Whether winding coils for an experiment, hobby or repair job, coil winding can be a tedious process. The tediousness of winding coils by hand can be alleviated by constructing a simple coil-winding machine to help with the coil-winding process. These machines only have three basic parts: the mandrel, the base and the upright supports. Luckily, each of these parts can be made out of basic construction materials and assembled to make a functioning coil-winding machine in a matter of minutes.


1. Cut the 2 x 6 board to a length of three feet. This will serve as the base for the coil-winding machine.

2. Cut the 2 x 4 into two eight-inch pieces. These will serve as the upright supports for the coil winding machine.

3. Stand the 2 x 4’s upright six inches from each end of the 2 x 6. Mark around their perimeter with a pencil.

4. Drill two pilot holes where you will mount each 2 x 4 piece. The pilot holes should be equidistant from each other and the edges of the marking you made in Step 3. Use a drill bit with a diameter that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the screws you will use to mount the 2 x 4’s.

5. Drill a hole with a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the steel rod you will use for the mandrel one inch from the top of each 2 x 4 piece.

6. Secure the 2 x 4’s to the base with wood screws that are at least three inches long. The hole you drilled in Step 5 should be at the top of each 2 x 4 piece.

7. Insert the steel rod into the vice with five inches of the rod sticking up above the vice. Tighten the vice until the rod is held firmly in place.

8. Hammer the rod over until it bends at a 90 degree angle.

9. Loosen the vice and slide five more inches of the rod out so that a total of 10 inches of the rod (including the bent section) are sticking up out of the vice.

10. Hammer the rod over to another 90 degree angle so that the end of the rod makes a “Z” shape. This will be the handle of your mandrel. Remove the rod from the vice.

11. Insert the steel rod into the hole you drilled in the uprights in Step 5.

12. Clamp the wire for your coils to the mandrel with the vice grips. Rotate the mandrel handle with the wire clamped in place to begin forming your coil.


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