I, too, used the computer tesla coil design program to design a tesla
coil.  I made the secondary form out of wood and wrapped it with 24ga.  
teflon covered stranded wire.  After I wound it, I coated it with water based
urethane varnish.  I even went so far as to purchase a toroid
of the correct size.  I built the secondary according to the specifications 
given in the program too. The problem is that I could not get any sparks out 
of that secondary, no matter what I tried.  Perhaps the capacitors that I used
were way too big (despite the fact that the program recommended caps of this 
size).  Any ideas as to why I haven't been able to get it to work?  I think 
I'll try smaller caps, but I am not sure that they will work.