Since I posted a pic-story about making a pickup winder, I guess it's about time to post a pic-story about making pickups. Most of the stuff required to build a pickup is shown below. 3/32" thick fiberboard (from McMaster) for the bobbin top & bottom plates, paper templates of the pickups, AlNiCo 5 rod magnets & appropriate size drill bit, neo-magnets for charging the rods, two types of double sided tape, foil tape for shielding, brass eyelets and eyelet setting tool, drill and tap for height adjustment screws, a wood block for magnet installation help, a large black magic marker and a ruler.
Cut the fiberboard to the size of the templates.
Use double sided tape to hold everything together so the holes will be aligned in all of the pieces.
Drill the holes using a guide block to keep the holes aligned.
Separate the single coil bobbin bases, s.c. tops & humbucker bobbins and the wooden block.
Cut and sand the pieces to their final dimensions and separate them all.
If you don't like grey bobbins, grab a marker and start marking.
Install the brass eyelets.
Install the pole pieces in the base. I use a small arbor press, but you could use a hammer and block of wood or plastic.
Cut the wood block along the hole centerlines...
...and use it to help keep the poles in place, and set the space between the bobbins, while installing the bobbin top.
The humbucker bobbins are screwed to the base plate, so locate the screw holes to avoid the poles and wire.
I cut off the screw tips (but didn't take a picture).Loop the wire a few times in and around the brass eyelet.
Use heavier double sided tape to hold the bobbin in place.
Wind a dozen or so turns by hand to check the guide limits on the winder.
If doing a humbucker, wrap and solder the magnet wire to a lead wire.
Then stick onto the winder.
Wind an appropriate number of turns.
Loop the finish end through the other brass eyelet, then solder. If doing a humbucker, use another lead wire similar to the first one.
Wrap the coil with foil...
...insulating between the foil layers with electrical tape. The foil should not touch itself.
I then did a complete wrap with electrical tape, then another foil layer which then gets grounded. According to Stew-Mac, the first layer (not grounded) helps
to reduce hum. Guess I'll find out if that's true.
Most rod magnets arrive un-magnatized. To magnatize them, you can pass them between two strong neo-magnets. I made a simple jig to hold the magnets.
Pass through about 10 times. Note that the "N" side will give a South charge to the rod, and the "S" side give a north side charge.
Attach the hookup wires and it's ready for installation!
Hope you enjoyed the story!
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