[Valve Child] has been building a few three-string cigar box guitars. Of course he’ll need a few pickups, but three-string guitar pickups aren’t exactly easy to come by. To solve this problem, he’s built a guitar pickup winder powered by a steam engine.
The pickup winder is powered by a Wilesco D20 model steam engine, connected to the actual winding mechanism via a rubber belt. To the right of the bobbin bracket is a mechanism built out of Meccano – Erector sets for us americans – that provides a mechanical counter for the number of wire turns and a wire traverse to keep each layer of wire somewhat even across the width of the bobbin.
Previously, we’ve seen [Valve Child]’s really sweet sounding lap steel build from a log using a hand-wound pickup and a preamp tube as the bridge. It’s questionable if the guitar signal came from this lap steel via the pickup or the microphonic tube, but now [Valve Child] has a really, really good method of improving his pickup production abilities.
Video after the break.
10 thoughts on “Steam-powered Pickup Winder”
Oh look another project where someone has put in a huge amount of effort, then spent time documenting it….
FOR ME TO POOP ON!!!!
Seems we’re back to nickpickaday….
I’d love to have a tiny (or LARGE!) steam engine, but it makes me smile to see someone is using theirs to do something practical!
“Meccano – Erector sets for us americans” I don’t know about this, I’ve only grown up playing with Erector sets – in America – who would’ve thought.
Also, I’m surprised your spell checker didn’t make you capitalize “Americans” Google Chrome does a good job making me do it, I don’t even need a text editor.
oh god.. no more valve and steam…
This is a beautiful creation.
when I wound pickups for my cigar box guitars, I just chucked them in a drill (oh boy, what a pun!).
Overall turn count isn’t as important as final resistance of the coil, so you can just measure that with a multimeter as you go.
Uh… a tube as a bridge/saddle? I’m not a fan of this idea.
I’d rather go for a hardwood or, better yet, bone. Synthetic “tusq” material wouldn’t be bad either
-son of a Luthier.
This is so fresh. I love it.
I Love this!
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)