Bilbo Baggins Inspired Pipe

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carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
So, I got back into pipe smoking a few months ago and had the idea that I wanted to make something special for myself. Didn't really have a clue where to start, so I did what almost any beginning craftsman might do in today's age: I went to Google and Youtube. There, I found several videos and images to work with and decided on the wood I wanted to use. Being in Raleigh, we have a Woodcraft store nearby, so I picked out some lovely 2"x2"x6" cherry wood blocks for the bowl and a nice slab of 3/4"x6"x24" maple for the stem. Now being new to the whole idea of pipe making, I had a few other nice reads to help me out with draught hole size, bowl size, etc. One page I read told me what a range of draught hole sizes could be and that he, himself, preferred a 5/32" draught hole. I decided to give that a try and I also went with a 1" bowl diameter size, not really realizing just how large that would be when smoking. I pulled everything together and I came up with this:

The draw was a bit much for me and I think the 5/32" hole size produces more smoke than I wanted, so I built a second one, same design, only smaller, with a 1/8" draught hole size and a 3/4" diameter bowl:

The draw is so much smoother and much more to my taste than the 5/32" hole. I'm slowly learning my preferences by making these and they are so much fun to make. I'm looking forward to making more in the future.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
I have smoked both a couple of times. So far they both smoke great! Only time will tell how well they hold up. The larger of the two has a bit of a larger draught hole size for me than I like. The next morning after my first smoke with it, the back of my throat was a little raw, but I had no complaints from the smaller of the two. It smokes very nicely. The larger pipe with the 1" bowl diameter can be a bit of a challenge to smoke with if there's a breeze, as a lot of the ash on top likes to blow out. It was a lot of fun to carve and build them, but it really makes you appreciate the tools that actual pipe manufacturers have on hand...for me, it was hours upon hours of filing, using some sandpaper and my dremel along the way. It felt more like 5% design skills and 95% sanding/filing.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
Thank you Dot! Well, right now, in keeping with the Hobbit theme, I have a very lovely blend called Second Breakfast, from The Country Squire. It smells great and I get compliments on it all the time. I keep a little at home and some at the office for a mid-afternoon puff.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
Thank you Adhie! I appreciate it! That was the easiest part of the whole thing and felt almost like a binding ritual of sorts, preparing it to be smoked, since it was the last step before I tucked a little Second Breakfast in it, strolled out on the back porch and fired her up.

 

artificialme

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2018
316
1
@carolinechurchwarden : that's look like fun to bind them together like that. Give those pipe and interesting and somewhat ethnic look. By the way, is the stem detachable? With the ropes around, will it hard to detach the stem out of the shank?

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
@artificialme: It was a good bit of fun, and just wrapping it with a jute twine of sorts makes it super quick and easy to replace. The stem is removable, but you have to slip the binding up onto the step itself, then remove it for cleaning or whatever, then slip it back in and slide the binding back down. I had to try it myself after some tobacco got hung in the draught hole after knocking out my bowl. The pipe cleaners I have kept getting caught due to the bend and the tenon at the bottom. I slipped the binding up with no problem at all, and slid it back down. Over time, I'm sure it'll get loose, but I have a whole roll of twine, so no biggie there.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
Thank you Sir! I appreciate that. Yeah, I decided to go with a butchers block conditioner for the finish, so that might be a part of it. It's just natural cherry wood with a couple coats of the butchers block conditioner, which is only mineral oil, beeswax and carnauba wax. Wanted something simple, easy and that would show off the natural beauty in the wood.

 

redglow

Preferred Member
Jan 7, 2019
1,527
441
Michigan
Those are definitely some fine looking pipes!
You’ll have to get out the Tolkien books and fire one up.