The Evolution of Building: Guest Feature

Mt. Baker Vapor has plenty of serious vape-hobbyists in our workforce. Among them, mixologist Dale Cournoyer has prepared a blog exploring the subtleties and evolution of building coils:

Pushing the limits of my batteries was one thing I used to do all too much. Low resistance and more power has become the standard for increased vapor production. While this concept may be true, there is a safer alternative; coil building has come a very long way since RDA’s gained popularity a few years ago. As the variety of wire types and different gauges continue to grow, so, too, does the creativity of our fellow cloud-chasers.
These days, there is a wire type for just about everyone’s personal preference. Temperature-sensing wire such as nickel and titanium provide you with a cool, steady vape (free of dry hits). Low resistance wire, or nichrome, is ever-popular for its ability to “ramp up” faster than its counterparts. Then there is the proven metals of vaping: Kanthal and stainless steel, which have moderate resistance and extreme reliability.
Now, with all these new options, it’s a whole new road in your vaping career. There is nothing wrong with sticking to a simple coil, of course, but it’s in our nature  to experiment with something new. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past year. I grew tired of hot RDA’s and carrying multiple batteries around in my pocket. That prompted experimentation with smaller, more intricate builds that would out-perform many of my previous lower resistance builds. I was actually quite surprised at how well some coils can perform at lower wattage.
My first venture into advanced coils was making the popular “Clapton coil.” This ingenious creation was introduced by Derek Small in 2014. This style has now become mass-produced by many different companies and incorporated into coil heads for their tank systems. All for good reason, I might add. These coils cover more surface area on your wick, allowing more vapor to be released. Another added benefit to this style is its ability to hold some liquid on its own. With more crevices on the coil, it can hold an extra drop or two.
Clapton coils can be made in many different sizes. My personal favorite is a 26 gauge Kanthal core wire with 38 gauge nichrome wire wrapped on the outside. Building with these thinner gauges keeps your overall wire gauge thin, so your “ramp up” time is not agonizingly slow in a lower wattage setting. With this build, I have found my vaping nirvana! The perfect blend of vapor production and flavor, while making it comfortably through the day on a pair of batteries.
It’s a wonderful time to be a vaper! No longer do you have to push your batteries to the limit to achieve your ideal vape. We never know what kind of creation will come next. This is, afterall, an industry still in its adolescence. I encourage all of you to branch out and try some new builds. You might find your new favorite coil. You could even be the next Derek Small!

*Written by Dale Cournoyer, mixologist.

Something to think about:

What parts of the evolution of building has you most excited? What does the future hold?

Tim Mechling

Tim is Mt Baker Vapor's resident creative weirdo. He writes, composes music, draws, designs, produces podcasts, investigates, and blows the trumpet for the Common Man.

  • Danielle DeMasi says:

    I’m curious about building my own coils, but apprehensive.. Informative article.. May sway me into venturing out.. Thanks!

  • Robert says:

    Building coils seems like it could be as difficult as building tattoo needles.lol

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