Instead of having to saw a notch in the end of your dowel or
mandrel, the= re is another option. I was taught to use an
"eggbeater" hand drill set sideways in a vice. The mandrel is
placed in the chuck and the end of the wire is tucked into a
convenient slot between two of the "jaws" of the chuck. One then
winds out from the chuck towards the free end of the mandrel. It
helps to wear an old leather glove on the hand that is
maintaining tension and guiding the wire as the other hand runs
the drill. Works well. I picked up an old drill at a flea market.
It has a heavy casing for the mechanical bits that is easily
held by the vice, but is in poor shape for the original intended
purpose (the handle has been repaired). The guy that sold it to
me was shaking his head....