MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Sewing machine with Singer Class 15 plastic bobbins
The central hole varies slightly with bobbin type;
Class 15 fits the magnets below.
lower than the bottom of the bobbin winder, and
hanging over the front edge of your work surface
(Figure B). Round off the front edge of the platform
and cover it with felt. The spool of magnet wire sits
underneath this edge on the floor.
The wire comes up from the spool, over the felt-covered edge of the platform, and onto the bobbin,
allowing the wire to feed straight onto the bobbin.
(A length of yarn is used in Figure B to clearly show
the wire path.)
Before threading the wire onto the bobbin, tape
it to the platform and lightly rub its free end with
600-grit emery paper for a few strokes to remove
the insulation, so that you can solder it later.
Thread about 2" of wire through the small hole
in the top of the bobbin, and tape it in place on
top with a very small piece of blue masking tape
(Figure C). Near the felt-covered rounded edge of
the platform, place another small piece of felt on
top of the wire and then place a small weight on top
of the felt: the wire is sandwiched between 2 pieces
of felt, and the weight provides constant resistance
for the bobbin winder to pull against (Figure D).
For me, weights between 50g–200g (2oz–7oz)
worked well. Put a few very small pieces of masking
tape somewhere on the platform so they’ll be avail-
128 Make: Volume
able when you cut the wire.
Using your left hand to control the foot pedal,
carefully wind the wire onto the bobbin, moving it up
and down slightly with your right hand to distribute
it fairly evenly. There’s a narrow rim on the bobbin,
and I fill it to this point.
When the bobbin is filled (Figure E), tape the long
wire to the platform and use emery paper to strip
the insulation from it, rubbing toward the bobbin.
Cut the wire in the middle of the stripped area, holding onto the wound bobbin with your fingers.
Take the bobbin off the winder, holding the wire coil
in place, and wind the remainder of the wire onto the
bobbin toward the top, leaving a tail about 2" long.
Remove the tape from the original wire end on the
top of the bobbin, and tape the tail onto the edge of
the top, leaving the center hole open (Figure F).
Repeat these instructions to wind as many
bobbins as you have patience for — the wire is very
fragile, and the pickups are easy to damage until
they’re mounted, so it’s good to have spares.
Photography by David Williams
2. Check the resistance
of your windings.
Use a multimeter to check the resistance between
the 2 ends of the wire on the bobbin. In 8 bobbins,