Archive for the 'Pipemaking' Category

19
Nov
09

Pipemaking 200 – staining and finishing

Well folks, here it is. Tom hooked me up with some stain, and I gave it a go after finding the perfect little something in a toolbox to prop up the briar for staining. It got really dark at first and I must say its hard as hell to get the stain on there evenly. After some sanding it’s looking fairly decent.

In the end, I learned a lot in this experience, and am pretty content with the end result. I’m a perfectionist by nature, so obviously I wish it was better, but given no experience in woodworking, I don’t think I did half bad. Let me know what you think. BTW I’m lighting it up for the first time tomorrow!

01
Nov
09

Pipemaking 107 – it’s gettin there..

Well, I picked the damn pipe up today and went back to work on it, after a bit of a hiatus. I decided I needed to do something drastic, since it just wasn’t looking right. I decided to take about 1/2″ off of the shank, and also shape the stem (something I never planned on doing on my first go at pipemaking). Additionally, I had to drill the mortise a little deeper by hand with a power drill, which I though I was seriously going to mess up.

In the end, things have definitely moved in a position direction, and I think I’m pretty close to bringing out the finer grains for sanding. Then, I’ll just need to find some dye and pretty soon I’ll be smoking this thing!
pipemaking 107

pipemaking 107

pipemaking 107

pipemaking 107

17
Oct
09

Pipemaking 106

It’s time to decide… I don’t think I can really make the true volcano with the sharp edge along the bottom of the briar, and I think I’m going to have to round it out. The block came pre-bored and the shank was already round, which is throwing a wrench into my plans. I don’t plan to make it a bent billiard; I’ll still go for a volcano, but it will just have curved edges instead of sharp. I’ll give myself some time to decide though.

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14
Oct
09

Pipemaking progress

I put in some time last night on the pipe, and things are now pretty symmetrical, and I’ve cut more of the shank out trying to make that look better. I also heated and bent the stem upwards a bit more which is looking better.  I’m getting to the point now where small details are starting to matter, and it’s definitely getting more complicated. Sadly I’ve come to the realization that the bowl was drilled a bit too deep for the shape I’m trying to create, so compromises will have to be made.

I’m going to sand out some more of the bottom of the pipe, but can’t take as much off as I want. I’m also going to take out more of the shank area cuz it’s still not looking right. Overall I think I’m doing a pretty good job with the materials I have, but am realizing the pre-drilling of the block itself is what’s screwing me over. Hopefully I won’t have to ditch the volcano like shaping completely…

04
Oct
09

Pipemaking 105

I’m back from my business trip, and had some time today to dedicate to the homemade pipe project and made some progress. I’m still on a non-symmetrical development approach, mainly focusing on one side then will mirror it on the other, so I’ll post a shot of the “good side”. I made a decision today to start cutting down the top of the bowl and angling it to actually make the shape look pretty different. I also am shaping the bottom more and more. It’s getting there… if only I get get that damn pit to sand out.

pipemaking 105

27
Sep
09

pipemaking 104

Welcome to the world of power tools. I gave in today and purchased a Dremel 300 kit along with a 1/4 sheet sander. I know the sander isn’t optimal for pipemaking work but it will do for now. The Dremel is fantastic, and I’m starting to shape the shank more and more. I also did a preliminary bend on the stem today with a hair dryer and a pipe cleaner. It’s going to need straightened out a bit more, but it’s looking more and more like a real pipe. Sadly this is the last day I’ll be able to work on it for a while, for I have some business travel coming up.

pipemaking 104

24
Sep
09

Pipemaking 103b

This is just a minor update, so I won’t bore you with photo after photo, but here’s a quick shot I captured this morning from my iPhone to show some progress. I mainly focused on the shank last night, and its getting pretty difficult at this stage in the game. Next up I need to start trying to make some concave curves into the shank, which are going to be a bit complex with the equipment, or lack thereof, that I possess. I’m getting really close to involving power tools; we’ll see how long I can last.

I did pick up some additional sandpaper last night for later phases of work. They had a mix pack of papers ranging from 220 all the way to 1600 at harbor freight. I had zero luck finding some dye to use as a stain for the pipe at local stores, so it looks like I’ll have to go the online route for that. Sadly I think I’m going to have to take a bit of a break from working on the pipe coming up, since I have a few days of wedding activities to attend to, plus business travel.

shank shaping

22
Sep
09

Pipemaking 103

Tonight was a breakthrough night for the pipe. I realized there was a flaw in my initial design and cuts for the bottom portion of the pipe. I didn’t cut enough wood off to allow the stem to continue into the shank and flow all the way to the bottom of the bowl, as a volcano should. I put a fair amount of time into re-sanding the bottom, and although it’s not complete, it now is starting to feel less like a block of wood and more like a pipe in my hand. I also continued the shaping of the bowl itself and the shank. I’m also including a photo of the pipe with the stem attached, but keep in mind I plan on heating and bending the stem a bit so that it’s not so much of a curve.

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22
Sep
09

Pipemaking 102

Welcome to the future, the PPC website will now feature VIDEO from time to time. Amazing, eh? For part two of my pipemaking series, I recorded a video this morning showing my progress so far on the pipe. I’m doing more and more hand sanding to shape the pipe, and it’s one hell of a time consuming process. I am *definitely* using power tools for my next pipe, but since I’ve started the “handmade” process for this one, I want to finish what I started.

Part 1 – Pipemaking 101

21
Sep
09

Pipemaking 101

So, after my trip to Boswell in Chambersburg, I was inspired to hold off no longer for beginning work on crafting my first pipe. I purchased a pre-bored briar kit recently from PIMO, but was holding off on beginning work until I could put together a motor driven 6″ disc sander for shaping. I’d still like one of those, but kicked off work last night on my completely hand crafted pipe.

I first measured things up and created my design, photocopied it to preserve the original, and traced the design onto the block. I then measured out and marked the shaping cuts, and went to town with a coping saw for a good period of time. Yes, briar is HARD, and it is hard work to make the cuts by hand. It took me a good long while, but it’s starting to look somewhat pipe-like, and the rough hand sanding with 80 grit paper has begun. I also have a rasp but, find that even harder to work with for the shaping. The plan is for this to be a volcano someday. Here’s some shots of my workshop and progress:




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