> Do you have any tricks on how to achieve neat side by side turns?
Unfortunately I have no good trick for that. Just patience, and working
carefully. If it counts as a trick, a thin insulation layer between
winding layers can help getting nice smooth windings.
But I do have a trick to keep the wire from bulging, so the windings
take a shape closer to a circle than a square. This can be a real
problem with thick wire. The trick: While winding, use your thumb (with
a wool glove to protect it) to give the wire a slight bent in the
OPPOSITE direction as it has to bend around teh corners of the bobbin.
That will keep the straight sections straighter, closer to the bobbin.
Another trick, even if it's obvious, to get the maximum amount of wire
on a bobbin: On the bobbin sides that will end up inside the core
windows, always lay the wire straight, parallel to the bobbin walls or
ends. And wind alternate layers with one turn more or less, so that you
can lay each turn in the grove formed by two turns of the layer below
it. This works without insulation sheets, and it also works with thin,
soft insulation sheets. Of course you will have to cross the wire over
underlying turns at some place, and at that place it will build up
higher. Simply choose to make these crossovers on those sides of the
bobbin that will end up outside the core. There you have enough space
for that added bulk.
And when you wind an uncritical transformer using thousands of turns, I
suggest you don't bother doing an orderly winding. Just do a wild
winding, guiding the wire from a distance, so that it self-aligns
reasonably well. The end result will be 10% less good, but winding a
transformer that way might take 20 minutes, instead of taking a week!
But if you love to do quality work, and you have enough time and
patience, then wind ALL transformers with the turns side by side! In
olden times, when people still had time to live, and took pride in their
work, all transformers used orderly windings.
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