If you smoke your weed without a screen, it could be quite an unpleasant experience. A screen keeps the loose bits in your pipe instead of in your mouth, so you can enjoy hitting your bong much more! So, what pipe screen should you use with your homemade bong? And further, what do you do if there are no screens around? Brass screens are perhaps the most common, featuring in tobacco pipes and many glass and ceramic bongs.
You can get them at just about any tobacco store or headshop for little money. These circle-shaped cut-outs are made from brass mesh, with each screen about the size of a small coin. Brass has the advantage that you can bend it easily; this way, you can fit these screens easily into various bowl sizes. If you happen to have brass screens that are a tiny bit too large for your bowl, you can easily cut them to size. Well, brass screens are not as sturdy as screens made from steel, for example. Although brass screens won’t melt, if you hit your pipe often, they will get weaker over time and break at some point. Steel screens are often used in silicone bongs and acrylic bongs, although the latter can easily be scratched with these screens. They work just like brass screens, and there is no difference in taste. In fact, aside from their colour, the main difference between these two materials is that steel is more durable.
Because steel screens are not as malleable as brass, fitting them into odd-shaped bowls can be a little more finicky. Glass pipe screens are normally made from a special, heavy-duty type of glass called borosilicate. This heat-resistant type of glass won’t crack from changes in temperature, and won’t shatter as easily as regular glassware. Obviously, screens made from glass are not flexible, so you can’t cut them to size. As such, you need to make sure you get the right size for your bowl. As glass doesn’t wear out, these screens can, in principle, last forever; that is, if you don’t break or lose them. You can also get pipe screens made from quartz, which are even more heat-resistant than glass. Replaceable glass or quartz screens aren’t as common as the aforementioned options, with most high-quality glass bongs incorporating borosilicate or quartz screens right into their design. These often feature decoratively placed holes instead of the ultra-fine mesh of brass or steel. There is really no “best” type of screen—what’s most important is that it fits snugly into your bowl. You know your screen fits if it doesn't pop out after pressing it down into your bowl. The rest, whether you prefer steel, brass, or glass screens, is up to you. Since this article is about making a homemade bong, chances are you don’t have any actual pipe screens around. In this case, you can make some DIY pipe screens for single-time use. Here are your options: A tried and true method is to take a piece of aluminium foil and poke some holes into it with a toothpick. Form the foil into a suitable-sized screen, and place it into the bowl just like you would an ordinary screen. No worries, the aluminium foil won’t melt when you’re smoking. That said, such a DIY screen may only last one or two sessions before losing its integrity. You can also make a screen from a paperclip or a similar piece of stiff wire. Bend the wire into a spiral and position it snugly in the bowl. This can work as a halfway-decent screen that keeps larger chunks of ash and weed in your pipe. If you’re really in a pinch, you can pack your bowl so you don’t need a screen at all. Pack your bowl with the larger weed bits at the bottom—large enough to cover the hole and not immediately get sucked in. Layer the finer particles of weed on top to increase surface area for an ideal smoke.
No guarantees with this method, but when all else fails, you might as well optimise the experience as best you can.
This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. If you have something to smoke, but nothing to smoke from, you can easily craft a smoking device out of household objects. They are easy to make, and can be fun to smoke out of.