Weed smokers have a reputation for being crafty when it comes to different ways of smoking. When you’re in a bind and want to light up, you’ve probably come up with some brilliant feat of DIY engineering at some point.
One of the most in-vogue DIY smoking devices is the mason jar bong. Made from the in-vogue simple glass jar, it is sure to be a conversation piece as well as match any industrial or vintage décor.
If you’re looking to get in on the mason jar hype train with a bong of your own, we’ve compiled a handy DIY guide. Read on for more!
Anatomy of a Bong
Before we dive into the craft section of this tutorial, it’s important to understand what a bong is and exactly how it works.
Bongs can vary in their complexity and variety of parts. Ash catchers, percolators, and other attachments turn the basic bong into something resembling a laboratory experiment. But all bongs have the same basic parts.
The first and arguably most important part is the bowl. This is the part that holds your weed as you light it, so it needs to be fire resistant and big enough to hold a decent amount of bud. Bowls are generally a separate removable piece.
The next part is the downstem. This is a piece that the bowl slides into, which then goes inside the bong. The downstem pulls the smoke from the bowl and into the water in the bong, filtering and cooling the smoke.
The joint is next, and no, it’s not the rolled-up paper kind. This is the part of the bong that holds the downstem. Some bongs have their downstem built-in, while others are removable and slide in and out of the joint.
Next up is the chamber. This is the main body of the bong that holds the water and delivers the smoke to your lungs. The chamber is attached to the mouthpiece, which you may have guessed is where your mouth goes to inhale the smoke.
When the weed is lit inside the bowl, the smoke pulls through the downstem and filters through the water, filling the chamber.
The smoke won’t be inhaled until the downstem or bowl is removed, as there needs to be additional airflow to actually clear the smoke out of the bong.
Some bongs with non-removable bowls or downstems have a carburetor, which is a hole that you cover with your finger while pulling the smoke. Releasing the hole acts the same as removing the downstem/bowl.
All of these various parts can be crafted from basic hardware supplies and a mason jar, making this the perfect minimalist smoking project.
Building a Mason Jar Bong
Most of the components for a mason jar bong can be purchased at a hardware store. For the chamber portion, any glass jar with a metal screw-top lid will suffice, although for ultimate style points the traditional mason jar is the top choice.
The parts you will need to construct your mason jar bong are as follows:
- 1/8″ FIP x FIP brass couplings, lead-free
- 1/8″ by 6″ brass pipe nipple, lead-free (if you can only find 3″ pipe nipples you can use a 1/8″ coupling to combine them)
- 3/8″ brass flare nut, short rod
- 5/8″ hose washer with screen
- 1/8″ brass hose barb x MIP adapter
- 7/16″ vinyl tubing
- 1/2″ hose repair clamp
- Mason jar
- Silicone sealant
- Rubber grommets (1/4″ should work, buy a variety pack if you use slightly different parts for the downstem and tube)
You can use different measurements if that is all that is available, just remember that everything needs to fit together in the end.
Assembling The Bong
You will need to poke a minimum of three holes in the lid. One hole is for the downstem, and the other for the mouthpiece.
The third small hole is for the carburetor, which you will need if your downstem is made of two coupled pipe nipples (they will make it difficult to pull the stem out completely). To protect the hole and your fingers, use a small grommet or sealant.
Note that even if you have a single-piece downstem, the bowl itself may get hot and be difficult to pull out. You can potentially engineer a small handle onto this assembly to prevent this and avoid using a carburetor.
At the end of the pipe nipple, attach one of the brass couplings. Remove the mesh from the hose washer, and put it inside of the brass coupling, making a bowl. You can use a Sharpie pen or other small, blunt object to force the screen into place.
Using the grommets and silicone sealant, seal around the downstem hole so that you get a tight fit and don’t have sharp metal edges sticking out. Stick the downstem/bowl assembly through the grommeted hole
Put grommets and silicone sealant around the mouthpiece hole, as well. Stick the hose barb x MIP adapter in through the underside of the lid, with the barb side pointing up. This will attach to your vinyl tubing via the hose clamp.
Fill the mason jar about 3/4 full of ice water, and screw on the lid. Load up your bowl with your finest herb, hold down the carb (if you have one), and light up while pulling through the mouthpiece.
Release the carb or pull out the bowl/downstem assembly to release the smoke, and enjoy the ride!
Enjoy Your New Bong
If you use the traditional mason jar shape, you can easily replace the chamber of the bong if you accidentally drop it. Just get another mason jar!
There are also various kinds of mason jars on the market, including jars with handles that are intended to be used as glasses. This can make a nice addition to your mason jar bong.
Make sure to check out our blog articles for other cannabis tips and tricks!