Any tips for my bamboo bongs?

Discussion in 'Bongs, Dab Rigs, Bubblers, Water Pipes' started by Bambuza, Oct 6, 2022.

  1. I'm trying to start a business selling Bamboo bongs and I'm looking for other people who have made them in the past. A couple things I'm having trouble with is the seal for the downstem and making a base for them. I'm also going to list my process as well so if anyone has any feedback to make this process better for me or the people who are going to buy them, please feel free to share!

    I start by cutting them to size, I usually go with a 10in chamber with about a half inch left on the bottom for a base. I use painters tape whenever i cut or drill the bamboo to prevent splintering. After cutting them to size, I torch them to dry them out and also give them a wood burn color. Then, once they're cooled down and rest for a day, I drill the holes for the downstem. The down stem is another, smaller, piece of bamboo from the top of the stalk. I follow the same process of cutting it to size and torching it for the downstem as I do for the actual chamber.

    Once I have a hole drilling for the downstem, I use my dremel to get it to the right shape for the downstem. I also use the dremel to make sure a 14mm bowl head fits in the down stem. Once the down stem fits nicely at an angle, I take it apart and tape up the hole on the chamber with more painters tape. Then I fill it about halfway with beeswax and let it drain. I'll repeat this if necessary but you usually get a nice coat on the first go. Then remove the tape and clean up the hole.

    Now that the chamber is coated in beeswax to prevent water from seeping into the bamboo, I polish the outside and the downstem with a beeswax and orange oil polish. Then I put in the downstem and seal it with a kitchen grade silicon sealer and let it cure for 24 hours. Once that's cured I clean up the edges and make sure it's comfortable when you're smoking it. I've included pictures of each step, although they are all different bongs I have that are in each process.

    Is there a better seal for the downstem? I'm a bit concerned with using the silicone, it seems to be safe from what I can tell but what do you think? Also, for the base I'm thinking about a 3in base, since the bongs are 1.5 to 2in in diameter. The base would be around .25 to .5in thick.

    Edit: I'm also concerned with how the seal looks on the finished product. I don't know if it's the way I'm sealing it or the silicon itself but I can't seem to make it look clean enough. If you have any suggestions for what to use as a seal instead of silicone or how I can clean up the silicone I'd would greatly appreciate it!

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  2. I have a machine shop so I would make things different from those who don't.
    I am also a pipe maker
    Your bamboo filled with water is a giant health hazard.
    Once the inside gets funky that bong is pretty much unusable.
    What ever would be use to clean sterilize the inside will also soak into the wood pores.
    Pretty much every wood known to man is unhealthy. toxic or raspatory then throw in moisture and now you have bacteria and fungi.
    Me I would want to split the bamboo. put a glass vessel in and glue the bamboo back together.
    I would buy a tapered drill bit like 17mm or a 19mm and then buy the 4 inch glass tubes made for bongs that are tapered fit.
    and use a glass bong bowl.

    Your the artist brother. make it any way you want.
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  3. Do you mean use the tapered bit for the hole in the pipe or for the down stem? I have glass bowls for them as well.

    Also for the chamber itself, that's why I put beeswax on the inside. I make sure it's coated all the way up the chamber and then I seal the outside as well. So far it has held up really well and I've been using mine for about 6 months. The water seeping into the bamboo was a definite concern when I first started attempting to make them. What are your thoughts on the beeswax for a coating? From the research I've done it seems pretty full proof, but having a shop you may know something that I don't.
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  4. I'd be hunting out old copies of weed magazines from the 1970s, they were all the rage, the market will see you as a nostalgia thing. so you might as well ride the wave, but is there a market for wood bongs when glass is so easy to clean?
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  5. I'm not sure how far it will spread but locally people are interested. For me, it reminds me of some of the wood pipes I used to have so you're right about the nostalgia for sure. I'll ride that wave as far as it'll take me
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  6. Carnauba wax is what is used on most all wooden toys made for children that are going to be chewed on.
    Carnauba wax is the hardest and has the highest melting point of the 3 natural waxes . Parafin Bees and Carnauba.
    Synthetic waxes out perform the natural waxes . but I don't about the taste .

    I use1 hour slow drying West systems marine epoxy to seal my pipes/ pool cues, which would work if you can rub/message the epoxy into the wood pores. Its thick .
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  7. Ever cleaned a Bamboo Bong after a long Party?
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. I'll definitely try the Carbauba wax and see if it has a weird taste. That sounds better than bees wax, especially with the higher melting point.

    I could use that epoxy for the outside of the bong but would it work for holding the downstem in place? The 14mm bowl head fit just right to keep it air tight so it tugs on the downstem as you pull it out.
  9. Not after a long party, but I clean mine with rock salt and warm water
  10. Love your avatar. That is spot on. There's a reason why the medical field doesn't reuse wooden tounge depressors. You can't sterlize wood.

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