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Thread: CNC Design Guitar Coil Winder--new toy...help

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    CNC Design Guitar Coil Winder--new toy...help

    So, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to a new winder. Been reading about these for awhile. My hangup has been my lack of virtually any experience using a machine like this. But after playing with the software a little bit, I just MIGHT be able to get the hang of it.

    The machine arrived promptly, securely, and well packed. Set it up, and it just worked. It is, in my opinion VERY well constructed. And when I e-mailed the company for help, advice, etc they have been very quick to respond. So, all in all I'm happy with it.

    Now, to figure out how to use it, and here's where I'm going to reach out to the more experienced folks on this forum. Clearly my intent is to get more consistent winds, that are reproducible. And the auto wind software is a good start. But, ultimately I'm going to want to write CNC scripts that are more specific--and I have no idea where to begin with this. I'm not asking anyone to divulge trade secrets, but does anyone here have experience writing scripts for these machines? Is there a good basic reference where I can learn how to do it? If anyone has a sample script they'd be willing to share, that might help.

    Just looking for some advice. Going from handwinding to this machine is a big step for me. I'm not making anything for production, just tinkering and experimenting for myself. But, when I find something I like...I want to be able to do it again for my other guitars. Any help would be great, and I sincerely appreciate it.

    Regards,
    Jonathan


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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Nice looking winder.
    I'm a hand winder, so I'm no help with your questions.
    Curious what you paid for it?
    Also if you would update your profile, we would all know where you are.
    That helps to know if you are USA, CA, SA, EU, etc.
    GL,
    T

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    It's only Rock and Roll, but I like it!

    Terry

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    Paid $630 GBP for it...not sure what the exact conversion is, but lets say about $900. Pricey, but for the quality its worth it....also not thousands of dollars either.

    Sorry, yes, I updated my profile. I live in Ann Arbor, MI....USA. But, am originally from Cleveland, Ohio.

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    Member jack briggs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschweid View Post
    So, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to a new winder. Been reading about these for awhile. My hangup has been my lack of virtually any experience using a machine like this. But after playing with the software a little bit, I just MIGHT be able to get the hang of it.

    The machine arrived promptly, securely, and well packed. Set it up, and it just worked. It is, in my opinion VERY well constructed. And when I e-mailed the company for help, advice, etc they have been very quick to respond. So, all in all I'm happy with it.

    Now, to figure out how to use it, and here's where I'm going to reach out to the more experienced folks on this forum. Clearly my intent is to get more consistent winds, that are reproducible. And the auto wind software is a good start. But, ultimately I'm going to want to write CNC scripts that are more specific--and I have no idea where to begin with this. I'm not asking anyone to divulge trade secrets, but does anyone here have experience writing scripts for these machines? Is there a good basic reference where I can learn how to do it? If anyone has a sample script they'd be willing to share, that might help.

    Just looking for some advice. Going from handwinding to this machine is a big step for me. I'm not making anything for production, just tinkering and experimenting for myself. But, when I find something I like...I want to be able to do it again for my other guitars. Any help would be great, and I sincerely appreciate it.

    Regards,
    Jonathan


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1857.JPG 
Views:	614 
Size:	539.2 KB 
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    nice score, Jonathan!

    I built my programmed winder from a mini wood lathe with added hardware/software/Rube Goldberg-inspired assembly....but it works. I too was concerned with consistency which prompted this route. from my experience you don't know what software code to write until you know what controller is used for the stepper or servo motors (I'm assuming steppers). I bought hardware from AllMotion in California - the software was a free download. now, the software is NOT a program, but rather basic code using their EZCommander program, Hyperterminal or Cavro DM (which I'm not familiar with). when I wind coils I use the EZCommander and have a series of strings that issue commands of code that send the traverse based on a hall sensor on the spindle faceplate that tells the program to advance the traverse guide based on whichever string of commands is in effect. in all I think I spent about $300 for the controller/driver and peripherals, downloaded the software and specs of the controller and winged the rest.

    after 2 yrs. of working with this I'm pretty comfortable with it and get consistent results (once I settled with a traverse system I built that has a zero-backlash nut and acme threaded rod on a linear slide base.....) very little runout or slop in the system - but I can program that in, if I so desire.

    YMMV


    cheers,

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    Member Jim Darr's Avatar
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    Jonathan,

    CNC Design calls this the "Mini Coil Winder" from the UK. I don't have any hands on experience with this machine, but it looks to be a very well made solid machine. Glad to hear that CNC Design has been very responsive to your questions as you get it up and running for your needs.

    The price seems fair for the apparent quality that you get.

    I think your idea of wanting consistent coils and sonic results is right on target with this machine's capabilities. I took a different route when consistency became critical for my pickup making journey...I went with "Old School" auto-traverse mechanical winders. At that time you could regularly find decent high quality commercial winders (COWECO, Geo Stevens, Bachi, Leesona, Sincrofil, Meteor, REA Fine Winder, etc) in good shape for reasonable prices. These were all well suited for making great sounding guitar pickups. The problem with these today is that they are really hard to find and any replacement parts needed can be very expensive. Most of these also required multiple gear sets and cams for different TPL and coil height, except those with adjustable cams (Leesona, Bachi, some COWECOs), or dual-plate traverse drive systems (Meteor, REA & Sincrofil). The blessing of these machines is that, once set-up and properly maintained, they will last forever and produce extremely high quality consistent coils. These machines all have their little quirks that I believe are part of the magic.

    If I had to make that leap today (Hand Guided-to-Machine Guided) I would probably go in the direction you are taking - a very high quality CNC winder. I think it would be the smart move. I would make sure I could control TPL layer by layer. The thing that would be missing, IMO, is discovering all the little variables of the most coveted classic pickups that came about because of the "Old School" winding machines that were used to make them and then finding a way to duplicate these on the CNC. Fortunately, this Forum and other sources on the web, provide "nuggets" from some of the best winders that you can mine for information. But be careful as the web can also hold lots of hype and misinformation, either intentional, accidental, or just out of lack of experience or knowledge. Sometimes it is impossible to realize or understand the difference until you try it yourself.

    My suggestion would be to experiment, note the results, then repeat until you come up with some "truths" and good formulas that work for you and "your" new machine to get the sounds you want...doing this, IMO, is vital to becoming a great pickup meister.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

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    Last edited by Jim Darr; 02-26-2016 at 09:50 PM. Reason: typo
    =============================================

    Keep Winding...Keep Playing!!!

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Darr View Post
    Jonathan,

    CNC Design calls this the "Mini Coil Winder" from the UK. I don't have any hands on experience with this machine, but it looks to be a very well made solid machine. Glad to hear that CNC Design has been very responsive to your questions as you get it up and running for your needs.

    The price seems fair for the apparent quality that you get.

    I think your idea of wanting consistent coils and sonic results is right on target with this machine's capabilities. I took a different route when consistency became critical for my pickup making journey...I went with "Old School" auto-traverse mechanical winders. At that time you could regularly find decent high quality commercial winders (COWECO, Geo Stevens, Bachi, Leesona, Sincrofil, Meteor, REA Fine Winder, etc) in good shape for reasonable prices. These were all well suited for making great sounding guitar pickups. The problem with these today is that they are really hard to find and any replacement parts needed can be very expensive. Most of these also required multiple gear sets and cams for different TPL and coil height, except those with adjustable cams (Leesona, Bachi, some COWECOs), or dual-plate traverse drive systems (Meteor, REA & Sincrofil). The blessing of these machines is that, once set-up and properly maintained, they will last forever and produce extremely high quality consistent coils. These machines all have their little quirks that I believe are part of the magic.

    If I had to make that leap today (Hand Guided-to-Machine Guided) I would probably go in the direction you are taking - a very high quality CNC winder. I think it would be the smart move. I would make sure I could control TPL layer by layer. The thing that would be missing, IMO, is discovering all the little variables of the most coveted classic pickups that came about because of the "Old School" winding machines that were used to make them and then finding a way to duplicate these on the CNC. Fortunately, this Forum and other sources on the web, provide "nuggets" from some of the best winders that you can mine for information. But be careful as the web can also hold lots of hype and misinformation, either intentional, accidental, or just out of lack of experience or knowledge. Sometimes it is impossible to realize or understand the difference until you try it yourself.

    My suggestion would be to experiment, note the results, then repeat until you come up with some "truths" and good formulas that work for you and "your" new machine to get the sounds you want...doing this, IMO, is vital to becoming a great pickup meister.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Jim--very good insight. As I play with the machine, the more I like it. The graphic software is very intuitive, and it seems that they paid a lot of attention to tailor towards winding pickups. Heck, it even has a way to generate random scatter winds within the software. I know the old machines had their "quirks" which may have contributed to the magic. But who really knows? So many variables. Still, lots of things to experiment with, and endless hours of fun.

    I think this machine is very good, so anyone thinking of making the "scary jump" that I made, it's a good way to go. I will keep the forum posted with my progress, and thanks for all of the advice.

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    Hi Jonathan, I use the Mini cnc machine beautiful piece of kit and it's actually really easy to write a script for it. I have just bought one last year and only got round to using it, one of the scripts I've made is for a humbucker bobbin 6.5mm mimicking a hand wind averaging 70/82 tpl with my main target wind being 75 tpl at 750 rpm. I have no problem sharing this with you, I was actually going to post a video on utube and I will get round to it but I'm using a phone for this message.....pc not connecting to the Internet at the minute, but if you wanted to call me at home in N Ireland I'll talk you through in about fifteen minutes its that easy....and a whole lot more ...... Not a problem. Regards Raymond.

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    Last edited by Total Damage; 01-06-2017 at 01:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Total Damage View Post
    Hi Jonathan, I use the Mini cnc machine beautiful piece of kit and it's actually really easy to write a script for it. I have just bought one last year and only got round to using it, one of the scripts I've made is for a humbucker bobbin 6.5mm mimicking a hand wind averaging 70/82 tpl with my main target wind being 75 tpl at 750 rpm. I have no problem sharing this with you, I was actually going to post a video on utube and I will get round to it but I'm using a phone for this message.....pc not connecting to the Internet at the minute, but if you wanted to call me at home in N Ireland I'll talk you through in about fifteen minutes its that easy....and a whole lot more ...... Not a problem. Regards Raymond.
    This video is long overdue.

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    Hi jrdamiem I'll get it done in the next few days I'm flat out lol
    Regards Raymond.

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    I've had a couple of these for a while.

    I have a love/hate with them, but the software has gotten better.

    Not the best machine if you want to do scatter winding too.

    That being said, There's probably not much else better for a winder in that price range.

    The felt tensioner isn't ideal.

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    I'd love to have a play with one of these, if I can find a used one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimboyogi View Post
    I'd love to have a play with one of these, if I can find a used one.
    if the pound to dollar would come down just a but more it'd be worth having at cost just to have. I missed the bottom at 1.21.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrdamien View Post
    if the pound to dollar would come down just a but more it'd be worth having at cost just to have. I missed the bottom at 1.21.
    Currently 1.72 $Australian to 1 pound

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    I will probably be selling mine - just too busy with other stuff to make it worth my while. I'm UK based so not sure about shipping costs but let me know if you're interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quest View Post
    I will probably be selling mine - just too busy with other stuff to make it worth my while. I'm UK based so not sure about shipping costs but let me know if you're interested.
    I messaged you. Message me back!

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