Coilton the Accuwinder CW-11B Coil Winding Machine
Posted on November 18, 2018 by Scott French
This was a serendipitous find. Years ago my therapist suggested I spend more idle time in the evening without a digital device in front of me. It took a while before I gave it a fair shot, but upon trying it out my mind started filling up with new ideas almost immediately. Very quickly it became obvious I needed a pickup winder to start working through some of these ideas. I had looked at buying winders before but they always felt fairly expensive for the limited functionality. From there the obvious route seemed like building one, but I don't have a lot of free time these days. I checked eBay on a whim and found this crazy old coil winding machine recently listed. I feel very lucky because I've never seen another listed for sale. It wasn't cheap, but I still consider it an amazing deal when compared to the pickup winders you see available at luthiery supply shops.
The Accuwinder CW-11B is a compact and high-speed coil winder that is very feature rich. In fact out of the box it came with every feature I was hoping for. It's easy to set the number of winds required as well as set a coil count where the winder will decelerate before stopping. It's also easy to switch the winding direction. The rear of the machine has an electronically control wire tensioner, but because pickup wire is so fine just the felt pads on the two wire guides are enough to keep the wire very tight. My favorite feature is definitely the adjustable wire guide that moves side-to-side automatically in order to wind an even coil without having to use your hand. Once you get the guide and coil count setup correctly this machine is very much "set and forget". It is also VERY FAST. The dial goes up to 10 but I haven't run it faster than 1.5.
I'm very thankful that the timing of making this mental space coincided with the winder being available. I've wound a good amount of pickups on it so far and had good luck with it. I have much more complicated and interesting designs in the works but these all turned out pretty nice as well.