How-To: Build A Floating Micro Coil

Blake Brown
by Blake Brown
6 Comments
January 21, 2014

Rebuildable Atomizers are becoming a huge hit within the vaping industry. With that said, it’s time for a few how-to’s on just what is needed to build an awesome coil setup. In this how-to, we’ll be teaching you how to build a floating micro coil for your rebuildable atomizer.

This type of setup is called a floater, because the coil will be sitting above the wicking material. The wick (which is cotton) will be placed onto the base of the atomizer. The coil, which is a micro coil, means that the wraps are smaller and will be touching one another.

Tools Recommended For This How-To

  • Tweezers: Tweezers are very useful with rebuildable atomizers and especially micro coil setups because it allows you to squeeze the coil length wise and make your wraps tighter.
  • Toe Nail Clippers: Though it might seem odd, toe nail clippers become a very handle tool for cutting your wire in those hard to reach places.
  • Ohm Meter: Since an ohm meter has been such a popular product lately, you can find one at almost any all-in-one vape store. This will be used for testing the ohm’s of the coil you’ve built. An ohm meter is a vital product to own when rebuilding atomizers.
  • 6 Piece Precision Screwdriver Set: You can purchase this set at WalMart and most retail stores with tool departments. These small screwdrivers are great for wrapping your wire around, positioning your coil and sliding your cotton onto the atomizer base.

rebuildables tools

Products Needed For This How-To

  • Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer: The market is filled with them and almost every vape store will carry them. If you’re planning to purchase one, I recommend purchasing one with a 3 post design, phillips head screws on the posts and one that has a lot of drip well room. For this how-to, I’ll be using the Patriot RDA.
  • Wire: You can use any wire you would like. However, understand that different types of wire and different gauges of wire will play a factor in the results of your setup. For this how-to, I’m using 28 gauge Kanthal wire.
  • Wick: For this setup, which is known as a floater setup, we’ll be using cotton. It is recommended to use organic cotton, but I’m not. I’m using regular cotton balls that you can purchase from WalMart.
  • Mechanical Mod: Though you can use a variable voltage/wattage device with the setup we’re going to build, it is recommended that you use a mechanical mod. The reason for this is, if you’re new to coil building, higher power can be very dangerous when building these coils. That said, to start you off, lets just stick with a mechanical for now. Most vape stores carry mechanical mods. I’ll be using the Nemesis Mod (Clone) for this how-to.
  • Vape Safe Fuse: Anytime you’re messing with rebuildables on a device, it’s always nice to know that you have that added layer of protection. The Vape Safe Fuse will provide that. You can do a Google search to find stores that carry the Vape Safe Fuse.

rebuildable products

1. Wrapping The Coil

You’ll first want to use the smallest precision screwdriver you have available (a large paperclip would work too, but the screwdriver is recommended). In my particular set, I have a 1.4mm (slotted) flathead precision screwdriver. I’ll be using this screwdriver to wrap my coil around.

Place one end of the wire onto where the shaft of the screwdriver meets the base. Then slowly wrap the wire around the shaft, making the wire wraps as close to one another as possible. For an easier process, take your time and have the wraps touching one another to reduce having to tighten your wraps in the next step. The amount of wraps you make depend on what ohm reading you’re pushing towards. The more wraps you make, the higher the resistance, the lower amount of wraps you make will lessen the resistance. For this particular setup, I’ll be making 11 wraps with the hopes of 1.2 to 1.5ohm reading. Depending on the gauge wire you use, your reading could vary.

wrapping the coil

2. Tightening The Wraps

Now that your coil is basically built, you’ll want to tighten the wraps. While the coil is still on the screwdriver, push it towards the base with your nails to make the wraps closer together or touch. Remember, a micro coil is where the wraps touch one another.

tightening the coil

3. Positioning The Coil

Take the coil off of your screwdriver and insert the leg ends of the wire into your atomizer posts. One leg end must go in the center (power post) post and the other leg end must go in the post beside it, which is your ground post. Once you’ve inserted the wire, tighten down the post screws to keep your coil in place. Be sure not to over-tighten the screws… we’re only looking for a snug fit. You’ll then push the screwdriver that you used to wrap the coil, through the coil. Move the screwdriver as needed to position the coil straight between each atomizer post.

positioning the coil

4. Checking The Ohms

Now that everything looks great and has been positioned where you would like, you’ll want to screw your atomizer onto an ohm meter to see if you’ve met your resistance goal.

checking ohms

5. Heating The Coil / Tightening The Wraps

If the resistance is in a safe position and you feel comfortable with what you’ve built, you can now press your fire/power button to heat the coil (press it until it glows, do this 2 to 3 times). After doing so, wait a moment to let the coil cool down. Once the coil has cooled down, remove the atomizer from your mod or lock the button. Then use your tweezers to tighten the wraps once more.

When you get the wire hot, the wire will stiffen and be easier to form. With that said, placing your tweezers on each of your coil and lightly pressing it together will tighten your wraps even more.

You’ll notice in this picture that the coil isn’t burning evenly. For a good coil, you’ll want it to glow starting from the middle, then it working its way to the outside evenly. Since this coil that I’ve built isn’t, what I’ll want to do is check to see if the coil is the same distance from each post and to tighten my wraps where they are more even.

heating the coil

6. Positioning The Coil

Again, make sure you either pull your atomizer from your mod or make sure the button on your mod is locked where it can not fire. Since you’ve been messing with the coil and just in case it’s moved from the straight position you would like, you can now position the coil once again to your liking. Although I’m not the best at it, I at least like to make sure my coil setup looks neat and nice. This also helps when inserting the wick.

position coil

7. Cutting The Leg Ends

The leg ends that are hanging from your coil on the opposite side of where your coil is, pull those up and snip them off just below the screw head.

cutting coil leg ends

8. Checking The Ohms

We’ve moved our coil and have tightened the wraps, so we’ll need to once again check the ohm reading. Anytime you make adjustments, it’s a safe measure to check the ohms. By tightening your wraps, the resistance may have changed.

Just as a note: This particular coil I built isn’t looking so hot. I was in a rush… so, use patience and I promise it will turn out better than mine. (haha)

check ohms

9. Inserting The Wick

After placing your atomizer onto your device or something you’ve been using to hold your atomizer (I use a atomizer seat from 101vape.com), you can now fill your atomizer base with the cotton. This cotton will act as your wicking material.

To do this, tear off 1 small piece of cotton and insert it below the coil. Once you have the cotton positioned where you would like, drip e-liquid into the cotton, not onto the cotton. Then, run a bead of liquid onto your coil. After your cotton has been saturated with e-liquid, you may now fire at will.

insert cotton

 

coil vapor

The Results

You’re all done, your coil is built and ready to vape. Though I’ve only showed you how to build a floating micro coil, it is more common to have a dual micro coil setup. For this dual micro coil setup, all you’ll need to do is build another coil exactly like you did the first and insert it on the opposite side of your posts, just as you did with the first coil. Here’s a picture below to show you how the dual setup would look.

dual coil patriot

That is all… Be safe and vape on!

Comments

6 Responses to “How-To: Build A Floating Micro Coil”

      Jeff on January 21st, 2014 5:39 pm

      What is the benefit of having the coil sit above the wicking material instead of running a piece of cotton or cotton yarn through the coil as we’ve seen the greats (Dimi, Nick, and Phil, of course) do with theirs? It seems to me that having the cotton run through the coil would offer a better transfer of liquid to the coil surface, whereas with this floating setup you may not get the coil surface as saturated as you’d want for consistent vapor production and coil material cooling. I’m not slamming anyone, I’m honestly asking… Is this better somehow?

        hallucinoJEN aka Jennifer A. on January 22nd, 2014 12:29 am

        What is the difference between a floating coil vs other types of builds?

          Blake Brown on January 22nd, 2014 3:49 am

          From what I’ve learned so far, floating coils are best for easily changing wicks and trying flavors. I’ve also heard that this type of build works great for allowing more air to flow through the coils, as well as producing good flavor. This was the first build I learned how to do and I learned this specific build because it’s supposedly the easiest. I’m still in the process of learning and perfecting this setup as you can see in the pictures I took. One big thing I have learned is to just play with what you have and experiment (but be safe). I made this how-to because if someone would have broke it down in detail like this for me a long time ago, I probably wouldn’t have put off learning it for so long.

            Pathology on January 22nd, 2014 7:52 am

            RiPTrippers did a build like this a week or two ago and was very impressed with it. I’ve yet to do one myself, however.

              Jeff on January 22nd, 2014 4:01 pm

              This build is very similar to the builds I mention above, but in “theirs” the cotton is threaded through the coil. Basically you roll and pinch one end of the cotton fluff to a point so you can thread it through the coil, then clip off the point and tuck everything down into the drip well. Dimitris has a good tutorial of this type of build on a Reactor RBA here: http://youtu.be/PUVME37r1WE. Judging from the pictures above, you can probably use the coils you’ve already built and just thread a small piece of cotton through. I’d be really interested to hear about any difference in performance between the two wicking methods. I’ll try it myself when I get home from work if I have time, all I have here is a Smoktek Scar which doesn’t lend itself to the “cotton bed” wick very well due to the airflow channels.

                Jeff on January 22nd, 2014 7:35 pm

                I just gave it a shot both with the cotton bed and with cotton threaded through the coils on a Nimbus clone. As I suspected, the coils ran out of juice after just a couple of fires with the cotton bed setup, and the coils were glowing red even with fully saturated cotton in contact with the bottom of the coil – you never want this, you’re cooking and burning the juice at this point. Maybe I’m doing something wrong but it looked dead on when compared to the above pictures. I then removed the cotton bed and used about the same amount of cotton, this time threaded through the coils – same coils, didn’t touch ‘em – and tucked the excess around in a similar fashion. Night and day difference. I can almost completely dry out the cotton without a single dry or burnt fire. I’d encourage anyone to try the build above but with cotton threaded through the center of the coil as shown in Dimi’s video above. It’s easier than it sounds and the results are pretty fantastic! This is my go-to setup with my Scar drippers.

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