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Thread: Humbucker Bobbin Screw and Slug Alloy

  1. #36
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I hope my order hurries and gets here, I'm about out of everything!
    Kojak, you don't wind anymore? I guess you just work on guitars?
    It's just a hobby for me, I'm retired.
    For every dollar I take in I spend about 5.
    Everybody tight and hard up around these parts.
    Later,
    Terry

  2. #37
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    +1!!! on Bruce's explaination. One thing that you're gonna learn are the principles of making pickups and how different materials affect tone are never written in stone. Once you think you know/learn something, you might get some parts that defy the odds. For example, you may design a pickup on paper based on the characteristics of materials/alloys and when you build it, it doesn't sound like you thought it would because of the tolerances in metal alloys, techniques, and winding method that you use. A pickup with the same specs built by different builders will all sound different. Yes, generally, 1010 will be warmer, however, using 1010 won't guarantee that you will make a warm-sounding pickup. 1010 might not sound warm with an A4 magnet as opposed to using an A2 magnet in the pickup formula for example. There are too many variables to provide you with a straight answer as Bruce mentioned. That is why I stated earlier to get parts and try them out. The components that you have on hand might make a warm-sounding pickup with 1010 slugs, or it might not. Try them with different screw alloys and magnet grades until you find the mix that you like. Not trying to be a smart ass, just telling you how it's done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Johnson View Post
    big_teee;

    The truth is that when you ask us a question such as "which would sound better, 1018 or 1022 alloy slugs?"......The answer is that we don't know. It isn't really that we're trying to be secretive or mean to you. The difference in tone between 1018 and 1022 is going to be small at best, and will depend on many other factors in the "formula" of pickup that you're building. If you were to buy some slugs of each alloy and do careful comparison testing with pickups that were otherwise identical, you may be able to hear a difference, or you may not. It just depends on the design of your pickup and how precisely you're defining the testing. For some guys here who have been working with a particular pickup formula for a long time, working with different slug alloys may give them an improvement that they like. But, one guy may find that 1018 is perfect, another may go for 1022. And a third may not be able to hear any difference at all in his particular pickup formula. So there isn't any single answer on which is best. It's the same for many other factors in pickups. That's why you get vague and silly answers here. If you're looking for an established rule book, you'll have to write your own. It's the only way.

    In a practical sense, there isn't a lot of choice of alloys available. They may be listed in a steel handbook, but what you can actually buy in particular sizes in small quantities is very limited. In 3/16" round bar stock, for example, it's pretty hard to find much other than common 1018, 12L14, and some of the tool steels. Unless you want order a thousand pounds of it.
    Last edited by kevinT; 09-27-2010 at 02:46 PM.

  3. #38
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Johnson View Post
    big_teee;

    The truth is that when you ask us a question such as "which would sound better, 1018 or 1022 alloy slugs?"......The answer is that we don't know. It isn't really that we're trying to be secretive or mean to you. The difference in tone between 1018 and 1022 is going to be small at best, and will depend on many other factors in the "formula" of pickup that you're building. If you were to buy some slugs of each alloy and do careful comparison testing with pickups that were otherwise identical, you may be able to hear a difference, or you may not. It just depends on the design of your pickup and how precisely you're defining the testing. For some guys here who have been working with a particular pickup formula for a long time, working with different slug alloys may give them an improvement that they like. But, one guy may find that 1018 is perfect, another may go for 1022. And a third may not be able to hear any difference at all in his particular pickup formula. So there isn't any single answer on which is best. It's the same for many other factors in pickups. That's why you get vague and silly answers here. If you're looking for an established rule book, you'll have to write your own. It's the only way.

    In a practical sense, there isn't a lot of choice of alloys available. They may be listed in a steel handbook, but what you can actually buy in particular sizes in small quantities is very limited. In 3/16" round bar stock, for example, it's pretty hard to find much other than common 1018, 12L14, and some of the tool steels. Unless you want order a thousand pounds of it.
    Bruce:
    Thanks for the honesty.
    All I was after was do the 1010s sounds lower, maybe 1022s sound brighter, that would have been sufficient.
    Some of the guys get on here and do the authoritative double talking dance, and don't share anything.
    If that's the case why get on this thread to do that, when I thought the purpose of the forum was to share and help others.
    I'm 61 yrs old, I'm retired, spent 42 yrs as a Comm Tech. This is strictly a hobby for me.
    I don't have the time or the funds to do all this analyses, and special bulk ordering, for a few pickups.
    Like I said earlier, either help me or don't. It's your choice.
    At current I ordered some 1018 Slugs, and some Screws from Micro Fasteners (not sure what the alloy is on them, but they sound pretty good)! Recommended from a friend.
    Also the reason I asked is to cut down on the research time and expense.
    I thought you experts would get on here and say I like so & so or maybe something else. Didn't want any trade secrets, just a shove in the right direction!
    A special thanks, to all that have been helpful.

    Peace, and Rock On!!!
    Terry

  4. #39
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    Terry,
    when you say "I still haven't heard any of the experts divulge their recommendations..."

    You are sort of implying that the rest of us who tried to help are just chopped liver... We know that's not what you meant but you can see how that might be taken the wrong way.

    Keep in mind that this is a public forum which gets indexed by Google every 5 minutes and the posts stay up forever. You may think you are the only person reading the replies but you probably aren't. Consider the factory boss who's dumping an inferior product on ebay for $10.99 a pop and wondering how he can improve quality for a market that's 10000 miles away. It's easier for him read up on a forum like this what sells in his target market than to try to do the r&d on his own with no idea what he's trying to replicate in the first place. That kind of competition could really hurt the bottom line of a one-man operation who really takes his/her business seriously and does the hundreds of hours of testing etc.

  5. #40
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    Terry,
    when you say "I still haven't heard any of the experts divulge their recommendations..."

    You are sort of implying that the rest of us who tried to help are just chopped liver... We know that's not what you meant but you can see how that might be taken the wrong way.

    Keep in mind that this is a public forum which gets indexed by Google every 5 minutes and the posts stay up forever. You may think you are the only person reading the replies but you probably aren't. Consider the factory boss who's dumping an inferior product on ebay for $10.99 a pop and wondering how he can improve quality for a market that's 10000 miles away. It's easier for him read up on a forum like this what sells in his target market than to try to do the r&d on his own with no idea what he's trying to replicate in the first place. That kind of competition could really hurt the bottom line of a one-man operation who really takes his/her business seriously and does the hundreds of hours of testing etc.
    David:
    Thanks for all you guys help, i said that early in the thread.
    I thought everyone on here but me, was an expert.
    You will have to admit that some want to get on here and debate technicalities, and never devulge anything. You were very helpful and I appreciate it.
    As far as the forum in general.
    When someone posts something, and have a problem, or are fixing to purchase something, which was my case, I just wanted to know about the numbers if I should go high or low. I needed relevant info thats all.
    Again thanks for the help!
    Later,
    Peace, & Rock On!!!
    Terry

  6. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    A magnet seller lists Humbucker adjustment Screws and Slugs in 1018 &1022 alloy.
    What seller is this? And who's selling the 1010?

  7. #42
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhangliqun View Post
    What seller is this? And who's selling the 1010?
    This guy has 1010, 1018, and 1022.

    Addiction-FX Guitar and Sound items - Get great deals on Humbucker Bobbins, Pole Screws items on eBay Stores!
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  8. #43
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    Steel alloys available in small quantities

    One can get many steel alloys in small quantities, if one is willing to cut slugs from rod.

    Here is what McMaster-Carr offers in 3/16" diameter rod. Many other diameters are available, but the 3/16" case gives the idea: McMaster-Carr - Steel. Select "Rods and Disks", then 3/16 diameter.

    One can also get sheets and rectangles. One can also get stainless steel: McMaster-Carr - Stainless Steel. Only the 400-series stainless steel alloys are really magnetic.

    One large advantage of using materials purchased from industrial suppliers is that you have some idea what you are getting, and can get the same stuff forever. Unlike hardware-store "steel", which can be just about anything, and is never the same thing twice.

    I buy a lot of metal from McMaster. The only problem I have had is that if one buys more than one kind of steel in an order, one gets all the bars in one big tube or box, identified by the color of the paint on the ends, These color codes are not standard, so you must ask McMaster to tell you which color is which alloy, and then mark the bars in multiple places with the alloy number using an oil paint marker pen McMaster-Carr - Paint Markers. Yellow is the traditional color for marking stock, and a Fine felt-tip pen would work on 3/16" rod. The ball tip markers are for soft materials like wood, and will skid on metal.

  9. #44
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    Joe;
    I'm a regular McMasters customer too, and I buy some of my metals from them. But searching their site backs up what I said, that there are very few alloy choices available in 3/16" rod stock. They list 13 alloys available for 3/16" rod, but 9 of them are various grades of tool steel. The 1006 that they offer is zinc-coated "junk grade" rod that has very loose tolerances on alloy and dimensions. Then they offer 1018, 12L14 and 1215 (which is just the lead free version of 12L14). That's it. In terms of carbon content and magnetic properties, it's really two choices, plus the tools steels.

    It's the same with other suppliers too. I haven't seen any place where you can buy a single 12' length of 3/16" rod in 1010 or 1022. Have you? Those alloys are generally only available in 1/2" diameter and up. The mills just don't roll much of anything in small diameters, except on special order. 3/16" is the smallest that you can commonly get in 1018. Other than the tool steels, 12L14 is the most common rod stock and it's only available in a few sizes under 1/2".

    Someone should ask the guy at Addiction FX where he gets those 1022 machine screws. Does he actually have them made up by a screw machine shop on custom order? I doubt it. More likely, he found a supply of them on the military/govt surplus market and had them nickel plated. On the surplus fastener market, you'll see all kinds of odd alloys.
    Last edited by Bruce Johnson; 09-29-2010 at 05:00 PM.

  10. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Johnson View Post
    Joe;
    I'm a regular McMasters customer too, and I buy some of my metals from them. But searching their site backs up what I said, that there are very few alloy choices available in 3/16" rod stock. They list 13 alloys available for 3/16" rod, but 9 of them are various grades of tool steel. The 1006 that they offer is zinc-coated "junk grade" rod that has very loose tolerances on alloy and dimensions. Then they offer 1018, 12L14 and 1215 (which is just the lead free version of 12L14). That's it. In terms of carbon content and magnetic properties, it's really two choices, plus the tools steels.
    What about 1144 steel, for instance? I just used a bunch of it to make a replacement part for my vertical mill. It's available down to 1/4", so you would have to turn the slugs. Or just use it as is - I've seen plenty of 1/4" slugs.

    But the first step is research. If an alloy proves promising, then one can go to the trouble of finding 3/16" rod, which is made. The reason I mention 1144 is that it's about halfway between low carbon (1010 and 1018) and high carbon (W1 or 1095), and the amount of carbon affects tone by affecting the balance between permeability and resistivity, both in the as-delivered annealed state and in the quenched state.

    One can also buy 1045 in 1/4" rod.

    I'll grant that many of the alloys are tool steels, but so what? They are steel. We can still misuse them for our own purposes.


    It's the same with other suppliers too. I haven't seen any place where you can buy a single 12' length of 3/16" rod in 1010 or 1022. Have you? Those alloys are generally only available in 1/2" diameter and up. The mills just don't roll much of anything in small diameters, except on special order. 3/16" is the smallest that you can commonly get in 1018. Other than the tool steels, 12L14 is the most common rod stock and it's only available in a few sizes under 1/2".
    The reason is that those alloys are cheap, so you have to buy at least 6'. The rule seems to be to ensure a minimum per-piece price, to cover the per-piece overhead of offering something for sale.


    Someone should ask the guy at Addiction FX where he gets those 1022 machine screws. Does he actually have them made up by a screw machine shop on custom order? I doubt it. More likely, he found a supply of them on the military/govt surplus market and had them nickel plated. On the surplus fastener market, you'll see all kinds of odd alloys.
    I recall from Possum's reports that most ordinary "steel" machine screws are made of 1022 or the like, unless some alloy is specifically cited.

    Socket-head screws will be higher carbon, as they must be hardened. For experimentation, one can buy long socket-head machine screws, and saw the head and threaded parts off, leaving a rod.

  11. #46
    Old Timer RedHouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Gwinn View Post
    ...I recall from Possum's reports that most ordinary "steel" machine screws are made of 1022 or the like, unless some alloy is specifically cited...
    Yeah, I'm suprised Possum hasn't posted in this thread, this is right up his alley.
    (wonder if he's alright?)

  12. #47
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Gwinn View Post
    I'll grant that many of the alloys are tool steels, but so what? They are steel. We can still misuse them for our own purposes.
    I've used O1 steel for blades for a while. I thought it sounded fine.

    I had heard that some pole screws also had lead in them, like one of the 12L* steels.
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  13. #48
    Supporting Member belwar's Avatar
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    Many do use 12L14, and its a great sounding alloy. Most screw makers will use 1215 which is also a great sounding alloy. They are all part of a class of quick machining steels.

    bel

  14. #49
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    The lead is in those steel alloys to act as a lubricant for any machining processes, just like there's lead in free machining brass.

  15. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by belwar View Post
    Many do use 12L14, and its a great sounding alloy. Most screw makers will use 1215 which is also a great sounding alloy. They are all part of a class of quick machining steels.

    bel
    Are The 12L14, & 15 Alloy parts available. Or are these parts a guy has to make?
    Peace,
    Terry

  16. #51
    Supporting Member belwar's Avatar
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    mojo sells 1215 slugs.

  17. #52
    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by belwar View Post
    mojo sells 1215 slugs.
    they are listed as 1010 steel i think they sound ok

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    A necro-thread indeed.

    1010 steel -- AddictionFX has or at least used to have the bucker screws in 1010 but suddenly he won't respond. When I try to buy through Ebay it says "seller does not want your bids or offers". Tried emailing him, he has no phone number, no response.

    Anyone know what's going on?

  19. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhangliqun View Post
    1010 steel -- AddictionFX has or at least used to have the bucker screws in 1010 but suddenly he won't respond. When I try to buy through Ebay it says "seller does not want your bids or offers". Tried emailing him, he has no phone number, no response.

    Anyone know what's going on?
    You're using addiction-fx@hotmail.com?

    I JUST got an order in the mail this week although there has been varying delays in communication.

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