The Cannabis Under the Stairs – Part 2

Cannabis is legal to grow in many of our United States. If you’re able to grow, you should. It is easy, fun, educational, and not very expensive. The first post: The Cannabis Under the Stairs, assembled the equipment needed to start growing in a closet. This post is about the setup of the growing medium in your newly constructed microfarm. Hopefully this quick guide will inspire YOU to start your first grow.


Now that the grow tent is setup for growing Cannabis in a closet under the stairs, the growing medium needs to be considered. At this point a decision needs to be made: soil or hydroponic? I have been growing with soil for nearly two years. For me it was less expensive and easier to go with soil. I hope to give a hydroponic grow a try some day when I feel more confident with my growing skills and I can expand my grow area.

Making a soil mix that will maximize growth is not difficult, especially these days. With the legalization of Cannabis, growing stores are popping up like Starbucks! Additionally, more companies are competing for farmers’ dollars with specialized Cannabis products including premixed “megasoils”. How much soil mix to buy/make depends on the number pots and the size of those container. There are approximately 7.5 gallons per cubic foot of soil. The soil bags are usually clearly marked in cubic feet.

cannabis soil choices

Remember, a little research goes a long way. Here’s a list of soil companies to check out:

Adding some Perlite will lighten the soil and help with drainage, letting the soil dry out between watering. Perlite is a volcanic mineral that is treated to create properties to aid with soil aeration and water retention. Perlite retains some water but more importantly, it traps oxygen on it’s textured surface keeping the soil aerated. I usually put in a handful of Perlite per pot and mix it in well. If you choose a Cannabis premix, check to see if the Perlite might already be in there. Once the soil mix is ready, the container must be considered.

Since a tent is limited in area, the pot size will be limited as well. A larger pot will yield a larger plant and a smaller pot will yield a smaller one. The correct size not only dictates the number of pots in the tent but how big the Cannabis could grow. It is important to remember only one Cannabis plant should be in each pot. Also keep in mind there are growth training techniques that maximize yield per area but, as a beginner, they are best tried after a few successful grows.

cannabis potting diagram

The bottom of the pot must have a layer of small stones so the soil can drain freely. Of course, you’ll need a tray under that pot to catch the water that will leak out from the drain holes. Use those clear plastic trays that raise the pot a tiny bit above the water. They cost about a buck at most garden stores and will keep water off the floor of the tent.

The tent I am using is 48 inches by 24 inches. I start with 8 plants in the tent but, as the Cannabis grows, I will remove any male plants as well as the weaker ones so that 4 plants remain. The foliage and buds of the four Cannabis plants will completely fill the tent by the time they are ready to harvest.

It is time to get some seeds or clones and get this party started. But that’s a post for another day.

The Cannabis Under the Stairs

Cannabis is legal to grow in many of our United States. If you’re able to grow, you should. It is easy, fun, educational, and not very expensive. These days all the components for a successful indoor grow can be purchased without leaving the living room. Here’s an extremely quick setup guide to inspire YOU to start your first grow.


My new living situation has a great closet under the stairs. The grow box I built where I previously lived fit in there but with limited access to the rest of the closet. I was also looking for some more “head room” for my soil-grown Cannabis plants. I decided to maximize the usable space with a grow tent.

A grow tent is the perfect solution for a low impact, low cost home grow situation. Grow Tents are great for renters who wish to grow Cannabis without any effect on the property. Add the power stingy, cool running LED lights and you’ve got a stealth microfarm of your very own.

cannabis grow tent

A search on eBay will cue up hundreds of indoor grow tents. These reflective foil lined thick nylon tents have large zippered doors and multiple “vent tubes” and flaps to accomodate the plants and equipment that will go inside. After measuring my closet space, I determined the tent size 48″ by 24″ by 60″ would fit perfectly. You ‘ll see multiple sizes are available so choose wisely. Check the shipping origin and try to go with a company inside the USA as it will arrive faster and any decfect/damage issues will be easier to resolve.

These tents are very easy to assemble but be sure to setup the tent in the closet. I assembled my tent outside first only to disassemble it to get it to fit in the closet. Once the tent is put together, you’ll notice straps that will enable looping over the rod where clothing is hung on hangers. This adds extra stability and takes any weight of the flimsy frame that keeps the grow tent upright.

A key environmental factor for successful indoor Cannabis growth is air quality. It is essential that a tent sysem includes a venting system that is able to “replace” the air inside every couple of minutes. With all the plant processes like photosynthesis and transpiration, fresh air with the required components including oxygen and carbon dioxide is key. Proper air replacement controls humidity and temperature as well.

The vent is attached to a carbon intake filter that helps to remove the pleasant but incriminating odor of fresh Cannabis flowers. The fan is attached to a vent (basically a 6″ PVC pipe) out of the tent through one of the vent sleeves. The sleeves are cuffs with cinch cords to snug the fabric to the vent.

vent system for indoor cannabis

Airflow is very important for the indoor grow system. The vent fan will refresh the air inside the tent but adds little actual movement of that air. Air “turbulence” strengthens the Cannabis plant’s stems, helps to disrupt pests, aids in the prevention of fungus and helps to control the tent’s air temperature. A small clip on fan (6 inch) works perfectly in a smaller grow tent with ample locations inside to clip the fan in the most effective locations. I like to move the fan around during the grow so the plants get “wind stressed” in multiple directions.

COB LED grow lights

The light source is the most important component to an indoor grow. There are so many choices, it can be daunting. The development of LED (light emitting diode) grow lights has taken great leaps forward with every new version released. In my opinion, LED lights are the ONLY choice for the small indoor grow. This debate could rage on but the bottom line is longer lifespan, cheaper operation costs and lower heat during use all add up to the perfect imitation sun for the home grower. The latest in lighting, COB (Chip on Board) technology super charges the LED, producing a higher Lumen output. COB chips are built right onto the circuit board helping to make them more efficient and less likely to fail.

How much light will you need? Once you’ve calculated the square footage of the canopy area, multiply that number by 50. My tent setup has a total floor area of 8 square feet. I currently use two 180 watt LED fixures. That is a bit shy of the desired 400 watts. but it will be more than enough coverage for the 4 to 6 plants I hope to grow. Plants will still grow with insufficient light, they will just grow slower and have a smaller yield.

Cannabis Grow Lights

Any lighting choice should be made at a “brick and mortar” retailer as customer support, including the ability to quickly replace a failing unit must be considered. A helpful sales person will ensure you make the right choice considering details like wattage and spectrum ranges. LED technology is evolving so fast, I believe they will replace most other lighting options in the future.

The LED lights should be at least 8 inches from the plant. As the Cannabis grows, the lights will need to be adjusted from the plant tops. Most growers use a dangling system with ratched cams to pull the light upward with a tug of the support cables. If the plants are started with the lights too far away, the seedlings will stretch into gangling, unstable plants. If the light is too close, bud bleaching and burning will result.

LEDs do their best to mimic the properties of our Sun to promote plant growth. Like the Sun, indoor gardeners should limit their exposure of these lights on the eyes. Maybe a pair of sunglasses would help, but keeping garden visits to a minimum is also a wise choice.

SensorPushRemember, the fans will make a lot of noise, so consider that before setting up in a closet next to your bed. Also, invest in a good temperature and humidity monitor as extremes of both will affect your grow. I personally like to use a system that sends the data to my phone. I use a device called SensorPush which has worked flawlessly for a year and a half. The environment inside your grow tent will be very important to you as your plants mature.

You’ve gathered your hardware and assembled your very own grow system and it didn’t break the bank! For less than 1000 dollars you’ve created a microfarm right in your own house. Now its time to consider the soil, fertilizer, pots and, of course, the seeds. But that is a post for another time.

Everybody Loves a Good Screw

Sometimes its the little things…

I am currently working on a new pipe called the Yankee Inhaler. (to see why, read How I Met The Yankee Inhaler)

I made sample pipes for testing and proceeded to smoke lots of weed through those prototypes. These wood pipes required a screen in the bowl so I purchased a sack of those headshop standards, unchanged since their inception in the 70s… the brass pipe screen.

The brass screen worked but there were issues. The primary issue was a clogged screen. I was forced to pry out the screen often to clear the built up resin (i.e. burn, flick, reinsert screen). That process revealed the next issue… getting the fucking screen outa the bowl so I could clean it. It didn’t take long for that brass screen to develop a large hole that released a bowlful of ash onto my tongue.

If I was going to make an easy to use, no nonsense wooden pipe, I would need to address the screen problem. An exhaustive internet search did reveal some interesting possibilities but I was able to dismiss them for my application as they were way too expensive. The “glass” screens were no good as well, falling out of the bowl when ash was tapped out.

Then I stumbled on Smokin’ Screws.

Basically a stainless steel wire twisted into a funnel funnel shape, the Smokin’ Screw takes the common pipe screen to the next level. The wire is pretty thick resulting in a long lasting, easy to handle insert for many pipes. With a handy handle extending out of the bowl, this “screen” is easy to grab for quick cleaning.

The inventor is definitely a smoker. The design of the Smokin’ Screen is simple yet extremely effective. The website claims “…its vortex design creates a swirling column of air and fire that releases the oils of every last bit of leaf.” I don’t know about any of that but I do know weed burns better with one of these screens. Just yank out the screen after a few bowls and take a look. If there is any build-up, a lighter will burn it off lickety-split. Flick the Smokin’ Screen to free to ash and reinsert into your bowl.

I urge you to check out the Smokin’ Screws website [https://www.smokinscrews.com/]. You can purchase the screws directly from the website and they will be shipped very quickly. The Smokin’ Screw will make the Yankee Inhaler a better product and I plan to include one with every pipe.

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How I Met the Yankee Inhaler

Adventures during my teenage years were often energized with a healthy inhale of Cannabis. The summer of 1977 featured some memorable shenanigans and a cannabis pipe I had never seen since.

My 17th year was a typical for a teenager of the 70s with the required amount of rebellion and angst. I was fortunate to spend the end of my summer hanging around in Vermont far away from my parents and in the company of locals Kevin and Rob. It was a magical time with strong memories of a carefree farewell to the last summer of my high school years.

One particular evening, Kevin, Rob and I hunkered around a backyard fire pit. Blue Oyster Cult was blasting from Rob’s car in concert with a choir of nocturnal insects. The fireside discussion settled upon a rumored pot patch. Apparently, there was a small garden growing against a farm house on a lonely section of road just outside of town. Before long, the three us packed into the getaway vehicle and were on our way to stealing some weed. We loudly sang “Don’t Steal My Reefer” as BOC’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” raged on the car’s tortured speakers.

Since I was the youngest of the group, I was selected as the designated thief. I would cut the weed, run to the road where the getaway car would pull up for the pickup and we would flee into the night with our green booty.

With Bowie knife in hand, I jumped from the vehicle and slipped into the pasture beside the target. I watched as Kevin and Rob drove out of sight then proceeded toward the house. I crept through the tall grass and up to the small garden. Sure enough there were Cannabis plants growing amongst the tomatoes and squash. I went to work chopping the stems and gathering up the 6 foot plants one by one. With my arms straining to contain the giant harvest and the crime fully engaged, my heightened senses detected what may have been a screen door squeal… Panic time.

In a flash of fear, I dropped the knife and sprinted toward the open pasture clutching my ill gotten gain. With such a bail of Cannabis in my arms combined with the darkness of night it was impossible to see where I was running. At full teen speed, I ran blindly through the field fueled by fear. The first fall was a spectacular cartwheel into a large ditch that appeared without warning. I never let go of the precious cargo, landing atop the bundle. With an athletic snap to my feet, I was running again before I even knew I was upright.

The adrenalin surge was real and my romp through the pasture was nearing its end. I could see headlights on the road ahead. Then my feet made contact with an extremely large and still moist cow pie. Anyone familiar with farm life will tell you a cow’s poop has the coefficient of friction similar to the banana peel. Upon entering the “pie”, my feet were propelled forward at 10 times the rate of the rest of my body. With cartoon-like choreography, I was launched into the air, hovering above the ground just long enough to realize the next instant was going to be unpleasant.

With a an extremely squishy splat, I landed on my back into the enormous pile of dung. But the weed was safe. Back on my feet and quickly toward the approaching lights, I ignored the pain and odor as I saw salvation ahead. I reached the edge of the field and jumped out into the road.

The vehicle drew closer and I was looking directly into the lights, impairing my vision. I did not care… I got the weed and I was home free. I stood in the road so my getaway vehicle could pick me up as planned. The car pulled up slowly. Peering around the bundle of contraband, I focused on my ride.

It was not Kevin and Rob.

As the mysterious car pulled up, I saw the driver window go down and the unknown occupant staring disbelievingly at the walking bush before them. There was nothing I could do but stare back. And the car pulled away quickly with a chirp and a leap into the darkness. I believe my mouth was still open when Kevin and Rob drove up a minute later, their hysterical laughing echoing across the valley.

Standing on a dark and lonely back road in Vermont covered with cow shit and desperately grasping an enormous bundle of stolen weed, I planned my next move as my laughing transport came to a stop. I was not amused. Neither was Rob when I fumbled the door open, flopped across his back seat and commanded him to drive.

Before Rob’s foot hit the gas pedal, the stench from my cow shit covered self hit his nose. It must have struck Kevin’s nose as well as suddenly the laughing stopped and the gagging began. I ignored their over-animated retching and continued to scream for a hasty get away. I was still clutching the cannabis lying across the back seat, unable to move. With a squeal, Rob took off toward the only destination the made sense.

When Rob pulled into the parking lot of the 24 hour laundry mat I was sure I was in the company of a genius.

It was 2AM. Not a soul in sight. I was covered in cow shit. There was weed that needed to be dried. We had quarters. There really was no other place we could go. Rob dug out a pillow case and some gnarly gym shorts out from his trunk. I stumbled from the car, still clutching the precious bundle and headed into the all night laundry with my two chuckling accomplices.

The plan was simple… we would dry all the weed by stuffing the pillow case and throwing it into the dryer. I would be able to wash my cow shit clothes at the same time. Again, genius.

We went to work stripping off the foliage and stuffing the pillowcase. The weed was clearly not ready as there were but tiny flowers. We didn’t care. Some of the leaves were huge and we stuck them on the windows and walls like cling-on decals. I remember the amazement I experienced at the adhesive quality of wet pot leaves as we decorated the laundry room.

We had been in that laundry mat drying our stash for a while. The entire space reeked of cannabis. Stems littered the floor and the windows and walls were decorated like a Rastafarian day care. We were just wrapping up our stay at the washateria when Kevin called out for our attention. It appears there was a vehicle on its way down the long access road to the laundry. Somehow Kevin could tell it was a “Statie” from that distance. We did not question his vision and sprung into action.

I grabbed my moist clothes, Kevin grabbed the weed. Rob was already headed to the car for the second get away of the evening. We quickly piled into the vehicle leaving the laundry covered in pot leaves and smelling like a hippie hoedown. It was eerily quiet as Rob drove down that long dirt access road toward the approaching police cruiser.

We passed the Vermont State Police officer without incident. Maybe he was headed in to do his laundry? We didn’t care… When Rob reached the end of the dirt road, he squealed onto the main road and sped toward Kevin’s house. He parked out back and we hunkered down in the getaway car. We waited there for some sort of police action but none happened. We had gotten away with it and now have a big ole pillowcase of weed.

There was only one thing left to do…

We sat in the car, with Blue Oyster Cult breaking the silence once again. Kevin was in the back with his hands in the sack of weed. Rob leaned across the front seat and gave his glovebox a healthy “thwam”. The door swung down and a funky shape fell out into Rob’s waiting hand.

What is THAT?

Rob was grasping the oddly shaped piece of wood as he motioned to Kevin for the sack of weed. When Kevin held the pillowcase open, Rob stuck his hand in and pinched a generous plug of pot. He filled the hole in the wood and finished with a tap of the thumb. Rob held up the wooden bowl and flicked open his Zippo light with a satisfying “snick”.

yankee inhaler

I watched the glow of the Zippo flame illuminate Rob as he brought the mystery to his lips. The way he cradled the pipe was unlike any smoker I’ve seen. As if he was about to blow on a trumpet, Rob “kissed” the odd mouth piece and puffed a few clouds from the smokestack in his hand.

As Rob handed the smoking wooden shape to me, he explained that this was his “no wetness” pipe. I “kissed” the bowl and inhaled deeply. A satisfying yet somewhat ambitious lungful had me coughing like a newbie. Rob laughed and urged me to “go easy”. Kevin joined in and said with authority “If you don’t cough, you don’t get off.”

We passed that hunk of wood around for hours, filling the car with smoke in true hotbox perfection. I really liked that bowl and pressed Rob for the details on its origin. As it turns out, Rob worked in a furniture shop and used the lathe and a scrap chunk of cherry wood on his lunch break to craft his little smoker. Kevin and I urged Rob to make more, assuring him he could sell hundreds.

I never saw Rob or Kevin since then but those memories remain. I always hoped to see that bowl again but it was never to be. Which is why I have decided to resurrect that pipe from my memory. It seemed only natural to name the pipe the Yankee Inhaler as it has Yankee origins and kinda looks like an inhaler used by asthmatics.

Look for a new, hand crafted Yankee Inhaler smoker coming soon.

Classic Soapstone Pipes

Cornhole Reliable Bud It had been so long since I’ve seen a soapstone bowl I forgot how awesome they are. During the Reliable Bud Fiesta de Mayo BYOC on Saturday May 26th, I was reacquainted with the classic soapstone pipe. Just the sight of all those hand carved pipes brought back a flood of memories. I carried a soapstone pipe for years, usually reserving its use for hash or as a one-hitter. I remember that perennial pocket lump comforting me with the knowledge that I could get high at anytime. Alas, my beloved bowl ended up at the bottom of a lake, sinking like the stone it was. I was thinking it was high time for a replacement.

A perfect material for pipes, soapstone leaves no taste and it is very durable. It has the bonus property of being an easy material to carve with hand tools. The soapstone comes from quarries all across North American. Craftsman Terry Harlow of Paleolithic Pipes displayed his stone children with pride. There were so many pipes to choose from with a wide variety of cool shapes and interesting colors.

Terry offers Stone Pipe Making Workshops for aspiring soapstone carvers. He will supply all the tools and materials needed to learn the process and you’ll get to keep your creations from the course. You’re advised to contact Terry directly through the website for the details.

It took a while but I found the perfect pipe for the Yankee Stoner. This little pipe is a joy to hold. The finish on these pipes is a simple buffed beeswax that feels great in your hand. The rectangular shape prevents the bowl from tipping over or rolling onto the floor. The pipe has a perfect bowl size for two. Our new soapstone pipe carved by Terry Harlow from Paleolithic Pipes is an awesome addition to our collection of smoking accessories.

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Focusvape Herb Vaporizer

There is no real way to sugar coat it… smoking is bad for you.

For anyone who is a chronic smoker (such as myself) you are probably very attached to your smoking habit. At some point, the lungs of the consistent cannabis toker will begin to protest and breathing will eventually become difficult. That being said, there are many non combustible cannabis “dosing” methods out there to try that reduce the negative effects of inhaling smoke. Dry herb vaporizing is one lighterless method and the Focusvape is a dry herb vaporizer couch-tested by the Yankee Stoner.

focusvape logo

There are two basic types of vape systems – dry herb vaporizrs and liquid/oil/wax vaporizers. There are systems that do both I choose to keep the systems separate to get the maximum effect from the substance used. The dry herb vaporizer appealed to me because dry herb is easier to get and less expensive. Additionally, vaping cannabis flower is closest, for me, to smoking – something I still enjoy.

In a nut shell, vaporizing “boils” the active ingredients into a breathable vapor by using a carefully regulated heat source. Since all chemicals have their own specific boiling temperarture as a property, the vaporizer can be dialed into a temperature range that will vaporize the cannabinods and terpenes, keeping any combustible poisons unburned and out of your lungs.

boiling points

The Focusvape is a typical vaporizer with components necessary for effective dosing. The most important feature of any vape is the precise control of the temperature. This requires the ability to set the thermostat and know when the desired temperature is reached. The Focusvape uses a digital indicator that will that is easy to set and big enough for this old man to read it. When the target temp is reached, the Focusvape will even vibrate in your hand to let you know.

Focusvape

The ceramic “oven” is deep and easy to access. I like the glass mouthpiece on the screw-off chamber cover with no O-rings or tiny bits that fall on the floor when apart. The herb goes in easy, cleans out even easier. The unit is turned on with 3 presses of the side buttons. The display will show the current temperature which should be counting towards the preset temp. This is a no-nonsense tool that will get the job done without needing an engineering degree to figure it out.

The recommendation for the Focusvape came from our local dispensary and we weren’t disappointed. At $130, it was a considerable investment. but it will last. The battery, while rechargable (using an included USB cord), is still replacable unlike many models out there. Additionally, the Focusvape has a rubbery “skin” and graspable shape designed for portability.

What would make the Focusvape better is a simple flat edge. On the slightest inclined surface, the Focusvape will quickly roll off. Since this vape has considerable heft, hitting the floor from a few feet could be disastrous. If the glass mouthpiece breaks, however, there is a replacement along with a nifty cleaning tool, some replacement “screens” and a bunch of alcohol wipes included with the unit.

The Focusvape is a solid unit that produces a substantial cloud when used correctly. Each “bowl pack” will provide 6 good hits of vapor before you’ll want to reload. So far we are pleased with this vaporizer and we would recommend it to anyone wanting to switch from combustion to vaping for the first time.

You’re Rolling Your Joints Wrong.

If you’re not using Glass Tips when you roll one up, then you’re not smoking the best joint.

rolling joints
Glass Tips take the hand rolled cannabis smoking experience to the next level. These tiny smoking accessories make any joint classy, clean and cool without technology or great investment.

rolled joints

The Glass Tip is simply a tiny tube of glass with little dimples inside. When rolling a doobie, one only needs to place the glass tube halfway into the joint. When rolled correctly, the glass tip will become the reefer’s mouthpiece and finger grip. Without a doubt, smoking with a glass tip is always better.

  • Reusable and washable
  • Smoke more of the joint, no “roach”
  • No slobber is absorbed by a paper end
  • Nice, clean and even rolled shape
  • No more burned fingers
  • less chance of sucking in the cherry (called Wu-Tanging)

RAW tipsI’ve been using a rolled a paper filter for quite a while. RAW makes pre-shaped and perforated filter papers that are a vast improvement over no filter at all. Of course you’ll need to stop smoking the joint when it gets close to the end because that paper will burn. Once you start rolling using the Glass Tips , those paper filters seem a bit getto. All my home rolled will be Glass Tipped from now on.

I was introduced to the Glass Tip at the 420 Party. As soon as I tried one, I knew I had to get some of my own. Dank Tips was the first company to come up when I Googled “glass tips”. I was amazed that I hadn’t tried these things before. I ordered both “straight tips” and “tornado tips” from Dank Tips and received them lickety-split.

Dank Tips

If you roll using a paper filter, switching over to a Glass Tip roll will be an easy transition as the glass holds its shape when “twisting one up”. The Glass Tip also works well in those hand rolling machines we’ve all seen. Either way, the Glass Tips makes rolling easier once you get the hang of it.

tornado tipThe Tornado Tips are glass as well. There is a twisty piece of glass inside. When inhaling with a Tornado Tip, the smoke has a longer path to travel and cools down a bit, leaving tars and ash on that twisted core. Could using this Tip actually be a safer way to smoke Cannabis?

I urge you to give the Glass Tip a try if you haven’t already. It is a vast improvement over the soggy, nasty roach we’ve been passing to one another for decades. Welcome to the Age of Glass.

You can find all the Glass Tips you’ll ever need at Dank Tips: www.danktips.com and at your neighborhood smoke shop.

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Bong Hits

The Bong is the most iconic piece of marijuana smoking gear. Nothing says “stoner” like a big ole glass bong on the coffee table. And with good reason. No other smoking device will stuff the lungs with so much smoke in one “hit”.

bong_lineup

I’ve been smoking weed for more than 40 years. During that time the bong has gone through some thoughtful design changes.

The first bong I had the pleasure to know was a massive 4 footer called Blue Max. To use this plastic lungbuster required 2 people: the smoker and the lighter. The “carburetor” hole was nearly an arm’s length from the mouthpiece. When you took your finger off of that hole… BOOM.

These days, the carb hole is gone and nobody smokes out of plastic anymore.

Obviously, glass, specifically: borosilicate glass, is the material of choice. Specially manufactured to be heat and shatter resistant, a good glass bong will last a lifetime. If you don’t drop it, of course. Glass is easiest to clean, adds no taste and there is no fear of plastic leaching into your bong hits.

That carburetor hole, the source of bong water leakage for decades, has been replaced by simply lifting the bowl from the stem. Genius! Oh, and that classic metal bowl found on nearly every bong of the 70s has been replaced with a glass bowl. The fittings on the glass bowl and bowl stem feature a frosted surface that keeps the glass pieces from locking together. Yup, today’s Bongs are more like chemistry lab glassware.

There are four basic Bong types: The Homemade Bong, The Art Bong, The Rube Goldberg Bong and the Laboratory Bong.

The Homemade Bong needs little description yet is the most diverse of the bongs. We have all seen and maybe even smoked from that home crafted device that could be fashioned from a hunk of PVC pipe, a beer can, a watermelon, soda bottles, bamboo… I could go on. Usually featuring duct tape, aluminum foil or some questionable adhesive, inhaling from this bong might not be the most healthy way to inhale. A true Bong needs water to work. With the Homemade Bong, there was always the chance of a bongwater spill. Anyone that has experienced a bongwater incident can back me up when I tell you NOT to spill the bongwater.

The Art Bong is just that… art. These bongs look great on the coffee table. Often sporting fantasy themes like dragons, wizards and such. Sometimes these bongs can be awkward to smoke from (“…put your mouth on the Serpent’s butt, hold your finger on it’s penis and light it’s head… “). If you put a lamp shade on the Art Bong, you can transform that scorned piece of drug paraphernalia into a tasteful source of illumination that smells rude.

The Rube Goldberg Bong references the famous cartoonist from the 40s and 50s. Rube Goldberg drawings depicted crazy, convoluted machines that did otherwise simple tasks.

Head Shops will have multiple shelves of these things for sale. A big seller, the Rube Goldberg Bong dazzles and delights the stoned shopper into an impulse buy. Usually multi-chambered with tubes and coils attached to valves and aerators… its all very complicated but also very cool. Until you try to clean it.

Finally there is the Laboratory Bong. This, in my opinion, is the only bong you’ll need. Those other bongs end up in the closet, the trash or bookshelf, never to be smoked from again. The “Lab Bong” gets the job done efficiently and without additional nonsense.

Typically this bong is a combination of a straight glass tube, a removable bowl stem and a glass bowl. A tool in its purest form, this Bong group is simple to operate, easy to clean and will usually have replaceable parts and upgrades like dab mods and ash catchers. The Laboratory Bong is usually an every day smoker that you’ll probably get very attached to.

Remember, your own Bong choice can define your personality. Just as a pet can sometimes “mirror” their owner, your Bong choice speaks volumes about who you really are.

Tee Shirt Weather

The weather finally turned the corner up here in New England. We Yankees have the daily wardrobe issue this time of year when the mornings require the jacket but the afternoons turn into a hot humid mess. As the Yankee Stonette likes to say: “It’s as if we didn’t have a Spring.” I will go out on a limb here and assume Tee Shirt weather has finally arrived.

Yup, I like to make tee-shirts from my artwork. I have an endless supply of drawings doing nothing but sitting in a folder. I was a screen printer last century. Back then I would have printed a shirt now and again from these drawings. I only wore shirts I made myself for nearly 2 decades. Alas, I no longer have access to all that screen printing gear so I use an On-Line printing service to get my designs on fabric. It’s much cleaner that way.

I try to add a couple of new designs a month. The “tee shirt designer” function in the Yankee Stoner “store” allows you to create your own products or you can choose some I’ve already made available. The images are digitally printed on the fabric. I purchased a few shirts and washed the shit outa them and the images still look great.


Check back now and then to see new designs, I’m always drawing something. Got an idea you’d like me to draw? Let me know!

You can browse the Yankee Stoner collection in our Yankee Stoner Web Store.

My Years With Proto Pipe

Always a marijuana smoker and a gadget fan, I was instantly attracted to the Proto Pipe. The ultimate pot smokers’ pocket “tool”, the Proto Pipe represents the perfect marriage of functionality and design.

protopipe_adI first saw the “ad” for the Proto Pipe┬áin Dr Atomic’s Pipe and Dope Book, an underground comic by Larry Todd, creator of “Dr Atomic”. I knew I had to have one of my own. I got a postal money order, sent it off to Willits, CA and anxiously waited for my Proto.

When the package finally arrived, I was sent a notice to pick it up at the Post Office. Uh Oh. The “Feds” knew there was a marijuana pipe in the box. I was freaking out.

Keep in mind this was 1977. Drug paraphernalia was as illegal as the drugs themselves. I was stressing out over picking up the package. I gathered up all my courage and went in.

As it turned out, there was a COD charge (I could’ve figured that out if I read the pick up notice.) Apparently the Protopipe price had increased since the 1975 release date of the comic book ad. I paid the extra three bucks and grabbed my treasure.

The Proto Pipe was even better than I imagined. I was so elated with my purchase, I immediately bought a dozen more. The Proto Pipe company set up their own distribution system by giving deep discounts on multiple purchases. I received my dozen and sold them out in a day. I sold so many Proto Pipes that year, it seemed everybody had one. I was also the source for spare parts as most stoners lost the poker within a week.

I had 2 Proto Pipes for nearly 40 years, using one almost daily and the other put away as a spare. In 2014, I had one taken from me after a friend went through a stop sign without stopping. The police pulled us over, my friend was arrested for an outstanding warrant and I lost my beloved Protopipe. I also received a $100 fine for possession. One of the police officers was training another. He picked up the Proto and described it to the younger officer as a “one hitter”. I scoffed inwardly. My Proto Pipe was nearly twice the age of that policeman. It was all I could do to keep my mouth shut and not correct the officer.

Today, a genuine Proto Pipe can only be found on eBay or other “collector” sites. You will pay well over $100 for an original. There are a couple of copies out there but nothing will replace the Proto Pipe manufactured in Willits, California.