Make and toke your own BONGS

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********************************* * MAKE AND TOKE YOUR OWN BONGS! * ********************************* BY TONY MARX ==> A guide for everyone on the art of making bongs, from the simple to the sublime. ==> Remember, there's more to marijuana than just smoking pot. Why Bongs? / The Bong Concept ============================= Making a bong is very simple, because the concept of a bong is simple. When you toke, you are bubbling the smoke through water before inhaling it. This text phile will take you through various aspects of bongs and bong-making. I hope you will find it valuable and I hope it inspires you to make your own bongs. The reason for using a bong is mostly for health reasons, though people love using bongs for many more reasons. The active part of marijuana, THC, is *not* water-soluble, so you will not lose any of your high by hitting a bong instead of a joint or pipe. The water does filter out many of the impurities (the resinous tar), thus saving your lungs from inhaling crud. Very hot water will remove the most impurities, and very cold water will cool the smoke for a smoother hit. (THC-delta-9 tetrahydrocannibinol.) The anatomy of a conventional bong is *very* simple. It consists of a bowl (with a screen), a stem, a chamber, some liquid, and an opening for the mouth. | | <==="mouthpiece" / / / chamber===> | | | | \ / <===bowl "carb"===> O | // water level ===> |^^^^^|// <===stem | / | / | | | | \_____/ The crude diagram above shows a generic bong. All you need for a simple bong is a platic pop bottle (12-ounce or larger recommended), some kind of stem (a metal tube, plastic tubing, or whatever), and a bowl (use aluminum foil if you can't find anything else). I suggest investing in a tube of silicone--it's the best sealant for plastic, and satisfactory for metal-plastic seals. After you've constructed the bong and let the sealant cure, don't forget to drill (knife) a 1/4" hole for the carb (short for "carburetor", I guess). Water fills the container and stem just up to the carb . The water level should really be at least an inch below the carb so that when the bong is tilted the water won't leak. The job of the carb is to regulate where the air will be supplied from. If covered, the air (smoke) will come from the burning weed; if uncovered, air will be pulled in through the carb to force out the standing smoke from the chamber. Do a "water test" before you pack a bowl. Pull a lungful through the bong with the carb covered. If you get an biting, chemical flavor, then you haven't let the silicone cure long enough--it's toxic to inhale until it's fully cured--then it's harmless. The water test will also let you determine how airtight your bong feels. Smoking a conventional bong means that you have water in your bong, you have a packed bowl, and a lighter. Cover the carb with your thumb and light the bowl and pull air through the bong until you get a steady bubbling of smoke through the water. When your lungs start to hurt a little, let go of the carb and gently pull in the trapped smoke. If your lungs feel fine as you inhale, then save a little lung space for the trapped smoke--let go of the carb and pull it in! Not all bongs work with this method, however. Gravity bongs work on a different concept, which will be explained later. Bongs vs. Joints & Pipes ======================== Not everyone uses bongs. New smokers may wonder why anyone bothers with bongs, and I know plenty of stoners who *prefer* joints to pipes or bongs. Those who favor joints will wax romantic about the joys of rolling, of passing around a fatty, and of super-potent roaches. While I will not turn down a joint making its way around a room, I have never rolled one myself. I disdain joints mainly because of their wastefulness. Consider: While the joint is being passed around or stalled, it is still burning, losing precious smoke. If you grow your own buds you can afford to be carefree, but that is a luxury. Most stoners must pay astronomical street prices for what is just a WEED. Bongs have a special advantage. A stoner can control the burning by using the flat side of a lighter to extinguish the bowl after taking a hit. The practice of extinguishing the bowl can save a lot of pot in the long run. Even those who don't habitually extinguish the bowl will still save more buds, considering the size of a bowl compared with a joint. A bowl holds a smaller amount of bud, so the most you can waste is the quantity a bowl will hold. Stalling a joint, though, will use up a much larger portion, depending on the size of the joint. Joints are *much* harsher on your lungs. While some joint-rollers will use pre-made filters, or a makeshift filter made from a rolled-up paper, nothing compares with the filtration effect of water. Ed Rosenthal of _High Times_ has noted that water not only cools the smoke, but actually removes harmful impurities as well. Bongs have this advantage over pipes, which, like joints, pass the unfiltered smoke right into your lungs. As far as portability goes, bongs can be made in a variety of sizes. I made myself a portable bong out of a 12-ounce plastic water bottle. It works fine, though the filtration leaves something to be desired. Nevertheless, I prefer it over my corn- cob pipes, which I never use anymore. Considerations in Bong-Making ============================= When planning a bong, one should aim for specific goals. Should the bong be portable? Fancy? Colorful? Here's a partial list of characteristics which give a bong its individual personality: airtightness/ease of drawing smoke bowl size choice of chamber/tube(s) compactness/portability decoration filtration hit size transparency tube diameter user accomodation volume etc. Airtightness ============ I will not discuss every possible characteristic of a bong, but I will stress that no matter what kind of bong you make, you should strive for airtightness. When in doubt, just dab and smooth some silicone around the joints where materials meet and leave gaps. An airtight bong means that you will not be wasting lung power. This quality becomes progressively important with more chambers added to the bong, because there are more possible gaps. Materials ========= While there's a wide variety of containers and materials you can use in making a bong, make sure they will be safe. PVC IS OUT! DO NOT USE ANY TUBES MADE WITH POLYVINYL CHLORIDE BECAUSE THEY LEACH OUT CARCINOGENIC PARTICLES OVER TIME. When deciding whether to use a certain kind of plastic or not, the rule of thumb is to make sure it's safe for food. If it's meant to store food, it's okay. Otherwise, don't risk it. Plastic tubing is fine. Glass is optimal because it's inert. My friend's bong, "The Monster", is made from a 1-liter, heavy- duty Ehrlenmeyer flask with a two-hole stopper (+ stem & bowl) and a length of rubber tubing. It's simple, it's airtight, and you can watch the smoke fill the chamber while your friend is taking a hit. Metals are fine to use, too. STAY AWAY FROM COPPER BECAUSE IT LEACHES INTO THE SMOKE. Stems and bowls made from aluminum and brass are the best. Stay away from any metal which could leach into the water, and especially stay away from lead (duh). Clay is great for bongs. The same friend who owns The Monster had a buddy of his make him a small clay bong. It's only about 6" high, with a round chamber, a stout neck and a fixed bowl. It wasn't glazed or fired, but it's airtight and very portable, not to mention cute as shit. More water = better filtration & harder pull ============================================ Being the health-nut stoner that I am, I have decided that filtration is the most important charatceristic for my bongs to have. I figure that I'll be smoking buds all my life, and since I have asthma I want to be as kind to my lungs as possible. The best filtrating bong I've ever smoked is my most recent creation--the triple-chambered bong. Yes, it is smooth as shit--I blow out huge clouds without feeling any irritation on my lungs. Do it yourself: use three Mickey's Malt Liquor (wide-mouth) bottles and some 1/4" clear plastic tubing (hardware store). I strung my bottles together in series, meaning that the bowl on the first one is connected to a stem (3/8" plastic tubing) that plunges down to the bottom. Another hole in the cap lets a second tube draw the smoke out of the first chamber and channel it to the bottom of the second bottle. The same thing again--another tube draws smoke out of the second chamber and pulls it down to the bottom of the third chamber. A fourth tube is the sipping tube to inhale the smoke from the third chamber. The tradeoff is that it is a little harder to pull the smoke through this bong that through a standard Graphix, especially if all the bottles are more than half-filled with water. I sealed all the joints with silicone, so it's surprisingly tight and easy to pull, given the length of the draw and the weight of the water. The bonus is that I usually put boiling-hot water in the first chamber, with iced water in the second and third chambers. Don't try this with plastic chambers! If filtration is not that important to you, just make sure the smoke bubbles up through at least a half-inch of water. Liquids ======= If you like to experiment with bong design like I do, you may try using different liquids in your bong. Here are some things I've found: Carbonated liquids (seltzer, pop) really scrub the smoke well, because of the agitation of the bubbles. Different pop/juice flavors really don't do anything to the flavor of the smoke. Beer and hard liquor add excellent flavor to the smoke, but they cost hit power, since THC is soluble in alcohol. Chloraseptic (throat spray) will numb your throat as you smoke, eliminating all smoke irritation on your throat--kinda scary and I wouldn't advise it. Mouthwash covers the smoky taste with a great mint flavor, but I don't know what hazards it holds--again, not recommended. Hot water is excellent for scrubbing the smoke--use boiling water, if possible. The tradeoff is that the heat of the steam can be more irritating that the heat of the smoke. At the right temperature the steam will soothe your throat by humidifying the smoke. Cold (ice) water is excellent for cooling the smoke and giving you great big bong hits that you thought impossible with your tender little lungs. Aesthetics ========== My first phile was called "The Art of Making Bongs" for good reason. There is indeed an ART to it, and you should open up your creativity to your project. Impress yourself, and impress fellow stoners by using materials that please the eye as much as that killer skunk weed pleases your state of being. Sure you can make a quickie portable with a 12=ounce water bottle, but what about your home/party bong? Take the time to explore garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, and basements to find some cool container that screams "BONG!" The rest is up to you. I made a hooka (multi-user bong with sipping tubes) out of a brass "pitcher". I found it at a garage sale for $4. The hinge for the lid was damaged, but I didn't need the lid anyway, so I threw it out. I thrust a stem and two thin (3/16") flexible plastic tubes down the top opening and sealed it up with silicone. I plugged the spout with silicone, and *voila*--a romantic, two-person hooka that is interesting to look at. A couple buddies of mine had a plastic pig's head which was supposed to be a toy bank. Guess what they did with it.... They stuck a stem into the pig's mouth and widened the coin slot to make an excellent bong which has a large chamber for smoke. Gravity Bong ============ || <===bowl attached to bottlecap == / / \ <===1=liter (smaller) bottle / |^^|^^^^^^^|^^| <=== water level | | | | | | | | | | | | <===2=liter (larger) bottle | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | \_____________/ Gravity bongs work on an entirely different principle than most of the bongs you'll see in your travels. They are very easy to make, are hard to fuck up, and give great hits with decent filtration. The quickest way is to use a 1-liter plastic pop bottle, a 2-liter plastic pop bottle, and a bowl. Drink or dump the pop, then slice the neck off the 2-liter and slice the bottom black part off the 1-liter. The 1-liter serves as the "top" which fits inside the "bottom" part, the 2-liter. Use a knife to carve a hole into the bottlecap of the 1-liter, and screw in the bowl. (Make sure it's airtight.) A gravity bong works by using a vacuum to pull in the smoke. One you've filled your 2-liter to the top edge with water, and inserted the 1-liter, THEN screw on the bowl and pack it. Light the bowl and SLOWLY pull the 1-liter up to create a vacuum that steadily pulls in the smoke. Make sure you don't pull the 1-liter all the way out of the water, because that will destroy the vacuum and you will lose your smoke. When you've pulled up all the way, unscrew the bottlecap and wrap your lips around the top. Let go (don't push)--the pressure of the smoke and gravity will pull the 1-liter down, pushing the smoke out and into your lungs. I still don't know how it works, but there is some filtration effect with gravity bongs. Try using water with a lot of ice. Notice that the 2-liter component can be any large body of water-- a pot, a bathtub, a river, a lake.... Clean your screen! ================== ***Quick tip: After finishing a bowl, dump the ashes, then purse your lips and blow a quick lungful through the bottom of the bowl to refresh the screen. You can hold the bowl up to the

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