Sourcing parts (for Winding machines)
This calls for
resourcefulness and persistence. I have recycled various components to
make my machines including a medical flask shaker, discarded castings,
and a wood lathe (- the latter, for my first Tailstock Winder
which is still very operational - see Gallery). Some devices
such as the counter and a speed controller were built from electronics
kits. Motor power in most cases is provided by the ubiquitous sewing
motor. To this end, 'garage' sales, second-hand machinery outlets, and
trash markets are a good source of supplies and ideas. Access to a
lathe has been crucial in allowing me to turn junk into something
Aluminium ('Aluminum' to U.S readers), copper and brass offcuts are
available from appropriate
outlets. Bearing suppliers will offer bearings, blocks, transmission
and belting. Subject to regulatory authorities, charity or second-hand
stores can be worth checking for that discarded sewing machine and
components, but it is important that all 'pre-loved acquisitions' be
for safety and suitability to provide ongoing service. Bolt and screw
can yield that unusual but usable fitting or fastener (I've even
acquainted myself with boat chandler and fishing rod components as used
in the wire feed path). Counters? I originally acquired some secondhand
mechanical counters, but have recently become a convert to the digital
I have devoted
space to this component in particular, since locating counters appears
top be a frequent concern to constructors. Please note that
ready-made counters by numerous manufacturers can be located on the
Web. I feature this particular unit because it is one with which I
have direct experience. This 4 digit Up/Down counter (homebuilt case
and power supply not included in kit price) is triggered by a simple
reed switch, and powered by a 12VDC. wall outlet plug pack.
This kit ( K-129 - short form
only) is available from www.Ozitronics.com
but should not be confused with the K154 Downcounter (with which I have
no experience) from the same supplier.
Update Note: The K-129 counter and the K154 Downcounter are
featured in the May 2001, edition of 'Silicon Chip Magazine'
(Australia.). Intending K-129 users may be interested to note I had the
'debounce' re-programmed by the designer to 1 m.sec. for reed
switches as illustrated on this site. These were measured to have a
'contact bounce' of 0.2 m.sec. This corrected earlier miscounting and
'freezing' where the previous software setting (10 m.sec.) was
unsuitable for these reeds.
Other switch types may require different debounce settings which can be
software configured by the designer/supplier.
Micro reed switches (about the
size of a 1/4 watt resistor).
A note on reed switches: These
activated by a magnet. Both reed and magnet can be set up in different
i.e. the magnet could be shaft or
pulley mounted and the reed placed on, or off axis.
I found some experimentation was
necessary for best results, and the closer to centre of rotation, the
For those interested in using a mechanical counter (example shown
below) issues of rotation and drive train (pulley ratios) will
come into play. In selecting a mechanical counter I would want to
ascertain that the count rotation suits the winder design, and that an
efficient reset feature is available. Bi-directional counting (up/down)
can be advantageous in the case of backwinding too.