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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 19th Oct 2009, 8:46 pm   #1
Retired
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Default Miniature wire winder.

Hi, I came up with the idea of this handy little winder quite a while ago and was recently demonstrating it to Mike Phelan so it's through Mike's encouragement that I'm now adding it.

When I first started tinkering around with radio I found I had a lot of difficulty trying to solder replacement components like resistors or capacitors into a chassis as I really need three hands; one to hold the soldering iron; one to hold solder and one to hold the component in place. Around that time I repaired a Philips radio and this was fitted with tiny coils like miniature springs holding wires together and I thought that's a brilliant idea. Going to bed with this on my mind I awoke in the middle of the night and spent ages thinking about how to produce these little coils and by the time I fell asleep had this winder figured out.

The winder is made from offcuts and the only cost was the needles. The original winder was made to be gripped in the vise but since then I've modified the design adding a base making it fully mobile. The only critical measurement is the drilled hole in the twister which slides over the needle but here are the measurements of the bits I used. Square base; black mild steel 2" square x 3/16" thick drilled on center at 6.5mm and well countersunk on one side. Central post; 1/2" square bright mild steel 2.5" long; drilled through 5/8" down from one end tapping size for 6mm set screw; drilled axially at other end tapping size for 6mm socket countersunk screw; tap both holes at 6mm. Needle clamp; another bit of the 3/16" thick black mild steel; 1" long x 1/2" wide drilled on center at 6.5mm. Twister; 3/4" dia bright mild steel 1" long drilled 1.5mm axially taking care not to break the bit by frequently withrawing and clearing the swarf. The twister was gripped in the vise and using a standard 12" hacksaw two parallel shallow cuts were made; these cuts were made with the hacksaw leaning over at about 30 degrees giving undercuts to the slot which help to locate the wire. one each side of the 1.5" dia drilled hole leaving a strip of metal with a hole in the center; this centre strip was then gently removed with the hacksaw.The needle is a Milward Tapestry Size 18 bought for around 1 as a six pack from Hobbycraft. Using the side cutters of a pair of pliars both ends of the needle were cut off and the ends smoothed on the fine grinding wheel. Take care to cover the needle whilst cutting with a cloth as the needle is very tough and will fly also don't forget to keep fingers clear

Assembly; secure the post tightly to the base using the socket countersunk screw; the next bit is fiddly but I nipped the post at about 45 degrees in the end of the vice jaws allowing spanner access and using the set screw the clamp and needle were nipped up tightly but not overtightened.

To use; locate the components wire across the front of the winder just above the needle with the loose end overhanging approximately 1" Hold the component with the left hand and push the wire away over the top of the needle to 45 degrees and whilst still holding the component with the left hand slide the twister on locating the hole onto the needle to engage the slot with the wire; push the twister fully onto the needle and slowly rotate clockwise viewed from the right allowing the twister to move away from the post as the coil is formed. With very little practice perfect coils will appear every time; if insulation is required then it can be slid on before winding commences. The tool can be set up for left hand use. All sharp edges were removed.

Remove the faulty component leaving 3/8" long tails attached to the chassis; scrape clean both tails and slide on the new component soldering it into place. This simple solution saves overheating with the soldering iron and as a bonus the 3/8" tails are good indicators as to where the new component fits; I've removed components in the past and lost their position.

Bits of angle iron could be used to secure the post as a base and through drilled to accept a nut and bolt also the needle clamp could be through drilled to accept a nut and bolt; I used a 6mm tap for neatness and it was available.

The pictures show the winder made today with my well used one (black) and I hope the pictures make the explanation clearer. It's taken almost as long to write these notes as it did to make the winder; I've included a resitor and capacitor with the coils added; it's a pity the pictures didn't turn out better. I wouldn't be without this winder now and the one I made today is an early Christmas present for Mike next time we meet. Hope this is of interest and good luck, Col.
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Old 20th Oct 2009, 8:55 am   #2
Mike Phelan
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Default Re: Miniature wire winder.

Hi Col
Thanks very much for that - it'll save me making one, as I think it's a very useful addition to my toolkit.
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Old 20th Oct 2009, 11:46 am   #3
Framer Dave
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Default Re: Miniature wire winder.

I'm mightily impressed with this, Col! I'm going to make myself one as soon as I've got an hour or so to spare.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 31st Oct 2009, 3:33 pm   #4
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Default Re: Miniature wire winder.

Hi, Good luck with making yours Dave. It's just a week ago I upgraded my camera and through another thread members have helped me to improve my picture taking skills so I'm happy to show close ups of Mike's winder taken in super macro at 80 ISO without flash. Col.
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Old 31st Oct 2009, 4:25 pm   #5
Framer Dave
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Default Re: Miniature wire winder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired View Post
Hi, Good luck with making yours Dave. It's just a week ago I upgraded my camera and through another thread members have helped me to improve my picture taking skills so I'm happy to show close ups of Mike's winder taken in super macro at 80 ISO without flash. Col.
Excellent photos Col! I always try to use available light for this kind of work if possible, with perhaps a small desk lamp for "fill-in". This can result in longish exposures, so to avoid camera shake I fire the camera with a remote control (and use a tripod of course).

I have built a winder to your design and it works spendidly. It cost nothing at all as my wife hasn't missed the needle yet!

Dave
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