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Kanthal coil got skewed after dry firing

Discussion in 'Coil Builds' started by c4ppucino, Jan 21, 2018.

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  1. c4ppucino

    c4ppucino Full Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    So I'm using a tsunami RDA, 24GA, 8 wraps each, with coil master coil jig. I'm not looking for crazy cloud, just the balance of decent cloud vs flavor. Recently I switched to the 3.5mm size jig, and love it more than 2.5 or 3.0 size. The problem is, when I install new coils, and when the coils are locked down in place, and I dry fire them to compress and check for hot spots, often times the coils would skew and distort. So before dry firing, it's horizontally nice and even, but after dry firing, one side will go up/down. Checking visually, I can see the loop at the end (either left or right or both) usually becomes smaller. Usually I just shove the jig in the coil to force it even and bend it back, but it's just not the same. What I notice is that if I keep using the coil, the cotton will have a shorter life (i.e. got burnt taste and had to change cotton faster)

    I tried dry firing them using smaller watts, 20 something (my usual is 40 watts), but they still do that, skew and distort. What's happening?
     
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  2. Beamslider

    Beamslider Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 29, 2017
    San Francisco
    Get some ceramic tweezers so you can work them while still hot or even while dry burning them.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. c4ppucino

    c4ppucino Full Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Hi, I got both ceramic and regular (aluminum?) bent tweezers. I got no problem using either one when working on glowing coils. Even the metal one took some time for the heat to reach my fingers. When it's already skewed and distorted, I can't bend it back using tweezers. I mean I could bend it back to shape when I'm using 28 or 26GA, but not with the 24GA. The only thing that would help is to shove the jig back in, and pull it out strongly. It's better compared to using tweezers to bend it back, but still far from perfect (i.e. there's a loop at the end or middle that's skewed)
     
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  4. puffon

    puffon Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2014
    The Villages, FL
  5. Beamslider

    Beamslider Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 29, 2017
    San Francisco
    Does the coil width fit the deck post width well?
     
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  6. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    What type of wire are you using? First post didn't say.
     
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  7. Beamslider

    Beamslider Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 29, 2017
    San Francisco
    Kanthal is in the title
     
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  8. Sugar_and_Spice

    Sugar_and_Spice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 11, 2010
    between here and there
    You are quite right. LOL....having a 'duh' moment on a groggy/raining/gloomy Sunday .

    :)
     
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  9. c4ppucino

    c4ppucino Full Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Hi, sorry didn't check in for a while

    That seems interesting. I don't know if it will fix my problem or not, but it is interesting. I tried doing it, leaving the jig in the middle of the coil and pressed fire, but I got sparks and immediately stopped. It's conductive metal, so 'duh' for me....

    Width as in the distance between one end of the coil to the post? Good point, the coil kinda hangs in the middle, with the legs spread wider. Kinda like the letter A. You think that's the source of the problem?

    I tried taking some pictures of pre and post dry firing. Sorry if they're blurry. It's da*n hard focusing on tiny objects with my cell phone's camera:

    This is the pre dry fire one. I stuck the jig in there to show that it's level-ish

    This is after dry firing with 20W. Had I used 40W (usual power), the coil would've distorted more.

    This is the other coil after dry firing. It didn't get skewed, but you can see the left most loop dropped down a bit. In reality the circle at the end loop kinda shrank, to the point the jig won't go through. I have to pull it open a bit with tweezers so the jig could get through
     
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  10. puffon

    puffon Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2014
    The Villages, FL
    Yep, don't want to do that with a metal rod.
    The problem with the ceramic rod set, is you would need 2 sets for a dual coil.
    Try dry burning in very short bursts of low wattage power.
    Basically bringing the coil temp up slowly.
     
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  11. c4ppucino

    c4ppucino Full Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Yeah, tried that too. Pressed the fire button until I see a little red glow, then let go for about half second, and press it again for half second, and so on. Still got skewed :(
     
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  12. MacTechVpr

    MacTechVpr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 24, 2013
    Hollywood (Beach), FL
    The reason, strain is often uneven from the torque of setting the wind. While it can happen to any kind of coil if you wind it with strain to begin with it quickly reveals the uneven tension by separating like an accordion leaving evident the gaps that might ensue with firing and thermal expansion. With this visual cue you may much faster develop the manual methods to accommodate coils in such atomizers.

    Winding with strain rather than forming (bending) imparts more rigidity into a coil than even the cold hardening of pulsing firing (and ceramic tweezing) alone. It allows you to uniformly oxidize Kanthal coils which further contributes to their outstandingly even and effective performance. There is some loss of rigidity in pulsing but seldom enough to make them as susceptible to deformation from warping as standard or even pulsed formed coils. And the benefits of oxidation far outweigh the slight loss in durability given that strain winds last months.

    Apart from the fact that it makes things simpler and more reliable, you'll enjoy more consistent output and vapor density. And it all takes 30 seconds…


    Tensioned Micro Coils. The next step.
    Protank MicroCoil Discussion!!

    Good luck. :)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  13. MacTechVpr

    MacTechVpr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 24, 2013
    Hollywood (Beach), FL
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  14. puffon

    puffon Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2014
    The Villages, FL
    No, I've found just bringing the coil up to temp slowly, I don't get distortion.
     
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  15. MacTechVpr

    MacTechVpr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 24, 2013
    Hollywood (Beach), FL
    I read you and true. No I'm talking about over time heat deformation happens on all winds. All coils space out in diameter and separation or spacing. It's only a matter of degree. I meant bout you tryin the coiler, how'd it go?

    Good luck. :)
     
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  16. puffon

    puffon Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2014
    The Villages, FL
    Never bought the ceramic rods.
    Yes, getting the coiling rod back into a fired coil usually doesn't work out.
    Seems they like to shrink up after firing.
     
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  17. MacTechVpr

    MacTechVpr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 24, 2013
    Hollywood (Beach), FL
    One of my ill fated experiments as well first year I was proofing strain winding (along with hot winding ceramic wick). This was before someone came out with the "kits". Anything requiring protracted hand holding or handling before rigidity is locked in is going to add risk of mangling. And despite all the videos I never hot wrapped a ceramic wick successfully or at least to my satisfaction. I did figure out how to do a precise t.m.c. for ceramic/stone wick and easily prepare one but the media doesn't compare with the flow rates possible with RxW.

    Bottom line…rigidity, it's good for the vape. When strain forms the coil you don't need a rod to preserve it. You just need to ramp up pulsing slowly from a low power level as you suggest, not to exceed the energy input with tension to form it.

    Do use coilers sparingly, have a bunch of em. Mostly to set up comparison builds for new vapers. They disappoint me as I'm used to an almost 100% success rate most importantly maintaining diameters with a pin vise. And I can always space out a strained wind if needed.

    Good luck. :)
     
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  18. MacTechVpr

    MacTechVpr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 24, 2013
    Hollywood (Beach), FL
    BTW c4 I thought to add here that you seem to describe what some call a jig today or more commonly a coiler.

    Generaly when setting the coil/s it's typical that some strain may be added to the leads constraining the diameter of the end turns more precisely to the bit or mandrel used. This creates a disparity with the diameter of the remainder of the coil which instead spread in both diameter and spacing once removed from the bit. The small amount of strain required to form or bend wire around the bit is seldom enough to train the wire to its diameter. The difference then becomes very apparent on such formed coils as you observed to your credit.

    No it's not exactly easy if possible at all to reduce the higher strain from the end turns to match. You're right. Nor conversely to add strain to the coil's center turns.

    You're also right in the reduced durability of such coils as these likely will burn hot on the end turns souring the vape. If too tight relative to the rest of the element you may see a hot lead(s) as well.

    A TC device will give no indication whatsoever as to this adverse condition indicating Ω's very close to the expected…even as some turns aren't thermally conducting as they should. Often, a normal resistance.

    The vape is not however.

    Balancing the strain in the coil set is for all of us a trial and error operation. We do get better at it with time, intuitively. Winding the coil with strain at the outset however makes the element itself a tool and indicator of our installation effectiveness.

    Good luck. :)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  19. c4ppucino

    c4ppucino Full Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Hi, sorry for not checking in for a while.

    I solved the problem with the coil master ceramic jig recommended above. It'd be a lot easier to use 2 sets, naturally, but I get by with just 1 set.

    So I pre-fire the coils one by one. Install one coil first, shove the ceramic jig in there, pre-fire, compress with tweezers, etc until I'm satisfied, and then move on to install the second coil. Apparently after it's pre-fired and I got nice glowing red starting from the middle in the first coil, the coil itself kinda 'stabilize' and doesn't distort/skew anymore. When I'm working on the second coil, I shove a 30 diameter jig to the first coil (the coil itself is 35 in diameter). It's loose of course, but the purpose is just to absorb/control the heat on the first coil, while I'm working on the second coil.

    It's working good so far. I'm getting nice, even, stable coils.
     
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  20. MacTechVpr

    MacTechVpr Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 24, 2013
    Hollywood (Beach), FL
    If I understand you correctly, that's good thinking. Inserting one of the mandrels for the coil jig (while cool) in the prepared coil works. The additional mass of the bit retards ramp up as the unfired coil cures. Niiice.

    Two downsides. Once it does (ramp up) and it can quickly since you've lowered the resistance substantially, you may "pop" one or both coils if you apply too much power, or too long. The other is you want to balance the firing of duals. It's been my experience that it's actually more work to pulse harden them separately, formed or strained.

    But you're already thinking intuitively with this solution finding alternatives to what you've seen on the video. The common practice of forcefully yanking on coils to set them, shape or position them can totally distort them internally in terms of strain…as you recently discovered.

    A similar technique uses distilled water. Keep a micro-dropper (metal dripper tip) handy as you dry burn or harden duals. A smidgen of a drop strategically placed on a hot point of the coil or end turn is usually enough to retard over-heating there and allow the alt coil to catch up. In other words whether touching metal to coils while fired, using water, yankin at 'em…it's baby steps as these babies are delicate and fragile.

    Strained coils, tension wound on as on the pin vise below…

    [​IMG]

    Generally don't require much if any tweezing, hot point suppression or orientation of turns. They look just like the above out of the gate. Don't fire end turns first or middle out but evenly end-to-end. And if you chose a resistance (temperature) close to the point you enjoy won't likely ever go uncomfortably warm on you (unless vaped dry). They just glow to a nice uniform red point for up to 6 secs (longer if you add a turn, more mass) if you select a good balance for the atty.

    Using strain you'll see more production from 24-guage. But I'd drop down to 3-3.2mm for slightly lower res. This you can do with a pin vise using ordinary drill bits which allow for a wide variety of temp targets. By this I don't just mean watts, but surface area which yields vapor! Balancing these.

    You have a great atty with the deck on that Tsunami. Easiest to work with in terms of maintaining the strain you built with. Try a pin vise as I describe elsewhere. You can make and pulse (harden and oxidize) both spaced and contact (closed) coils with it in a fraction of the time with just a little practice. Then they just stay that way.

    Good luck c4 :)
     
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