

Most people are going to say build your own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I dont have much time free time to build one so I emailed John on that forum about possible making me one. His automatic winder seems awesome. If he cant do it then Ill pursue your design Verhoevenc, Its more on my level as far as making it myself. Im still a beginer in this area haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making your own winder is a question of time vs money. I spent maybe few bucks on parts (OK to be honest I had access to a industry quality counter, a left over from my day job). Apart from that there is some MDF, a steel bar, a power supply and you are good to go. Spending from 280 (assemble it yourself) to 460 bucks ("pro" version) for the schatten winder just is too much IMHO. The Adams winders looks like a Schatten rip off and as the prize is the same as the new Schatten I would stay away from the rip of version.

Google "designed2wind" for some inspiration for home made winders. As mentioned, the material is just a few bucks if you use an existing power dill or similar available motor.

And 1000 to 1300 rpm seems a bit slow. My current winder (3:rd version) have 10 000 rpm as maximum. I often run it in the 1500-2500 range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I talked to John and he has agreed to help me build my own automatic winder so im gonna give it a shot. I believe he will be posting more information in the pickup makers forums and as I learn I will post what I can to help other who are interested as well. Ill keep you guys updated.

Thanks for the input SL, the price tag on existing winders is a bit rediculous. Ill check out that google search when I get home from work. 1300 rpm would be fine for me as I dont think my current counter can handle more then 6-7 hundred rpm. Thats about 15-20 mins of winding per bobbin ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Automatic winder? Pfhhht, that's cheating! :P No, seriously, I think it is hilarious to see all those "boutique winders" advertising their "hand wound vintage correct PAF clones". The original Gibson HB from the PAF area were machine wound. Fender on the other hand used hand winding for a long time, and there are rumors that Leo Fender had figured out the difference in sound between hand wound and machine wound and decided that hand wound sounded better. However I have not seen any hard evidence or written quotes in contemporary magazines or similar that support that notion.

If you are going for an automatic winder I would suggest using a traverse mechanism that I have not yet seen in a pickup winder. However it is the solution I would use if I was to rebuild my current machine. Find a nice smooth plastic bolt or similar item, maximum length is just over the maximum bobbin height. Now you just put that threaded part on the axel of a slow turning motor. Align the motor axel with the thread horizontally in front of your winder and secure it in place. Now you only need to have adjustable end stops and you change direction of the motor at each end stop. The deluxe version has a encoder that keeps track of the position of the wire and also makes it possible to connect everything to a PC controller or a PLC or similar.

I work with PLCs in my day job and have access to all this stuff but still haven't got around to automate my winder. So just make sure it is worth the effort of building a automated winder. As you said, if you get a better counter and boost the speed up on a manually fed winder there efforts saved by using an automated winder can easily be calculated. You might save maybe 8 minutes per pickup in the winder (half the winding time compared to today, I think that might be reasonable). However you need to set up the automated winder every time you change type of pickup (different bobbin height, different turn count, different winding pattern etc). If that takes a modest 3 minutes the total saving time is 5 minutes per coil. If the build AND adjustment of an automated winder takes you a reasonable 10 hours, you need to wind 120 pickups to "break even" in regards of time used. If you plan on doing like 50 pickups a year, go for it. If not put the time spend on constructing and building the auto traverse on the "pleasure account" rather on the "productive time account". OK, sorry for the rant...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries! These are things I need to consider befor building anyway. The reason I am looking into the automatic winder designed by John is that it is almost purely mechanical, no programing, and easily adjusted. He planned it for years and built it with in a matter of a few hours with about $25 in materials most of which were scrapped from stuff in his garage. Check out the thread and let me know what concerns you would still have. Im not that experianced but to me its simply genius!

http://music-electronics-forum.com/t33026/

Edited by Robbinst

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My worries:

- To complex with all the friction drive and friction gears

- Tensioner + dancer will probably only work for lower RPM settings

- The traverse mechanism will wear out

- The traverse mechanism will need extremely precise placement and adjustment to be able to accommodate all different bobbin sizes and most of all, all flange thicknesses. The complexity to get the traverse to travel so that the movement changes direction a tiny bit inside of each flange is too steep. You will spend more time setting the machine up than actually winding, at least in the beginning. This at least apply to if you are shooting for a winder that will wind several types of coils. And if I understand the mechanism correctly, adjusting the fishing reel back and forth. Moving it will change the position of the traverse vs the coil laterally (sideways). This in turn will mean that if you have the machine perfectly dialed in and would like to know the difference in sound between different TPLs you will need to first move the fishing reel, then re-adjust the "trow" of the traverse. And it also means that you cannot simply mark he base with "this place on the traverse for standard HB bobbin" and similar as that will differ with different TPLs.

- I'm a grumpy old man

My suggestion if going down this path

- Direct drive. With a motor with sufficient power you can always lower the speed with a speed control so why limit yourself. With all those friction gears and stuff you will build in a set of possible future problem/issue components (friction drives WILL wear out)

- Skip the dancer. I run my winder considerably faster without one. It's called over-engineering, a thing I often immerse myself into...

- Get backup parts for the traverse

- Rework the traverse system altogether

- I have no solution for that last point...

All in all I don't aim to slam John or his machine, but I think that "less is more" is something that need to be applied to a project like this. With my hand fed winder running at 2500 rpm I think I can wind the coils faster than with a auto traverse machine like John's. The problem is, IMHO, That Jason Lollar, in his book, described and built a machine with auto traverse instead of a more simple machine. After reading that book a lot of aspiring winder thought that an auto traverse was mandatory.

Ill try to snap a picture of my winder a bit later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great responses. I would love to see your winder if you dont mind.

I was thinking about it and the reason I was looking toward an auto winder was because staring at one bobbin for 15-20 mins knowing you have 4 more to go was a very daunting task, so having the machine take care of most of it was really appealing. But now I realize that if I had a faster motor and a capable counter, guiding the wire for about 5mins each is much much easier to undertake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here you are:

The winder, a compact motor with direct drive, a double face plate, one stationary, one removable (magnets holding them in place) with a sunken shape of the bobbin, making both fastening and adjustment easy (more about that later), A hand rest that also holds the speed control knob comfortable at the fingertips (no reaching around as seen on many home made winders) soldering station and all I need in one compact, mobile place.

IMG_0352_zps419db8af.jpg

If we have a closer look the the winder itself, we see the double faceplate system and the side stops (simple steel bar, two blocks of wood and some parts from the parts drawer). The left side stop is never adjusted as I make a separate face plate for every bobbin I work with. The depth of the sink in the faceplate is adjusted accordingly... I only need to quickly set the height of the coil and off I go. The counter is placed so that I can quickly glance at it while winding (and it has two alarms that I doesn't use, I only listen to the click of the relays)

IMG_0353_zps86571753.jpg

Feel free to ask anything you want. I'll be happy to answer any questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! I like it alot, and I think it might be a better path for me to take right now and possibly add some of Johns ideas down the road. I have to ask specifically where the counter and motor can be located? When I was making the counter for mine I had read "just get an old calculator and wire it up"...Well I went through about seven of them trying to find one that worked, It got expensive. So brands, names, or links to parts that will work would really be appreciated by both me and my wallet haha.

Also the only other thing that Im not sure about is the back left corner of the board, behing the motor where the wires lead to. What is that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good source for a counter is a bit tricky. I only have good cheep sources in Europe. The counter I use, a programmable Crouzet counter is a bit too complicated and for sure too expensive. I would look at brands like Kubler or Hengstler. There is also a decent priced counter from Red Lion, the CUB 1 or CUB 2

http://www.newark.com/red-lion-controls/cub7ccs0/counter-digital-8digit-panel/dp/61M5639

However you need a PNP sensor, like this

http://www.newark.com/panasonic-ew/gx-f12a/sensor-inductive-4mm-12v-24v/dp/08N9886

to activate the trigger input. A simple micro switch will not be able to work at frequenzies above 10-20 Hz and that exclude putting a simple bump on the face plate and having the switch run against the faceplate. Instead use a wooden faceplate and insert a screw or similar and have the sensor sense that (a proximity inductive sensor doesn't need kontakt but gives a signal when a piece of metal passae by in side the sensing range, often up to 5-6 mm or 1/4". In my case it sense the three magnets that holds the secondary faceplate in place. The counter is then programmed to divide the count with three and thus giving me the correct turn count. As I said, a bit overkill...

I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives, but I have no clue were to find them outside Europe. It might seem a bit pricy to shell out with something in the range of 120$ for the counter and sensor, but remember that this is what you need if you want a high speed counter without the hustle of mechanical gears to step down the speed. The calculator has its merits, but high speed input isn't one of them. All high speed functions will need a non-mechanical sensor like the inductive sensor I linked to. However if you put in some time doing a better search that I made I'm sure you will find cheeper alternatives.

For a motor I would use a power drill motor or similar. If you use that you get the speed control at the same time.

The thingy in the back is an industrial 230VAC to 24VDC power supply. 24VDC is needed for the counter and the PNP proximity sensor. I could as well used a wall wart type of power supply but this is what I work with in my day time so parts are sometimes available for free. Overkill for sure...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, This is John. It's my automatic winder that Tyler is talking about here. I want to thank you Peter for giving me the chance to answer some questions about the winder.

My worries:
"- To complex with all the friction drive and friction gears"

It's actually a very simple design. Other than the reel , there are only three moving parts. The motor, the mainshaft, and the wheel that drives the reel.


"- Tensioner + dancer will probably only work for lower RPM settings"

I've been winding my test coils at 1,200 rpm. to keep my test data consistent. The best thing about the dancer is that you can actually see your tension. The tensioner is adjustable on the fly and it can be calibrated by watching the deflection of the dancer. It controls the tension so that it is more equal between the ends, and the long surfaces of the bobbin. Because of this the coils would be less microphonic. This might be one of the big merits of machine winding.


"- The traverse mechanism will wear out"

What will wear out? There's only 1 moving part besides the cable I made from a guitar string.
"- The traverse mechanism will need extremely precise placement and adjustment to be able to accommodate all different bobbin sizes and most of all, all flange thicknesses."

The slider on the traverse arm is the wire guide. It's infinitely adjustable between 1/8-11/16" I use a system of alignment pins that allow me to return the platform to exactly the same spot. For exact reference on the wire guide I measure the distance from the end of the transom arm to the guide itself. Bulletproof, and fast.

"The complexity to get the traverse to travel so that the movement changes direction a tiny bit inside of each flange is too steep. You will spend more time setting the machine up than actually winding, at least in the beginning."

The initial setup isn't too difficult. It only takes a few minutes, but once you have the setup It is very quick.

"This at least apply to if you are shooting for a winder that will wind several types of coils. And if I understand the mechanism correctly, adjusting the fishing reel back and forth. Moving it will change the position of the traverse vs the coil laterally (sideways). This in turn will mean that if you have the machine perfectly dialed in and would like to know the difference in sound between different TPLs you will need to first move the fishing reel, then re-adjust the "trow" of the traverse."

You do misunderstand the mechanism. When the reel is moved the only thing that changes is the traverse rate/TPL

"And it also means that you cannot simply mark he base with "this place on the traverse for standard HB bobbin" and similar as that will differ with different TPLs."

I drill holes in the platform and insert pins to re-align the base perfectly. Nothing changes.
"- I'm a grumpy old man"
I'm Batman
"My suggestion if going down this path"
"- Direct drive. With a motor with sufficient power you can always lower the speed with a speed control so why limit yourself. With all those friction gears and stuff you will build in a set of possible future problem/issue components (friction drives WILL wear out)"

I built the whole thing in a few hours, and for about $25. Anything that wears out would be easy to replace. There's been little sign of any deterioration of components
"- Skip the dancer. I run my winder considerably faster without one. It's called over-engineering, a thing I often immerse myself into..."

I really like the dancer for reasons I stated earlier. I made it from a guitar string. A bronze .056 I used the same string for the traverse cable.
"- Get backup parts for the traverse"

What's going to wear out?

"- Rework the traverse system altogether"

ouch, that's my baby. You should take a closer look. Maybe You're missing something. After all, The TPL is fully adjustable without a belt, gear, or pulley, and with only one moving part. The traverse length is fully adjustable, by sliding the wire guide on the arm. The tensioner is reliable, and adjustable on the fly. It's to my best knowledge unique in these aspects for a homebuilt mechanical winder. Literally.


"All in all I don't aim to slam John or his machine, but I think that "less is more" is something that need to be applied to a project like this."

Peter, I welcome the criticism. If everyone looked at the world through my eye's, We'd be in a mess. I live by "less is more", and I don't think I could have made it with fewer parts. Tell me if you see something I could omit, dancer excluded.

"With my hand fed winder running at 2500 rpm I think I can wind the coils faster than with a auto traverse machine like John's. The problem is, IMHO, That Jason Lollar, in his book, described and built a machine with auto traverse instead of a more simple machine. After reading that book a lot of aspiring winder thought that an auto traverse was mandatory."

I've been hand winding pickups for many years. This is the first automatic machine I've built. I'm still prototyping on it. I plan eventually to replace the reel with a cam driven traverse. The trick is making it out of cheap common stuff.



Tyler, You can always build a hand winder, and add a traverse later if you accommodate for it. Here's a picture of my mechanical winder. Friction drive of course. I used a reed switch with a $2 pedometer for the counter. It counts every tenth turn from the friction driven decade wheel. No problem with the reed bouncing. Until now the only winder I've ever used.

33wind.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John, nice to see you here!

Last things first: I agree that Tyler should first build a solid hand winder that runs fast and have a counter solution that works on higher RPM settings.

As it is easier to discuss topic by topic I start to pick the post apart… :P

"- Tensioner + dancer will probably only work for lower RPM settings"

I've been winding my test coils at 1,200 rpm. to keep my test data consistent. The best thing about the dancer is that you can actually see your tension. The tensioner is adjustable on the fly and it can be calibrated by watching the deflection of the dancer. It controls the tension so that it is more equal between the ends, and the long surfaces of the bobbin. Because of this the coils would be less microphonic. This might be one of the big merits of machine winding.

There is no right or wrong here. My comment has to be put in perspective of me running my winder at up to 2500 RPM. 1200 is half that speed. I wonder how the dancer would work for RPMs over 2000.

My worries:
"- To complex with all the friction drive and friction gears"

It's actually a very simple design. Other than the reel , there are only three moving parts. The motor, the mainshaft, and the wheel that drives the reel.

Yes and No. But first just let us agree to disagree. IMO you have too many moving parts. You have at least 5 rotating axis, one longitudal axis and one traversal axis (i hope I get the english names for those functions right…). Inside the fishing reel there are for sure additional axis and probably a planetary gear or two. That to me is a lot. Not real problem with that but complexity add possible future problems. Add to that at least three friction gears/couplings: Motor to main shaft, main shaft to step down disk, step down disk to fishing reel. My experience is that all friction couplings will wear out, maybe not today or yesterday, but somewhere in the future

"- The traverse mechanism will wear out"

What will wear out? There's only 1 moving part besides the cable I made from a guitar string.

My worry is the bicycle break type of push cable (name?). Myself I have had to replace a few of those on my bikes because they wear out.

"- The traverse mechanism will need extremely precise placement and adjustment to be able to accommodate all different bobbin sizes and most of all, all flange thicknesses."

The slider on the traverse arm is the wire guide. It's infinitely adjustable between 1/8-11/16" I use a system of alignment pins that allow me to return the platform to exactly the same spot. For exact reference on the wire guide I measure the distance from the end of the transom arm to the guide itself. Bulletproof, and fast.

"The complexity to get the traverse to travel so that the movement changes direction a tiny bit inside of each flange is too steep. You will spend more time setting the machine up than actually winding, at least in the beginning."

The initial setup isn't too difficult. It only takes a few minutes, but once you have the setup It is very quick.

"This at least apply to if you are shooting for a winder that will wind several types of coils. And if I understand the mechanism correctly, adjusting the fishing reel back and forth. Moving it will change the position of the traverse vs the coil laterally (sideways). This in turn will mean that if you have the machine perfectly dialed in and would like to know the difference in sound between different TPLs you will need to first move the fishing reel, then re-adjust the "trow" of the traverse."

You do misunderstand the mechanism. When the reel is moved the only thing that changes is the traverse rate/TPL

Yeah, obviously I don’t get this part. If you move the reel, the wire inside the bike cable will move latitudal. Or do you unscrew/re-screw the wire were it is held by the real each time you adjust the TPL? If not, the change of position of the reel means that the traverse arm will move and the “zero point” (the point were the traverse arm have its most left position) will move to the right if the TPL is increased and vice verse. Or I am really missing som e important part of the mechanism.

"And it also means that you cannot simply mark he base with "this place on the traverse for standard HB bobbin" and similar as that will differ with different TPLs."

I drill holes in the platform and insert pins to re-align the base perfectly. Nothing changes.

As said before, I really doesn’t get the mechanism…

"- I'm a grumpy old man"
I'm Batman

We have a problem here… :D

"My suggestion if going down this path"
"- Direct drive. With a motor with sufficient power you can always lower the speed with a speed control so why limit yourself. With all those friction gears and stuff you will build in a set of possible future problem/issue components (friction drives WILL wear out)"

I built the whole thing in a few hours, and for about $25. Anything that wears out would be easy to replace. There's been little sign of any deterioration of components

As stated, my personal experience is contradicting that. However the time before the parts wear out and the cost and time to replace them migt be perfectly acceptable.

"- Skip the dancer. I run my winder considerably faster without one. It's called over-engineering, a thing I often immerse myself into..."

I really like the dancer for reasons I stated earlier. I made it from a guitar string. A bronze .056 I used the same string for the traverse cable.

OK!

"- Get backup parts for the traverse"

What's going to wear out?

Se above

"- Rework the traverse system altogether"

ouch, that's my baby. You should take a closer look. Maybe You're missing something. After all, The TPL is fully adjustable without a belt, gear, or pulley, and with only one moving part. The traverse length is fully adjustable, by sliding the wire guide on the arm. The tensioner is reliable, and adjustable on the fly. It's to my best knowledge unique in these aspects for a homebuilt mechanical winder. Literally.

And I’m really sorry for criticizing it. Obliviously I don’t get it 100%. A better explanation of how things move and shift when you adjust the TPL might make me re-evaluate it (as if how I view things was important...)

"All in all I don't aim to slam John or his machine, but I think that "less is more" is something that need to be applied to a project like this."

Peter, I welcome the criticism. If everyone looked at the world through my eye's, We'd be in a mess. I live by "less is more", and I don't think I could have made it with fewer parts. Tell me if you see something I could omit, dancer excluded.

As I work with PLC (industrial controllers) and servo drives I would use another solution altogether , se earlier post. I wouldn’t use a purely mechanical solution. On the other hand, I would go back to over-engineering stuff again, and thus I keep my winder as a hand winder for now.

"With my hand fed winder running at 2500 rpm I think I can wind the coils faster than with a auto traverse machine like John's. The problem is, IMHO, That Jason Lollar, in his book, described and built a machine with auto traverse instead of a more simple machine. After reading that book a lot of aspiring winder thought that an auto traverse was mandatory."

I've been hand winding pickups for many years. This is the first automatic machine I've built. I'm still prototyping on it. I plan eventually to replace the reel with a cam driven traverse. The trick is making it out of cheap common stuff.

If that is you objective I would say that you have really succeeded. Kudos to you for that.

Tyler, You can always build a hand winder, and add a traverse later if you accommodate for it. Here's a picture of my mechanical winder. Friction drive of course. I used a reed switch with a $2 pedometer for the counter. It counts every tenth turn from the friction driven decade wheel. No problem with the reed bouncing. Until now the only winder I've ever used.

Looking like a solid and well built winder. Then there are that part about the friction drive… ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<As I stand with my fist in the air Screaming "FRICTION DRIVE"> I can see how the traverse might be confusing. It confused me for a long time. The objective was to make the TPL adjustable without affecting any other function, and do it simply. I think in this picture you can how the reel, slider, and cable all move together, not having any impact on the traverse. The points where the cable attach are stationary. Any of the other homebuilt machines I've seen rely on cams, and you need a different one for each pickup. They also are using belts, or gears for reduction, which means changing TPL is difficult. With this simple design, I've eliminated all of this. Thanks for the reply Peter.

Tyler I apologize for the hijack.

slider_zpsa0de78b6.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now THAT is clever. The reel move together with the fixing point of the cable! Great idea John. OK, I stand corrected.

<mumbling something about friction drive and walking into the sunset>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×