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About topgunpix

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    Bey - Low Lord of the Hose.
  1. So, I found an excellent heavy glass jar at "Tuesday Morning" and rigged up the cork, pipes and a cheap hose. I used 1/4 copper pipe, with a 1/2 to 1/4 adapter for both the hose attachment and the downdraft pipe into the water. You can't see it here, but I drilled holes in the very bottom of the pipe to act as a build-in bubble diffuser. The base is so heavy, that tipping is not a danger. Since the coals burn without any intervention, no ash plate is needed (but would help to catch the little ash that does fall from vibrations or moving.) Also, I found that I need to add a second ring down the pipe, to fit inside the neck of this bottle; to make certain the shisha bowl stays vertical. As it is, the rubber stopper is too short to ensure stability. It also leaks a tiny bit of smoke, I guess the jar is not perfectly round. I can see, for the next generation of this design, using 1/4 pipe and forming it into a spiral on each of the uprights, to provide additional cooling.....and then redesigning the shisha bowl to use a double-walled metal bowl that would be both lighter and retain heat. It would be extremely easy to add a multi-hose adapter, maybe even a ring, to allow 3-4-5 or more hoses, if desired. Once you start working in copper the possibilities are wide open. I have to say, that inverted approach is very hands-off, compared to normal, and requires little attention while smoking. the coal basket, in fact, could be designed to serve as an integral wind screen, very easily.
  2. [quote name='dizzbizz' timestamp='1329961947' post='540028'] haha This is interesting. I was wondering, a lot of people say the coals wont get oxygen passing though so they wont heat up when you inhale. Im not saying you need to do this, this is just an idea i just had. [/quote] I know it's hard to see in the photo above, but my coal basket is perforated....just like you suggested. The coals, once lit, seem to burn well. Thanks!
  3. Dripping? I noticed none. I think the heat and the hot foil boils off the water pretty quickly, making the liquid portion of shisha thick and sticky. I guess gravity naturally allowed any moisture from the colder portions of shisha to seep down to the heat....I good side-effect of the whole approach.
  4. I was interested in the inverted "flip" shisha bowl that I saw on several hookah boards and from video reviews on you tube. Just by looking at the picture, then by watching the many reviews online, I noted several design issues with what I thought was basically a neat idea. 1- The entire unit was made of metal, allowing heat from the coals to be transmitted to the inhaled smoke. 2- The unit seemed a little flimsy. 3- You could not use your favorite bowls. Using copper tubing, I build a prototype unit to solve these issues, and improve on the original idea: 1- Fully symmetrical design 2- Insulated coal basket, heat is not drawn away metal sink. 3- Allow the use of any regular bowl I did learn this (inverted) approach does seem to offer a few advantages over the standard coals-on-top configuration: - The heat is very adjustable, almost instantly, by raising or lowering the coal basket. - The coals require almost zero fiddling with, once they are burning. - The smoke is consistent, for a longer time, with almost no manual adjustment. - The draw is much easier. - There was almost zero ash spillage onto the tray, in fact the whole operation was much cleaner. - My bowl lasted much longer. The shisha is packed into a standard glass bowl, which is then inverted and pushed onto the down-pointing tube. The coals are in a brass basket, attached to a wooden peg, which is hinged to one copper upright by a leather strap. The coal basket can swing out for adding new coals, with out changing the distance between the coals and tobacco. It also adjusts in height, to regulate heat. Total parts costs under $20, but there was a lot of soldering, and I spent another $35 in tools. The issue I did find, is that it's very top-heavy, so I think a complete Hookah design is called for. I think the pictures are self-explanatory. Comments on prototype #1 are welcome.
  5. Friends, let me save you the trouble. You're welcome. The Twisted Branch is located off a pedestrian mall that is the social center of downtown Charlottesville: Down a hallway, left then and up the stairs, so the name is apt. Once there, I saw a sign for ordering, (no table service I guess) So I asked about the shisa they had in stock. The "Take your order" employee didn't know much (ie.. anything. washed/unwashed or brand?), so he handed me the box to read....Nothing says "Service" like tossing an empty Al-Waha box to the customer. My spider-sense was tingling at this lack of knowledge, but I desperately wanted to find a local hookah hangout, so I doggedly forged ahead. There were very few other people there; I guess most of Charlottesville is much smarter than I am. They had small selection of flavors in stock, I settled on a pretty basic Roman double apple and a pot of White Monkey tea. Pay up front, tip up front. (I love being asked to tip before any service is actually rendered, btw). Class-eee. I sat down to wait, trying to read a local paper and soak up the "ambiance". For "Music", they were playing a recording of the sounds a cat makes while being skinned alive slowly using primitive bamboo tools, while someone read Vogon poetry out loud. I wish I could find that CD for my next Halloween party, or if I ever have an emergency need to induce a vomiting in a vulture. My ears still hurt. The sounds were so bad my ancestor's ears hurt. (Sorry, Great-Uncle Josephus). The tea showed up first. I say "Tea", in that it was hot water in a pot with a bag-o-leaves. That is where the similarity to "Tea" ended. It tasted like hot water. I let it steep for another 15 minutes while I waited for my pipe, and it amazingly, but not too surprisingly began to taste like luke-warm water. Good thing I shelled out $10 bucks for warm flavorless water, I'm so glad I'm enlightened. I wonder if it was my fault? Did I order "White Monkey Pee"? Finally, the hookah arrives. The pipe itself was well over 30" tall, very nice, clean pipe. Maybe things were looking up? You wish. My first draw resulted in a hot, harsh burning sensation on my palate: I checked under the windscreen and sure enough, there was one, single, rectangular block of coal, smack in the center of the screen. I tried to get the attention of the cooking droid, but evidently her duties were exhausted by bringing me the "tea" and she was now on "ignore" mode. Sans tongs, I tried to break up the coal, unsuccessfully, with the windscreen and salvage what I could from this "$18 pipe plus $1 per coal experience" The remainder of my visit consisted of me drawing harsh, hot coal-flavored air from a very nice pipe with a very bad packing job, which I now knew was designed to, or via the hired help, facilitated the complete ruination of tobacco. After 30 minutes of not seeing any staff, I abandon the device and the cold "tea" water, and beat feat to the Second Street Brewery nearby, to try and cool my burnt mouth parts with copious amounts of "Devil's Pony", a much better way to spend my time and money. It would be three weeks and hundred of dollars worth of professional counseling before I'd go near a hookah again. I still can't look at a cat the same way used to. In summary: Unfriendly, unpleasant, unknowledgeable, and expensive.
  6. Hookah Bliss is becoming my favorite hang-out in Chapel Hill. The staff is friendly and always checking on the coals and smoke quality, adjusting things for (new users) without having to be asked. It's a very social event, one I find myself looking forward to. Not only is the beer selection one of the best, but the staff knows beer and can suggest brands and styles based on your likes and experience. The music is always first class, a wide variety with classic rock mixed in. Sweet. This is an excellent joint for your first hookah experience, to meet friends (old and new) and to relax after a demanding day/week. I only wish the place were larger
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