I have a few questions concerning using a wood lathe to turn a pickup. My knowledge is very limited so here goes.

1.  The lathe turns toward the operator, does the direction of the windings matter?

2.  Which would be a better counter a mechanical or a digital and why?

3. Could you describe how to set them up to work with the lathe?

4.  What would be the max speed for a mechanical counter?

Thank you in advance.

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Turns out, I have a little experience in this area... 

Here's an article I wrote awhile back :-) 


1. The direction doesn't matter unless you're making humbucking pickups or a pair of single pickups with reverse wind/reverse polarity. If you need to wind the other way, you can either reverse the motor or flip the pickup over. 

2. I think either would work - the digital ones are the newer technology. With either kind, look for something which is resettable. 

3. Unlike the other poster, I used a reed switch activated by a magnet. The magnet is glued to a surface which is rotating. On mine I used a pulley, but on a lathe which is all enclosed you might need to use the back of the pickup mounting plate. You'll need to come up with some kind of screw adjustable mount for the reed switch to get it the exact right distance from the magnet to make it trigger right. This can be a little touchy to get right. 

4. I looked at a few mechanical counters - max speeds were 400 and 1000. So I'm guessing it will depend on the particular model you choose. I'm using a Red Lion Cub counter (digital) and wind around 800 rpm and it handles this fine. 

ps. the guy on this thread - post #13 - says you can use a mechanical counter for lower speed hobby type winding, but go with an optical trigger and digital counter for high speed applications (2000-4000 rpm). This is what the other poster is using. 


Thanks for response. I went to both places and I think I will look more closely at site you suggested Skeesix. I not an electronics kind of guy but I think I can handle what I am seeing there and I presume that if I have any questions I can get them answered here. 

Thank you again.


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