My first DIY pipe

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gerryp

Member
Oct 8, 2018
265
156
51
Arabi, LA
A few weeks ago I ordered a bent ebauchon pipe kit from Vermont Freehand. I've given cobs facelifts and done some minor restoration and reshaping of briar pipes, but this is the first pipe I've carved from scratch except for the pre-drilled holes.
I decided to make a cherrywood, since I like that shape and didn't own one yet. Other than using a drill and Dremel for the final wax job, the pipe was carved using mostly stone age technology, i.e. files and rasps, except for finishing with sandpaper and sanding pads up to 5000 grit.
The below pics are a little washed out. The pipe isn't that orange in person. The briar had a couple minor pits, but they aren't bad so I left them unfilled. While trying to get rid of a whistle in the stem with a jeweler's file, I accidentally broke off a couple pieces by the button. Apparently vulcanite is pretty non-rubbery for a piece of rubber. I was able to repair it with super glue, and while it's not perfect it works for now. There are a few tool marks on the stem that I didn't fix.
My biggest problem is that it's a sitter that doesn't sit...it's more of a leaner, I guess. Otherwise I'm pretty happy with it, and I didn't burn a hole in it when I gave it a test drive last night. Check out the pics, tell me what you think. You might have to tilt your head to the left for a couple of them.










 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,493
8
That is one spectacular first attempt, even with a pre-drilled block. I think your treatment of the shank to bowl and the suggestion of curve in the stem shows an understanding for detail and the ability to achieve it. Really nice!

 

acidpox

Senior Member
Nov 18, 2018
329
42
Nice 1st pipe, wayyyy better than my 1st attempt, I wont even post of picture of mine lol.

 

gerryp

Member
Oct 8, 2018
265
156
51
Arabi, LA
Thank you newbroom! I'm glad somebody noticed that little curve thing. I was considering bending the stem a little more, but I think I'm going to leave it as-is. It hangs well too.
Acid, thank you!

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,245
450
Sure looks like you've done some serious woodworking of some kind, if that's a first attempt at a pipe. Wow and wow. Really handsome briar, grain so well exhibited, and that jaunty poker sitter style. Most of us would be happy to have that one on the rack.

 

gerryp

Member
Oct 8, 2018
265
156
51
Arabi, LA
alaskanpiper and mso, thanks for the kind words.
mso, I don't really have woodworking experience other than the pipe stand in the above pics, and that wasn't really the same thing. I do own a router that I've used to ruin a number of boards though. I used primitive tools this time so that a random screwup wouldn't be catastrophic...a wrong move with a file is one thing, but a spinning Dremel collet across your pipe is another thing entirely. :lol:

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,245
450
gerry', commendable, to understate. Traditional shapes are not easy to carry off in the first place. I'll look forward to seeing any future efforts.

 

jaytex969

Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
4,383
735
That's a handsome pipe. I think you may have an innate talent.
If the lack of sitting really bothers you, you might be able to correct it by making the angle of the bottom a bit steeper.
I'm amazed at how round you got the cylinder with hand tools. Were it me, the pipe would more resemble an amoeba in shape...



 

gerryp

Member
Oct 8, 2018
265
156
51
Arabi, LA
Thanks again for all the compliments. It's very gratifying to get all the positive feedback.
Jay, for the cylinder part I just drew a circle around the chamber, making sure it was centered. Then I started at the top with a rasp until I got close to the pencil line, filed to a little bit before the line all the way around (for margin of error purposes), then worked my way down. It's not perfect...I can feel it slightly out of round in a couple spots, but they aren't noticeable (I think).
Originally I wanted a steeper angle at the bottom. The problem is the chamber is pretty deep, and I have about 1/8" of briar under the bottom of it. I wasn't sure how thin that could be without being a problem, so I stopped where it is. The other thing I thought of was that creating more of a forward cant would mean removing more briar, and removing that weight would decrease the mass of the area in front of the tipping point thus making it more prone to falling backward unless the angle was steep enough to move center mass forward past the tipping point. I have 0 math to back that up, and don't have the desire to try to figure it out, so I might be wrong about all that. A more shallow bowl, or better planning on my part, or both, probably would have helped.
I made the shank skinnier to try to compensate, but that didn't work. On the bright side, it sits perfectly with the stem removed.

 

taildraggin

Junior Member
May 25, 2019
62
0
I like how carving your own makes you appreciate (and discount) what pipe makers do and gets you to focus on what you want in a pipe. Nice job!

 

gerryp

Member
Oct 8, 2018
265
156
51
Arabi, LA
Thanks taildraggin.
Aside from appreciating how much time and effort is saved by using power tools, I realized that, in my opinion, Peterson did kind of a sh** job staining the Shannon I bought a few months ago.

 

gerryp

Member
Oct 8, 2018
265
156
51
Arabi, LA
Thanks Puffy. That part was unintentional, it ended up a little smaller than I planned since I had to fix my blunder. It doesn't whistle any more, btw. It must have heard me saying I was going to buy an acrylic replacement.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,252
170
I think you may have an innate talent.
I couldn't agree more. I'd have to say that's the most impressive first attempt I recall seeing posted here. Especially considering:
the pipe was carved using mostly stone age technology
Very nice.

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
2,762
105
SC Piedmont
Wow. As Tom Lehrer said about Mozart, "It's people like that who make you realize how little you've accomplished." I'm amazed, especially for a first shot. I couldn't even THINK about doing that well!! Mega-congrats!
Bill