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Thread: Question about setting up spools of wire

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    Question about setting up spools of wire

    Does anyone have a better system for setting up spools of wire to wind coils besides sitting them on the floor? Particularly 5lb spools?
    Just curious how others do it.
    Thanks

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    FWIW I wind *transformers* , way heavier gauge wire than what used in pickups ... and I set my 14/18 kg spools (30/35 lb each) vertical on the floor.

    The sheer inertia trying to make them spin/stop is a deal breaker.

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Wire from the floor is the most popular way of de-spooling wire.
    I use a different method.
    I use a small roll around cart, that I have an L bracket mounted to.
    I bolt the 5-7 lb spool of wire to the L bracket.
    It puts the wire about 3 feet off the floor, the wire spools off of one end, horizontally.
    I put the cart behind me at an angle off my right shoulder.
    The wire spools off the end, at a near level plane to the winding machine.
    I leave the wire mounted to the cart, and cover it up with a drop clothe when not in use.
    GL,
    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 06-12-2018 at 10:35 PM.
    “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” WILL ROGERS

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Wire from the floor is the most popular way of spooling wire.
    I use a different method.
    I use a small roll around cart, that I have an L bracket mounted to.
    I bolt the 5-7 lb spool of wire to the L bracket.
    It puts the wire about 3 feet off the floor, the wire spools off of one end.
    I put the cart behind me at an angle off my right shoulder.
    I leave the wire mounted to the cart, and cover it up with a drop clothe when not in use.
    GL,
    T
    Thanks for the reply. You wouldn't happen to have a picture would you? of the bracket set up?
    Thanks

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    I have a swing out section of 2x4 that's mounted under my winding table that has a removable dowel that the spool fits onto. It de-spools off the end vertically as if it were on the floor but it's about 24" higher.

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    Senior Member ken's Avatar
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    FWIW I wind *transformers* , way heavier gauge wire than what used in pickups ... and I set my 14/18 kg spools (30/35 lb each) vertical on the floor.
    The sheer inertia trying to make them spin/stop is a deal breaker.
    I had the same problem too! I tried mounting a five pound spool horizontally and rotating, but no matter what I did the coil wire on a full spool always broke before the spool started moving. Now I have a square piece of plexiglass about a foot square and about 1/2" thick with a center shaft the spool fits onto vertically.

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    you can buy pre made bits We use part of the Azonic rack mount system http://azonicproducts.com/access.html - just the bit the spool sits on and we mount them vertically instead of horizontally. You just bolt that bit to the bench- no need for the large part of the rack.The bit is a square 1/2" steel bent to an L shape with a round 1/2" bolted to the bottom of the L to make a U shape with one longer leg. The rod is tapped on the end so you can use a whisker disk http://azonicproducts.com/wisker.html which prevents waterfalling with heavier gauges like 38 and it pre tensions so you get better consistency.
    If you look close at the rack youll see a small reddish pink bit which is an open loop you can run the wire through without having to thread it through a hole and it limits how much the wire whips around off the spool as does the whisker disc too.
    I only ran into this stuff when several years ago a company called a number of us winders in the seattle area and they were giving away several tenac winders, tensioners, spools of wire and wire racks. I was the only one to respond so I took it all The only thing I use a tanac for is Fender Rhodes coils because those have to be really specific having 88 coils hooked up in various parallel and series connections- any slight variation in inductance winds up making a huge difference. Other wise I prefer a much older and basic mechanisms that are trouble free to use and very easy to repair.

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    I didn't know you wind Rhodes coils too Jason. Pretty cool! I've got a 1975 Mk. 1 Rhodes 88 key Suitcase, and everything works but it needs some work. The action isn't the greatest and some notes don't ring out as they should. One of these days I'll be able to get to it.

    Greg

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    Ha! The action on any of them isnt the greatest! I had to stop playing mine because it trashed my hands really bad. Whurlitzers have easy action. Look at the service manual http://www.fenderrhodes.com/service/manual.html It shows how to set the pickup height to get more overtones or more fundamental- yours probably need gone through and adjusted by ear. There are a few things you can do to the action but dont expect a miracle - these guys vintage vibe keyboards have parts https://www.vintagevibe.com/blogs/ne...electric-piano
    They make all the parts, tines and everything and they redesigned the entire instrument and build new ones that are 1/3rd the weight, have far better action and sound better. I reverse engineered the pickups and did a materials analysis for them- must have been almost 10 years ago!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lollar Jason View Post
    Ha! The action on any of them isnt the greatest! I had to stop playing mine because it trashed my hands really bad. Whurlitzers have easy action. Look at the service manual http://www.fenderrhodes.com/service/manual.html It shows how to set the pickup height to get more overtones or more fundamental- yours probably need gone through and adjusted by ear. There are a few things you can do to the action but dont expect a miracle - these guys vintage vibe keyboards have parts https://www.vintagevibe.com/blogs/ne...electric-piano
    They make all the parts, tines and everything and they redesigned the entire instrument and build new ones that are 1/3rd the weight, have far better action and sound better. I reverse engineered the pickups and did a materials analysis for them- must have been almost 10 years ago!
    Hi Jason, thanks for the tips! I've done some checking into what is available and knew about the vintage vibe people. I've got to get the money and time to do something further with it. I wish I had the cash to get a Wurly, Vox Continental, and B3 also....but then I would need somewhere to put them too.

    Greg

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    I mount the 5 lb spool back behind my winder, with the axis nearly horizontal. It's tilted up about 10 degrees, back about 12", with the center pointing almost directly at the spindle. It's a simple wooden base with a wood block at the back, and a wood dowel sticking out that the spool slides on to. The whole base and spool can be moved around on the benchtop to position it. My friction tensioner is also mounted on a wooden base that slides around on the bench top. It's positioned halfway between the spool and the spindle, centered on the center of the spool. The tensioner itself keeps the wire feeding off the spool correctly. I haven't found the need for any funnel or whisker disk. There's only about 12" of wire from the spool to the feed pulley on my winder. Compact and simple, keeps the spool out of the way. I've been winding all my pickups on this machine and setup for about 15 years now, and it's been very reliable.

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    Here's a picture, if I wasn't clear. I drew the wire path in red.
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    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Johnson View Post
    Here's a picture, if I wasn't clear. I drew the wire path in red.
    Wow! To be a single-bobbin winder that thing looks huge!

    Is it DIY solution or an old, commercial one, Bruce?

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    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

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    I designed and built it myself, about 12 years ago. It's what you would call a semi-automatic linear-feed winder. The feed is mechanically synchronized to the spindle rotation, but it's driven by linear leadscrews, rather than a cam system, like most auto-feed (non-CNC) winders. All of my pickups are tight-packed high TPL high-wire tension style, and this machine does them very well. It's been very reliable. I get consistent coils with hardly any wire breakage or problems.

    Here's a thread from 2008 where I described how it works in more detail:

    http://music-electronics-forum.com/s...ht=coil+winder

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    Being left handed, i could never make that work.

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    Actually, I'm left handed too. And, because it's my machine, I built it so that all the controls are over on the left side. I sit with my head straight in line with the bobbin and work most of the controls with my left hand. The paddle bar at the bottom (which changes the direction of feed), I can operate with either hand.

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    Very informative replies. Thanks to all that contributed.

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