My Own Pipe
I am finished. Both with the pipe and physically as far as my fingers are concerned. I can rub no more. I have sanded away a mass of material over the last two days and my fingers are sore to the bone. The result is somewhat as I expected it to be, not entirely but close enough and I am pleased with the result of my labours. I have created my very own pipe. No one else has anything like it. It is huge. I made it to fit my oversized hands. The bowl is 48mm in diameter at it’s widest point and 68mm tall. Total length, 170mm. The chamber is 20mm in diameter and 48mm deep. The draft hole is 4,5 mm in diameter.
The chamber is deliberately offset in relation to the outer surface, being closer to the shank than to the front of the bowl. Good thick walls on either side help to hold the pipe cool in the hand.
Having made the damn thing, one obviously has to smoke it. I have been a bit generous on the draft hole, boring it to 4,5mm. It is fair to say, that the draft hole is wide open and I can feel this as I smoke the pipe now. I do not have to work very hard to get smoke through this baby! The shank is long enough to cool the smoke and the somewhat extended hole I made for the tenon helps toward this end. It is heavy to hold in the mouth. This is one for evenings and relaxing with. I will not be running round the garden with this pipe hanging from my teeth. It needs to be held in the hand.
My respect for the people who make these things for a living has increased with the processes I have endured. Obviously they have machinery to take most of the hard work of production but the fascination for me lies in the eye of the carver and the way that they can hold the symmetry of the pipe as they cut away at it to produce the results they do. I will probably never replicate what they do on a daily basis. If I could, then I would have a similar job.
That doesn’t stop me being a tad proud of what I have achieved though. I started with a bare block of wood, worked out how to drill it, made the bit for the boring of the chamber, bored, sanded, formed and finally polished my own pipe. All by hand.
And now the crunch question. How does it smoke?