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Wire Quality


 
3/12/2003 2:48 PM
David Root
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Wire Quality
In a related thread, Andy said "even Grade 1 wire can vary a lot". I've not heard this about wire before. Are there specific grades of wire sold, and how do I know I'm getting the best grade, or is this just a personal way of distinuishing quality manufacturers from "cheap imports"?
 
3/12/2003 5:44 PM
Adam Ziegler
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The only type of wire I have found usually falls under a min/max specification. So all products are more or less the same. I forge the name of the spec. but will post if I ever remember!
 
3/12/2003 6:02 PM
Gunno
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David , the wire I get is "polyurethane 155 Grade 1" , here in Sweden "Grade 1" simply means "Single Build " and "Grade 2" means "Heavy Build" .  
I don't really know what Andy means , maybe Andy himself can straighten it out .....
 
3/14/2003 7:14 AM
Andy
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David,  
 
Yes there are various grades 1 being the best and it refers to the consistency of the drawn wire AND its insulation, in terms of thickness and quality.  
 
But for example the insulation thickness can vary slightly between one batch of wire and the next - I always get my wire supplier to accurately measure each spool, and write it on the label. I specify that overall diameter should not be greater than 10% thicker than the nominal wire thickness, thus on .05 wire its overall dimesions should be no greater then .055.  
 
Periodically, as I use the wire, I check it with an accurate micrometer as well.  
 
Obviously there can still be variances but it does minimise any problems and means a pickup I produce today can be replicated almost exactly in 12 months time!  
 
This isn't so important for hobbyists but certainly makes a big difference for anyone making more than a couple of hundred pups a year.  
 
Andy
 
3/17/2003 5:09 AM
David Root
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Once again I learn something new! Yes, this is important to me and no doubt many others in this group.  
Andy, do you happen to know if the major US suppliers go along with this grading system, e.g. Essex Brownell, MWS, Phelps Dodge, etc.  
I have just ordered wire in the past, and since I have not been able to control winding tension within any particular tolerance,using the old speed knob and felt pads, I have had some variation in DC R on production runs of various models. I don't know how much is attributable to tension variations and how much to wire variations. I suspect most is due to varying wire tension.  
Next weekend I get to narrow things down as I just ordered three rebuilt Meteor 484 wire tensioners, at about 3 times the cost of my 3-head winder!
 
3/17/2003 6:18 PM
Gunno
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Andy , so "Grade 1" is both a thickness AND a quality term , yeah , you learn something new everyday.  
I got to talk to my supplier about this , just in case "Grade 1" means different in different countries.
 
3/17/2003 7:32 PM
Dr. Strangelove
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The industrial magnet wire standards docs are available (at significant cost) from nema.org as NEMA MW 1000.  
 
David Root wrote:
quote:
"Next weekend I get to narrow things down as I just ordered three rebuilt Meteor 484 wire tensioners, at about 3 times the cost of my 3-head winder!"
Ouch! I looked at the new Necoa's for $900 and rebuilt Meteors at $600, wasn't feeling up to it at the time.  
 
How well do tensioners work on coils forms that aren't round, namely guitar pickup bobbins?  
 
-drh  
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