I think I’ve finally got how much cotton makes a good wick sorted – short answer is it takes about half what my intuition kept saying – Basically I resigned myself to the mess and wasted fluid and just kept shaving down the wicking material until it leaked, then started over, stopping right before it leaked the first time. Then I did it again to see if I could succeed, and again, and again. After 3 shots in a row without having to trim anything, success!
I have learned how to wick! The key? Just barely enough cotton to touch the bottom of the well, not sit on it,and definitely not enough to coil up in any way at all. And it can look way too thin in the coil and still be fine
Also a neat shortcut to get it right, stuff the cotton down the well, then pull it thru the bottom of the well and trim it until the scissors physically can’t reach it without fitting inside the well itself.
Sure it’s obvious to everyone else, but I didn’t get it from the videos I’ve seen because everyone zooms in and has tiny hands so the perspective is all wrong from real life and big hands. So experiments are kinda fun, I smile.