1. What does SSTB mean? See our glossary of acronyms.

DIY direct-to-bong conversion

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Bouldorado, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Bouldorado

    Bouldorado Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    975
    Location:
    CO
    I bought this whip vape a while ago:
    [​IMG]
    It's called TheCan and is basically a square Da buddha. It worked well, but I vastly prefer vapes that attach directly to a bong. So began the conversion process.

    The first stage was to move everything into a smaller platform. I guess I forgot to take pictures, but it was just the box below with the heater element attached to the round aluminum piece (where the cord/silicon tubing is now). The ~1/2" of aluminum surrounding the element acts as a heat shield to the wood. The element was covered with the original heater cover, which left the glass completely exposed.

    [​IMG]

    At that point there was no change in function from the original whip vape. I added a handle (the coat hanger) so I could experiment with direct-to-bong attachment. As you can imagine it was quite unwieldy.

    I found an old LSV bowl at my friends place, so I was thinking about just making an LSV clone. However I wanted something that was light enough to remain on a bong unsupported. I realized the switch panel and metal knob were too heavy and bulky for a self-supported unit, which led to the decision to separate them from the heater.

    [​IMG]

    The heating element only has two wires; one attached to the power input, and one attached to the switch panel. Separating the heating element only requires an extension to be spliced in. I found an old printer cord which was perfect for the job; 18AWG and about 4 ft long.

    [​IMG]

    After wiring everything up, I made a platform for the new heater cover (again with aluminum). The threaded piece on the heater cover and included nuts made for an easy installation. A piece of silicon tubing was hose-clamped to the bottom of the element (<200F and not in the airpath) to protect the wire splice and reduce stress on the connections (heater element wires are very thin!).

    The next step was to create a heater cover. I used the original wand (or rather the replacement my roommate bought) and drilled a small hole for the intake. Given my limited experience with glass, I thought dremeling a small slit with a cut off wheel would be a better option. Nope. :doh: Just after getting through the wall (took about 10min) the bottom 1" of the heater cover broke off. So I sanded the edges and tried drilling with a small glass bit (~1/8"). This took about 2 min and left a [mostly] clean hole. I would've used the glass bit first, but I didn't think it'd work that well on boro (fortunately I was wrong).

    The final step was to attach the new heater cover. I tried wrapping the heater cover threads with teflon plumbing tape (the thin white stuff, apparently rated to 500F) for a snug fit with the cover. I didn't bother measuring surface temperature but it definitely got too hot for the teflon; visible softening of the tape + a slight plastic smell. The heater element was pushed farther down than it should have been (perhaps why the tape failed) but I decided I didn't to mess with any plastic in the airpath. So I found some LSV shims and the heater cover slid right into place.

    [​IMG]
    Bottom line: It works well, but I need to play around with temp settings (I borderline-combusted). I also need a better bowl system (currently just jamming the heater cover into a LSV WPA) and I'd like to refine the heater cover platform at some point.
     
  2. Grim Chiclets

    Grim Chiclets Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Detroit Metro, Michigan
    lol you should just put everything back in the can, and have the heaters cable come out the hole the tube normally would
     
    Bouldorado and Quetzalcoatl like this.
  3. Dj Bass

    Dj Bass Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    61
    That looks like a pretty crazy setup for an inverted LSV. I would recommend from my experience getting something to protect yourself/your shit from that glass when you set it somewhere. That type of setup has the means to get a fella pretty medicated, and I have a few hand scars and one on the leg to remind me that glass and metal don't cool off too quick.
     
  4. Bouldorado

    Bouldorado Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    975
    Location:
    CO
    I thought about that and while it would look nicer, it's a pretty low priority considering the lack of any functionality gains.

    I'm planning on integrating a mount into the box (basically a female gong) which will keep the heater cover secure when not in use. I haven't burned myself [yet] but I did almost drag it off the table last night.
     
  5. Bouldorado

    Bouldorado Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    975
    Location:
    CO
    [​IMG]

    Modified the the heater stand so it can now stand up right. The angled power cord makes it easier to hold as well. My next priority is designing something to protect the glass heater cover.

    This is one of the best hitting vapes I've owned, but the risk of getting burnt is also the highest.:science:
     
  6. Bouldorado

    Bouldorado Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    975
    Location:
    CO
    Vastly improved the appearance by cutting the original case in half, sanding off the exterior paint, and transferring the components. Also added a plug to the heater cord so it can be detached from the box.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The heater-cover cover is functional but ugly as fuck. The next priority is redesigning it.
     
  7. Bouldorado

    Bouldorado Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    975
    Location:
    CO
    Alright the vape's pretty close to its final form. Not totally happy with the [metal] heater cover appearance but it turned out to be a lot harder to make than I was expecting. Would be quite a bit easier if I had a real workshop (i.e. not my living room).
    [​IMG]

    I had a custom glass cover blown by @VaPeD&CoNfUsEd -- did a great job BTW! :D. The female joint allows a male GONG to be used as a bowl, which is more efficient than the female bowl I was using. The 14-18 adapter makes for an incredibly versatile bowl.

    [​IMG]

    The new heater cover is secured in a much better way. Rather than using a LSV-style shim + a piece of silicone tubing and a hose clamp, I wrapped SS screen around the heater element mount until it formed a snug fit with the heater and secured it with the safety wire seen below. No more flimsy BS - this setup is rock solid.

    [​IMG]

    And the part I don't I like. The Silly-Putty looking epoxy that still hasn't fully hardened. Supposedly withstands 500F, if it's mixed properly though. I won't be buying Loctite epoxy again anytime soon.
    [​IMG]

    And finally a milk-vid:


    It basically combines the lightness and efficiency of a log vape with the design and cloud-producing power of LSV. Exactly what I was going for, so I like it a lot. :rockon:
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
    Buildozer and Grim Chiclets like this.
  8. Bouldorado

    Bouldorado Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    975
    Location:
    CO
    Works well as a whip vape too:
    [​IMG]
     
    grokit likes this.

Support FC, visit our trusted friends and sponsors