Latest of My Early Attempts

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New member
Aug 20, 2019
I just finished shaping and sanding this one tonight. I think it is my fifth pipe. While I was waiting for my first briar to arrive I made this one out of black locust. It is hard as a rock and not very easy to work with but it is an interesting color and has iridescent grain. The color changes with small changes in viewing angle. In the picture below it has not been oiled or stained, just sanded and buffed and looks a little darker than it really is. I'm just going to apply tong oil and then wax it with carnuba to maintain its current color. It will likely darken a little over time. I did not make the stem. It is a pre-made acrylic from Vermont Freehand. I have a similar one that is a reddish tortoise shell color which I like better but it is a little loose in the shank and I don't know how to fix that....any tips on how to do that much appreciated.




Apr 24, 2019
That's looks like a beauty to me. Nice work.

Depending how loose, you could try a little beeswax to tighten up the fit.


Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
Reactions: oldtoby


Preferred Member
Dec 7, 2011
Black Locust is extremely dense and I've often thought about using it for a pipe.

That said, I know several guys who make BBQ and smoked meats who say the wood can make you sick if you cook with it. I have no evidence for this, but it has dissuaded me from using it as a pipe material. Maybe some of our pipe makers here can clarify as to the toxicity (or not).

Black Locust has beautiful grain with a yellow/ golden hue I've always admired. I use it mostly for stove wood, as it burns extremely hot with very little smoke and ash. Many here consider it the best firewood you can use. A lot of folks in my neck of the woods use it for split rail fencing due to it's durability.

Btw, that's a beauty of a pipe.

Edit; Embers beat me to it.


New member
Aug 20, 2019
Black locust leaves are considered toxic. One of the wood databases does not say anything about toxicity. I have also seen several professional pipe makers who have made pipes from it.

Some have said that it gives the smoke a funny flavor. We'll see. I have also read that boiling it before drying it can alleviate that problem.

However, even if it does not kill me and even if it smokes well I'm not sure I'll use it again even though I have plenty of it. It is hard to work with, saw dust is like talcum and it is rough on tools.

The shape was copied from a series of pipes made by Love Geiger. The style appeals to me and I will probably copy it again. I will say that his pipes in this style (which often sell for more than $3000) have an elegance to them that I was not able to capture. Maybe next time. His are also adorned with horn and silver rings, etc.


Preferred Member
Mar 18, 2014
I love that pipe, the color is beautiful and it has a kind of nose warmer feel to it, even though it's obviously a little longer.
Does that even make sense?