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Silence. Genius at Work

August 9, 2008

MVC-028F I did something today that I have been summoning up the courage to do for a long time now. I decided to have a go at making my own pipe. Others have done it, I know, but I needed to try. It isn’t because I don’t have any more pipes, I do, but the idea of creating my own has been hounding me for years. So, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I found a block of briar a few weeks ago and decided that today was the day. Looking through my collection of bits and pieces, I found an old mouthpiece that could be used and I was, thus equipped, ready to start.

Not having a huge selection of power tools, like lathe for example, I am somewhat hampered. I do have a pillar drill. I needed to bore two holes in the block for a pipe to come out of it. One for the draft and one for the chamber. These two have to meet each other at the bottom of the chamber. 

MVC-029FAlso, one has to remember to drill for the tenon on the mouthpiece. The draft hole was easy enough. The tenon hole was also relatively easy, just follow the draft hole for a centimeter or so. That done, I needed to drill the chamber. Chambers are round at the bottom so I needed to grind down and reshape a 20mm wood spade bit to fit. I did that too. Then I bored down into the chamber with a 10mm bit to the depth I wanted and followed it with my home made chamber drill.

To my amazement, I hit the draft hole right on cue, although unfortunately, not entirely centrally. The draft hole is a mm or two off centre, but allowably so. The chamber is fine. Beautifully round and rounded out at the bottom. For a man with only a pillar drill, I was pleased with the result. Hooray. I could fit the mouthpiece to my newly created blank and hey presto, I could draw air through it and could, effectively, have filled it with tobacco and smoked it right there and then. But I wasn’t done yet.

MVC-032F Riding high on my success so far, I got cracking with the sandpaper. OK, some of the bulk material got removed by sawing with a small saw where I could get to it, but otherwise it has been a long day of rub, rub, rub.


MVC-033F It is too dark to do any more today, so I will have to continue tomorrow. The pipe is a long way from finished but it is beginning to look and feel like a pipe and no longer is it just a piece of wood. It is taking form as I rub away at it, I have no idea what the finished product will look like. I know what I want it to look like, but that may be another story. We’ll see.


Actually, I can’t help thinking it is a shame that a real pipe maker didn’t have this block. There hasn’t been one sand hole, blemish or crack to be found in the block up to now. A flawless block? Wow. Think what a professional could do with that.

This might turn out good after all.

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