Help with cotton wicks
Been hearing so much about cotton wicks thought i'd give it a try. I have some 100% cotton balls and boiled about ten for 20 min or so, squeezed them out and let dry out overnight. this morn they were dry so I pinched off a little and rewicked my phoenix with them. Hardly any vapor and a horrible cotton taste. Also a very loud crackling noise when i fire it up. What did I do or not do? Am I using too much cotton? Not boiled enough? Not dry enough? Kanthal is so cheap on ebay, I was looking for something as cheap and easy for wick. Luckily I have another phoenix with silica that tastes just fine (for now). Please help.
Last edited by Cjax; 10-21-2012 at 04:26 PM.
I know a lot of people talk highly about cotton wick I prefer fiberglass wick for Phoenix clone...its easy unbraidible after boiling 2 to 3 times cycling of the water is recommended. do not use the filler in middle just the strands...
Un-treated Un-waxed Candle cotton wick can be used to rebuild you vivinova heads also must boil and remove the center strand of filler ....
Then last, silica wick, fire rope, you also use only the strand not the center filler after boiling and letting dry. all 3 have diffrent texture and produce different taste of vaper..I like the cotton and fiberglass better then silica they hold their composer better than silica, that usaly breaks up when unbraiding. Unless you buy the size needed. I usualy buy a thick one and use strands
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Here are pics for reference....
From left to right, fiberglass wick, cotton candle wick, and silica wick fire rope. All purchased on ebay!
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Ok, so i didn't want to give up on using cotton, it being so cheap and readily available, so i gave it a couple more tries. The second try I used a little less wicking and thread my coil. It still filled tightly, though, threading it through. Same bad flavor, but a little more vapor. Couple hours later i tried one last time. By this time the cotton I'm sure was more dried out fom last night's boiling, also this time I used just a tiny bit of cotton and threaded the coil. It seemed pretty loose, just barely filling up the coil. Added a few more drops to fully saturate the wick and fired it up. Still a hint of that "cottony" flavor, but not unbarable like before. Only took a couple puffs on it so far, not great, but will work when i run out of silica. I guess with cotton, less is more!
Last edited by Cjax; 10-21-2012 at 08:09 PM.
My experience on cotton for use as wicks (limited as it may be, I'm still new in the cotton wick dept) is that it all depends how the particular cotton has been "treated" (cleaned, processed, etc.).
I've read about somebody whose cotton tasted like a Bounce sheet, no matter how much they boiled it.
Another said it tasted like medicine.
I must have been one of the lucky ones, as I just taste my juice and only get a weird burny taste if it starts getting dry.
My first wick was from a cotton ball. I unrolled it, cut a strip about 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long. Rolled it between my palms into an about an 1/8 inch rod. Preformed a 6 turn 32 awg nichrome coil on a 2 mm thick jeweler's philips screwdriver and slid it off. I rolled the end of the cotton stick so it'd be pointy and I fed it through one side of the coil. I pulled it through the coil with no trouble at all whilst holding the coil between my fingers, so it would not deform much. Installed it in my Phoenix clone and trimmed the ends so I'd be able to pack them in the bowl of the Phoenix. I wet the coil thoroughly, and made sure I had a small pool of juice in the bottom of the atty before I fired it up.
I was sold on the first hit. Thick cloud of vapor and tastes from my juice which previously had been very subtle, now jumped out at me.
I continued to use this wick until I got hold of some gauze, which I wanted to try, as the cotton ball seemed to go dry way too fast on me, and I'd heard gauze threads wicked great.
I did the same coil, picked apart my gauze till I had long parallel threads and got a bunch of them about 1/16th of an inch worth. I didn't bother to braid it or anything, just laid it crosswise on a 3" piece of nichrome, bent the wire in half trapping the center of the cotton threads and used this wire to thread my coil. Threaded the coil no problem.
This setup yielded less vapor, but more throat hit along with lots of popping juice (I love it when it does that!).
Both setups were from unwashed, unboiled cotton, because I'm lazy and impatient. However, they did not have any funny taste to them; no taste at all, really.
TL,DR: I suggest finding a different source of cotton, as they seem to vary widely in how they are processed. Try cotton yarn, or cheesecloth. I'm sure you'll find something you'll like! Cotton has won me over, for sure! Good luck!
ETA: Sorry in advance for the long post; forgot to say I threaded the premade coil, so obviously the dry cotton slid in pretty easily. Cotton swells up quite a bit when soaked! OK, I'm done now
Last edited by P1NkY; 10-21-2012 at 08:50 PM.
I had been having the same problems as you with a slight singed cotton taste.
I took my rotary tool and ground the slot wider and a hole shape at the base of the slot on my vivi mini nova. Wrapped 5 tight wraps around my 2mm cotton cheese cloth wick for a 1.8 ohm coil. Then I wrapped a really thin 1mm wick to lay over the coil (over wicking). It wasn't the tightness of the coil choking the wick, it was the slots choking it! Taste great right from the start, no singed cotton taste at all now and vapes like a champ even at low volts. Cotton cheese cloth is great because you can choose your wick thickness easy, just remember cotton can expand 8 times wider when wet.
Just rummaged through the kitchen drawers and found 2 rolls of 100% cotton cheesecloth! Gotta love the wife. I'll boil that a couple times tonight and dry it out to play with tomorrow. Fingers crossed, hopefully this will work out better then the nasty tasting cotton balls.
I have two Penelopes and four Vivi Novas ... I've re-wicked all of them with 40-thread cheesecloth wicks using essentially the same method as demonstrated by Quigsworth in his video tutorial. Superb wicking, and after the first half-dozen hits, no taste at all other than the juice. In my VNs, the cheesecloth wicks suck the tank dry all the way down to the bottom, never a dry hit, no need to mod the slots at all, and until the last 1/2 ml or so, I never have to use the Tilt-A-Whirl swirl to keep the wicks saturated. Try it. You'll like it.
Pardon me for bringing back a month old thread.. but, yes to cheesecloth. Very much yes.