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Making Your Own Pipe?

(52 posts)
  • Started 5 months ago by pipesmoker30
  • Latest reply from pipesmoker30
  1. pipesmoker30

    pipesmoker30

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    How many of you have made your own pipe? If you did, would you recommend it? Any pictures?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  2. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    There are several carvers on here, although I can only think of one right now. He lives in Vietnam I think, bienden is his screen name maybe? I'm only on my second cup here. The work that he posts up is very very nice.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  3. buzkirk

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    I have only made 22 pipes so far, with another 3 in the works. It's very relaxing just focusing on the briar in your hands, shaping, sanding, and just figuring out all the little nuancese of the pipe. I started out with blocks from Vermont freehand.
    I would highly recommend the experience, it will let you understand all the work that goes into a decent pipe.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  4. pipesmoker30

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    I was thinking that, it would make me appreciate the finer details of a pipe more. You can buy premade kits where you just carve it how you want everything else is done like this drilling of it. I may give it ago sometime.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  5. pipesmoker30

    pipesmoker30

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    I have seen how to make a corn cob and definitely want to give that ago, I might give a normal pipe ago after the corn cob pipe.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  6. mikestanley

    mikestanley

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    Most of the pipes I smoke, I made. I enjoy the challenge and usually, the results. It allows me to spend more in tobacco and, golf.
    Mike S.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  7. pipesmoker30

    pipesmoker30

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    Definitely sounds like fun, do you have a plan in mind or let the tools do the work and see what you end up with?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  8. mikestanley

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    I generally have a shape in mind, after all, I know the new owner! Whether it will be smooth or rusticated is the main question.

    Mike S.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  9. pipesmoker30

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    Which one do you prefer? Smooth or rusticated? I seem to learn more towards rusticated finish

    Posted 5 months ago #
  10. pipesmoker30

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    Dark wood, rusticated full bent is what catches my attention.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  11. mikestanley

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    If the grain cooperates, I like a nice smooth. Rustication is nice, if you (I) don’t get lazy.
    Mike S.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  12. sasquatch

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    It's not super hard to make a pipe, depending on your standards, your skills, your tooling,and your patience level. If all you have is a file and a vise, it's going to take about 5 years.

    I advise people to try the kits first because they don't have to make a big tooling investment, and they can just do the "fun stuff". But if a guy has tools, drill press and or lathe especially,there's no reason you can't make a pipe from scratch. Check out vermontfreehand.com for info on kits, briar, rod, tools, etc.

    I tell people who come to me and say "I want to start making my own pipes." to take 400 dollars, and flush it down the toilet. That's will give you the same feeling of money wasting, life-decision-questioning kind of hopelessness that pipe making generally speaking causes if you get serious about it. Banging out a pipe or two is lots of fun. Trying to make NICE stuff is hard, and tedious, and it costs a lot to get going if you aren't already heavily invested in tools. I have about 5000 bucks invested in pipe making tools, as an example. 2 different sanders, 2 different lathes, band saw, drill press, table saw, compressor and sandblast box, probably 1000 bucks in hand tools on the bench. But that's to make pipes on a daily basis. To work harder and knock a few out as a hobby is entirely possible. BUT you will spend 400 bucks before you blink. So go to it, have a crack, or, just find a pipe you really love, a 400 dollar hand made pipe, and buy that thing, and have a) a nice pipe and b) far less headaches.

    There are many online resources for pipe making, pipemakersforum.com (or the facebook group called "pipe makers") being the most reliable.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  13. trouttimes

    trouttimes

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    Made my first pipe in the fall of '68 or '69 after getting the corn crop in. Got a whipping for wasting corn!

    “The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone, I must follow if I can
    Posted 5 months ago #
  14. cosmicfolklore

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    I have had the luxury of living just down the road from pipemaker and pipe shop owner, Skip Elliot. I have made a few pipes, but it's really hard when the two of us get together, because we tend to end up talking and laughing and just having fun more than actually making pipes. I am a horrible student, but I have learned enough to know that I prefer people who know how to make pipes, make my pipes. Ha ha!! But, if the pipe world came to an apocalyptic end, I know enough to smoke my tobacco in a really ugly and cumbersome self-made hunk of crap. Ha ha!!

    This is one we made together... afte I fished the stummel out of his garbage, ha ha.

    And, this one I made by myself. It's way heavier that it looks, and the button leaves a lot to be desired.

    Michael
    Posted 5 months ago #
  15. mso489

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    No pipe carving here, so I am strictly an observer. We have some professional carvers who are at the top levels, some gifted beginners, and many long-time hobbyest carvers. One member did a pipe entirely hand-carved with a blade. Most use some kind of mechanization -- whether Dremel, sanding wheel, etc. -- to realize the basic shape and then work texture and finish. Carving it entirely with a blade is commendable but must be arduous. If you just want a pipe, buy one!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  16. trouttimes

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    Cosmic, don't sell yourself short, you have skills. Look great from this distance. I especially like the green stem. None of my cobs looked even close to that good.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  17. pipesmoker30

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    I wasn't looking to make them to sell was just enquiring if people done it as a hobby, sat in the back garden smoking your favourite pipe, listening to the birds singing while sanding down and designing your own pipe for abit of fun. If it's rubbish it's rubbish but can still put it in the display cabinet and think I made that, as funny as it looks I still done it. I would like to have ago at making a corn cob first then have ago at a kit pipe. I know I'm not gonna be good enough to make it from scratch, drilling it and everything else.

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    anarchisthermit

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    I lifted this from a now defunct forum. Maybe it will help.

    Spillproof and DGE thought we would collaborate on this to answer questions often asked about what is needed to carve a pre-drilled kit (stummel and stem) into a pipe. We concentrated on tools, not techniques. This list is for those of you who want to make a pipe just for the fun of it, but not mortgage the house to buy tools. You can do that later if the bug bites you hard.

    Carving your own is basically 2 sets of operations. 1) removing non pipey material & 2) shaping smoothing and finishing.

    GOTTA HAVES. Well maybe one or two items you don't gotta have, but you do want to finish this decade, right?
    A way to hold the block. This can be a vice, c-clamps or a dowel the same diameter as the chamber.
    A coping saw. Much quicker than files for removing excess briar.
    Files. To fine tune the shape. Combo flat/half round double cut, single cut, round.
    Sandpaper. Depending on your filing skills, start with either 80 or 120 grit. And then all the grits (do not skip any) up to 600. (One technique thingy. Cut your sandpaper into 3/4'' strips and back them with electrical tape or you get confetti. Another very helpful item is a sanding sponge. You can wrap any grade of sandpaper around a sanding sponge and you've created a "soft-backed" sanding pad. They're sweet.
    A way to make the stem shiny. This could be as simple and cheap as a 7 way finger nail buffing stick from the dollar store, but you'd be better off with MicroMesh sanding pads and a buffing setup (like the PIMO setup).
    Appropriate measuring devices like calipers and 6'' rules.
    Computer, tablet or smart phone. Lots of good and informative video tutorials on YouTube.
    NICE TO HAVES
    DGE found a Black & Decker WorkMate bench close to indispensable. Spillproof built his own.
    Electric drill. Can be used for shaping with a 5'' sanding pad and disks. Also as a buffer. Use a separate wheel for each compound. Use a plastic zip tie for speed control.
    Chainsaw files in a couple of different diameters.
    Needle files.
    Dust mask.
    Kemper Zig Zag Saw K-31
    DAMNED NEAR USELESS
    Dremel (In DGE's opinion).
    Any kind of handheld power saw. And dangerous.
    Conventional wood carving chisels. Briar is much too hard.
    WHERE TO GET THIS STUFF
    Harbor Freight. DGE really likes their files. harborfreight.com
    ACE Hardware
    Home Depot
    Lowe's)
    Tim West http://jhlowe.com/toc.htm
    Vermont Freehand http://vermontfreehand.com/
    Edited to remove 2 defunct businesses.
    You will notice we have not mentioned staining, shellac, rustication etc. Those topics are not essential to carving a pipe. This list is for what you need to turn a lump of wood with 2 holes into a vaguely pipe shaped object. Finishing can be as simple as applying a coat of carnuba wax with a buffer or Paragon or Halycon with a rag. Or as complex as eleventy coats of various stains and then coated with diluted shellac.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  19. pipesmoker30

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    @cosmic, they do look good and it must bring a sense of achievement knowing you made it yourself.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  20. trouttimes

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    I can make a functional pipe but to make it look good is altogether another story. That take skills.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  21. ashdigger

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    If I ever decided to carve a pipe, the first thing I'd do is dial 911. If I get lucky the first responders would get to me before I bled out.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 5 months ago #
  22. gerryp

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    Just for grins I made a cob-style pipe out of maple dowel rods using a drill, a Dremel, files, and sandpaper. It took forever and smokes too hot, but it can be done and with practice would take a lot less time. I had to buy a couple special drill bits, the finest sandpaper I could get from Advance Auto, stain, and a bar of wax, but it was less than $100. Harbor Freight helped.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  23. warren

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    I do a bit of woodworking but, making a pipe has never crossed my mind. I can pay people to make the pipes. I tend to make things much less delicate than pipes. I like joinery and I've yet to see a dovetail incorporated in a pipe.

    For what it is worth Michael is a metal worker of great skill. Those silver fittings are all his I bet. He made a tamper for me with a police shield on it. And, no I still haven't posted of picture of it. It's only been a couple of years Cosmic, I'll gitroundtoit.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 5 months ago #
  24. cranseiron

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    Edit: failed attempt to load a photo from my phone.

    Mods-- please delete.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  25. pipesmoker30

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    I have been thinking and maybe it's above my ability. Was a good thought while it lasted I guess

    Posted 5 months ago #
  26. mikethompson

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    I have learned enough to know that I prefer people who know how to make pipes, make my pipes.

    Me too. I know enough to know that I don't know enough. Sometimes.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  27. pipesmoker30

    pipesmoker30

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    That's true, I like that statement

    Posted 5 months ago #
  28. haparnold

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    Those of us who spent time in the Cub Scouts will remember with varying degrees of fondness the annual Pinewood Derby competition. For those without a scouting background, here's a link: Pinewood Derby

    Whenever I think of pipe making kits, I always think of the pinewood derby setup: you spend hours and hours sanding away at something that turns out far worse than you envisioned, and in the end some kid comes along with an unshaped block and beats you anyway.

    While making a pipe is definitely doable (all my first pipes were homemade from cobs I liberated from our corn crib), I get all the pipe making joy I want out of cleaning/restoring estates.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 5 months ago #
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    celticbrewer

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    I'd love to get good enough on a lathe to make one... maybe someday

    Posted 5 months ago #
  30. pipesmoker30

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    I have been pondering with the idea of estate pipes but how safe are they once there cleaned? If it's a family member that's different as we are all connected in some way shape or form but to share something as personal as a pipe with a stranger, wouldn't it be passing germs, infections and other baddies on? I honestly don't know, I'm asking more than debating tbh.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  31. cosmicfolklore

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    Pipesmoker30, someone used the comparison once to dishes and eating utensils. They are put in other people’s mouths all the time. Estate pipes should be fine. We use the term “estate” to mean “used.” Only in a few rare instances is the term used to mean that the owner has died. In most cases people stop pipesmoking before actually dying, because we cant smoke in nursing homes or hospitals, and that is usually where we all spend the last few years. But, the estate market is mostly people trading pipes for new one or better ones.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  32. davet

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    They are put in other people’s mouths all the time.

    Amongst other things....... I think once it's cleaned there's nothing left but phobias.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  33. chasingembers

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    I've made a few. All done with a drill press, disc sander, files and sandpaper.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 5 months ago #
  34. chasingembers

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    I have been pondering with the idea of estate pipes but how safe are they once there cleaned?

    Alcohol tends to be used to sanitize estate pipes, so they are safe to use.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  35. pipesmoker30

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    @embers, some smart looking pipes you have there

    Posted 5 months ago #
  36. pipesmoker30

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    Now estate pipes, sorry I didn't explain myself properly. Someone mentioned utensils, I will use them as an example, there mental, you can steralise metal, you cannot steralise wood. Also I have been looking for a pipe, I find one online. Pay for it, get it through the post some years late and give it a good old clean. Pack and and start smoking away happy with my new toy. Now where you can't steralise wood. Say the person I got it from has a stinking cold/flu, would them germs then be passed on to me so I get a stinking cold/flu? Also if for example they had a cold sore, would I get that from the stem? I wasn't just on about dying.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  37. chasingembers

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    @embers, some smart looking pipes you have there

    Thanks, had a lot of fun carving them!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  38. haparnold

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    Nah. Unless you're sticking the bowl in your mouth (to be fair, I have to remind myself on occasion that the little hole goes in my mouth), the wood shouldn't come into contact with your mouth.

    In the event someone had germs on their pipe bowl, I expect the germs would die long before it got to you. But don't forget that you also have heat going on to sterilize the pipe.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  39. cranseiron

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    Edit:another photo upload fail from my phone. I'm trying to plug your work, Micheal, but.... my dog won't hunt.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  40. cranseiron

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    Edit: Attempt #3. Eff it!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  41. chasingembers

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    Now where you can't steralise wood. Say the person I got it from has a stinking cold/flu, would them germs then be passed on to me so I get a stinking cold/flu? Also if for example they had a cold sore, would I get that from the stem?

    There are several things you can do if you're worried about catching something from a used pipe. You could wipe the entire pipe down with a sanitizing wipe. The chamber can be sanitized with a salt and alcohol treatment. The mortise and draft can be sanitized with alcohol, Q-tips, and pipe cleaners. The stem can be cleaned with antibacterial soap and water with the airway being scrubbed out with a bristle pipe cleaner and soap. You could also just use an alcohol retort for the stem, airway, and chamber.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  42. pipesmoker30

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    Ok so there safe then, now I have been reading online and to remove the yellow stain on the stem, I have read that a rag or soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste will do it, is that correct? Any other ideas?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  43. ophiuchus

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    I've made a few cobs, with reed stems. Butt-ugly cobs, mind you, though they usually smoke pretty well.

    This thread is giving me a briar itch, though ...

    Posted 5 months ago #
  44. pipesmoker30

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    Nice one, keep us updated, good luck

    Posted 5 months ago #
  45. chasingembers

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    I have read that a rag or soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste will do it, is that correct? Any other ideas?

    If you've never done it before, a 30 minute soak in Oxyclean, with the tenon coated in Vaseline, followed by a scrubbing with Magic Erasers and a polishing with fine micromesh pads. I only use a lighter and a wet paper towel to remove oxidation on the stems, but that was after having the basics down first.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  46. pipesmoker30

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    Ah nice thankyou

    Posted 5 months ago #
  47. jpmcwjr

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    Edit:another photo upload fail from my phone. I'm trying to plug your work, Micheal, but.... my dog won't hunt.

    Uploading to Imgur? Make of phone? Details, and I'll see if I can help.

    Great bling on those things, Michael.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 5 months ago #
  48. cranseiron

    Cranse Iron

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    John, thank you for your off of help. I haven't uploaded a photo from my PM album in a year so some rust set in. My old PC is gone and I just bought a laptop that takes some getting used to. I followed the same procedures from what I remember, but to no avail. I'll go back and review the sticky amd if I still encounter problems I will gladly employ your offer. Thank you.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  49. jpmcwjr

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    If the pix are in the album here, start with #4....

    This is how to add photos to your post using the site's photo album:

    1.) Login
    2.) Go to My Account (may have hit Home button first) and mouse down to Album.
    3.) Choose Upload Picture (navigate to photo you've given a sensible name to), be sure to then hit Upload.
    4.) Go back to Album, click on thumbnail to open full size image. Right click (Windows); Control Click (Mac) and select "copy image location" (its URL).
    5.) Return to your reply window in the thread and click on the IMG button at the top of the compose window.
    7.) Paste the image location into the window and click OK. (You can paste over the existing http://)

    Images tend to be smaller than hosting site's size, but can be full sized if you remove the pixel limitation, (-600x360)— the numbers and the dash preceding, leaving no spaces, and ending in .jpg

    Posted 5 months ago #
  50. pipesmoker30

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    Thankyou for the tips

    Posted 5 months ago #
  51. fullbent

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    I’ve made a few from kits. It’s very fun.

    "If you can't sent money, send tobacco."
    -George Washington to the Continental Congress, 1776
    Posted 5 months ago #
  52. pipesmoker30

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    Have you got any pictures?

    Posted 5 months ago #

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