Hey, that doesn't look bad, didi. Certainly better than I could do! Anybody who wants to bellyache can follow the instructions in your handle. If they don't get it, just locknload & pop a few over their heads. THEY'll get the idea. }
Thank you very much guys. I used my 1" belt sander untill there was almost no wood left on one side, lol Then after filing the damn thing for a couple hours, in order to get some of the gouges away, I moved on to sanding by hand, hoping it would make the process faster. Then I remembered I could use my Dremel tool and "rusticate" it instead. Then after cleverly hiding all my mistakes, I sanded it again, moving onto micro mesh pads. Then decided to get brown leather dye mostly all over my hands. I polished it with white diamond and then caranauba wax on my 6" wheel buffer.
I did however get stain Inside the bowl.
I would almost put money on it that it ACTUALLY SOAKED THROUGH FROM THE OUTSIDE. I swear. So I tried cleaning it out but was mentally done at that point and gave up.
As I mentioned in another thread, I do not care for the cheap plastic stem, but for 25 $ it was a great starter pipe, and I wouldn't have been upset if this didn't go at least semi well.
On a rusticated pipe, alcohol based stain will sometimes creep through the briar - it takes a lot of stain to get the rough/deep areas, and if you pool it up, the briar can wick it right through. Shows up usually as spotting, like you flicked a paint brush.
Good first effort - it's a lotta work!