Cutting and Sanding
I have released the pipe from the block. Which actually means I have been busy with the sander, a hacksaw and sandpaper. The pipe is beginning to get it’s final form as I sand away the last vestiges of the superfluous briar that had enclosed it. The bowl still needs more sanding before it has the shape I want and the top of the bowl needs to be angled back a little from front to back, I want the pipe to lean forward away from the stem, which still remains to be bent into shape. I may have to abandon the idea of the ring. I do not seem to have enough room for it on the shank.
However, I will not entirely drop the idea until I have sanded more. Had my spade bit not chattered in the bowl, which forced me to sand out and increase the chamber size, there would have been room enough. Maybe a thin ring will be fitted simply to reinforce the point where stem meets shank.
I am beginning to think about finish on the pipe. I am seeing some nice straight grain as I sand away at the bowl so a light staining may be a good thing before I finally wax and polish. Having never stained briar before, I may need to seek some advice before I do it. For example, how dark does staining become and how little, or how much, should one apply? Indeed, how does one apply stain? Dip or brush?
I realise now, that this pipe is not so much being made as much as it is evolving. I started with one idea, was forced to change it due to mishap and will have to change plans again as I go forward.
Whatever the result may be, I am sure I will treasure it. This pipe seems to have a destiny of its own and I am merely there to facilitate its creation. I am curious to see what it will become.
Final sanding tomorrow, if I have time, and then I must get round to bending that stem. That’s new territory too.