YaHookah! the Computer You Can Smoke





Introduction: YaHookah! the Computer You Can Smoke

UPDATE: Additional photos and video finally uploaded!  Please vote if you like this instructable! 

 I've decided to make a project for the Dead Computer Contest.  This is my first post, but have been a long time lurker and project maker since the womb.  

The total cost spent for this project was $4, which was for the ceramic bowl piece purchased from the local Smoker Friendly.  The rest was the first salvaged parts I could come across in my house over the course of about 3 evenings.

I had a few goals with this:
1) Find a use for the file server that died a couple weeks ago
2) Combine multiple interests of mine
3) Not purchase any parts for said project, must be all claimed on the homestead.  We're the type of people, and by we I mean fellow Instructables followers, who hold onto that cut off waste material, that random bracket, bits of wire, and the like...what better time to use these
4) R-E-C-Y-C-L-E!

I came up with the idea for "YaHookah".... hookah bars and shops have recently made their way into my area and are becoming quite popular.  The idea is to make my own inside of this computer case, make it portable where I could take it to a buddy's house (or perhaps LAN party), and a little better looking than this old black box of mine.

Here's the old file server that finally kicked the was missing the case sides, looked god awful, and needs to be replaced.  I ripped the guts out and held onto her parts for another day.

Step 1: Hours of Work to Reclaim

Here's the first reclaimed material for the project...My grandfather gave us some acrylic 30+ years ago (not an exaggeration) from the steel mill he use to work at.  Researching similar topics online seemed like no one had hope, claiming it'll crack when I try to work with it, I'll never get the paper off, etc...

It did take HOURS of scrubbing, the best thing I found to use was a porcelain was stiff enough to be helpful without scratching the acrylic,  the paper came off relatively easy after soaking it in a tub of hot water for a couple hours, but still took forever to brush off.

The acrylic was 1/4" thick and used for the case sides I was previously missing.  I cut them down on the table saw after taking a break of trying to get that paper off for the previous couple hours, then came back to it after drilling holes in each of the four corners for mounting to the case.  There were pre-existing holes in the case that I would be able to mount the plexiglass sides to.

Step 2: CD Drive Bowl Slider

 The bowl piece in which the tobacco is smoked, is mounted in/on top of a gutted cd rom drive...This drive in particular is from 1998, and was pulled out as a spare long ago from another computer that came and went, I'm assuming due to something mechanical broken, the cd drive never stays closed...So I thought it would be a good fit for this project, when the computer is turned on, there is a slight delay and the cd drive will open, the only purpose this drive will be serving now is to make the bowl appear after the user turns on the computer.  Once all the tobacco's gone and the bowl is cool, the cd drive can be closed and the switch turned off so that it'll remain closed until ready to serve it's purpose again.

Step 3: A New Paintjob

The old case was a pretty busted black, and just wasn't going to fit with it's new hip purpose.  I chose colors that would really bounce, with some inspiration coming from the Caterpillar of Alice in Wonderland.

Step 4: More Cosmetics.

 With the new acrylic sides and flashy paint job, I went on a whim decision and thought I would try my hand at engraving acrylic for the first time.  Most people seem to use their rotary tool, but I just so happen to have a pencil engraver at my disposal from my dad.  Honestly I think it was much easier to use than my Dremel would have been, the Dremel seems to have a "walk" to it, where as the engraver was a little more precise at staying in one spot.  I can't say I was 100% happy with how it turned out, but it really did not turn out too bad.  It was my first attempt, and I went for the gusto without even trying on a practice piece.

I originally downloaded the Yahoo logo and started modifying in paint to get out the word "YaHooka!", but after a few blunders it struck me to do a quick search online for "yahoo font' on google.  Low and behold, there is a Yahoo font.  After downloading and installing the font, I printed the image backwards so that I could lay the printout under my acrylic, and trace the image with my engraver.

Also, leftover from a previous project of updating an old heavy dresser of mine, I had two of these nice brushed handles leftover.  My dresser had six drawer's, the handles came in packs of four, so I had two left over which made perfect handles for carrying to a LAN party.  Installation is as simple as measuring an equal distance for placement on top of the case, then drilling with a 1/4" drill bit.  I used some appropriate sized bolts and washers from the old hardware bin.

Step 5:

 I had planned to use some bubble stones in the resevoir of the hookah for a nice bubble effect.  I used a standard air pump from an old aquarium setup and tapped into the AC outlet inside of the power supply while I was painting it.  The same method is used in the computer aquarium that was entered in to the Dead Computer Contest here, this was my plan all along but he did an excellent job with the write up, and did a very nice job if you haven't checked it out already.  

This is hooked up to one of three switches I have mounted in the 3.5" floppy plate at the front of the computer. I also added a standard car cigarette outlet, they are easy to add to computer applications being that they run on 12v.  I used my meter to prove I had 12v coming from the yellow wire of your standard molex connectors, which is lugged onto the middle of the cigarette outlet, and the black from the molex connector mounted to the outer "ground ring" of the cigarette outlet.

Cutting out the floppy plate involved drilling some pilot holes in each corner of where the switches were, which gave me a starting point to cut with the Dremel, and the switches just snap in.  They are then wired and crimped on with fast-ons.

Step 6: The Reservoir

 I made an acrylic box, also with 30+ year old acrylic but of 3/4".  The box is 5.75" tall, 6" deep, and a little over 12" long, the size fills up most of the remaining space inside the case.  The reservoir was glued together using JB Weld acrylic glue, and clamped together overnight.  The lid is a separate piece of acrylic that sits on top.  I drilled a hole in each corner of the lid, and down through the sidewalls of the box.  I used some self tapping screws to keep the lid clamped down.  

The white PVC tube is half inch in diameter, and is part of the "down stem" portion of the hookah.  A hose is connected to the top of it, which connects to the other tubing that eventually goes out to the bowl.  I found those braided water line hoses fit here perfectly after cutting off the metal ends.  The hose also allows the bowl to travel when the cd drive is opened with it's slack.  The downstem I mentioned goes down into the water to cool the smoke that travels from the ceramic bowl piece.  

I also drilled (2) 1/4" holes in the lid of my box for the air tubing from the aquarium pump for the bubble stones.  A forth hole was drilled, for a rubber hose that is NOT submerged all the way into the water, which is where the smoke is inhaled.  I found the ex-home to the front USB ports to be a good place to run the hose out to.

Step 7: Finale!

 It took a solid three days for me to complete this project.  Everyone is really wowed when I show them, but in all honesty, nothing was incredibly difficult.   The project as a whole is something you kind of have to calculate on the go.  Looking on the finished project now there is more I'd like to add and change as with any good project, but the YaHookah has been a complete success!  Right now I'm enjoying some Root Beer flavored shisha I picked up from the local Smoker Friendly,  which means this project is not suitable for young children, and smoking tobacco is not really suggested.  It's better to never have started, than trying to quit or suffer the health affects down the road.  Thank you for reading and I'd love to hear your comments.

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      We have a be nice policy.
      Please be positive and constructive.




      Very nice! I think I might attempt this today because it's raining here! Also, with the acrylic I used to be a sign writer and we used to wipe over the paper with methylated spirits and wait 5 seconds, then the paper should just peel off in one big piece. Just to help with future projects lol

      "It's better to never have started, than trying to quit or suffer the health affects down the road."

      actually, 'tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all...

      Nice instructible. I have an instructible series coming out about kinds of smoking apparatuses and how to make them. by far, I only have one about making a bong, or "water filtered pipe" and I would strongly appreciate if anyone could view it and comment on it. Thank you.

      Freakin AWESOME the only thing I would have done differently is to not have the cigarette lighter but to flip a switch and have an element turn on inside of the bowl underneath the tobacco...but still AWESOME!!!


      1 reply

      Thanks doc, trust me that was my initial thought too! This was a very spur of the moment idea and immediate build, and my materials or time at the moment wouldn't allow it. I've always thought about going back and doing Yahookah v2.0!

      this is beyond awesome!! I am scrounging parts right now to mount a bong (I know this one is a hookah) inside my computer & you are my inspiration

      Haha, genious! What a great idea. with an old PC case, I guess this wouldn't cost much at all to try and replicate! :D

      THIS is my next project! 100% positively! Awesome Build!

      Any diagrams or instructions on wiring this cd rom so we can achive the same fun action?

      WOW..looks interesting.Gonna try this one

      Eh, most of the comments below and above seem to be positive. I see lots of "I don't smoke, but cool nonetheless" posts, and I'd consider that to be positive.


      I wont do this becasue I dont smoke but still great job building it!

      I am a little fuzzy on how you powered this. I don't believe I see a mother board so did you run it all from the power supply? I am pretty new to gutting computers so any advice you have would be great!

      1 reply

       Your right, there is no motherboard...normally the power button on your computer case is connected to a couple pins on your motherboard, that tell the power supply to kick on and supply the juice...What I did, was wire the front switch, to two wires on the connector that normally snaps into your motherboard on the power supply, the green wire for the "ON" and a black wire for the ground, on MOST standard ATX power supplies the green wire is what you need.

       I think it would be really neat/nice to be able to have the bowl lay down and stand up as it came out, would be pretty easy to do. I imagine a thin wire attached to a point on the case that when the drive was extended all the way had the pull necessary to keep the bowl standing up, then have a low strength spring that would pull it down when it went back in.

      I'm interested in building one of these this weekend, and I'll look into implementing my idea and letting you know!

      1 reply

       Although, I guess the one thing I didn't think of is how you would work that with the right angle PVC that is there for support, again, I'll just have to look into that and see how it goes.

      Not sure why you would have the aquarium stones running from a pump. It would make more sense to ditch that, which is putting more air in with the smoke in the chamber, and attach a diffuser/aquarium stones to the pipe from the bowl.
      Good job though!

      1 reply

       Thanks for the recommendation, I originally only had the bubble stones in there for visual appeal....I wasn't sure if it would affect performance or not, and I did not do a test without them to see if there was any difference, but I can say for sure that the smoke was billowing and going strong out of the hose when the shisha heated up! Thanks again

      Very cool 'ible. Love the name of it!!


      This is awesome! I will definitely do this, I just have to pick up some acrylic and some spray paint in funky colors. I'll be sure to post pictures when it's done =)