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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Building a Strat™ pickup set part 3

Now it's time for our pickups in waiting to have the holes drilled for their soldering eyelets and the holes in the top and bottom flatwork that allow the hot potting wax into the centre of the coils. The shiny rings around the base of the magnets is where I have run some super-fluid cyanoacrylate around them just as belt and braces for keeping everything together during winding.
Nearly forgot ... the magnets get a coat of nitro sanding sealer to insulate them from the first layer of wire at this stage too.
The soldering eyelets are absolutely tiny, and completely authentic to fifties spec. Many pickup makers import these from the US as they are hell on earth to source in the UK. We found a supplier and bought several thousand which should keep us going for a while.
Setting the eyelets requires a special punch ... ours came from Stew-Mac.

I've lost count of what 'mark' I'm at with the coil winder ... the guts of a variable speed drill drive a counter weighted backplate to which the bobbin is attached with double sided tape.  Mounted at one end of the backplate is a magnet that trips a reed switch in the housing you see at the bottom of the picture. 

The impulses are counted by a nice little electronic counter mounted in my line of sight ... the wire is guided by hand between adjustable 'limiter' stops mounted on some 10mm stainless steel bar stock. The limiters started life as drill depth stops ... everything has another use!
Okay ... I can't really take pics one handed of the winding process so your imagination has to come into play here ... about ten minutes of winding per coil and ...
 Repeat three times, adjusting resistance to progressively make the pickups more powerful as you move towards the bridge. I get into a winding zone where I can shut out the world and just concentrate on making a nice even coil with the correct 'scatter'.
 And there you have three Strat™ pickups having just had their cloth fifties style wiring added. The centre pickup is reverse polarity to make the set humbucking in positions 2 and 4. After testing with my multimeter the pickups move into my potting area

To be continued




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