Introduction: Vaping Without a Vape Pen
If you, for whatever reason, are in possession of a vape cartridge but not the pen needed to actually vaporize the oil then you may be able to use this alternative method to get your hits!
In my case, my vape pen broke and I was too low on cash to replace it, but I still had a half full cartridge that I didn't want to waste, so I experimented with making my own vaping battery with things I already owned and it worked! Follow along and try for yourself!
- Please read through all the steps thoroughly before attempting this Instructable as it does involve electricity and exposed wires and could potentially be dangerous.
- I am not an expert electrician so my words on the matter should be taken with a grain of salt. I am merely sharing a method I found worked for me.
- I am a California resident over 21 years of age so the cannabis in this Instructable was obtained legally and its use is within my state's law. Make sure you are aware of your own state's or nation's laws if you plan on using this method to vaporize cannabis oil, as its legality is not yet universal.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Things you'll need:
- Pliers - I used both long and round nosed pliers and diagonal cutting pliers
- USB-A/Micro USB-B cord
- Vape cartridge*
- Battery pack or laptop that can take a USB-A connector
- The cord will be irreparably modified in this Instructable so make sure you no longer need it before using it.
- If you do not have the tools listed, alternatives can be used. Essentially, all you need is a method of grasping and a method of cutting. If you do not have pliers you can try gripping with your fingers; if you do not have cutters, you can try using scissors or a knife, etc.
- I would not suggest using a USB-A/Pronged wall plug connector as I imagine it will be too much power. Vaping is usually done using under 5 volts, whereas the average American wall outlet supplies 220 volts. I have not tested this so try at your own risk. Laptops produce around 5 volts and battery packs around 4.2 volts so I figured those to be much better suited for the task.
*Cartridge used is Bloom Vape 1g Pineapple Express cartridge. Shout out to them for some good shit! (Plz send me free stuff) This Instructable is in no way endorsed by Bloom Vape and they have neither approved nor condemned this method, theirs was just the cartridge I had on hand and wanted to enjoy.
Step 2: Remove the Micro USB-B End
Using the diagonal cutting pliers or a comparable tool, cut the Micro USB-B end off your cord. Try to leave the rest of the cord fairly long as you might make mistakes later on and need the length to start over.
Step 3: Remove the Outer Cover
Next, you'll need to remove the insulating outer layer by stripping it off the internal wires.
Use your pliers to grip the cord near where you want to start your strip, approximately 4 cm from the cord's end. Then, use your cutting pliers to carefully cut through the outer insulation about 2 cm from the end of the cord, taking care not to cut the wires inside. This can also be attempted with a knife or scissors.
Next, firmly but gently grasp into the incision you've made and pull the insulator off. Again, take care not to squeeze too tight or you may cut or rip the wires inside.
If you do accidentally cut all or some of the internal wires, it's not a big deal, just make a clean snip a centimeter or so below where you were stripping from and start this step over.
More thorough instructions on stripping a wire can be found in steps 2 and 3 of Jayefuu's Instructable here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Strip-and-Tin-Wir...
Step 4: Remove the Internal Fibers
Underneath the outer insulator, the four internal wires are twisted in a layer of thin, protective fibers and foil. Unwrap the fibers from around the foil and twist and bend them off to the side. Then peel the wrapped foil off the four wires. Use your cutters to remove the fibers and foil and the edge of the strip.
Step 5: Isolate the Red and Black Wires
Only the red and black wires are necessary for a vaping battery so we can separate them from the rest. Pull the green and white wires (and any remaining fibers) to the side then use your cutting pliers to remove them completely as they are no longer needed and will only get in the way.
Snip them as close to the edge of the insulator as you can and be careful not to damage the red or black wires. Again, if you do accidentally cut or damage them, make a clean snip just below your current cut and repeat steps 3 and 4.
Step 6: Strip the Red and Black Wires
The actual wire is covered in yet another layer of insulation. These red and black covers also need to be removed.
The internal wires are much harder to strip as they are thinner and more fragile. For wires this size I find it easiest to just use my teeth, but it can be done many other ways. The same principle applies as it did with stripping the outer insulator, carefully cut through the cover and gently pull it off.
Step 7: Connect the Red Wire
The bottom of your vape cartridge should look something like this. The inner metal circle is where you'll need to direct the charge in order to produce the desired vapor which means it needs to be in contact with the red wire.
I would suggest not having the USB-A end of your cord plugged in until all your wires are in position as there's a possibility of getting shocked if your wires are live.
Step 8: Connect the Black Wire
The black wire is the ground, so it needs to touch another piece of metal on the cartridge to complete the circuit.
Step 9: Get Ready to Vape
Place the mouthpiece of your vape cartridge in your mouth and arrange the two wires into place. Once there secure them with one hand and hold them steady.
Be wary of the exposed wires and metal pieces as they could potentially shock you when the circuit is completed.
Step 10: Plug in the USB-A Connector
Once everything on the cartridge end of your circuit is in place and you are not in danger of shocking yourself plug the USB-A end of the cord into your battery pack or laptop. If everything is lined up properly the crackle of vaporizing oil should quickly be audible.
Take your pull, holding the wires steady while you do so, then break their contact with the cartridge when you've produced the amount of vapor you desire.
Step 11: Disconnect the USB-A End
The exposed wires will remain live until you disconnect the USB-A end of the cord from your battery pack or laptop. Do this as soon as you are done with your hit to avoid forgetting in the throes of whatever sensation you've just created in your mind.
If all goes well you should be able to take pulls of vapor just like normal. It may be a bit more cumbersome of a process than an easy-to-use vape pen, but it works great in a pinch and it's much cheaper (if you have the supplies just lying around the house like I did).
Use with care and enjoy your vape!