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Pipe buying Guide

Discussion in 'Bongs, Dab Rigs, Bubblers, Water Pipes' started by Bizzoo, May 30, 2009.

  1. #1 Bizzoo, May 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2009
    What up everyone. Found this info when i first started smoking, and it has never steared me wrong. Sense reading this, ive bought nothing but top notch pipes. I figured everyone on the boards would like to see this. Its also explains each type of perc, and how it works. siiiick.

    • Bowl Size
      • The overall size of the bowl should be considered when making a purchase, as the size will impact burn time. Choose a size that best suits the application of the piece, obviously communal pieces will require larger bowl sizes, while personal use would require a much smaller size.
    • Bowl Hole
      • The very first thing to examine about the bowl hole is to determine if the hole was popped in the flame or drilled out after the fact. Please review our Quality Art vs Quantity Glass article for an excellent comparison image of this. The bowl hole should be situated directly in the center of the bowl push to ensure an even burn and optimal air passage. The diameter of the bowl hole should also be examined. A tiny hole will become clogged with very little use, and an extremely large hole will result in material, ash, and embers to be pulled through the piece.
    • Bowl Condition
      • Carefully inspect the glass of the actual bowl push to see if any visible stress marks or air bubbles exist. Since combustion occurs in the bowl it is extremely important that this area be especially well constructed. The bowl push should appear very smooth and concave at the bottom. It is also worth examining the shoulder of the bowl as well. The glass around the edge of the bowl push should be nice a even, with no apparent "crease".
    • Piece Dimensions & Shape
      • The overall size and shape will dictate much of how well airflow will move through a piece. Larger pieces offer a longer opportunity for smoke to cool before reaching the mouthpiece. However, with size also comes the element of drag. As a piece increases in overall size increased suction is required to displace the volume of air inside the piece. It is also a good idea to look at the size of the carb (if the pipe has one). You want a bigger carb so the pipe can clear faster, and give you a bigger hit. You want to make sure to look at the carb the same way you look at the carb the same way you look at the bowl push.
    • Thickness
      • While glass thickness directly contributes to the weight of the piece, it does not ensure that a piece is structurally strong. For a piece to truly be considered durable, it should be properly annealed for the appropriate amount of time in a specialized glass kiln. This annealing process ensures that any stresses that were placed on the glass during the flame working process will be removed as the glass is allowed to cool at an extremely even and regulated rate.
    • Filtration Options
      • Many times pieces utilizing water to cool smoke offer various filtration options. Here is a brief overview of some of them.
      • Dome Perc: Chamber with a worked or clear "dome" in it which has a tube running from the previous chamber up into the dome thus ensuring the air will pass through the holes in the bottom of the dome and through the water in the chamber.
      • Tree Perc: A large stem leading from the previous chamber and ending in a small bubble, from which multiple smalled tubes are protruding downwards into the water at the base of the chamber.
      • Disc Perc: A flat disc of glass that is perforated on either side with several small holes, forcing air first through the holes on one side of the disc and the again through the holes on the other and through water that sits on the top of the disc.
      • Diffused Downstem: The downstem is the piece of glass running from the bowl into water, and also can offer various filtration options.
      • D-Cut: Downstems with small horizontal lines cut into through the glass are referred to as "D-cuts" and offer a nice simple diffusion method.
      • Pierced: Another common method employed is to close the end of the downstem and poke several small holes into sealed end, thus forcing the air passing through into very small bubbles.
    • Color Quality
      • As the palate available to Borosilicate artists steadily grows, it is even more important that the color be properly worked in correct flame settings. Colors should appear vibrant and fluid with no marring or discoloration through the glass. Poor quality colors will often appear washed out and have numerous bubble marks, which can often time contribute unnecessary stress on the piece.
    • Overall Theme/Design Quality
      • While everyone has their own personal sense of taste and style, it is possible to evaluate the quality of the decoration of the piece. While colors may be eclectic and initially not appear to blend, glass artists will be very deliberate in their choice of colors and adornments to their work. For example: Magnifying marbles should amplify extraordinary glass work underneath them; external decorations should not upset the balance or ability to remain upright; patterns should be easily discernible and not muddled together.
    • Pattern/Design
      • The following two styles comprise the majority of design work.
      • Inside Out: Fume and/or color are both melted into the inside surface of the raw glass tubing by pre-melting the tubing and flaring it open. Inside out work maintains the brightness of color and the depth/thickness of the glass best, as color is essentially encased in clear glass. It requires the extensive preparation and most in process work time of all blowing techniques, and is therefore often more expensive.
      • Surface Work: Here the fume and color are added to the outside of the glass tube and then worked into the tubes surface. Surface work tends to be less vibrant on a whole to inside out, as the color is exposed to the flame for significantly longer periods of time which can result in colors being slightly faded. However, there are several methods of surface work that yield very metallic and organic looking colors.

    Info was taken from (theres a link in there)
  2. Bump before i leave for the day.

    Everyone should read this, it really does help
  3. nice guide man +rep
  4. +rep. This is also good information for people buying new/replacement bowls for their bongs.
  5. sick guide but i think there should be something bout carbs, cuz u dont want a pipe with a small carb that delivers a small hit

  6. You are veeeeeeery right.

    It seems that all of my spoons that broke started out from a small crack in the carb that when hit with impact caused the whole piece to shatter. But I would definatly go with a big carb & mouth piece hole so I can clear it as fast as I can because 1/2 oxygen and 1/2 chron smoke all at once doesnt feel too great in the lungs.:smoke:
  7. Thanks for the rep guys. Ill update this guide if anyone can think of anything worth adding. Ill do the first update now.
  8. Hi guys, I wanted to register on this site a while back but never did. After finding links to my site I figured now would be the time.

    I'm really glad you guys liked the info, we want to help educate the community on fine functional glass art. Please browse the rest of our site and check out our glass glossary ~~GlassAdeliC~~ and our quantity vs. quality glass article ~~GlassAdeliC~~

    thank you for the feedback on the 'carb' topic. we agree and we'll add some useful information to make sure buyers know what to look for.

    Glassadelic is a collective of glass artists who want to educate the appreciators of fine glass and cut out the "middle men" of the industry who have no idea how glass is even formed but instead are businessmen who import the cheapest product they can find to get the biggest profit margin.

    We want you to get your glass from the artists hand to yours. Some of the glass on our site comes w/ photos or video of the product being made.

    thanks again everyone, enjoy
  9. woo, glassadelic. thanks for the info =)

    like i said in the OP, didnt mean to jack your info, but i figured it would help.
  10. Yeah haha nice
  11. Excellent guide to the uneducated on the topic at hand.

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