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Pipe Making Apprenticeship

(35 posts)
  1. waznyf

    waznyf

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    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

    "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."
    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. hobie1dog

    hobie1dog

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    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.

    " I'm talking about the kind of sound you can feel. When it comes to great stereo you can't beat big speakers, I'm talking about big speakers with big woofers."
    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. hobie1dog

    hobie1dog

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    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.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. waznyf

    waznyf

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    Thanks hobie I really appreciate the info! Going to check it out.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. hobie1dog

    hobie1dog

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    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

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. ohiopuffer

    ohiopuffer

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    I have actually been thinking about giving pipe making a try.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. philip

    Philip

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    Since you are new at it, you might enjoy first trying to carve your own pipe from a pre-drilled block of briar.

    Here's an idea to check into: Prebored Briar Pipes

    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. hobie1dog

    hobie1dog

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    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.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. waznyf

    waznyf

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    Great! I will do so and look into the other forum as well.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. sasquatch

    sasquatch

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    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.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. lonestar

    lonestar

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    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 And expensive.

    -Ryan Alden
    Posted 6 years ago #
  12. batdemon

    batdemon

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    Here is another site to check out.

    PIMO

    Posted 6 years ago #
  13. smokindawg

    smokindawg

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    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.)

    Steve: Pipemaker in Training!
    Posted 6 years ago #
  14. ejames

    ejames

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    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!!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  15. sorringowl

    sorringowl

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    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).

    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!

    “When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself”
    ― Jacques-Yves Cousteau
    Posted 6 years ago #
  16. waznyf

    waznyf

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    @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!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  17. sorringowl

    sorringowl

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    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!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  18. waznyf

    waznyf

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    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.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  19. smokindawg

    smokindawg

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    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......

    Posted 6 years ago #
  20. waznyf

    waznyf

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    Oh I would love to, it all depends as to where you live? LOL

    Posted 6 years ago #
  21. smokindawg

    smokindawg

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    waz, I live out in the sticks, we're so far out I can barely get dial up internet or keep it working. LOL!

    I live about 2 hours west of St. Louis Missouri.

    I've actually had a few people visit and we always have a good time. I can even put you up for a night or two if you bring your own tent.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  22. waznyf

    waznyf

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    Hey man that is awesome!
    I'd be right as home because we too are in the sticks. No cable or internet without using our phones for tether.
    Anyway, I would love to get down there and spend time smoking a pipe. Might make for a good trip during one of my breaks!
    Haven't had the opportunity to meet any fellow pipe smokers, it is always just me.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  23. batdemon

    batdemon

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    Hey, I'm right across the river from St. Louis! I might have to take you up on a visit, would make a nice Saturday drive.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  24. smokindawg

    smokindawg

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    batdemon, That would be great. I have a buddy close that I get together with and could get him up here the same time. He's the one got me into pipe smoking. I paid him back by getting him into pipe making. LOL!

    I'm actually heading out from the airport up there Saturday for a couple weeks or so, but when I get back, your welcome to come down any time. I have air conditioning in the shop too, it helps a lot.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  25. erdnase

    erdnase

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    Greetings,

    I know some folks have mentioned PIMO's website. He's got a great book on pipe making. I think it's $20.00.

    Onward...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  26. ohiopuffer

    ohiopuffer

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    Is the Erik Nording carve your own kit available anywhere? I remember seeing it a while back but I can't find it anymore.I would like to get that one to try carving a pipe with but it doesn't look like its available anymore.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  27. smokindawg

    smokindawg

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    I have a sander like that one. Was given to me missing parts. I'm adapting it to a box full of longer belts I picked up at an auction. Good idea adding the disc sander. I'll also build some way of adding dust collection as well.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  28. shaintiques

    shaintiques

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    Harbor freight has some decent tools too, got my belt sander there

    I know what I need, smoke, I can't recall the last time I tasted it....Gandalf in the mines of Moria.

    "we shall have to share pipes, as good friends must at a pinch'....'I keep a treasure or two near my skin, as precious as rings to me. Here's one: my old wooden pipe. And here's another an unused one...He held up a small pipe with a wide flattened bowl, and handed it to Gimli. 'Does that settle the score between us', said Merry. 'Most noble hobbit, it leaves me deep in your debt."
    Posted 6 years ago #
  29. waznyf

    waznyf

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    I'm going to look at some tools tomorrow that I saw on Craigslist.
    It is all craftsman equipment but it's older so I wanted to take a look at it and see how it worked first.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  30. trevert

    Trever Talbert

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    Take a serious look at the tools and stuff offered for sale on the Pipemakers' Forum first. There's often custom gear available, plus stock and parts at good prices. It's due to the same effect that hits bowhunting and other rollerblading and other difficult activities - People get very enthused about the idea and spend a lot of cash buying fancy stuff and then find out it's really hard work and a year later they've got a crate of briar and a $1500 lathe for sale on PF for $300.
    I've often pointed to this as the best object lesson ever against laying down lots of cash on pipemaking stuff when you're just starting out. Generally my advice is - Buy 4 or 5 pre-drilled kits and make pipes out of all of them. THEN if you're still interested, think about going further...

    Hey, this is my first post here, yay!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  31. winton

    winton

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    I have three sanders. A Harbor Freight 1x30 belt sander, a Craftsman 4x36 beltsander, and a Jet full size lathe that turns a disk for sanding. The last one is most useful for pipes and really only cost me the sandpaper.

    Winton

    Posted 6 years ago #
  32. sasquatch

    sasquatch

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    And.... you even spelled it mostly right.

    Three cheers for Trever everyone!

    Huzzah!

    Huzzah!

    Huzzah!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  33. ejames

    ejames

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    Take a serious look at the tools and stuff offered for sale on the Pipemakers' Forum first. There's often custom gear available, plus stock and parts at good prices. It's due to the same effect that hits bowhunting and other rollerblading and other difficult activities - People get very enthused about the idea and spend a lot of cash buying fancy stuff and then find out it's really hard work and a year later they've got a crate of briar and a $1500 lathe for sale on PF for $300.

    Although I post very little there,I've been a member of the pipemakers forum for about 3 years,but it has never occurred to me to check there for tools when I am looking for them! Is it possible to have a three year long brain fart?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  34. lazydog

    lazydog

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    Ej don't feel bad some brain farts last forever.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  35. User has not uploaded an avatar

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    Not to burst your bubble, but you might be putting the cart before the horse here.

    I'd suggest you move ahead with your education and focus on that. Pipemaking is a noble profession but in this economy a young man like you, putting a considerable amount of money into a (forgive me here) pipe dream may not be the best way to go.

    Just my 2 cents. Best of luck to you, though -- whatever you decide.

    Posted 6 years ago #

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