Pipe making kits ?

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aro222

Senior Member
Mar 17, 2018
457
56
42
Toronto Ontario, Canada
Hey guys, was just wondering if anyone have tried these. I was thinking of picking one up and giving it a shot just to pass the time really. I’m pretty good with my hands, however don’t own a lathe. I figured it will take longer to do by hand but I’m in no rush. Are the kits worth it ? The bowl and shank come pre- drilled into the block, all that’s left is carving your shape and staining.

Any suggestions guys ?

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
I thoroughly enjoyed working with mine. I've only done one so far, but I want to get more. I made this one from a pipe kit:

I have a band saw for trimming out the bigger hunks, a set of files for shaping, a few sanders and a Dremel. Had to go to a pipe club members house to finish it as I didn't have small enough Dremel bits to rusticate the inner portions like I really wanted to. He had a jewelers set of bits with really fine points, perfect for getting into all those nooks and crannies. He also had the stain I wanted to use and since I didn't have a clue about which color to buy to make what I wanted, he helped me out. He also had a buffing station from hell with every degree one would need and all the waxes.
I highly recommend getting the kits to try you hand at. At the very least, it gives you the best opportunity to try your hand at carving one of them.

 

aro222

Senior Member
Mar 17, 2018
457
56
42
Toronto Ontario, Canada
HOLY CRAP !!! Those pipes are impressive. Well boys after seeing those I’m kind of intimidated now. Lol

I’m going to grab one from Mark Tinsky and give it a shot. Should I pick up some buffing compound and carnuba wax from him as well?

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,042
940
Only if you have a buffer to use with them. You can get a mirror finish with just sandpaper and micromesh.

 

winton

Preferred Member
Oct 20, 2010
2,105
14
If you want to make your own pipe, a pipe kit is the way to start. You can get good results with a Harbor Freight (lowest end quality) 1 x 30 belt sander. You need to get a variety of belts.

 

aro222

Senior Member
Mar 17, 2018
457
56
42
Toronto Ontario, Canada
I have a buffer already and I’m going to pick up a belt sander as well as a few different files. I also have a dremel with many bits. The rest will be done by hand tools.

Any recommendations on stains ?

 

kola

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
600
2
Everything ya need right here. Browse around, lotsa' cool stuff (kits, woods, bands, stems, tools, dyes, etc)
https://vermontfreehand.com/woodworking-supplies/

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,476
624
30
WI
I bought a pre drilled pipe from Mr Brog. I am not impressed by the cheap stem, but for only 25 bucks, it will be great practice.

I will hopefully be starting it this weekend.

I only own a belt sander, drill press, Dremel, buffer and files.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
2
Raleigh, NC
I used a version of the alcohol based dyes in which you use the powder in combination with denatured alcohol, but I honestly couldn't tell you what brand he had. He said it came in a kit and he's had the same dyes for many years now. As far as colors, I have no idea, but his weren't named the same as the ones from Vermont Freehand. They have so many to choose from that you'd just have to pick some and roll with it. They worked really well though, just watch out for getting it on your fingers. Took like 3 weeks for it wear off mine.
Now the Fiebing liquid dye comes premixed, and from my understanding through a combination of watering it down a bit and/or sanding it down, you can make one color produce many different shades. You can also mix some to create you own color, but it would just take playing around with them to find something you liked. If I were going to buy some for my own pipe I was making, I would buy the Cordovan, and maybe one or two others, like maybe an oxblood, black, just for creating a contrast dye.
In the end, it's all about what you feel comfortable with. They don't cost too much to buy up several just to try.

 

aro222

Senior Member
Mar 17, 2018
457
56
42
Toronto Ontario, Canada
Thanks guys

Lots of good info here to get me started.

Time to pull the trigger and get carving.

Hope you guys don’t mind me asking stupid questions as the project continues from time to time, I’m sure I’ll have a few.

Cheers boys

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,476
624
30
WI
The only stupid questions are the ones that follow up with insulting members after they give you advice. :puffy:

 

johnbrody15

New member
Feb 16, 2019
32
0
I only use pipe kits because I don't have the means or skill to drill my own holes. First three were throwaways since I messed up quit a bit. I've bought from a few places and so far, Tinsky is the best I've seen. Other places, the draft holes drilled through and nicked the other end of the bowl. Tinsky, they're drilled expertly. I also liked that Tinksy offers acrylic stems.
I was actually thinking of pinging the forum on what places make the best kit blocks.
I use a dremel, files, sand paper, and a low end Harbor Freight and tools buffer. Since I don't have a lathe, I go for the plateaux blocks. I feel like they're more conducive to hand carving. Although I have hand carved a ebuchon block that came out somewhat okay.
I just learn as I go...which is why I had to toss the first three, and the others are wild and wacky.
I have a ton of fun making them, I highly recommend it.

 

aro222

Senior Member
Mar 17, 2018
457
56
42
Toronto Ontario, Canada
Ok thanks for clearing that up embers. I’ll admit I was getting a little worried. I thought perhaps I wasn’t clear.

Anyway all is good. Hey Duane do you think I should get a plateaux block to start with ? Is it easier or just stick with a ebuchon for my first go at this ?