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  • #31
    To clarify: poly coating is made to strip off with soldering. If you simply tie the wire onto the start eyelet, wind the pickup, and tie the wire onto the finish eyelet, and solder your leads on, you'll be good to go, as the soldering process will strip the insulation and make a solid electrical connection. It's that simple.

    Tinning the poly wire before wrapping around the eyelets is not necessary, but I think it makes life easier in the long run. The wire makes a solid electrical connection this way simply from being tied on. This offers a host of benefits. The only downside is tinning the magnet wire is easier when you're using some sort of tensioning setup. If you're winding by hand with a naked spool on the floor, you may find it difficult to tin the delicate wire without a tensioning device to hold it in place with one hand, while you run the iron along the wire with the other hand. The wire, for easiest results, needs to be taut for this.

    If you're not using a tensioning device, and just winding by hand, it may be less frustrating to skip the tinning process altogether. Nonetheless, here are some benefits to tinning, which IMO especially apply to beginners:

    -Test the pickup without needing to solder the eyelets. Once you get solder in the eyelets, if you want to rewind the pickup for whatever reason, you need to put the pickup in a vise, use a solder sucker to get it out, and re-file and smooth out the flatwork in order to prep it for winding again. If for whatever reason you need to tear down a freshly wound pup, tinned magnet wire will allow you to simply cut all the wire off and start over, with no further cleanup necessary. The time it takes you to tin the wire will certainly be less time than it will take you to get the solder out of the eyelets and smooth your flatwork out again before rewinding.

    -Test the pickup mid-wind. Tinning the wire before tying it onto the eyelet is simply the cleanest, easiest, and most efficient way to make an electrical connection to the eyelet without soldering the eyelet. Soldering the start eyelet before you mount and wind your bobbin can be very problematic. With tinning the wire before wrapping, there are zero problems, and you have a solid electrical connection simply from tying the wire on, which makes testing the pickup mid-wind dead simple.

    -It makes the fragile wire a bit more durable and less likely to break while handling, where it wraps around the edge of the flatwork and the eyelet. I always flow my joints with a little flux after soldering the pushback wire on, and the flux causes the solder to flow very nicely over the tinned magnet wire edges. They're quite hard, and resistant to breaking from mishandling after that.

    -It also makes it dead simple to test your pickup before soldering the lead wires onto the eyelets. When I was starting out, I wound through snags and other seemingly slight errors that I thought would be inconsequential, only to find that, after I had soldered the pushback leads on, the pickup was messed up, and needed to be rewound. You can save yourself some pain with tinned magnet wires over the start and finish eyelets, as you can verify with a multimeter whether anything wonky is going on with your pickup BEFORE you solder the leads on. Once you solder the leads on, you will need to de-solder them and file/sand the eyelets flush again before rewinding.


    Tinning the wire is something I personally do, and will always do. However, I've made dozens upon dozens of pickups WITHOUT tinning the wire, and they turned out fine. It is not necessary for making an electrical connection, however, it is necessary for making an electrical connection without soldering the eyelets, which carries at least several benefits that I've explained above.

    For me, the advantages far outweigh the small amount of extra work it takes to do it, and IMO tinning the wire before tying onto the eyelets is much more beginner-friendly, when you're going to, in all likelihood, be doing a lot of tearing down and re-winding as you learn.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Slight Return View Post

      If you're not using a tensioning device, and just winding by hand, it may be less frustrating to skip the tinning process altogether. Nonetheless, here are some benefits to tinning, which IMO especially apply to beginners:

      Tinning the magnet wire allows you to...
      • Test the pickup without needing to solder the eyelets
      • Test the pickup mid-wind
      • It makes the fragile wire a bit more durable and less likely to break while handling, where it wraps around the edge of the flatwork and the eyelet
      • It also makes it dead simple to test your pickup before soldering the lead wires onto the eyelets


      Tinning the wire is something I personally do, and will always do.

      For me, the advantages far outweigh the small amount of extra work it takes to do it, and IMO tinning the wire before tying onto the eyelets is much more beginner-friendly, when you're going to, in all likelihood, be doing a lot of tearing down and re-winding as you learn.
      Wow... @Slight Return... you had me at, "Hello!"

      I will definitely be tinning my pickup wire. It all makes perfect sense.

      You mention a tension device often in your post. Do you mind telling me what tensioning device you have/use? I have seen this little hand-held StewMac "tensioner", but that thing looks like just a tiny fishing pole handle that uses two felt pads screwed together to pinch the wire a little, between the felt pads, so that the tension is at least relatively "the same" throughout a wind. I can't imagine this is what you are talking about, as it looks like it would make tinning the wire even harder.

      I guess you could tie the wire to a small weight, like a glass salt shaker or something, hang it over your pickup winder's "arm" thingy, lay a book on the other end so that it now looks like you have hung the salt shaker like in a middle-ages execution hanging. Then you could tin the wire anywhere along the taught "noose-wire" for about 1 inch or so, and then just cut the salt shaker free at the tinned-inch. Wouldn't that do it?

      I'm still interested to hear about your tensioner. And thanks for the reply. That was extremely helpful!

      Comment


      • #33
        Not to be a downer on pickup making enthusiasm?
        If tinning the wire helps someone, then go for it.
        BUT, on poly coated wire it is completely unnecessary.
        The other caution on tinning a long piece of wire, is you could create shorts.
        To solder the wire to the eyelet, wrap the wire in the eyelet.
        Make sure the tip of the iron is tinned and shiny.
        Then solder the eyelet, the poly will melt easily.


        "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
        Terry

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by big_teee View Post
          The [other] caution on tinning a long piece of wire, is you could create shorts.
          That's a really good point. I am not knowledgable enough to envision in my head how this might short something, but it does seem like if you have an up-to 1 inch section of tinned wire, when you poke the tinned part down into the brass eyelette, and you solder it...

          Well... actually... I guess I don't know what you mean big_tee. I have a feeling in my gut that you are dead-on right... I just can't imagine it.

          Comment


          • #35
            To further clarify:

            Yes, shorts would be possible, and I forgot to mention I think it's important to tin only the length of wire that will be wrapped around the eyelet. You can do this by threading the tinned wire through the eyelet until you reach the coated, insulated part of the wire, then begin tying. When you're done tying the tinned wire around the eyelet, you should not have any tinned wire on top of the flatwork. Only the loops that go around the eyelet and flatwork edge. Though I haven't had any issues from having more wire tinned than this, I personally would not let any tinned wire go near the rest of the coil, or as Terry said, you could get shorts.

            It's a little trickier on the finish wire. I just hold the wire taut by the bobbin, and start tinning around where the eyelet starts. You'll get a feel for it after a while. The lighting here is appalling, but I've added some text to get the point across about how I tin my magnet wire leads:

            Click image for larger version

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            This one shows better how the solder wicks right up the tinned wire after flowing with a little flux. Not necessary but I like how it makes it almost bulletproof to mishandling damage:

            Click image for larger version

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            @Dolmetscher007

            The complete system I use is here. The tensioner I use is Rob's idea from Cavalier Pickups, and uses an 8" hemostat (can be found on eBay for cheap), and loop (soft) Velcro on two pads. Rob uses special grade plywood for the two tensioner pads that the Velcro mounts on. I personally use single ply pickguard material, as I find it's the perfect thickness to be able to get the hemostats clamped on easily. I simply cut out single ply pickguard material on the bandsaw to the shape you see in the pics below. Two pieces, each with loop Velcro. The wire simply goes on top of one piece, and you place the other piece on top to sandwich the wire between them.

            The placement of the wire in the tensioner makes a difference. Closer to the edge of the tensioner will allow for more clamping pressure, and if you go too tight, the wire will break. What you want is to feel a slight tug while winding, no more. The nice thing with this tensioner is you can angle it forward or back, and change the distance you hold it from the bobbin, to alter your tension as well. This is a very touchy-feely thing that you'll get to know thru experience. NOTE: a kerfing clamp, like the ones from Stewmac, help a LOT with guaranteeing that your Hemostat does not randomly flip open and scare the bejeesus out of you while you're winding.

            Simply put the kerfing clamp over the locking part of the hemostat in order to keep it locked. It is NOT fun having those things spring open on you unexpectedly. The kerfing clamp totally prevents that.

            In my experience, the Whisker Disk was a big help too, and I would absolutely recommend getting one. The Whisker disk pre-tensions the wire to an extent, prevents de-reeling issues, and makes the whole process of winding much more user friendly.

            Whisker Disks can be found here:

            http://azonicproducts.com/ordersheet.htm

            The size you need for a 1lb spool of Remington wire is 2 - 1/2 inches, or 63mm, L.

            Click image for larger version

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            The jar I modified is a simple jar from the kitchen section at Wal-Mart. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the jar: that's where you can put a dowel, secured in with a washer and a wood screw. You will probably have to hand sand the dowel to the proper thickness, but the goal is to have the hole in your spool of wire slip snugly over the dowel, so it holds the spool in place, while still allowing you to remove it if you need to.

            The top of the jar has a hole drilled out, and then reamed, to accommodate a wooden or glass bead, which I epoxy or superglue in place for good measure. The idea is this: your spool is now enclosed in a sort of magnet wire bomb shelter, which prevents the dereeling wire from whipping around outside the jar. It also protects it from dust and accidental damage. For small 1lb spools, you can use peanut butter jars or anything similar. Very easy to find small plastic jars on eBay. All you need to modify them is a drill bit, a dowel, a reamer, a wood screw, a wooden or glass bead, and epoxy or superglue. I do smooth out the hole in the wooden beads with a rat tail file just to make sure it doesn't abrade the wire.

            The wire goes through the bead, and hence only has a very small area it can come out of. This really helps clean up the dereeling process and totally prevents the wire from going anywhere it shouldn't.

            Using the Velcro tensioner and hemostat, you can simply leave the tensioner in place when you're done, and lay it down on top of the jar. When you wind next time, you'll be able to more or less perfectly replicate the tension from your last wind, as your Velcro tensioner is in exactly the same position as it was before. I leave my tensioner like this for entire 5lb spools and never have to adjust it, except when I change to a new spool. This keeps things very consistent.

            The "breaker bar" I made is just polished steel rod (I used an old transfer punch) with drill stops mounted on it for traverse limiters. I used dowels and plywood, a Forstner bit, regular drill bit and some glue to put it all together. It looks very crude and can easily be reverse engineered by looking at it.

            I have the "breaker bar" with the traverse limiters set up like this: 1.5" higher than the center screw on my bobbin mounting platform, and about 4.5" away from the center screw on my bobbin mounting platform. I don't think these dimensions are critical, but as a starting point, these work well for me.

            I've tried the Mojotone tensioner. It is a fine option, and it does work. Personally, I would try both and see what you like best, but if you can get your hands on some single ply pickguard material, some loop Velcro and a hemostat, that method is cheaper to start with, and is what I've been using personally with very good results. There is no "best" way to wind pups, only what works for you.

            Here is a short demo of my setup. This is before I used the kerfing clamps. The Hemostats are fine in this vid without the clamp, but I use them all the time from now on.

            BTW: My old nightstand works fine for wire gliding over it. I lucked out there. You can either just hold the tensioner far enough away so it isn't touching anything except the breaker bar with the traverse limiter, or you could set up a separate polished rod mounted somewhere for the wire to go against as it's dereeling, before it reaches the breaker bar.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx-KJf7M-4c
            Last edited by Slight Return; 12-20-2018, 08:03 PM.

            Comment


            • #36
              Now I think we are getting somewhere?
              Rather than talking about tinning the wire we should be talking about soldering irons, and quality solder.
              Solder must be the main issue here.
              If you are trying to use lead free solder then you need to stop, and buy some good old Kester 44.
              Because soldering a 42 awg poly wire to an eyelet should be very easy.

              Click image for larger version

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              Thanks for you pictures.
              Looks like you're enjoying your hobby!
              T
              Last edited by big_teee; 12-20-2018, 08:44 PM.


              "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
              Terry

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Slight Return View Post
                @Dolmetscher007
                The tensioner I use is Rob's idea from Cavalier Pickups, and uses an 8" hemostat (can be found on eBay for cheap),
                This is an awesome post! Thanks man! I am about to shoot out the door, so I will have to read it all in an hour or two when I get home and settled. But I did want to say... "uses an 8" hemostat (can be found on eBay for cheap)..." as if... bro! I'm a former 1990's stoner kid. You think I don't have at least one pair of hemo's lying in a drawer somewhere? Snoochie Poochies!!!


                Ha ha ha!!!!

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Dolmetscher007 View Post
                  This is an awesome post! Thanks man! I am about to shoot out the door, so I will have to read it all in an hour or two when I get home and settled. But I did want to say... "uses an 8" hemostat (can be found on eBay for cheap)..." as if... bro! I'm a former 1990's stoner kid. You think I don't have at least one pair of hemo's lying in a drawer somewhere? Snoochie Poochies!!!


                  Ha ha ha!!!!
                  Another place to check are the hospitals or dental offices, they have to get rid of them after so much use. And they still have plenty of life left for us. I've gotten pic, hemostats straight, long , curved, and long curved.
                  nosaj
                  Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Yep...enjoyment is what it's all about! If you ain't havin' fun then there's no point.

                    Qualitek solder (the normal kind that has lead in it, not the lead-free) is my favorite, which I get at a local electronics store. My favorite flux is Nokorode. I use a Weller digital soldering iron for all my pickup work. I also highly recommend one of the wire-type Solder cleaners, such as this: (no affiliation at all with this link, just sharing for convenience)

                    https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-599B-02...solder+cleaner

                    It is simply unparalleled for cleaning your iron tip and makes the whole process more fun and easy. For years I used a damp sponge and the wire type cleaners are much easier to use, and IMO, more effective.

                    All of these things absolutely make a difference. I'm aware that solder has rosin in it, and you don't "need" flux, but I ALWAYS get cleaner and more shiny, professional looking joints on all my soldering when I apply a little flux. Dabbing a tiny amount onto a joint with a toothpick is all you need to do. You need very little. But I use it on every single joint I make for guitar work, including making pickups.

                    The Engineer Solder Sucker (made in Japan) is also an awesome tool, easy to clean, and makes cleanup a breeze. Great video on how to care for this product here:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoTkZJiMhDE

                    I've used the Engineer to desolder joints on many pickups before rewinds. It does a great job and makes the whole process fun, unlike using braided wire to desolder. To each his own, but once I got the Engineer, I never looked back.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Slight Return View Post
                      Yep...enjoyment is what it's all about! If you ain't havin' fun then there's no point.

                      Qualitek solder (the normal kind that has lead in it, not the lead-free) is my favorite, which I get at a local electronics store. My favorite flux is Nokorode. I use a Weller digital soldering iron for all my pickup work. I also highly recommend one of the wire-type Solder cleaners, such as this: (no affiliation at all with this link, just sharing for convenience)

                      https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-599B-02...solder+cleaner

                      It is simply unparalleled for cleaning your iron tip and makes the whole process more fun and easy. For years I used a damp sponge and the wire type cleaners are much easier to use, and IMO, more effective.

                      All of these things absolutely make a difference. I'm aware that solder has rosin in it, and you don't "need" flux, but I ALWAYS get cleaner and more shiny, professional looking joints on all my soldering when I apply a little flux. Dabbing a tiny amount onto a joint with a toothpick is all you need to do. You need very little. But I use it on every single joint I make for guitar work, including making pickups.

                      The Engineer Solder Sucker (made in Japan) is also an awesome tool, easy to clean, and makes cleanup a breeze. Great video on how to care for this product here:

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoTkZJiMhDE

                      I've used the Engineer to desolder joints on many pickups before rewinds. It does a great job and makes the whole process fun, unlike using braided wire to desolder. To each his own, but once I got the Engineer, I never looked back.
                      I also use the wire cleaner. But I go to DollarTree and get a 3 pack of copper pot scrubbers and cram them in the holder, Periodically take them out shake the solder out and put it in the solder pot and scrape the slag off.

                      I also have an Engineer solder sucker. I love the one hand operation but it seems best only on PCB work for me. If doing point to point soldering and Edsyn Soldapullit is what I use pulls more solder gets clogged less. I have never have any luck with solder braid.

                      nosaj
                      Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Very cool! I'll have to check that sucker out. As well as the copper pot scrubbers at the Dollar Tree. Always up for new tools, especially if they work better than what I'm currently using. The Engineer I find does get clogged rather quickly when sucking larger amounts of solder -- fantastic for PCB work, but on pickups it does require much more frequent cleaning.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Slight Return View Post
                          Very cool! I'll have to check that sucker out. As well as the copper pot scrubbers at the Dollar Tree. Always up for new tools, especially if they work better than what I'm currently using. The Engineer I find does get clogged rather quickly when sucking larger amounts of solder -- fantastic for PCB work, but on pickups it does require much more frequent cleaning.
                          This is the one http://www.edsyn.com/product/DS017.html
                          nosaj
                          Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            I also have the soldapult.
                            Mine is probably 30 years and came from my Telecom job.
                            I added bigger O--rings inside to give it a bit more oomph.
                            A great tool.


                            "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                            Terry

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