1950's Geo. Stevens Model 120AM and 250VP Solenoid Coil
(Electromechanical Machine Winders)
A quest... a quest for parts
Model 250VP (Variable Pitch) Solenoid Machine Coil Winder
It all started with my interest in antique pinball machines. I
was winding pickups for awhile, and also belonged to a
group of people who collected preWWII pinball machines.
The electrical parts for these machines were impossible
to find, so I decided to learn to rewind their electrical coils
I found an early 1950's Geo. Stevens Model 120AM solenoid coil
winder that could wind four coils at once
in Indiana, and I thought I could clean it up and get it to
work. The original owner actually used it to rewind
pinball machine coils so the tooling I needed and all four wire
feeders, motor and electrical system
were included, so I thought repairing it would be easy.
Boy, was I wrong.
These are sale photos of my 'first' Stevens model 120AM winder
as well as an 'extra' 1940's Stevens Model 20
coil winder (at lower right on the forklift fork on the photo)
The problems began when I got the winders home. I quickly found
out that these 1950's Stevens winders needed
custom made gearbox gears and traverse drive (side to side wire
feed) cams I didn't have to wind their coils
correctly, and these parts were all discontinued over half a
century ago. I could easily restore them both,
but I wasn't sure it would even be worth the effort without the
A closeup of the Model 120AM winder's main gearbox, showing the
only two original gears I could find for over
ten years. At top is the original electromechanical turn
counter, and on the mainshaft at left is the original
electric brake assembly for stopping the machine at the end of a
The original Veeder-Root electromechanicalturn counter, designed
to shut off at the desired turn count
One day, I was contacted by a lady whose father owned a Model
210B handguided radio coil winder and
wanted to sell it. She sent me a photo of her winder... with an
almost complete set of the missing traverse
gears for my Model 120AM winder in front of it. The trip to buy
it took all day, but definitely was worth it!
The Model 210B handguided radio coil winder as found. Read
about the restoration here
The 210B winder was restored in 2021 as a dedicated handguided
pickup coil winder with a new electronic
turn counter, modern DC motor and control system, while I
searched for more missing parts.
I was searching on Ebay and found a seller who had the missing
cams and gears I needed to restore the 210AM.
He said he had all the parts I needed, so I bought them and made
arrangements to pick them up.
I was very surprised to find out that I wasn't just buying some
random gears and cams, I was actually buying
a complete 1960's? Model 250VP winder as well. Best of all, I
later found the actual cam I needed to wind
humbucker or P90 pickup bobbins in the pile of parts!
Here is the Model 250VP winder as found, set up to wind two
coils at once. It may be dirty, but it's all there.
The 'humbucker cam' is at lower left in this photo under the
This is a set of cams for the Model 250VP winder. The 250VP uses
two cams at once, the small rounded cams
at front for traverse (side to side wire feed) winding (same
cams as my Model 210AM!) and the large heart shaped
cams in the middle are for winding many individual coils on one
bobbin. The large black gears in the background
are for winding wire even finer than the 42 gauge coil wire I
use for pickups. Research indicates the 250VP could
wind coils with wire as fine as 48 gauge wire!
I decided to use parts from both my Model 120AM and 250VP coil
winders to make one good winder.
The 120AM winder has four original wire feeders for 42 gauge or
finer coil wire along with an electrical system,
and the 250VP has all the gears, cams and other spare parts I
will need to correctly wind pickup coils.
When this machine winder is finally restored, Angeltone will be
able to wind perfectly matched sets of
'humbucking' twin coil pickup bobbins or P90 type single coil
pickup bobbins up to four coils at once...
in the time it would take to wind one!
All I need now is some spare time...
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