blazing gear

How to make a weed pipe with literally zero preparation or planning

So, I hesitate to call this a “tutorial,” as yesterday I made the totally spur-of-the-moment decision to make my first pipe (with no actual materials on hand for said pipe construction), and I have no idea if this is actually a good way to do it. BUT it’s how I did it, and it turned out pretty well, so here goes, if any of you are interested in making a wooden pipe with random stuff in your kitchen.

Step 1: Grab a dowel.  I had one left over from building some shelves, but if you don’t, dowels are at hardware stores, and also often big box stores like WalMart, Meijer, etc.  Cut off a segment that’s a little less than twice the length of your drill bit (you can trim the length down later if you need to, but it’s good to start large.)

Step 2: select a bit the same size as your current pipe’s draw-hole and drill a hole into either end of the dowel.  One end’s for your mouth, the other’s going to be your carb.  It’s possible to free-hand this, but it helps to have a drill press to ensure that your holes meet in the middle.  If you don’t have a drill press, consider making a smaller pipe, where you only have to drill in from one end (and then you can put the carb on the side).  

Step 3: Drill a small hole in the side of the dowel until you intersect the first hole, and then pick a drillbit that’s somewhat smaller than your pipe screens.  Use it to drill a somewhat bigger, shallow hole on top of the previous one.  This is where the weed goes, guys.

Step 4:  Shape it roughly to where you want it.  I used a combination of belt-sanding and disk-sanding, but you can also carve and whittle it with a knife (or depending on the design you want, use a band saw, or a dremel, or a router, whatever, I’m not your mom.)

Step 5:  If you *do* have a belt- or disk-sander, now’s a good time to slam that puppy down and give it a flat bottom.  What’s the point of making your own pipe if it’s going to roll away and spill your weed?  Nah son, you make that thing a sitter like the weed gods intended.

Step 6:  Polish it up.  Fine sandpaper, sanding foam, steel wool, yadda yadda.  Don’t worry about getting it snorting-coke-off-a-Steinway-piano-smooth, ‘cause you’re about to fuck it up with the staining, but get it pretty smooth.  Like, popsicle-stick smooth or a teensy bit smoother is good.  Also use a variety of drill bit sizes to give your bowl some tapered shape (or if you have a conical grinder bit, use that.)

Step 7:  Pop a screen in there and use a pipe cleaner to get out any sawdust (and more importantly, steel wool dust.  You don’t wanna breathe that stuff in.)  Try to ignore the fact that your pipe now looks like a really weird tampon.  Or I dunno, embrace it, I’m not into period-shaming.

Step 8:  Put your weed in it!  Make your old pipes jealous!  Smoke it down and make sure it draws right and everything works as it should!

Step 9:  Assuming everything works as it should, it’s time to stain it.  Now, you can use a polyurethane stain or what have you, but I’m breathing out of this thing while I hold fire against it, so I wanted something less toxic.  Fortunately, I had a bottle of cheap shiraz and an old TV dinner tray on hand.  (I should have popped out the screen at this point, but I didn’t.)

Step 10:  Unfortunately, the shiraz didn’t absorb very readily when the pipe soaked in it at room temperature, so I put it on the stove and boiled it for a bit, causing it to absorb much more wine (and a wine much more concentrated in tannins and color, because the water and alcohol had partially evaporated while it was boiling.)

Step 11:  After letting the pipe dry overnight and putting it in the microwave for a few minutes, the resulting wood was a nice, dark, rich purple (remember if you use the microwave to take out your pipe screen if you haven’t already.)  Now of course, the wood fibers will have expanded while soaking, and it will no longer be smooth, but somewhat abraded-looking, as you can see below.

Step 12: So then I re-sanded it with steel wool, getting it back to a glossy smoothness.  Now, this sanding of course lightened the purple shade, but that’s why it’s important to boil the wood at length rather than just dip it in cold wine–you want those tannins to seep in there really deeply.  Again, clean the pipe thoroughly afterward to get rid of steel wool leavings.  Lastly, after sanding, I dabbed and rubbed coconut oil into the wood with my finger–it gives it a shiny, even coat, but, again, without resorting to polyurethane or similar volatile chemicals.  Nice, huh?

Stay stoney, friends.