Second Pipe Finished
It may not be exactly what I wanted, but it’s a treasure of a pipe anyway. After sloping off the top of the bowl and bending the stem to the right angle, I gave a final fine polish with ultra fine sandpaper. The bare wood screamed at me not to stain it but bathe it in beeswax to bring out the colour and grain. I did just that. Then I took it to my buffer and gave it a polish with white wax to bring up a shine and finished the polishing with carnauba wax. Finally a wipe down with a soft cloth and there she was. Beautifully polished and shining like a diamond.
There is a straight grain on the bowl and some fancy birdseye at the top and bottom. Unfortunately there is also a minimal sand hole or some other anomaly on one side of the bowl but I will not be filling it. It merely adds to the character of this pipe.
Obviously I couldn’t make a thing like this and then not smoke it. So, after a few minutes adoration and thanks to the briar that gave her to me, I filled her up and fired up for the first time in my new pipe.
OK, it’s a big bore in the chamber, so lots of tobacco went in. A good long charring light and then a quick tamp down, then relighting. The first bowl is only half full. It smokes so easily that I couldn’t believe it. I really need to slow down with this one. This will be an evening pipe. Smoke runs through it effortlessly and the open airway allows for a very easy draw. The balance isn’t bad though the pipe is a little heavy to be held in the mouth. The gentle bending helps a little but I feel I will be holding this one in my hand more than between my teeth. It smoked to the bottom and left nothing but ash.
I am pleased with the result of my efforts. I learned a lot as I worked on it and am that experience richer. I have been posting the progress of this pipe at Smokersforums.co.uk and I am grateful to all those on that forum who offered encouragement, advice and support. This pipe is a testament to the brotherhood of that forum.