Ever wondered about the elegance and intricacy of a hand-blown glass dab rig? Whenever we take a dab, we often marvel over how the sophisticated instrument conveying the cannabis came to be.
Dab rig creation is a complex process requiring a great degree of precision and artistry, and it’s a fascinating journey from start to finish. Creating a heady glass dab rig – that is, one that’s unique, creative, and visually striking – is even more involved than creating a scientific, or clear glass, dab rig. To get a handle on the finer points of the methodology, the team at Smoke Cartel, an online retailer and head shop that offers their own collection of dab rigs in addition to a wide variety of other brands, shares the start-to-finish glassblowing steps for creating a heady glass dab rig.
1. Coil Pot Your Color
Coil potting is essentially piling up colored glass into a coil and wrapping that coil. It’s similar to techniques used to create pots, bowls and similar vessels in pottery.
2. Shape Up the Base of the Dab Rig
Heat up your coil pot section. Using a straw-like device, you’ll blow air into the coil pot that you’ve created to get the desired form. The hot glass will be shaped by the force of the air you’re introducing.
3. Coil Pot Another Section of Colored Glass
Make more of your colored glass (don’t forget that your original shape will break if it loses heat too quickly, so set that in the kiln while you do this). It’s important to keep a consistent heat on your glass while you work, not letting any section get more hot or more cold than any of the other glass material.
4. Shape the Neck
This is done by heating up the coil pot section and stretching it out – you’ll stretch the glass by using two rods or metal tools to pull it in opposite directions. This requires some wrist strength and patience!
5. Make the Banger Hanger
You’ll use a ground joint shaping tool, a metal instrument that is pressed into the glass, to create the joint. Don’t forget this most important part – otherwise, how will you take your dabs?
6. Make the Downstem
The downstem is created by heating up a small section of tubing with your torch flame and bending it. Next, you’ll pop three holes at the end with a metal poker for diffusion. Any less than three holes and you’ll run the risk of getting clogged or not having enough airflow for proper hits.
7. Attach the Downstem to the Base of the Rig
You’ll need to heat up both pieces to almost exactly the same temperature in order to fuse them together. If one section is too cold, the glass could shatter or crack.
8. Attach the Banger Hanger to the Stem
Again, you’ll need to heat both pieces to almost exactly the same temperature in order to fuse them together. We recommend using a quartz banger with your heady rig.
9. Remove the Rig from Your Blow Tube and Shape Your Mouthpiece
You’ll “crack” the rig off your blow tube, make some small finishing touches on your mouthpiece to ensure that it’s smooth and clean, and then place your finished rig in your kiln to cool down at a measured rate. If rigs cool too quickly, they will crack, so let your rig sit overnight or for a few hours to cool, and then attach a quartz banger and you are ready to go!
Of course, it’s very difficult to learn glassblowing, so if you aren’t up for a long-term commitment, we’d suggest checking out our heady dab rigs at the Smoke Cartel website!
If you own a dispensary, headshop, or smoke shop, and are interested in purchasing wholesale glass pipes, bongs, accessories, and more, check out Glassheads Distribution.