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From: (Chris Walsh)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Bong & Pipe FAQ
Date: 16 Mar 94 09:31:32 GMT
Message-ID: <>

             Bongs, pipes and other wonderful contraptions

All bongs and pipes in this FAQ are ones that I've personally constructed
and used. I'm sure that there are many many more designs out there, but
these are the ones that I've found to work for myself.

Anybody planning on building any of the various forms of pipes will need
a few essentials. I buy mostly everything from the local hardware store.
You'll need some screens (faucet screens are perfect, if they don't
contain aluminum), various pipes of different lengths, some sealant, and
a way to drill holes. Just go into the plumbing section of your hardware
store and browse. Use your imagination. There are all kinds of different
pipes with valves, copper pipes, surgical tubing, blah blah blah... you
can get quite creative. One of the best pipes to buy is a toilet pipe...
it's usually a 3/8" diameter pipe a couple feet long, and one end widens
and holds some kind of plastic attachment. Rip off the plastic piece, and
that end makes a PERFECT bowl. You'll also need bottles. For most purposes,
plastic bottles (especially 1, 2 & 3 litre bottles) work quite well.
Mason jars are a standard for bongs. If you want to use glass, you'll
have to figure out how to drill holes into it (something I haven't done;
I simply don't have access to a drill press). For sealant, the only
really reliable one I've found is a good silicone sealant. I use a
caulking-gun type that's resistant to temperature extremes from -50 to
300 degrees F. and is also a water sealer. For a temporary seal, mostly
used when testing designs because the silicone takes a day to dry, hot
glue works well, as does 5-minute epoxy. On some pipes, lead-free solder
is also useful, although I tend to avoid using even the lead-free in
areas where it may be heated. Other supplies can include a various and
sundry number of spray paints, glitter, model paints, etc., for
decorating your bongs. I love to use that simulated granite-cast
spray paint and other textured paints, and I've also made good use of
sculpting stuff such as Femo and clay (don't make pipes from Femo,
incidentally; fumes are highly poisonous) to decorate them. Once again,
be creative.

A joint, as you all should know, is chopped-up weed rolled into a
cigarette. When a joint is almost finished, it's called a roach and
there are a variety of methods of holding the roach to smoke it without
burning yourself such as tweezers, tie clips, alligator clips, small
pieces of cardboard, cigarette holders, and so on. Eating the roach is
considered bad etiquette in most circles, and I usually keep the roaches
to put in a pipe. Piped roaches are very potent, as all the smoke from
the joint was drawn through that little bit at the end, and both the bud
left and the paper are soaked in nice amounts of concentrated resin.
I rarely smoke joints these days. No denying they're highly portable and
convenient, but I do find them extremely inefficient. However, Marley and
joints just have to go together. =)

A pipe is a simple device to smoke ganja. It (and any other devices
working under the same principal) doesn't require you to chop up the
weed, as with joints, and you get the added bonus of resin accumulation
in the bowl. A pipe is essentially a mouthpiece, a bowl with a screen
for the dope, and a pipe connecting the two together. You put the dope
into the bowl, light it, and suck from the mouthpiece. Standard tobacco
pipes work fine if you add a screen, and screened corn cob pipes work
well, as the resin soaks into the cob (which can later be chopped up and
smoked), just make sure it's screened and fairly heat resistant. Some
pipes have a heating element (usually a car cigarette lighter element)
that heats the dope up to sub-flammable temperatures and releases all of
the cannaboids without destroying any, as direct flame tends to do.
These are called tilt or vaporizor pipes (or bongs, if an element is built
into one), and I've yet to rig up a reliable one. If you can make a metal
pipe, you can drop some dope onto a heated up cigarette lighter and
draw, or drop some on and collect the smoke in a 2-litre bottle with the
bottom cut off and inhale from the top (similar to hot knives, below).

I don't use many pipes these days, except for convenience. The most
portable type of smoking instrument, you can make them pretty much out
of anything. Coke cans, copper piping, tobacco pipes... I've even made a
pipe out of a cigarette package (in a pinch). Coke cans make great
temporary pipes, just indent it on the side, puncture some small holes
in it and smoke from the spout. Punch a carb (an airhole that you keep
covered while hooting and uncover to clear the chamber at the end of
your toke) in the side if you wish. A rubber hose with a copper bowl
stuck on the end works quite nicely. Carve them out of wood or
soapstone. Make them out of clay or ceramics. The only things you need
are a hole w/screen to put your bud in and a mouthpiece on the other

A stash pipe is a pipe with a small amount of ganja held in the stem of
the instrument. Whenever bud is smoked in the bowl, the ganja in the
stem is bathed in smoke and coated in resin. The longer you leave it in,
the stronger it gets.

One-hits or dugouts are very portable instruments for people who only
like to smoke a little at a time. It's a small metal tube with a cavity
at one end and a mouthpiece on the other. You press the cavity into a
small containter of cleaned, chopped grass to fill it and then it is lit
like a cigarette and inhaled steadily until the grass is smoked. You
only get one inhalation per filling, so it's called a one-hit. A dugout
is a small container which has a space for some cleaned grass and
another space for the one-hit itself.

A good design that I use often is a simple 3/8" pipe, about two inches
long, with a cigar filter stuck on the end, and a small screen pushed down
at the front about a 1/4". It's very portable, and in a bad situation,
I've passed it off as a cigarette holder.

A gas pipe is essentially a regular pipe with a large chamber. The
standard design is a plastic bottle with the bottom cut off and a small
bowl mounted perpendicular to the bottle in the side. You cover the
bottom with your hand, light the bud and suck, which fills the chamber.
Then you uncover the end of the bottle to rush all the smoke in your

Water bongs, also known as water pipes (esp. in head shops), are,
IMHO, the most enjoyable, comfortable and easy way to smoke. The bong
is essentially a sealed chamber half-full of water. A pipe with a bowl
on the end goes into the chamber and the water, another pipe with a
mouthpiece on the end that enters the chamber but stays above the water
level. You put bud in the bowl, apply a flame to it and suck on the
mouthpiece. This will lower the air pressure in the chamber, causing
air to travel from the bowl, through the water, into the chamber and
into your lungs, pulling the smoke with it. The water cools the smoke,
as well as filtering quite a few carcinogens from it, and you usually
get a couple of tokes because the chamber fills with smoke. You can build a
carb into the bong to drain the chamber, or leave it without (some
prefer this, as it's a less immediate way than a carb to drain the chamber
if you just keep sucking on the hose). Here are a couple of designs that
I've found to work.

        Mason Jar bong

The standard. I'm no great ASCII artist, but I'll give it my best.

     > _________
    /   -------.|        ____
   mouthpiece  ||        \  / <---- bowl
               ||         ||
               ||         ||
          |    ||         ||    |
          |    ||         ||    |
  jar --> |               ||    |
          |               ||    |
          |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^||^^^^| <---- water line
          |               ||    |
          |               ||    |
          |               ||    |
          |               ||    |

Classic design, efficient, easy to make and paint. I used surgical
tubing for the mouthpiece and one of the aforementioned toilet tubes for
the bowl and pipes (I cut a piece about two inches off and stuck it
through the lid for the shorter tube, put the tubing over that). The
carb could be placed in the lid if you wish (mine is carbless).

        Coke bottle bong

This is a simple design, but the most efficient bong I've found. Take a
1-litre plastic bottle and put two holes in it, one about halfway down
the bottle and the other on the opposite side about an inch up from
the bottom. Take a pipe & bowl (toilet tube is perfect, once again) and
insert it in the lower hole. Hold the pipe up at about a 60 degree angle
so that the bottom of the pipe is almost at the bottom of the bottle and
the bowl is sticking up as much as possible, and seal/glue it in place
(I use hot glue for this one and change the bottle about every month,
scraping out the old one for resin, keeping the toilet tube). Fill the
bottle up with water to about halfway between the two holes. You hold
the bottle straight up so that the bowl is pointing up and away from
you. The hole halfway up on the back is your carb, and suck from the
mouthpiece of the bottle. You can also make it out of smaller bottles
for more portability, or link two or more bottles together, or use
bigger bottles for a larger chamber... experiment.

        Triple Chamber Mason jar

This is a design that has worked quite well for me as well. The design
is the same as the mason jar bong above, but there are three jars used.
Three wide-mouth mason jars of different sizes are needed. The second
largest jar comes first. Mount the bowl and pipe as above, except
instead of the mouth piece going into your mouth, use a 1/2" diameter
piece of rubbing tubing and put it into the largest jar, below the water
level. Then another half-inch piece from above the water level of the
largest jar into the smallest, below water level, and finally a
mouthpiece from above the water level of the smallest. When you suck on
the tube of the smallest, it lowers the air pressure in the jar, and it
sucks air from the largest chamber. The air pressure in the largest goes
down, so it sucks from the chamber of the second-largest jar, which then
sucks the smoke down from the bowl on that one. This is kind of the

        Mouth hose (3/8" rubber) - chamber on smallest - 1/2" rubber
        hose below water level on smallest - chamber of largest - below
        water level of largest - chamber of second largest - 3/8" pipe
        below water level of second largest - bowl & ganja.

That's as clear as I can make the design... it gives a surprising amount
of suction and absolutely huge tokes. You can work out some kind of
carburation system for it, but it seems to me that carbs are rather
pointless with this design. Make sure all seals between lids of jars and
the hoses are airtight - one small hole will stop it from working.

If you get the basic principle behind bongs, there's no telling what you
can do.

Also known as bucket bongs, beach bongs, and depth charges, this is
essentially a device that uses gravity and air pressure to draw the
smoke into a large chamber and then expel it quickly into the lungs.
This gives much larger hits than most instruments, and it is possible to
get quite fried quickly with a relatively small amount of weed. The most
popular method is to take a 2-litre and a 3-litre bottle. Cut the top
off the 3-litre at the point where it starts to curve into the neck, and
the bottom off the 2-litre. Attach a bowl to the top of the 2-litre (or,
preferably, attach one to the lid so it can be taken off). Fill the
3-litre up with water. Place the 2-litre into the 3-litre and attach the
filled bowl to the top. Then light the bud as you slowly draw the
2-litre up. This will create a vacumn in the 2-litre bottle and suck the
smoke down into the chamber. Once you get near the top, quickly remove
the bowl, expel all the air out of your lungs, put your lips over the
top of the bottle and push it back down quickly. This will force all the
smoke into your lungs quickly.

You can experiment a little bit with this design, using different sized
containers and such, but the model above works as well as any other I've
tried. It's easy to use it in a kitchen sink filled with water as well.
Another popular method is to just put a small hole in the lid instead
of a bowl and placing a lit joint in the hole. Draw the bottle up, and
it's possible to get an entire joint into the bottle to be taken in your
lungs at once.

This is essentially a variant on the gravity. You take a bottle (I use a
2-litre) and drill a small hole (about 3/8") in the bottom, at the lowest
Cover this hole with your finger and fill the bottle up. Then, attach a
filled bowl to the top (I use the same Coke-bottle lid as the gravity) and
light the
dope. Uncover the hole out the bottom, and as the water drains out, the
smoke will be drawn in. Keep the bowl lit and let the water drain out,
and by the time you're done you have a 2-litre bottle full of
concentrated smoke. Just suck from the top and uncover the hole at the
bottom to hoot. This is also an extremely efficient design, as very
little smoke can escape.

Knives are a rather complex method of smoking dope, but also a very
powerful and efficient method. Although it sounds simple, it can be
difficult to do them successfully (especially if you're already cooked).
All you need are a couple of knives (with wood handles, preferably),
something to heat them with (a propane torch works best), a plastic
bottle with the bottom cut off, a moderately heat-resistant plate (I use
a lightswitch plate), and of course, weed. You heat the knives to the
point where they're glowing red. Then you put the bottle in your mouth,
take one of the hot knives, touch it to a SMALL bud on the plate so that
it sticks to the knife, and then use the other one to sandwich the bud
between the two knives underneath the bottle in your mouth. Plumes of
smoke will come up into the bottle, which you then draw into your lungs.
This can hurt your throat like hell, but it works beautifully. It's also
the most popular way to do hash, and a reasonably good way to smoke hash

This is a really entertaining way to smoke dope, and also a pretty good
party trick. =) First, take a nice-sized glass mug or jar, run it under
the faucet, and put it into the freezer for about twenty minutes. Light
a joint and put it into a holder (a Bic pen with the innards removed works
well) until only the burning cherry and about another 1/4" of the joint
are sticking out. Then take the burning end and CAREFULLY put it into your
mouth. Take the jar out of the freezer, stick the end of the Bic pen
(the end you'd be dragging on if using the pen like a cigarette holder)
near the bottom of the jar, and blow. The cold jar keeps the smoke from
escaping, and you can fill the jar to the top (it's possible to get the
entire joint in). Then take the jar, put it to your lips, and inhale it
into your lungs by tipping it into your mouth just as you would a drink.
The smoke will be so cold you can barely feel it going down. It's
complicated to do correctly, and takes some practice, but it's probably
one of my favourite methods.

You can eat dope if you heat it first to activate the cannaboids, which
are also fat and alcohol soluble. This is much more efficient than
smoking it, as none is wasted, and it gives a longer stone. Also, it
eliminates the carcinogenic effects of smoking it. The most popular
method is to sautee some ganja in some butter on medium heat for awhile,
and then using the butter to cook. You can make anything out of it...
cookies, cakes, spead it on bread, cook vegetables, and, of course,
brownies. Standard ratio is one eighth of an ounce of ganja to a stick
of butter.

It is also possible to extract the active ingredients from dope by
soaking them in a strong alcohol. The cannaboids are alcohol soluble, so
they dissolve into the alcohol. The remaining solids can then be
strained out and the mixture drunk, with the same effects as eating it.
The standard method is to take a bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol and
put it in a pot on an ELECTRIC stove. Heat it to sub-boiling and then
add ganja (standard ratio: 1/2 gram per ounce of liquor). Let it sit at
sub-boiling for 20 minutes or so and then drain it out. This produces a
green-tinted alcohol known as "Green Dragon", which can be drunk
straight (painful) or put in a drink. A popular drink using Green Dragon
is 1 oz. Green Dragon and lemon lime soda served over ice with a dollop
of honey.

As you can see, bong construction can be extremely creative. I'm going
to include the plans to one last bong: my masterpiece, the Kong Bong. =)

        Kong Bong

Take a 20 litre plastic water cooler jug. Drill four 3/8" holes around
to the top, put in four 3/8" hoses a couple feet long and seal them. These
are your mouthpieces. Then find a bowl. For the bowl on mine, I use one of
those large spark plug sockets. Drill a hole in the lid of the bottle and
insert the bowl. Seal it with silicone or something similarily
heat-resistant. Then, on the bottom of the cap, afix a rubber hose over
the bottom of the bowl and seal it in place. This is your main bowl
w/hose. Now drill a 1" hole in the side of the bottle right at the
bottom, and put in some kind of plug or pipe with a removable
water-tight cap. Fill the bong half-full of water and put the lid on the
top. You now have a bong with a 10 litre chamber and a bowl that can
hold as much as an eighth of an ounce of ganja that four people can suck
on at once. A propane torch or similar heavy-duty flame is recommended
for lighting the bowl, as the bowl is too big for a lighter flame. Once
we're all nicely cooked, I usually re-stuff the bowl and hold a flame to
it while I uncap the hole near the bottom and plug the toke hoses. This
drains all the water out, and as it drains, it serves as a waterfall as
well, fully filling up the 20-litre bottle (with the pipe & hose, the
waterfall smoke is bubbled through the draining water) with smoke. Any
hoses that aren't being used to toke should be plugged (as well, cover the
end with your
thumb while exhaling or resting) or there won't be any suction. Or
unplug a couple hoses and they'll serve as a carb to drain the chamber.
The ultimate party bong.
There will be periodic updates to the FAQ when I discover new methods
and designs. My thanks to all those who sent in designs, and whoever
sent messages a year ago on the net detailing some of the basics to get
me started. Good luck, and happy smoking.

Chris M.F. Walsh                                 (
Vancouver, B.C., Canada                          Voice:(604) 943-9273