The concept behind making a bong yourself is actually very straightforward. And if you get it right the first time around, you’ll never have to worry about experiencing any embarrassing bond breakage scenarios in front of your smoking clan.
The Basics of Making a Good Bong at Home
Let’s take you through a simple breakdown of how a homemade bong works. Before anything else, we’ll need to assemble some materials which include a chamber, downstem hole, bowl and a mouthpiece, in some cases.
Every phase of your DIY home bong should be constructed using certain materials for the best experience, because some are to be avoided altogether. After all, you’ll have a handful of raw materials lying around your home – it’s important to know which ones will best serve the purpose.
Let’s take a more detailed look:
This is the most major component of your homemade bong. There are a number of materials you can easily use to construct it, such as aluminium can, plastic bottle, any tube-like object or canister, or if you want to get creative, you can use a cucumber, apple or pumpkin.
Hole for Downstem
Now, you’ll need to forge a hole around the bottom of the chamber. Ideally, the hole needs to be a good 2 inches away from the chamber’s base. The hole itself needs to be between 1/8th of an inch and a quarter inch in diameter.
It’s important to get this right because the hole allows the smoke to enter the chamber through the bowl and stem. Therefore, you will need to seal it very tightly using a sealant or tape. The tighter you seal up the hole around the stem, the more enjoyable the experience will be.
Tube for Downstem
Whichever material you choose, place it in the hole you’ve just created (from above). Good materials for this purpose can be a pen tube that you can hollow out, a small metal pipe, or ideally, a proper stem.
No matter what you choose, you’ll need to insert it at a positive angle – unless you want to wet your cannabis and render the session useless.
Make Sure its Airtight
This is one of the most critical aspects of getting your DIY bong right – because if this is not done properly then the smoke will be kicked out of the bong from the wrong place. The entire effect can get ruined due to the tube’s hole not being sealed properly.
Some sealants may not be very effective, in which case, you can use tape, glue or gum. An important question to ask yourself is how to know if the tube is airtight enough? This can be determined easily by putting your hand over the seal and blowing air from the mouthpiece. If you feel any air, it’s not sealed properly. A rubber grommet can also be used to make it adequately airtight.
Add the bowl at the top of the tube. If you already have a glass bowl, that would be perfect. If not, you can use a makeshift bowl by attaching tin foil or rolling paper – we only recommend this as a last-minute alternative because you don’t want to inhale the toxic fumes from that foil. Therefore, give special consideration to your makeshift bowl material before kicking off the first session.
We’re almost there! It’s time to fill up the bong chamber with some water. Ensure that the tube is submerged in at least an inch of water. Be careful not to add too much water because you wouldn’t want to suffocate your cannabis. Also important to know is that too much water, i.e. more than an inch, reduces the smoke density in the chamber as you inhale. You won’t get the desired effect.
Now ‘Carb’ it
This process is also referred to as ‘the clearing hole’. You need to bore it with a paper clip but only halfway down the chamber, or perhaps a bit lower. Be careful not to make the clearing hole too low because water will spill over every time you inhale.
The clearing hole is an important element of the DIY bong process because, for one, it prevents too much smoke from accumulating inside the chamber. Without the carb, you’re not going to have enough oxygen circulating inside in order for the bong toke to be effective. Also if the hole is too high, you’re effectively letting in too much oxygen – this will pretty much dilute the desired effect.
Do a Test Toke
This is one of the most fun parts of a makeshift homemade bong: the toke test.
Go ahead and load it up with your favourite strain in the bowl, place your thumb over the carb and let it rip!
Irrespective of the kind of bong you make, you should always strive for the most air tightness. A super-airtight bong means all that lung power will be put to good use. So, the more chambers you add to your bong, the more airtight it needs to be because there are more gaps.
Here’s a quick tip – lift your finger off the carb while taking long, perpetual tokes, and then exhale ever so slowly, enjoying the effects that start to creep in!
Common Homemade Bong Concerns
In the spur of the moment, it can be easy to let your carefree spirit and sense of adventure go a little out of hand. However, if you’re the type who likes to pay attention to your pets’ and smoking buddies’ wellbeing, you should pay heed to the following:
- You would ideally not want to use a plastic straw in cases where a pipe is not available because it’s fragile and emits harmful fumes
- When making a custom bowl, it’s best to avoid aluminium foil because just like plastic, it also gives off harmful fumes when burned; in fact, harmful enough to irritate your throat and even damage the lungs
- Tapes and adhesives should only be used as a last resort – again, due to the harmful vapours they emit when heated
Quick Tips When Making a Bong at Home
It’s always good to be well-prepared with some extra supplies in case there’s ever a bong mishap. For instance, once a ballpoint pen is all used up, don’t discard it – this way, you’ll have spare tube materials when needed.
Despite the risks we’ve discussed above, aluminium foil can be very handy when it comes to putting together pieces of your homemade bong – however, abstain from using it as a bowl.
Toothpicks work very well when you want to construct a screen, particularly if you’re making a bong out of fruit.
Speaking of which – seasonal fruits are great for makeshift bongs – year-round staples like bell peppers, apples and carrots, for instance. In the summer season especially, you shouldn’t find it surprising to see folks making bongs out of watermelons. Mushy fruits, however, are best avoided.
It’s always good to have extra soft sour candies or gum lying around because they make for a good adhesive, when you’re constructing your DIY home bong. Peanut butter happens to be a great sealant too.
DIY Bong – General Considerations
Even though there is a wide array of materials that can be used to make bongs at home, not all of them may be safe. Tubes made from polyvinyl chloride are to be avoided because they can slowly leach out carcinogenic elements with the passage of time.
When using plastic, only use the kind that is safe to use with food. Metallic materials are fine although you need to avoid those that can leach into water. Also, copper must be avoided because it can mix with the smoke, wreaking havoc on your health. Bowls and stems made from brass and aluminium are generally what most seasoned bong smokers prefer. Silly putty or clay will also do just fine.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you may want to try something other than water. Carbonated drinks scrub the smoke rather well due to the ‘agitated’ bubbles.
However, plain boiling water is also great for scrubbing the smoke – if you can get the temperature just right, the hot steam will soothe your throat. On the other hand, ice water is good for cooling the smoke, particularly if you want to take huge bong hits into your fragile little lungs.
Keep that Screen Clean
Once a bowl is finished, you’d want to dump the ashes and blow through the bottom with pursed lips. This refreshes the screen and you can hold the bowl up against some light to see if it has been cleaned properly. So don’t repack any herb without cleaning the screen first.
That’s All Folks
Time to get a little creative and find whatever you have lying around to make one amazing homemade bong. This season will sure be a memorable one for you and your sesh buddies!