The average stem and bowl will cost less than a fast food breakfast, but occasionally someone is caught without any means of acquiring one. Making one is fast and easy with items you can find at the typical hardware store, or possible even around the house. The bowl and stem are necessary to the creation of a working bong, so having the right materials is important. It’s highly recommended not to use tinfoil or aluminum foil as these release chemicals into the air when heated or exposed to flame. A number of other materials however are suitable for this use.
Things You Will Need
· A metal or plastic pen
· Scissors or a sharp knife
· Adhesive Tape
· A 99mm socket
The Importance of Air Tight Fit
It’s hard to have a 100% air tight fit in a water pipe, but when making the stem and bowl being as careful as possible to keep air flow straight through this device is important. The smoke should be drawn through this stem as the person using the apparatus sucks through the top mouthpiece. For this to work the stem and bowl connection should be as free of leaks as possible.
The metal or hard plastic tube used for the stem should be long enough to be placed at an angle with a majority of the tubing outside the bong and angled upward. The bottom part should reach to a point above the bottom, but low enough that when water is placed in the bong the end point is easily covered with water. If this is too short too large a portion of the water pipe’s chamber will need to be filled with water to compensate.
The 99mm socket is open on both ends and should fit as closely as possible to the end of the pen/tube. Tape can be used to seal this end and make it airtight. Should this be too loose however for the tube you have then it might be necessary to find another tube, or use a smaller socket.
Using the Pen
The best pens to use are long and metal. After removing the top and taking out the ink tubing inside you are left with a long hollow tube. If any of the ink has spilled or if the inside of this smells of ink or too strongly of plastic, then rinse it in hot water and let it dry out.
If you can’t use a metal pen then plastic will do, and many people find these easy to work with in creating the hollow tube. All that’s need is to unscrew the ballpoint end and pull out the tubing. Then take off the seal at the top and viola! You have a long hollow tube that’s strong enough to hold the bowl and the substance you want to use.
Avoid those pens that rubbery, or bend easily. This material isn’t going to hold the bowl steady, and lighting it could be dangerous.
Making the Connection
Take the socket and the tube and using the wider end of the old pen slide both together. Compensate for the difference in sizes with masking tape or another type of sticky tape. Again if this is too loose you will need to find sizes that fit together better. Once the parts are together the socket will act as the bowl.
The bowl will be sideways on the stem, so pack the substance to be used carefully. Don’t overfill or the material will slide down the tube. Overfilling will also cause the substance to burn slower. The material should be loose enough to avoid sliding down, but not falling out of the socket/bowl.
Place the tube into the water pipe in the hold used for this purpose. This is usually on the side nearest the top if there are two holes, as the lower opening is the carburetor or carb used to clear the pipe of smoke. Make sure the fit is tight enough around the hole and the stem. If not, using tape around the tube to make it a little bigger. With a snugger fit less smoke will escape from the hole.
Ready to Go
Once in place the bong can be used as normal. It might take some getting used to having the bowl at a side angle, and for some users it might be easier to light with a long match or a fireplace lighter than with a regular lighter. Make sure the substance lights evenly, and isn’t dropping out of your bowl.
Made with care the new stem and bowl should work easily and create the bubbles of clear, white puffy smoke you are hoping to see.