One of the problems with a quartz banger and enail heat coil set-up is keeping the assembly together during use.
As we all remember from science class, matter expands when heated and contracts when cooled. Metal and quartz expand and contract at different rates. If the metal heat coil contracts faster than the quartz while cooling, the coil may fall off the banger. If the metal does not expand enough while heating up and is very tight around the quartz, that may result in cracking or shattering.
Even if it doesn’t happen the first time, repeated heating and cooling will weaken the glass and likely form one or more cracks in your daily driver. This can also be very dangerous if flammable materials are underneath the dab rig. It is technically possible to tighten the coil so it fits perfectly around the banger; but then you really risk banger cracking or coil falling. The fit should not be too snug nor too loose.
The Pioneer Banger Arm
The early days of e-nail quartz setups featured this pictured side-arm design. A quartz hook was fused into the side of the banger itself acting as a holder for the coil’s neck. This solution seems great but is almost impossible to get a really good fit around the sides bucket without making the arm too low for the bottom of the bucket. When the arm is at the perfect height there’s no way to slide the coil under the banger without a loose width.The delicate arms were prone to breakage for this reason.
More recently, better designs have come along to hold a coil up to a banger nail. Here we offer some handy solutions to help keep a heating coil secured to a quartz banger.
The Cheap, Easy Wire-Tie Method
The quick-fix solution is to simply use wire to secure the two parts together. Many like this solution, since the wire is easily replaced. It can be found in twist-ties available in the produce section of a grocery store or even some thin gauge wire at the hardware store.
It’s not the prettiest solution, but it works. The only disadvantage is disassembly. Rather than untwisting the wire, most users will simply snip the wire off and bust out a new one when replacing.
You’re best off using a pair of needle-nosed pliers to install, but the thin wire can be twisted by hand fairly easily. Pro tip: If you make sure the tabs are completely horizontal while twisting this will make a tighter connection than if they are diagonal. Twist exactly like you would when closing a plastic bag, but more firmly.
Cotter Pin Fasteners
Many find that the cotter pin fastened banger suits their needs perfectly. If you have no need to switch between bangers and have good finger dexterity, this seems to be the perfect fit. The metal pins slip through the bottom of the heating coil and hold it tight up to the bottom of the banger.
This solution benefits from being more stable overall, at the sacrifice of not being as adaptable to multiple bangers (like the silicone bands below). One thing you need to make sure of is that your coil has a perfectly centered 10mm opening center on the bottom wrap so that the bottom post fits through without cocking the banger to the side.
The one drawback is that the pin can be difficult to remove at times. If you’re not careful to spread the pin and support the quartz post with a finger, it may break off with frequent removals.
Silicone Rubber Banger Bands and Hooks
Silicone bands have a surprising amount of heat tolerance and are available in a variety of different sizes. With proper curing, silicone rubber can withstand about 50°C degrees higher than neoprene rubber; which is rated for up to 250°C/500°F.
Silicone rubber keeps it’s form at an even wider range of temperatures, from -148°F to 572°F. Keep in mind that this is not the temperature of the coil, since the band is placed slightly behind the coil.
Silicone is widely used in many industries for applications with an exposure to a wide range of temperatures. The hooks that hold the bands make for an easy-on, easy-off installation.
Neoprene Rubber Banger Bands and Clips
This adaptable neoprene rubber solution incorporates the humble roach clip from the old days to make an adjustable but less secure coil holder. Cheech would be proud! This setup uses a rubber timing belt with alligator clips to form a MacGuyver-style banger band and clip set which is highly adjustable to fit a wide range of different axial heat coil and banger combinations.
The drawback is that it is less heat stable than the silicone bands above. It’s made with neoprene rubber, which can withstand high temperature. It is also wire-reinforced for a second layer of protection against breakage. Also, silicone versions of this timing belt may be found online as well as neoprene (with about 75°F more heat tolerance and being less prone to becoming hard and brittle over time).
Although not as strong as the silicone bands, neoprene rubber has very good heat resistance and will not produce any off-gassing if kept at least 3/4 of an inch away from the heated part when the enail is set to 750°F. Above that and some small particles could possibly out-gas. This doesn’t necessarily mean the gasses would make it into your rig; but better safe than sorry. As long as the band stays under 392°F/200°C, it should not be affected by normal dabbing temperatures.
One user has experienced breakage with this solution so far, so be smart if you choose to go with this adjustable solution. That being said, neoprene is a decent material for the job if you used correctly. It’s right below silicon in heat resilience and longevity.