The Secondary Coil

This is the secondary coil for my Tesla coil.  Image It consists of roughly 1000 turns of 24 gauge magnet wire.  It was made by the University of Victoria machine shop.  They did a better job than I could have ever hoped for.  The trick was spending about an hour setting up a jigger to feed the wire to the PVC pipe, while the pipe was spinning on a lathe.  Once this was done Chris manually wrapped the first few turns to make sure the wire was going on correctly.  Once this was done the lathe took over and finished the coil in under fifteen minutes.

If I learn anything from this project it’s the value of proper prep work.  If I had tried hand winding the coil, not only would it have looked like crap, but it would have taken many many hours to do.  Rather than the 1.5 hours it took Chris to set up and wind the pipe.

There are three things to keep in mind when making one of these:

  • Keep the wire taught, this is what the guide is for, two pieces of soft plastic acting like a vice.
  • Have the guide lag slightly behind the coil to keep the windings tight.
  • Take your time with the set up and initial windings, a good start is necessary and nearly sufficient for a good finish.
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