So, your favorite piece broke — It happens. Whether you accidentally dropped your triple honeycomb percolated stemless water-pipe, or your irascible cat Mr. Velvetbeard knocked over your proto-Gandalf bubbler out of pure feline psychopathy, the damage is done. But that need not be the end of your bong's story. Here’s some advice on how to fix a broken bong.
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How to Fix a Broken Bong
Whether its ceramic, plastic, or glass, the material your bong is made of will greatly influence what steps to take next.
Bongs and bubblers are often either glass or plastic (acrylic), whereas smoking pipes can be made from a larger field of materials.
Acrylic plastic is the cheapest and easiest material to work with and repair.
Most glass bongs are made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass and strengthened in an annealing process, making them harder to repair.
Assess the Damage
If your bong is in more pieces than you have fingers or if you are trying to patch a hole larger than a pea, you might be looking at an act of futility.
Barring those severe cases, chips, cracks, and clean breaks can all be healed with a little prep work and glue.
Decide the Seal
- Food Grade Silicone
- Two-Part Epoxy
- Loctite Glass
- Cyanoacrylates (Super-Glue)
- JB Weld, Quick Steel, or Plumbers Putty
- Duct Tape
- Blow Torch
Food Grade Silicone
Food Grade Silicone is non-toxic and waterproof. It can be used as a sealant, like caulking, but it provides no structural support and is easily removed/peeled off.
The silicone method works on areas of your bong where the tube meets the base or other similar joints.
Best when repairing chips or cracks in the glass. Not useful in sealing areas that are frequently handled. Can be put over non-waterproof glues.
Created by polymerizing a mixture of resin and hardener. There are dozens of brands to choose from that bond to glass, look for non-toxic, heat-resistant or both.
Besides a glass meld, this is the longest-lasting fix, although if the bond is left submerged, it can become "waterlogged" and leak. Emptying the bong between uses will prevent this and prolong the seal.
This method works best on fixing bongs with clean breaks. So, if you are left with particularly pointy pieces to mend, you might want to invest in a glass cutter.
Scoring and snapping off the jagged pieces to create the clean break. High grit sand-paper can be employed to smooth out any rough areas before applying the epoxy.
Similar look and usage to super-glue but chemically different, this unique butyl formula bonds to the glass.
This glue is water- and heat-resistant. It does contain solvents which could be toxic to humans.
Loctite glass works best on small cracks and bowl-pieces. It may require frequent touch-ups to continue to seal.
This most common of household glues does not stick to the glass. It can seal small gaps and cracks in plastics and most other materials though.
Super-glue suffers all the negatives of Loctite Glass in addition to not bonding to glass. Best used in small quantities on acrylic.
JB Weld, Quick Steel, Plumber's Putty
These sealants share a putty-like consistency that can be shaped and molded into cracks and crevices.
All three putties are waterproof; JB Weld and Quick Steel are similar products and will harden after curing, plumber's putty will not dry or harden, remaining pliable long after application.
None of these products should be used if the crack or break is anywhere near the bowl of your pipe, as they all contain toxic chemicals.
Not for the faint of heart or those sentimental to the artistic integrity of their bong.
Wrapped around a crack, duct tape can seal airtight, adding strength. It can also be temporarily watertight.
This is either your last resort while camping or your first thought on how to fix a broken bong.
All safety precautions and equipment should be used, probably best left to the professionals.
Glass will only begin to melt at temperatures over 1100 degrees Fahrenheit (560 C) so butane and propane torches will struggle to achieve those temps.
An acetylene torch and kiln are your best bet to thoroughly heat the affected areas and fully meld the glass together.
Serious candidates only. This process can melt glass and your face off.
Or, Call the Professionals
This is always an option if you feel like you are incapable of fixing your broken bong. You will, however, pay anywhere from $40 to $300 for what you may consider a "simple fix."
Depending on the original cost of the piece or how sentimental you feel about it, you may well find it appropriate to hire a pro.
If you do hire a glassblower, keep in mind they will ask you to thoroughly clean your piece before they will work on it. This means free of all resin, tape, or any glues you previously tried to fix it with.
But, staring at a potential $300 bill, you may just as soon buy a new favorite bong.