Author Topic: How To Varnish A Tesla Coil Secondary Coil  (Read 268 times)

Offline Mads Barnkob

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How To Varnish A Tesla Coil Secondary Coil
« on: August 08, 2022, 09:47:24 PM »
This video shows your the method, tools and best of all, a few tricks to get a good Tesla Coil secondary coil varnish job done! This is something everyone can do, from a cheap battery drill to a expensive servo/stepper motor winding rig, its about the skill and not just expensive tools. You can do it!

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I realized there is no general section for something that goes across topologies, so it ended up here for the coil I made it for :)
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Offline TMaxElectronics

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Re: How To Varnish A Tesla Coil Secondary Coil
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2022, 10:01:56 PM »
I can really recommend using epoxy as opposed to varnish actually. I use Epoxyplast 100P which is designed for clear cast floors and I beleive can actually take a car driving over it. It takes a long time to cure (>24h!) or a heatgun firing through the center of the tube to cure faster (~8h). But it does so bubble free without needing de-gassing, and gets so hard you can hit the coil with a hammer without it taking damage (not kidding, I tried with an old one that I mis-wound with the wrong wire diameter). Mine has also survived some racing sparc incidents I had when I modified my inner primary connection and left a sharp edge on it :)

I tend to give it two or thee thin-ish coatings, after which you won't even feel the windings anymore. The only thing you need to make absolutely sure is that the coil doesn't stop moving during the curing process or else the resin will sag down to one side, even if its already dry to the touch on the surface. So instead of using a battery drill I use a mains powered one running nice and slowly from a variac.

I've attempted to test the dielectric breakdown strength of that stuff by embedding two electrodes exactly one mm apart from another. But I couldn't get it to break down even with 20kV across them for 5 minutes .

Offline Twospoons

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Re: How To Varnish A Tesla Coil Secondary Coil
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2022, 12:22:26 AM »
Polyester resin is also worth considering, as it will gel well before full cure so sag is less of an issue.  You can control the cure rate by using more or less catalyst (within reason), unlike epoxy where proper cure depends on the proper ratio of hardener to resin. Polyester resin is usually cheaper too.

Offline Mads Barnkob

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Re: How To Varnish A Tesla Coil Secondary Coil
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2022, 09:22:37 PM »
I need to experiment with epoxy before throwing it on a large coil and ruin it :)

I have used polyurethane because its cheap and easy to work with, very forgiving varnish.

This video also got featured on hackaday: https://hackaday.com/2022/08/09/junkbox-build-keeps-tesla-coils-perfectly-varnished/
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Re: How To Varnish A Tesla Coil Secondary Coil
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2022, 09:22:37 PM »

 


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