Glass smoking pieces are preferred by many smokers because glass does not affect the taste of tobacco to a great degree. Glass pipes are also aesthetically pleasing, and many different designs and shapes can be made during the pipe-forming process. For glassblowing enthusiasts with an intermediate understanding of their craft, a glass smoking pipe is a good project to undertake. Glass pipes can be made for you or friends of yours that smoke, or you may even decide to sell them commercially.
Things You'll Need
- Heavy clothing
- Work gloves
- Safety goggles
- Hair ties (if necessary)
- Stationary torch
- Two-inch diameter glass tubing at least one foot long
- Glass working tongs
- 1/2-inch diameter carbon rod
- Metal awl
Wear protective clothing, such as jeans, work gloves and safety goggles, before operating your torch. Tie back your hair to keep it away from the torch.
Turn on your stationary torch. Hold your glass tubing with both hands at each end of the tubing. Bring the tubing towards the flame, so the middle comes into contact with heat. Rotate the glass for 10 seconds, only allowing the tubing to touch the flame, and then bring the tubing completely into the flame. Continue rotating the glass tubing quickly and evenly.
When the glass becomes red and pliable, begin to slowly pull it apart. Make sure that a glass strand remains between the two halves. When the middle strand becomes thin, pull the glass away from the flame and allow it to cool. Continue to rotate the glass while the tubing cools.
Reduce the stationary torch to a cutting flame. Hold the tubing closer to the center and bring the middle of the thin strand into the flame. Bend the glass to break it at the center when it becomes red hot. Allow both ends to cool.
Take one half of the glass tubing and hold it at both ends. Bring the glass towards the cutting flame where the thin end strand meets the thicker tubing. Heat the glass and break it when it becomes red. Allow both ends to cool.
Increase the stationary torch to its original flame power. Hold the complete tubing half at the thin end. Grab the thin strand you cut off in the previous step. Bring the end of the thin strand to the flame, and heat until it becomes red. Place the thin strand in the middle of the thick end of the other tubing half. Hold the thin strand in place as it cools.
Hold the thin ends of the glass tubing, and bring it toward the flame. Work the thick tubing into a desired pipe shape by heating and pulling the glass. Glass smoking pipes are generally 4 to 8 inches long and around 1 inch in diameter. Remove the pipe from heat when you have finished, and allow it to cool.
Reduce the torch to a cutting flame. Bring the pipe to the flame where one thin strand meets the end that will become the bowl pack. Remove the thin strand from the pipe when it becomes red. Allow the pipe to cool.
Increase the flame on your torch. Heat the bowl pack end of the pipe. Allow the flame to concentrate in an area for a short time. This area will become the bowl pack. Remove the pipe from heat, and immediately press the bowl pack in with a carbon rod to a depth of about half an inch. Allow the pipe to cool.
Reduce the flame on the torch. Bring the bowl pack directly over the flame, and heat the bottom of the bowl pack until it becomes red. Remove the pipe from heat and punch a hole through the bottom of the bowl with a metal awl. Allow the pipe to cool.
Hold the pipe at both ends and bring it to the flame where the small holding strand meets the pipe. Heat the glass and break the thin strand away from the pipe. Allow the pipe to cool.
Tips & Warnings
- Always rotate glass while heating it.
- When forming the pipe in Step 7, melt colored glass filaments onto the pipe to add color.
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