How do I cure my pipe?
Contributed by: GNItimen
Thanks to: Dewzy and Mia Stoner
There are many different styles of smoking cannabis, and more devices to smoke it than you can shake a stick at. One of the most enjoyable methods of smoking is with a regular wood pipe, because you can cure these pipes to have superior smoking qualities. The art and science of Pipe Curing!
Smoking weed in a wood pipe is not recommended. It will probably give you a harsh smoke, and leave your pipe smelling like an old roach. Go for something in glass if you want a pipe for pot. Therefore, I’m going to concentrate on smoking hash mixed with tobacco.
The basics: Wooden Pipes and Chillums
Wooden pipes are available in any style or shape you desire, and is often a beautiful piece of handmade art. Most pipes are made from hard wood types, although there are similar pipes that have a variety of other materials integrated or attached such as stone bowls, various types of plastics for mouthpieces, metal meshes and devices to remove tar. If you have a bowl of any other material than wood, making a cure like described here may not apply to you.
Good pipes are distinguished by an excellent piece of wood without cracks, with a good thickness for its size (the bigger the bowl, the thicker the wood, essential to keep the smoke cool). Other noteworthy characteristics are how fast the pipe or mouthpiece gets moist, how well placed the hole in the bowl is, and for our purposes if it can comfortably hold a screen. Don’t bother with corn pipes, they are considered highly temporary.
Chillums are made from many materials, including various sorts of medium to hard wood. It is basically a cone with a bowl in one end and a hole drilled through. It is smoked either as a cigarette straight to the lips, or using one of many special grips to make a bong-effect with the hands. Chillums were originally used spiritually by the Hindus, I believe, and provide a very nice and different way to smoke. It can, however, be rough on the lungs, especially if the chillum is of poor design or is poorly maintained. However, it is still an excellent piece.
Selecting a pipe:
First of all, you need to think about who is going to be smoking the pipe. If you’ll be going solo, then you might want something with a small bowl, otherwise you might need something bigger. Also, some pipes get soggy and disgusting quickly, or overheat because the walls are too thin. My personal tip is that you get one pipe for yourself to cure and love (no-one touches it but you), and one chillum that you share with your friends. Chillums are really clean-running, compared to regular pipes, due to the smoke being inhaled directly gives a quick high instead of taking a lot of passing and toking before everyone is comfortable
Second of all, you want to think about how GOOD a pipe is, that is, how good a piece of handicraft is it, and does the guy that made it make it to be smoked in or showed off? The two rarely combine for affordable pipes. Don’t go for the show-off stuff, get the quality. Also, remember that a well used pipe will start showing some wear after some years, with a good pipe this ADDS to its appearance. Watch for proper polishing of the wood, it’s a good sign that it’s made by good people.
The first smoke:
So, you’re all ready to fire up that new pipe, but wait! Don’t just load it up with the hash mix right away! New pipes are often very harsh to smoke, because the wood inside the bowl is getting subjected to this heat for the first time, so if you’re smart, you just smoke a couple of bowls of tobacco first, instead of wasting good hash on a pipe that tastes like a fireplace. No need to inhale either, which is good because virgin pipes can be awful. Once you’ve done these dry runs and have a nice, evenly blackened inside of the pipe, carefully clean it (see below).
It’s time to adjust the screen! Most hand pipes don’t contain screens, but I think it is essential in a good hash pipe, as good hash/tobacco mix contain small particles of plant material. Headshops will provide you with a few metal screens of a suitable size for your pipe. Some might like to burn their screen over a lighter flame first to remove any chemicals or whatnot that may be on the screen.
The screen should be just a few millimeters bigger than the spot in the bowl where you want it to sit. Cut if necessary. To shape the screen to fit, get some pliers and carefully fold the very edge of the screen up in little increments around the screen. Take a pen or your pipe-picking-tool, push the folded up bits outwards to make it fit the bowl perfectly.
If ready made screens aren’t available, just make something out of mesh or wire, but be careful not to use anything that’s coated in a thin layer of plastic, silicone or other chemicals, as it may not be visible to the naked eye.
Now, smoke away! Do a couple of bowls, and enjoy it. Make it a habit right away to clean your pipe after smoking, preferably before it cools down and the ash gets all stinky and sour.
A lot of people just scrape out the ashes of their pipe, and ready for the next load. This is fine for a well maintained pipe, but it can get pretty foul. Just scraping out the ash is not the same as cleaning it! From here on the term for just removing ashes is “scraping”, in this article.
The clue to a good wood pipe is in the buildup of black, tarry residue inside the bowl. This I will refer to as the “Cure”. This stuff gets built up, and acts as insulation. This means that the heat will stay in the smokables, instead of transferring into the wood. This means a cooler smoke, and the best part is that the cure also gives off a pleasant aroma when heated up. The tar builds up anyway, but it can be made to smell and taste good. If this stuff gets sour from poor cleaning though, your only hope might be to use a sharp object, carve it all off and start over. In fact, your pipe may be completely ruined by this.
So, scrape your pipe after you smoke, before it cools down. Then, when your pipe needs cleaning, remove the screen and use your tool to scoop out any loose material and bits and pieces, and then gently scrape the cured tar to make it as even as possible. You can shape it a little with your fingers, even more if your heat it briefly with a lighter. Use a pipe cleaner or a twined up piece of kitchen paper to run through the mouthpiece and all the way through into the bowl. Most “modern” wooden pipes with plastic mouthpices come apart.
For a chillum, kitchen paper is particularly handy and effective, instead of using pipe cleaners. Needless to say, you never use any water to clean your pipe, excepting a damp cloth on the outside, or any plastic pieces.
by Mia Stoner
“when it needs cleaning. remove the screen and fill the bowl with bourbon whiskey. let set 20-30 mins and use a pipe cleaner to clean it. you can either clean the screen or replace it”
To clean your screen, just hold it with some tweezers and hold it over a lighter. The residue on the filter will start to burn, and if you’re desperate for a high, you might want to consider inhaling the smoke that comes if you just light it and quickly blow it out again. If you have problems removing the screen from the pipe or chillum due to the tight fit from the method above, just poke at it as close to the edge that you can. The screen will swivel. You might want to use something to scrape the ash off the filter after it’s burnt too. Change when they start clogging up badly, or use alcohol to help burn and remove the tar.
When shaping the cure, make sure that you take the screen into consideration. It’s possible to build up a little ridge in the cure so your screen fits perfectly without falling out.
Flavoring the cure:
Take a little honey on your finger, and rub the inside of the pipe with it until it’s coated by an even, thin layer. You don’t want much, just on the tip of your finger. Leave your pipe alone for a couple of days for it to settle. (You can fit your cleaned screen first, if you want) This will allow the honey to soak into the tarry residue and the wood, and when you fire it up again the sugar in the honey caramelizes and finishes off your cure with a hard, almost lacquer-like coating. This helps the heat properties of the pipe, and makes it taste and smell wonderful, and makes it MUCH easier to keep nice and clean after you’ve built up a nice protective coat against that sour stinky ash.
If you cure your wooden smoking pieces in this fashion you can make a pipe so good that you can get high from just smoking tobacco through it, or by smoking some scrapings taken from the Cure. (NEVER EVER smoke scrapings in the pipe. It will kill the Cure.. ) The smoke will be more fragrant and sweet than ever, and a dedicated pipe smoker knows how to enjoy that special pipe together with other tastes and aromas that go well. Also try some good tea, coffee, dark chocolate, cognac or a really woody brandy.
How do I cure my pipe? Contributed by: GNItimen Thanks to: Dewzy and Mia Stoner There are many different styles of smoking cannabis, and more devices to smoke it than you can shake a
How to make a weed pipe with wood in less than 10 minutes
If you have ever seen some of the breathtaking, hand-carved wooden pipes and wondered what it would be like to use one, then now is your chance. Though it won’t have the craftsmanship and manhours that a store-bought version will, this homemade wooden pipe is an excellent way to get a feel of the experience before making an investment, and a really fun DIY project that is perfect for keeping entertained on a cold or rainy day.
The problem with this kind of weed pipe is that it takes some special care in selecting the appropriate piece of wood, and to clean and upkeep such a porous material. Here you will find the best types of wood for smoking pipes, the kinds to stay away from, how to make one, and how to clean a wooden pipe in case you want to use your masterpiece on more than one occasion.
The best types of wood for a weed pipe
Kinds of wood to avoid
High density woods like those that are listed above are ideal, but since heat and smoke will always take the path of least resistance, any type of wood will work in a punch, as none should catch fire from regular use. The biggest thing to watch out for is essential when using scrap pieces of wood, as anything pressured or chemical treated can and will make you sick, so be sure that your materials are pure and toxin-free.
How to make a wooden pipe for cannabis
- Carving knife (optional)
- 1 fine drill bit
- 1 larger flat-edged drill bit
- 1 wood piece (at least one inch by three inches for the best results)
Carve the wood chunk into a shape that fits comfortably into the palm of your hand, leaving enough material to drill through without concern for breaking. If you don’t trust your carving skills or would prefer to skip this step, you can always use a regular block of wood as a pipe, it just isn’t going to have the same grip and feel.
Take sandpaper to all the edges of the wood to avoid slivers and provide a smooth and aesthetically appealing surface.
Use a narrow drill bit that is long enough to reach 2/4 of the way down your wood piece, and tunnel into the material slowly and carefully, until you are satisfied with its depth and width.
Use a flat-tipped drill bit or Dremel to create a bowl hole that aligns with the first tunnel that you’ve created. Once you break through the final layer of wood and both holes are connected, blow through the device to remove any loose bits.
Next, check the draw on your wooden pipe by sucking through the mouthpiece. If there is too much hesitation, and it is difficult to breathe through, then widen the original middle chamber before continuing.
Now you can install the screen on your brand-new weed pipe, and it is ready for use.
How to clean a wooden pipe
- Pipe cleaner with bristles
- Damp cloth
Run the pipe cleaner through the wooden mouthpiece until dry to dislodge any stuck or hardened pieces of ash.
Next, dip the pipe cleaner into alcohol, and force it through the mouthpiece again, pulling it back and forth several times to brush the insides of the weed pipe.
Blow through the pipe to force anything that remains towards the bowl hole.
Rinse the pipe cleaner, dip it once more in alcohol, and scrub the sides and floor of the bowl, taking care to avoid getting alcohol on the outside of the device.
When you are finished, wipe out the bowl with a damp cloth, and set the weed pipe on a paper towel to dry for at least 24 hours. That will give it enough time to allow the alcohol to completely evaporate before you use it.
How to make a Starburst weed pipe
Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes the Starburst weed pipe, a delicious addition to any DIY project collection.
If you have ever seen some of the breathtaking, hand-carved wooden pipes and wondered what it would be like to use one, then now is your chance.