August 2016

Builder’s Corner – Extra Terrestrial

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By SAM McCLELLAND

In the last article I made mention of the elusive Alien coil…BOM BOM BOM! I say this because it can be somewhat of a task to complete a stick long enough to make two coils of this type. If you’ve been building them for longer than six months then they are most likely an easy thing to build but if you’re new to the rabbit hole of building then more than likely there are a few failed attempts sitting in the trash can.

With this coil type, it can be a bit tough, because the tutorials that are offered where a vast majority try and learn to make alien coils only show the tri-core alien. But there is also the dual core alien which is literally a fused Clapton with the alien concept of wire fusing the two or three cores.

Originally, or so I’m told, the concept started as a single core of 20 gauge wire with 22 gauge Claptoned over it. Thus the alien was born. This concept was brought to the build community by a gentleman who goes by the name @blueeyedgoon83 on Instagram but made famous by OhmboyOC and m.terk and their tutorials on YouTube (Local Vape and Pristine Builds.) Ohmboy OC’s tutorials are where I first learned of this concept. However, it was m.terk who opened my eyes to the use of swivels, and that, my friends, really made completing a set of aliens seem obtainable.

If you’re having issues completing or even understanding the concept I strongly suggest watching those tutorials.

Moving forward, the alien coil for some is a thing of beauty to behold and most likely because not many can simply sit down and pull it off. The S shape that is created over 1, 2, or 3 cores (sometimes over other cores like ribbon or a mixture of ribbon and round wire) allows for what I feel is superior wicking in a coil. The alien concept, aside from wicking, allows for amazingly improved flavor, good heat, and yes, it’s one sext coil.

However, I do suggest mastering the fused Clapton before attempting this type of coil as there were many that went flying across my garage before I got them down. Once you’ve got them down, it’s easy peasy. So, don’t give up and make sure to check out those tutorials they are a great help. When you’ve built some, snap a few pics and show your Vape buds.

ALIENS (FOR MORE THAN JUST GOOD LOOKS)

Last issue, we covered the fused Clapton and to keep on moving in world of fused coil types we are gonna go out of this world with the alien coil. (Applause) If you’ve been building for awhile then the alien has maybe become something you can do in your sleep but if you’re new to building, as we all are at some point, then this build may seem elusive or even impossible.

I can tell you that for months I chased making aliens and many failed sticks made it across my garage and left on the floor. But don’t worry hopefully this article will help you understand where the innovation comes from, why its sought after, and how to make it a bit more economical to build.

THE BEGINNING: OR SO I’M TOLD

A gentleman who goes by the name @blueeyedgoon83 on Instagram brought this innovation to the rabbit hole of building. It started as a single core and consisted of 22 gauge over 20 gauge. My fingers ache even thinking of working with that low gauge wire. However, the idea was not for looks, but for function. The idea was to bring a better self wicking property or function to a macro coil.

Later, a second core was added, making it a fused coil but with the look and wicking properties of the alien. Then, inevitably a third core was added making it what some call the tri-core, triple parallel, or triple fused alien. The tri-core alien and the single core alien are the most difficult and rewarding in my opinion. Tough to nail but when they are done you just want to stand up and tell the world how you just made a dual set of aliens.

THE BUILD

For me, the beginning of learning to build these or even the realization that the concept even existed was found on YouTube via Local Vape’s channel where a builder by the name OhmboyOC has a tutorial on the

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process. However, his tutorial is what some may refer to as the “real” way or “old school” way of building these types of coils. By “old school” or “real” I mean to say without the use of swivels. The use of swivels was made popular by @m.terk on Instagram and his YouTube channel Pristine Builds. The use of swivels has really reduced frustration levels and allowed for smarter not harder building. When I was watching those first tutorial videos from Ohmboy OC I hadn’t yet found the use of swivels, so one end was secured to the chuck of the drill while the other is free floating. This makes it much more difficult to keep those three cores aligned and your de-core and stretch have to be almost perfect. So, there is a ton of respect for the builders out there still going swivel-less in their build sessions.

If you are failing a bunch at this type of build I strongly suggest checking out those tutorials and building while watching them. Those guys do a great service to the community by offering them and they are worthwhile but we all eventually find our own way of making it work.

Making it work

When I sit down to build a set of aliens I make sure a few things are in order before I even start spinning the drill.

A clean work space: having a nice, clean work space will cut down on the probability of throwing the attempts that may not work out across the room.

Wire a plenty: I like to work with good clean wire and plenty of it. So I usually start with a spool of Twistedmesses 36 gauge nichrome 80 and 3 lengths of 26 gauge Anarchist nichrome 80. (If you are allergic to this type of metal composite you’ll need to use something safe for you to inhale.)


Tools and junk: I like a good pair of snips, a good pair of pliers, a drill, a vice, ball bearing swivels, and one 3-4 inch piece of ribbon.


Good tunes: some really good Slayer tracks are nice or even the Faceless, but some smooth jazz may help keep those frustration levels down. It’s your call…


Let’s get right down to it:

Disclaimer: this is just how I do it. It’s not the best or the worst. There may be better or worse out there but this is my way and the best I can convey the way I do it to you.

Start with 3, 9 inch lengths of core wire and one 12-14 inch length of the gauge core wire (this is for your initial Clapton.)

Grab you high gauge wire and some snips and get ready.
Take that single core and secure it at both the chuck and swivel. Attach your high gauge wire to the lower gauge wire at the chuck end.

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Spin that sucker for all its worth and if you keep just slightly less than a 90 degree angle while wrapping it will stay nice and tight for you. Also, make sure you remember which direction you did the initial Clapton. This is important later.

Once you’ve reached the end reverse the direction of the drill and spin it for a few seconds while holding on to the leg of the higher gauge wire. This will loosen it just slightly making it easier to remove. Once it’s slightly loosened, clip the chuck end and slide that core out and save it for another day.

Now take your 3 core wires and secure them to your swivels and at the chuck. You can just bend each one slightly to allow a good bite from the jaws in the chuck.

The one weird piece of ribbon: I use this for binding. At the chuck end, I will wrap that ribbon around the cores a few times making a binder and somewhat of a slider.

Now take that de-cored Clapton and stretch it to where you are creating a V shape but you don’t want to go past that shape or be less than that shape. It’s kind of a feel process, but hopefully that will help give you a visual guideline.

Once stretched attach that to your 3 cores and make sure your drill is running in the opposite direction from the initial Clapton. Start spinning and you’re looking for nice tight S curves over the 3 cores. Continue wrapping all the way to the end and you’ll have a nice completed stick ready to wrap into Vape ready dual coil aliens.

For me, I like a 3-3.5mm inner diameter. That’s just my comfort zone. I don’t suggest going too much smaller as the smaller you go the lower the ohm reading will be and the more stress on your batteries.

However, once you’ve learned about ohms law and understand amperages and how even small changes can affect these things, then maybe be a bit more experimental. Again, don’t be silly and do something you’re unsure of. Ask people. Ask google. Watch tutorials and use what they’ve suggested as it is probably the safest materials offered. Be smart.

The install

YUS!! You’re now ready to install your two beautifully and expertly made alien coils. Though, they aren’t just for looks, as mentioned, these coils are a wicking machine. They allow for much better wicking, depending on the juice the coils keep cleaner a bit longer, and the flavor produced is phenomenal. Truly a great innovation and worth the time and effort. So make sure to get those hot spots out, squeeze ’em tight, wick those bad boys up, and get’em juicy!

Sam McClelland is an owner and builder for Clean Builds LLC. Follow him and his crazy builds on IG @builds_and_junk and at cleanbuilds.net/.