Step 1: Gather Your Materials
If you plan to make your downstem out of bamboo, too, you'll want to buy a much thinner stalk in addition to your main piece.
Next, you'll need the following:
- A drill
- A small drill bit for pilot holes
- Larger spade drill bits for down stem holes (and for breaking through bamboo nodes)
- A wood saw*
- Painter's tape
- A vice grip*
- Beeswax (or whichever internal coating you prefer)
- Sugru (you can also use beeswax or any sealant of your choice - sugru is foodsafe)
- Rough grit sandpaper*
Step 2: Shorten Bamboo to Preferred Length
The nodes on my bamboo were about eight inches apart. I wanted to the bambong to be about a foot, so I ended up with a piece that included two nodes.
Nodes in a bamboo completely separate each section of the bamboo. This is good, because a node can be used as the water tight bottom of the bong - just cut beneath the node.
I chose to cut two inches below the last node - just for aesthetics.
Step 3: Drill Node Holes
For this, I actually used a Morse 15/16 inch hole saw bit. But a spade bit would work just as well and the ones I own are 12 inches long - perfect for deep nodes. I DID NOT use painter's tape on the inside of the bamboo.
You'll notice in the photo that there is a lip left around the walls of the bamboo. I was fine with this, figuring the lip would help prevent water from splashing into my mouth.
Step 4: Drill Downstem Hole
I eyeballed the future location of the downstem hole by laying my glass stem on top of the cut bamboo and placing it so that the stem ran about an inch or two from the bottom of the last bamboo node.
I then wrapped tape around the chosen spot and drilled a small pilot hole. This not only helps prevent cracking, but also gives my spade bit a hole to bite into.
Then, I placed the bamboo stalk into the vice (wrapped in a towel to prevent scratching) and used the spade bit to drill the final downstem hole. Make sure to angle the hole down towards the floor of the bamboo. This helps the stem to sit inside the hole at an angle.
*I bought a glass stem and bowl specifically for this project and they were the most expensive materials at $40. You can make your downstem and (according to the internet) bowl from the bamboo. I personally prefer any pieces that receive direct heat to be glass.
Step 5: Sand All the Rough Edges
I also sanded the inside node lip to remove any splintered pieces.
Finally, I sanded the downstem hole. This was to enlarge the hole as my stem didn't yet fit. I figured that sanding the hole bigger would create a tighter fit than moving up to a larger spade bit.
To make this step easier, roll the sandpaper up before slipping it into the hole. You could also wrap the sandpaper around a pencil to make it hold its shape better.
Step 6: Seal the Downstem
Cut open the Sugru packet and roll the sticky putty around in your fingers for a few seconds. This makes it more pliable. Place it between the stem and bamboo until they fit tightly together. Smooth down the edges so that the Sugru is less likely to peal off.
Carefully remove the stem and let the Sugru cure for at least 12 hours.
Step 7: Seal the Inside of the Bong
You can buy liquid beeswax coating that's meant for butcher blocks. That would probably be the easiest route. I went with beeswax pellets, which meant I had to melt the wax in a double boiler (or a metal bowl inside a pot) before use.
Once you have liquid wax, pour it into your bamboo stalk and roll the bamboo around to coat the insides. Be careful, hot wax will pour out of the downstem hole and the mouth of the bong.
Pour out any excess and let the whole project cool down for about an hour. I had a little excess wax drying in rivulets inside the mouth of the bong. I removed that with the flat end of a spoon.
Optionally, you can pour hot water inside and roll it around to smooth out any bumps. I'm actually not 100% sure this step works, but did it anyway.
Step 8: Add Your Downstem
Your Bambong is complete!
I know, I know, stop trying to make "bambong" happen. Never!!!
I hope you enjoyed this ible. Please visit noobknowmore.com for more DIY projects and reviews.