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Engineering 101

Smoking weed is as simple or involved as you think it should be, or have the capacity to make it.

Head shops can be located in most American burghs, where a plethora of pulchritudinous pot paraphernalia may be perused and purchased, pronto.  Head shops are to the pot smoker what Pier One represents to the yuppie--an integral and enriching part of what defines the whole.  Within the sacred confines of the head shop, one may find a miasma of pipes, rolling papers, incense, water bongs, roach clips, books, magazines, rolling trays...and so on and so on ad infinitum.

Most items found in head shops can be replicated from everyday household objects.

Reduce, reuse and recycle, right?

The Pot Smoker's Secret Utility Kit
James Bond had gadgets to assist in his coercive endeavors and miscellaneous campaigns of non-domestic subterfuge.  Wonder Woman had a magic hemp rope.  Elvis had the Colonel.  Pot Smokers get a neato Secret Utility Kit.

The most indispensable item in a pot smoker's Secret Utility Kit is his tin.  It is his tin which houses and protects a good portion of the other contents of his Secret Utility Kit.  It is on its upturned lid that buds are broken and doobies are rolled.  It may be a turn of the century snuff box or a Danish cookie tin, a decorative wooden box or ultra-mod burpable Tupperware.  However, dry weed has an undesirable static cling effect to Styrofoam and some plastics, so they are best avoided.

The tin should be sturdy and have a lid with a smooth underside.    Other qualities are selected on a more personal level.  One could truly not want for a better rolling tray than the lid of a butter cookie tin.  Its shiny surface and die-pressed, cold-rolled lip are the greatest pot smoker's boon since the disposable lighter without those damned child-proof attachments.

Within the tin, you can keep your packets of rolling papers, pipe screens, pipes, hemostats, roach clips and a wazooload of other useful items, where you will be able to find them when the short-term memory loss kicks in.

A paperclip
Partially unfolded, a paperclip is the world's greatest pipe tool.  For those who want the Craftsman version, fabricate a pipe tool out of a bit of cut and bent coat hanger.  The wire handle recycled from a take-out box of Moo Goo Gai Pan works equally well.  Everything from pocketknives, awls and small screwdrivers to electrical wire and unidentifiable bits of sturdy rubbish have been employed as pipe tools. 

A business card, playing card, sports card, bus pass, concert ticket or similar item

The card is the pot smoker's squeegee.  It is used to scoop and scrape weed in the tin lid.  It's like a owning your own little back-hoe and zamboni.  The flap from a packet of papers works great.

A disposable lighter or six

The disposable lighter, (manually operated, friction activated, flint initiated, butane sustained ignition apparatus,) a native of convenience store counter tops, is a pot smoker's side arm.  The flame should be of the adjustable variety.  Lighting a bong and firing up a joint each takes its own sort of flame.  A typical bong setting on a lighter should produce a one to two inch flame, due to the necessity of resisting exhaustion by vacuum.  A joint flame should be just large enough to do the job, without lighting yourself on fire.  Less  than an inch is great and reduces the possibility of a buzz-kill by way of a scorched proboscis.

It is a little known fact that a strange anomaly in the physical world exists in the presence of disposable lighters.  At any time, and without warning, a wormhole can appear in the fabric of the space-time continuum surrounding a lighter.  It will just disappear, seemingly lost forever, until is shows up randomly at a later date.  This phenomenon is also known to affect pens, pencils, important phone numbers and socks in the dryer.

Pipe screens

Pipe screens, obtainable at any head shop are indispensable to the toker of weed.  If you have the inclination and a pair of scissors, you may use any metal screen which does not contain lead or aluminum.  If you are really hard-up, and don't care if the water comes out of your faucet all splashy and unhindered, you can always steal the screen from it.  Not all faucets have them, and who knows what sort of mineral deposits have managed to adhere themselves over the years...but when you need to screen the bong, you need to screen the bong.  It beats cutting a hole in the storm door, and you can always pop by the local home center mega-mall maņana.

Hemostats or something else "clippy"

Every smoker needs a roach clip, incense holder, all purpose grabbie-thing.  Hemostats, like the ones found in all medical environments, are excellent for holding your joint when it gets down to the nub.  You could also use tweezers, pliers, alligator clips, bobby pins or whatever you have available.  I'm sure you see the pattern--clippy and non-flammable.

Rolling Papers

Nearly every "Stop-and-Rob" sells rolling papers under various names, such as Zig Zag, J&B, and Bugler.  Most are labeled according to how wide the paper is: 1.25, 1.5, etc.  The 1.5's seem to burn slower, but at the disadvantage of tasting more like paper.  Papers are among the easiest things to fudge if you don't have the real-deal.  If you're out of papers, try one of these things:

A cigarette:  This is so easy it is almost cheating.  Hold a cigarette upside-down and roll it in your fingers.  You'll get the idea as tobacco starts to work its way out and fall in your lap.  Stuff it with weed, tamping with a pencil.  If you really want to cheat, fit it with a drinking straw to keep it rigid until it is packed.  When you're done, either remove the filter, or cut it down to almost nothing.

Corn husks:  This is just plain cool.  Make a paper out of dried, but not crackly corn husk.  Twist it up, and tie it with another piece.  It has a unique taste, and looks like something you would buy from Pier One if done right.


A Scissor