Back to Basics - Conserving Wire with Coil Winder

This information may be of little use to many here, but if it helps just one person stop wasting wire it’s worth it. For you guys who build all the time and have the very intricate builds, I’m sure you have a method too for eliminating waste. Please feel free to share!

I used to wind coils on a precision screwdriver or drill bit. It was the same every time - pull a length of wire I think it about right, cut, wind and there we go. I always seemed to have too much and honestly, that 3-4 inch piece of leftover wire is of very little use to me and gets tossed. Over the course of a year that can add up to dollars tossed in the trash.

Then I got a coil winder and soon discovered I could eliminate those wasted pieces for good. Seeing as I only do simple wrapped coils, this works for me every time. I think with these things the instinct is to hold the longer part of the jig while turning the smaller one. To save wire, just reverse that. Also, don’t cut a length of wire to work with, rather wind directly off the spool. You will find it helpful to pull a piece that you feel is too long. No worry, you can always wrap back around your spool when you’re done. In my video below, I was only demonstrating so I wound it until I had no more room to work with. But if you’re wondering, that is 7 wraps on 2.5 mm of 24ga Kanthal. Enjoy


I have so much wire I feel like I’ll never get thru it all, and yet I totally feel ya on the desire to not be wasteful. If you use to ballpark your build you can get a really good idea how much wire you’ll need and you can even measure it out. I never do because I’m more into having my wire wind back on the spool just right, so I just have a box with all my usable leftovers.

I do the same thing when trimming wicks. If there’s enough left to wick a test dripper I save it. Even though I have more cotton than I think I’ll ever use. :smirk:

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Good vid mate. Loved the music :+1:

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when I first started I would wind a test coil then unwind it to get a close size to work with about 3/4 inch on both legs after the coil is wound and it keeps my waste down to a minimum only about 1/2 inch or so each coil

That’s a good way to do it too! Well, if you always use the same size wire, the same inner diameter and the same windings. Who does that? :slight_smile:

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If you use steam engine, it tells you how long your wire has to be. I keep a little measuring tape in my coil building bag and just clip off however much it says I need. It hasn’t let me down, yet. For my go to 4 wraps of SS on a 2mm coiler I can pretty much eyeball it now. :smile: If you don’t have a set of coilers though, I highly recommend them. Makes it so easy to do nice, snug coils and it’s easy to space them out after if that’s what you’re in to.


Thanks jojo never noticed that feature in steam engine. Always looking for how many wraps to get a resistance. Wrapping your own coils is always cheaper than buying them.

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