Sometimes you just luck out...

I've been searching for any new parts for my Stevens winder I could find for
just about forever it seems, and sometime last Christmas I totally lucked out.

I was visiting a website dedicated to another one of my hobbies, and I saw
a classified ad there for 'random coil winder parts' - from a company that makes
small hobby electric motors for things like RC cars. I immediately bought it all.

Here is the photo from the ad. The reason why I bought this stuff is at top
center in the photo, but it wasn't the only reason. You see, the minty 1950's
Rollan Co. wire tensioner 'just like the one I use' (shown upside down in this
photo) is impossible to find parts for, but there are also two other great reasons
to buy in this photo. What are they? One each of Meteor coil winder tensioners
model 483 (at upper right - for superfine wire up to 52 AWG gauge) and a
Meteor 484 tensioner (for 42 gauge wire - the big gray oblong piece shown at
lower left with two round white pulleys and a bracket bolted to it)!

Why is this cool? The Meteor coil winder was Swiss made, and in the 1950's
and 1960's
considered *the* finest coil winder in the world. These parts are
even more difficult to find than original parts for my winder!

This photo below shows the Rollan Co. wire tensioner (factory 'special ordered' from Geo. Stevens)
mounted in its correct orientation on a winder

Here is a closeup photo of the Meteor 483 wire tensioner 'as found'. The actual tensioner (upper left
with the 'gramm' scale on it) is on top of the wire spool holder

This is the assembled Model 483 tensioner for 46 to 54AWG? coil wire. The wire spool fits in the
 plastic spool holder mounted underneath it, and the black rod is the mount for the entire assembly.

Why is this cool? The finer the wire you wind with, the higher the output from your pickup. For
example, one 'PAF' humbucking pickup's coil (there are two per pickup) would be factory wound with
42 gauge wire and have an output DCR resistance of about 3500 ohms, for a total pickup DCR of
about 7K. If I wanted to raise the output, I could use finer coil wire but the wire becomes much more
fragile and difficult to wind with.

Since this wire tensioner is specifically designed for use with up to 54 AWG wire, I could use this
to wind some seriously powerful pickups!

Best of all... the 483 tensioner was NOS, but I didn't even know that when I bought it.
Here's the original label from the shipping box


Below - The Meteor Model 484 tensioner for wire gauges from 32 to 46 AWG wire, comparable to
the Rollan fine wire tensioner also shown above. This is a great 'general purpose' tensioner for
my uses. I'm going to try the Rollan tensioner for awhile because it was designed for use with the
Stevens, and then I'll make a mounting bracket for this one and see which one I like better. The
Rollan does have a few advantages this one doesn't have

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