Tag Archives: shaping a pipe

Some of the pipes I have carved over the years

I thought I would post some pictures of the pipes I have carved over the years. Some are better than others and many are no longer in my collection as I have given them to friends. I post them here on the blog to show some of the possibilities with finishes – smooth, rusticated and semi rusticated – and with various stains and also as naturals.

Pipe #1 (only in terms of pictures not in terms of creation). A quarter bent ball or apple with a chamfered rim. The stains include a black under stain and a medium brown over stain.ImageImage

Pipe #2 – A ¼ bent tadpole. This is a great smoker and very light weight. The stains are a contrast of reds and browns.


Pipe #3 – A saddle stem Dublin with a Medium Brown stain


Pipe #4 – a ¼ bent Tomato. This one is rusticated to look like old leather. The undercoat is black stain then it is buffed and given a top coat of Medium Brown stain.Image

Pipe #5 – A semi rusticated apple. The bottom of this pipe is plateau briar and the rustication carries that theme upward to mid bowl. The rustication has a black understain and a medium Brown top coat. The smooth portion is medium brown. Image

Pipe #6 – A Canadian with a leaf pattern carved over a flaw in the briar. The stain is a Medium Brown.Image

Pipe #7 –a bent Dublin. On this one I used a medium brown stain. I had Stephen Downie help me with the shank extension and work on this one. Image

Pipe #8 – Volcano shape with plateau on the bottom. This one has a black understain to highlight the beautiful grain and then a medium Brown overstain. The stem is a modified saddle.ImageImage

Pipe #9 – ¼ bent egg. This one is stained with a black understain and then a tan overstain. The grain is very interesting on it.Image

Pipe #10 is a natural Dublin with no stain. Many coats of carnauba wax were applied. The band is a brass pressure fitting that I shaped to give it character. Image

Pipe #11 is a poker with a mix of rustication and smooth. It was stained with a medium brown stain. And waxed with carnauba. Image

Pipe #12 is a fanciful freehand that I did to highlight the amazing grain that flows along the pattern. This one is also natural in terms of finish – no stains were used. Just wax.Image

Carved from a kit – a predrilled block and stem

I took this photo essay of a pipe I carved from a pipe kit I purchased from smokindawg (Steve) on Smokers Forums and Pipe Smokers Unleashed. It was a predrilled block of briar and a straight vulcanite stem fit with a Delrin tenon. I actually only had to shape and finish this one. Steve did the hard work in drilling and prestemming it for me. Here is a photo journal of the progress in making the pipe. I used a hand held Dremel with the larger sanding drum to bring the pipe out of the block. At the junction of the bowl and shank I used a wood rasp and a long file to get the angle cut the way I wanted it to be.

Photos 1-3 the block when it arrived (I sketched a potential shape with pencil on both side of the block to give me an idea of where I was going to go)ImageImageImage

Photos 4-5 show the initial sanding to remove material.ImageImage

Photos 6-9 Making more briar dustImageImageImageImage

Photos 10-13 – Making more dust – Shape emergingImageImageImageImage

Photos 14-17 Making more dust – shape is coming. I bent the stem with heat to get an idea of the curve of the stem. Also removed some of the vulcanite on the stem.ImageImageImageImage

Photos 18-23 – The shaping is done. The pipe has been sanded with 240 grit sand paper and then buffed with Tripoli and White Diamond. I then sanded it with 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper.ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Photos 24-27 – Black Stain. After some more sanding I stained the entire bowl with black aniline stain as an undercoat.


Photos 28-31 – Excess black stain removed. With the buffer and Tripoli I removed the excess of the black undercoat of stain. My goal was to leave it in the grain patterns to highlight them.


Photos 32-36 – More buffing and sanding. ImageImageImageImageImage

Photos 37-40 – Top stain of Oxblood Aniline for contrast. ImageImageImageImage

Photo 41 – An adjustment to the bend. I reheated the stem and curved the bend a bit more to match the curve of the underside of the bowl.