I know there are some vapers out there that are sitting there with setups using tank setups that come with their mods. Believe me when I say, that’s fine. I still have a mod (Smok Alien 220) that uses tanks exclusively. I have a couple of different tanks. So far, both have been awesome…so why would I not want to use them as much?
I’m not the kind of douchebag that goes outdoors blowing competition-level clouds but some of us know the answer to this question. Even if you “know where to get your cores” the bitches can still be pretty expensive on a monthly basis, right? Right! So what does a dude gotta do to keep those vaping costs at a minimum? Well that’s going to require you to roll up your sleeves and do a little work on your part. You’re going to have to endure a bit of pain in the ass. That’s where I’m losing some of you already. I’m going to tell you what works for me and you…eh, use it as a springboard and start from there. You don’t have to get every little thing that I have but some of this shit is just damn good to have.
First, let’s start with equipment.
The RDA: Indulgence Mutation X V5
This little fucker is badass. I just took the velocity posts off and I go postless. Not only is it an easier build but you have more room for juice AND an easier time adjusting the airflow. At Ten Fucking Bucks on 101vape.com, it’s a goddamn steal. I’ve seen the same one in stainless steel go for $50 at the vape shops. The really cool thing about the Mutation is that it can handle some pretty beefy fucking coils. I’m not going to say any more right now because it needs to come later.
The Mod: Sigelei Snow Wolf X-Feng High Class Model
This one is pretty badass too. I tried the Mutation on my Alien but it just heats the thing up. Will that combo work? Sure but you can only do a few vapes before you absolutely must put it down and let it cool off. Not really ideal. The Snow Wolf doesn’t have that problem. It’s only five bucks more than the regular Snow Wolf X-Feng so it goes for about $65 on DirectVapor.com. I’ve seen “sales” in my local vape shops on the regular model that proudly proclaim $89 bucks. I know, I’m being a total cheapskate here but hey, it’s already more expensive to smoke. You might find something more to your liking there. Seriously, this one doesn’t have the overheating problem that the Alien had.
The Batteries: HOhm Life Batteries with HOhm base Charger
They’re rated for insane drains and they tend to last me a couple of days on my vaping. I have four of those and I charge them externally. Charging them via Micro USB is okay if you’re in a pinch but it can damage cells in your batteries and eventually bork the shit out of your mod. No one wants that shit so shell out the $35 for the Smart Charger and $40 for four batteries that way you can swap them out when one pair is tapping out.
Now we need tools and supplies…Here’s Where The Fun Begins, Kids!!!
Okay so as far as tools go, I have a small electronics tool kit I picked up from RadioShack for five bucks when they were shutting down. Can’t get those again but what you really need are a pair of nippy cutters (basically small diagonal cutters…those plier type toenail cutters will do but the head needs to be small), some needlenose pliers and that’s really all outta that thing. Keep ’em cheap though, You’re just cutting and holding wire. Next, you’ll need a small wire brush and here’s where I deviate just a bit from price point because CoilMaster sells a small wire brush that has a handle you can use to wrap wire in different diameters. Get that one. Also, get the coiling jig kit from CoilMaster for reasons I’ll explain in a few and ceramic-tipped tweezers. I know Amazon has people shitting themselves but 180 sheets of Japanese Cotton goes for about $7…grab it and you’ll need the most important thing…Wire!!! I recommend starting with a 24 guage Kanthal or NiChrome wire. You’ll also need a pair of scissors and use those scissors for nothing but cutting and trimming your cotton wicking. Trust me on this.
All we’re going to do is simple coils, nothing crazy. We’re not doing claptons or aliens or any of that crazy shit. You can look that up and do it if you wanna but I’m just here to save you some cash.
If you want you can always purchase the CoilMaster Tool Kit for about anywhere from $35 – $50 depending on where you’re getting it. It’s not a bad investment and takes care of just about everything you need…except wick and wire and that shit’s up to you from there.
Once you have all your equipment, congratulations, your initial investment, though a little more than you probably wanted to spend, is over. You don’t have to do this again. The only things you’ll ever have to buy from this day forward are wick and wire…dazzit! BUT the beautiful part of all of this is, once you’re done with the initial pain in the ass (and it’s not really even that bad) of building your coils, you’re gonna be spending less per month than many others do using tanks and cores.
Recommendations on your build (again, this is just what works for me, your mileage may vary) is get your coiling jig and grab the 3.5mm bar and do six wraps around that, clip ends. Do another identical wrap, clip ends. Now you’ll need to trim the leads a bit because you want to line up the coils with the air flow holes on the sides of the RDA but you don’t want the coil itself touching the deck. If you’re building on your mod, instead of an ohm-meter deck, have your mod turned off while you’re doing this. Once you get that down and your coils are even, secure them and turn the mod on. You shouldn’t have any spacing between the coils. Look at your Ohm reading. Mine usually reads about .25 if yours varies, that’s okay. Hit up Steam-Engine.org to see where you should set your wattage and adjust accordingly. At .25, I usually run mine at about 75 watts. If you’re running at .16, it’s safe to run anywhere from 100 to 120 Watts. At least, that’s what my Cleito taught me. Worked pretty well so far.
Once you have your wattage set, fire it. Your coils should both start glowing from the inside out. Give the coil a pinch with the tweezers. Remember, for the love of fuck, use ceramic…tipped…tweezers. Don’t short the bastard out by using regular old metal tweezers. You just want to make sure you’re getting the coils to fire evenly. The pinching the coils together end to end doesn’t have to be hard, you just don’t want to have spaces if possible. You want them to pack as neatly and as tightly together as you can. Once they’re heating evenly and uniformly, you’re prime to start your wicking. You’re almost there!
Take a single sheet of the cotton and cut “with the grain” on the sheet, cutting it in half. Peel the layer off the top and bottom of the sheet and reveal that fluffy stuff right there sandwiched in between. Roll it up kinda tightly and then gently feed it through the coils. Use the tweezers to gently pull the cotton tube through. Once you have it centered, you can repeat the process with the other coil. Okay, Trimming…this is a little tricky to explain. Bear with me, goats.
Let them hang down like you’re about to cut hair. You want to cut them about halfway down the outside of the juice well. Every end. What this does is give you wome wiggle room because once you do make those cuts (carefully!) then you need to take the tweezers and pick and tease the ends to fluff them out like you’re one of the hairdressers for C.C. DeVille. You’re officially fluffing and it has nothing to do with porn. Get those ends fluffy and then, use the tweezers to gently tuck them into the juice well. Once that’s done you want to separate it just a bit to make sure the sides of the coil are exposed. That air needs to reach them.
Got that done? Fucking Gravy, Bitch! You’re in the home stretch!. Now, pop the RDA wall on there and start dripping. Couple of drops on each coil and pulse fire it. You can paint your wick and wire or you can drip straight down the middle. Usually takes about ten to fifteen drops and the wicking starts to really get saturated. Once you’ve wet those wicks, pop the top on there, adjust that airflow to where you want it, give it just a couple of seconds to seep into the middle where the coil is wrapped around the cotton and then start vaping.
Congratulations, you’ve just built and all you need is those steps until you get a little more knowledge and experience with it.
Why the wire brush? Well, there’s some weekly maintenance that comes with this thing. Each week, you’ll need to follow the steps to rewick and clean those coils. This is where it might be good to have some spare paper towels around.
Once a week, you take the RDA off the mod and then you take it apart. You rinse every bit of it under hot water. With the old wicking still wet from the water, take the ends out of the juice well and twist them up like you’re wriging a towel out. You should be able to pull it through without warping your coils. If done right, your coils stay right there in place (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!) and this is where the little wire brush comes into play. You’re going to gently brush all that shit off your coils. Once your coils are clean and rinsed and the RDA is carefully dried, just follow the wicking steps again and rewick. Saturate again just like we did before. Vape.
That 180 sheets of cotton should last you at least three years plus and your coils will last you something like a couple of months at that rate. Thirty feet of wire usually goes for about seven bucks whether in the shops or online and if you use it right, you won’t have any trouble building coils that will last you.
You can do the math and see for yourself but the upfront cost and the time are going to keep things light on your wallet.
Just something I’d thought I’d share and I hope that it not only helps you but shit, some of our more experienced types here might actually be able to cover some bases that maybe I didn’t.
Happy Building! Trust me, it only sounds difficult. It’s way easier…and cheaper.