Bongs are a device that has existed for many years, offering a pleasurable smoking experience that can be enjoyed individually or as a group. Bongs themselves will often feature a variety of colors, intricacy in designs, and decorations that make them stand out.
Glass bongs are one of the most common types of bongs you can purchase when looking for one yourself. How are they made? What types of glass bongs exist?
In this guide, you'll get the low-down on all you need to know about glass bongs, their history, and what goes into making them.
What are Glass Bongs?
Glass bongs are considered one of the most effective and popular bong types when smoking your herb and flowers. They come in all shapes and sizes, from basic designs to full-blown works of art.
However, they all do the same thing. They filter the smoke and cool it before the use inhales it into their lungs. Bongs will usually have a small bowl for the dried weed and once lit, the smoke makes its way through the bong. As the user inhales, the water at the bottom cools the smoke for an enjoyable inhale.
The History of Glass Bongs
The earliest known bongs date back to the 14th century when they were made out of bamboo and used for the purpose to smoke cannabis or tobacco.
However, when it comes to glass bongs, the first glass bongs were believed to have been created in the 1960s in the US. A guy called Bob Snodgrass is considered to be the inventor of the modern bong.
Types of Glass Bongs
The glass-blowing process used ends up creating a variety of glass bong types. Which one is best for you? Here are some of the common glass bongs you'll find on the internet and when shopping in person.
Modern bongs will typically be shaped like a glass vase with what's referred to as the chillum. The chillum is a straight and relatively long smoking pipe. The rubber ring is usually found at the top to seal it.
Straight Tube Bong
A straight tube bong is the most basic of bongs that you can get. They're easy to use, making them ideal for beginners. The design is a straight tube - as the name suggests - and filters the smoke through a downstem, which is submerged in water.
Some smokers will be avid collectors of bongs and therefore go for more unique and hand-crafted ones. Artisanal bongs are made by skilled craft workers or make all of the parts of the bong entirely by hand. They're usually highly decorative and beautiful in appearance.
Water Pipes/Water Bongs
A water pipe or water bong is another word for a bong. A water bong uses water to filter and cool the smoke so that the user can have a smooth and enjoyable hit every time. It's also one of the healthiest ways in which to smoke tobacco or any other herb products.
Materials Used to Make Glass Bongs
There are a number of materials used to make glass bongs from the glass tubing to all of the individual glass pieces that are melded together to create one unit. Here's everything you need to know about the materials that go into making a glass bong.
Basic Components of a Glass Bong
Bongs can be made from a variety of materials, with glass being a popular choice. They're the most sought-after due to their appearance.
High-Quality Borosilicate Glass
When it comes to the glass blower, they'll often use heat-resistant borosilicate glass. This means that the hot glass will be able to stand repeated use without becoming compromised.
Bongs are made by the glass blower taking a straight glass tubing and heating it up until it balloons. Blowing glass bongs is a real skill and there are a number of techniques that glass blowers use in order to create an array of designs and shapes.
Molten Glass and Heat Resistant Streaks of Color
Glass melting is a mixture of glass and sand. These raw materials are mixed together and melted at a high temperature to form what is molten glass. That's the point at which the artist blows air into the bong to create a uniform shape.
Hand-blown glass bongs are usually highly decorative and that's due to the heat-resistant paints used to add streaks of color.
Ice Cubes for Decorative Purposes
Some bongs have an ice catcher. These are accessories that go on the neck of the bong and are circular trays that cools the smoke produced. The benefit is not only for decorative purposes but also provides a smoother hit.
Special Tools Required to Make a Glass Bong
For the average glass blower, they'll have a number of special tools they'll use to manipulate the glass tubing and create a finish that machine-made bongs can't really achieve.
Mouthpiece, Bowls & Connectors
When it comes to your own bong, you can customize it in order to create a more personable device. Most bongs will be compatible with different mouthpieces, bowls, and connectors. Sometimes mouthpieces need replacing if they become too worn they've got sharp edges due to wear and tear.
You might want to get different bowls to cater to bigger or smaller batches of herbs, and connectors vital to keeping the smoke sealed within the bong itself.
Blowing Tubes & Punty Rods/Grinders
For a glass blower, blowing tubes are required for blowing air into the bong, which changes the shape and design of the bong itself. After heating glass tubing, there's a limited amount of time to manipulate the shape before it cools.
Punty rods are used for fashioning hot glass and grinders are often used to shape the bongs further. In order to make glass malleable, the glass blower may have to go back and heat up the bong to make further adjustments.
How are glass bong made FAQs
Are glass bongs safe to use?
Yes as long as they're handled carefully and are cleaned after each use, glass bongs are as safe as bongs made out of other materials like acrylic or ceramic.
What materials are used to make a glass bong?
Typically a mixture of sand and recycled glass are used by glass blowers to create modern glass bongs, as well as a number of other glass bong types.