DIY Coil Winding Machine

This will probably be more useful to custom speaker builders, but coil winding has always been a bit tedious. [iwicom] put together a simple coil winder using a hand drill, a magnet, a reed switch that triggers a pedometer. Aside from the coil winder, I love the idea of using the pedometer as a cheap event counter.

12 thoughts on “DIY Coil Winding Machine

  1. pedometers are great.
    the local dollar tree has them for…. a dollar!
    they’ve got a simple mechanical “swinging weighted arm” switch, so it’s really easy to interface with it.

    i used one for a frame counter on a super 8 camera. another mod i saw for a frame counter used a calculator: set it up so that each time the “=” button is pressed, repeat the last operation. so “plus one” was the obvious counting operation.

    but seriously, if you can find them for a buck, stock up because the need to count things (quickly, or lots of something, especially) comes up a lot.

    and you get to play a game trying to walk less every day. heh. am i doing it right?

  2. looks pretty ingenious, i like the use of the pedometer. dosent seem to mention anything about wire tensioning, but i guess thats done by hand as its wound.
    built a coil winding device for guitar pickups sometime ago, and trying to maintain constant tension on 42swg wire was a horrendous task.
    *shudders at memorys of steel tubes and springy things with pulleys on*

  3. Having built a lot of coil winders, I find it much easier to do this using power: drill a hole about 5″ in from the end of a mandrel, put a couple of 3/8″ sealed bearings (like from newer bicycle hubs: they can be thrashed) on the mandrel, clamp the bearings in the vice, and put a power drill on the one end of the rod. Stick a piece of wire through the hole and spin it up. You can use a pedometer or a rotation-counter. It’s way faster and easier on your wrists than using a hand drill, and after the first million windings, your wrists will thank you. Wear a glove on the hand guiding the wire onto the winding: if you get any skin caught between the wire going onto the winding and the winding itself it’ll just clip that chunk of skin right off and that leaves a big nasty hole.

  4. Maybe not quite as hack-y, but a bicycle odometer would work quite well. Cheap ones are triggered by a mechanical cam-and-gear, higher-end ones by a magnetic trigger that you could glue (or merely magnetically attach!) to the crank gear. I also like Dr. Electro’s spinning reel winder; or a sewing machine bobbin winder would do a great job on smaller coils.

  5. Although using the pedometer as turns-counter seems fine, placing the trigger magnet on the crank of the drill seems a bit questionable, since the speed of the chuck in the type of drill depicted in the photo is stepped up from the speed of the crank by some ratio. If a precise turns count is needed, it would be better to increment the counter at the chuck, not the crank.

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