The Official Alien Coil Thread

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Johnny VapeStand

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it might be a good idea to make threads for techniques, like a whole thread on how to do alien wrap (for anything, 3 cores, staple, framed staple. it doesnt matter what the cores are, the alien wraps always work the same),
Good idea! I'll start with this one, if anyone else wants to start one for staggered builds, or ribbon builds, that'd be cool also.
 

mach1ne

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so in the 'post your builds' thread, there is a ton of good information, questions and answers on everything from basic, to highly advanced builds and techniques. its quickly grown into an amazing resource, but its also quickly grown too large to find that info in. most of us have answered the same questions over and over again.

the idea for these 'the official x thread', is to get the information on 'x' (build/technique) all in one place so its easier to find, and consolidate the questions/answers/discussion a little bit, and leave that other thread for pics, chat and encouragement. links to all the 'official' threads are collected here, have a look through the rest for tips on everything from planning a build in steam-engine, beginner to advanced builds, and even coil photography. here is the official alien thread...

coil info:

default aliens have three equal sized cores, wrapped with 'alien' wrap, which is made by making a single core clapton thats 1/3 of your final width (if you are making 3x 26 gauge aliens, your decore is made on one 26 gauge wire), sliding off the clapton wraps, and stretching them out before you wrap them onto your final cores. this gives the wraps a wavy appearance and does some interesting things for wicking.

you can use alien wrap on any kind of cores you want, you just have to make your decore clapton on a core thats ~1/3 of your final cores. some examples are staples, framed staples, framed multicore, twisted strands etc etc etc

there are some variations in alien wrap styles like stitched, interlock, enigma, hedgehog, razorback and tsuka as well.

first tip: if you want perfect aliens, you have to be able to make your decore from start to finish with no mistakes, tight spacing and equal tension.

second tip: your decore clapton should be about 40-50% longer than you want your final alien wire to be.

pic: alien framed staples in alliance v2
alien.PNG

heres a pretty classic video tutorial:
 
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Eggen

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if you have problems keeping your cores flat there are little 3d printed bead looking things called "alien makers" from patinos coil smithing. I saw a video that bd linked from their website a while back in the post your builds thread.

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KingPin!

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You can use a keyring, ribbon wire or something like the patinos alien makers to keeps the cores flat (use these myself they work really well) although I don't use as many as in the vid just use 2 most of the time

Note the alien makers do need breaking in! Until they slide easily up and down the core wires

 

KingPin!

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To make a tight set of wraps keep the lead just forward of 90 degrees the further forward you have it the greater the spacing

When you make the initial clapton wind the drill in one direction (I use anti clockwise)

When you wrap the decore go into an opposite direction (inise clockwise)

Depending on how much you have stretched the decore changes how tight you hold it for finally wrapping
I've personally had better results very slightly under stretching so I'm letting the decore wrap it self as it goes

Keep the angle consistent as you go...when you stop and start to move the slider along maintain angle and tension (even with the patinos i recommend moving it yourself)

hold the decore a good few inches away When wrapping I tend to it just above my lap this allows it to fall into place with equal tension

IMG_1155.JPG
 

KingPin!

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Using a hand vice in the drill is really handy for lots of builds saves mucking about bending the legs getting them into the chuck in here you can place them flat side by side and centrally picked mine up from Amazon for about 10quid

 

KingPin!

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When first starting out making aliens you are better of starting with lower gauges to practice easier to see and a lot more forgiving

Clapton 36g on a 26g core

Then decore and use that 36g to wrap around

3 x 26g cores

After you mastered this move up to the thinner gauges :)
 

KingPin!

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The 3 wires in the 3 parts of the chuck was the game changer for me. No glue, stabilizing wraps, tape, etc. needed.
I started with this vid and learnt how to do an alien but modified my technique later to make it easier for me
 

Cormic

Member For 3 Years
My one attempt at an alien and I stepped on my decore, when I moved my foot it sprang up into a nasty ball of hatred. The section I did get was horrible anyway as I hadn't figured out the correct tension or feel yet. But once I save some cash for more wire this is the next on my list to learn. As a complete novice I appreciate these threads.
 

KingPin!

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My one attempt at an alien and I stepped on my decore, when I moved my foot it sprang up into a nasty ball of hatred. The section I did get was horrible anyway as I hadn't figured out the correct tension or feel yet. But once I save some cash for more wire this is the next on my list to learn. As a complete novice I appreciate these threads.
Apart from stepping on them hehe this post reminded me of a few other important things when wrapping the initial clapton

1) it sounds silly but being able to first wrap a decent clapton is essential with even tension, tight spacing. Flaws at this stage will end up showing in the final stage
2) When you finish wrapping the clapton cut the wrap wire away, then reverse the drill and spin it a few times until the wrap becomes lose on the core
3) try to pick a tool that doesn't flatten the core wire when cutting it. Then the decore should come off really easily
4) when stretching the decore don't let go of the end! You have a big ass slinky in your hand this will only end one way!
5) don't keep the decore in a place where it snags up when wrapping the alien. I leave mine in a straight line behind me

These things will help stop the decore from snagging itself up during the final stage
 

Jriley

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My one attempt at an alien and I stepped on my decore, when I moved my foot it sprang up into a nasty ball of hatred. The section I did get was horrible anyway as I hadn't figured out the correct tension or feel yet. But once I save some cash for more wire this is the next on my list to learn. As a complete novice I appreciate these threads.
This helped me out alot ... Home depot i bought 4ft T8 light bulb protector things they are just thin round plastic tubes i taped 2 together and i put my decore in it and prop it up a little so no more decore snagging the carpet
 

Cormic

Member For 3 Years
That's a good idea. I need to figure something out. The only available work space for me is my kitchen table, this is not an uncluttered environment by any stretch of the imagination. The stove is 2 feet behind so I had gone to the side. Maybe a piece of large ID plastic hose, that stuff is pretty stiff and would stay a coil at my feet. At least I would know before I stepped on it. My other thought was not stretching the decore at all and just using finger tension but based on my experience so far that's going to take about 8 miles of wire to practice with.
 

Eggen

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That's a good idea. I need to figure something out. The only available work space for me is my kitchen table, this is not an uncluttered environment by any stretch of the imagination. The stove is 2 feet behind so I had gone to the side. Maybe a piece of large ID plastic hose, that stuff is pretty stiff and would stay a coil at my feet. At least I would know before I stepped on it. My other thought was not stretching the decore at all and just using finger tension but based on my experience so far that's going to take about 8 miles of wire to practice with.
I don't always pre stretch my decore but personally I get more consistent results when pre stretching it. With 36g it puts a decent amount of tension on the core wires when you are stretching it as it wraps so I have had more issues with my cores collapsing that way. Everyone else I have talked to seem to love that technique tho. With 40g i don't normally pre stretch it because it does not put as much sideways tension on the cores as it does with 36.

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Dustyjeans

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Thought id share a tip. I make my decores im batches and store them in envelopes.

When i just want to relax listen to music and do some mindless work at the build bench i spin up a bunch in diffrent size decores. Typically i do 14" clip them in half (thanks whiteowl for the tip) and slip them in the envelope. Keeps the dust of em and ready to go!

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KarmicRage

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These are all great tips thanks. Especially for that clamp @kingpin, need to be getting me one of those. About the decores though, I've personally had good results stretching the decore out and wrapping it around used wire spools. Mainly because my work area is not the tidiest and I was sick of the decore getting twisted up into a mess around me.

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Dustyjeans

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These are all great tips thanks. Especially for that clamp @kingpin, need to be getting me one of those. About the decores though, I've personally had good results stretching the decore out and wrapping it around used wire spools. Mainly because my work area is not the tidiest and I was sick of the decore getting twisted up into a mess around me.

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Putting streched dc on spools risks tangling. Just clip dc in half, attach to drill, strech, and throw it over your shoulder to keep it off the floor or your messy bench.

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KarmicRage

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I have seen the tricks people use like throwing it down as tubing next to the bench and such. I just find this way easier myself, probably because I picked it up watching ohm boy josh and have used it since. I'm careful when wrapping it to not use any tension and to lie the wire next to each other instead of on top of one another. Until this method causes me any problems I'm gonna stick with it like, if it does then the info is already here to peruse and use.

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Dustyjeans

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Thats cool man i think everybody should do what works best for their unique style. My intent was to just help you eliminate another step and save time. Keep spinnin!

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CrazyChef v2.0

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Here's what I do. You can't really see it well, but it's about 20 feet of 36g decore. I lay it out in a wavy pattern on a 4x8 sheet of corrugated plastic that I got from Home Depot.




Here's a bit of a close up:
2017-09-09 09.49.13.jpg
 

ScReWbALL

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Two issues I was having with my decor were as most have mentioned with the snagging of the line during rewrap and what Kingpin said about flattening the core wire when cutting it which makes it difficult to pull the decor off cleanly. The fixes for those two things that seems to work with me is that I put travel bag at my feet with the zipper portion folded down and my drill is directly over it, so, when I put my decor in the chuck of the drill I place the other end in the bag and it comes up and out cleanly without snagging on the carpet below and keeps me from stepping on it.

As for the flattening of the initial clapton core wire when cutting it that can make it difficult to pull the decor off cleanly...after I straighten that core and it's still in the chuck of the drill, I take a pair of pliers and lay the cut end of the wire into one of the grooves of the pliers and apply very little pressure to close the pliers around it and give the drill trigger a light squeeze or two for a couple of rotations...it seems to round out any flat spots created when cutting it, allowing the decor to slide off with ease



You're not drinking water are you?! You realize that stuff is found in antifreeze!?!
 

mach1ne

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my first 4x30 aliens (28 decore). this was a lot floppier than i expected and took a bit of extra stabilization to stay parallel while i was applying the alien skin. its a nice vape though. doing this build made me appreciate the strength of a properly bound framed staple core...
4corealien.JPG

alien framed staples are much sturdier and they seem to wrap up much smoother for me. these are 4 x .3/28/38 (28 decore).
afs.JPG
 

mach1ne

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i want to try some polished/flattened aliens...what are the key elements? what gauge wrap? do you hammer it out? drill+sandpaper? both? i have done a couple polished round wire builds, and hammered out some cat tracks and bone yards (and have all the sandpaper and tools required)...i just cant imagine how the alien wraps would survive any of it.
 

CrazyChef v2.0

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I've done 'em. You can lightly hammer them first, if you like. It'll help to even everything out. But not too much, or you'll wear through the wraps when you polish them. If I can find it, I have a pic of where I did just that. The thing is, you should really use a heaver gauge wrap to get a good polish - maybe 33 or 34 gauge.
 

CrazyChef v2.0

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So basically, just make 'em like normal with 36g or lower wire, lightly hammer them, then polish like a regular polished coil.
 

mach1ne

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ive got a spool of 34 thats over a year old, and its only been used in one cat track build. this will be the happiest day of its life...."youre the only one we can count on 34"..."its your destiny 34"

now is your time to shine, 34....
 
Hi,

I've got the hang of the standard 3 core alien now, even done a stitched alien, but does anyone have a handy table or calculator for working out what to wrap the initial clapton around for variations on the alien?

e.g. I'm told I can wrap the initial clapton around 24g to make a framed staple alien with 8x0.4 cores with 28g frames.
 

KarmicRage

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From what I've worked out the maths isn't too hard. You need to figure out what your end wire width will be and then wrap what will be your decored Clapton around a wire 1/3rd of the size. So the ribbon you're using I'd assume is .4x.1 so 8 of them stacked vertically would be .8 wide, plus the 2 28g on the outside if I'm not mistaken that's .3, so your final width would be .8 + .6 = 1.4. Divide that by 3 and wrap your Clapton around wire that thick. I'm only a novice compared to some of these guys so I may be corrected, pretty sure that's mostly right though.

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mach1ne

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anyone have a handy table or calculator for working out what to wrap the initial clapton around for variations on the alien?
@KarmicRage is right. its just roughly 1/3 of your total core width. if you go on wire wiz over at steam engine, you can see the actual size of any gauge wire you want...heres a pic:

wwiz.JPG

bottom right corner, .255mm for 30g. i know most of this by memory now, and i still open wire wizard every time im planning a build...
 

mikekscholz

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Saved this from a while back for Alien Framed Staples... I wanna grow the list and make a nice little printable graphic chart:

Using 28g frames:
6 ply = 26g decore
8 ply = 25g decore (24g might work)
10 ply = 24g decore


Gauge Conversion
16 AWG - 1.29mm - 0.259
18 AWG - 1.02mm - 0.418
20 AWG - 0.81mm - 0.652
22 AWG - 0.64mm - 1.036
24 AWG - 0.51mm - 1.64
26 AWG - 0.40mm - 2.657
28 AWG - 0.32mm - 4.08
30 AWG - 0.254mm - 6.76
32 AWG - 0.20mm - 10.58
36 AWG - 0.127mm - 26
38 AWG - 0.1007mm - 40.62
40 AWG - 0.0799 mm - 67.63
 

Jriley

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Saved this from a while back for Alien Framed Staples... I wanna grow the list and make a nice little printable graphic chart:

Using 28g frames:
6 ply = 26g decore
8 ply = 25g decore (24g might work)
10 ply = 24g decore


Gauge Conversion
16 AWG - 1.29mm - 0.259
18 AWG - 1.02mm - 0.418
20 AWG - 0.81mm - 0.652
22 AWG - 0.64mm - 1.036
24 AWG - 0.51mm - 1.64
26 AWG - 0.40mm - 2.657
28 AWG - 0.32mm - 4.08
30 AWG - 0.254mm - 6.76
32 AWG - 0.20mm - 10.58
36 AWG - 0.127mm - 26
38 AWG - 0.1007mm - 40.62
40 AWG - 0.0799 mm - 67.63
That's just a basic guide honestly, 24G decore will work for all 3 builds you listed

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Ishkabibble

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Putting streched dc on spools risks tangling. Just clip dc in half, attach to drill, strech, and throw it over your shoulder to keep it off the floor or your messy bench.

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This is one of the best ideas I haven't thought of! Mine always gets snagged even when straight back. I tried PVC pipe but it fell on me twice when wrapping resulting in me going ham on everything around me lol. Brilliant!
 

mikekscholz

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I found myself a nice 4x8 foot sheet of cardboard that I lay on the floor behind me that I lay my decored on so they have a smooth surface to slide on... I might snag a sheet of corrugated plastic like someone else on here did
 

ScReWbALL

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Or you might be a redneck if...
You use a cardboard box or empty trash can or empty travel bag below the drill and just drop the excess into it and let it feed up and out of it *Raises Hand*
But I free hand and make my decor only long enough to do 1 Coil at a time, so there’s not a ton of excess to worry about.


You're not drinking water are you?! You realize that stuff is found in antifreeze!?!
 

jerryprague

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I bought a pre-made roll on Ali express, works very well.

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