Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Converting BongSpirit to BongMarijuana

New Location

The Quest
About a year ago, I came across a link for Bong Spirit. It's a vodka from Holland, "distilled 6 times". Be it far from me to act as a liquor expert, I couldn't say if the vodka was that good as I don't drink more than once a month if at all and it's only amaretto on the rocks - not too classy yet not too cheap. I enjoy one vice and I am sticking to it.

Marijuana.. duuh

Anyway, when I saw the site, I simply had to get a bottle. It's mass produced liquor so I already knew it would be cheap. But, the most attractive thing about Bong Spirit are the designs. I appreciate the artwork. Unfortunately, I was having trouble finding it - in New York City of all places. The website lists the distributors but when I called the two closest, I got no answer. The others were too far away for me.

That's what always sucks about calling some businesses; you never get an answer. I think, as a marketing person myself, you've got to be available when customers call even if it only comes out to a few dollars.

Fortunately, one day as I was coming from dinner at Vento on 14th street and 9th ave (great restaurant) on my way to the train station on 7th, I came across a liquor store with a Bong Spirit bottle in the window on 8th Ave. Even if that's the last bottle, I was going to buy it. I didn't want to waste a second looking for the bottle. I headed straight for the counter and asked the clerk, "Where's your Bong Spirit?" It came out to about $31, tax included.

I got the Capacitor design. It's not in the pic above but you can see it on the main website (3 bottle from the left, orange in color. You can see it in the pics below (all the way at the bottom).

It took me a week to drink that vodka! Hey, even I know, you're not supposed to waste liquor. And then the delicate process of conversion began.
Educating Myself
There are some YouTube videos about the conversion but most only talk about it. One guy actually did it but he didn't do the most important part which is getting the hole in the glass for the bowl. He took it to some glass company.


Then he proceeded to explain how to drill the plastic cap as though people need help with that. As many people pointed out in the comments.. JUST REMOVE THE CAP.. duh (not kidding).
The Conversion Process
I got a drill bit that was made for drilling holes in glass. Then, I drilled the damn hole myself. I didn't have anything to secure the bottle so I took the chance of securing it between my feet at an angle and on carpet. The reason I did that was to minimize the chance of breaking using my softer feet and rug as a vibration dampener. Normally, one would use rubber clamps to hold the glass in place. But, I'm a pothead and we're fucking DIY geniuses.
If you're working with glass, be sure to wear a mask and be in a ventilated area. You do not want to breathe in glass dust. With that, I applaud the guy on YouTube for taking his project to a professional. It's always better to be safe, than sorry. Don't worry, I wore a mask and real, straight-from-Home Depot eye protection.
Unfortunately, as I got through the glass, I saw that it was chipping the hole on the inside. So, I had to bring out the Dremel which is like a smaller handheld hobby drill. I had parts for the Dremel I could use to etch glass but not drill a hole, not yet. Fortunately, the hole was already drilled for the most part. Now I just had to widen it and keep the edges smooth. It took some time but I literally etched that hole wide enough for another Dremel drill bit that would finish the job for me. I also smoothed the edges at the top and inside so that there wouldn't be any sharp edges. I could run my fingertips over the hole and not worry about getting cut.

I had a perfectly working bong.
Trials and Tribulations
Unfortunately, again, the one bowl I had fell off the table and cracked when it hit a hard surface. I know I should always have more just in case but I was never big on bongs. I'll go get more whenever I get back to West 3rd St/6th Ave (between the Subway sandwich spot and the kinky video store sits my favorite tobacco/head shop).

Anyway, here are some pics:

As you can see, I am currently using it as a pipe until I get a new bowl. I used black electrical tape to sort of seal the edges and keep it secure by taping over the hole and cutting slits in the center. I also used a razor blade to trim the excess tape off the sides so it looks a little cleaner. It works well and protects the glass until I get the proper fittings and such. It's not 100% completed or finalized but it's a working model for now. I will do this again but I want the proper tools so I can do this quickly.

$31, a little hard work, a small liver sacrifice to the marijuana gods, the right tools and a steady hand is all it took.

And, yes, it smokes smooth - oh so smoooooth - with the glass bowl, before it broke, and even as a pipe. It's great!
Cleaning Tip
That glass dust will get inside the bottle. I found it difficult getting the dust out. A little bit of water and soap did NOT do the trick. I used epsom salt (a lot) with cold water (don't want it dissolving) as a sort of abrasive. Everyone should have epsom salt in their home. It has too many beneficial uses for folks to not have it. If not, any Rite Aid, CVS, Pathmark, drug store, or even a discount shop should/would have it.
I finished this post just in time to spark up a bowl. Happy 420 folks!

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