Originally Posted by DiG..IT
.. Anyway the purpose of the cigie ash is to act as a bit of a barrier so when burnin the crack
the foil dont melt or pop, which dose still happen ocaisionly, resultin in hot ash n that burnin fuk out ur mouth, and even sometimes it goes in ur eyes wen the lid pops which aint nice, and u lose ur crack which is even worse..lol, and this may b cuz over hear our crack aint as good or sumat i dnt know, but Anyway thats my understandin on the matter.... HappyDayz....
SWIY definitely shouldn't need to heat the crack so intensely that the foil is melting. Cocaine
freebase (crack) vaporizes at 194°F, whereas the melting point of aluminum is over 1000°F. So if SWIY is seeing melted areas in the foil SWIY needs to back off on the flame a little and let the crack actually vaporize instead of just being burned along within all the impurities in it. This could be the reason for the seemingly explosive popping that SWIY are experiencing (though to be honest SWIM
was a little confused as to what exactly SWIY meant by, "wen the lid pops").
If it is the crack that is violently popping that it is most likely a combination of adulterants (cuts) and overheating. Trapped air pockets or clumps of some cutting agent within a rock could cause it to pop violently when heated extremely quickly. The trapped material expands or vaporizes quickly as the outer crack shell melts slowly and eventually becomes too thin to contain the internal pressure that has accumulated.
This can result in a variety of pressure equalization modes depending on the exact circumstances. It suffices to say that poor quality crack being rapidly overheated could cause enough of an explosion to blow ash into your eyes.
Moral of the story is to heat SWIY's crack gently at least until it has melted into SWIY's ash, which is what the ash is actually there for in my opinion, not to protect the aluminium from melting.
Also, SWIM has seen the cigarette ash method done many times in the US, though without the foil. Instead the users that SWIM has observed simply use an aluminium soda can to form both the bowl and the chamber/body of the piece. They just push in one side of the can such that it creates somewhat of a bowl-like indentation and poke a few small pinholes in the middle of it or wherever the bowl has its closest point to the center of the can (bottom of the bowl). Then poke a larger carburetor hole in the side of the can at a comfortable position for one of your fingers to reach. This is used to clear the chamber after filling it with vapor. The final step of course is to create a bed of packed down cigarette or other "non-toxic" ash over the holes in the bowl to keep the melted liquid crack from dripping into the chamber before being vaporized. The more crack SWIY is smoking at once, the more ash SWIY will want to use to ensure that it can hold all of the liquid that the rock becomes.
In SWIM's humble opinion, the copper cleaning pad and glass chamber or tube works better. The copper instead of the ash because it won't absorb the crack and potentially combine it with other chemicals that it may encounter in the ash. And the glass instead of plastic or metal because there is no chance of harmful vapors being released no matter how much you torch it with your lighter. Just overall a cleaner purer hit which is always good.
I think the supposed preference towards ash and foil in the UK is probably just due to the availability/cost of materials and the ease of construction/ use/ disposal. SWIM knows that glass stems and the copper cleaning pads are sold at a lot of corner stores/gas stations as well as headshops in the US, not sure how it is in the UK. Often single flowers at a gas station or convenience store will be held in a "mini-vase" which is just a glass tube with a stopper in one end. Simply buy the flower and tube, toss the flower, remove the stopper, and voila, a cheap as dirt glass tube perfect for your needs.
Sorry about the extremely long post, SWIM was a bit intoxicated by the substance of discussion and provided me with this wonderfully excessive, sometimes irrelevant, but hopefully entertaining and informative response to a simple question and requested that I post it for him.