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  1. This is a duplicate of the thread Alcohol Ink MOD Panels

    I have been tinkering with updating the look of my Billet Boxes for quite a while now from wraps to wood to embossing to metals but each of them while very pretty had something annoying to their use. Then I stumbled across alcohol inks and patina paints. Well a new addiction was born. the Billet Box is such an easy mod to update. The flat paces with panel insets is just a perfect mod for this process and the design is up to your imagination.

    Firstly thanks to all the YouTube crafters that show their work with alcohol inks and to the woodworkers who taught me how to create faux burls with wood stains. The techniques translate across to alcohol inks perfectly and there are too many of you to link.

    Some pics of the finished billet boxes and then the detailed pics showing the process.

    My favourite :D


    Some Green panels


    The current lot. Some of them are not quite right but plenty of time, ink and resin to make more.


    I am also toying with some of the more subtle stone like designs and will update as I go.

    Process Notes


    Adirondack inks by ranger. Can be bought at good craft stores.
    Disposable gloves.
    Tools for inking. Most people use felt stamps, I used cotton pads and brushes but anything that dabs ink and gives you a good pattern.
    Yupo paper. A plastic paper that becomes your canvas
    IceResin. I used a 2 part resin that is mixed 1:1 that is self doming, low toxicity and of a jewellery grade.
    Torch for releasing bubbles. (Note Heat guns blow the resin and disturb the surface tension resulting in a flat thin cover)
    Acetone & isopropyl for cleanup

    And lastly a clean environment for curing and dust free coating.

    Process Notes and pics
    Clean yupo paper with isopropyl alcohol to remove dirt and oils.

    The layers are up to you and unless you use a mixative like I did, you can just wipe and start again if it gets out of hand. :D I practised on a gloss white bathroom tile before making the actual panels.

    Lay down a base colour (I used ink plus a pearl mixative). This seems to lay a stable base for the patterns I wanted to achieve. It's not completely necessary to use the mixative, you can start with the inks.

    Add your pattern and your colour combo in which ever method suits you. My technique was to randomly put drops on the sheet and then dab to get the marbling effect.


    A quick well written tutorial is this one and of course a myriad of YouTube videos.
    Learn about Alcohol Inks - Tutorials, color charts, combinations, domino art, projects, polymer clay and more with Adirondack by Tim Holtz

    I waited for each layer to dry (10-15 mins) but it's not necessary if you want blended colours. The inks still do and go wherever they want to. Once happy with the panel sheet I left overnight for the inks to completely set.

    Punch the hole for the firing button but keep the circle to make matching buttons. Then, using the existing panels as a template, cut the yupo sheets to size and nip the corners. The resin and yupo is still flexible for about a day (weather dependent) and can be cut with scissors. This will give you a sharp edge so I chose to cut beforehand and get the pillow type soft edge.

    The resin I used is mixed 1:1 and then carefully poured over the panels. A flat tablespoon of each part for a single panel. Slightly drizzle to the corners to get a pillow look to the edge. A word of caution. If you push and prod the resin it will disturb your ink pattern so let the resin do its doming with as little interference as possible.


    I found the resin dipping at the thinnest point to the right of the button hole but in a happy coincidence the dip falls under my thumb so is perfect for me. A heavier grade of yupo paper will alleviate this. You can the doming effect on the button. It sits slightly higher than the panel but has a lovely tactile feel.

    Button and dipping resin issue


    Let sit for about 5-10 mins and let the bubbles come to the surface. Waft a butane torch over them to release. The yupo will melt if you are heavy handed and will set fire to the resin if you are too eager. Ask me how I know that.

    Cover or leave in a dust free environment overnight. At this point the panel is still flexible and any drips can be trimmed away. I backed with masking tape to catch any excess and just removed that. Another couple of days and the panel is hard. Because of the doming effect of the resin on thinner yupo paper you may get some curl. I weighted them lightly without any impact on the resin.

    The panels are attached to the Billet box using 3m super sticky double sided glue tape. I was cautious about using a permanent solution but the glue is up to you. The yupo has a semi gloss finish so the glue chosen has to work on mixed media and non porous surfaces.

    it is early days but the resin will continue to harden, can be sanded and buffed/polished if it needs it and also this particular resin is self repairing so additional coats can be applied if necessary.

    I thought Vaping was addictive but this is extremely satisfying and easy to do. The inks have a mind of their own and I discovered the hard part is to stop tinkering with a piece.

    These inks are so can even paint with fire (on tiles) to get some great patterns.
    Ed_C, Jumpin' In... and IMRs like this.
  2. Down the Modding Path

    We accepted the challenge to make a new mod and this is the result.

    Crisscross - Shine

    Some of you will know that the mods we build are a team effort and could not be made without the meticulous woodworking skills of Baz. Over a lifetime of working together we recognise each other's skills and weaknesses and when those skills come together it produce some lovely mods. It's a great partnership and we both have a huge sense of achievement whenever I use one of the mods.

    Baz is not a member of any vaping forums but that does not stop him taking a keen interest in the vaping group. .....In fact you will see him haunting woodworking forums where his true passion lies but none the less his contribution to our vaping arsenal is unmistakeable and unique and both of us are thrilled he is a part of this project.

    Build Pictorial & Notes


    Proof of concept

    Base mod

    Surface Finishing


    Almost there

    Crisscross - Shine lives

    Build notes.

    Parts list

    1 subox mini (styled) chip Fasttech SKU 3811500
    1 510 connector Fasttech SKU 2038801
    1 small battery spring Fasttech SKU1208510
    Assorted wires from other things in the work box and shed
    Heat shrink tubes from local auto electrician.
    Copper strip (salvaged from track lighting) for battery connections
    Door Magnets - EBay

    Wood case by Baz
    Red gum
    Drills (dremel, drill press or hand held)

    Panels by Krisma aka Crisscross
    Embossing tools - hand or machine including files for finishing the edges.
    Metal sheet - Pewter sheet - EBay
    Various other panel materials
    3m glue sheets
    Buttons - eBay snap on buttons and spare MVP buttons
    Glue - EBay E-600 jewellery glue (multi medium adhesive)
    Varnish weather conditions limited our choice of finish. So 10 coats of wipe on poly varnish and a hand buff with burnishing compound.

    Build - Wood case by Baz

    Wood was sliced from a cured piece of red gum firewood. Drum sanded to slightly oversize and allowed to relax

    A template of holes was drawn to help to get neat cutouts in chip faceplate and for the 510 connection. Drill the holes and cutout in the chip face plate. The box is a mitre corner construct. It was glued and allowed to cure including centre stabilising bar. This bar has small drilled holes for wires to feed through to battery and 510

    Battery terminals are constructed using scrap copper strip from some old track lighting we have lying around bent around a small spacer block of matching wood. These spacer blocks are then glued into the case ready for the soldering of the chip.

    Danish oil is used to seal the inside of the case.

    Magnets were then inserted into case and door (This is the bit we always mess up, the little magnets tend to flip and stick to all the wrong places). The pewter adds a bit more weight to the door panel so longer more powerful versions of the magnets were used. This ended up being unnecessary as we went with just the single face panel. No one will accuse this mod of having a loose door. Additional crowbar may be required to,change battery.

    Panel bed was cutout with dremel grinding bits and the edges of the box are hand sanded to soften the feel.

    10 thin coats of wipe on poly varnish with fine wet sanding on the last couple of coats. Ideally the finish needs to fully cure and harden for at least a week or two before finish can be buffed to achieve the piano shine.

    Build - Panels by Crisscross

    After a lot of embossing prototyping with various metal sheets of different thicknesses and strength I decided upon bonded pewter. This is two thin layers of lead free pewter laminated either side of a piece of blank card stock. 3M glue sheets were used as the bonding medium in-between the layers. Rolled with a hard roller and left to cure. Once the bonded sheet is cured it was then cut to oversize and embossed.

    Once the panel bed was cutout in the case, the embossed pewter was trimmed to size, filed carefully, then E-600 glue is used to affix the panel to wood case. This glue is excellent for using on multiple materials. For a less permanent panel double sided glue sheets can be used. The original design had panels on both the case and door but the design looked too busy and added unnecessary weight, so a single face panel was installed.

    For variety the panels can be carefully removed and changed to whatever takes your fancy.

    Some examples (refer pic) include: carbon fibre sheet, wraps or stickers, shimmer sheets and embossed foils or metal sheets. Each has their own style and can change the overall look and feel of the mod. These particular example materials are waterproof but any material could be used with a decoupage finish or spray coating.

    Another nice idea is mother of pearl shell sheets. By themselves the sheets are fragile but you can order with a backing and even some with an adhesive backing. These would need some form of hard clear coating to have longevity on a mod. Even laminate samples collected from your local hardware shop can be used as an alternate panel. Cut to size with saw and sand edges. The choices are only limited by your imagination. Refer BB panel modification thread for source links.

    Panel template is 28x84. A depth of 1.5mm Was chosen to accommodate ..75mm panel plus raised embossing plus glue layer.

    Notes to using Pewter. Some pewter sheets have lead in them which is fine for objects that are not handled regularly. The pewter used in this panel is a lead free .2mm thick sheet. Soft enough to emboss but making it rigid enough to provide structural support to the wood case required bonding. There is also .5mm option but it added considerable weight so was decided against.

    Final Embossing design - Darice borders - pansy flourish
    Pewter embossing is quite easy to do as the sheets accept the pressure embossing very well.


    I put decorative fire buttons on most of my mods and this was no different,

    The original decorative fire button was constructed using the top part of a snap button with the spikes ground down. This is then superglued to a cubis coil pin. Small up and down buttons are from an old MVP.

    After seeing it on the completed mod we changed to one of Baz's acrylic button caps (originally designed for the BB's). That way I can mix and match my driptips to it.

    Crisscross - Blush

    We haven't had a new one for a while so.........

    On one of the squonk threads I casually mentioned having two doors so that folks like me who love the look of the SV squonk mods could share in the joy of the stabilised wood mods. That got us thinking and for a bit of fun we made a duo mod. A mod that is a squonker but that has a coloured tube that can replace the bottle for non squonkers. This tube/space can be used to house a spare bottle of eliquid or battery or anything. The mod works in both modes although I would plug the hole in the 510 connector if used in non squonker mode. This plug protects the inside of the mod from any eliquid leakage. A kick is used to make the mod VW.

    Just some pondering on the actual mod. It is not a stealth mod. It was made specifically larger with additional height to accommodate the switch (I can't top fire) and slightly wider to accommodate the inked SS tube.

    So here is Crisscross - Blush (aka my little splodger) [​IMG]


    It was done quickly and some time will be needed to completely finish the coatings for actual use, plus I of course don't have a proper dripper for it yet.

    Pictorial and build notes

    1 Blush


    2 case


    3 tube


    Build notes.

    Parts list
    1 510 connector Fasttech SKU 2038801 converted to a bottom feed connector.
    Switch - eBay 12mm momentary switch.
    1 Sigelei kick - Fasttech
    Bottle and tube - parts borrowed from a Reo
    1 small battery spring Fasttech SKU1208510
    Assorted wires from other things in the work box and shed
    Heat shrink tubes from local auto electrician.
    Copper strip (salvaged from track lighting) for battery connections
    Door Magnets - EBay

    Wood Case by Baz
    Block - Stabilised olive - George's timber
    Drills (dremel, drill press or hand held)

    Tube by XX
    Stainless steel tube
    DIY inks made from sharpie permanent markers and isopropyl alcohol
    Various pipettes and bottles (from DIY eliquid stash)

    Build.....Case by Baz
    The process is the same as for the other mods.
    Cut to oversize, drill channels, holes and sand to correct size.

    10 thin coats of wipe on poly varnish with fine wet sanding on the last couple of coats. Ideally the finish needs to fully cure and harden for at least a week or two before finish can be buffed to achieve the piano shine.

    Build.....510 connector. Centre pin of the Fasttech 510 connector was replaced with a bottom feed pin. Instructions for a DIY were found on ECF using different gauge blunt needles, however in this case I borrowed the lower piece from a broken terminator.

    Build.....Decorative tube by Crisscross
    Inks are made by taking the inner filling of sharpie permanent markers and soaking them in isopropyl alcohol. Left for 24-48 hours. (1 sharpie 50mls of alcohol). This makes a strong ink that can be diluted again for various effects.
    Alcohol inks can also be bought but they are a bit expensive (adirondack brand is easy to work with and has lots of colours)

    Clean the SS tube thoroughly. Inks are then dripped on the SS tube to mix and blend. Spray iso for different effects and thickness of coating.
    Finished tube can be clear coated if needed and of course different coloured tubes will change the look of the mod.

    Alternative.....Any rigid decorative sheet (embossed, coloured, metals etc) can be attached to the inside of the door panel to achieve different effects,

    As an aside we have another slice of the block to make a second door panel without the squonking hole.
  3. While we are waiting for the final coat to dry on the other project we had a play with the BB I picked up from one of the Aussies this morning. It was hard to pick the panels until you see what you are working with.

    This is the before and after stage one. Panels have been removed, case was wet sanded with 500, 1000, 2000 grit. Kitten cut and polish for the initial buff and then brasso and a lot of elbow grease. Most of the scratches are gone and the major dings are diminished.

    Before (pics from sale thread)


    After (I am definitely going to need a manicure after this)


    The polished one is put back together (until it's panels are done) and working perfectly


    Finally complete

    Jumpin' In..., IMRs, Jojobo and 2 others like this.
  4. 10/2/16

    The other day I learned how to remove the carbon fibre panels on my billet boxes. It's actually easier than I thought. In the past I just veneered over the top to get the look. So I have started practicing for the next project.

    Stage 1

    The base box is a black anodised billet box clone (thanks to one of the Aussies..Al) I am much too chicken to do this to one of my genuines.

    There are companies that sell panels premade for you to change over yourself. One of them is but a quick search of etsy results show there are quite a few others. Door Panels (real wood) - Drip'n Vap
    For anyone who is interested they have a YouTube video that shows you how to remove the carbon fibre panels from a genuine Billet box.

    Preparation of the base box.

    Removing the carbon fibre panels from the clone is not so easy. The carbon fibre is only .38mm thick and the rest of the space is filled with a black double side glue filled spongy fabric. The panel itself is too flimsy to lift and separate in the same way as the video. So you need to use solvent to start the removal process. If you do this please check that the solvent you you does not affect the anodising of the billet box clone.

    We used turps to start and then with toothpick wedges and cotton buds dipped in turps, carefully levered the panels away. Again take care not to scratch the anodised visible surface of the box, You are left with this gooey black glug of glue/spongy fabric. Again using turps we carefully cleaned this from the base metal of the box and door.

    This is messy and not something you should try in your Sunday best clothes. (Note to self remove nail varnish before playing with turps and black glue)


    Stage 2 - Preparation of the wood panels.

    Thinish slices were cut from the block using a bandsaw.
    These panels were then passed through the drum sander to get flat thinner panels.
    Panels were wet (turps) sanded with 500, then 1000 grit to achieve the base surface.
    Panels were then cut to shape and allowed to relax.

    (If you were using wood laminates bought from a specialty wood shop then then you could use the carbon panels as a master to cut your new panels)

    We have decided that the natural colour of these particular panels looks good enough that stain is not necessary.


    There will be a couple of coats of lacquer with some fine sanding inbetween coats so it will be a few days before the panels are complete and the box put back together.

    You choice of finishing depends on what goes best with the wood you choose but we will use a polyurethane wiping lacquer and set the panels in place using a tight bond contact adhesive.

    Some minor tweaking of the bevelled edges may be required to allow for the wood movement.

    19/2/16 stage 3

    Well it is complete. I love it.

    The process of finishing always seems to take forever. (Like watching paint dry LOL) but the result is worth it. 5 coats of varnish with micro sanding between each coat. Surface is so glossy and the wood really shines through. Brilliant now to give it a week to super cure and then I can use it. (Plus it gives me time to pick a special drip tip for it)


    Just another play around. This is some bench top laminate that I thought might look nice.
    Pieces were cut to oversize then sanded to fit. They are adhered using 3M double sided super sticky sheets.

    An interesting take and very hard wearing surface. It all back together and feels very nice in the hand.
    There are so many laminates that it is up to the imagination.

    Jumpin' In..., IMRs, Uncle and 2 others like this.
  5. 14/2/16 I am calling the project complete. It has been a lot of fun, we gave away a heap and managed to amass my own sizeable collection. I love them all. :wub:


    Hubby and I are learning how to make our own acrylic driptips. These again like everything we do, are for personal use or gifts. I love the colours of polished acrylic driptips and I have amassed a large collection of elegance tanks. My second obsession has been with matching the perfect driptip to my plain SS carto tanks to pair with my elegance tanks.

    Here are some pics of those we have completed


    And some gifts for friends




    This ones all mine :p Much too pretty to give away

    These will be winging their way to some wonderful ECF friends.



    And just for some bright contrast


    And lastly a gift for the good friend who gave hubby the lathe to do these stunning driptips, thanks scrappy

    This royal purple shimmer is stunning.


    And the poor ugly duckling that should look much better than it does. Such a shame

    My all time favourite.


    A great match for the billet box

    This is the first of a set of three (same style slightly different colour combinations) this one is the blue, yellow and pearl.


    8/1/16 added the new colours


    My current favourites

    And I suppose I should admit that I find it really hard to let go of them. Even though we have given a lot away I have still managed to grow my collection.

    Jumpin' In..., IMRs, Uncle and 9 others like this.
  6. Another one in my round of carto tank devices. I purchased a few of these from MadVapes along with the propriety drip tip. US$2.49 atomiser and US$2 drip tip.

    Revive DCT Replacement Atomizer, 2.0 Ohm, Dual Coil | Madvapes

    Initial thoughts.

    The atomiser is built like a cartomiser on steroids. Walls are double thickness and the air holes (4) on the 510 base and the internal eliquid flow holes (4) are double the normal size. The machining is excellent with no sharp edges to cut o-rings. The device is made for tanks that take 45mm cartos and has the obligatory Smok bottom flange.

    This atomiser is designed to have a nautilus like coil/ vertical coil inside a cartomizer like tube. It does not have the same filling material as a cartomiser but relies on a material wrapping of the coil that sits up against the eliquid intake holes for eliquid flow. Similar to the Boge RCB cartomizers and the original Imist atomisers.

    Unfortunately the atomiser has a proprietary threaded drip tip that must be bought separately and the only other option to use for shorter tanks is to pair it with an external drip tip such as the external lips made by byleo.

    I was warned that the tube diameter was slightly larger than normal cartomisers but had no trouble putting them in tanks using a carto plunger to clear the o-rings.


    I tested this in a few different tanks. All had very good o-rings and air pressure was stable. We also had a significant change in temperature during the week and no difference was noticed.

    Initial priming. The instructions mention simply fill the tank, wait 30secs and vape. I was more cautious. I primed with a drop or two and waited a few mins. I was also cautious with starting on a lower power setting and working my way up slowly to optimum power. The atomiser measures 2.0ohm and for our eliquid ratio 70/30 PG/VG the wattage was best at 9w.

    It was immediately obvious that with the amount of airflow available and a wider bore drip tip, these atomisers are a lung hit device. A quick note.....with any device that has airflow through the 510 connector you will get differing results depending on how deep you screw down your tank. eg. Huge airflow on an ego type battery, reduced on a presa. Also a little tip if you want to reduce airflow on these add a tiny thin oring above the threads on the 510 connector.

    This atomiser worked extremely well with longer lung hits. The vape is warm and a surprisingly large volume of dense vapour. I would say at least double if not more that of a cartomiser. Which also means you will be going through eliquid at double the speed. The nicotine content of the eliquid I used needed to be halved. I have not tested with high VG so there maybe some wicking issues that I was not aware of.

    The taste is very clean and crisp. Similar to a settled in BVC coil. There is no spitting of hot eliquid at this wattage or PG/VG ratio. I also don't know the wick composition but based on the taste and the way it is wicking I am assuming it is silica of sorts.

    Because of the proprietary drip tip you cannot use a carto filling tool so you need either a top filling tank or a needle top bottle to fill.



    I would hesitate to recommend this atomiser to a mouth to lung vaper. There is too much air and you need to tinker or put it on a device with a deep 510 connector or limited air channels which then impacts the heat of the Atomizer and vape. However for a lung hit vaper I think these are an excellent option. It's attractive to people who want to use carto tanks but are frustrated with the lack of vapour and air.

    The device works best in the taller tanks. Using a short tank (with an external drip tip) tended to heat the vapour which is not to my liking.

    I don't yet know how long the coil will last but after a week of heavy vaping with spearmint ice there is no change in ohms, flavour or vapour production. It has also not leaked or flooded and has been in constant use during the week and treated the same as any other carto tank.

    Enables Lung Hit vapers to use carto tanks.
    Clean crisp flavour
    Comparable vapour production to rebuildable cartomisers like a diver & Sophia
    Reasonable price for the quality received.

    Proprietary SS drip tip.
    Unknown wick and wadding composition.
    Pricey compared to cartomisers (my opinion might change on this if it has longevity compared to cartomisers)
    Only available for tanks that take 45mm cartomizers (Unless you have an external drip tip)
    Maybe tight in some tanks (I did not find this)

    An update 17th October
    The threading on the drip tip is a 510 thread so an adapter can be easily made using a DIY Atomizer connection (health cabin) and a stackable drip tip (fasttech). Once you have made this adapter... Any drip tip will work.


    Pic 1 top left the two pieces the atomiser threaded connection, and a stackable driptip
    Pic 2 the threaded connector fits in the top opening of the stackable driptip
    Pic 3 turn the stackable driptip upside down (eventually slice off the oring shank and clean hole)
    Pic 4 the threaded piece half attached to the smok Atomizer. It will thread all the way to sit flush....this pic is to show example
    IMRs, Uncle and LJFinFLA like this.
  7. Back story

    Quite a while ago I was determined to use aspire coils in cartomiser tanks. I had success with my DIY device but it was messy and make do and then aspire changed the wicking material to one I did not like. So I put it to the side and stopped tinkering with it.

    I found a large supply of the old style aspire coils and had a reason to pick up the idea again. In the meantime a company started manufacturing a device that does the same thing. I purchased a couple and have been using them for the past week or so and decided to do a bit of a write up.

    The device is called the VP Asp by Vape Prod

    The idea is that the coil sit on top of a lip at the tube end and then is held in place by a small screw from the bottom. Internal tube pressure is managed by a SS bung that sits on the top of the coil opening.

    Firstly let me say the device works well and it allows you to use aspire (non nautilus) BVC coils in standard tanks.

    But......It has some failure points.

    It is important you switch the O-ring on your coil for the supplied blue ring (or equivalent size) this o-ring helps seat the coil and stop it undoing itself from the threaded bottom screw. (Took me a few tanks dumps to get this)

    In all the tanks I tried to use this in, I discovered you need to drop the device low enough that the holes in the tube are lower than the tank inner o-ring. Otherwise the air pressure will flood your coil. Top fill tanks like the SnP, bayou, X6 etc still require the dropping of the device before you open the little screws or covers so you may as well just fill through a carto filling tool. This device will not work easily in tanks like my elegance.

    The Vape Prod device relies on airflow from the 510 connector. This is no different to regular cartomisers so tank users will be used to this. You must have tank or mod connector air channels lined up with the tiny holes above the threads in the Vape Prod device or use an airflow controller like the smoktech one. This airflow is less than these coils would normally work with so you will need to adjust your wattage to find an optimum vape.

    The device itself is a reasonable price but shipping is expensive.

    The device is only available in regular size (35mm)

    Now to the tinkering part.

    I am always looking for ways to make everything work with everything else. I have a lot of taller tanks that take XL cartomisers (45mm). Avid Vapers sell a carto extension that I have used in other things. For this particular project I needed to change the o-ring to a very snug fit. (It ain't going anywhere). To make sure it doesn't come apart when filling I use a loose filling tool to keep it all together.

    Happy to say after a couple of days this adapted device and the coils are performing well.

    IMRs, Teach, Uncle and 5 others like this.
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