Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pipes


 It was a beautiful fall Sunday afternoon and I was enjoying a respite on the patio smoking some Peterson "Old Dublin" English style blend when the inspiration came to take some some photographs of my homemade briarwood pipe.

This pipe I made about 12 years ago from genuine Mediterranean briarwood.  One of my many interests is wood working and I have found that I often use my woodworking tools to fabricate items used in other hobbies.  Because I have always been a pipe smoker one day I thought I can make a pipe so I found a supplier of pipe making materials and jumped right in.

At the hardware store I purchased some standard high speed steel spade bits used mainly in construction for drilling holes through 2 x 4 studs for wiring and plumbing.  I used my Dremel rotary tool to slowly grind the rounded profile of a bowl into the spade bit careful to not heat up the steel enough to cause it to lose it's temper.  On a second spade bit I grounded a chamfer which you can see once mounted in the drill press cut a perfect chamfer on the inside edge at the top of the bowl.  Other than the drill press work the majority of time was spent slowly shaping the pipe using the Dremel with an abrasive drum sander.  I am a pipe "holder" and not a "clencher".  I like to hold my pipe and only put it to my mouth when puffing.  For this reason I like a big heavy pipe.  Living in Ohio and being an outdoor smoker only means that a good portion of the year it's cold.  On cool windy days a pipe will burn fast and get very hot.  I intentionally made this pipe a nice rounded shape that fills my hand and has thick walls that slowly absorb the heat from buring tobacco.

I finished the pipe naturally using only a Carnuba/beeswax coating and lots of buffing using a cotton polishing wheel attached to the Dremel.  The color of the briar has darkened much over the years to the the nice deep orange color shown in these photos taken in direct sunlight.





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