DIY - Coil Winding Machine




Introduction: DIY - Coil Winding Machine

About: Hello Guys, I am techgenie, an Electronics hobbyists, tech tinker and developer. I dedicate my free time in designing and making various creative and innovative projects, RC toys, Incredible Gadgets, Awesome...

Over the recent days, i have been planning to make numerous projects that include electromagnetism. All these projects require copper wire to be wound uniformly in the form of a coil.

Winding few meters of thin enameled copper wire uniformly with hands seemed almost like an impossible task. Even if that could be done, it would require tremendous amount of time and work.

In this Instructable, i decided to make a coil winding machine at home. It is very simple to make machine and does the wire winding work almost perfectly.

Step 1: Order Parts

Step 2: Watch the Video

There is no better tool than a good video for understanding any tutorial. A video makes it easy to understand and follow the procedure. However, it is also recommended to visit next steps for additional info and images.

Step 3: Let's Begin - Make Side Wall

  1. Take a piece of cardboard of about 8 x 5 inches.
  2. Using a stationary knife, cut the cardboard as shown in the image above.
  3. The H-shaped cardboard has middle segment of about 1.5 inches.
  4. Place the bearing at the top of the side segments and mark the points.
  5. Make hole at the marked points equal to the size of the bearing.
  6. Fix the bearing in the holes and secure them with hot glue.
  7. Make two such similar pieces of side walls.

Step 4: Prepare Base Platform

  1. Take a cardboard piece of about 9 x 8 inches.
  2. Cut 4 cardboard pieces of about 2 x 1.5 inches.
  3. Using super glue, paste 2 pieces at the two corners of the cardboard base.
  4. Place the side wall (with bearings) at the center of the smaller pieces and secure with hot glue. (Refer to the image above)
  5. Take the other two smaller cardboard pieces and place them at the remaining corners of the platform.
  6. Place the other side wall at the center of the cardboard pieces.
  7. Secure the side wall to the cardboard corner pieces using super glue.
  8. Make sure not to paste the corner pieces to the base platform.

Step 5: Make Frame for Second Side Wall

  1. Using a pencil, mark the position of the second Side wall.
  2. Cut two L-shaped cardboard pieces as shown in the image above.
  3. Paste the L-shaped cardboard at the outer boundary of marked position.
  4. Cut the wooden tongue depressor equal to the length of L-shaped cardboard.
  5. Using super glue, paste the tongue depressor at both the L-shape edges of the cardboard.
  6. Make sure that the other side wall can easily slide between the slit of the base and tongue depressor.
  7. If everything seems fine, proceed to next steps..

Step 6: Make Rotary Mechanism

  1. Take two wooden sticks of about 9" length.
  2. Remove the side wall and insert the wooden stick in the bearing.
  3. You can increase the thickness of wooden stick by wrapping some tape over it.
  4. Make sure that both the sticks fit well in the bearings of the fixed side wall.
  5. The wooden sticks in the bearing of the removable side wall should not be very tight because it will be difficult to remove it again and again after winding.

Step 7: Prepare Electronic Components

  1. Take a powerful DC motor.
  2. If you have a small plastic pulley then connect it to the motor shaft.
  3. If not, then apply some tape over the motor shaft.
  4. Using knife, carefully cut the tape such that a slit is formed in between.
  5. Refer to the schematic above, connect a switch and the battery to the motor.
  6. I used a DPDT switch to control the motor in both directions, however, a simple ON/Off switch is sufficient for this project.
  7. Using Hot glue, paste the motor below one of the wooden sticks.
  8. Also, secure the motor additionally by a cardboard and super glue because hot glue will melt once the motor gets hot.
  9. See the image above, paste the battery holder and the switch as well.
Note: I used 18650 Li-ion battery because it is capable of providing very high power. For charging the Li-ion Battery, you can also refer to my DIY -Battery Charger instructable or watch the Video.

Step 8: Finish the Project

  1. Connect the motor shaft and wooden stick with a rubber band, such that when the shaft rotates, the stick also rotates.
  2. Apply some tape at the edge of the stick, so that the rubber band doesn't come out while rotating.
  3. Remove the free side wall and insert the copper wire spool over one of the sticks.
  4. On the other stick, fix any cylindrical pipe.
  5. You can easily increase the thickness of wooden stick using tape, so that the pipe fits well.

Note: In the image, a black spool holder can be seen, This spool holder i used was 3D printed but any cylindrical pipe will also serve the purpose, only make sure to increase the thickness of the side edges using cardboard or the tape, so that the wire doesn't get removed from the sides of the pipe.

Step 9: Test and Improvements

  • Turn the switch ON and guide the wire on the pipe using hand.
  • A uniform To & Fro motion of hand from one end to the other will form a uniformly wound coil.
  • After winding apply some tape to prevent wire from getting lose.

This is a very useful machine for many projects to some people. However, after using it for a while, i feel that a few upgrades can really improve this machine..

  • Instead of using battery, it will be much useful if powered using a wall adapter.
  • Connect a potentiometer in the circuit to control the speed of the motor.
  • Attach a large pulley to the wooden stick, thus reducing the motor RPM and significantly increasing the torque, thus more control while winding.

These are the few upgrades that i can think of. If you have suggestions and few more possible upgrade ideas, feel free to leave a comment below. Your suggestions and feedback is always welcome.

So friends, this here concludes the instructable, stay tuned and SUBSCRIBE to receive regular updates. In case you might have missed, watch the video and see how i made this Coil winding machine at home.

Thanks For Your Support..!!



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34 Discussions


2 months ago

Techgenie, for upgrade you can use gears, shafts and other hardware from a used toner cartridge. And perhaps a motor from an old printer.

1 reply

Yes, SIN1T2, it seems like a great tip to use gears and shafts but the motor from a printer has very low rpm, it takes quite a long time to wrap the coil.


2 months ago

This is the OTHER meaning of CAD. Cardboard Aided Design! The question I have is since you have a 3d Printer, Why not just print the parts?

The one bad idea you mentioned is using a potentiometer to control motor speed, unless of course you were going to use a PWM scheme to control your motor. A simple pot circuit would waste power as heat.

Good post. Thank you.

3 replies

I do have a 3D printer but i am not very good in designing. Although i am slowly learning to 3D design objects. Can you suggest me some good sources from where i can learn 3D designing?

Dont sell yourself short! Most people could not design a working machine out of cardboard. I have the advantage of being a licensed Autodesk inventor user and thats all i really know personally. Make your base plate from wood, since it is too large for most printers. Then all you need to design is a single "L" shaped bracket with a short leg that has two holes for mounting and a large hole with a rim to accurately locate your bearing . Print four copies of that and you would be ready to go. The H shaped frames in the cardboard version would not be necessary because the plastic would be more rigid.

The L bracket idea should be within reach of your developing abilities, in short order :)

Good luck.

Thanks NeilRG...its a great tip. I will definitely get my hands on 3D printing and post some useful projects soon.

I also like the simplicity of the cardboard. This project could be made quickly and is perfect for winding electromagnetic coils on spools. Great job!

Fifteen years ago I made a coil winder from plans in a book by Jason Lollar (ISBN 0-9662599-2-0) specifically for winding guitar pickups. It took many tools and much time and effort to make. It uses a sewing machine motor-shaft-flywheel for winding, and an oscillating fan motor driving a cam to slowly and uniformly guide the wire to-and-fro. I needed the complexity to accurately wind #40+ wire on narrow, oblong magnetic poles. I later built and added an electronic counter circuit activated by a hall effect sensor on the rotary pulley.

3 replies

#PeteBuxton Your machine looks awesome. Thanks for appreciating my work..:)

You're welcome, Techgenie. I really like your project and I voted for it.

Thanks #PeteBuxton...really thanks for the vote..

BTW: For the wooden sticks, I'm ordering "Loew-Cornell Woodsies Dowels 12"-Natural 3/16", from Amazon.
Per the video, I'll make them work with the 5/16th holes in the bearings.

Thanks for bring back the days when I worked as a coil finisher-A for Raytheon back in the 80's, ;)

1 reply

Very nice presentation! I love the fact that you built this out of cardboard which is easily fabricated and just right for the job as opposed to over designed projects that need 3D printers, laser and CNC machines, etc., which most of us do not have easy access to. It took me back 60 years to my school days when I built a door bell/buzzer and induction coil shockers :)

1 reply

I am glad you liked it....Thanks for appreciating my work..:)

Wow! You're great at making things! This could also be used for rope. Not too much though; the motor may not be able to take that much weight of rope.

1 reply

I am glad you liked it, yes this mechanism can be used as a rope if it is scaled to a bigger project with a more powerful motor.

Excellent! The machine is very innovative and the Instructible is well put together, AND it is a great piece of fun.

Well done, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Keep it up,and thanks.

1 reply

What a great idea. I've always wondered where to get the wire though.