Why are my pipes always comfortable to smoke? You asked for an answer.

Odissey

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Good afternoon everyone!
Today I will tell you why my pipes always smoke very comfortably. What do I mean by comfort smoking? Of course, I cannot say that in my pipes the smoke itself flows into the mouth, but the feeling of smoking my pipes is very close to this. How is it provided. I already wrote about it. The smoke channel in my pipes always has a constant section from the tobacco chamber to the button on the stem.

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In the photo, I showed you my stem in section, as it is the stem that plays a key role in ensuring comfortable smoking. With drilling of the smoke channel in the briar, there are usually no problems. Usually this operation is carried out with a drill with a diameter of 4 - 4.2 mm. After that, the cross-sectional area of the smoke channel is approximately 12 square millimeters. But it is impossible to drill the stem with a drill with such a diameter for the entire length, since there is a width of the button. Usually it is 4.2 mm. On my pipes, the button width is usually no more than 3.4 mm. Usually I try to make the width of the button at 3.2mm. It is clear that the diameter of the drill is 4 mm larger than the width of the button, but in addition, the button must still have walls surrounding the smoke channel.
As some masters usually do. The stem is drilled with a drill with a diameter of 2 mm and it is good if the drill diameter is 2 mm, but there are craftsmen who use a drill with a diameter of 1.5 mm for this purpose. Then these craftsmen take a small slotted disk and form a slot on the tip of the button with this disk. Then the transition from the 2 mm hole to the slot made by the disk is slightly smoothed. Everything, on this work is considered completed. But the hole in the stem was drilled with a drill with a diameter of 2 mm, and the fact that a small cone appeared on the edge of this hole did not make it any better. A hole in the stem with a diameter of 2 mm has a cross-sectional area of 3 square mm. When drilling a hole with a drill with a diameter of 4 mm, the hole area will be at the level of 12 square millimeters. The result of a 2 mm hole will be a strangled smoke channel. Moreover, strangled very thoroughly, the flow area for smoke was reduced by at least 4 times. Will such a pipe smoke? There is a hole and the pipe will smoke, but there will never be comfortable smoking. You always have to strain your lungs pretty hard to get a new portion of smoke.
Let's get back to photography. I will try to explain to you what way I found out of this situation.
In the photo of the stem you see a conical hole. this hole is obtained after sequential drilling of the stem with drills with a diameter of 4 - 3.5 - 3 - 2 mm. These holes are drilled from the side of the spike. A drill with a diameter of 2 mm does not reach the button by about 8 - 10 mm. From the side of the button, I drill another hole with a diameter of 1.2 mm until it mates with the 2 mm hole.
When the stem is drilled to its full length, I return to the holes drilled from the side of the stem. I line the steps in this hole with a sharp triangular needle file. The needle file is inserted into the lathe chuck and at very high speeds (about 1000 rpm) I cut the steps with this file.
Needle file.

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The first photo shows that there are no steps left in the channel, the cone is even and smooth.
Then I get to work on the side of the button. From this side, the stem is drilled with a drill with a diameter of 1.2 mm.

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For this operation, I adapted three files from a saw for metal. Looking from left to right, the first file is 0.7 mm thick, the second is 0.9 mm thick, and the third is 1.2 mm thick. This is a saw blade from an electric jigsaw. I use these files to get another cone inside the stem. This cone is also visible in the first photo. It expands from the spike to the button. Usually in the upper part I saw through it to a width of 5 mm. At the exit of the button, this cone has a width of 9 - 9.5 mm. In the final version, on the finished stem at the exit, this cone measures 9 - 9.5 wide and 1.4 - 1.5 mm thick. If we multiply these two numbers, then the cross-sectional area of the smoke channel at the outlet of the button is 12.6 - 14.2 square millimeters. That is, the smoke channel in the stem has the same cross section as the hole in the smoke channel drilled in the briar. The resulting profile of the smoke nanal from two cones expanding in different directions makes it possible to obtain a smoke channel with a constant cross section along its entire length. The channel remains free throughout, it is not strangled anywhere.
The work of making a cone from the side of the button is quite difficult, especially at the initial stage. It is necessary with a file with a thickness of 0.7 mm to turn a hole with a diameter of 1.2 mm into a cone. The duration of this operation is completely unpredictable. You can do everything in 20 minutes, but you can also cut for 2 hours.
Then I process the cone with steel wire coated with diamond abrasive.

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The wire has a diameter of 1.3 mm and allows you to give the edges of the cone a semicircular shape, smooth out the bumps left from the files.
The whole process is completed with sandpaper folded in 4 - 5 layers. With sandpaper, I usually bring everything to perfect condition. I polish the resulting smoke channel in the stem with an ordinary pipe brush with polishing paste applied to it.

Kind regards,
Andrey
 

Odissey

Well-known member
Patron
Sales
Good stuff, Andrey. It is relatively rare for a pipemaker to share this particular bit of knowledge. I appreciate seeing it.
I have described to you the scheme of my work, but this should be considered only as an idea, according to which each master will be able to adapt this scheme to the equipment and tools he has. For example, I know that in America you can buy conical drills. It was very expensive and long for me to order these drills from Vermont. Therefore, I adapted a triangular needle file for this purpose and conical drills were not needed.
 

Odissey

Well-known member
Patron
Sales
Loved reading these, thank you for sharing. Picked up one of my pipes from you to follow along and compare.
I will now tell you how it is very simple and easy to distinguish a well-made stem from a stem that, from my point of view, is not made correctly. You need to pull the stem out of the pipe and just try to breathe through it while holding your nose. If after two or three breaths you feel that you do not have enough air, then this stem is not made correctly. If you can breathe through the stem for at least one minute or more, then most likely it is done correctly. It is clear that a hole with a diameter of 4 mm imposes its own restrictions on breathing, and even a properly made stem will not let you breathe freely. But there is a difference in breathing time through different stems and it is always noticeable.
 
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