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alexnc

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Oct 25, 2015
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I use G Flex, but simply because that’s what I keep on hand for gluing up knives. For fills, I imagine you would be fine with a less expensive product, as long as it dries clear and colorless. I just sand scraps from the same piece of wood with a fine grit sandpaper to make a small pile of dust, then mix it with the epoxy to make a paste. Fill the pit, leaving the fill a little higher than the rest of the surface, let it cure, then sand it back down flush.
I'll try G flex, I've been using a Bob Smith clear cyanoacrylate and pressing wood dust into it. But I'm up to try something better.
 
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Country Bladesmith

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May 2, 2020
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I'll try G flex, I've been using a Bob Smith clear cyanoacrylate and pressing wood dust into it. But I'm up to try something better.
CA will probably work fine. I’ve had it flake out of joints and such on knives, but that’s a higher stress application than simple fills would be. My main use for CA is stabilizing punky woods for knife handle parts and temporarily holding things together that will be fixed permanently later. That and for handle finishes.
 
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karam

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Feb 2, 2019
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That the final form of the poker, sanded with 120, 240, 400, 600 and 1000 grit sandpaper and buffed with a buffing cloth for shoes and 1-2 drops of olive oil.

I spent a week calling up leather shops and other craft shops for alcohol-based leather dyes and/or carnauba wax (only in auto shops - don't want to use that!), consulted with my wife who's a painter by training about the possibility of making an alcohol-based paint, and in the end got frustrated, gave up and decided to use a couple of drops of oil as I didn't have the patience to order from abroad. I like the result, in fact wouldn't want it to be any darker (it is darker, mahogany reddish in real life, the photo is not good as taken from my crappy phone).

Interestingly, I found a thread here today about old vs newer briar. The guy who I got this hobby block from advertises that they are 30 years old briar, there's a big difference in the colour between this and the my first attempt (Vauen hobby block) - this is MUCH darker.

I appreciate that both this, as well as my first attempt are rough as sin, and in fact the moment I put the oil on a dozen scratches and dings showed up that were not obvious to the eye or touch, but nevermind, I lack the patience of proper craftsmen, however for the remaining block I have I'll put in a lot more effort in finishing, and get a couple of appropriate wood files.

sitter 1.jpg
 

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karam

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Feb 2, 2019
619
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Athens, Greece
First smoke in the poker, in fact first smoke in an unsmoked pipe in 10 years! St Bernard's Flake. I've decided this will be a VaPer pipe. Great smoke in fact, smooth, cool, flavourful and very dry. No wood taste or any off-taste at all, I want to see how it will develop over time.
Weird photo and silly face is because my wife took the photo when I was not looking. Also, Covid-19 beard!

1591554987275.png
 

Country Bladesmith

Preferred Member
May 2, 2020
3,310
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Louisiana
First smoke in the poker, in fact first smoke in an unsmoked pipe in 10 years! St Bernard's Flake. I've decided this will be a VaPer pipe. Great smoke in fact, smooth, cool, flavourful and very dry. No wood taste or any off-taste at all, I want to see how it will develop over time.
Weird photo and silly face is because my wife took the photo when I was not looking. Also, Covid-19 beard!

View attachment 32531
Nice!
 

gamzultovah

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Aug 4, 2019
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That the final form of the poker, sanded with 120, 240, 400, 600 and 1000 grit sandpaper and buffed with a buffing cloth for shoes and 1-2 drops of olive oil.

I spent a week calling up leather shops and other craft shops for alcohol-based leather dyes and/or carnauba wax (only in auto shops - don't want to use that!), consulted with my wife who's a painter by training about the possibility of making an alcohol-based paint, and in the end got frustrated, gave up and decided to use a couple of drops of oil as I didn't have the patience to order from abroad. I like the result, in fact wouldn't want it to be any darker (it is darker, mahogany reddish in real life, the photo is not good as taken from my crappy phone).

Interestingly, I found a thread here today about old vs newer briar. The guy who I got this hobby block from advertises that they are 30 years old briar, there's a big difference in the colour between this and the my first attempt (Vauen hobby block) - this is MUCH darker.

I appreciate that both this, as well as my first attempt are rough as sin, and in fact the moment I put the oil on a dozen scratches and dings showed up that were not obvious to the eye or touch, but nevermind, I lack the patience of proper craftsmen, however for the remaining block I have I'll put in a lot more effort in finishing, and get a couple of appropriate wood files.

View attachment 32017
Very nice!
 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
Looks great! Older briar is darker for sure & it tastes better imo. I’ve never used olive oil. If linseed oil is available that works well for olive wood, though I’ve never tried it on briar.
 

alexnc

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Oct 25, 2015
841
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Here’s a dark piece of briar that’s supposed to be around 45 years old and a lighter piece that I don’t know anything about. The older stuff definitely smokes better.26B74A2E-328D-401E-AD23-C09ACDA831EF.jpeg
 
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karam

Preferred Member
Feb 2, 2019
619
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Athens, Greece
Looks great! Older briar is darker for sure & it tastes better imo. I’ve never used olive oil. If linseed oil is available that works well for olive wood, though I’ve never tried it on briar.
I got some linseed oil at hand but it's industrial grade I've previously used for tool handles and metal working. It's no matter because I'm more than happy with the results I got with olive oil.

Other question, the poker's draw is a tad tighter than I like it, would I mess it up if I drilled it a bit wider? It looks to have been drilled with a number 3 drill bit, I'd go to 4.

IMG_20200612_085939.jpg
 
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Country Bladesmith

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May 2, 2020
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Louisiana
I got some linseed oil at hand but it's industrial grade I've previously used for tool handles and metal working. It's no matter because I'm more than happy with the results I got with olive oil.

Other question, the poker's draw is a tad tighter than I like it, would I mess it up if I drilled it a bit wider? It looks to have been drilled with a number 3 drill bit, I'd go to 4.

View attachment 33052
Are you sure it’s the stummel’s airway that’s restrictive, and not the stem’s?
The stummel wouldn’t be hard to do, just don’t screw up the bottom of the chamber. The stem might be tough.
 
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karam

Preferred Member
Feb 2, 2019
619
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Athens, Greece
Are you sure it’s the stummel’s airway that’s restrictive, and not the stem’s?
The stummel wouldn’t be hard to do, just don’t screw up the bottom of the chamber. The stem might be tough.

My unscientific approach is to try the airflow of the shank and stem alone and decide which feels more restrictive, it feels like it is the shank.
 
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Country Bladesmith

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May 2, 2020
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My unscientific approach is to try the airflow of the shank and stem alone and decide which feels more restrictive, it feels like it is the shank.
That’s what I started to suggest above. I have cracked out some stems before trying to drill the airway out a bit. I think the stummel would be fine though. Just look through the chamber to make sure the bit doesn’t go too far in. I think I had to do this to one before, but I can’t remember for sure now.
 
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alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
Bladesmith is probably right, but if you think it’s the stummel, I drill them at 4mm all the time. Your drilling looks great! A slot funneling tool is a low risk way to open up the stem at the bit if you don’t seem to find satisfaction redrilling the shank
 

karam

Preferred Member
Feb 2, 2019
619
2,142
Athens, Greece
Bladesmith is probably right, but if you think it’s the stummel, I drill them at 4mm all the time. Your drilling looks great! A slot funneling tool is a low risk way to open up the stem at the bit if you don’t seem to find satisfaction redrilling the shank

Thanks, I'd love to claim it is all my work, but all the blocks I carved came pre-drilled, chambers done, and stems fitted - I basically removed wood from the outside. I'm moving to the next step though, my next project is to modify a spade bit so I can start from a solid block and take it all the way to pipe.
 
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alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
You’ll do well. I think the drilling is not the biggest challenge. If you can carve a kit you can start from scratch! And your pipes look good!
 
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