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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Another solution I've seen to eliminate the shorting against the pole pieces is to coat them with nail polish. Would take up less room than a core, so you could fit more windings on there if you were trying to make an over wound pickup.

I'm just wondering now if it would be better to cannibalize an old sewing machine, or if it would be better to just buy an electric motor and start from scratch... probably the sewing machine :lol: I don't think I'm handy or smart enough to build from scratch :lol:
I read about people using nail polish or lacquer, but, using a core makes assembly a whole lot easier, stable and consistent. If I remember correctly, my core height is about 1/8" greater than an off-the-shelf seven string plastic bobbin, so, I can get plenty of wire on there.

Starting with an old sewing machine puts you two steps ahead because it already has the speed control and a place to mount the bobbin. Just a thought....
 

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Tr00 Kvlt
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I've been thinking really hard about doing this again and possibly make some extra $$ on the side since i'm out of work right now.... where do you get your copper wire? I want to start out making two pickups...a humbucker and a tele pickup. Looks like i'm going to get most of my supplies from Mojotone.com - The Best source for Vintage Amp Parts, Cabinets, Guitar Parts, Bass Parts, and Pickup Parts but I am curious if there is anywhere to get the copper wire any cheaper. I also need to figure out a winder, though I thought about doing hand wound/scatter wound at least at first so maybe I don't even need a winder.

*edit*

Been researching all day. I'm getting close to ordering everything for my first build, which will be a Telecaster bridge pickup. I wish I could find a smaller spool of wire a bit cheaper just to use on my first attempt, but at least a 1/2 lb spool will be enough to do a handful of pickups.

Going with:
Zinc plated steel base plate
Neodymium magnet slugs
Hand scatter wound (don't have a winder, and i've always been a fan of scatterwound)
Cloth pushback wire

Stewmac has a nice article about how many windings are used typically in pickups
http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/I-1465.html

I'm not going to get too crazy, but I am probably going to overwind it a bit more than your standard tele pickup....possibly 10,000 winds, which is the standard for a P90. Looking on craigslist for a deepfryer, going to pot it in bees wax, and i'm going to use black paper tape rather than the cloth string typically used with tele pickups.
 

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Slow Money
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7deadlysins said:
I've been thinking really hard about doing this again and possibly make some extra $$ on the side since i'm out of work right now.... where do you get your copper wire? I want to start out making two pickups...a humbucker and a tele pickup. Looks like i'm going to get most of my supplies from Mojotone.com - The Best source for Vintage Amp Parts, Cabinets, Guitar Parts, Bass Parts, and Pickup Parts but I am curious if there is anywhere to get the copper wire any cheaper. I also need to figure out a winder, though I thought about doing hand wound/scatter wound at least at first so maybe I don't even need a winder.

*edit*

Been researching all day. I'm getting close to ordering everything for my first build, which will be a Telecaster bridge pickup. I wish I could find a smaller spool of wire a bit cheaper just to use on my first attempt, but at least a 1/2 lb spool will be enough to do a handful of pickups.

Going with:
Zinc plated steel base plate
Neodymium magnet slugs
Hand scatter wound (don't have a winder, and i've always been a fan of scatterwound)
Cloth pushback wire

Stewmac has a nice article about how many windings are used typically in pickups
http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/I-1465.html

I'm not going to get too crazy, but I am probably going to overwind it a bit more than your standard tele pickup....possibly 10,000 winds, which is the standard for a P90. Looking on craigslist for a deepfryer, going to pot it in bees wax, and i'm going to use black paper tape rather than the cloth string typically used with tele pickups.
Scatter wound doesnT mean without a machine. Do you realize how many winds are even on a vintage tele coil?
 

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Slow Money
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Never mind. I see the wind count. If you pull that off by hand, props!
 

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Tr00 Kvlt
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Never mind. I see the wind count. If you pull that off by hand, props!
If I actually get some orders after my first few demos i'll probably do the first few by hand until I make enough to afford a decent winder. I could probably build one, but i'm not sure...we'll see how it goes. I've read a lot and it seems that a lot of builders believe you can't get the same scatterwound sound without doing it completely by hand.
 

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Mr. Oni Guitars
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1,366 Posts
Going with:
Zinc plated steel base plate
Neodymium magnet slugs
Hand scatter wound (don't have a winder, and i've always been a fan of scatterwound)
Cloth pushback wire

Stewmac has a nice article about how many windings are used typically in pickups
STEWMAC.COM : Pickup Winding with the Schatten Pickup Winder Free information

I'm not going to get too crazy, but I am probably going to overwind it a bit more than your standard tele pickup....possibly 10,000 winds, which is the standard for a P90. Looking on craigslist for a deepfryer, going to pot it in bees wax, and i'm going to use black paper tape rather than the cloth string typically used with tele pickups.
You should get 10000 turns on a tele bridge pickup with 43 awg wire, definitely 44 awg. Neo slugs will have too much string pull, they'll murder your intonation unless you put the pickup way under the strings, which would kill any output advantage you might be thinking you'll get. Alnico 5 is already borderline excessive for slugs. Also, neo would make the treble very harsh.
 

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Mr. Oni Guitars
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1,366 Posts
If I actually get some orders after my first few demos i'll probably do the first few by hand until I make enough to afford a decent winder. I could probably build one, but i'm not sure...we'll see how it goes. I've read a lot and it seems that a lot of builders believe you can't get the same scatterwound sound without doing it completely by hand.
The hand scatterwound thing refers to guiding the wire on by hand, not the actual winding which is done by machine. Modern CNC winding machines can easily duplicate scatter patterns, it's all in the programming. The old machines just went back and forth at one rate which lays the wire side to side very neatly. That has some effect on capacitance of the coil, makes it sound different to a scattered coil.
 

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Tr00 Kvlt
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You should get 10000 turns on a tele bridge pickup with 43 awg wire, definitely 44 awg. Neo slugs will have too much string pull, they'll murder your intonation unless you put the pickup way under the strings, which would kill any output advantage you might be thinking you'll get. Alnico 5 is already borderline excessive for slugs. Also, neo would make the treble very harsh.
Thanks :yesway: What if I did what G&L does and put a bar magnet between the baseplate and the bobbins and use regular slugs? I've got a neodymium pickup in one of my Tele's right now and it doesn't pull my strings at all. It's a GFS pickup, but it's been rewound.

*edit*

http://brainrender.com/index.php?page=coil-winding-machine
Hmmm..... I might be able to come up with something like that. I don't have the resources to make a power supply like he did, but I could probably still do something similar. That would be quite a lot faster than 10,000 turns by hand. :lol:
 

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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Before buying parts, build a winder with a counter. Without that, you won't get consistent results. It doesn't have to be anything complicated. Actually, the simpler the better. Mine is a sewing machine with a simple mechanical counter. It cost me less than $20 and works great. Here's the pic-story: http://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/guitar-tech-electronics-diy/19955-diy-pickup-winder.html

I'd recommend starting with a couple Stew-Mac kits and wire to get a feel for how to wind and assemble the pickups. They're instructions are quite thorough. That's how I got started before making all my own parts. The main reason I started making pickups was because, at the time, I couldn't find single coil seven string pickups. These days, if I didn't already have all the stuff, I'd just buy them. Not trying to dissuade you from giving it a try, just saying it can be a pain in the ass, especially when you snap the start end of the wire at the coil...and have to start over.

As far as potting, I use a paraffin bath thing that's used for hand/feet...something like this: Amazon.com: Homedics Paraffin Bath Par-300, Blue: Health & Personal Care and just mix in some bee's wax. Seems to work fine.
 

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Tr00 Kvlt
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5,914 Posts
Before buying parts, build a winder with a counter. Without that, you won't get consistent results. It doesn't have to be anything complicated. Actually, the simpler the better. Mine is a sewing machine with a simple mechanical counter. It cost me less than $20 and works great. Here's the pic-story: http://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/guitar-tech-electronics-diy/19955-diy-pickup-winder.html

I'd recommend starting with a couple Stew-Mac kits and wire to get a feel for how to wind and assemble the pickups. They're instructions are quite thorough. That's how I got started before making all my own parts. The main reason I started making pickups was because, at the time, I couldn't find single coil seven string pickups. These days, if I didn't already have all the stuff, I'd just buy them. Not trying to dissuade you from giving it a try, just saying it can be a pain in the ass, especially when you snap the start end of the wire at the coil...and have to start over.

As far as potting, I use a paraffin bath thing that's used for hand/feet...something like this: Amazon.com: Homedics Paraffin Bath Par-300, Blue: Health & Personal Care and just mix in some bee's wax. Seems to work fine.
I actually realized I have a shitload of old off brand pickups i'll never use, so I am going to use most of the parts from those as my prototypes. Got two washburn 7 string humbuckers, two 6 string humbuckers, a tele bridge, and a tele neck.... looks like 3 ceramic magnets, an alnico bar, and some alnico slugs. :yesway: I am going to order a few parts for my first humbucker build, because I want a rail bobbin, but other than that and possibly some neodymium bar mags(and copper wire) i'm going to use the parts I already have.

I'm going to build one similar to the one the guy made in the video I posted, i've got a lot of stuff I can use and i'm going pawn shopping for an old drill I can use as the actual winder. I bought a reed switch at Radio Shack for $3, and am going to use the little magnet drum idea that guy had to count turns with a calculator.

It's something about electronics, i've been disassembling pickups all day, and it's put me in a better mood than I have been in a long time. It's soothing to me or something. :nuts: :lol:
 

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Hi, can I ask you, were you got the sheets for bobbin? I mean, where did you downloaded the 1:1? Can you share? Cheers!
 

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sawdust aficionado
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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Hi, can I ask you, were you got the sheets for bobbin? I mean, where did you downloaded the 1:1? Can you share? Cheers!
You can get bobbin flatwork material from STEWMAC.COM (item #5970 or #5971) or McMaster-Carr (item #8652K74).

I drew the pickup templates myself specifically for my guitars, so I won't share them because they probably would not fit other guitars. However, you can download Sketchup and draw them yourself. It's not too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Pickup troubleshooting is difficult without having it hand, but, looking at the pictures, there may not be enough contact between the screws and the magnet.
 
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