The 'Designed2Wind' Gallery
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The machine that
started it all for me - my 'Treadle Winder'- 600 r.p.m. with footbrake.
Built 1996. Often I was asked, 'Why build a treadle powered machine?' I
used to joke that I wanted to be able to wind pickups on the long cold
nights in my tent when I went hiking or
snow camping. I fear that at least one or two people actually believed
this explanation! With efficient gearing and hefty flywheel mass, this
machine worked well until I eventually went 'electric'.
'Tailstock Winder' adapted from a drill powered wood lathe
kit. The machine was completed with the addition of a second drill
clamp to support the mainshaft, bearings, sewing machine motor,
limiters, handrest, counter and pulley assembly. It was on this model I
developed my handrest design, brass shelf support faceplate 'stops' (to
prevent the pickup 'freespinning') and my limiter assembly.
self-locking, shelf 'pins' stop
p/up 'freespinning' on the faceplate. The photo shows the operative
'stop' set firmly against the *trailing edge of a clockwise
bobbin base plate. (*i.e. 'stop' set-up should take account of wire
feed and rotation issues to enable full inter-locking action at all
times). The dual radii of the 'shelf' pin provide a positive engagement
- the larger bracing outer half circle (and overlaid bobbin
plate) working with the smaller inserted dia. pin to prevent slipping
inwards or outwards. A *snug fit and precise set-up along with periodic
checking in use is advised. (*Pins are available in ¼" and/or
6mm. pin sizes. Drilled holes
should allow for a firm press fit - avoid sloppiness on insertion.)
Assorted pins can be interchanged to fit different p/ups. Moderate
winding speeds recommended.
This medical flask shaker
cost $15 at a trash sale - all up the winder cost - less than $50.
Although heavily modified, the major work was providing rigid
support for the hand rest (see expanded view from thumbnail). The
variable speed motor is stock - somewhat low in torque, but adequate
for the task. A solid (weighty) unit.
The 'Model 5' (my 5th Winder) is both
and solid. It can accommodate elec. and mech. counters, and is a joy
to use. While the Tailstock winder above is no less functional in
engineering terms, there is
no substitute for the rigidity and solidity of cast iron.
Mind you, I prefer the aluminium unit for snow camping trips???
The 'Woodshop Winder' reveals a simple
solution to coil winding at the novice level. Here, a 12 volt DC.
rechargeable drill does the winding at 500 rpm. The drill is also
reversible. Picture shows first pickup wound on this unit. For
construction and further details please consult Stewmac, October
(Autumn) Catalog, 2000.
The counter reed is
soldered to eyeletted fibreboard which can be adjusted on 'x' and 'y'
axes. The removed flywheel is shown (lower right) with inlaid magnet.
This is but one mounting idea - other alternatives exist,
such as fitting the magnet on the drive spindle, and relocating the
reed. Testing and trialing is required for best results.
This shows an alternative
reed set up where the reed is angled to the magnet 'sweep' rather than
offset. Why? Well, such strategies can avoid a 'double count' where
'push/pull' effects on a single pass can occur. This effect is not
always evident, but these solutions may help in such cases
(magnet flywheel removed in this photo).
Here is an assortment of jigs and
spacers used in making and winding pickups. The sheetmetal clamping
'pliers' hold fiberboard plates and jig for drilling on a drill press.
A magnet 'pressing' jig is shown at bottom right. This assists with
correct depth setting and spacing of magnets. Other jigs are used to
hold, space and brace pickups (like a shaped washer) on the winder.
Some capture the
magnet ends, others are for special applications.
The Model 6 is based
earlier ideas and some variations as well. It
was inspired by a 'found object' - an industrial furniture
bracket which was made into the headstock. I had acquired the bed and
tailstock previously and put them to use. You can view the component
parts at the 'Designed2Wind Workshop' page. Have fun! I hope there's
some interest and encouragement there for you?
Since the Model 7 is not a
tailstock type winder, the coil bobbin is secured with an extra long
2.5 mm. metal thread, or very fine bolt. The steel faceplate spindle is
centre-threaded accordingly. This
mounting method relies on centre-holed bobbins, or one has to resort to
other methods (such as industrial grade double-sided adhesive tape) for
a 'holeless' or non-centre-holed bobbin.
Sometimes an off-centre double screw mounting method is possible.
The 'headstock' on this machine came from a 16mm. movie projector with
bearing assembly (detail here).
With this winder, the motor was not connected to the power supply by a
motor plug, but came 'hard-wired'. To provide safe and sound protection
for the power leads and keep them away from drive belt and
pulley, I made a wiring conduit using 5/8" pvc pipe combined with a
fabricated pvc. block. The 'contoured' cable exit (detail
here) was achieved by
drilling a 1/2" hole in the pvc block then inserting a router
rounding over bit with a 1/2" guide bearing into the pre-drilled hole.
A drill press (set at moderate speed) rather than router
proved quite adequate, for this relatively soft material. Such drilling
operations demand the work is clamped for safety - not hand-held! The
conduit was then inserted and glued on the block's
reverse side where an enlarged diameter stepped hole provided a
firm-fitting recessed joint. The PVC conduit passes clean through the
aluminium motor bracket to clear the wires of all metal contact and any
sharp edges. Result, - sound protection for power leads. A close look
will show taping of the wires at the
exit point to further protect against abrasion.
Always plan for electrical safety!
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'Model 8' represents my most advanced winder with full auto
traversing, 'hands-on' traverse adjustment and set-up mode (LED
assisted). Additionally, it features manual over-ride of auto-traverse,
and synchronized (to the winder's movement) or non-synchronized
modes. Speed of winder and traverse are independently variable (in
non sync-mode). A parallel port is also available for full CNC
but I feel the direct 'hands on' approach is more expedient and
Powered by the ubiquitous sewing machine motor, drive is achieved with
a stepped timing belt and stepped pulleys. The base box houses three
circuit boards and extensive wiring. With technical assistance this
was completed in Nov. 2003. More details of the control features appear
on the R & D Lab.
work can require a clinical and exacting approach. When I have a
'patient' in the 'surgery' and I am striving to resuscitate a pickup
without any pulse, I like to have my specialized instruments close at
hand. Shown here is my rotating utensil holder using
a 'lazy susan' bearing for swiveling the unit through 360 degrees (just
like some retail merchandise display units). The
lift-out plastic boxes are of the type readily available in hardware
stores and different
dividing layouts allow for a variety of components. The PVC pipe
enable a range of tools to be stored ready for use, and an inner
box/cavity stores tapes and bulkier items. One of the three plastic
boxes is reserved for the components of the particular pickup I am
currently working on. The holes at sides are 'handles' for lifting and
easy transporting of my 'surgery assistant', and the pin-hinged beech
rear (above my magnifying visor) lifts up for easy access to my stencil
This unit allows for flexibility and further storage to be added at a
later time if required, and could be built in a modular form to suit
more specialized needs.
I found myself with some old discarded parts and a few spare hours in
the workshop. The result, at left, is my short-scale single chord
(tuned to A major) pickup test rig. The 450mm. (18 inch) body
is made from poplar with a rock maple 'skunk stripe'.
The 22 cm. (8.5+ inches) scale length terminates with a bridge at each
control plate offers two binding posts for bared pickup lead ends and
an output jack. Some shielding of the control cavity is provided. The
stop tail piece has been string-grounded and the ferrule holes of the
type bridge and tailpiece have been drilled fully through the body to
allow for easy removal by tapping out from the reverse side if
required. The more meticulous observer may detect that the machine
heads are installed for reverse winding to
that which is commonplace (to raise or lower pitch), but it suited my
purposes in the larger
scheme of things, including headstock proportions and the use of
available 'real estate' (i.e. space).
The pickup under test is connected, inverted
and held above
the strings as
they are plucked. I had thought of a pickup supporting device here, but
manual handling of the upturned pickup allows for quick, easy
relocation. This unit generates a more 'soprano' tone since
the string length and tuning account for limited bass compared to the
tone potential of a
full-size guitar. In this regard, this device is NOT intended to
assess pickup tone in
detail, but rather to indicate the general functionality of the pickup.
that, it offers a simple and portable laptop test bed solution. It is
essential workshop tool, but a fun project just the same! Please click
thumbnail for a larger image!
Time for a coffee?