Vaporizer Principles

by The Bonj

This file details the construction and operation of a vaporizer. A vaporizer (for our purposes) is a device which raises the temperature of mj high enough to cause the active ingredient (THC) to vaporize, but not enough to induce combustion. The benefits include higher healthier highs and a major increase in the buzzed/buck ratio!

The vaporizer detailed here, based on a thread in alt.drugs (thanks for all the great ideas!), is low priced and easy to construct. My design criteria where as follows:

The plans are based on the first vaporizer I built and any suggestions for modifications and/or improvements would be greatly appreciated for subsequent revisions of this file.

Latest Revision: 9/19/94
Inception: 9/19/94


The format followed is for the mechanically impaired (i.e. me), so if this seems obnoxiously simple and detailed, it's probably because it is. Deviate/modify or mutilate the design however you want-but please let us know of any ass kickin' ideas that hit you.

Here are the 3 rules I found most helpful in building stuff (remnants from my model rocketry days)

Phase I: The Parts

      Part                   #     Comments                          Est. Cost
      ----                  ---    ---------                         ---------
   a) 33W Solder Element     1     Radio Shack(RS) (64-2082)            $9.00
   b) Solder handle          1     RS (64-2080)                         $7.00
   c) Wood (8x8x3/4)         1     Dimensions are given for a guide    <$1.00
   d) Wooden dowel (24x1/2") 1     Check out indoor clothes racks :)   <$1.00
   e) Extension cord         1     Optional                            <$2.00
   f) 2 liter soda bottle    1     Make sure it has black base         <$2.00
   g) Small brass bowl       1     From Head shop or Plumbing supplies <$2.00
   h) Rubber Grommet         1     Auto supply (wheels, etc)           <$2.00
   i) Aluminum foil                Just need a little                   Free
   j) Wood screws            3     About 1/2" is fine                  <$1.00
   k) Clear Silicone         1(Tube) Any hardware store                 $4.00
   m) Small Block of wood    1     About 2x2x3/4 is fine                Free
   n) Rubber band            1     Should fit snuggly around the bottle Free
                                                          Total Cost ~ $31.00
                                                          (This is an UPPER
                                                           bound for sure!!)

Phase II: The Tools

      Tool                                 Comments
      ----                                 --------
   A) Screwdriver                       For wood screws
   B) Exacto knife                      To cut plastic
   C) Saw                               Obviously for the wood :)
   D) Hacksaw (optional)                Cuts dowel nicely
   E) Drill w/1",1 1/8",1/16", [*] bits Try to get kind of close on the bits.
   F) Ruler                             Very handy!
   G) Pencil                              ditto!
   H) C-clamp                             ditto!
   I) Sandpaper (optional)              We wouldn't want any splinters :)
   J) Protractor (optional)             For fun with trigonometry!

[*] You'll also need a bit the same width as your dowel (1/2")

Phase III: Construction

Step 1: Base

  1. Trace out an equilateral triangle on wood (c).
  2. Cut out triangle from wood, see fig 1.
  3. Sand down all sides and edges.
    |      /\      |
    |     /  \     |
    |    / 60 \    |<- Part (c)
    |   /      \   |
    |  /<-Saw ->\  |
    | /          \ |
    |/ 60      60 \|
    /_____________ \
    |<    ~ 8"    >|

       Fig. 1


Step 2: Mount
  1. Label one side as T (top) and the other B (bottom).
  2. Draw (on BOTH sides) three lines as follows: Bisect each side of the triangle and mark it. With the ruler draw a line (label l) from the bisector to the opposing vertex. The result is three lines intersecting in the center of the triangle (label it IP).
  3. On the top side, drill (1 1/8" bit) about 1/8" at IP. This is the resting bed for the solder handle.
  4. On the top side, drill (1" bit) about 1/2" at IP.
  5. On the bottom side drill (1" bit) at IP to complete the hole. The reason for drilling on both sides is to prevent splintering on the surface.
  6. Sand any roughness down.
Step 3: Legs
  1. Cut dowel (d) with hacksaw into three 8" pieces (These are the legs).
  2. Since I didn't have a drill press, making the holes for the legs in the base was a little tricky. Here is how I did it:
    1. On block of wood (m) drill a hole (with the bit of dowel width) at about 15 degrees off the normal all the way through. This is known as a jig (Fig. 2). Draw a reference line along the jig.
                  ^ Normal
              /   |    /|
             /----O---/ /
            /        / /
            --------- /
             Fig. 2
    2. Place the base bottom side up on your workbench. Then align the jig with a line (l) so that the jig hole is about 1 1/2" from the vertex. Clamp it all down and using the jig as your guide, drill through the base. Make sure that the tilt of the jig points outward. Repeat for the other two vertices. Now you should be able to slide the dowels in and voila, you have a stable table! It should look sorta like a landed UFO (bearing gifts for humanity)! I didn't glue the legs in, because I liked to take them out for traveling purposes :)
Step 4: Chamber Base
  1. Take 2 liter soda bottle (f) and cut out a circle of about 2" radius from the bottom with the exacto knife. Take care to cut so as not to destroy the little holes around the perimeter of the base. You should be able to detach the black base (label CB) from the bottle. Do it. Put the bottle aside for step 5.
  2. Align CB onto the wood base (Top) so that it is facing up, centered, and the lines (l) can be seen through 3 of the "screw holes".
  3. With the smallest bit you have, drill 1/4" into the 3 holes.
  4. Put silicone (k) around the bottom of CB, realign it with the drill holes, apply pressure, and then screw in the 3 screws (j) into the drill holes. Now this is fixed! Add silicone liberally to make sure it's sealed up nice and tight...wouldn't want to loose anything.
Step 5: Chamber

Note: As you can see, placing the bottle into CB gives a nicely sealed chamber. Another bonus is, no matter where you are, finding a replacement chamber is exceedingly simple.

  1. Cut a small hole towards the bottom of the bottle (but not low enough to be covered by CB) with the exacto knife.
  2. Fit the grommet (h) into the hole. Shave with exacto if the hole isn't big enough. If you screw up...get another bottle :)
  3. Save the cap to the bottle (this is the "mouthpiece cap")
  4. Place a rubber band around the bottle and use it to hold a coin over the grommet.
Step 6: Bowl Element

Note: Since I couldn't find a bowl that would screw nicely onto the tip of the soldering element and I wanted a good contact without getting to fancy...

  1. Take a thin strip of aluminum foil (~1/4"x1') and wrap it around the tip of the soldering element (where the solder tip would normally go)
  2. Gently try and twist the bowl on. Remove foil (in small strips) if necessary.
  3. Once the bowl is on, use the eraser end of the pencil to crimp it into place (look inside the bowl-push down on the foil sticking up over the soldering element tip).

Phase IV: Operation

Putting It All together:

  1. Place solder handle cord through hole in base, pull it through until the solder handle rests nicely in the bed you've made for it.
  2. Screw the soldering element into the handle.
  3. Load the bowl.....drum roll please! Note: Just a little, i.e, the bowl should contain less than 3/4 its capacity. Pack it with a pencil eraser or something similar.
  4. Mount the bottle into CB.
  5. Turn it on (plug it in - or better yet, connect it through a switch).
  6. Wait until vapors appear (3.5-4 minutes) and turn it off. Otherwise it might start to burn :(
  7. Remove coin, remove cap, hit, have next person place finger on the grommet, replace cap, go to the end of the line. Comment: Taking the cap off gets to be a pain, so a resting cover will work nicer. I am going to try cutting off the threaded part of the cap...
  8. You should be able to get 3 to 6 good hits (depending on the quality of your grass) out of this small amount!
  9. Remove bottle, Push handle out from bottom. Tap bowl gently into ash-tray, replace handle. Be very careful not to touch element!
  10. Replace coin on bottle, goto (3) and repeat until everyone is happily baked! And notice how little of your precious stash has been used!

Phase V: Transportation and Storage

As an added bonus, vaporizers have great stealth potential, unlike pipes, bongs, etc. Break the whole thing down, put it in a box, add fluff and bango, you now have an art kit, or science project, or model railroading fog device, or whatever! By fluff, I mean chuck in some clay, paint brushes, paints, wires, model parts, etc into the box.


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