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

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 perfectbowl. 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 end.

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 lungs.


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 chain:

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 point. 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 oil.


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. {See the SDIZ Cannabis Ingestion Page for more information on food & drink cannabis preparations}


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

"Everything to excess. Moderation is for monks."
  - Lazarus Long

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