Re: looking for a real "how to" guide on building (bending)a condenser
Consider this an invitation to take a look at the pictures of my stills under Ak Jay's Operation in photos. There are several different coils in there, all of them created using nothing more than the spring-type tubing bender and a piece of pipe for the form.
If you have 20 feet of kinked up copper, it's probably because you were being too aggressive with it or just not using the right technique. Not to mention, 20 feet is not an unreasonable amount of tubing to waste when you are doing it for the first time in your life!
Wrapping a coil around 1.25" PVC could probably be done without any bender or salt or any other silly thing you care to pack your pipe with. Try making a coil using a form of just .5".
Just my $.02.
If you are able to use a method like the one in the link that Ken gave you, do it. Your coil will come out perfect.