This is where we host all of our frequently asked questions, if you cannot find a suitable answer to your question then please Contact us.


No, at the moment we only sell direct to our customers.

We are a small company based in the UK, but have shipped all around the world.

To check the cost of shipping for your country and to see if any taxes apply, add at least one product to your basket and visit the view cart page.

On the right side of the screen you’ll see the cart total column, if you are not logged in then enter your address next to the shipping header and click update. This will now list a breakdown of the total cost of your basket including any taxes.

Some Countries governments will charge an import charge when goods are purchased and  imported by the end customer. This is not us charging you but your government and usually the courier will collect it on behalf of your government when they deliver. 

Custom import duties or taxes payable are the responsibility of the customer and not included in your invoice.
So please check this before buying if outside Europe.

The coil winding market is a very small niche market and we build our different machines in small batches of usually 25 machines at a time. Because of the small quantities of custom plates and components that we get made, we struggle to get the price lower and our machines are very low cost compared to commercial machines out there that do not give the control options we offer with the free software we supply.

Also it is a bit of a strange market, sometimes we make a batch of 25 machines and they will sit on the shelf and slowly go out over 6-8 months and another time the batch can sell within 1-2 months.

So it is very difficult to predict how many machines we should build and stock and only being a small company we have other products that can sell a lot faster and we sometimes need to tie our money up in stock for those instead.

Software / Firmware

The software has been written to run on a PC with Windows operating system. It will happily run on low spec systems and will work on windows XP and up to Windows 10.
Minimum Screen Resolution for the software is 1024 x 768 or larger.

We have also written a UWP Beta application of the software which can be run on the Raspberry pi.
More information on this can be found in the downloads section.

As with most CNC machines it is recommended that a dedicated PC is used with no other applications running that could affect the USB communications.
We also recommend that the dedicated PC is kept off the network to stop Windows Updates interfering with anything and also disable real-time anti-virus programs that could affect the PC.

The software we supply free of charge with our machines and all future releases will remain free to download.

Our software can be found in the downloads section. Here is a direct link to the latest version.

Yes! this is now standard from version 2.4 upwards of the software.

Running more than one machine

Implemented in CNC ARM Controller MKII Software Version 2.4
Over the years we have been asked if it is possible to run more than one Coil Winding Machine on a single computer.

The answer has always been NO, but after a bit of playing around we have released a new Test version for anyone that has more than one machine and would like to try.
As stated this is a TEST and we do not guarantee performance like you would get with a dedicated computer for each machine.

This will only work with machines fitted with the latest ARM Controller Board MKII.

The Coil Winding Machines we supply all have the same USB VID/PID identification and this will need to be changed on the extra machines that you want to run. This can be done by programming up a different version of the firmware for each machine and also installing a version of the software that will launch multiple sessions.

Here is a list showing which machine should have which firmware programmed into it. The Firmware may be a higher number depending on your machine model.

Machine 1

Machine 2

Machine 3

You will need to use the JTAG programmer that was supplied with the machine to update your Coil Winding machines and the instructions can be download below

Coil Winder Firmware Upgrade instructions:

When the test software is launched it will now come up with a Launcher menu as shown below:

So if we chose to launch three machines then it would launch 3 instances of the software and show on each screen which machine it is connected to.

You can download the software Coil Winder ARM Controller MKII Software Vx.x on the link below. This has all three of the firmware versions included in the Zip file. 
Go to Coil Winder Downloads

There are 28 pickups already defined in the software and these parameters for each pickup was supplied by experience pickup winding guys.

1950-1951 Tele Bridge
1950-1960 Tele Neck
1951-1964 Tele Bridge
1954 Strat
1955 Strat
1956 Strat
1957 Strat
1958 Strat
1959 Strat
1960 Jazz Bass Bridge
1960 Jazz Bass Neck
1960 Precision Bass
1960 Strat
1960-1970 Tele Bridge
1960-1970 Tele Neck
1961 Strat
1962 Strat
1963 Strat
1964 Strat
1965 Strat
1966 Strat
1967 Strat
Di Marzio Super Distortion
Gibson 1959/60 PAF
Gibson P90
Ibanez Super 70
Rickenbacker 4001 Bridge
Rickenbacker 4001 Toaster Neck

You can edit these pickups and re-save to update their settings.
Also you can save your own pickups to the database.

Within the software under the Settings/Diagnostics tab you will find a backup button. Simply click on the button and it will launch file manager and ask you to save a Registry file with the name you require.

After saving the file you can then copy it to another machine and double click to install.

Now all your saved bobbins and settings should show up on the new machine when you have installed the software.

When you install the software, it also installs a PDF file called CNC Design Coil Winder Software Manual ARM MKII Vx-x.pdf

We have different manuals for various versions of the software, to find the software manual for your machine use the product selection interface on the downloads page.

The firmware is the code installed for the processor on the controller board.
The software communicates to the firmware via the USB lead that is connected between the computer and the controller box.
Commands are sent from the computer to the controller board and the firmware code will process those commands and control the motors and monitor sensors on your machine.

If you have just purchased a machine then it will have the latest firmware already installed on it and you will not have to worry about updating it.

If we release a new version of firmware to fix some bugs that are found or to suit a new release of the software then we will release it on the downloads page.

The firmware update procedure will vary depending on what machine you have and whether it’s an older MK2/3 model or a newer MK6 model. To find the instructions to update your firmware use the product selection interface on the downloads page.

There are a couple of ways to emulate scatter winding in the software. Use the Scripting Engine to build up a script that does different TPL’s on each layers or use the Mixed TPL mode.

There is a section in the Software Manual on page 17 that covers this in more detail and can be obtained from our website on the downloads page.

With the Remote feature you can either connect to the serial port of the machine the Coil Winder software is running on from another computer or use a Virtual Bridging driver so your software on the same machine can connect and send commands.

Here I have tested com0com driver that creates 2 virtual serial ports and joins them together.
You can download and install the com0com from the following site:

After it has installed you can run the setup application and name the COM ports to what you like or use the names it assigns.
Do not use the ports named CNCA0 and CNCB0, but use the other COM port numbers it creates.
For now let’s presume it creates two ports called COM1 and COM2 and automatically bridges them.

First to test on the same PC that the Coil Winder Application is installed on you could do the following with code written on your application:
In the Coil Winder test application you would connect it to COM1 of the pair configured and on your application you would connect that to the COM2.

With your code you can now you can simply send any of the G or M commands that you would use in the script and then either start, stop, pause, homefeeder and homewireguide commands to control the interface.

So if we wanted to say do 10 winds with a pitch of 1.0 at 300RPM then your application would send the following out of COM2
Wait for OK to come back as a reply
Now send

This coil winding application would then load the first command you sent into the scripting window and then you would send the start command next to start the script running.

If you wanted to move the feeder say 0.1mm and no winds then you would send
Wait for OK to come back as a reply
Now send

You of course can change any of the values in each command to suit your feedback.

When sending a command you will get a OK reply back to say it has received it and a CD back when the command is complete.

Now for sending multiple commands you can send.

Wait for OK to come back as a reply
Now send
Wait for OK to come back as a reply
Now send
Wait for OK to come back as a reply
Now send
Wait for OK to come back as a reply
Now send

Same with any M commands, just pop a B in front of it.

Now to use with an external computer such as the Raspberry pi you would use a USB > Serial Port adapter such as the FTDI ones that would plug into the PC and create a virtual COM port on the PC.

Change the port in the Coil Winder Application to suit the one that is now the Virtual Com Port
Now wire the USB>Serial adapter TX and RX lines to the Raspberry pi GPIO pins and change the python script now running on the Raspberry pi to send the commands out to that local COM port on the GPIO pins.

Coil Winding Machines

The main reason for the small noise in stepper motors is higher harmonic resonance that they are driven with. Stepper motors are driven by square wave current, which must contain a large number of higher harmonics, thus sometimes producing vibration and noise.

On all of our latest Coil Winders we use Closed Loop Motors.
With the Closed Loop motor you will sometimes hear a slight squealing while standing still and this is due to the built in encoder always monitoring where the shaft is and correcting itself. You will notice if you try to turn the motors they will self correct back to the position they were in before and also you will hear the noise change when doing this.

All the plates on our machines are made out of aluminium and treated with an oxidisation treatment, this is also known as hard anodising.

Yes, our 200mm, Mini and Quad Coil Winding Machines are all CE Certified and a copy of the Declaration Of Conformity can be found in the setup manual.

Each of our Coil Winding Machines come with a 24v DC power supply that powers the closed loop stepper motors. This power supply has a wide working range voltage and can work with a Input Voltage:100-240V Input AC Frequency:50-60Hz.

We supply a IEC power lead that is fitted with a UK lead, so you will need to either cut the plug off the lead and fit a plug to suit your AC wall socket or use an existing IEC lead that you may have already.

The controller board is powered with 5 volts from your computer via the connecting USB lead that is supplied with the machine. The controller is opto-isolated from the motor driver control lines for safety reasons.

No, our skill set is designing and making low cost, accurate machinery for automating tasks.

We do not wind coils ourselves and the Mini Guitar Pickup Winder came into design with requests from various guitar pickup winders around the world, who were looking for a low cost automatic machine.

You can find very knowledgeable pickup winding guys (luthiers) from various resources on the internet.

Helical winding

Using the Automatic Winding tab of the software will create the typical helix/helical winding pattern, which can be good for a few layers but can be hard to maintain when your layers get too much.

To get a more tidy coil when doing a Helix coil and get a even layered coil there are a few things to consider.

  • Tension needs to be correct along with speed. If the tension is not enough then the wire could jump and have kinks in it. If it is too much then it can cause the sides of the bobbin to flare out as the layers build up.
  • Where the wire enters the bobbin this must not cause any kind of bump or kink as your first couple of layers need to be wound spot on for the others to follow in a uniformed way.
    One design method is a bottom wire guide hole, usually at a slant so you do not get a bulge at the beginning of the first winding.
    Also the sides of the bobbin need to be rigid enough to stop them moving outwards as the layers build up and using custom made holders either side of the bobbin can help stop this on weaker bobbins.
  • The wire must fit the width of the bobbin based on the amount of turns for each layer, if not this will either cause build up on one side or wire on below layer may slip and allow a winding to drop between it.
    Allow for 10-15% for the coating on the wire when setting the diameter, better to measure with some accurate callipers.
  • Make sure that you allow for the resolution of the machine. We have increased the resolution of the new 200mm Coil Winder MK5 to 0.0003125mm, so for example if you had 0.1mm wire then 0.1/0.0003125=320 which means it will fit within the machines resolution, but if your wire was 0.133mm the 0.133/0.0003125=425.6 which is not a whole number, but the software will calculate it for you and modify the wire size to 0.133125mm. I know this is only a small increase but worth noting.

This is why the more expensive commercial coil winding machines you see around are setup to do one coil in a production environment. The recipe for the particular coil gets set up by the manufacturer, along with the wire, bobbin spec and correct tension. Then the machine is used in production to just produce that one coil, over and over again.

Our machines are designed for R&D or small batch runs where you would need to experiment with the considerations listed above to get the winding pattern you require. But in our software we allow full control of each Axis down to degree level using scripts and our machines can be used to wind some very weird and wonderful coil designs.

Orthocyclic winding

The Orthocyclic winding pattern can be considered as parallel winding. The turn is wound in its location and immediately wire is shifted to the next location for the next turn within the fraction portion of the turn. This pattern goes on continuously for every turn wound and every layer. So the turns are straight or parallel to each other except the fraction of each turn when the wire is shifted to next turn position. On the next layer the turn is between the gap of the two turns of the bottom layer and this goes on for every layer. So the actual area required for two layer winding is less by the air gap between two turns. This pattern of winding will allow maximum copper feeling within given area of bobbin.

Below image is orthocyclic winding where the bobbin edge is stepped in to help with the starting shape.

Orthocyclic winding can produce perfect layers and and a very neat coil can be achieved.
The Scripting engine will allow you to build up the orthocyclic  pattern, but will take time to get your script created but will give a perfectly layered coil.

As you can see in the picture below each winding goes around to approx 330 degrees of the bobbin and then the other 30 degree of the turn brings it up to start the next winding (Cross Over).
Next time this winding comes around it would start at say 329 degrees and do the same thing. But as each winding is laid down the start point of the cross over would decrease. The value that it decreases will depend on the amount of turns per layer and also will change as the coil diameter gets larger.
A good reference to the maths is in the following PDF

You could create an excel spreadsheet with formulas to do the calculations and then export the positions in CSV format for the Absolute Scripting Engine.

Please check the link below for more information.

The PIC Board and ARM MKI Board will be in a plastic enclosure that will need to be opened to verify which Controller you have. The ARM MKII Board and ARM MKIII Board will be encased in a metal enclosure.

The most apparent difference between the ARM MKII Board and ARM MKIII Board is the addition of a Firmware switch, if you do not see a firmware switch next to the dial then you have an ARM MKII Board.

Refer to the tables below to determine which Controller you have.

200mm Coil Winding Machine

Mk 1
  • Plastic Enclosure
  • PIC Board
MK 2 / MK 3
  • Plastic Enclosure
  • ARM MK I Board
MK 4
  • Metal Enclosure
  • ARM MK II Board
MK 5
  • Metal Enclosure
  • ARM MK II Board
MK 6
  • Metal Enclosure
  • ARM MK II Board /
    ARM MK III Board

Guitar Pickup Mini Coil Winding Machine

Mk 1
  • Plastic Enclosure
  • PIC Board
MK 2 / MK 3
  • Plastic Enclosure
  • ARM MK I Board
MK 4
  • Metal Enclosure
  • ARM MK II Board
MK 5
  • Metal Enclosure
  • ARM MK III Board

Guitar Pickup Quad Coil Winding Machine

MK 1
  • Metal Enclosure
  • ARM MK II Board
MK 2
  • Metal Enclosure
  • ARM MK III Board

The build up of wire on one side can be caused if you do not have your Zero set correctly.
When testing , we placed a thin metal ruler in between the felt pads, jogged the feed to the edge of the bobbin and set zero.

If you are happy your zero is set correctly then either reduce the height/width of the pickup/bobbin or decrease the wire size. Wind a few layers to test and see if it is shaping up as you require.

Some people using the ruler will first set their zero and then jog the feeder to the right hand side of the bobbin/pickup, make a note of the feeder position and set this as the pickup height/bobbin width in software.

Also one thing that catches people out is that they do not allow for the coating on the wire that can make the wire diameter larger than what is written on the wire spool. As rule of thumb allow 10-15% for the coating when setting your wire size.

Guitar Pickup Mini Coil Winder

Yes, the DXF file can be downloaded here.

The bobbin plate we supply with the machine has various hole spacing for some common pickups.

It has multiple spacing of M4 threaded holes on the Bobbin Plate, to accommodate most Guitar Bobbins out there and also pockets for magnets.
We no longer supply the magnets, but for anyone wanting to fit their own, the pockets are 10mm diameter and 2mm deep.
The magnets are handy if re-winding a pickup that already has the slugs inserted.

The plate was design was based on the feedback from guys that wind pickups on a daily basis.

If you have a pickup that does not match any of the hole spacing then a lot of guys tend to make there own adaptor plates that have the hole spacing for their pickup and a set of holes that match the bobbin plate.

Here are some examples from our customers.

As the wire is very small and can easily snap, most people will mount their spool vertically on the floor and allow the wire to be pulled off.

Here are some renders below that show the wire path.

Guitar Pickup Mini Coil Winder MK1 – MK5

To keep the price down we have fitted dual stepper motors onto the Mini.

Stepper motors have higher torque at low speeds and torque decreases as you increase the speed.
So what speed you can get to is a combination of tension you are applying to your wire that is being wound on the pickup and also how square you have mounted your pickup onto the bobbin plate.

If the bobbin plate is not mounted square then when getting to higher speeds it will create vibration and stall the motor. Also with stepper motors you need to ramp them up to speed and this is handled for you in the software.

We recommend that you wind at a max of 800 RPM, but a lot of people are going up to 1500 RPM with no issues.

Please check out the latest software manual for more information on ramping to get higher speeds.

Replacing the felt pads for the pulley kit is recommended if using a tensioner.

The pulley can be left to free wheel or a extra washer can be placed the bold head side to fix the wheel in place and let the wire slip over the Porcelain on the pulley.

To install follow the steps below.

  1. Here is the existing felt pad assembly. This needs to be removed.
  1. Remove the assembly as shown.
  1. Now insert the bolt, pulley and spacer as shown.
  1. Attach the washer and the nut to the left hand side.

This will now allow free movement of the pulley.

If you find you want a more rigid setup then you can also fix the pulley in place and let the wire slip over the Porcelain on the pulley.

The machine resolution is 0.0125mm so you need to take this into consideration when setting your height of the pickup. For example, 0.1mm wire would be okay as 0.1/0.0125=8 which is an even number.

But it you were trying to use 0.12mm then 0.12/0.0125=9.6 which is not an even number and out of range of the machines resolution. You will see that the software checks for this and changes the calculated wire to 0.125mm as it have rounded the 9.6 to 10.

Next the software will check the pickup height and make sure that the wire size calculated will fit against the amount of turns and the wire size chosen. It will adjust the height of the  pickup to suit.

The feeder resolution is 0.0125mm and the resolution of the bobbin movement is 0.45 degrees.

We only support the winding of pickups on the Mini and the main reason is because of the very small wire that is used on pickups. But in saying that we have had a few customers that do wind other bobbins with success that also use small wire and don’t mind winding at slower speeds.

All Mini Coil Winding machines from MK5 onwards are fitted with a limit switch.

Click here for instructions on adding a limit switch to the Mini Coil Winder


With the tensioners you have the main dial that sets the desired tension, then you have the back tension which is controlled by the front dial.

Once the main tension is set, the back tension dial needs to be adjusted so the arm is always below the red line marking on the tensioner.

If you change speed and it moves above the red line then adjust again.

The tension is set in grams and depending on the model of tensioner you have the dial 0-10 is a division of the tension range.

For example the MTCS tensioner has a tension range of 10-120 grams.
So on the main dial if you wanted to set the tension to 120g you would set it to 10. To set it to 10g you would set the main dial to 0 and each increment on the dial would be a division of this range.

In the software we also have a tension calculator where you can enter the wire size you are using and it will calculate the tension for you.

Degaussing treatment

If you stop using for a long time or the damping wheel shakes or inconsistent tension, you must perform degaussing treatment before starting up: first adjust the tension clockwise to the maximum value, and then immediately adjust the tension to the minimum counter clockwise to complete it.

Here are some renders below that show the wire path being guided to a MK5 Mini Coil WInding machine. As you can also see we replace the felt pads with a pulley.

The same rules apply when pathing with any of our Coil Winding machines.

We sell wire tensioners and the MTCS model covers the wire range for most common wire sizes used on pickups.

Replacing the felt pads for the pulley kit is recommended if using a tensioner.

The pulley can be left to free wheel or a extra washer can be placed the bold head side to fix the wheel in place and let the wire slip over the Porcelain on the wheel.