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Does hand winding mean hand on the wire?

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  • Does hand winding mean hand on the wire?

    This is a serious question. If a winder is say using the drill press method to wind but using a felt tensioner and guiding the wire by moving the bobbin from the drill press is this still considered hand winding. Opinions?
    They don't make them like they used to... We do.
    www.throbak.com
    Vintage PAF Pickups Website

  • #2
    To me hand winding is not having the wire machine guided, so either you move the wire by hand or the bobbin.

    I also think if you have a programable winder, and set it to imitate winding my hand, it's probably the same thing. I think it's fair for a boutique winder using such a machine to call them "hand wound".

    Not hand wound would be a fully automated winder... load the bobbin and press start.

    It's like "hand knitted" sweaters. They don't have a person sitting there with knitting needles, they are operating a knitting machine, which is sort of like a loom. It's a machine, but the person is moving the carriage by hand.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein


    http://coneyislandguitars.com
    www.soundcloud.com/davidravenmoon

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    • #3
      Thanks David.

      So as long as the wire is being guided in real time by a person it is hand wound. The hand tensioning thing is not a must have part of the definition but a difference in technique. This is how I see the definition. The programmed in wind being a bit of a grey area. Anyone disagree with this definition/

      By the way I'm not trying to put someone on the spot with this I just want to confirm my own definition.
      Last edited by JGundry; 10-29-2007, 01:42 AM.
      They don't make them like they used to... We do.
      www.throbak.com
      Vintage PAF Pickups Website

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      • #4
        Hand winding, for me, would encompass two factors; both hand guiding the wire as well as applying, via the hand/fingers, tension to the wire. When i hear the term "handwound pickups", I envision both these actions taking place, at the same time, as the bobbin is being filled with magnet wire. I know you can split hairs here. But if you're just talking about directing the placement of wire on the bobbin, "hand guiding" the wire (via the hand using some other apparatus other than a CNC application) would be a more accurate term.....but that is just my take on it.
        www.guitarforcepickups.com

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        • #5
          Guiding the wire by hand onto the bobbin thats attached to a soinning devise- Thats hand guiding. Using anything like the press ideal with a clamped tensioning devise is classified as "machine- or controled winding"/ More importantly Handwinding makes me think of someone sitting there hrs on end doing just that. I think we have just gotten used to calling it handwinding, when in reality its hand Guided

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          • #6
            In my mind, it's not hand wound unless the wire is tensioned by the winder's fingers holding the wire, guided onto the bobbin by the winder's fingers, and the bobbin rotated by the winder's other hand.

            Anything less is just one more step on the slippery slope toward soulless machine winding.
            Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

            Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.

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            • #7
              if one had a device so that a number of bobbins were set up simultaniously with a spool feeding each of them and every guide on a metal rod. the guides were spaced so that they would all wind the same place on the different coils, and that rod was guided by hand (it would be held to an extent by something to stabilise it, so that the operator wouldnt have to support its weight or keep it level).

              would you guys classify this handwound. would you be dissapointed if you found out a winder you looked up to was using this method?


              imagine fixing all the coils when you go off!

              i guess you could add stoppers to the ends to stop this from happening.

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              • #8
                You'll probably think this is a terrible newbie question, but it's been puzzling me for ages. The bobbin of a pickup is a long, thin oblong, so wire will wind onto it in jerks. How do you wind it at speed without snapping the wire, especially since a big spool has inertia so the wire will want to come off smoothly?
                "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Steve Conner View Post
                  You'll probably think this is a terrible newbie question, but it's been puzzling me for ages. The bobbin of a pickup is a long, thin oblong, so wire will wind onto it in jerks. How do you wind it at speed without snapping the wire, especially since a big spool has inertia so the wire will want to come off smoothly?
                  You have to set the spool at a distance and let the wire unwrap off the top of the spool. It doesn't seem that jerky while it's going. I put the spool behind me on a low stand with the top more or less facing the winder.
                  It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein


                  http://coneyislandguitars.com
                  www.soundcloud.com/davidravenmoon

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Steve Conner View Post
                    You'll probably think this is a terrible newbie question, but it's been puzzling me for ages. The bobbin of a pickup is a long, thin oblong, so wire will wind onto it in jerks. How do you wind it at speed without snapping the wire, especially since a big spool has inertia so the wire will want to come off smoothly?
                    you set the bobbin so that the wire comes from the end of it. this way the bobbin doesnt need to spin at all. the bobbins are made so that the wire comes off smoothly.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve Conner View Post
                      The bobbin of a pickup is a long, thin oblong, so wire will wind onto it in jerks.
                      You're right, it does jerk to a certain degree. My tensioner's arm bobs up and down because of this. I have minimized it... but i don't think you can, with the setup that i have, get the bobbing/jerking totally out of the picture. I also have a felt clamp that maintains light tension between the tensioner and the rollers on the wire guide of my machine. I think this helps minimize it as well.


                      Originally posted by Steve Conner View Post
                      How do you wind it at speed without snapping the wire, especially since a big spool has inertia so the wire will want to come off smoothly?
                      That is funny that you mention this....when i started using my machine i had this problem. I would program the machine to do a certain number of turns at a slow start speed to get the coil started and then it would kick in to the general winding RPMs that i programmed....many times the wire would snap. I had to find the "sweet spot", were the jerk was minimized between the slow start speed and regular winding speed.

                      You'll be suprised at how easy the wire comes off of the spool. I have not had any problems with this. My snapping problem was located between my tensioner and the bobbin. But this is the setup that i have. Other folks might have different experiences. They also have whisker disks that help with despooling the wire. I have some but i haven't tried them yet because i haven't had any issues.

                      Now for the Schatten winder, you can gradually increase the speed with a turn of a knob preventing the abrupt jerk from the change in RPMs.

                      Oh, by the way how's the weather in scotland. Love it there this time of year. Was in Glasgow for a couple nights. Mainly in the highlands and the Isle of Skye....just wonderful!!!
                      Last edited by kevinT; 10-29-2007, 06:32 PM.
                      www.guitarforcepickups.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by R.G. View Post
                        Anything less is just one more step on the slippery slope toward soulless machine winding.
                        I'm going to dress up for halloween as a soulless machine pickup winder...
                        Last edited by kevinT; 10-29-2007, 06:32 PM.
                        www.guitarforcepickups.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by R.G. View Post
                          In my mind, it's not hand wound unless the wire is tensioned by the winder's fingers holding the wire, guided onto the bobbin by the winder's fingers, and the bobbin rotated by the winder's other hand.

                          Anything less is just one more step on the slippery slope toward soulless machine winding.
                          It is possible to do that but it takes forever.. The important thing is that there needs to be some term that diferentiates between people being involved in the wind and the other method where a guy walks out of McDonald's and gets a job watching a machine do everything..............wait for it.......is that a moster coming over the hill?..............no it's......
                          sigpic Dyed in the wool

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spence View Post
                            It is possible to do that but it takes forever..
                            Yep. And that's precisely the point. A person who says they "hand-wind" is going to be looking for every possible mechanical assistance they can justify to call it hand wound.

                            Strictly speaking, it's not "hand-wound" unless one hand winds while the other holds the bobbin. Every other assistance is some form of machine assistance.
                            Here's a possible progression:
                            1. Purely hand-wound: one hand winds, the other holds the bobbin.
                            2. Bobbin held on a shaft, one hand tensions and guides the wire, the other spins the shaft.
                            3. Motor spins the shaft, one or more hands wind and tension the wire.
                            4. Motor spins the shaft, tensioner tensions the wire, one hand still guides the wire.
                            5. Motor spins the shaft, tensioner tensions the wire, a mechanical part guides the wire, but one hand moves the mechanical guide back and forth.
                            6. Same as 5, but the guide is now directed by a hand which is remote, for instance guided by a mouse on a computer.
                            7. Same as 6, but the machine has "watched" a person guide the wire, and now makes the coil, tensioner and wire guide move the same places as the hand guided coil.
                            8. Same as 7, but the machine has "watched" and memorized many hand-guided coils and can put in a precalculated amount of variation so every coil is as similar as one done in 1, but is not truly identical - that is, it memorizes the variation too.
                            9. Same as 7 or 8, but now the machine can replace its own bobbins when one is full.

                            Where's the line? Every single one of these produces a coil for which it is possible to make an argument about it being "hand wound" or indistinguishable from hand wound. And if it's indistinguishable...

                            Human nature doesn't change much. Humans don't want justice and equality. Humans want privilege. They scream for justice and equality when they can't get privilege. So every "hand winder" will pick the place in that progression where they feel they comply and should be able to forbid the guys further up the chain from claiming "hand wound". A choice of a dividing line on that progression tells more about the person making the choice than the externals of what should or should not be "hand wound".

                            Put another way, like the old joke, we all know what we are. We're just haggling over the price.

                            Originally posted by Spence View Post
                            The important thing is that there needs to be some term that diferentiates between people being involved in the wind and the other method where a guy walks out of McDonald's and gets a job watching a machine do everything.
                            OK. Define "involved in the wind". Does a human have to touch the wire? Why don't 7 through 9 contain the human's "involvement"? It's a memorized involvement, but isn't that how we train apprentices?

                            Plus there is the whole issue of what "hand wound" is good for. Let's put aside the issue of whether it's really possible or not and assume that I have in my hand two sets of coils. One set is really, truly, no fooling, gen-u-winely hand wound. The second set is completely, 100% wound by a computer driven winding machine, but it's wound with the same wire, same insulation, same tension in each turn of wire as the hand wound one because the computer was able to snoop on the person winding it and can accurately reproduce it.

                            The bobbin sets are put into identical carriers and magnet setups, and placed in identical guitars. Can you tell which is which by listening?
                            Amazing!! Who would ever have guessed that someone who villified the evil rich people would begin happily accepting their millions in speaking fees!

                            Oh, wait! That sounds familiar, somehow.

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                            • #15
                              @ R.G.

                              You are correct in terms of what would truly be the definition of a handwound pickup....literally. I posted this coil winder a while ago which was designed to do just what you're describing.

                              http://ace.ea-sales.com/inventory/de...tem=1158353078

                              Generally speaking, in the pickup biz, when folks talk about hand winding or handwound, they are taking into account that the bobbin would be spinning on a machine driven by electricity.
                              www.guitarforcepickups.com

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