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#1
Hey fellow guitarists!

I'm building a guitar and i've bought some cheap pickups for 10 bucks! I was thinking maybe I could re winding them like Fender Noiseless. So can anyone tell me the basics. (how many times do you hae to wind it etc.) I know that it does take ages and after your finished you soak it in a thing of hot melted wax for 10, 15 mins while all of the air bubbles get out of the wire.
I think, 42 gauge?
Has anyone else ever wound a pickup.

Just chuck in any info you know about winding the pickups!

Thanks Guys!
#2
Winding it by hand??? You're asking for failure and throwing your money down the drain. The wire is too fragile to do it by hand and you have to wind it 5000+ times if i remember correctly. There are tutorials online on how to make your own pickup winder or you could buy one from stew mac or something
Guitar:
Dean Vendetta 3 - Dave Mustaine Livewires

Amplifier
Carvin X100B - Bias Mod - Tungsol 12AX7's - JJ KT77's

I have built the most badass 212 that puts all others to shame
#3
You cant wind regular pickups to be like fender noisless. Noisless pickups have 2 coils stacked on top of each other. The top coil has magnets in it while the bottome coil has several steel slugs. The top coil has very small (44awg or smaller) wire to get the resistance up while the bottom coil uses very large (in the pickup making world) wire so that it doesn't have as much negative effect on tone.

If you decided to rewind them as normal pickups then you need to use about 8,000 turns of wire for the neck and middle and give the bridge an extra 500-1000 turns. If these pickups have plastic bobbins then you are probably waisting your time. If the have fiber bobbins and alnico magnets then go for it.
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#4
mmm... thanks ^
can you please explain to me how (if possible) I can make it 2 coils stacked?

Pretty much what i am saying is, how do i modify the pickups so I can wire them like Fender Noiseless?

Maybe I might just wire them a different way, although I really want a set of Fender Noiseless and I can't afford to pay $100 or so for a set of pickups.
#5
^you can't modify the ones you have to sound like fender noisless. You would have to make your own bobbins by hand or get your hands on some old broken fender noisless pickups. Basically they have 2 plastic bobbins saparated by a large chunk of steel. The bottom bobbin has 2 screws that run through it connecting it to the top bobbin. The parts have to be spacialy made to fit together. You can do it yourself but it's a lot of work.


I think it's a much better idea to start with something simple. Just do a classic strat set. After you are successful with that then try something a bit more custome and complex.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jul 29, 2008,
#9
just wind regular pickups first.

you're gonna trip on your d*ck the first time you make a simple pickup - why murder yourself by trying to make a double stacked pickup? those are usually made on specialized machinery because they need to be pretty precise.

look in my double cutaway build... i have pictures of a winder I built from a hand drill, reed switch, steel rod, nylon collars and MDF. total cost 35 bucks. i've wound 8 humbuckers with it (16 coils).

when you first start out you WILL break wire. Lots of wire. Wire isn't cheap. If you're winding them yourself, the first few will cost almost as much as a new set of pickups. It took me 3 attempts to wind my first coil, 2 attempts to do my second. Since then i've only had to rewind one coil because the wire broke 3000 turns into a 4500 turn bobbin. the hand drill I have starts off around 300rpm and my reed switch is accurate up to about 600 rpm but i keep it around 420-460 so a coil can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to wind if you're doing a single coil it'll be longer obviously.

I use 42awg and 43awg poly and heavy formvar but you can use those and/or plain enamel. Each will give different tone characteristics as will how you wind and pot your coils.
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#10
^OM(PW)G

= oh my pickup winding genius

sweet. I may have to keep that in mind
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#11
haha far from. i learned a lot from asking CorduroyEW... he da man. I also got books on pickups and learned from trial and error. Although, I've gotten better and even sold a few
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#13
Your magnets need to be between 4.7mm and 5mm in diameter. Neodymium will work if you use small disk magnets (like you are looking at but smaller diameter) that are about 2mm thick. You will then need to get some 5mm diameter mild steel rod to chop up and use for your slugs.

Your other option would be to get some ceramic bar magnets to glue to the bottom of the pickup.
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#14
Quote by CorduroyEW
Your magnets need to be between 4.7mm and 5mm in diameter. Neodymium will work if you use small disk magnets (like you are looking at but smaller diameter) that are about 2mm thick. You will then need to get some 5mm diameter mild steel rod to chop up and use for your slugs.

Your other option would be to get some ceramic bar magnets to glue to the bottom of the pickup.


Sorry, but what is a slug?
#16
^that should be ok for the magnet. The slugs are the metal poles that run through the pickup coil. You need 6 of them at around 15mm to 18mm tall. Typically the alnico magnets are the slugs but if you are not using alnico you have to use steel for the slugs and attach the magnets to the bottom of the pickup.
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#17
Quote by CorduroyEW
^that should be ok for the magnet. The slugs are the metal poles that run through the pickup coil. You need 6 of them at around 15mm to 18mm tall. Typically the alnico magnets are the slugs but if you are not using alnico you have to use steel for the slugs and attach the magnets to the bottom of the pickup.
Listen to this guy TS.
It's not often you get professionals giving beginners advice and taking this much time to help someone they don't even know!

You're a great guy Corduroy.
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When I realized life was a game.
The more seriously I took things,
The harder the rules became.
#18
yeah he's fantastic, i've seen on an instuctable website, you can use screws as the slugs and glue the magnets to the bottom?

I was thinking of maybe doing this but leaving about a cm or the screw sticking out at the top and then cut off the fat bit at the top where the screw driver fits in?
Good idea?
#19
guitarcam... go to stewmac.com and look up their pickup kits. they have the printed instructions on how to assemble them which may be helpful.

EDIT:

I have a Boss ME-30 too... how do you like it?
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#20
yeah i find it great, I always use it when playing. Except the wah could be better though.

(don't turn this forum into a gear forum please)
#21
i wont. just asking. ive had mine for like 12 years so i was curious what other people thought
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#22
Does anyone know what material the bobbins are actually made out of?

Should I put a piece of wood in between the two, and then wind the wire around it?


Im thinking, with a set of cheap humbuckers and strat pickups. I will take them apart and make my own templates, then with the plastic bobbin material, make some more, and experiment with different winding techniques/ machines (eg. sewing machines, turntables, drills)

Then maybe sell a few to UG users!
(If i find i can make them haha)
#23
guitarcam. check my LPDC build. I made a winder for 35 dollars from a variable speed drill, reed switch, serial cable connection to my computer, a steel rod and some nylon collars...

humbucker bobbins are some kind of injection molded plastic and single coils are made of forbon
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#24
Quote by guitarcam123
Does anyone know what material the bobbins are actually made out of?

Should I put a piece of wood in between the two, and then wind the wire around it?


Im thinking, with a set of cheap humbuckers and strat pickups. I will take them apart and make my own templates, then with the plastic bobbin material, make some more, and experiment with different winding techniques/ machines (eg. sewing machines, turntables, drills)

Then maybe sell a few to UG users!
(If i find i can make them haha)


The top and bottom of the bobbin is made from volcanized fiber or forbon. It's the same stuff that they use to make motor gaskets with. The middle of the coil is typically just the metal slugs. If you are using adjustable poles then most of the time people glue a chunk of plexiglass in there or they use a peice of metal. Cheap pickups use abs plastic that is formed with an injection molding machine.
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#25
awesome!
I will re wind the cheap pickups when they arrive. And then maybe make and sell a few. I've seen heaps of kits and parts from stew mac. So I might start making some hand wound pickups for UG users!
Does anyone know any alternatives that I can use for slugs?

Im thinking screws? (because there cheap) If I leave a bit of the top of the screw and then cut of the top of the screw off?

Also, i have another set of pickups that came on a wired pickkguard. I took them off to re wind them as well. but when i went to take the cover off. They wouldn't come off? Are they glued on or something? How do i take them off?
Last edited by guitarcam123 at Aug 1, 2008,
#26
i was looking on ebay and found this,
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Knife-spacer-liner-vulcanized-fibre-fiber-12pack-blk-gr_W0QQitemZ260257114070QQihZ016QQcategoryZ75235QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1638Q2em118Q2el1247
Good material for the bobbins? Or does anyone know anything else i can buy cheap. Or should i just go with the stew mac parts and kits?


The worst thing about being in australia, is when its 5.30 here its 2:30 in the USA
#27
its ok your not alone
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#29
you can use anything made of steel for a humbucker that is able to carry a magnetic field from the magnet (mounted under the bobbins) effectively. slugs are cheap though. for single coils you'll want to use alnico pole pieces but you'll have to magnetize them yourself if you get the stewmac kit.

I've sold 2 pickups to a UG user... visually, he's happy but he hasn't put them in yet cuz his guitar isn't done

the link didnt work for me... the stuff you want is automotive gasket material... not the cork stuff though... the vulcanized fiber crap like for head gaskets and water pump gaskets
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
Last edited by nuthinbuttrubl8 at Aug 2, 2008,
#31
^no, it's close but not right.

A P90 has 2 bar magnets that measure 2.5"x0.125"x0.5". 1 magnet goes across 1 side of the pickup and the other goes down the other side. Real P90's also have a mild steel spacer.
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#32
i see^

Haha im so excited about winding my pickups, im thinking of making a whole bunch of different pickups, but i probably even wont end up doing it LOL

For these pickups: http://curtisnovak.com/pickups/tel-hc.shtml
are special magnets used? Or is the wire just wound around each half of the magnets seperatly?

(also does anyone have a P90 diagram)
Thanks
#34
ok,
well i've finally got it through my thick head that its to hard to make all the special/ different pickups for a beginner.
So I was thinking about it, and i thought if I have my hotrails in the bridge, wire the middle pickup standard, and then reverse wind my neck pickup. I'm pretty sure im right but what do i know, If when in 2nd position on the switch, when it has the neck and middle pickups together, will this be like a humbucker sort of humcancling sort of thing. Also im going to read up on it now, but does winding a pickup in the reverse direction effect the sound at all?
Thanks Fellas
#35
guitarcam123:

I HIGHLY suggest you go back and read corduroyEW's posts. He is a PROFESSIONAL that hand winds pickups and sells them in the UK, and gives discounts to UG users. I really think that you should possibly start out small, and work your way up. Also, you WILL break wire, a lot of it at first, and then less and less.
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
#37
Quote by guitarcam123
ok,
well i've finally got it through my thick head that its to hard to make all the special/ different pickups for a beginner.
So I was thinking about it, and i thought if I have my hotrails in the bridge, wire the middle pickup standard, and then reverse wind my neck pickup. I'm pretty sure im right but what do i know, If when in 2nd position on the switch, when it has the neck and middle pickups together, will this be like a humbucker sort of humcancling sort of thing. Also im going to read up on it now, but does winding a pickup in the reverse direction effect the sound at all?
Thanks Fellas



You have to reverse wind the pickup and magnatize it revers polarity. It's "normal" for people to have on RWRP pickup in the middle for humcanceling in positions 2 and 4. Some people like to add a switch that will activate the middle pickup in series rather than parallel so that it sounds more like a humbucker and doesn't give you that "thin" tone you get when pickups are in parallel.
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#38
so what do you meen by magnetize it reverse polarity?
I would think that if the neck pickup, top of the magnet: North, Bottom: South and then the middle would be Top: South, Bottom: North?
Am I right?
#39
Yeah... but typically the neck and bridge pickups are South at the top and the middle is north at the top.
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#40
awesome, i cant wait. I wish i wasn't in Austrlia sometimes, it feels like two weeks of waiting for my items to arrive takes FOR EVER!

So you think having my neck pickup reverse wound so that in second position it makes a humbucker sort of sound is a go?
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