Make Your Own High Class, All Glass Bong For Only $37

Bong in Hand Copyright 2012

(Part One of a four-part article)

Regular readers of this site know that I never actually smoke my medical marijuana. Instead, I prefer vaporizers, like my ever-present little MFLB (Magic-Flight Launch Box), because smoke tends to have extra chemicals you don’t want, and if you need your medicine daily like most patients, all that smoke adds up to health problems in the long run.

Bottaro Wine Bottle from Sam’s Club

All that changed when I walked into Sam’s Club a week or two ago and spotted a large display stacked with these wine bottles for something like $8.47 each. There was only one thing it made me think of, and I realized that I’ve never even owned a bong, despite smoking my first joint in 1967.

I really like making things myself, and the sheer beauty and practicality of this bottle design made me decide it was time for a new project. And then I suddenly remembered the wise words of the late philosopher Rodney King:

Why Can’t We All Just Get A Bong?

And now we can, and for just about the price of an ordinary glass pipe! And that’s using high quality, glass-on-glass components. Best of all, as long as you know exactly what to buy (and where), you can put this all together yourself in less than half an hour!

Bong Basics

Bottaro Bong

Bongs are essentially water pipes intended specifically for smoking cannabis (that’s why you should only talk about “water pipes” in smoke shops or head shops, because otherwise in many backwards places that’s considered “drug paraphernalia”). The basic purpose of a water pipe is to filter and cool the smoke through water, which makes it easier on your throat and lungs. Bongs can be as simple as a bowl poked through the side of a Gatorade bottle or as complex and expensive as you like.

The basic parts of a bong are the body and the bowl; everything else is optional. Back in the 60s, nobody really even had bongs, but every head shop around sold Indian brass water pipes for $5. In the 70s, I think, someone came up with acrylic bongs with aluminum bowls, and then someone invented the “carburetor” (a little hole in the back so you could get all the smoke out).

At some point, one of the chemists making LSD probably took a good look at some of their own laboratory glassware and invented the glass bong. Along with that came the now-popular glass-on-glass joint that lets people not only “clear” the bong just by pulling the bowl out, but also mix and match components like ash catchers, percolators, and even hash oil and joint smoking accessories!

Today, most people buy glass bongs, and the cheaper ones (up to $75 or so) come with cheap, thin glass downstems and little bowls that look like perfume funnels and will fall on the floor and break if you so much as look at them crosseyed. The bong you’ll build with these instructions uses standard 14mm glass-on-glass fittings, so you can add parts to it later, and reuse everything in the future if you like!

Part 1: Make Your Own Glass Bong (this article)
Part 2: How To Choose Your Bottle.
Part 3: The Magic. And how to make it happen.
Part 4: How to smoke from your bong!

Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


I can’t for the life of me find that damn bottero bottle and the rest I have found suck! I ghetto bonged a gallon bottle but had to seal with caulk not so healthy I think

I purchasd a 14mm downstem, but can’t find a Bottaro bottle. Do you have another bottle suggestion using the 14 mm stem?

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