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Making‌ ‌My‌ ‌Own‌ ‌18650‌ ‌/‌ ‌20700‌ ‌ Squonker‌ ‌–‌ ‌DIY‌ ‌Squonk‌ ‌Mod‌ ‌ Part‌ ‌1‌

People have always told me that most of the 3D printed squonk mods I have reviewed in the past (including the Steam Rabbit V2 and the Boxer Classic BF) cost way too much for what they are.

With the recent push from Chinese companies to make affordable squonk mods, you can get an awesome deal with the Pulse BF for example. A nicely done squonk mod that can take a 20700, with soft silicone bottles and a locking mechanism. Great value for money, no doubt about that.

However, there’s something interesting about a DIY squonk mod. In fact, there’s always that excitement when you build anything. You get to see it transform from mere parts into something that actually works.

When you think about it, most squonk mods are using parts that you can buy yourself. However, not everyone has a 3D printer or the skills to print a good squonk enclosure from nylon or alumide.

Recently, after watching the Mark Todd video and doing some research of my own, I have started to believe that I can build my own 3D-printed squonk mod.

I already have tons of ModMaker parts including the ModMaker 510, copper contacts and bottle tubing from my attempt to upgrade my existing squonk mods. I’ve also experimented with dyeing my 3D printed squonk mods.

This looks like the next step for me.

Here’s what I have found so far from my research, the total cost of building one from two different sources. I’ve excluded the cost of magnets (dirt cheap), extra bottle tubing, batteries, and the tools you will need to make it work.

Toaster Mods DIY Squonk Mod

The options available from Toaster Mods looks interesting enough. The pictures on their site are not the actual thing (computer graphics), but it looks like they have put a lot of thought into the design of a simple box.

Their enclosures do also seem to be higher quality. It seems they are using nylon plastic, polished to a smooth matte finish.

Here’s how much it will cost to DIY a 20700 squonk mod from them, and parts from ModMaker:

  • 20700 squonk mod enslosure: $44
  • 20700 squonk mod door & button: $23
  • ModMaker 510 locking switch: $5
  • ModMaker 510 with Large Nut & 22mm Washer: $10
  • ModMaker Beryllium Copper Contacts: $6
  • ModMaker Dimple Tool / Magnets: $2
  • Silicone Squonk Bottle: $6
  • TOTAL COST: $96

This is the most expensive option of all the sites I’ve listed here. Granted, this is for the 20700 squonk mod and they do have a few designs for an 18650 squonk mod. However, the difference is minimal.

ModMaker DIY Squonk Mod

ModMaker has 3D print files of their squonk mod! For all you guys with an actual 3D printer, you can just use this, modify it, and print your own squonk mod. If you do not have a 3D printer, you can buy the ModMaker squonk mod and doors from their Shapeways store.

They have design for both single 18650 and parallel 18650 squonk mods. Surprisingly enough, they did not include the button / actuators as part of their design. This is probably so you will get the ModMaker actuator button, but I’m ok with that.

Also, they do not sell the printed mods from their store, probably because their system cannot handle the customization.

Here’s how much it will cost to DIY a ModMaker 18650 mechanical squonk mod, assuming you buy the print from Shapeways:

  • 18650 squonk mod enclosure: $25
  • 18650 squonk mod door: $9.50
  • ModMaker 510 locking switch: $5
  • ModMaker 510 with Large Nut & 22mm Washer: $10
  • ModMaker stainless steel / brass / black actuators: $5
  • ModMaker Beryllium Copper Contacts: $6
  • ModMaker Dimple Tool / Magnets: $2
  • Silicone Squonk Bottle: $6
  • TOTAL COST: $68.50 (or $29 print yourself)

I used the cheapest options available from Shapeways for the calculation, although you can get better quality print and finishing for slightly more. Previously, the Alumide option was available but I missed that, and it’s all nylon now. However, the doors are also available in acrylic.

And yes I am aware that you can just simple print the actuator, if you have a 3D printer.

Sleds.co.uk DIY Squonk Mod

You can also get squonk mod enclosures for 18650 or 20700 from Sleds.co.uk. They are actually using Alumide, which should cost more across the board. However, it looks like there is no finishing, sanding or polishing options available compared to the ModMaker options on Shapeways.

Again, you would need to source ModMaker parts and a ModMaker 510, so the cost would be:

  • 18650 squonk mod enclosure: $30.50
  • 18650 squonk mod door & button: $4.70
  • ModMaker 510 locking switch: $5
  • ModMaker 510 with Large Nut & 22mm Washer: $10
  • ModMaker Beryllium Copper Contacts: $6
  • ModMaker Dimple Tool / Magnets: $2
  • Silicone Squonk Bottle: $6
  • TOTAL COST: $64.20

Floris Box Mods DIY Squonker

The folks at Floris box mods have enclosures for all kinds of mods, but I’ll just talk about the squonk mod enclosures. Among all the other options here. Floris has the best options for doors, buttons and finishing. They even have an option to include your own logo engraved into the mod.

I looked at the Little Orca, which uses Acetal for the print and a carbon fiber door plus Delrin actuator. Unlike the other options here, the Little Orca has no Floris branding inside or outside (correct me if this is not the case).

Here’s the cost to DIY a squonk mod from Floris box mods:

  • 18650 squonk mod enclosure, button & door: $43.50
  • ModMaker 510 locking switch: $5
  • ModMaker 510 with Large Nut & 22mm Washer: $10
  • ModMaker Beryllium Copper Contacts: $6
  • ModMaker Dimple Tool / Magnets: $2
  • Silicone Squonk Bottle: $6
  • TOTAL COST: $72.50

The calculation above is for the base options, including a 12mm hole (yes you got to pay extra for a hole) to fit a ModMaker 510. Of course having this option means you’re free to use any other 510 as well, and get a hole drilled to match the desired 510.

I’m assuming the ModMaker parts will work, because there’s no clear information on the Floris site as to which parts to get.

DIY Squonk Mod – Let’s Get Started!

So it’s not as cheap as you may think to build your own DIY squonk mod. The cheapest option is to use the ModMaker files and print it yourself, spending only for the internals. That’s of course assuming you already have a good 3D printer.

The Pulse BF at about $30 suddenly looks like a great deal.

I was very impressed by the options from Florisbox. I think their price is just incredible, and the variety of options are astounding. However, at this point of time I need more research into what components will fit the Floris, so I will skip this option for now.

The Sleds squonk box seems a bit raw to me, which means I have to finish and polish it myself. Again, I will skip this option for now.

I would love to get a 20700 squonk mod from Toaster Designs, but I have to keep this for later as well. The cost is a bit too high at the moment and the Christmas expenses have left me dry 🙁

As I was doing this research I came across many other options, including tons of 3D print files on Thingverse. However, I’m going to have to choose one.

I decided to go with the ModMaker DIY squonk mod option, for a few reasons:

  • The internals of the ModMaker DIY squonk mod looks far more intricate than the rest, except for Toaster Design. They have battery and bottle cutouts, positive-negative markers etc. It looks small and neat.
  • Selling through Shapeways is a great move for them. I trust Shapeways to deliver as fast as possible.
  • I am familiar with ModMaker stuff, and I have worked with their 510 and copper contacts before in a DIY squonk mod conversion project. I know their parts should fit perfectly into their own mod, so I won’t be in for surprises.
  • I look forward to get my own 3D printer in the near future, and I would like to work with something that I can get familiar with by the time that happens. The ModMaker was the obvious choice here since they are the only ones offering a full 3D print download that i can modify.

So I placed an order on Shapeways for two ModMaker DIY squonk mods, both with a nylon black body. I ordered a red nylon door and an acrylic door. The process was easy enough through Shapeways, and I was charged $20 for shipping.

I also ordered the ModMaker 510 and all the other parts I do not already have. Sadly they did not have a black actuator at this time, so I had to get a stainless steel actuator.

Now the wait begins my friends.. I’m EXCITED!!

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Vaping Tips Vaping Videos

The Flave RDA by Alliancetech Vapor

The Flave RDA by AllianceTech Vapor is the first 24mm single-coil RDA that I have used. At a time when almost all squonking RDAs were just 22mm, this stood out to me.

I did think about it many times, before deciding to get it. I got mine from PhileasCloud, but please do try to get it locally before buying from that site. The main reason I say this is because their shipping rates are very pricey.

Here are the specs of the Flave RDA (24mm):

  • Retails for around €90
  • 24mm x 28mm (with driptip)
  • 304 stainless steel construction
  • Single coil reduced build deck
  • Gold plated 510 & BF pin included
  • Proprietary wide bore Ultem driptip
  • PEEK insulator

Before you ask, yes you can get the Flave RDA clone and it’s pretty good.

The Flave RDA Review: Pros

  • Excellent build quality – Nothing to complain about the machining. All the tolerances are just perfect. The topcap clicks in really nicely, and the wide bore driptips fits snug.
  • More airflow – Think of it as the Hadaly with slightly more airflow. This is something a LOT of people are looking for in a single-coil RDA. You should not expect to get a MTL draw or a very restricted lung draw.
  • Fantastic flavor – I’ve been able to get great flavor out of it with all the build I have tried, both 3mm and 2.5mm ID coils.
  • Effective build deck – I would not say it’s the easiest build deck I have used, but it works well enough to securely hold down your larger wires and coils. You might need to remove one screw when using larger coils.

The Flave RDA Review: Cons

  • No 510 adapter – As I said in the video, I hate the fact that it does not come with a 510 driptip adapter. I can understand that Alliancetech would use a proprietary size driptip to bring out the best of the RDA, but we need choices!

The Flave RDA by Alliancetech is one of my all-time favorites. In fact I’ve featured it also in my high-end squonk RDA compilation video, and I don’t see myself letting it go anytime soon.

Also, now you can get Delrin topcaps for the Flave by Alliancetech themselves, and some Vikset caps that use a 510 driptip. You should be able to find the Flave RDA easily in a lot of B&M stores, which is great.

Plus, you can now also get the Flave 22 in both limited titanium and standard stainless steel variations. However, I feel that the Flave is unique by itself, and you really need to try the 24mm version instead of the 22mm.

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Vaping Tips Vaping Videos

Rebel Squonker DNA250 Review & Issues

The Rebel Squonker DNA250 mod is perhaps the most powerful regulated squonk mod available today, since the Lost Vape Drone has been discontinued. Rebel Vape has made a name for themselves with high-quality 3D-printed mods using both DNA and YiHi boards.

The Rebel Squonker therefore has a very solid base to build upon, but they get it right with this squonk mod?

When my Rebel Squonker mod arrived in the mail, I was disappointed to find out that it wasn’t a squonk mod at all. Rebel Vape had actually sent me the wrong item – a regular DNA75 mod for dual 18650 batteries.

I sent it back, and received the actual Rebel Vape DNA250 squonker almost a month after my order. This time, they got it right. However, as you will see in the video, I got the wrong extra set of doors and they also skimmed a little bit on the squonking stuff.

Here are the basic specs for the Rebel Squonker:

  • Evolv DNA 250
  • H 88mm X D 39mm X W 24>40mm
  • Takes up to a 26mm Tank with no overhang
  • Variable Watts and Temperature control
  • Uses 2 x 18650 batteries (NOT INCLUDED)
  • Output Power 1W – 167W
  • 8 User Profiles and various modes
  • 2A USB Charging
  • Escribe support with upgrade
  • Plastic 3D Printed housing
  • OLED Screen

Keep in mind that there are other Rebel Squonkers like the DNA75C version, but my review if based on my experiences with the DNA250 (or should I say DNA167) version only.

Rebel Squonker DNA250: Pros

  • Excellent build quality – Except some minor issues with the door, this is a solid mod with excellent build quality. Flawless 3D printing, as you can see from the logo area. Sharp, crisp and no printing lines. Sure, the color scheme I got (Ally Black) makes it look much better, but I cannot find any fault with the build quality. The buttons are firm and responsive, a pleasure to use.
  • Manually tested and certified – Right on the packaging, you will see a list of tests done for each Rebel Squonker mod they ship. It’s always great to know that a human being actually tested YOUR mod before sending it out to you!
  • DNA50 power & accuracy – DNA boards have their share of critics, but only from high-performance vapers (clouds chuckers) who mostly complain about everything. If you love to vape higher wattages and in temperature control mode, this is the most powerful regulated squonk mod you’ll find as of today. WIth Escribe, you can tweak the DNA250 board any way you want.
  • Super light & comfortable – It weights as much as an atomizer without the batteries. It feels very good in your hands, and the squonk bottle is in the right place. Even after using tiny 3D-printed squonk mods for a long time, I found the Reberl Squonker to be very familar, probably because I used a Wismec RX for a long time in the past.

Rebel Squonker DNA250: Cons

  • Hefty price tag – It costs 199 Pounds, which is a lot of money. Some people would opt to go for the Lost Vape Drone over this, but the Drone has been discontinued. Also, the Drone had it’s own share of issues and looks rather ugly. Maybe a new Drone will pop up soon, but until then this mod is in a leage of its own.
  • Outdated squonk parts – The Fat Daddy Vapes 510 used in the mod is by far the best by today’s standards. A ModMaker 510 would have made this mods way better in terms of long-term reliability. There are also many other options for a squonk-ready 510 if only there were willing to do more research.
  • Silly YFTK clone bottle – Again, a bit outdated in their approach to making this a great squonk mod. They could have used a variety of different squonk bottles including the Lost Vape Therion squonk bottle as I explained in the video. Instead, they used a clone bottle by YFTK. The bottle isn’t bad, but mods in this price range are already using Lukkos or Cappy bottles.
  • Over-branding – The logo on the door is totally redundant, especially since they have to destroy it for the squonk window. It just looks awkward and detracts from the squonk window.

There are other small cons and subjective cons, which I mention briefly in the video. Overall, there are definitely more pros than cons for the Rebel Squonker DNA250 mod by RevelVape.

Having a powerful regulated mod is great. I’ve done more ambitious builds in my existing RDAs, and managed to get a totally different experience from them. My Goon, Goon 22, Kryten and more shine in the Rebel Squonker because I can easily dial-in the power and use complex Clapton coils.

Unlike a DNA75 regulated mod, or a mechanical squonk mod, the Rebel Squonker DNA250 can help you get a better vape across many different RDAs. Single coil or dual coil, 22mm or 24mm, there should be no problem with the squonk mod.

Get The Rebel Mods Squonker DNA250

Get The Rebel Mods Squonker DNA75C

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Vaping Gear Vaping Tips

The Ultimate RDA Level 1 by GoM

So this written review of the Ultimate RDA Level 1 by GoM (Guild of Modders) is a bit late. The video review on YouTube was published much earlier.

Still, I think this review means enough to earn a spot on my website. Not all YouTube reviews make it here. So obviously this one is still worth talking about.

The Ultimate Level 1 (version 1) by GoM made waves when it was featured in a FlavorChasers.com review. In fact that’s how I heard about it. If I’m not mistaken, it got a 9.9/10 rating on FlavorChasers.

(For the record, the rating on FlavorChasers is fucking useless, everything is a 9+..)

The central concept of modular airflow – you’re able to change airflow styles and positions easily – attracted me to the Ultimate. I eventually managed to get one through a friend in the Philippines.

It costs $90, and the packaging has changed since. GoM is also supplying slightly thicker o-rings due to many people having issues with the spinning deck. However, the core part of the Ultimate Level 1 remains the same.

Basic specs:

  • 22mm diameter, slammed ultem cap
  • 510 driptips, but none provided with the RDA
  • Ultem airflow control ring that is removable
  • Dual posts design with screws, similar to the Narda
  • Gold-plated bottom-feeding pin included
  • Additional Ultem AFC for larger builds (3mm)
  • Comes in a wood cylinder box with extra o-rings

So here we go, my honest review of the Ultimate Level 1 by GoM PH.

GoM Ultimate RDA: Pros

  • Brilliant modular concept – 70%-80% of what makes an RDA unique is the airflow, in my opinion. With the Ultimate, the choices of airflow are limitless. Although at the time there was no news of anything other than the Narda-style airflow, GoM have recently announced a Haku / O-atty style airflow for the Ultimate.
  • Minimalistic design – I have loud designs with logos and other design elements that take away from the RDA. The Ultimate RDA is simple, short, and minimalist. It doesn’t even come with a stainless steel cap, since they are practically useless in a slammed RDA anyway.
  • The best flavor RDA – Well, for me at least. The flavor that I managed to get from the Ultimate RDA is second to none. Sure, I do not have a Narda for comparison. But at the time of review I did have others like the Armor, Hussar RDTA, Haku and Gambit. The Ultimate beat them all in terms of clean, pure flavor.
  • Incredibly smooth airflow – This is really subjective. It depends on how you build, how you wick, the ID of your coils, etc. However I would say that after a few attempts, I was able to get perfect smooth airflow from the Ultimate RDA.

GoM Ultimate RDA: Cons

  • Doesn’t feel high-end – From the looks to the packaging (excluding the box), it doesn;t feel like a high-end atty. I think it’s hugely due to the cheap ziplock bags used, and the fact that the bags themselves are stuffed with paper towels to protect the pieces. Small changes here – harder ziplock bags maybe? – can significantly improve the overall perceived quality of the Ultimate RDA.
  • Complicated buy process – In order to get one, you have to join their Facebook group and wait for a list. However, you might also be able to pick one up easily if you catch GoM at any vape fair, mostly in the Philippines. I had to seeks the help of my Filipino friend to get one from a vape fair. I owe him one!
  • Spinning AFC ring – This is the main issue most reviewers had. The Ultimate RDA is very dependent on the two key silicone rings, one on the AFC that holds the topcap, and the other on the base that holds the AFC. When I first got it, my ultem AFC ring kept spinning around when I tried to tighten or loosen the RDA. That messed everything up. After swapping the AFC o-ring with the one in the spares, the problem disappeared.
  • Fussy build deck – If you love the Narda you won’t feel like it’s a difficult deck to build on. For others, the two-post deck with screws may seem like from a different era. If you do not insist on using complex coils – stick to round wire or round Claptons – you will not have a nightmare building on the Ultimate RDA deck.
  • No driptip included – I say this for every high-end RDA; please include driptips! It can be difficult to get one that complements the overall look of the Ultimate RDA, and it would have been much better if one was included.

GoM Ultimate RDA: The Future

I was annoyed, delighted, sad and amazed by the Ultimate RDA all at the same time. As you can see, I listed an almost equal amount of pro’s and cons.

To be honest, I decided to sell my Ultimate RDA after the review. Then, I decided to try one more time, with one more build. This time, I would build according to what the Ultimate RDA can take and is designed for, instead of trying to force massive coils into it.

Just like that, my mixed feelings about the Ultimate RDA turned into pure love. This was after the review above was recorded, and I had no other issues with the AFC. GoM has fixed the o-ring issue, and I respect their professionalism in light of so mane negative reviews.

I also heard from Dave Cho that he is not giving up on the project. He has planned some black Delrin caps, Haku-style airflow, and future improvements. The best part is that due to the modular design, all these new things will fit the Ultimate RDA that I have.

Wow.

The Ultimate RDA has grown on me. It is quickly becoming my #1 flavor-chasing squonk RDA setup. It’s an acquired taste.

Love it or hate it, but you cannot ignore it.

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Vaping Tips Vaping Videos

How to Dye Your 3D-Printed Mods

In this video, I show you how to dye 3D-printed mods or squonk boxes. Why would you even want to do that?
Recently I had the chance to purchase a 3D-Printed squonk mod, the Bolt V2 made from alumide. While I love it, I did wish that it was a darker shade of grey. So I researched many Facebook groups on how to dye my Bolt V2.

I finally found the answer – and a very good one – through the Bolt V2 form itself. Thanks to the wonderful explanation from Athanasios Sclavos, I managed to get the darker grey tone I wanted and that made a huge difference.

Now all my Bolt panels and tokens look amazing thanks to the contrast.

Disclaimer: Please do your own research before attempting anything I show you in this video!

Today I show you the results of my experiment, where I successfully dyed by Bolt V2 3D-printed squonk mod using Rit dye. You can get Rit Dye from Amazon although expect to but from many different sellers, as no one seems to be carrying the whole range of colors.

Rit dye is meant for fabrics, but will work well on nylon / alumide 3D printed squonk mods and regular mods.

The steps here are simple, and I learned this from the Bolt group itself:

  1. Mix Rit dye 3 1/2 cups to 1 cup of water, use a stainless steel container
  2. Wash your 3D printed parts with hand soap, and a used toothbrush to remove all dirt and grime
  3. Heat up the dye solution (important) to ensure proper and even distribution of the dye
  4. Submerge the parts for 10-15 minutes, check and turn them around when needed
  5. Wash / brush excess dye and let dry, your will see most of the dye washing away leaving a ligher but more permanent dye
  6. Repeat the process until you get the tone you want

Again, this is only my experience, I do not want you to ruin your 3D printed mod with my tips. So, please do your own research first before attempting!

As you can see, the results are significant. I love the way it turned out, and I can’t wait to try dyeing my other squonk mods like the Ginger Vaper Boxer BF mod.

Now, this method worked for me. However, I am not sure if you can do the same thing when trying to apply a lighter dye to a darker mod. For example, white dye on a black mod. In that case, you may want to try using some sort of dye remover or primer.

I hope this simple video on how to dye 3D printed mods was useful, and perhaps it can help you get a sharper look for your mod.

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Vaping Tips Vaping Videos

High-End Mod Flippers & Scammers – Beware!

In this video, I want to talk about high-end mod flippers & scammers, and how I almost got scammed. In my previous video, I talked about how to buy high-end mods and squonk gear. I recommend you watch that video before this one.

Sometimes, you just cannot get a high-end mod through Facebook groups or websites. This is because some are only sold at vape fairs and conventions. Unless you get to the convention and line up to get a mod, you’ll need to consider buying one from high-end mod flippers.

What exactly is a “flipper”?

The term is used a bit confusingly in the vape community. Some people call anyone selling off their used high-end mods as flippers. Others only use that term when referring to people who buy high-end mods for the sole purpose of selling them off at a multiple of the actual retail price or RRP.

High-End Mod Flippers on Facebook

In the video I explain these few sites that I usually got to when I want to buy used high-end mods and atomizers:

  1. High-End Mods Group You can find a lot of stabwood mods here, along with some really good squonk mods and atomizers. Some people sell at RRP here but there are also flippers for th emost popular stuff.
  2. Billet Box & High-End Trading Post Get BB panels, stabwood panels, stabwood mods and some squonk stuff here. Again, some sell at RRP and some flip.
  3. Squonker’s Paradise International (Buy&Sell) I get a lot of used squonk RDAs from this group, and most of the owners are usually selling at or about the RRP.
  4. Squonk Trader Another great place to hunt for that elusive squonk setup or find squonk accessories.
  5. Mikey’s Mod Mart This is the flipper’s paradise, where everything is sold at auction. Sometimes the auction starts at below RRP with no reserve, and with these you can land a good deal. However, most of the popular high-end mods start at way above RRP and get bid up to 8x the actual price.

High-End Mod Scammers & How to Avoid Them

In the video I explain a few important things to do when buying stuff from these high-end mod flippers:

  1. Offer to pay the PayPal fees – Sellers will always ask for “F&F” which stands for “Friend & Family”, a zero-fee money transfer feature in Paypal. However, using this method give you very little protection compared to the “Good & Services” option in Paypal. Paying the 4 – 6% fee is a good idea, unless you have bought from the seller before.
  2. Ask for complete pictures – You need a good picture of the 510 area, the bottom of the mod and both sides. This is to ensure the condition is as what is stated, since the most common damage is usually at the bottom or at the 510.
  3. Ask for demo video – If you are really not sure, ask for a video showing the mods is able to turn on and fire an atomizer. I have done this for others, so it’s not too much to ask for. Some buyers would ignore you when you ask for this, and you should move on.
  4. Ask for vouches – In the sale post, notice how many people are willing to “vouch” for the seller. If there are none, you can ask the seller to provide vouches. He may ask the same from you, since buyers can also get scammed by you if you decide to do a chargeback once you have received the item.
  5. Check VapeCourt – The VapeCourt FB Group is usually the place where people report scams or bad deals as a last resort. They have a list of known scammers, and you may want to do a simple search to see if the seller’s name is listed.

Even with all these tips, sometimes you get excited and just proceed with a deal because you do not want it to slip by. In the video I show you my purchase of a “brand new” SVA Penguin DNA75 mod from a high-end mod flipper.

As you can see, it was in horrible condition. Thankfully, I used the “Goods & Services” option in Paypal, which made this case easy to dispute since the condition was no where as near what was described. I got a refund for the purchase, but I did lose some money on the shipping fees to return the item.

I hope this guide was useful to you. It’s certainly far more than I had when I first traded with high-end flippers and high-end groups on Facebook.

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Vaping Tips Vaping Videos

How to Polish Stabwood Mods & Protect Them

So I now own a handful of really awesome stabwood mods. I love almost every one of them, and since the experience with my first stab wood mod, I have learned how to choose stabwood mods wisely.

So as my collection grew, I started to research how to take care of them and make them look good. A stabwood mod requires very little maintenance, doesn’t get scratched easily and is a piece of art.

However, you can make it look really good and protect the finish of your mod against dust and the weather if you know how. Some people like to clear coat their stab wood mod to protect the finish. Personally I do not like that, as I feel it makes the mod look like it is covered by a stabwood-design sticker and doesn’t allow you to feel the texture of the wood.

So, one of the few articles I found about polishing and was this one published by VapeSnob, an excellent source of information for high-end mods. I tried doing it as they instructed and got good results. However, my stabwood mods didn’t quite shine like I wanted them to.

Then, a stumbled upon a Facebook post showing a shiny, polished stabwood mod. In that post, Stefan Motzer helped me understand the process.

It seems the missing ingredient was MicroMesh, a brand of super-fine polishing sandpaper. It is the only thing that I know has a 12,000 grit sandpaper.

So I combined the two sources of information, and found the solution to getting gorgeous stabwood mods.

Here’s what you need, links are to Amazon where you can purchase them:

Step 1: Clean and Apply Mineral Oil

Mask the areas of your mod you do not want to work on, like buttons, screens etc. Remove any detachable parts like battery covers, and put them aside. Then, using a microfiber cloth spread some white mineral oil generously all over your mod.

Take care not to let oil into the masked areas, as it does sometimes get through the tape. You will immediately see richer colors from your stabwood mod. Dark colors get darker, and some previously hidden tones are now visible.

However, it will not look as wet as this when you’re done. Just give it 15 – 20 minutes, and wipe off the access with a dry part of the microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Dry Polishing with MicroMesh

Next start polishing your mod with MicroMesh. As Stefan said, start with the 3,200 grit and work your way up to 12,000. In the video, the mod I used was pretty new and therefore I could start with something a little bit higher.

If your od has scratches, start with 1,500 grit for the effected areas. Once you reach the higher grits, you will start to see more details in the wood than you’ve ever seen before. And yes, it will start to shine by the time you reach the 12,000 grit as you can see in the video.

Do not wet the MicroMesh, it only makes the process more difficult. If you do not have MicroMesh you can try doing it with the highest grit regular sandpaper you can find, although I was only able to find a 3,000 grit before I got MicroMesh and the results were not as good.

Step 3: Seal & Protect with Renaissance Wax

Once you’ve used MicroMesh, apply Renaissance Wax and begin buffing your mod. Renaissance was can be substituted by beeswax, although some people say it leaves small traces of yellow / orange tone behind which can change the color of your mod after a while.

So I highly recommend getting Renaissance Wax from Amazon. It’s not that expensive and you can use it to seal and protect just about everything else. I’ve even used it on my Delrin mods and squonk setups to prevent liquid damage.

The end result, as you can see in the video, is fantastic!

All the burls of the wood are more visible. The colors pop and shine, and you mods will look completely different.

You do not need to do this very often. If you do not have MicroMesh or if your mod has already been polished by the modder, you can work with just the Renaissance Wax.

Once criticism of this method is that the shine doesn’t last very long. I am sure there are other ways, but this is the one I know.

I do not like clear coats on my stabwood mods because I want to feel the texture of my mods. However, obviously it makes like easier for you, so it’s really up to you to decide when getting your own stabwood mod. Some modders give you the choice, others do not.

I hope this article and video was helpful!

Categories
Vaping Tips Vaping Videos

My Stabwood Mods Collection & What I Love About Each

So we’re talking about stabwood mods again today, and I want to show you my small collection of stabwood mods. Most of these are pretty recent. Other than the mistake I made when getting my first stabwood mod, I equally love all of these mods.

There are some regulated mods, some mechs, and some squonk mods. In the video I show the off, but let me list them here:

  • DPM / Nataraki (RRP $400+)- One the best purchases for me. It uses the Yihi SX350J chip than can do up to 75 watts. Sure the technology is slightly old, but it’s still perfect for how I vape. The red color and burls on this mod is like a painting.
  • AxisVapes M17 Mini (RRP $300 – $605) – I have two of them, and both are hybrid mods. I got the Purple / Red mods just months before AxisVapes decided to exit the vape business. Both are DNA75, and I love the modern looks.
  • Blackrose Evo V2 Green Raffir (RRP $650) – I bought this at a vape fair, and had it upgraded with matching “heat wave” buttons from the same material. The Raffir material is so beautiful, and this is one of my best mods even though green isn’t really my favorite color. Powered by DNA75 and uses a 26650 battery. Available through the Blackrose Facebook group.
  • Blackrose Baccara (RRP $750) – This is one of the newer mods I purchased, and the previous owner was generous enough to let me have it. Again here, I love the colors and the texture looks like brush strokes. The orange, red and purple mix is so vibrant. Uses a DNA75 and either 18650 or 26650. Available through the Blackrose Facebook group.
  • RC Mods Squonker (RRP $320) – This is the only mod in this list that I handpicked the wood, and got it turned into a mod. Done by Roman Chekorin, its larger than a lot of mechanical squonk mods but it looks so unique. I will be upgrading the 510 on this mod for better performance, but it is otherwise fantastic. Available through the RCMods Facebook group.
  • GProv Hepha Squonk Mod – One the most recent additions to my collection. This is a mechanical squonk mod with a Mosfet switch (you can call it unregulated or semi-mech if you want). I love the vibrant colors. Available through the GProv Facebook group.
  • MFM Custom Mech Mod (RRP $120) – This is the only stabwood mechanical mod I have. I love the colors but I no longer use mech mods regularly, so I might be selling this one.
  • SMD Ghost Dragon (RRP$450) – The latest addition to my collection, with a freeform design, stabwood faceplate and buttons, and exposed stainless steel tube. Powered by the DNA75 board, and very petite. It is also the only mod I have that uses a catchcup for the 510.

So… those are my mods, but I do have a few inbound soon. I do believe the trend nowadays is in freeform / freehand mods that do not use C-frames. My SMD Ghost Dragon is an example, with stab faceplates and freeform factor which means more work. And that of course, means more value.

If you’re thinking about getting stabwood mods, take a look at my stabwood pricing guide here and watch my video on how to buy stabwood mods.

Categories
Vaping Tips

A Day With My SVA Punto Zero Engraved

Yesterday, I took the plunge and bought an authentic SVA Punto Zero with engraved back. Now, you know that I have reviewed the YFTK Punto Zero clone before on my channel, so getting the authentic was a surreal experience for me.

The authentic SVA costs 10x more, which was hard to swallow. However, I knew that SVA mods have great long-term value, and if I passed up this chance to get one at RRP I would end up paying some flipper much more.

My only hesitation was the fact that SVA has a Punto Zero Version 2 out now. I’ve seen people flipping them for as high as $800. The verson 2 has a slightly more rounded edge, and uses an all-new Mosfet switch.

The new switch has built-in LED indication and several basic protections. You can turn the swith off with a few clicks, activate stealth mode and other basic functions. This new switch makes takes it a huge leap ahead of any Mosfet squonk mod in the market.

However, I think they are so new that the only people who have them got them recently at the Paris Vape Expo 2017. I will wait till I can get one at RRP so that I will not lose much when (and if) I decided to sell it off.

So How is the SVA Punto Zero?

Fantastic. Right away you can notice the build quality inside and outside. Way better than that YFTK SVA clone. Of course as I said, it also costs 10x more. The clone could have been better with just a little more effort and QC, but it is what it is and only YFTK has made them.

I paid slightly more for the engraved back, but I think it’s worth it. SVA is now a global brand, but keep trying to be small and sell to the same crowd. As long as they sell out everything they make, they do not seem to mind.

Since they are leaving all that money on the table, it’s inevitable that the clones would swoop right in and cash in.

Should I Do a SVA Punto Zero Review?

Honesty I don’t think that’s necessary. There’s nothing technologically great about this mod. It’s all about the SVA brand, and I know I will be getting a lot of jabs in the YouTube comments for just the price.

Plus, I cannot help you get one. So why would I want to spend all that time recording a video to show you something that is already an older model? You can of course always ask me about it, and I will let you know what I think.

I’ve tried the Solo RDA on the Punto Zero, and I spent today taking some pictures for Instagram. It’s the smallest squonk mod I have, maybe slightly larger than the Steam Rabbit squonk mod I reviewed recently.

It’s very light. I’m actually pretty scared that I might drop and break it. So for now, I’m using it only in the studio.

Is it the best squonk mod I have ever tried or own. Hell no.

I still think the DPM Li-Mo is going to be my all-time favorite, with the Limelight Gloom coming in second place. I don’t see the SVA Punto Zero overtaking these two.

Categories
Vaping Gear Vaping Tips

ModMaker 510 – Upgrading My Squonk Mod

So I decided to try upgrading my stabwood squonk mod with the ModMaker 510. I’ve heard so many positive reviews about it, and I’ve even used one in another squonk mod.

My RC Mods stabwood squonker is currently using a Fat Daddy Vapes or FDV 510. It’s the one with the red oring on the top plate. The problem with it is firstly some leaking, but also a noticeable voltage drop.

So after asking around in the Squonker’s Paradise International FB group, I was told to get the ModMaker 510. However, that’s the easy part. In order to make the conversion, I would also need to dril a larger hole to fit the ModMaker 510.

I ordered one from the ModMaker website, along with some squonk tubes, magnets and other stuff that is impossible for me to find anywhere else. I also got the larger nut as you can see in the picture, just in case I needed it, along with some copper contacts.

Build quality of the ModMaker 510 is fantastic. Smooth threads, and really simple to put together. I have to stack two 22mm plates to get the correct heigh for the conversion. However, I still need to purchase a step drill bit from Amazon before I start.

Believe it or not, I searched everywhere locally for a step drill bit and found nothing. So, Amazon is my last hope and even on Amazon only a few sellers would ship it to me.

For now, I will be measuring and planning for the conversion. I do not want to drill a hole without the right tools, as I do not want to fuck up a $300 stabwood squonk mod.

I’ve seen videos of how to do it, and I think this ModMaker 510 is going to be awesome.

The prices on the ModMaker website are really good, and they do not overchange on shipping. I only wish they would also add other squonk 501s like the ModDog 510 or SVASK. It would be great to get a few 510s before I decide to hack my squonk mod, but for now the ModMaker 510 will have to do the trick.