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Wire Tension

3/8/2004 4:57 AM
Wire Tension
Hey folks. I have another question. Let's say I am able to keep a constant tension on the wire as I wind a pickup. Does anyone have typical specs for tension, or is their no such thing.  
In other words, x number of grams or pounds, etc. Like fishing line has a test, is there a recommended "test," if you will, for 42 gauge, 43 gauge, etc.?  
3/8/2004 4:14 PM
its like 33g for 42
3/8/2004 9:25 PM
Mark Hammer
The wire tension will depend on the size of the wire spool you are drawing from, how mobile it is, and how much pullback it provides. In some instances, there is high risk of tearing the wire.
3/8/2004 10:12 PM
Fred Hammon

There are charts available usually from the suppliers on reccomended wire tension for a given gauge. There are also some really complicated and expensive wire tension gauges that can measure the wire AFTER it leaves the dereeler. I think the best way is trial and error given all the variables that were mentioned - spool size, wisker disks, tensioners,wire guides,finger grip etc. If it breaks.... too much tension or too loose of a coil...need more tension. I think it's that simple.  
You may have to break a few to know what the limits are for a givin set-up.  
Too much tension can also stretch a wire giving you unexpected DC resistance readings.  
Doesn't Jason cover this in his book?
3/9/2004 1:25 AM

Jason's book mentions stretching, etc. I'm just curious if, say, a company like Seymour Duncan has internal specs that say "pickup A is wound with X turns of Y gauge at Z grams" or something like that. It's not likely that I'll do anything with that information, but I am curious.  
I suppose what prompted my curiousity was the P-90 rewind that I did this weekend. The guy likes them a little hot, so I put 10,524 turns on the bobbin. The thing was loaded to the max, and bulge in the coil was pretty much at the edge of the bobbin along the sides.  
So, I didn't have near the flaring at the ends of the bobbin ... almost none, but I'm thinking it maybe could have been a little tighter coil. Also, it came out to 9.52k DC which seems pretty high to me for just a bit more than 10,000 turns.  
I'm thinking, well ... the turns are larger than a bucker on a P-90 after a certain point, so my 0.8 ohms per turn rule of thumb probably begins to fail. Still, vintage specs say 10,000 turns and about 8k DC. You see the pattern? It's got me wondering about tension, etc.  
Right now, them dang P-90s seem harder to wind than the buckers to me. Like Jason says, I need more practice for sure.  
I have a rather bizarre tensioner concept in my head though that I may try to employ someday. If I do, I'd want to be able to set the tension with a gauge or scale.
3/9/2004 6:55 AM
Dave Stephens
What you are going to run smack into if you try to make your own tensioner is that you can't see it with a felt and thumbscrew tensioner, but the coil is oblong and not pulling evenly on the wire. Anything that uses weights or springs to measure the grams of tension will bob up and down violently due to the uneven pull from the coil. Read my post on the Azonic......Dave
3/9/2004 12:43 PM

Springs have never entered my mind in the design of a tensioner. I saw the thread. Interesting stuff, but too complicated for me ;-) Thanks.  
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