Pipe Making Apprenticeship

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waznyf

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2012
723
0
Michigan
Hey everyone,
There seem to be more and more talented pipe makers showing their pipes to the world every day.

I never worked with wood too much as a child although I had daily opportunities simply because I was lazy. Now though, I have this great respect for pipe makers and there is an inner desire to start making pipes.
I have most of the tools necessary, and although I doubt my creative abilities I still want to give it a try.

So I ask you if you think it is too far-fetched to think that a current pipe maker (not Dunhill or Peterson of course, but some smaller name) might be willing to take on an apprentice for a short amount of time so that I or any person could gain some knowledge?
I am not sure if this question is allowed, so if not let me know and I'll remove it.

Does anyone know any reputable pipe making forums or books that would offer any information needed for a newb such as myself?
Anyway, sorry to bombard the forum with my questions but every day I want more and more to be able to make pipes of my own for others and myself.
-Frank

 

hobie1dog

Preferred Member
Jun 5, 2010
6,861
127
63
Cornelius, NC
I've heard about folks taking this course:

http://www.jhlowe.com/news.htm

Go to this page of the site & scroll down to the next to last bullet.

 

hobie1dog

Preferred Member
Jun 5, 2010
6,861
127
63
Cornelius, NC
Today I was reading through Lee VonErck's website update and noticed he has had a summer camp for beginning pipe makers. There's some info at the bottom of his home page Lee VonErck along with some of his past students listed on a separate page.

 

hobie1dog

Preferred Member
Jun 5, 2010
6,861
127
63
Cornelius, NC
If you are not aware of it, there is a pipe makers forum.

http://www.pipemakersforum.com/
http://www.pipemakers.org/
http://www.pipecrafter.com/about.php

 

hobie1dog

Preferred Member
Jun 5, 2010
6,861
127
63
Cornelius, NC
Got to the pimp site that Phillip listed above and look at all the tools that will be necessary for you to buy too....drills, stains ,buffers, tenon cutting tools, besides having to buy a decent drill press or lathe.

 

sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
994
54
Pipemakersforum.com is full of complete douchebags. They step over one another seeking bad punch lines, offensive gags, half-assed puns, not to mention outright teasing and abuse. Actually now I think about it.... it's a lot of fun!
Seriously, that's the best pipe making reference you'll find, and lots of help to be had there. As long as you are trying to make a pipe, you'll be helped.

 

lonestar

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2011
2,821
0
Edgewood Texas
As long as you are trying to make a pipe, you'll be helped.
They might make fun of your mother and call you ridiculous names.

Theres this one real dickhead over there, goes by the name Sasquash or something like that.

But thats the best place to learn just about everything pipemaking.

My best advice for you, you better want it. A lot. Pipemaking is hard :D And expensive.

 

smokindawg

Senior Member
May 25, 2011
454
0
First off, I'd get a couple pre-drilled pipe kits and give it a try. You would quickly find out what tools you really do have that work for the shaping and finishing. You would also quickly find out things aren't always as easy as some can make them look. Pipe making is difficult for most just starting out.
Don't get ahead of yourself in this as it can quickly cost you some mis-spent money. (I know this first hand just as many other beginning pipemakers do)
Work on a couple kits to begin with, read as much as you can and talk to as many pipemakers as you can. New guys included.
If after you murder a couple kits, you still want to make pipes, then start talking to pipe makers that will let you visit their shop. Many love visiters and don't mind passing on tips and such. (I'm one that doesn't mind visiters.)

 

ejames

Preferred Member
Oct 6, 2009
3,917
1
Many love visiters and don't mind passing on tips and such. (I'm one that doesn't mind visiters.)
I still intend to get over and see you one of these days Steve!!

 

sorringowl

Member
Dec 24, 2010
141
0
Hey Waz,
Yeah, Pipemakersforum.com is probably the best online resource. The only confusing thing is that there are like eight top pipe makers named Todd who will critique your work so, it's a little confusing (until you realize only one knows what the hell he's talking about--the rest of the Todds' critiques are useless, and, they make pipes that only a mother (or Jesus) would like--and Jesus, only because he has to). :D
In all seriousness, though, another route you might want to look into, is apprenticing under a local pipe maker (if there is one around your neck of the woods), joining a woodworking club (again, if there is one around you), or, starting your own pipe making club (where you can get together with one other, or more, aspiring pipe makers) and just make pipes.
I started my own version of this, here in Los Angeles, and so far, it's working pretty well, and, we're actually making pipes (or, at least, for now, things that look and smoke pipe-ish).
Here's a link to a thread for my pipe making club, the Pipe Maker's Guild. Check it out, as it might give you some ideas for getting started, in general.
P.S. Also, if you look up all (or even just some) of Sasquatch's posts and critiques on the Pipe Maker's Forum, you will get a quality education on pipe making (along with diagrams and colorful commentary). Some of his photos are even decent too! :lol:

 

waznyf

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2012
723
0
Michigan
@sorringowl I love that idea, and I may have to look into getting that sort of thing started once I make it to Ypsilanti.

Still need a belt sander though but other than that, I believe I have all of the large power tools that I need!

Thanks for sharing dude! I will look into the forum also as it seems to have good reviews from all of you!

 

sorringowl

Member
Dec 24, 2010
141
0
No problem. And, if you're looking for a belt sander, look in your local Craigslist, man. Try to get one that has bolted steel parts, like this sucker!

...which I bought off CL for $40 bucks! It has a longer belt than the newer Delta disc/belt sanders and is very solid. Good luck!

 

waznyf

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2012
723
0
Michigan
Oh I was planning on checking out CL no doubt! There are so many good steals on it, I don't know why a lot of people disregard it as a resource... So there may have been some shady business done in the past through it, no big deal LOL.

 

smokindawg

Senior Member
May 25, 2011
454
0
ejames, I hope you do, it's an open invitation so just any time I'm home is good for me.
That invitation is also open for anyone else that may be interested in coming by for a smoke and possibility of learning something........ which I highly doubt you will...... :)

 
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