How to get started on making your own pipes or bongs

Published May 17, 2019 12:11 p.m. ET
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Have you ever sat and stared in shock and awe, at the miraculous display of thousands of different pieces out for sale at your local head shop? If you answered yes, then you are not alone. The cannabis paraphernalia industry was evolving for years, long before marijuana legalization was even a topic of discussion. There are people who have dedicated their entire lives to perfecting this form of art, designing styles and unique pieces that are nearly impossible to replicate. Though they are beautiful to look at, and doubt even nicer to use, some of the designer pieces tend to come saddled with a massive price tag that is nearly unattainable for the average person. Even if you are able to cover the cost of a personalized glass bong, the chances of you finding one that was visualized and created by a complete stranger to 100% match your personality and needs is slim to none.

How to get started making your own pipes or bongs

This leaves very few options, and many stoners searching for more affordable options that do the job, but don’t really satisfy the longing for something that is just a little bit different than the rest. Sure, you can find pot leaf, pot colors, and pot buds, but characterized or themed pipes are a rarity. Most stoners end up trying to make at least a handful of different cannabis smoking devices out of necessity, with basic items you might from lying around your home, but many won’t get far past a quick bucket that’s needed in a pinch. If you have ever wondered how to make your own marijuana bongs or pipes, then you have to check out these handy tips and tricks that will all help you to get started on a journey of self-discovery and passion.

1. Make something homemade

The first thing you should do before pursuing this unique new hobby, is learn about the basics of how the pipes or bongs you already have work. The best way to do that, is to learn firsthand by creating some working cannabis smoking devices using basic household items like fruit, cardboard, plastic bottles, paper, aluminum foil, and anything else that is heat resistant. Though it might seem like a silly task, as you experiment, there will be natural lessons learned about airflow, hole size, and so much more, even if you don’t quite realize it at first. If you are satisfied with your creations from this experiment, then it is time to move onto the next level.

2. Metal pipes or bongs

Not everyone has the ability to cut or shape metal in a safe way, so we don’t advocate for trying if you aren’t able to. However, there are these really neat kits that can be bought to make your own metal pipes. Often these kits will come with anywhere from 6-50 different pieces to suit any level of skill. For some, this might be the most enjoyable way to make your own metal bong or pipe with the least about of fuss. They can also help you to learn the basics of marijuana smoking devices and each compartment benefits before trying your hand at something slightly more elaborate.

3. Wood pipes or bongs

Wood carving is a really neat skill, and really doesn’t take much to perfect once you find a rhythm. The best types of wood to use are dense grained like olive, mesquite, cherry, bogwood, and oak. That is because they are able to withstand the large amounts of heat with minimal damage, while also staying soft enough to widdle away into the perfect shape. You will need tool like a drill and sandpaper to smooth out the edges and make an even chamber along the mouthpiece. If you feel your wood carving skills could use some fine tuning, then you don’t need a pipe making class to get there. Simply sign up to one or two workshops that focus on making small fine carves and the information with be transferable. IF you are brave enough to try without prior classes, just be careful and remember. Never use chemicals like lacquer to give the outer edges of the wood bong a shiny appearance. These will infiltrate the taste and can be potentially hazardous to your health. Other than that, the world is your oyster and your imagination is the limit for what types of wood pipes or bongs can be created.

4. Stone pipes or bongs

Minerals such as soapstone or catlinite are softer, shapeable, and some of the best stone materials to use for a homemade stone pipe. This is because of their density, and despite being relatively easy to carve out, the materials are incredibly resistant to extreme heat which makes it perfect for a stone weed pipe or bong. Make sure to select a stone with as few cracks as possible, as they will be critical and could become weak spots once the device is heated. You can use almost any type of carving tools on these stones, and they require minimal strength to pull off. If you want to try this yourself, then just remember to begin with a Y shape and slowly carve it down to the end desired product. If you aren’t confident in your stone working skills, then you might want to consider a class or two until you are able to perfect the art.

5. Glass pipes or bongs

These masterpieces are the diamond standard of the industry, and the most challenging to replicate yourself at home. Due to the significant amounts of heat involved, it is never recommended that you try to make one at home. It’s always best to enlist in the help of a friend who has some hands-on experience in dealing with liquid glass before you begin. You will need a few things like leather gloves, heavy clothes, face protection, a torch with gas cylinder, a carbon rod, and a borosilicate glass tube. Once the torch is lit, you will want to start by blowing the end that will eventually form the mouthpiece. Heat must be consistently applied to the glass while blowing, so that it can inflate. Once the bowl is shaped in a satisfactory way, you must allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes before blowing through the rod from the opposite end as you press the carbon rod in gently to form a chamber for the air to flow. Last but not least are the mouthpiece and carb functions which can be added once the glass pipe cools a second time. The rod can be used to shape the bowl, and to insert a carb hole. One more setting and it’s done! Though this sounds easy, we cannot stress enough how dangerous glass blowing at home can be. Please be sure to take all the proper precautions before trying this one at home.

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