Building your own coils isn’t necessarily the easiest or most convenient way to vape, but it can let you have the ultimate control over your vapour and flavour production.
There are a few things you’ll need to have before you can start building:
- A build kit with a coiling jig, a wire cutter, various screwdrivers or allen keys, and ceramic-tipped tweezers
- An Ohm reader
- A rebuildable atomizer
First, you’ll want to select the material and gauge of wire you want to use. The easiest metal to start with is kanthal because of its relative flexibility and compatibility with power mode, but you can choose to use whichever wire you like. When you’re selecting the gauge of your wire, consider that higher gauge wire will result in a higher resistance coil than lower gauge wire, even if they are the same size and number of wraps.
Once you’ve chosen your wire, you’ll want to think about the resistance you’ll like your coil to be. You can use a coil wrapping generator like this one to determine the diameter and number of wraps your coil should be to reach the target resistance. Set your coiling jig to the target diameter.
Clip the amount of wire you think you’ll need (it’s always better to have a bit more than not enough), and feed it through your coiling jig. Use the jig to guide your wire, wrapping it into a coil with the specified number of wraps.
Once your coils have been made, you’ll want to install them into the atomizer’s deck with one straight end of the coil (known as a lead) inserted into the positive post, and one into the negative post. Tighten the screws so that the coil sits snugly in place. Then you can clip any leads hanging past the posts using a wire cutter.
Once the coils are installed, thread your atomizer base onto the Ohm reader. This will tell you the total resistance of your coils. Keep in mind that the total resistance of two coils will be half of the resistance of each individual coil.
If you are satisfied with the resistance of your coils, then it’s time to configure them. This is done by using ceramic tweezers to even your coils. If you are using kanthal or stainless steel coils, you can do what’s called “dry firing”—firing your coils without any wick or e-liquid, as heat makes the coils more flexible. However, you cannot dry fire nickel or titanium coils, as this will oxidize the metal and ultimately ruin the coil.
It’s important to use ceramic-tipped tweezers when configuring your coils, as using metal tweezers can cause a short in your device and risk harm to you. Ensure that your coils are sitting evenly above or adjacent to the airflow. If you’re dry firing your coils and notice that one part of the coil is getting hotter than another (a hot spot), pinch the coils together and brush the coil lightly with the ceramic-tipped tweezers to evenly space the wraps. It may take some time to get your coils firing evenly, but it’s worth it!
When your coils are firing evenly and are placed exactly where you want them, you can start getting your cotton ready. Cut your cotton into finger-width (about 1cm) strips, and remove any compact “skin” from the outside of the strips. Use your fingers to twist one tip of the cotton into a thinner strand so that it will fit through the coil, then pass it through the hole of the cool coil. It should go through fairly easily with only a slight resistance. Do not force your cotton through the coil, as this can damage the coil’s configuration. Ensure that the center of the cotton strip is aligned with the center of the coil; the cotton protruding from each side should be even. Then, using scissors, cut the cotton on both sides to the length of the atomizer base.
When the cotton is properly sized, you can then fluff it a bit with the tip of the ceramic tweezers. This separates the strands of the cotton, making it more absorbent. The ends of the cotton can then be tucked into the base of the atomizer.
Then it’s time for e-liquid to be applied to the coil and wick. Ensure that all parts of the cotton are saturated.
Set your mod to the preferred wattage or temperature, and heat the coil for a second or two. This heat will help the cotton to reach its full absorbency. Apply more e-liquid to the wick and coil, and you’re ready to vape!