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Looking for big Ni lams

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I am looking for a source of 49% Ni laminations with 1.375" center legs( scrappless ). I want to build these into an existing design that works well for me, the Peerless S265Q but gapped to reduce permeability to M6( or M4 levels ). For that matter I'd also like to source some with 1.75" center legs for building legitimate copies of the bigger S271S( though doing without seems de rigeur these days, missing details in their prints? ). So far the only source of the big stuff is super-spensive laser cut customs...
astouffer said:
Have you tried Tempel? www.tempel.com
Yes I did, early on as a matter of fact. I contacted every likely firm I found 30-40 pages into a few Google searches. I could build with C-Cores, but that isn't authentic is it? Seems like there's no way to make real/legitamate/honest copies of the S271S anymore. I don't feel like faking it like the others.
kegger said:
Oh Your Such a Faker Douglas! :)

Take care,

Faker, not hardly, which is why I aksed the question...:)

No sense building these beauties and claiming they're just like the one I took apart if it can't be done. I don't see how anybody paying $1200 a pair would know they were getting ripped off if they hadn't looked inside a real one. With originals bringing $3k7 a pair I doubt many ever will.
Steven-H said:
Well, if we can get our hands on the raw materials; I have a friend with a CNC plasma machine.

Sounds sweet, and a perfect reason to visit my ex backyard...:) Now to find an someone to do a hydrogen atmosphere aneal on them after cutting. I can probably get material to do this with; that's a different question than I've been asking so far.
You need to check whether the plasma cutter can cut nickel lams with a clean edge, most of these plasma deals leave little beads of melted metal along the edge. The laminations won't stack well if so. Also, plasma cutters use up expensive consumables like tips and gas.

If the plasma thing won't do it, try to get some lamination company to run a spool of the nickel sheet thru their punch press for you.

All else fails: I have seen some laminations from the far east that were re-stamped from larger used laminations. (they were punched in every which direction, with grain the wrong way) So there must be some manual/hydraulic single punch presses around for E lams.
smoking-amp said:

::: ...try to get some lamination company to run a spool of the nickel sheet thru their punch press for you. ::::

You need different diesets (cutting edges) for nickel lams versus steel lams of the same thickness---- they shear differently due to differences in the metals and the dieset's clearances must be optimized for the particular grade of lam that you want to punch.

Also--- setting up the punch press requires a fair amount of knowledge---- the speed and force that is used for a particular material will depend on it's shape, size, and what the metal is.

You really want a company with a lot of experience and knowledge to properly punch transformer lams. Then they must be annealed properly. The annealing is more than just specifying an "innert hydrogen anneal"--- as there are a range of anneals available for low nickel.

The mechanical specs for the lams are themselves pretty tight--- bow and transverse bow have strict limits--- burrs are also limited dimensionally.

The material is usually supplied in large "master" rolls--- and first must be slit to width before being punched. The slitter must not leave burrs outside of the permissible tolerance range either. Then you need the right equipment to pull the material off the newly formed roll (after it has been slitted) with minimal runout. Then you have to get rid of any "memory" that it might have from being coiled before you punch the lams.

It's not a job I would entrust to other than the most experienced vendors with proven track records.

Hi Mike,
You have yet to answer an old question of mine from AA: Why do you fail to include the original Ni in your copies of the S271S?

You seem to have good things to say about the benefits of Ni in your other designs; and have for a long time. Why skip it in your $1k2 alleged copies? As a follow up, why not disclose you're missing features in the stuff you claim to be authentic?

ps. we should talk; so I'm asking again for an audience, you have my contact info.
On a completely different note -
I am shocked to find that MQ is right up the 'street'. I thought that the last time there was an audio tube related company anywhere near me was when Dynaco was around :D
On a different note - how different would it be to take 'normal' tranny iron and plate it on one side ?
Steven-H said:

:::On a completely different note -

I am shocked to find that MQ is right up the 'street'. I thought that the last time there was an audio tube related company anywhere near me was when Dynaco was around :D :::

Hi Steven:

Still here. Moved here to Phila shortly after we bought the Peerless archives. I've been by many of the Phila historic audio landmarks--- and had the good fortune to meet with and work with several of the philly audio giants. My mentor (from the craft side) was the former chief winder at Acrosound--- whom I was introduced to by David Hafler. It's a neat place.

:::On a different note - how different would it be to take 'normal' tranny iron and plate it on one side ? :::

I would bee happy to try to answer if I understood your Q. Do you mean like plating a steel lam with say a nickel coating?

On coating or plating Nickel alloy:

Back in the 70's there was a thing called plated wire memory. It had permalloy alloy plated right onto wires that were then used somewhat similarly to ferrite core memory. But most steel laminations are oxidized on the surface to prevent eddy currents, and I doubt that one can plate onto that kind of surface. Maybe if you can get some un-oxidized lams, but plating is pretty slow unless you do a lot at once. You will need to laquer paint the lams afterwards to insulate them unless you can anodize them somehow.

For cutting nickel laminations, here is another idea:

Use micro sand blasting. A patterned rubber template or stencil is placed over the nickel sheet, and a micro nozzle abrasive air and grit jet is run along the pattern to remove the metal. The grit bounces off the rubber, but cuts where the pattern is cutout.
S. S. White is one of the makers of such equipment, but there are several others. There are outfits that will laser cut the rubber stencils for you too. Hobbiests use these things to cut or etch glass. This is likely a bit on the slow side, but if you are just doing a transformer or too... One possible advantage is that the sheet metal is not stressed, so if it is already magnetic annealed, it will still be after cutting it out.

A couple of other approaches:
Wire EDM. This uses a moving wire submerged in oil to electrically cut by arcing. A computer controlled path cuts thru a thick stack of metal sheets. Can cut your whole xfmr out in one pass.

Could maybe etch the lams out by printing a thin protective mask on the sheet. Sort of the reverse of plating. Similar to printed circuit etching for PC boards. Need a chemical that will eat up nickel lams.

Thanks for the micro-sandblasting tip. I suspect that *ANY* cutting is going to require a re-aneal. Any change in edge permeability is going to create what amounts to a gap. OTOH, an intentional gap is in the plans for a full core of the stuff. Fortunately there is a decent fallback position offered by the custom cut C-core suppliers.

Any way it falls into place, a full write up is taking shape, including the coil geometry/winding card so stay tuned!
A note of caution on sandblasting nickel alloy:

Nickel is a well known allergen/irritant. You will want to use a dust hood or work enclosure for working on this stuff with a sand blaster. And a dust face mask filter for yourself. The dust hood is very useful anyway since you will want to re-use the dust/grit over again a few times for the sandblasting. (it eventually loses its sharp edges and won't cut well, plus it gets adulterated with the nickel dust. Guess you could use a magnet to separate the nickel out. In fact, probably a good idea to put a neodymium magnet right in the dust hood to collect the nickel dust straight away if it doesn't pull the work pieces too, or put it at the dust hood exhaust port)

Steven-H said:
Ah very cool. Lemme know if ya ever have an open house :D

Yes, what I mean is this - what effect would coating one side of the laminate with Nickel ? While clearly this isn't the same metal compound as the 49% alloy; would it allow some of the desired characteristics to be had ?

Hi Steven:

Smokingamp hit on one of the considerations in plating---- and my sense is that this would not pan out so well---- as a strategy.

Remember that what gives the nickel alloys their enhanced magnetic properties is the anneal. Annealing nickels is the keystone to the performance of the material.

The annealing of the nickels is completely different than the annealing of silicon steel. So if you plate a steel lam--- you would still want to anneal it--- but the anneals are not complimentary.

Also remember that nickel has both advantages and disadvantages as a core material. I've written on this topic several times in the MQ forum at Audio Asylum.

hope you have a happy new year in the Blue Hen state!!!

Joined 2007
Paid Member
Have you tried these guys?


They alledge in their "Top 10 Reasons to Buy from Us"


that they are open 24/7/365 with no minimums. They have an on-line catalog with nickel laminations. They sound like they'd help out a DIY'er.

BTW, in my opinion, plating nickel to an existing lamination won't work because it will increase the eddy current losses of the laminations by adding a conductive layer and the nickel will not be grain oriented; not to mention the difficulties in plating to a non-conductive or somewhat-condutive surface (silicon steel). You'd have to start with an electroless nickel strike prior to electro-plating. Kind of complicated and messy.... You'd need to know how the plating baths would react to silicon-steel.

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